Culture of fear surrounds those who protest the war |

Culture of fear surrounds those who protest the war

In response to Troy Bunch’s April 19 letter, I would like to say that I (obviously) have a different point of view.

Prior to the invasion of Iraq, (we can’t really call it a war, since Congress never declared one) the support we received to oppose the “war” was around three in support to one against.

People opposing the protests were far more vicious, both verbally and in sign language – same message, though.

Since the invasion, the number of people participating in the protest and the number of people showing support dropped dramatically, both in Summit County and across the nation.

Before you conclude it is because they all had a change of heart and decided to become “loyal Americans,” think about this:

Journalists and newspapers who have continued to speak out against the military action have lost business or have been ostracized in press rooms, especially the White House, or even lost their jobs.

Actor Tim Robbins was told by the president of the Baseball Hall of Fame, “The First Amendment and you are not welcome here.”

Recently, there was a nonviolent action at the office of Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard. Six people committed an act of civil disobedience in his office. They were just sitting there.

They were arrested, yes, in a public servant’s office, by a force of 94 police officers in full riot gear waiting outside.

A few weeks ago, three Dominican nuns were tried and convicted for going on to federal property, hammering on missiles, drawing crosses on them with their own blood and conducting a liturgy (ceremony) on the grounds. They face up to 30 years in prison and a quarter-million-dollar fine.

More than two years ago, the U.S. started arresting and holding anyone they suspected of being Afghanistan “combatants” at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They are being held with no charges, for an indefinite period of time, with no access to legal counsel. Some of the detainees are children.

People in America are scared, not of terrorists, but of their own government and of each other. The administration has made it clear that anyone who disagrees with them will face consequences. Secretary of State Colin Powell put France on notice this past week.

Public figures like Susan Sarandon and the Dixie Chicks have been attacked by their fans and by industry leaders. (Sounds like McCarthyism all over again.) And, little people like me have wondered when or if their protests against the “war’ will be met with violence.

Those of you who are angry at people like me are very, very angry. I have never heard Summit County people be as nasty as we have been to each other these past several weeks.

On the more positive side, many of you have come up to me and thanked me for speaking out against this violence. You have called it an act of courage. I am sorry to say I now realize you’re right. And it makes me sad. And it makes me very angry. We have no right to go and “liberate” one nation while suppressing the basic rights of citizens here at home.

Since 9-11, we have been bombarded with black and white, myopic thinking from our government and from corporate media. This might be the most important thing to speak out against at this time.

Turn off your TV and go to the global media. Find out what other people are saying about the world, not just CNN or FO. It will open your eyes.

But most of all, refuse to live in a culture of fear.

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