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News ::
IMC Boston "Special Report" Summary
12 Nov 2001
In this report, the Boston Independent Media Center focuses on a country in the grip of unprecedented fear, suspicion, and anger. This series of stories was designed to shed light on important aspects of today’s rapidly changing social and political landscape.
In this report by the Boston Independent Media Center focuses on a country in the grip of unprecedented fear, suspicion, and anger—the United States of America. After the events of September 11th, the nation has watched its leaders coerce the media into self-censorship, seek international coalitions against terrorism, pass new legislation to hunt down its suspects, and wage war on Afghanistan. This series of stories was designed to shed light on important aspects of today’s rapidly changing social and political landscape.

US journalists face a two-fronted assault on free speech—the threat of government and military censorship on the one hand, the threat of media conglomerations, reluctant to rock the boat, on the other. The publisher of Harper’s Magazine proclaimed “This will be the most censored war in history.”

The “USA Patriot Bill,” among other recent legislation, has fed on the country’s fear of terrorism to produce a new batch of laws which infringe on Americans’ civil liberties. Federal agencies will now be able to check any citizen’s email and Internet activities, moniter all phone calls, and track locations of people using their cell phone signals, all without a court order.

Peace activists themselves face the dilemma inherent in Bush’s statement “You are either with us or you are with the terrorists.” Boston IMC’s Alex Kulenovic points out the similarities between Bush’s statement and the sentiments of Nazi leader Herman Goerring—“People can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders . . . All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.” In countries like Pakistan and Colombia, anti-war protesters have been shot by police.

The AFL-CIO has ceased to protest the World Trade Organization and the World Bank, explaining that they believe it is “inappropriate timing” for protests of global economic policy to continue. The group, while expressing “uneasiness,” made it known soon after the attacks that it offers “full support for the President and whatever actions he must take in this time of national crisis.”

Meanwhile, President Bush’s international coalition against terrorism may not be as strong as it seems, particularly in Pakistan. One Pakistani writer, Sabiha Sumar, has stated that although most of the population does not support Osama bin-Laden, it now supports revenge against the US for the killing of innocent civilians.

The Boston Independent Media Center urges its readers to read carefully as they follow these stories at the IMC and as they continue to develop each day.
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