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New York Aftermath

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  • Goldy George
    Dear Max and other friends, This is something that came across me. One of my friends sent it to me. I would like to share it with you all Regards Goldy ...
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 6, 2004
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      Dear Max and other friends,
      This is something that came across me. One of my friends sent it to me. I would like to share it with you all
       
      Regards
      Goldy

      CHETHANA <chethanaindia@...> wrote:

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Stephen (Esteban) Bartlett"
      To:
      Sent: Friday, September 03, 2004 3:14 PM
      Subject: New York Aftermath


      > New York Aftermath, What now?!
      > by Stephen Bartlett , September 3, 2004
      >
      > The sheer scale of the marches, rallies, civil disobedience and
      creative
      > direct actions that took place in New York this week in reaction to the
      > Republican National Convention (RNC) showed that resistance to the Bush
      > 'reactionary revolution' is growing and deepening, but the virtual
      corporate
      > media blackout, police state 'security' operation and abuse of civil
      > liberties and freedom of speech and assembly were dramatic and chilling to
      > the degree they were considered normal and justified by the 'threat of
      > terrorism.'
      > In two previous dispatches, I wrote in detail about the United for
      Peace
      > and Justice organized half a million person march on Sunday August 29, the
      > two Poor Peoples' Marches on August 30, the all day of planned and
      > spontaneous, decentralized and autonomous non-violent direct action on
      August
      > 31 (some of whose actions extended into September 1st and 2nd). I only
      > briefly described the large labor rally held on September 1st featuring
      union
      > leaders and members, James Gandolfini of the Sopranos and the much beloved
      > actor Danny Glover filled with righteous anger. From 23rd St. all the way
      to
      > the stage at 30th and 8th Avenue thousands and thousands of union members
      > rallied under the rhyming slogan: Push Bush Out The Door, in 2004. A
      crowd
      > estimated to number at least 12,000 decried the loss of jobs and the
      assault
      > on the right to organize under 'free trade' regimes and the outrageous
      > military expenditures that were gutting social services such as healthcare
      > and education. Yesterday on the afternoon of September 2nd a smaller but
      > highly spirited march took place in Harlem, featuring a diverse crowd of
      > Harlemites, New Yorkers and out-of-towners, African American leaders, and
      > some alternative and even local corporate press.
      > We chanted: Bush Go Home, from Harlem, Bush Go Home, from New York,
      Bush
      > Go Home, Son of a Bush, Bush Go Home, from the White House, we shouted
      > 'Harlem is Not for Sale' 'Deport Bush' and more colorful epithets I will
      not
      > repeat here. Large vigils and rallies also took place in Union Square and
      at
      > Madison Square Garden yesterday evening, as Bush was taking the stage to
      > deliver his triumphalist and cunningly spun acceptance speech.
      > Some remaining 900 of the total 1,800 people who were detained during
      the
      > RNC were released late Sept 2 after a judge, tired of the city's
      > non-compliance with various release deadline orders, imposed a $1,000 per
      > detainee fine on the city ($900,000?!) for failure to fulfill previous
      orders
      > and again ordered the immediate release of the detainees. Many of those
      > detained from actions on August 31 remained more than 24 and even 48 hours
      in
      > detention without being charged, read their rights, or given medical
      > attention or decent sleeping facilities. The National Lawyers Guild, on
      > behalf of the detainees whose constitutional 'habeus corpus' rights were
      > violated is planning to sue the city of New York big time.
      > The first photographs from inside the infamous holding pen on Pier 57
      > were placed on-line by the intrepid volunteer media outlet New York
      > Indymedia. NPR and even some corporate media folk admitted to consulting
      the
      > Indymedia website to get breaking news and find out what was happening.
      > While the Republicans out-machoed John Kerry and presented
      themselves as
      > golden-helmeted warriors on white horses weilding fantastic swords of
      > self-righteousness, the violent riots they might have hoped to blame on
      the
      > democrats never materialized. The equation protester/ democrat =
      terrorist
      > was denied to the republican and corporate media spinmeisters. Given the
      > police state environment of New York, the determination and impressive
      > restraint of the protesters was worth an in-depth story in the corporate
      > media, but did not get much coverage at all. Ted Koppel said it was
      easiest
      > to say what New York was not: Chicago in '68. It will be long
      remembered,
      > however, by those of us who witnessed some of the creative street theater,
      > actions and courage. Republican delegates interviewed expressed cheerful
      > praise of the New York Police in keeping them safe, evidently oblivious of
      > the irony of requiring some 30,000 riot police in order to hold their
      > convention in New York at all.
      > The radio program 'Democracy Now' broadcast on WBAI with Pacifica
      News
      > and featuring Amy Goodman was a source of excellent coverage as well as
      > profound commentary on the unfolding events. In a fascinating
      conversation
      > with Amy, Arundhati Roy, the best selling author from India responded to
      the
      > experience of accompanying Amy into the Convention Hall and meeting and
      > interviewing some of the delegates and hearing the speech of Dixiecrat
      Zell
      > Miller and the V. P. Dick Cheney.
      > One delegate, in answer to a question about the invasion of Iraq
      said:
      > "It was necessary. It is good we got Saddam." When asked about the false
      > claims of weapons of mass destruction, the man went off on a diatribe
