Antiwar newspaper makes debut

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sun Feb 17 16:50:12 MST 2002

Newspaper works against war effort
By Marilee Enge
Mercury News

A new anti-war newspaper has begun publication in the East Bay,
hoping to promote what it bills as a more humane, less jingoistic
alternative to the gung-ho militarism of President Bush.

Bob Wing, managing editor of War Times, said he was disturbed by the
U.S. government's response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Instead
of conducting what Wing believed to be a just war to avenge the loss
of American lives, he said the Bush administration was killing
innocent Afghans and trampling on civil liberties at home.

While other Americans were mounting flags on their cars, Wing began
talking to everyone he knew about a project that could counter what
he saw as a warmongering atmosphere taking hold of the nation.

The result is War Times, launched by Wing and a small group of
writers and activists, which made its debut in a West Oakland
warehouse Saturday. After publishing a prospectus of War Times
online, Wing said the public response was overwhelming. A first run
of 75,000 copies is 10 times the number originally planned by the

"The thing blew up on us,'' he said. Requests for copies came from
every corner of the country, and the idea of starting small and
targeting only active peace groups ended.

The newspaper contains articles in both English and Spanish.

The first issue of War Times features an interview with Danny Glover,
an actor and activist who shares the view that bombing Afghanistan
was wrong. Other articles criticize U.S. military deployment in the
Philippines, stepped-up attacks on Palestinians and the cost of the
war on terrorism.

The lead article, by Jung Hee Choi, a War Times editor, profiles a
New Yorker who lost her brother in the World Trade Center and an
Afghan-American woman who lost a large number of family members in
U.S. airstrikes on Kandahar. The two women met recently, and have
used their personal tragedies as a platform for opposing the U.S.

"The loss is the same,'' said Hee Choi. "There is a common humanity
that people share.''

While the stories touch on a variety of left-wing causes, Wing said
the only political agenda of War Times is shining a spotlight on the
injustice of war. "Our viewpoint will be, in general, war hurts a lot
of people,'' from Afghan villagers who lost their homes to
non-citizen airport employees who are losing their jobs.

Wing is a writer and editor who honed his activism during the student
strikes at University of California-Berkeley in the 1960s. More
recently, he edited a magazine published by Applied Research Center,
an East Bay-based think tank that focuses on issues of race and

Launching a newspaper to protest government policy is a venerable
American tradition, and one with strong roots in the Bay Area. But
Wing points out that the landscape for publishing has changed since
the '60s. Now there are free alternative weeklies in every coffee
shop, and a small anti-war publication has to carve out its own
niche. Wing wants to emulate the muckraking work of journalist I.F.
Stone and the social commentary of African-American writer W.E.B. du

"We need thousands of people like you to share War Times with other
people who question war, racial profiling and the curtailment of
civil liberties,'' the editors write in their first editorial.

For now, the staff is all volunteer and there are no permanent
offices. The paper is free, and interested readers are being asked to
help distribute it.

Distribution will be national, and the editors hope in particular to
reach readers in the middle of the country, where anti-war viewpoints
are not as accepted as in the Bay Area.



For more information, contact War Times at wartimes at

Louis Proyect, lnp3 at on 02/17/2002

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