Fwd: J20, Peltier and beyond

Greg Butterfield gregb at SPAMwwpublish.com
Tue Jan 23 07:01:01 MST 2001


This was originally posted on the J20action list.

-------------------------------

Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001 16:36:27 -0500
From: "Naomi Cohen Goldstein" <nacohen at earthlink.net>
Subject: J20, Peltier, and Beyond

I'm glad that in the midst of celebrating the wonderful
outpouring of protest against Bush on Jan.20, many activists
have noted with bitterness and anger the continued
incarceration of our Native leader, Leonard Peltier. After
more than a quarter century in U.S. dungeons, Leonard is
still a political prisoner, as is Mumia Abu-Jamal, and so
many others.

This should be a lesson to those who still put their faith
in the Democratic Party and the racist, oppressive,
corporate-owned leaders it holds out for us--like Bill
Clinton and Al Gore. Even as we protest the right-wing Bush
administration that took office this weekend, and even as we
fight the reactionary and hateful appointments like that of
John Ashcroft to the Department of Justice, we cannot forget
that under the Clinton-Gore administration the Effective
Death Penalty Act was passed, speeding up the process of
executions and denying death row prisoners habeas corpus
rights of appeal. This is one of the reasons why Mumia
Abu-Jamal is still on death row after over 18 years.

We cannot forget that while Clinton-Gore pretended to be
advocates of women's rights, they sponsored the end of
welfare payments to millions of poor women and children, and
forced on them the so-called Workfare system of
semi-slavery. They and their Justice Department, headed by
Janet Reno, did nothing to safeguard women's clinics from
continued bombings and terrorist attacks and did not stop
the assassinations of many of our doctors and healthcare
workers who were brave enough to continue to provide
abortion services to women who needed them.

We cannot forget that after promising to champion
gay/lesbian rights, Clinton supported the "don't ask, don't
tell" policy which has only deepened the oppression of gay,
lesbian, bi and trans people in the U.S. military. He also
opposed legislation to help gay and lesbian couples gain
many of the rights accorded to married couples. Under his
watch, hate crimes like the murder of Matthew Shepherd
increased.

Even as we protest against the militarization of the
government under Bush, we cannot forget that the
Clinton-Gore administration continued the murderous
sanctions against Iraq, which have killed over 1 million
people in that country, due to lack of food and medicine.
They have continued, too, the criminal blockade of Cuba, and
have laid the basis for a major war against a genuine
liberation movement in Colombia, calling the people fighting
for freedom from U.S.-imposed puppets, "narco-terrorists."

Our movement will never get anywhere if we tie our fate and
our struggles to the likes of Clinton-Gore. Even as the
corrupt political machine in Florida disenfranchised tens of
thousands of African-American voters, Gore didn't have the
guts or the will to address the real issue of racism in the
voting process--not even to win the White House. And when
the Congressional Black Caucus got up in Congress to protest
the certification of the Florida electors, NOT ONE
Democratic Senator (there are no African-American senators,
140 years after the Civil War) had the guts or the will to
stand with them and give them the right to speak. With
friends like these, who needs enemies?

Our movement will only grow strong in the struggle against
the corporate-owned politicians who dominate BOTH the
Republican and Democratic Parties. We can't rely on them to
free Leonard Peltier, or Mumia Abu-Jamal. Only the people
will do that. Let's organize an independent, anti-capitalist
movement for social justice at home and against U.S.
militarism abroad.

Naomi C.
International Action Center





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