Vieques Support Cmte. Statement Against War & Terror (Fwd)

John Cox hazel_motes52 at hotmail.com
Sun Sep 23 19:35:20 MDT 2001



                   NO TO RACISM & IMPERIALIST WAR!
           U.S. NAVY OUT OF VIEQUES & ALL OF PUERTO RICO!
         ___________________________________________________

               V.S.C. Statement Against War and Terror


The Vieques Support Campaign mourns the loss of life of every
nationality as a result of the tragic events on September 11, 2001. We
send our deepest condolences across the country and the world to those
who have lost loved ones or await word on their fate. Given the
diversity of workers who toiled at the targeted institutions, every
single person throughout the world has been affected.

We condemn the use of terror and urge the United States government not
to continue with further acts of war and bloodshed.

The VSC is an organization that has worked alongside the popular
people's struggle in Vieques, Puerto Rico, to end U.S. Navy military
bombings that have left the population riddled with cancer and plagued
with numerous health problems and irreversible environmental damage
due to the use of live ammunition and illegal chemical weapons. The
use of live ammunition in April of 1999 caused the "accidental" death
of David Sanes.

The VSC urges all people of conscience to question why this tragic
event has happened. This question is one that the government and the
media have yet to acknowledge. Just as importantly, we call on all to
stand up and stop the cycle of war that the U.S. has pledged to
continue.

Over the last 60 years alone, the United States government has found
one reason or another for military interventions and wars that have
resulted in the deaths and terrorizing of hundreds of thousands of
people, almost entirely in Third World countries. Pursuing its own
political aims, the U.S.  government has sacrificed innumerable lives
in Latin America, South Asia, the Pacific, the Caribbean, Africa, and
of course, the Middle East.  The U.S.  has supported fascist military
regimes, from Chile to Indonesia. It has waged war in the Middle East
to support its oil interests, demonizing a whole race of people in the
process. And now, the U.S. government has called upon us to unite
under a banner of hate.

In a country where Native peoples faced genocide and where Black
Americans have suffered under racist segregation and discrimination,
reinforced by Jim Crow laws - the basis for South Africa's apartheid
-we must ask why these events have occurred and be prepared for the
answer. It is certainly not difficult to understand that from a
country plagued with police brutality and racism that the
U.S. government would carry out similar policies on a global scale.

As a result of this history of racism, residents of the United States
are acting out of fear and targeting their Arab sisters and brothers.
After the bombing of the Federal building in Oklahoma City the media
flooded the air waves accusing bin Laden of being behind that attack,
only to find out it was Timothy McVeigh, a U.S.-born White
Christian. Regardless of who is responsible, anti-Arab attacks took
place then and continue now and are never justified.

There have already been fatalities as a result of anti-Arab violence -
South Asians, Native Americans, Puerto Ricans and other brown-skinned
people - have been attacked by angry individuals under the banner of
patriotism.  There has been minimal official warning to practitioners
of hate crimes to stop the wave of hate crimes that have infested the
country thus far. There have already been reports of police
questioning whether individuals were of Arab descent and asking
accusingly, at least one woman we know of, whether her religious
scripture was the Koran.

During World War II, there was the vicious roundup of Japanese
Americans and their placement in internment camps. Following this
precedent, the INS is staging roundups and has the authority to hold
immigrants indefinitely.  People of diverse nationalities ranging from
Mexican to Ethiopian have already been arrested. This terrorizing of
domestic populations must end.

Under the guise of security, civil liberties are under attack, and
such a dangerous assault on our freedom must be stopped. The Vieques
Support Campaign asks everyone to stand up to such an assault on civil
rights and liberties, to demand that the U.S. government stop its
retaliatory war drive and stop encouraging racist hate crimes against
Arabs and all people of color. We stand with the people of Vieques who
do not support U.S./NATO "military exercises" and especially oppose
practice bombings for another impending war. We call on communities
across the globe to support these demands.

Long Live International Solidarity!

Stand Up Against Racism!

Defend Arab and Muslim Peoples of the World!

U.S. NAVY/NATO out of Vieques!

Stop the U.S. War Drive!




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