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Nov 2001 • Vol 1, No. 6 •

Socialist Student’s Teach-in Speech

Welcoming speech to the Teach-in on U.S. Foreign Policy and Terrorism at San Francisco State University, October 10, 2001

by Malik Abai

My name is Malik Abai. I study Anthropology and Geography on this campus and I would like to welcome all of our guests and speakers to this Teach-in.

Actions like these are important for us to build a network of anti-war activists and a movement to stop Washington’s “War on terrorism,” which is just as fraudulent and hypocritical in its stated aims as its other war—“the war on drugs”—which is not really a war on drugs so much as it is a militarization and repression of Black and brown communities, under the pretext of a war on drugs.

This war on the peoples of the Middle East and South Asia is to ensure that in the end, the Muslim world will be governed by a bunch of U.S. puppets, reactionary to the core, repressive by nature, and to ensure that the oil supply keeps turning into the profits of the oil companies based in the rich nations, and to ensure that there will be no movement or government to oppose this exploitative relationship anywhere in the region. That is Washington’s real aim. They always had that aim, they have always worked for that aim, the only difference now is that they are using this tragic and horrific attack on the World Trade Center, as a pretext to rally the American people behind what the power wielders in Washington have always wanted to do.

In the aftermath of this horrendous attack, the powers-that-be made no hesitation to push for an agenda long in the making. No sooner than it was announced that there had been hijackings of American airplanes, the Republicans and Democrats went on a campaign to do the things they always wanted to do: restrict immigration and subject the guests of this nation to undemocratic practices like detention without accusation and without a formal time limit, the use of “secret evidence,” the right to deport on suspicion alone. One so-called “liberal Democrat” by the name of Dianne Feinstein even proposed to inflict collective punishment on the rest of the world by denying student visas to applicants from all countries.

They want to expand their legal surveillance powers on us and monitor our e-mail, our phone calls and the like. They want to introduce racial profiling as a credible and justifiable way of law enforcement. In other words, they want to legalize all the illegal things that they were doing before September 11th.

There is something else I must point out to those who have allowed the State Department to define the terms of discussion. There has been a tendency in the media and by people in the antiwar movement to criticize the attacks on Arab-Americans and Muslim Americans. This is said, both by people in the media and people on the left, always emphasizing the American half of the name, as if people holding American passports or citizenship are more important than those who don’t. As if it is not okay to attack Muslim Americans but it is okay to attack plain old Muslims. As if the humanity and dignity of all people should not be respected.

This is important. We need to defend the human rights of both those who became Americans and those who have no intention of becoming Americans. Those that are here to go to school and those that are here to live permanently. All have equal rights, and all should be able to live peacefully and without fear of a bunch of flag-waving racists.

Make no mistake about it; what Washington wants is a rollback, a return to McCarthyite America, to pre-civil-rights America. An America in fear, an America that allowed thought-police to hold hearings and sanction people that did not conform with the status quo. They want an America in which dissidents, innocent of any crime, can be incarcerated on trumped up charges based exclusively on secret “evidence.” They want an America drunk with the stupefying irrationality of American nationalism, and the geographical, historical and cultural ignorance upon which it is based. They want an America that is conditioned to disbelieve reports of atrocities committed by the state, both at home and abroad. They want an America of closed minds, and political complacency. They want an America that ignores racial injustice, environmental degradation, inadequate wages and living standards. In short, they want an America that meekly accepts its wars for oil and world domination.

WE SAY NO! NO to the War! NO to the attack on immigrants! NO to the attacks on our civil liberties! No to San Francisco State University participating in the anti-immigrant witch-hunt by giving information on international students to the F.B.I.! NO to U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan and the Middle East! And NO to support for the Israeli Apartheid Regime.

Stop the terrorist bombing of Afghanistan and Iraq!

Stop the U.S. embargo on Iraq that has resulted in the death of 6000 Iraqi children every month since it was imposed ten years ago!

Thank You.





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