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A Must Read Speech From January 10

by Aimara Friday, Jan. 24, 2003 at 3:04 AM 212-969-8058

A bad-ass speech against the detentions, round-ups and disappearances of Musliim, South Asian, and Arab immigrants as well as an assault against the whole juggernaut of war and oppression that is being promoted in this country.

"we believe that as people living in the united

states, it is our responsibility to resist the

injustices done by our government, in our names."

I like to start off with this because I feel like the

very reason that I come out here is because the

government is saying that everything happening behind

those walls over there is being done in the name of my

safety. In the name of our safety. They’ve started

collecting information, fingerprints, personal

contacts, and photos. They’re firing up detention

centers that they’ve had in place since the 80’s,

getting water and electricity hooked up, getting ready

to house large masses of people at a time. They’re

getting ready to go to war, they’re putting out calls

for the arrest of people they think "slipped in" when

in reality they’re nowhere near the US, demoninzing

entire communities, setting fear ablaze across the

country and fanning the flames of hate. they’re

beating their war drums and making their lists. All

in the name of national security. Supposedly, all in

the name of my security.

Not in our name will you erode the very freedoms you

claim to fight for!

I say fuck that! We all know that the only country to

ever use a weapon of mass destruction has been the

United States. It doesn’t make me feel more secure to

know that families will be torn apart, to know that I

might see the police coming for one of my neighbors,

or worse yet, that I won’t see the police, that I

won’t know they’re gone till it’s too late. It

doesn’t make me feel more secure to know that first

it's the arabs and muslims who will be taken from

general society, and then who knows. next it might be

the koreans, the somalians, the communists, the

socialists, or the antiwar activists. it might be

anyone who doesn't go along with their program. and

the longer we wait, the harder it's going to be to

stand up. we can't afford to lose each other, we

can't afford to lose each other's voices.

My grandmother graduated from high school from behind

barbed wire, out in the desert. Like most other

Japanese families living in this country at the time,

they lost everything when those trains rolled in and

everyone was told to get on board with only what they

could carry. And sixty some odd years ago, there was

another similar gathering of names. Like this one.

I can't stand by and do nothing as history repeats

itself, and as the crimes that this government

committed in the past lumber in front of us, just far

enough for us to see, but not quite verify what's

going on. We need to catch up to it, grab it by the

neck, stare it in the face and say "Goddamnit, I see

what you're doing and you're not taking out another

community like you did before. You can sanction

whatever fear you want, whatever racism and

justification for your greedy ugly acts that you want

but you aren't doing it on my behalf!! I see through

your lies and I'm not stopping till everyone else sees

thru them, too. Till the streets are filled with

people, standing with each other hundereds in front of

hundreds saying you have to come thru us to get to

them, and then hundereds more in front of them saying,

you have to come thru us to get to them. Till our

voices are so loud that they aren't telling us how

it's going to pan out anymore, we're telling them.

That happened in a small way this week. The

government knows we're watching them. Thanks to

thousands raising their voices in LA and the hard work

of a lot of people here that garnered media attention,

they knew they couldn't just throw handcuffs on people

left and right like they did in december. But our

work isn't finished, because they're still

"registering" people, they're still prying into

people's lives and creating instability. We can't

rest until the government stops atttacking innocent

people, at home and abroad. Talk to your neighbors,

your co-workers, your friends. Write letters to your

elected officials, come join us on February 20th for

National Day of Solidarity with Arabs, muslims and

south asians. Come out and march against an unjust

war on January 18th. We must create a climate of

resistance, where speaking up is the norm, and where

standing up for each other is celebrated.

"We pledge to make common cause with the people of the


to bring about justice, freedom, and peace

another wold is possible,

and we pledge to make it real!"

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