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Guest Blog by Kieth McHenry - Food Not Bombs Co-Founder
We want to share with you a letter to sister and brother progressives from our longtime friend Keith McHenry. As a co-founder of the now international NGO, Food Not Bombs, Keith may hold the record for the number times he as been brutalized by police for the subversive crime of feeding the hungry homeless.
He raises a question that has been puzzling us too: Why do so many progressives now believe the official narrative on Covid when it’s coming from the same sources that brought us WMDs in Iraq and reports of imminent victory in Afghanistan?
It is a question we will examine in depth in our forthcoming 3-part series of articles: DECODING COVID – Mapping the Largest Mass PsyOp in the History of the World…and How We Can Recover from it. Please stay tuned.
Looking at COVID as a Progressive
By KEITH McHENRY
I can understand wanting to get the COVID injections and I support your right to do so. The fear of death from COVID is compelling. The images and reports frightening. I would never interfere with someone’s desire to participate in these vaccine trials. I can understand how much more terrifying the world looks to those who quarantined at home for weeks relying on social media, NPR, CNN and the New York Times for information unaware of the reality on the streets. Had I been inside quarantined I may have also internalized that fear and found a logic in the ever changing information about COVID, the vaccines and the boosters.
As progressives I think we should be standing against attacks on our freedoms and supporting the civil rights of all essential workers, people who like myself spent every day of the pandemic outside meeting the needs of our community. I would think that my anti-war, anti-capitalist friends would be open to questioning the story about COVID since it is being pushed by the same people who also told us there were WMDs in Iraq and that we were winning the war on Afghanistan.
I first wrote a letter on this subject when I received an invitation to attend a meeting forming a new progressive alliance. To participate you had to provide proof of a vaccination or a negative COVID test. I wrote to invite the progressive community to stand in solidarity with the working class by refusing to meet in facilities that demand proof of participation in the vaccine experiments.
I had shrugged off the proof of vaccine requirement to attend the ACLU awards ceremony since I had to cook that day. But when I came to understand that the outdoor venue for the meeting did not require this proof, nor does the Simpkins Family Center where the progressive alliance meets this week nor the Del Mar Theater where I was barred from seeing a film that I was in, I became even more concerned.
Initially the demand for proof of vaccination or negative test may have seemed reasonable to those implementing the policy based on the messaging allowed in the media and on-line platforms. Since so much scientific debate has been censored to protect the profits and power of those institutions pushing the vaccines it is easy to understand why such measures would be considered.
Those local progressives initiating these policies are well meaning I am sure, thought it would slow the spread of COVID and I believe had no idea what role they were playing in implementing the first of what could become an ever tighter noose choking what is left of our freedom and democracy.
I remained silent about my objections to COVID policies, self-censoring to protect the global movement Food Not Bombs from smears and a withdrawal of support. That was until I was personally impacted by demands by my friends for me to prove my vaccination status.
I have been organizing against corporate power, censorship, the military and the CIA for 50 years and plan to continue.
I helped start the Santa Cruz Homeless Union COVID-19 Relief Center and Food Not Bombs meal. Like many I was freaked out about COVID in those early days and even spent $20,000 of my own money on hotel rooms for the homeless worried that if my friends were not indoors and quarantined, they could die. Food Not Bombs organized our first COVID safety meeting at LuLus the morning of March 14, 2020. My seven bleach-stained teeshirts illustrate the hours I spent sanitizing our equipment. I posted the latest California Health Department safety measures on the Food Not Bombs website starting in early April 2020. The fading six foot apart circles I spray painted at the Town Clock and Garage10 and the white dashes that decorate Lot 27 are a testament to my concern. So I can understand the fear people have of COVID. I can understand wanting to get the injections and again I support your right to do so.
Things started to change for me when I first heard about Trump's secret military program Warp Speed, and became concerned that the vaccine program may not be about health. The six or seven NPR programs a day about massive COVID deaths and the rush to get everyone a vaccine also made me suspect there was another agenda.
Like many of you, when I saw people called anti-vaxxers armed with AR-15s waving confederate and Trump flags I was horrified. There is no way I would ever join people like the Proud Boys and Trump supporters in protesting the lockdowns and other COVID policies. The questioning of Dr Fauci was framed as a position taken only by racist gun- toting Trump supporters effectively driving the left into the arms of the military and big Pharma.
