- This whole thing evolved from my first meeting with the
SCPJ (Stanford Community for Peace and Justice), when we were trying to
figure out how to mail letters to Feinstein and Boxer that had been
at a SCPJ event, and I volunteered to deliver them on my way to an AIDS
demonstration in Berkeley. Feinstein's staff recognized me and I
asked for a couple of meetings- one for the student visa Issue, the other
on my concerns over 9-11 which evolved into this. It felt organic and
magical- like our gatherings (to transform the global economy) and the
birth of the Who's Counting Project, the Bioneers Conference, TOES 97,
The World Social Forum....
- Demanding a Congressional Inquiry Of
- On Tuesday, January 8th, 2002, at eleven o'clock people
began to gather at Justin Herman Plaza. As organizer, I baked bread and
cookies that morning, figuring folks would be hungry (I always bring food
to my weekly peace demos in Palo Alto - people can't resist the cookies
and dialogue happens). Supporters came from all over the Bay Area, as well
as Japan, there were three guitarists and a couple of big banners including
Veterans for Peace - "War War What is it good for? Absolutely
And- "One People, One Earth, One Love" a quote from Alice Walker
with an image of the Earth with a heart over it surrounded by a group of
people holding hands, on the other side "One Air, One Water, One Hope
Respect all Life" with an image of 3 interconnected circles (which
we made for the first, big, national, DC anti-war demo on September 29th).
The atmosphere was very friendly with much sharing of information. Bill
Moyer, author of Doing Democracy, who has mapped out the eight stages of
social movements and helped empower activists for forty years came, just
five minutes after I passed out his useful diagrams and pointed out where
- The media swooped down in a pack, two or three television
stations and three radio journalists, and at least one newspaper reporter.
The march was colorful and lively, although somewhat small, about thirty
or so people, so we kept to the sidewalk with a police escort. (There
would have been more people, if we hadn't been "competing" with
a major event- the Deputy General of the WTO was having a debate with
across town at the same time. And it is hard to organize when you're out
of the country without access to a computer, I did the best I could in
four days with three kids).
- The 9-11 disaster has been used to justify a "War
on Terrorism" which endangers the lives and liberties of millions
of people everywhere. The U.S. bombing of Afghanistan has killed thousands
of civilians; millions of Afghans have been displaced and face starvation
this winter. The administration has condoned massive Israeli assaults on
Palestine, and threatens to attack Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia, and other
Recent legislation is an attack on constitutionally guaranteed civil
especially those of immigrants and people of color. The laws are mirrored
in other countries which are outlawing dissent and increasing political
repression. The administration has institutionalized racial profiling and
is secretly rounding up thousands of Arab Americans and other people of
Middle Eastern background. At the same time, it is giving billions to the
military, offering huge bailouts and tax incentives to corporations and
the wealthy, while ignoring the hundreds of thousands of laid off workers,
and cutting social services. This appears to be part of a long-range
to turn the clock back on the hard earned gains of the civil rights',
and environmental movements, to consolidate U.S. global domination, and
to serve the interests of transnational corporations.
- At the plaza in front of Senator Feinstein's office the
march turned into a party/gathering/leafletting/networking opportunity.
The nine person delegation escorted by police, presented identification,
got our security clearances and went up to see Senator Feinstein's staff.
Senator Boxer's staff also joined the meeting at the last minute.
- The delegation spoke on many issues and raised many
from "Why weren't the hijacked planes intercepted?" to "How
can the U.S. declare a 'War on Terrorism' when terrorism has been the
of U.S. foreign policy for decades and we continue to fund, train, and
- Here is the synopsis-
- Kevin Danaher - Public Education Director of Global
who has written or edited many books examining US foreign policy and the
global economy including- Democratizing the Global Economy: The Battle
Against the World Bank and the IMF : Globalize This!: The Battle Against
the World Trade Organization, and Corporations Are Gonna Get Your Momma:
Globalization and the Downsizing of the American Dream, came up with the
idea of the Inquiry. He explained how when he is traveling and speaking
with many people the questions keep coming up, and people want to know,
deserve to know the truth. His wife and daughter had also recently traveled
to Afghanistan and he spoke of the plight of the Afghans. He also touched
on the larger picture, the pattern of events, the global system, the lost
opportunity when the U.S. with all the world feeling sympathetically
us, chose to violate international law, act unilaterally and bomb.
