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:

Monday, August 23, 2004

The politics of Clorox bleach vs. Tide bleach

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August 18th, 2004:

A sold out crowd of 3,500 people packed the Berkeley Community Theater (California) , to hear the Indian author
Arundhati Roy, journalist, Amy Goodman, interviewer David Barasamian, and hip hop artist Boots Riley.

Amy Goodman received an extended standing ovation as she approached the podium - she spoke about the horrible tragedy of 9/11/01 - and the other 9/11 - the one in Chile: the US backed coup that brought down President Allende to be replaced by the military dictator Pinochet who killed thousands of his opponents. She reminded us about Haiti, how president Aristide was kidnapped, and taken to Congo - viewed such a threat that he could not even remain in this hemisphere. And we must also remember how so many African Americans were disenfranchised in South West Florida - only four years ago.

And this year, we have an "opposition" that does not even challenge the current administration on a war whose pretexts have been proven false. Why? Goodman said that we - the people- must challenge this "opposition."

IF we do not, and they get elected, then they will assume that their mandate is what they have said during the election campaign.

(In case of Kerry this would mean continued war, and continued occupation of Iraq - and no end to civil rights abuses i.e. the Patriot Act).

But Amy Goodman left out the ongoing anti-democratic practices that are being carried out by the Democratic Party - so that people do not have choices, and without a choice there can be no democracy.

She also left out, that just as African Americans were disenfranchised in Florida - so too, this year, the
Democratic Party is aiming to deny choice to millions, many of whom are people of color, and from working class backgrounds.

Arundhati Roy was interviewed by David Barsamian , some highlights from the interview:

We cannot expect or, wait for a "pristine resistance" because we will never find it - what is taking place in Iraq, and Palestine is a resistence against occupation. And it is our responsibility, on our end, to shore up our own resistence against empire.

Roy identified three goals/demands, with regards to Iraq:

1. Withdrawal from Iraq

2. Pay reparations for the war, and for the sanctions

3. Annul all contracts with corporations that are supposed to "rebuild Iraq" - but who are, in effect, exploiting Iraqi resources for their own profits.

With regards to the US elections:

Roy discussed the recent elections in India - where the Congress Party won against the Hindutava BJP.

But she said that the situation in the US is very different because, here, there is not even a pretense of a difference, and the two candidates are like Clorox bleach vs. Tide bleach - both owned by Proctor and Gamble!

Demonizing Bush has its downside of not taking the time to understand the machinery - and she questioned are we looking to challenge the system or not?!

Roy talked about her experience in the Indian elections, and she pointed out that many progressive activists chose not to campaigen for the Congress Party because they realized that Congress had acted to dispossess people of their lands, and were responsible for policies that were so very harmful to India's poor.

When asked about what should happen if Kerry were to win - she said that we should not miss a heartbeat, and continue our work.

Power, she said, is exercised by a dissenting public, and through oppositional politics, not through the ballot.

It is the rich who have time, the poor don't have time - and the rift we are witnessing is not a rift between countries - it is a rift between the rich and the poor.