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NYCLAW Statement: 9/11 Plus 10 Reality Check: Fight for Justice
Full Text of Statement by Michael Letwin, Co-Convener, New York City Labor Against the War
At the NYC Emergency Rally against Racism, War and Anti-Muslim Bigotry
September 11, 2011
[Abbreviated video posted at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHj9f3TRRoY]
As we stand here today against racism and Islamophobia, let us remember that the 9/11 attacks were not committed by the Arab or Muslim communities, but by those promoted as “freedom fighters” by the Carter and Reagan administrations in the 1970s and ’80s.
Yet, for the past ten years, the U.S. — and its junior partner, apartheid Israel — has exploited those attacks to commit crimes of empire against people across the world who had nothing to do with 9/11.
This is the context for ongoing racist and Islamophobic scapegoating, which has been systematically generated by politicians and the corporate media.
How else can the U.S. justify its attempts to dominate regions rich in oil and other strategic assets?
How else can it excuse the murder of thousands of Afghans and Pakistanis, and more than a million Iraqis?
How else can it imprison, torture and assassinate thousands of Arabs, Muslims, South Asians and other people of color?
How else can it explain tens of thousands of G.I. casualties?
How else can it give Israel more than $3 billion a year in U.S. military aid to repeatedly massacre the people of Palestine and Lebanon? (And is it coincidence that the organizers of today’s anti-Mosque protest are among Israel’s most rabid defenders?)
How else can it arm bloody dictatorships in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia or Bahrain, while cynically bombing Libyans under the pretext of “humanitarian intervention”?
How else can it spend trillions to commit mass murder abroad, while carrying out an unprecedented transfer of wealth to the rich at home?
How else can it use unconstitutional “anti-terrorism” laws against antiwar activists and civil liberties?
Reality check: The Bush administration could not have waged these wars without the Democratic Party’s complicity. Indeed, the Obama administration has only continued, rebranded, expanded and escalated them, both abroad and at home.
A generation ago, another U.S. war of empire ended when Vietnamese resistance and the Black freedom movement ignited a grassroots working class mutiny in the military, auto plants, ghettos and barrios, against what Martin Luther King Jr. accurately called “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today . . . my own government.”
Today, ten years after 9/11, there are reasons to hope for a similar movement.
Just as during the Vietnam War, the world’s most powerful military cannot extinguish popular resistance to war, occupation and injustice. Thanks to that resistance, most Americans are against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The South African anti-apartheid movement’s example fortified Palestinian resistance to Zionist colonialism, which helped spark the Arab Spring. The Arab Spring, in turn, has not only helped isolate Israeli apartheid, but inspired mass resistance to attacks on working people, from Greece and Spain to Wisconsin.
Inspired by these events, we rededicate ourselves to build a powerful grassroots movement here in the U.S. against bipartisan war, racism, repression and “austerity.”
In that spirit, please join us to fight for justice, at home and abroad, by:
*Marching to the UN on September 15 — not for a “two-state” Bantustan, but to support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against apartheid Israel, on behalf of genuine sovereignty, equality, and the right of return for Palestinians.
*Protesting on September 16 to stop the state of Georgia from executing Troy Davis, an innocent African American man.
*Rallying at the UN on September 20 to support popular revolution throughout the Middle East.