Reprinted from Get Up (September 2000)
Hi everyone, well this is the 5th month, 4th issue, of Get Up. I didn’t prepare any big articles so I thought I’d just write a letter of what’s on my mind type thing. First of all, thank you to everyone who has contributed so far. Everything you’ve written, drawn, etc, has really been great and I have received lots of comments of praise for your contributions. I have been distributing between 50 and 100 zines per month. Please, keep giving me things. I want to do a special issue on squatting, squatters rights, history, etc, in either October or November. So if you know anything about that or feel like researching it, please please please help me out.
So, everyone has been asking me, “are you voting for Nader?” And the answer is yes. Although I am not a big advocate of electoral politics and I don’t believe justice can be “voted” into a system as corrupt as ours, why not? Bush is a devil for sure and the politrix of Gore can’t fool me into thinking he’s much better. We might as well push for a liberal-heavy Congress to balance Bush’s right-wing ways in case we are worried our votes for Nader will put too much power to the conservatives. Nader and LaDuke have been campaigning right along with the other candidates. Speeches by them can be heard on Pacifica Radio’s Democracy Now at webactive.com (take your walkman headphones to the library or CMC).
There has been a lot of celebration around the release of social worker and activist Lori Berenson from the Peruvian prison she has been in for almost 5 years. She is still in state custody but her military trial has been nullified. She will now be tried in a civil court. She was charged with treason for being the supposed leader of the guerrilla group MRST. Her trial was unjust by UN and US standards. She was read her life sentence by masked judge, with a gun to her head. Over half of the US congress, and many “important” folk in the US and Peru have been calling for her release.
It is common for people in the US to get excited over political situations abroad when “one of our own” is affected. Lori Berenson is incredible in the way she uses her situation to promote social justice for people in Peru. I heard her statements to the public (for the first time in 5 years). She rarely mentioned herself. She denounced the conditions in prison and advocated for common people. I hope we can follow Berenson’s example by not tokenizing her as the only legitimate victim of Peru’s messed up mock-democracy.