COLUMN SIXTY-SIX, DECEMBER 1, 2001
(Copyright © 2001 Al Aronowitz)
Statement by Mike Alewitz
LAMP Artistic Director
The lives of
thousands of workers, with all their creative powers, have been ended.
As artists and workers we mourn the loss of our brothers and sisters in
New York. We stand in solidarity
with those who will continue to suffer from the loss of family members, jobs and
property as a result of these dreadful events.
crime did not have to happen.
politicians and press would have us believe that a small group of fanatics in
Afghanistan was responsible. In
part that may be true. But the
groundwork for this catastrophe was laid right in Washington, DC.
* * *
of the Bush-Cheney government about the New York events is truly astounding.
government dropped atom bombs on innocent civilians in Japan, conducted a
murderous decade of bombardment against Vietnam and caused the death of 500,000
children from the blockade of Iraq. Yet
Bush has the temerity to speak of a struggle between good and evil.
government helped bring Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban to power, promoted and
armed Saddam Hussein for a war against Iran, allied itself with the most
reactionary regimes in the mideast and sponsored the ongoing military occupation
of Palestine by Israel. Yet Bush has the arrogance to announce that he will root
out the criminals.
wallows in oil money and threatens the people of the Middle-East.
He blames the weak and defenseless - those who have been driven to
desperate poverty as they see their region's resources flow to Wall Street, the
military and their own wealthy elite. He
utters his bellicose threats---fully prepared to spill the blood of American
soldiers. This is from a man whose wealthy father arranged for him to hide in
cowardice during Vietnam.
The House and
Senate---a bi-partisan congress of millionaires---have written a blank check for
an unspecified war with an unspecified target. They will pay for the bombs by
plundering Social Security and the further gutting of existing social services.
They will give billions of dollars to "bail-out" the airline and
insurance industries while they lay off thousands of workers.
As they bang
the war drums, the Democratic "friends of labor" are leading the
charge to curtail civil liberties.
The media has
proven to be totally servile to the warmakers.
The networks parrot official press releases that are infomercials for
Bush. They repeatedly show official
film clips that pander to the most backward anti-Arab views.
Their broadcasts have turned human suffering from news into
entertainment. They ask no questions and provide no opposing views.
and media alike may mourn for those who died in the New York tragedy, but they
intend to demonstrate their grief by initiating a war that will bring further
death and destruction to workers here and abroad. They are threatening nothing
less than a new world war.
* * *
The Labor Art
& Mural Project has traveled throughout the US and the world to support
working-class struggles for social and economic justice.
We have created murals that are projects not of governments but from
workers to workers. Wherever we
have gone we have been welcomed warmly by those who understand that there is a
difference between the American people and the US government.
years the American labor movement has begun to recognize and reach out to
immigrant workers. We have also
made strides in building unity with our fellow workers in Mexico, Central and
South America. These tragic events
provide an opportunity to extend similar solidarity to the workers of the
Middle-East. Whenever given the
opportunity, these workers have jumped at the chance to fight for their unions
and extend the struggle for democratic rights.
We can and must work together for peace.
* * *
politicians rush to war, we artists have a special responsibility. Those who
wish to create a bloodbath are a small minority.
The great majority of the earth's working people has demonstrated that
they favor peace and solidarity. We
can use our art to give expression to that vision.
We can be a
voice for those who are voiceless. We can use our songs, poems, theater and
paint to reveal the truth. Amidst the cries for blood we call upon our fellow
artists to use their art as weapons to fight for peace and justice.
Vietnams in the Middle-East!
No blood for
Department of Art
Central Connecticut State University
New Britain, CT 06050
Phone: (860)832-2359 ##
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