- Riva Enteen - Vice president of the National Lawyers
Guild, had compiled a history of the dark times when this country has
violated due process and civil rights. She spoke about how the situation
has deteriorated so badly, so quickly. She also questioned whether the
victims of the World Trade Center were being given "hush money"
so that they could not sue whoever was criminally responsible for the
- Carmen Hartono - Women's International Peace Imperative
addressed racial profiling, and the stereotyping that distresses her, and
her husband. (She is from El Savador and her husband is from Indonesia),
She was also deeply concerned about what is happening in Palestine.
- Ed Rippy - East Bay Peace Action, talked about the
connections and the U.S.'s history and current relationship with various
terrorists and intelligence agencies, and their links to drug smuggling
and money laundering. Ed also reminded us that government's lose their
legitimacy if they are not serving the public interest.
- Susie Whitlock - Organizing Mills, spoke about the
Laden financial ties and Unocal's oil negotiations in Afghanistan. The
recent appointment of the Unocal Advisor to be the representative of the
U.S. to the interim government suggests that oil is one of the reasons
the U.S. is in Afghanistan.
- Cecile Pineda - East Bay Coalition Against the War, spoke
very briefly about how the internet has changed the way people communicate.
The truth is bound to come out.
- Denny Riley - Veteran's for Peace, told his truth. He
had witnessed how the government, particularly the military, lies. He
had been on missions, chosen targets. Bombs kill civilians. In Vietnam
2 million people were killed; the memorial to them depicts, not soldiers,
but civilians because that is primarily who gets killed
- I compiled the key articles to all of the following
as well as additional excellent pieces which had not been posted on the
internet. I mentioned the online petition which echoed our demands which
I had learned of only the night before http://www.petitiononline
- I couldn't resist asking why Senator Feinstein, and most
other Senators were going along with President Bush, without raising any
questions. I wondered if they were afraid or whether they really believed
what he said.
- I probably went too far and was told that Senator
"believed in Bush" and that the Senator and I have 'different
- These are some of the questions that we, the people,
demand to be raised and answered publicly -
- Who created, trained and funded the Al Qaeda
- What is the relationship between Bin Laden, his family
and the Bush family and the Carlyle Group?
- Why were no fighter planes dispatched to intercept the
four hijacked planes on September 11th, in violation of standard
- Who actually was in control of the "hijacked
- What is the U.S. relationship with Pakistan, and
with its intelligence service, the ISI?
- Why did the then director of the ISI have $100,000
to the man whom the FBI now calls the ringleader of the Sept. 11th attacks,
and why does the U.S. not pursue this question?
- Did the CIA have foreknowledge of the attack, who tried
to profit with put options on American, United, Merrill Lynch stock just
before the attack?
- Why were the FBI told to not investigate the Bin Laden
family links in the US?
- If the CIA met with Bin Laden last July, why didn't they
try to arrest him?
- If the US is serious about ridding the world of
why do we continue to fund and train terrorists?
- Why are we bombing Afghanistan, when none of the alleged
bombers actually came from there, could there be another reason for our
presence in that region, like oil?
- Is the war against Afghanistan illegal?
- What are Bush, Cheney and Rice's connections to the oil
- What are Bush and Cheney's connections to the drug
- Why is the evidence being destroyed when an investigation
of the World Trade Center collapse is needed?
- Why seal Presidential records?
- Why intimidate professors from speaking out against this
- Why has the U.S. military been establishing working
with the Uzbek military for several years?
- What other military involvement does the U.S. have in
the Central Asian Republics?
- Why are U.S. military personnel or material assistance
going to the Philippines, Indonesia, and Colombia as well?
- What relationship did various U.S. agencies and their
contractors have with the Taliban, either directly or through Pakistani
or Saudi agencies or contractors?
- Why does the U.S. overlook Pakistani drug lords who
and export half to two-thirds of the world's heroin despite its avowed
determination to rid the world of drugs?
- Why has the Dept. of Justice stopped its investigation
of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International despite its admitted heavy
involvement in laundering drug money?
- (Links to some of these questions and answers are posted
- I believe we all were heartened and inspired by one
When the meeting was over, we bade our farewells, gave hugs.
- Outside with our brave supporters we held hands and
into one another's eyes. I felt such a great sense of love for all those
who had come, and to those who were part of the delegation for their
their love of life, and their belief in the quest for truth, and felt a
wave of energy from those who couldn't be there physically, but were in