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United We Stand
A silver lining to this big black cloud called the "Bush administration" is that it has managed — through lying, stealing and murdering — to unify people around the world against it. People who have never marched or protested before are doing so now.

I pray this energy doesn't dry up. Our so-called democracy is at stake now more than ever. We must put down the labels such as Democrat, Green, Republican, Libertarian, conservative, liberal, anarchist, etc,. and find our common ground. We need to clean up the election process and get people elected that represent us. We need to get citizens to be active, educated voters.

The power should not be in the hands of the military industrial complex, the oil and auto manufacturing industries, or the chemical industry — multi-billion dollar corporations that are getting fat off of toxifying and destroying our homes, our bodies and our earth. If change doesn't happen soon it will be time for a revolution. Remember the Boston Tea Party? It's about time for another party! The dream we dream together becomes reality.

Pamela Driscoll
Eugene

 

Cost of War
War destroys both the past and the present. Not just humans will die if we go to war. The past will also perish along with them, because every time a tank drives across rocky hills it could be destroying known and unknown archeological sites. Are we willing to destroy these lives and artifacts in our quest for oil and power in a senseless war?

Early humans came from Africa, but then moved into the Middle East. These early humans then settled into the Tigris/Euphrates River valleys. This area, which includes Iraq, became what is now known as the "cradle of civilization." In Africa, these early humans were hunters, gatherers and scavengers. It was in Iraq where these early humans learned to domesticate grains and animals and true civilization was born.

We must balance the loss of present day life against the loss of history. Humans are not in short supply in Iraq, but the archeological record is. Should the past be sacrificed for oil? Should the lives of people in Iraq be sacrificed for oil?

I now call upon the people of the world to take action. Take a stand against this war. Don't let our past be erased to further the needs of our governments. Take a stand. The sacrifice is too great.

Molly Simons-Kimbal
Jefferson Middle School

 

Power in Numbers
There are roughly 140,000 people in the city of Eugene. I would like to believe that out of this number, there are at least 10 percent who are passionately against this war, against this administration, and all of the lies fed to the people of this country. The numbers of participants at the latest rallies were so incredibly low, I find it quite sad. If 10 percent of Eugene's residents feel as I do, then why aren't we seeing groups of 10,000 to 13,000 protesters? C'mon, people! Let's unite. Can we stop the war at this point? Probably not. Can we try to stop some of the laws that our government is trying to pass right under our snotty little Willamette Valley noses? HELL YES! Write to your senators, keep protesting. Ask everyone you know to come out to rally. When they tell you they have too much to do, tell them... IT CAN WAIT! What are we afraid of? Let's take chances and use our voices. We have become way too comfortable and complacent, let's open our eyes and look beyond these borders. We need power in numbers. I hope to see a lot more of you out there next time and every time. Democracy is in the balance. Tip the scale.

Phaedra Fillé
Eugene

 

Free the Walls
The concept of a free wall is alluring as it could aid in the training of our young graffiti soldiers. However, it is of utmost importance to continue developing and exercising guerilla tactics of our aerosol assault teams. The acquired knowledge and techniques are crucial and must not be abandoned. The notion that a free wall could serve as a sponge to absorb the city's graffiti problem is laughable. The suggestion that we "keep art to structures where the owners condone it" is insulting in an age of such unequal ownership opportunity. We must ask ourselves, do we respect "they" who have repeatedly proven their hatred of our beloved Hip Hop? The conflicting agendas of Hip Hop and "they" are analogous to good and evil. Hip Hop aspires to unite the minds and bodies of humankind for communication and enlightenment. The aspirations of "they" are capital gain usually by exploitation, complete economic control and imperialism, the enemy of diversity. Naturally "they" hate Hip Hop unless of course it is being used for their own financial benefit. We should not cower to their demands with hopes that "they," for some mysterious reason, "will have to promote free, legal walls."

Abel Beck
Eugene

Art is Alive
What a well-done graceful mural! It's colorful and alive. In these times of great repression people sometimes feel like some color and creativity being expressed might lead to chaos. We're lucky if art leads to change, and breaking of authoritarianism and ridged regimentation is necessary for our survival

Kari Johnson
Eugene

 

Take a Stand
A war with Iraq represents the abysmal failure of United States institutions entrusted with voicing our collective opposition to its brutality and origins. The Democratic party and public broadcasting have failed to present the implications of this war fairly. Only the Green Party and a few underfunded media sources are presenting the implications of this war as supporting oil interests, slaughtering innocent people, and stealing our taxes that would otherwise assist our crumbling human services and education.

Democrats missed the lesson of their recent election defeat. The message was clear from voters saying they need to stand for something. That "something" is an increasingly powerless national and world population crying out for peace as more than the absence of war.

