Muslims For Nader/Camejo

A blog on the Nader/Camejo 2004 Presidential campaigen - exposing the racket of the two corporate parties - with a special focus on issues of concerns for Muslims. This blog is UNOFFICIAL and is NOT endorsed by the official Nader for 2004 presidential campaigen. Blog update daily and several times a day - come back often! Contact: muslimfornader@yahoo.com

Monday, August 30, 2004

Live From NY: This is What America Looks Like!


It is now nearing midnight in New York - what an amazing beautiful day this has been. Thank you to Ahmed, and Patricia for their experiences at the march. I would also like to share some of my own.

I posted a somewhat cynical/frustrated comment regarding the "anybody but bush" problem a little earlier. While I find this whole ABB affair very disconcerting, especially because of its possible long term ramification for independent peace and social justice oriented politics in the US, I have to acknowledge the huge gains we have all made in the last few years.

One such gain was experienced earlier today in New York, I don't know about the numbers - but clearly it was in the hundreds of thousands.

I decided early on that I was going to move around in the crowd as much as possible, from the Nader/Camejo people, to the wonderful anti-imperialist contingent that included the South Asian activist group DRUM, to checking out the Anarchists. I even managed to flash a smile or two at people wearing Kerry buttons on top of their anti-war T-shirts!!!

The sound was beautiful, people's voices rang out loud and clear over the incredibly packed streets of mid-town Manhattan. As Ahmed's photographs show, there was a wonderful diversity of people everywhere. To my knowledge this may well have been the first time in US history, that a demonstration of this magnitude has taken place before a presidential party convention.

What might we take away from this wonderful event?

First, there is no question that this is a resounding NO to all that the Bush administration has undertaken in the past four years: the Patriot Act, the wars, and invasions, and more wars. The policies of extreme arrogance that has alienated so much of the Arab and Muslim populations from the United States.

Listen up, Hasan, this is a NO like one that has not been heard before in this country. Bush will probably not even acknowledge this reality, and like earlier demonstrations, dismiss this one also as a "focus group!"

Second, we have a movement, a real true to life movement in the United States. A movement that represents so much of what so many of us believe in: peace, civil liberties, economic justice (labor unions were represented) and more. This is a very historical period, a time where we have real opportunity to shape, inshallah, the direction we wish to move towards.

Third, I want to point out the very large numbers of young, younger and more younger people who are involved - this has great meaning for us who have been involved in the activist world. The energy, fresh ideas, thinking, that people are bringing to the table gives the movement a vitality that will keep us moving even in the roughest of times.

Finally - in closing, I want to sound a cautionary note - electing Kerry does not in any way shape or form mean a victory, and I fear that too many people are assuming that "dumping bush" is a victory. Such an assumption may well mean an end to the movement without getting anything at all - and maybe even a worse scenario of Kerry having a free hand to "do war right."

A real victory would include a strong vote for the anti-war, pro-civil liberties, peace and social justice candidacy of Nader/Camejo - it would also include huge demonstrations, and a very active social movement the day after whoever happens to "win" the elections. A victorious movement would remain just as strong after November 2nd, as we were today in New York! This is what we need to aim for, begining today.

There are several exciting events scheduled for today, I'm looking forward to being part of Kensington Welfare Rights Union's "poor people's march" and to an important panel discussion including Naomi Klein, and Peter Camejo - on alternatives to the "anybody but bush" ideology.

For ongoing coverage of New York events check out New York Indymedia.