PCS Blog

On the Precipice of a Revolution?

Posted by JessicaStuhr | 26 December 2011

TIME Magazine named “The Protestor” 2011’s Person of the Year, with good reason. From Egypt to Wall Street, this year has seen an escalated version of protests past. No longer simply standing tall for a cause will do. All over the world people are demanding change. The Occupy Movement in New York spread throughout the country with power, struggle, blood and tears. People of all ages (but a staggering number of youth) are tired of repression, lack of freedoms and a society filled with crime and corruption. People have been pushed to the edge. In Tunisia, the final straw was 27-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi setting himself on fire in front of the provincial capital building after being abused by authorities with no response to his complaints. In Egypt it was the ridiculously fraudulent 2010 national elections. In the U.S. it’s the complete failure of the financial system and the banks’ corrupt involvement. We are on the precipice of something big. Something huge.
Are we soon to face a global revolution? These protests are the result of years of corruption, violence and crime; although they are not new, today's unrest is packing the biggest punch. People have recognized shady government dealings and corrupt behavior for decades and many of the most debated conspiracy theories have developed in the wake.
In The North Plan, Playwright Jason Wells touches on a conspiracy theory that, although rooted in history, is as relevant as ever. Oliver North is a retired US Marine Corps officer, a best-selling author and the host of War Stories on Fox News. Lieutenant Colonel North was assigned to the National Security Council Staff under the Reagan Administration and was the counter-terrorism coordinator from 1983 to 1986. He was questioned during the Iran-Contra Hearings in 1987 about his involvement with and the validity of Readiness Exercise 1984 (Rex 84), which was the first time this highly classified national security plan was revealed.  Rex 84 is a secret plan that upon implementation – if the president announced a State of Domestic National Emergency – allowed suspension of the Constitution and declaration of martial law. This meant that thousands of American citizens deemed a threat to national security could be detained.
This plan was written by Oliver North when he was the NSC liaison to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Along with George Bush Sr. and Louis Giuffrida, North helped turn FEMA into “an instrument of domestic anti-terrorism.”  With the revelation of Rex 84, the public and other members of government became concerned, leading to questioning during the Iran-Contra Hearings. When asked, North became visibly uncomfortable and a member of the council interrupted by stating, “I believe that question touches upon a highly sensitive and classified area … may I request that you not touch upon that.”  It is believed that many empty camps exist around the country for the detainment of American citizens as described by Rex 84. HR 645  is the Emergency Centers Establishment Act under which these camps may be prepared for disaster relief, national emergency, training and more. Many believe that these centers could be used as detainment camps during civil unrest, protest or dissent.
Although this information is the basis for Jason Wells’ The North Plan (and quite serious in nature), the talented playwright has captured both a sense of unrest and comedy with his world premiere play. Wells’ characters, within this small-town police station, reveal the essence of the revolution that is upon them but will keep you laughing all the way.
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