11/22/03

Bush & Blair in Britain

By Mumia Abu-Jamal from death row

... There was no corner of the known world where
some interest was not alleged to be in danger or under
actual attack. If the interests were not Roman, they
were those of Rome's allies; and if Rome had no allies,
then allies would be invented. When it was utterly
impossible to contrive such an interest -- why, then it
was the national honor that had been insulted. The
fight was always invested with an aura of legality.
Rome was always being attacked by evil-minded
neighbors, always fighting for a breathing space.
*The whole world was pervaded by a host of
enemies*, and it was manifestly Rome's duty to
guard against their indubitably aggressive designs.
--Joseph Schrumpeter,
"The Sociology of Imperialism,"
*Two Essays by Joseph Schrumpeter* (NY: Meridian, 1955).

While the U.S. President dines with princes and monarchs, and
traipses to London to support his closest political ally (Tony Blair),
the people of England gather in truly impressive numbers, to proclaim
their steely opposition to the man who claims to speak for what he
calls, 'the free world.'

From trade unions, to anti-nuclear groups, to Muslim groups,
well over a quarter of a million people filled Trafalgar Square to
denounce the Bush-Blair alliance, and, in the words of many of
the speakers, send a message; "Go Home Bush!"

Caroline Lucas, a Member of the European Parliament (Greens),
spoke for many when she said, "While Bush may have the support
of Tony Blair, he does *not* have the support of the British People!"

Alex Salmond, Member of the House of Commons (Scottish
National) blasted the "disastrous leadership" of both George Bush
and Tony Blair in Iraq. "Half the world fears Bush," he argued,
"the other half loathes him."

Parliamentarian Lucas argued that the demonstration was the
"largest" single, workday protest in London's history.

Bush, who often claims to love democracy, went out of his
way to avoid the voices of working Britain. He wouldn't even
speak to Parliament, for fear that some heckler would embarrass
the 'head of the free world.' Thus, he attended a few, well-staged
photo ops. What was largely unseen, however, was the virtual
army of cops thrown up as a barrier between him and the people
of Britain.

The real tragedy is that millions of Americans only received
passing glimpses of the vast anti-Bush march in London. With
some estimating the number at over 350,000 people, complete
with a papier-mache, gilded, 15-foot statue of Bush brought down,
the average American could only see the ridiculous spectacle of
hundreds of reporters stationed to spy the whereabouts of
pop star Michael Jackson, but the latest figure of entertainment
masquerading as news in America.

Hundreds of thousands of average, everyday Britains gather
to protest the coming of an American President; in a nation said
to be 'our closest ally', no less, and it gets 15 seconds of reportage.
Three live hours is dedicated to the possible appearance of
Michael Jackson in handcuffs! And yet, we wonder why
Americans know next to nothing about foreign policy!

Jeremy Corbin, a Labour M.P. from the House of Commons,
dismissed the claim that the marchers were (as the U.S. press
is fond of claiming) 'Anti-American.' "We send a message to
the American poor," said Corbin, "to the 40 million who are
without health care, our message: Stand with us against your
government! Stand with us against this ghastly war!"

Tony Woodley, head of the largest union in Britain (called
the T & G) called Bush and Blair, "Lunatics!", and exhorted
the throng to demand, "Bush Go Home!" (several times!).

In the ill-fated Iraq Adventure, the voices of people in the
nation said to be the American's "closest ally" bodes ill for
its success. The demonstration revealed that the war has not
diminished the anti-war sentiment amongst the British. One
wonders, how does the average Turk feel about it? The
average Frenchperson? The average Saudi? The average
citizen of the world?

With growing corporate control over the world's media,
we may hear or see less of those voices; yet we cannot deny
they are there, in vast numbers, away from the cameras of
capital.

Though unseen, they are there; and they are growing. Where
are their counterparts among the Americans?

 

Copyright 2003 Mumia Abu-Jamal

"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is
just, yet refuse to defend it--at that moment you begin to die.
And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about
justice." - Mumia Abu-Jamal

Mumia Abu-Jamal is the author of four books:

  • Faith of our fathers:
    An examination of the spiritual life of African and African American People
  • Live from Death Row
  • Death Blossoms
  • All Things Censored.

[Mr. Jamal has written widely about war and other issues.
His latest work, *Faith of Our Fathers* (Africa World Press, 2003) was named one of "The Most
Remarkable Books of 2003" by *Black Issues Book Review* (Nov/Dec '03).]

Write to Mumia directly at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal AM 8335
SCI-Greene
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370

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