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Rally against “War on Terrorism”

Arianne Stocking San Rafael
Friday April 19, 2002

To The Editor: 


On Saturday, April 20, there will be simultaneous rallies in several American cities to protest aspects of the current administration's “War on Terrorism.” In the current political climate, I fear there are many citizens and members of the media who will condemn such protests as unpatriotic, offensive, or otherwise threatening. 

I am writing to remind all of us that we live in a democracy whose very heart and soul is the freedom of individual expression and the peaceful, public exchange of differing ideas. 

These, along with our voting rights, are the core of what we call “the democratic process” which shapes our public policy. 

Many of us who sincerely love our country believe that the best interests of the United States are not currently being served and the issues are not being adequately debated. We reject the bleak vision of an “endless war” as the only solution. We are defiantly concerned that our civil rights are being eroded further with each new potential “threat.” 

We are suspicious that our government is exploiting the very real national and human tragedy of last September to promote its much narrower military, social and economic agenda. And we are truly saddened and appalled that our nation is threatening to use its military power all over the globe and in violation of the borders of every sovereign nation which does not cooperate with us. 

You may not agree with these views, but I trust and hopethat you will welcome our constructive protests as the encouraging signs of a healthy and vibrant democracy, not as something disrespectful or unpatriotic. 


- Arianne Stocking 

San Rafael