This Thursday, speakers from POCLAD (Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy) will be presenting a free talk called, "The Necessity of War and Other Corporate Myths" in the PSU Smith Hall Ballroom. Karen Coultier and Mary Zepernick will speak about the role corporations have played in U.S. involvement in foreign wars. |
"A permanent war footing is diametrically opposed to democratic society, especially when 'We the People' haven't been consulted," explains Mary Zepernick, a columnist for the Cape Cod (Mass) Times and POCLAD coordinator. "The use of violence and the threat of violence is a well-worn means for perpetuating rule by the wealthy few," adds Karen Coulter, a POCLAD principal who co-directs the Blue Mountain Biodiversity Project in Fossil, Oregon. "The war has been portrayed as being waged in defense of US interests, but whose interests are actually being served? Unocal stands to directly benefit from a proposed trans-Afghan oil pipeline. The line between corporate power, national governments, and international governing bodies such as the NATO and the WTO is now so blurred, corporate executives decide who the US goes to war against, the reasons why, the timing, and the objectives."
POCLAD is a research and activist group that studies the history of corporations and people's democratic struggles. Over the past seven years, the group has engaged thousands of people in "Rethinking the Corporation, Rethinking Democracy" meetings around the country, and last year published two books: Defying Corporations, Defining Democracy and Building Unions (Apex Press).
An excerpt from the POCLAD brochure reads, "In schools, union halls, coffee shops and village squares, around kitchen tables and over the World Wide Web, conversations are blooming. People are talking about what happened on September 11, and why. They're questioning why the US government responded with war on the Afghan people and a major orchestration of consent. They're asking why our government uses its power to freeze Al Qaeda's assets but not the assets of Enron Corporation. People are talking about the long-term destruction of sacred places, homes and farms, peoples and species. They're studying the past to understand the present, and writing new stories to explain how this nation got into such messes at home and abroad."
The speaking event is co-sponsored by the Alliance for Democracy, Students for Unity, Rearguard, and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. In addition to their talk, Coulter and Zepernick will speak with PSU classes in non-violence, conflict resolution and social movements.
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