portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary global

actions & protests | human & civil rights


Posted on London craigslist on the dates shown, in the hopes that those young men who scour the internet seeking knowledge of al qaeda will come across them.
The first and last sections are from writings previously published on indymedia, the other two were composed just for this purpose. They were all posted on London craigslist on the dates shown, in the hopes that those young men who scour the internet seeking knowledge about al qaeda might come across them.

May 23

Auntie Racist on Hogs and Tactics

On McVeigh, Bin Laden and the plump end of a hog. Timothy McVeigh and Osama Bin Laden had something in common. Each was a stunning tactical success, but a miserable strategic failure. My late ex-husband used to have a little saying for that. On occasions where he put out a lot of effort and got little benefit out of it, hewould say, "Well, I sure kicked a fat hog in the ass." He was usually referring to something a lot less dramatic, but that saying would describe what McVeigh and Bin Laden did perfectly. Now why would anybody want to kick a fat hog in the ass? Perhaps its just because they happen to know how.
The underlying principle of training at the police academy is that when you get into any situation that requires action, the action you take will be one that you know how to do. Therefore you undertake training so that when the time comes, you will know how to do something that may actually help you solve the problem at hand.
There are plenty of different tactics out there to choose from, though different activists tend to get in a rut with only one or two kinds of actions. ELF uses arson. ALF liberates other peoples' animals. Black Bloc assaults police (maybe they didn't notice what the Black Panthers got for doing that) and destroys property. NAACP used marches. Klansmen shout insults into a microphone and then light a cross. ARA's shout insults at
Klansmen and then have a party. NFPA activists sit in trees. Indian activists occupy places where they can be in the way. Pro-lifers hang around abortion clinics and preach at the clients. Unions picket. SOAWatchers tresspass on federal property. Earth First! spikes trees and sabotages machinery. There is a bit of a trap here. Once people get angry and decide its time to take action, they seem to choose something based on what they already know how to do. After that they tend to repeat the same kind of actions over and over because:

1) Its still the main thing they know how to do, and now
with experience they know how to do it even better.
2) It got some results the first time and they assume it
will the next time. And the next. And the next.
3) They already have the gear and the tools they need
because that's what they used last time.
4) All the new people being recruited have seen the
actions on t.v. and think that's what they're supposed to do.

You have to decide what you are going to put in your own head. You can find plenty of instructions for building bombs, burning down buildings, picking locks, sabotaging expensive equipment and destroying property. You might notice that plenty of people have tried these tactics already and most of them are either dead or rotting in prison. Meanwhile, the only changes brought about by these things are more police, tighter restrictions and more oppression. If bringing down the towers failed to topple the government, what do you think YOU can destroy that will do the trick? Are you willing to do worse than that? And if you are, why would the rest of us want YOU to be running the country?
There's a lot more to resistance than destroying things. There's a lot more to put in your head than know-how on bombs and bullets. If you want that hog to do more than grunt, you're going to have to do more than kick it. If you can't outsmart a hog, that ain't the hog's fault.


June 3 All of the suicide bombers together with all their victims, including all those at the twin towers on 9/11, all added together have brought about little of the change you seek. Why does any suicide bomber or terrorist who sacrifices himself to life in prison or the death penalty think his own individual life is to precious that Allah himself will be eternally grateful for the sacrifice? I do not understand the self importance of it. If you can explain this for us please post it.


June 20 Here is the universe in a nutshell:

All people and all things good belong in paradise. All people and all things evil belong in hell. Here on earth there is no separation between good and evil. They are all mixed together, not just side by side but all intermingled and swirled together. It is often nearly impossible for us to tell them apart.
We who are born into this world face 3 crushing challenges:
to physically survive in our mortal bodies
to learn to know good from evil and maintain the integrity of our souls
to help the children who come after us to survive and learn what they need to know

One of the terrible evils that exists in this world is the oppression of governments. Many is the man who has involuntarily lost his mortal life in the struggles against this evil. To them go my gratitude and respect.
But I have known revolutionaries who claim to be willing to die for their principles and believe themselves to be heroic because of it. I reserve my gratitude and respect for such men as are willing to spend 30 years at a job they hate so their families can survive. A man who voluntarily leaps into the jaws of death, thereby skipping the terrible trials of this earth and going straight to eternity while leaving the children here to fend for themselves means little to me. I expect more of good men than that.


July 5th

How to be a Great Nation

And how not to do it backwards.

I resent any suggestion by our leadership that we should do anything to maintain ourselves as the greatest nation in the world. It might be argued that we have lost that position already, but it can't be denied that we did have it within the recent memory of our living population. We did not get to be the greatest nation in the world by striving for that status. We came to be the greatest nation in the world by striving to build a good life for ourselves, our families and our fellow humans.
It is true that in these attempts to live a decent and righteous existence we have failed miserably and shamefully, over and over and over. Nevertheless it was the very struggle which brought us to greatness. If we abandon our struggle to be a strong, decent and reliable people in favor of attaining greatness we will be nothing.
It is just that way with religion, one of the elements of our country that we say we value so dearly. If religion is practiced with the sole aim of controlling morality then it will fail us. Religion is pursued because it gives each and every one of us a framework against which to train our weaknesses and help us to stand against the evil winds and tides of the world. With religion as a tool and a help we can develop higher morality, righteousness and standards of decency. When morality itself becomes the goal of religion we become judgmental, vindictive and vengeful. We don't get moral decency, only legalism.

As we choose our new leadership, we don't have the option of choosing one who is perfect. All of them have serious flaws and faults. If we want to have leaders at all we will have to forgive somebody for something. The only thing we can do is to separate those who aspire to greatness from those who have found greatness because they struggled to achieve something on behalf of the rest of us. If we choose such leadership and labor along with them to conduct our every day lives and business with decency and fairness, a higher morality and greatness will follow in spite of all our failures.