email to africa

(I wrote this to a friend who is with the Peace Corps in Africa and decided to post it to the blog.)

A fellow guerilla poet has gone to Palestine to be a human shield, to witness the situation there. Imagine, we need witnesses in Miami. Have you heard about the police riot? FTAA meetings in Miami, 6,000 police. The beatings and arrests and intimidation, and denial of first amendment rights has gone on for days. I think it will backfire, but right now the mainstream media is absolutely still. Not a word. In Florida the news media are expressing gratitude to the police for controlling the demonstrators. But these are peaceful demonstrators. What’s to control? They were smart, the demonstrators, they went around to downtown businesses the week before and talked to the owners and told them what they were there for and what they were going to do and asked them to stay open. Many of them did. They appreciated the fact that the activists informed them of their intentions. These people could be activists allies. They have a glimmer of what was really going on.

The New York Times reports that the FBI has a report which says that demonstrators take photos of the police to intimidate them. Imagine that. They must be terrified all those cameras shooting at them.