Now they try to pass for Cherokee, and now they fancy themselves tearing down the Berlin Wall. Some lefties just can’t be happy being what they are, i.e. white middle and upper class and American. Convicted domestic terrorist and progressive activist Brett Kimberlin, for instance, named one of his websites Velvet Revolution, saying:
Velvet Revolution is a term coined to describe the peaceful road to change in countries where governments ignored the inalienable rights of the people. A few inspiring Velvet Revolutions occurred in the former Soviet Union, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, South Africa, Ukraine, Egypt, Tunisia and other countries.The citizens of those countries, tired of corruption and arrogant power, joined together by the millions in a sustained campaign of opposition – they demonstrated, boycotted, petitioned, and engaged in strikes until the pillars of power were replaced by the halls of the people.
For starters, the term applies specifically to the events of November 1989 in Czechoslovakia, and to call other peaceful transformations velvet revolutions is a bit imprecise. While it might be justifiable to speak of Czechoslovakia, East Germany or Poland in a single breath, lets all agree that Egypt and Tunisia fall under Arab Spring, or, taking into account the sorry outcomes, Arab Springtime.
More importantly, it’s an understatement to say that the Czechs and Slovaks were “tired of corruption and arrogant power” is an understatement. It’s not just that Eastern Europeans were irate, as Kimberlin’s language implies, they had legitimate and specific reasons to revolt, and they were ready to put their lives on the line. They yearned for freedom, and they opposed the Communist police state and the empire that a generation ago crushed their young men and women with tanks.
I have to chuckle, when a convicted bomber like Kimberlin voices approval of peaceful demonstrations. When did he embrace peaceful tactics, like petitions and demonstrations (and presumably recanted the old ones)? Granted, not all demonstrations are peaceful, and boycotts, his other preferred method, can be controversial. One thing is clear, in his fantasy life, Brett Kimberlin is a peaceful revolutionary, and he wants to lead something like Velvet Revolution here:
VR’s [his site] issues are not a matter of Right and Left. They are a matter of Right and Wrong! The tactics and the power of the Democrats and progressives in this country have not been sufficient to check the actions of a corrupt Republican agenda. The left has not been able to develop the necessary tactics to win this battle for the heart of America, despite the fact that there are many fine progressive organizations with many members. The leadership of the Democratic Party has generally engaged in a pattern of appeasement, and few organizations have had the clout or backbone to go toe to toe with the extreme right. In many major battles recently, the Democrats have rolled over, and the result is a frightening world of perpetual war and civil strife, both literally and figuratively, led by politicians who are out of touch with regular Americans.
And blah-blah. So brave of him. Any moment now the evil Republicans will roll out their war machines onto the streets of Chicago, to crush those peaceful kinds who rape and shoot each other and were arrested with explosives and all — just like the Prague Spring.
For all I know, Kimberlin might find lots of friends in the Arab Spring countries, but I’m not sure about Eastern Europe. They might like some of the music he embeds on his sites, after all, Velvet Revolution got its name from the Velvet Underground, but I’m not sure about his politics. Kimberlin champions anarchists anti-capitalist movements like #Occupy. A decade or so ago, G8 (or whatever the chronologically appropriate number) held a meeting in Prague because, they rightly judged, anarchists will not cause havoc there. #Occupy Czech Republic does not seem particularly well attended — then again, none of the Occupies were. Last year, Lech Walesa refused to lend his support to #Occupy. The actually named a street after Ronald Reagan in Czech Republic, which is pretty darn cool.
Brett Kimberlin should rename that little website of his.