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News :: Human Rights
U.S. Postman Threatens to kill activist in Newton
17 Apr 2005
Modified: 11:51:02 PM

Today during the weekly Newton Dialogues on War and Peace tabling event at the Newton free library a U.S. postman threatened to kill an activist collecting signatures on an anti war petition.

This author was with a half dozen others distributing literature, collecting signatures on Newton dialogues "declaration of moral outrage" and also displaying a board counting the number of US and civilian causalities in Iraq.

A man in a U.S. Postal Service shirt declined to sign the petition because he said his son was in Iraq. I asked him if his son was dead yet and he completely wigged out, got in my face and shouted "I’m going to kill you!" The post man then slammed the board and easel displaying US military and Iraqi civilian body counts to the ground and stormed off.

A vigorous dialog ensued about the question and its reaction with this radical pointing out that the post man's son was trespassing, murdering, stabbing, blowing up, raping or torturing people and that the liberals present were confronting me and not him.

Newton Dialogs vigils in Newton Center on every Thursday at 5:30pm and tables most Saturdays at 12:30pm in front of the Newton free library across from city hall.

To read the declaration of moral outrage visit
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Re: U.S. Postman Threatens to kill activist in Newton
18 Apr 2005
it's you who has to chill out. his son's in iraq and you talk to him like that? when was the last time a member of your family was in the line of fire? this is why the middle class "peace movement" will get nowhere with working americans...
Re: U.S. Postman Threatens to kill activist in Newton
18 Apr 2005
Dear child,
When you understand what it means to be a parent, then maybe you will understand the hurt your insensitive remark has caused. Until then, you are merely a selfish, petty little child who believes (wrongly) that the world revolves around you and your opinions. Wise-ass punk-ass comments do not amount to "political statements". Learn the diffenrence if you want to make a difference.
Re: U.S. Postman Threatens to kill activist in Newton
18 Apr 2005
unbelievably stupid move

you just cost the anti-war movement the support of that guy, his extended family, and all his friends and co-workers

if you'd taken a swing at him, you would've done less damage
Re: U.S. Postman Threatens to kill activist in Newton
18 Apr 2005
I agree with the above comments. Except for the one that calls him "child." Don't assume that this guy is young--from what I've seen of Newton Dialogues, most folks there are middle-aged. And I've seen middle-aged people act this stupidly...
Civil War
18 Apr 2005
The divisions in the US have gotten to the point where I think we need to recognize that a time is soon coming when we will have to fight, not just with words and protests, but with force. Too many US Gov workers, not just in the Post Office, but in the DoD, CIA, FBI, local police, JTTF, IRS, DARPA, and so on, believe that they have free reign to violate our rights, threaten us and even use violance against us. Given the nature of the head of the hierarchy, POTUS, the terrorist scum, they know they can do these things with legal impunity. Without equal protection under the law, revolution is the only way.
Re: U.S. Postman Threatens to kill activist in Newton
18 Apr 2005
WTF are you talking about Prepare? Post office workers aren't part of the military/police branch of the state, they're just ordinary public sector workers like teachers. How about you and "Depleted Uranium"--whose activism is clearly some fucked up form of personal therapy considering s/he isn't serious enough about ending the occupation to act intelligently and tactfully--go hide in a hole somewhere and plan your "civil war" together?
Enough pandering to trolls.
18 Apr 2005
Why should the left care about courting the stupid morons willing to die in Iraq or send their children to die in Bush's terrorist wars? What we need is a revolution, not a date. I'm not trying to win over losers.
Re: U.S. Postman Threatens to kill activist in Newton
18 Apr 2005
A revolution is the opposite of a civil war, and is predicated on those who have been history's "losers" educating ourselves and organizing ourselves to resist what is being done to us and our children. If your "left" has given up on that and wants to go off and plot a civil war instead, well good riddance.
Re: U.S. Postman Threatens to kill activist in Newton
18 Apr 2005
I have very actively protested the war since it began, and feel I must add to the criticism of DU. When somebody tells you their son/daughter in Iraq, the best thing to say is "I'm sorry to hear that." Whether you're sorry because you think their kid is a murderer and shouldn't be there, or sorry for the sorry state of the family that allowed one of their own to go to fight an unjust war, or genuinely concerned for a fellow human being, just say you're sorry to hear it and be done with it. As for the "death threat", it's clearly wrong but understandable given the provocation. Everyone has a right to protest the war as they see fit, but clearly some people are going to be liabilities to our cause if they cannot learn to measure their words. There is a big difference between pandering to trolls and pointing out what good and bad tactics in our struggle are.
Re: U.S. Postman Threatens to kill activist in Newton
18 Apr 2005
I will add that I'm sorry that Depleted Uranium was threatened and that his signs were knocked down. That certainly isn't okay, and he should have to deal with it. But I stand by my criticism of his comments, too.
Re: U.S. Postman Threatens to kill activist in Newton
18 Apr 2005
Actually, no one in the editorial collective hid your original post. When it gives " [Unknown reasons]" as the reason an article was hidden, that means there was a technical glitch of some sort.

In response to your comments abotu no one but you having the right to edit or censor your post but you: We maintain this site as a public service to the Boston-area activist community and our editorial policy was developed with that in mind. While we generally do not edit the content of the posts (except for things like typos), we do reserve the right to hide posts that violate our editorial policy, as stated in the policy, available on the site at We have found this necessary to maintain the integrity of the newswire as a resource to the Boston-area activist community. When we haven't strictly enforced the editorial policy we have had problems with neo-Nazis, flamewars, etc. taking over the newswire, making it useless to most people. The editorial policy is based not on dogma, but on years of experience trying to maintain the website as a useful resource and feedback form our users.