When the Democratic party fails to come together and advocate for peace, "public" broadcasting fails to report its implications. Attempting to be impartial, public broadcasting moves further right to give voice to the Republican and Democrat's paradigm of war without checking in with "the public." Educators, researchers, social service workers, and an array of ordinary citizens are virtually ignored by "our" media. Retirement security, health care, drug treatment, education, mental health, and a stable economy as connections to peace have lost the only large societal organizations left to fight for them or speak for them.

Mike Meyer
Eugene

 

Read Reality
Hopefully some of the 66 percent of American people supporting a pre-emptive attack on Iraq will take a momentary timeout to read some of the alternative news on the Internet.

Before Hitler's pre-emptive attack on Poland he claimed he was doing so in "defense" of Germany. A high percentage of the German people believed he was telling the truth. He wasn't! But back in the 1930-40s the German people didn't have alternative news as it exists in the world today.

The process is simple and requires the linking of only two words. For example: Bush Hitler; Bush BinLaden; Bush Hussein; Bush Taliban. There are probably hundreds of other combinations that bring forth information not reported by America's mainstream news media. Link the name Bush to World Com; Enron Mahfouz; Arbusto; Harken; Gulf Stream Realty; Tri-lateral Investment, even Quadaffi, Khomeini, or Noriega.

If after reading the available information you still choose to support a pre-emptive war, at least you can never plead ignorance for following your appointed leader. The German people didn't have that luxury!

John Fluent
Eugene

 

Don't Mention It
So, the war has begun. My Japanese partner and I go online to see what's happening. She reads first from the Asahi Shinbun, in Japanese, that following a series of cruise missile attacks and bomb droppings by the Americans, Baghdad's main hospital has been flooded with injured civilians seeking attention. She reads that the reporter's contact at the hospital had to hang up because he was too busy with the steady flow of incoming patients. My turn, I log on to first BBC, then CNN. I read that Bush dropped 2-ton bombs in an attempt to kill "five key members of the Iraqi regime." I look at sample photos of the bombs. I wonder how big the explosion from a 2-ton bomb must be, and how we can possibly declare with a straight face that these are the weapons of choice to kill five old men. I look for mention of the hospitals, of the civilians — nothing. Why this might be is clarified for me by a disclaimer at the foot of CNN's lead story: "CNN's policy is to not report information that puts operational security at risk."

Mark Post
Eugene

The Question
I wonder as I watch coverage of the unrelenting terror and carnage being inflicted upon the people of Baghdad, if everyone who voted for Nader in 2000 still believes that there is no difference between the two mainstream candidates. Just wondering.

Michael Lane
Eugene

 

Elections Affected
If a Severe-Red Terror-Alert is announced, what would the effect be on the ability to conduct local and federal elections? In the days after Sept. 11, 2001, the junta issued several national-security directives declaring an official state-of-emergency and granting itself extraordinary and extra-judicial executive authority to do anything it wants. This includes the inherently illegitimate power to commit each and any investigation or operation in secret, to deny that any such civil, police, or paramilitary operations exist, to forbid anyone from divulging any knowledge of any operation under threat of secret incarceration, as well as operating without any oversight at all — congressional, journalistic or otherwise.

These self-appointed tyrannical mechanisms and the national state of emergency have not been rescinded, much less acknowledged. The publicly known crimes of the current U.S. regime are egregious enough, but it is certain that the covert horrors being perpetrated are persistent and legion. Blitzkrieg inevitably engenders quagmire. Invasion plus occupation plus sandstorm plus rainstorm equals bloody muddy civil war. The thief who stole the last election now deliberately commits actions that guarantee this administration's loss of the 2004 presidential election, should an honest election be held.

Bernard Nickerson
Eugene

 

Conformist Confusion
In the mid-1960s the model of anti-war protest was established: No matter how big the demo, no disorder. By the end of the decade huge peace parades prevailed but Nixon said they didn't influence U.S. war policy. This collapsed the protest scene from the early '70s to the end of the war in 1975. Millions of Asians were killed during that decade of war.

Now it is even clearer how much contempt Empire has for popular opinion anywhere. But still we have those who demand only a passive, obedient form of "opposition" to war. They even employ a Police Commission, the volunteer "peacekeepers," to enforce conformist protest.

Robert Bolman (3/13) exults in how "effective" the 2/15 demo was. "Effective?" What a preposterously self-satisfied misuse of a word. Bolman further claims, in his liberal narcissism, to "impress" the "average folks." But who respects feeble, self-policed gestures? Polite obedience and collaboration with the cops cannot be confused with resistance.

John Zerzan
Eugene


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