Voices of Opposition

Courage, solidarity and action are crucial at this time of war and fear

We’ve pulled together this emergency issue to provide an opposition voice in the midst of the sea of nationalism and militarism currently gripping the US in the wake of the September 11 disaster. Opposing war, resisting racist attacks on Muslims, and refusing to surrender freedom, civil rights and privacy is crucial at this dangerous time.

Opposition to militarism does not equal indifference to the catastrophe that struck New York on September 11.

We were horrified by the massacre of thousands of regular folks. The callous waste of life, the reduction of living beings to pawns to be used and thrown away – prevention of such inhumanity inspires us to seek an anarchist society in which all life would be respected and cherished. We mourn the victims and weep for the families who have lost loved ones.

The mainstream media is busy seizing on the personal tragedy of so many to whip up a public frenzy in support of whatever policies Bush’s advisors may conceive. We are told that it is our duty as Americans to give unquestioning support to “our leader” during a time of national crisis.

But that is Bullshit! Bush is cynically taking advantage of the suffering and fear of a whole nation to rapidly advance policies which threaten freedom and increase the likelihood of further violent disasters. Bush understands that the social divisions existing on September 10 still exist now, and he is eagerly using this tragedy to advance the selfish interests of those in power who seek to rule and exploit the rest of the world’s people. Military adventurism may benefit certain narrow segments of the power structure, but ultimately cannot protect us from the type of violence that struck September 11. In fact, the authors of those attacks may have hoped they would inspire a violent US response, provoking a cycle of violent attacks and counter attacks, and recruiting more suicide bombers in the process.

More violence cannot prevent violence — ultimately only justice can promote peace. “An eye for an eye leaves us all blind.”

Red Alert!

As we go to press, events are moving extremely fast. New laws to curtail privacy and freedom at home are being rushed through Congress. War against a laundry list of international targets could start at any time.

As scary and uncertain as the new political reality following the September 11 attacks may seem, domestic opposition is needed now more than ever before. And there is no time to waste – Bush and his ilk are acting fast and decisively. We must pull together just as quickly and decisively.

Just before September 11, the movement against capitalism’s exploitation of the earth and all its people – commonly known as the “anti-globalization movement” – had never been stronger.

The September 11 attacks have set this movement back dramatically, but we don’t believe the set-back will be permanent. The earth is under systematic attack – not a one day attack, but every day. Multi-national corporations continue their invasion all across the globe. The peace movement, which is stirring to oppose the ill defined, unlimited “war on terrorism” declared by Bush, must oppose not only Bush’s military war, but the daily war of the capitalist system against the environment, freedom and people everywhere.

What Is To Be Done?

In a desperate situation such as this, how can we stop Bush’s steamroller to war?

We have to be brave, vocal and visible. Now isn’t the time to hide in activist ghettos or retreat to armchair opinions expressed only in privacy and safety.

Solidarity and community are crucial. Many, many people feel isolated, alone and scared in their opposition to the darkening skies of domestic crackdown and war. But when folks realize that there are millions here and abroad who believe as we do, fear and isolation gives way and we find courage in our solidarity.

The poll numbers indicating 90 percent of the population favoring war are the result of constant media expose to only one alternative – that offered by the Government. Its time to put some alternatives to war and repression on the agenda. The media won’t do it for us – we’re going to have to force these alternatives onto the agenda. Together, in a variety of ways ranging from candlelight vigils to militant disruption, the alternative messages must be made impossible to ignore.

And finally, peace and freedom loving people in the United States are in a unique position to slow or prevent the repression and violence planned by this nation’s rulers. If necessary, it will be up to us to put our bodies on the line to physically prevent the war machine from operating by disrupting all aspects of the society that feeds the war machine. We’re here – we’re the only ones who can reach the gears and levers.

These are dangerous and terrifying times, but we can’t let our fear lull us into inaction.