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April 2003 • Vol 3, No. 4 •

The Power of Protests

By Mumia Abu-Jamal

“But now everyone is cashing in on the ‘war against terror.’ When Macedonian cops gun down seven Arabs, they announce that they are participating in the global ‘war on terror.’ When Russians massacre Chechens, they are now prosecuting the ‘war on terror.’ When Israel fires at Arafat’s headquarters, it says it is participating in the ‘war on terror.’ Must we all be hijacked into America’s dangerous self-absorption with the crimes of September 11? Must this vile war between Palestinians and Israelis be distorted in so dishonest a way?”

—Robert Fisk,
“The Lies Leaders Tell When They Want to Go to War”
(The Independent, UK).

There was something glorious about the millions of people around the world, from Britain to Bombay, from Moscow to Minneapolis, from Paris to Pittsburgh, over 600 cities according to some reports, all united in opposition to the war aims of the Bush Regime in Washington.

There could be little question that to most of the peoples of the world, the Bush Regime’s arguments have dismally failed. Even with the support of the Administration’s most trusted member, General-cum-“Foreign Minister” Colin Powell, the claims of the government have fallen like leaves in Autumn. Indeed, the reports to the United Nations by weapons inspectors, Drs. Hans Blix and Mohamed El-Baradei, delivered a slap to the Americans, causing the usually calm Secretary Powell to adopt an uncharacteristic non-diplomatic tone in clear frustration at the gist of the reports.

Even with the considerable closet support of the corporate mass media, and the residue of September 11th, the Bush Regime has to go back to the drawing boards, to find some key that will (in the words of Shakespeare) “let slip the dogs of war!”

The U.S., driven by the petro-hunger of the vast reserves under Iraqi lands, threatens to break the UN, and indeed fracture NATO, in order to achieve its imperialist, “sole Superpower” objectives: which is to destroy any entity that does not openly acknowledge its hegemony. Only the power of the People, as demonstrated by the vast, militant, funny, and vibrant protests around the world, can place a stopper into the bottle of War for Empire.

It is a splendid beginning; but it is only a beginning.

For the Bush Regime that is in power is not representative of the people; if we are honest, we have to acknowledge that none of them do! They are protecting the interests of the Money Power that rules in the closed rooms in Washington. There, one need not pretend to be a part of a “democracy”—for the ruling hand in Washington, in both Democratic and Republican administrations, is “corporatocracy”—the unrelenting rule of capital. If people really want Peace, if they want to transform this infernal addiction to war that drives every administration, then they must begin to organize to deeply transform this political order, starting from the bottom, ending at the top. That really means the end of the “strategy of the lesser evil” in American politics. It means voting, yes; but voting for what people really want and really need. It means seeing both major parties as traitors to democracy, as wards of the same corporate interests who want, not only war—but War Without End—for generations, to protect their swinish wealth and opulence.

It means change; in a word, revolution. It means that, or it means nothing.

It means washing away the deep American addiction, not only to oil, but to hierarchy, the need to obey one’s “leaders.” It means—social transformation.

The mass demonstrations around the world were more than a rebuke to the Bush Regime in D.C.; it was a tacit rejection of the U.S. media, which, through its heated repetition, martial music, and strategy of demonization, served as a whorish handmaiden of political, corporate elites. It meant that millions rejected the programming pumped through the propaganda mills owned by capital.

That too, is a good beginning. But it can’t be an end.

Media that serves the wealthy few, and ignores the daily tragedies of working people, and non-working people, who are suffering in every state of this alleged “union,” should be left alone, to wither on the vine.

To quote an “unelected dictator,” (King Dubya); “...it’s either for ya, or against ya.”

A true Peace Movement must do more than march; it must fight!

It must fight for a better world against the forces of greed and narrow interest; it must fight for the Right to Peace, in a nation deeply dedicated to war.

The campaign to kill Mumia is in full swing and we need you to please contact as many publications and information outlets as you possibly can to run Mumia’s commentaries (on-line and especially off-line)! The only requirements are that you run them unedited, with every word including copyright information intact, and send a copy of the publication to Mumia.

—Copyright, Mumia Abu-Jamal, February 16, 2003





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