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by Len Krimerman

This issue had already taken shape, just as the horrific events of September 11, and its aftermath, erupted. Like all Americans, our hearts have been full of grief for the victims of this day’s monstrous violence, as well as for their families and friends. Our minds and energies have been ripped from their usual pursuits, and replaced by efforts to focus on why this happened on our land, and how to respond constructively to it.

The plane hijackings and the destruction of the World Trade Center can be seen in part as reactions to decades of our own nation’s arrogant and brutal interventions throughout the world, including air attacks on Iraq, support of the Israeli campaign against the Palestinian people, and massive exports of weapons to vicious governments for use against their own people. We see the September 11 tragedy as a byproduct of a malignant foreign policy designed to ensure the domination of our nation and its mega-corporations, and suppress the self-determination of other cultures.

There is a strong connection between the youth activism focus of this issue and the difficult question of constructively responding to the tragedy. The voices and initiatives of youth activists, as well as many others, have been quick and loud in their protest against the rush to all-out war. They have developed and circulated petitions, are holding rallies and teach-ins, and have begun to create an articulate and organized movement for “peaceful justice”, a movement connected with other sane voices in this country and throughout the world
(see, e.g.,: www.peacefuljustice.cjb.net; studentsnowar@yahoogroups.com ). Here’s one such voice:

the events of the last week have convinced me of something that i have believed for some time--youth activists, coupled with the internet and resources that their schools and communities provide, can be incredibly effective and revolutionary organizers. DO YOU REALIZE WHAT WE DID, EVERYONE???  In FIVE days, we were able to mobilize tens if not [hundreds of] thousands of people across the country to gather for peaceful justice.  Incredible.  Absolutely incredible.  As I said it over the loudspeaker to our group at U of Puget Sound on S20, I got chills.  This is a movement, people, and we're in the thick of it....Sunshine Dream (Lara)

In issue #49, we will focus in much depth on constructive responses, especially within the cooperative community, to this tragedy and to the planet-threatening policies and blind vengeance of our government. For now, we urge readers to  send us news of other constructive initiatives, as well as their own ideas, and to access the following web sites:  
www.indymedia.org www.fair.org

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