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Stefan Wray on Sat, 15 Sep 2001 17:50:25 +0200 (CEST)

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AUSTIN EMERGENCY RESPONSE: There is a standing call among progressive
activists in Austin, that if or when the U.S. launches a retaliatory strike,
people will gather at the Texas State Capitol, at 11th & Congress at 5:30
p.m., on the day of the strike or the next day if it occurs at night.

ANTI-WAR ORGANIZING MEETING: Austinites opposed to Bushıs new war have
already begun mobilizing. Following this past Wednesdayıs community meeting
and Fridayıs rallies, the next move is a planning and organizing meeting on

Date and Time:   Sunday, Sept. 16, 5:00 p.m.
Location:        Cafe Mundi, 1704 E. 5th St.

PUBLISH YOUR OWN STORIES: You are invited to publish your own stories,
photos, reports, observations, announcements, and analysis of the current
plans for war and our resistance to it on the Austin Independent Media
Center Web site at http://austin.indymedia.org.


by Stefan Wray
swray {AT} io.com

Austin, TX, September 14, 2001 -- About 300 people gathered in front of the
Texas state capitol today at 5:30 p.m. to voice both sadness for the victims
of Tuesdayıs World Trade Center attack in New York and fear and anger at the
impending military response on the part of the U.S. defense establishment
and government.

Earlier today, a smaller rally had occurred at the University of Texas
campus. Both events were quickly planned after a community meeting attended
by 250 people held on Wednesday evening, just 36 hours after the attack on

The theme throughout Wednesdayıs meeting and todayıs protests was that the
type of terrorism inflicted on civilians in New York is deplorable, but so
too will be the anticipated U.S. military response.

At both the community meeting and this afternoonıs rally, the public soap
box was open for anyone to speak. And people needed and wanted to say

Some people simply spoke from the heart, expressing their deep regret over
the loss of life. Others provided a litany of U.S.-backed atrocities
throughout the world that make the death toll in New York and Washington
D.C. seem small by comparison.

Another point raised was that in some ways the U.S. has brought this on
itself. It was said that this terrorism is home-grown. For one, the U.S.,
through itıs foreign policy debacles has enraged many peoples throughout the
world, particularly in the Middle East. And second, the U.S. historically,
through the efforts of the CIA, has in fact even had a hand in the training
of foreign terrorists like Osama bin Laden.

Several people who spoke had been active in the movement against the Gulf
War in 1990 and 1991. We heard about the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi
civilians who had died as a direct result of the U.S. air war and the
subsequent sanctions.

And we looked forward. Numerous people pointed to potentially dark times
that lie ahead, worried about possible further erosion of the Constitution,
the first and fourth amendments.

Most, except for a few newly arrived students, had lived here while George
W. Bush was governor of Texas. Some had been involved with the Campaign To
End The Death Penalty during his tenure and likened Bushıs eagerness to
march forward with a war to his turning a blind eye to appeals to end the
death penalty. The idea that Governor Death will become President Death was

Bushıs father was mentioned. Someone relayed information about how the elder
Bush was linked to the U.S.-backed training Osama bin Laden.

An overarching concern, and argument against military action - which at this
point seems to be inevitable - is that once we retaliate we will enter into
a cycle of terrorism and war. When the U.S. strikes out, terrorists will
strike back. There was a strong worry about this simply getting out of

But also, ideas for action were put forward. Someone from the Green Party
announced a letter writing session the next day to appeal for peace to
legislators. A young Asian woman invited people to a meditation for peace at
the University. Others talked about the need to organize, to both oppose the
use of force and to defend against racially or politically motivated attacks
- and to plan more and hopefully larger demonstrations of opposition to
Bushıs war.

As it turns out, fears of racially motivated attacks are not unfounded.
Already, in Chicago, Seattle, and elsewhere there have been reports of
attempted arsons and gunfire directed at Arab-Americans.

On Day 4, the burgeoning anti-war movement in Austin, Texas is still
cathartic and recovering from the initial shock of terrorism and war. The
speed of events makes it difficult to make sense of it all.

But the threads of an organized and hopefully more powerful opposition to
war from the heart of Texas is underway. There will be another planning
meeting this coming Sunday, Sept. 16, at 5:00 p.m. at Cafe Mundi, 1704 E.
5th St.

There is a standing call that when the U.S. launches a retaliatory strike
that people will again gather at the Texas State Capitol, at 11th and
Congress. If the U.S. strikes during the day, the gathering will be at 5:30
p.m. that day. If it strikes at night, it will be 5:30 p.m. the next day.

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