erik toren cuauhtemocrey at
Sat Sep 15 10:22:46 MDT 2001

Social Justice Against Terrorism

SOLIDARITY CONDEMNS THE use of terror against civilian
populations in all forms and circumstances.  Today,
that means first and foremost we must condemn the
hijacking of civilian aircraft and the horrific
bombings that have claimed thousands of lives.  Like
everyone else we are speechless in the face of the
sheer magnitude of this act of mass murder, while also
profoundly moved by the solidarity and cooperative
acts of people in the streets of New York helping each
other in the disaster.

As socialists who are revolutionary opponents of
United States imperialism, we rely on the development
of the consciousness of the population, particularly
of the working class majority in society, to confront
this system of exploitation and world domination.  Our
methods of struggle have nothing in common with those
who wield terrorist weapons against society, whether
they be home-grown fascists like Timothy McVeigh,
perpetrators of state terrorism, or forces proclaiming
themselves representatives of the oppressed peoples of
the world.

The September 11 attacks are a world-class crime
against humanity.  We condemn without reservation
these acts and those who perpetrated them, whoever
they may turn out to be.  The thousands of working
people incinerated in the World Trade Center are
innocent of the crimes of imperialism, just as were
the hundreds of African civilians killed in the
streets of Tanzania and Kenya in the 1998 bombings of
the U.S. embassies there.

As well as a slaughter of innocent people, these
attacks are a severe blow against struggles for social
justice-from the Palestinian struggle for
self-determination to the mobilizations against the
institutions of global capitalism.

We must also condemn acts of terror when these are
perpetrated by our own government.  Refugee camps and
towns in Palestine are pulverized by American F-16
aircraft and helicopter gunships, supplied by the
United States to the Israeli Defense Force.  The U.S.
bombing of Baghdad included the deliberate destruction
of the water purification and electrical systems on
which the civilian population depends.  And the
sanctions against Iraq have produced a death toll of
5000 Iraqi children every month-roughly equivalent to
the estimated carnage at the World Trade Center.

Partisans of social justice must not forget that
September 11 also marks the 28th anniversary of one of
the great acts of terror in recent history: the
U.S.-sponsored Pinochet coup in Chile, unleashing a
regime of mass murder against the labor movement and
the population of that entire country.

Those who perpetrated the September 11 attacks have
nothing in common with the struggles of oppressed
peoples.  Yet it is a tragic reality that many people
in the world-those who have lost hope of seeing a
better life for themselves or their children in a
world ruled by the United States-have found something
to applaud in the "success" of these atrocities.  Let
us remember that those oppressed by racism and the
institutions of global capitalism are among the
victims, not the perpetrators, of terrorism.

It is therefore all the more critically important that
the people of the United States must not give the U.S.
government the free hand it desires to retaliate
against the victims of U.S.-dominated global
capitalism under the catch-all claim of fighting

To repeat the most important point: The enormous
crimes committed by the United States government
cannot be redressed by violent assaults on the
ordinary people of this country.  Nor will any justice
be achieved by U.S. military retaliation that
victimizes the population in the countries of whatever
governments may ultimately be deemed responsible for
the September 11 crime.

We call upon all people to resist media and
government-manipulated hysteria calculated to give the
political and military establishment of the United
States that free hand for a new round of massive

We should all fear, and not accept, the danger of
severe restrictions on democratic rights in the name
of national security, against the targeting of
Arab-Americans for harassment and demonization, and
against the possible crackdown on global justice
protest.  This will inevitably include new repression
directed against the rights of labor in the United

The repression of democratic freedoms and civil
liberties will be limited only by the population's
will to resist.  For partisans of social justice, now
must not be the time to hide, but to stand up for
democracy and the values of our struggle-a struggle
for a world organized to truly value all human life,
rather than profit.


Por El Socialismo,
Erik Toren
Pharr, TX

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