My dear friend and virologist, Dr. Shannon Murray came to visit in November 2020. I knew her when she was helping develop the Moderna vaccine at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. She feared there could be major health problems from the vaccines since the first human trials had not taken place yet and more study was needed before they could be considered safe in humans. The animal trials had not been promising at that point, killing nearly 80% of those vaccinated animals who were exposed to SARS-CoV-1. She also expressed concern that the research in these vaccines had become a secret military program when her access to data had suddenly been removed. At that time she was still using an alias as did her coworkers so they could share their concerns without fear of being banned from their life’s work. Like many at the NIH, she refuses to get a jab.
Until that time I had the impression I was one of only a couple of progressives that thought something wasn’t right. I would slowly learn that several other left friends also shared my perspective. I connected Shannon to an old journalist friend, Sam Husseini who had been writing on gain of function research and bio-warfare at places like the Fort Detrick Biological Warfare Laboratories. I learned that another colleague of mine, the director of the Organic Consumers Association, Ronnie Cummings and my friend Vandana Shiva were also starting to express concerns that mirrored our work together against Monsanto. So even though I remained publicly silent I started to feel less alone.
We now see that the vaccines do not protect from the spread of COVID or protect us from becoming ill from COVID. I have a number of friends who contracted COVID from a fully vaccinated person. To highlight the failure of the vaccines the Santa Cruz Health Department reported that four fully vaccinated people, one partially vaccinated person and three unvaccinated people died of COVID in our county during October 2021. The unvaccinated may have been classified as such because they had their last jab less than two weeks before their death or they had not had a booster or maybe they had not had any vaccination for COVID.
Now things are getting scary. I never thought my friends would feel justified in segregating me from their places of business or banning me from participating in their events. That was upsetting enough but now I have to face the possibility that these same friends will remain silent as those of us who are refusing the experimental jab are criminalized and possibly interned. When Austria announced plans to place all unvaccinated under house arrest I found that particularly unsettling. The open assault on the unvaccinated had started. News came that Australia had started to force the unvaccinated into quarantine camps followed by media reports that the Dutch police had fired live ammunition at unarmed anti-mandate and anti-lockdown protesters, shooting three people in Rotterdam. This has been followed by the lockdown of the unvaccinated in Germany and a call by the leaders of the European Union to force everyone in the Euro Zone to get a vaccine.
I believe that left progressives will be crushed if the current trend is not stopped. The very reasons a new Santa Cruz progressive alliance was proposed was to stop the gentrification of our community. The building of ghost condominiums is in coordination with the COVID policies that have closed small businesses letting hedge funds scoop up property. So far there has been no local, state or national plan to house the millions of Americans facing eviction. Will the unhoused be placed on military bases as suggested by former mayor Donna Myers? This push for control also includes a drive to pass H.R. 350: The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021, which targets anti-capitalist, anarchists and other progressive activists like myself. Progressive voices questioning US interventions, the Occupation of Palestine or the increase in surveillance programs are now regularly removed from social media platforms. It won't be long before Digital IDs are required to participate in commerce and your vaccine status could be linked to your income, access to education, health care and your personal freedom if we don’t unite now against the corporate clampdown.
Aren’t these the issues that we progressives have been organizing against?
As a progressive, I am still against censorship by groups like Henry Kissinger's CIA dominated Atlantic Council, the Aspen Institute and Imran Ahmed who are tasked with deleting social media accounts that do not support the corporate agenda. I am also still against the exploitive corporations with a history of deceit and harm like Pfizer who has paid out billions in damages for their products that have killed or maimed. Why are we progressives defending the goals of global corporate power, the US military and the CIA by demanding proof of vaccination when we know they don’t work as advertised?
We should start our resistance by insisting that progressives only hold events in facilities where all working class people can participate regardless of vaccine status. As progressives we must also speak out against mandates, vaccine passports, segregation, the current increase in bio-warfare research, the domestic terrorism law and all censorship.
You may have seen video of the vaccinated in Italy burning their green vaccine passports in solidarity with the unvaccinated. We need such solidarity here in Santa Cruz.