Even with our policy of hiding certain things, the site remains far more open than most media sources--to remain up, something doesn't have to have our approval, merely not incur our disapproval. But we need to have some editorial guidelines for the site to maintain its integrity--and that means we need to make decisions about what content will remain easily accessible and what won't.
Re: U.S. Postman Threatens to kill activist in Newton
18 Apr 2005
yeah.. i didn't even read the comments so i don't know if this was allready covered... but asking if his son is dead yet... hmm... pretty sure i'd wanna kill you to with an attitude like that.... being insensitive most certaintly doesn't get our point across. he was a post man.. not like they get paid awhole lot... maybe his son was there to try to get finicial support for education, i mean theres tons of reasons why poor people are the ones forced to fight, kill, be killed and the bottom line is, i don't blame the post man, in fact i stand i solidarity with him against ignorant, smart ass, assuming activists that you most obviously are.
Re: U.S. Postman Threatens to kill activist in Newton
18 Apr 2005
I would endorse nonviolence as a good idea, and in this case, the words Is your son dead yet are clearly violent, in my opinion.
Re: U.S. Postman Threatens to kill activist in Newton
18 Apr 2005
What exactly did you hope to accomplish by asking him "Is your son dead yet?"

Obviously, you had no intention to reason with him and try to gain his support. How did you expect him to respond? "Ooh. Gee. My son ISN'T dead yet. What an insightful comment. Maybe I shouldn't support the war anymore."

I think your objective was simply to provoke him. Congratulations. Job done. Now, the question is why you felt it necessary to provoke some old postman.

I think this is exactly the response you wanted. Just so that you could turn around and claim "a government worker threatened my life!".

I don't think this has anything to do with Iraq. This is simply about your ego. You personally need the attention, so go out of your way to piss people off in order to act like an outraged victim.
Re: U.S. Postman Threatens to kill activist in Newton
19 Apr 2005
Why would I "reason with him and try to gain his support"? I don't think he was exactly the most educated person in the first place. He supports his boss (the government) enough to send his son off to die for them. Why does the liberal left insist on wasting their time year after year pandering to murdersome schlubs like him?
Re: U.S. Postman Threatens to kill activist in Newton
19 Apr 2005
you say he didn't seem like "the most educated" person-- perhaps his son joined the military because- like the children of alot of people with jack-shit jobs like post delivery- perhaps he couldnt' afford the tens of thousands of dollars a year in college tuition that many, many, MANY americans think is the only way to BECOME "educated".
in a huge mega-corporate war most people become COGS in the machinery befo

i have no idea at what point you became politicized, radicalized, but i would guess that you were given INFORMATION- either through compasionate folks giving it to you, a desire to seek it for yourself, or a horrifying experience that made you so mad you had to start questioning things. That's just not everybody, you know? it just isn't. . . most of the american public is BRAINWASHED. if your friend had been subjected to military brainwashing and you were tryign to help him/her get over it, woudl you attack them? They are sick and ill with misinformation. asking someone "is your son dead yet?" just isn't going to make a dent in that. such emotionally violent interactions are more likely to give that postman- or anyone else you address like that- a catalization in the OTHER direction, towards insane death mongering war making corporate fascism. . .. .just to spite you.

do you have anyone you care about in iraq, afghanisthan, former yugoslavia? do you have children? have you ever worked forty hours a week so someone ELSE could have a better life than you? its a sick system that makes people even have to do such things, turn themslves into human automatons so their kids can fucking get something to eat and wear. . . i sure as hell don't have teh name of any political system that coudl fix it. . .. . . .

i dunno, this is a public forum, i guess don't answer that if your'e uncomfortable, but really, whether you're a lefty- liberal or a revollutionary communist or an anarchist or a zoologist, wouldn't it behoove you to try and least UNDERSTAND why the people you disagree with and are causing so much horror around us- and even more around people in iraq and afghanisthan and central america and who klnws where all else- are behaving the way they are? WHY they think thats okay, and even teh right thing to do? or to try and COMPREHEND the vastly complicated nets of evil shit that ensnare people? to have some compassion? i mean, would it kill you? woldn't it help you to better understand what you're up against and how to change it? well, i suppose you know "is your son dead yet?" was a not-it question, at least i hope you know that. . . . . .god, man, i've seen so many people lose their tempers and fuck with people this year, its very very sad. . . . . .
Re: U.S. Postman Threatens to kill activist in Newton
19 Apr 2005
You ask why you would reason with him and try to gain his support? That may or may not have been the appropriate course of action. Maybe he wouldn't have supported you. Who knows?

But if you think that he was just an uneducated "schlub," why did YOU take the time and effort to say something obnoxious to him? You seem to have thought that it was worth your time to provoke him with an obnoxious comment. Who knows how vociferously he supported the war before, but he probably supports it much more strongly now. If you really didn't think he was worth the time, why not just ignore him?

Incidentally, your comment about him not seeming too educated seems pretty telling. Do you think that the Left should draw only from those who have lots of formal education? Quite a movement-building strategy there...
Re: U.S. Postman Threatens to kill activist in Newton
19 Apr 2005
well, I agree with what Katt said.
working class folks are suffering and theirchildren frequently domnt get the education that our more privledged brothers and sisters were lucky enougth to... none of us ask to be born to whom we are born to, but if, somehow, we do - then we are set there to learn, to grow.. and perhaps to strive to be kind and to learn to live, act, and think Peace - in a land that teaxches us to live, act and think War. Its a daily struggle, isn't it...