.This is what democracy looks like
09/10/03: A Readers Commentary
I was in the crowd yesterday, among the thousands who trekked to the distant forbidding alien landscape known by many as Wall Street- to demonstrate among the frightened excluded angry prescient thousands- standing and chanting in front of the building where the real George W once stood.
Here is what I saw.
Outside, on the steps of The Federal Building, there is a 15 foot tall bronze statue of the real George W in 1789. Wrapped in his enormous cloak, arms outstretched, talking to- THE PEOPLE. The real George is giving his most famous speech - caught in the act by the CNN of the time- a sculptor.
Above him, crouching on the parapets, and to his left and his right, are riot-gear laden camouflage wearing helmeted RIOT Police, with RK-15s slung at the ready, aimed at the crowd. Should I repeat that ? -- with RK 15s aimed at the crowd. At US.
One of us - a young black veteran, screams at them- "What are you doing ? We're "AMERICANS."
I asked a Captain- what the hell are those guys doing ? Are they ready to SHOOT US? WE are the enemy ?
This is the fake George W's USA.
This is what the real George had to witness yesterday
from his place on the steps of Federal Hall
Inside, a guy whose salary WE pay was refusing to let us hear him tell a group of cops and prosecutors and judges- all of whom we ALSO PAY - who also work for US- -- that what we had to fear was US.
The real George's words - spoken April 30, 1789
from those very steps, where ALL the people could hear him -- those
words said :
WE, the government, work for YOU, the people, and we deeply trust that YOU know better than all others, what should be done.
And inside -- spake John Ashcroft, who is to George Washington as Condoleeza Rice is to Martin Luther King--
The attorney general made clear that he believes the Justice Department's antiterrorism initiatives are fully in sync with the moral imperatives of God and country and that those who disagree may have failed to absorb the lessons of Sept. 11.
"Just two years have passed," Mr. Ashcroft said, "but already it has become difficult for some Americans to recall the shock, anger, grief and anguish of that day."
Roslynn R. Mauskopf, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said that despite the exclusive nature of the attorney general's audience, "the message goes far beyond the people in the hall." "The critics need to stop talking and start listening," she said. "The Patriot Act provides invaluable tools for fighting terrorism."
The real George wept bronze tears.
The riot cops stayed on full alert, RK 15s drawn against the crowd.
That's what democracy looked like yesterday.
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