      against
      > people who do not watch the same television station he does. "I don't
      know
      > what television station you watch, but it has to be a different one from
      the
      > one I watch." "What do you watch?" Amy asked. "I watch FOX and that is
      ALL
      > I need to watch."
      > "Have you seen the movie Fahrenheit 9/11?"
      > Turning a vivid red, his voice nearly shaking, the man said, "I think
      > Michael Moore is despicable!: "But will you watch the movie?" Almost
      too
      > apoplectic to verbalize, he answered "I, I, I... do not intend to watch
      that
      > movie! I will not!"
      > Later upon reflection Arundhati made some of the following
      observations
      > (and I paraphrase partially from memory): One cannot even be angry at the
      > man. He is a product of the media's lies, here in the very heart of
      > jingoism. He is a victim of propaganda. With such people you cannot
      engage
      > in dialogue. He didn't want to see Fahrenheit 9/11. He has no
      curiosity....
      > The power of fundamentalism comes in so many different garbs... compared
      to
      > the fundamentalists of the BJP party in India where if I entered their
      > convention among those who had killed with their own hands, my life would
      be
      > in danger, but here in this more rarified space, where everything appears
      so
      > civilized, this is even more chilling to me... there is so much power and
      > wealth concentrated here that... you can be nice... and only kill at
      long
      > distance and kill through proxies.
      > In reference to the militaristic nationalism of the speech made by
      > Georgian Senator Zell Miller, Arundhati made the following observations:
      > "There is the theatrics of betrayal, the cheap drama of that. But what is
      > important about that speech is that the democrats are in a space where
      they
      > are going to have to prove they are more vicious, more aggressive, more
      > murderous... than the republicans. In terms of an analysis of power, the
      > idea of the lesser of evil, it closes the space for softness, so Kerry
      will
      > have to prove he is in my terms worse than Bush... What is soft
      imperialism?
      > This was a display of how little space is left for us on the left in terms
      of
      > electoral politics. How much expediency can we afford? Where will the
      force
      > of dissenting powers be applied?
      > "In thinking about that delegate we interviewed. Or even Dick Cheney.
      He
      > is like an egg, this smooth person, FOX had sorted him out. But put him
      > anywhere in the world besides the place in the U.S. where he goes, he
      would
      > break."
      > About the whole scene in the convention hall she painted this verbal
      > picture: "It was like being in a cult place, chilling... the richest
      more
      > powerful people plotting before our eyes the next massacre, the next
      > bombing... it is hard to believe the psychology, they can kill while the
      same
      > lies are being reiterated. They are like automatons, they chant all
      together,
      > as if their pupils are dialated, like dolls... if you are a journalist you
      > cannot but read this as a heightened, insane nationalism, as a hostility
      to
      > everything you stand for. A sort of hell on earth. In this environment,
      > those activists who somehow get in here and put their bodies on the line
      and
      > hold up opposing banners, like those Act Up youth did among the Young
      > Republicans who surrounded them menacingly, well, I have great admiration
      for
      > their courage." (from a radio conversation on Democracy now on September
      2,
      > 2004 on WBAI in New York City).
      > Where from here? I ask myself. The answer by Mother Jones:
      organize,
      > organize, organize!! As Presbyterian moderator Rick Ufford-Chase said
      during
      > his keynote address to the Presbyterian Peace and Justice conference on
      > August 6 in Tacoma, Washington: "If we start working today, and continue
      > tomorrow and the next day, and look ahead to a 100 year struggle, our
      > grandchildren's children may live in a better world." I would add that
      we
      > must, as the MST of Brazil and the Zapatistas of Chiapas, and perhaps some
      of
      > us too say and do: live right now in the world we hope to create in the
      > future. Manifest that world right now, in our relationships, in our
      > unreasonable joy and solidarity, in our peaceableness, in our compassion
      and
      > kindness, in our active non-compliance and willingness to sacrifice and,
      yes,
      > to suffer." Pray for the spirits of those hurt in New York by the fear
      and
      > violence machines of the mind and of the body, and in Iraq, Afghanistan,
      > Colombia, etc... There was a protester at the Harlem demonstration,
      perched
      > up on a concrete barrier, with a sign that said: F__K the NYPD. He was
      > livid and responding out of anger. As the crowd tried to talk him down
      and
      > ask him not to wave that sign, he told of sleeping in a puddle of oil, of
      > being held for 24 hours, with many others who had not even been
      protesting,
      > at the indignity of the treatment at the hands of the NYPD. He was so
      angry
      > he accused those asking him to desist of being part of the system, of not
      > trying hard enough to bring down the fascist system. His idealism and
      also
      > his immaturity was matched by the mature awareness of the Harlem residents
      > who said: "This is our community. We are not talking about hatred, but
      > about justice." Moments later, an African American New York City
      Councilman
      > (whose name I have forgotten) said to a cluster of reporters: "the police
      > use those nets on us, as if we were animals. (NY Mayor) Bloomberg has
      blown
      > it big time. We got to stop Bush, yes, but we also got to START Kerry.
      He
      > has not earned our vote yet."
      > That is the pickle we are in, and the struggle we face.
      >
      > Peace with Justice!
      >
      > Stephen Bartlett
      > Louisville, Kentucky
      >

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