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A Brit pleas to go easy on US activists

by a fly on the wall Wednesday, Oct. 03, 2001 at 1:30 AM

I invite you to be a fly on the wall - here is an excerpt from an e-mail sent by a British social justice activist to her fellow activists. In it she asks that they re-evaluate their 'American' bashing.

>it was very good last Thursday night at Friends' House

meeting - I felt

>heartened that difficult things could be discussed with

respect.

>

>many thanks to all organisers.

>

>there was so much to say, but one thing that I think

wasn't said overtly

>enough in all the talk of 'america', is that many many

'americans' are as

>appalled by Bush, US foreign Policy and the sabre-rattling

as any of us.

>dissidents and dissenters in the US need support and

encouragement, just as

>dissidents in Yugoslavia did and do. I have just been in

the States for 2

>months and came back just before Sept 11th. I came back

full of anger and

>frustration with the dominant culture there...I came back

full of fury at

>the state of the corporate-owned media...and the corporate

dominance of

>almost every function of life...

>but I also met truly courageous people - activists,

campaigners and other

>folks in small mid-western towns and big cities - who risk

a lot in the

>face of extremely aggressive, racist and sexist police and

corporate

>tactics...

>

>Can we make a distinction between the State and the

people, just as we try

>to with Yugoslavia, Israel, Afghanistan....Britain ? Also,

by using the

>word 'America' all the time we are incorrect - America is

the whole

>continent (speak to central and south americans about the

use of this word

>only to mean the US). We should more properly use the

term U.S, or USA.

>

>One more thing - I feel utterly sick at Blair's gung-ho

imperialism, and

>thatcher's before him... - we are implicated tremendously

in this whole

>business and its history from top to toe. In fact, due to

empire, we set up

>most of the tensions that exist as background to the

current situation. I'm

>for unilateralism - in my lifetime will I see Britain

separate itself off

>from these values ? Greenham, Menwith, Southall Black

Sisters,

>Ploughshares, wib-uk and many others are such an

inspiration to me for this

>reason.

>

>just some thoughts.

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