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In support of Berkeley, CA

Elizabeth Jordan
Friday November 16, 2001



Once again, Berkeley, California is paving the way for other communities. Berkeley led the way for students’ rights movements and anti-Vietnam demonstrations in the 1960s, and has recently taken another courageous step. One of the hardest things to do when a nation is caught up in a wave of nationalism is to step back from the situation and publicly voice dissent. Such dissent is rarely popular, and the person uttering it is more likely than not to be dubbed an America-hater, an agitator, or some other word for a person who speaks critically of government policy. 

The current action against the people of Afghanistan is not right. Civilians are being killed, a humanitarian disaster is looming, and the United States is once again trying its hand at nation-building. Military action is not the way to root out terrorism.  

Terror is the weapon of desperate people. Those with any political voice do not resort to it, and conditions of abject poverty, chronic unemployment, and structural violence lead individuals to support it. To stop terrorism, we must address the issues of injustice and inequality that form the foundation of terrorism. The current campaign only exacerbates those conditions. 

The City Council of Berkeley took a brave step when it passed a resolution against the military action in Afghanistan. I sincerely hope that those who condemn the council out of hand will step back from the patriotic furor and consider the importance of this resolution. 

Elizabeth Jordan 

Flint, Michigan