The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Parents of the World Unite

Fred A Wilcox • 31 July 2005

Shortly after September 11, 2001, I volunteered to help coordinate teams of massage therapists who were working outside of the Medical Examiner's office in New York City. All day and into the night, sirens wailing, motorcycle police arrived with remains recovered at Ground Zero. As each procession pulled in beside the Medical Examiner's office, we stood at attention, waiting for ambulance attendants to carry flag-draped stretchers inside. Throughout the city, photographs of missing people clung to poles and park fences and subway walls. In Grand Central Station, commuters stopped to stare, quietly and with reverence, at photographs of those who were, most likely, buried beneath several stories of World Trade Center rumble. Soon after the towers fell, George W. Bush arrived at Ground Zero to announce that someone would pay for this terrible crime. No one knew who had attacked New York, and no one knew why, but Mr. Bush assured the nation that he would exact revenge for this act of mass murder. In order to show the world that it is wrong to kill ordinary people, ordinary people would have to die.

Since September 11, 2001, the killing in Afghanistan and Iraq has continued unabated. Since September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks throughout the world have escalated. In Iraq, suicide bombers blow people to pieces every single day. In Madrid, terrorists blew commuter trains apart. In London, bombers struck the subway system and bombed a bus crowded with people on their way to work. In New York City, where two of my children live, most people go about their business with a certain fatalistic joie de vivre. After each attack in some other part of the world, the mayor of New York City and the governor of New York State rush out to encourage people not to be afraid. Keep going to work, they say. Keep shopping. Keep riding the subways and buses. Don't let the terrorists break the American spirit. We are tougher, say these chauffeur-driven cheerleaders, we are more determined, we are freer, braver, smarter, stronger, just altogether better than the terrorists.

Most New Yorkers simply assume that another attack on their city is inevitable. It might be years or it could be tomorrow, but sooner or later someone will plant a bomb on a crowded bus or subway, someone will detonate a car or truck loaded with explosives, someone will walk into Grand Central Station during the rush hour with a bomb strapped to their waist. And every day New Yorkers descend into subway stations, jam onto buses, climb tall buildings inside of claustrophobic elevators; they spend one more day inside a world that might explode at any moment.

Every morning I turn on the 8:00 a.m. news, frightened by what I might see, relieved when the weatherman gives his report and a woman in a helicopter describes traffic jams and then someone demonstrates a new technique for losing weight. I travel often to New York City, ostensibly to visit a museum or to go out to dinner with my children. I do enjoy their company and they mine, but the real reason I spend so much time in the Big Apple is because I want to be there when the next attack occurs. I suppose this desire is based on the delusional idea that I can protect my children from harm. If I'm close by, they will escape injury or death when the next homicidal lunatic or a group of lunatics attacks unarmed civilians. I want to act as a human shield between my children and those who wish to kill them. And before I die, I want just one second to spit in the face (not a very nonviolent act, but after all…) of people who think their god, or any god, would approve of the cold -blooded, calculated, murder of children.

I do not care to hear why so-called Islamic fundamentalists want to murder black, white, yellow, brown, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim children. I'm sick of left wing pundits and I'm terrified of right wing evangelists. All I really want to know is how we, parents of the world, can work together to save our children from those who believe that it's their sacred duty to destroy the world in order to save it. I want to know how parents-Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, agnostic, and atheist-can work to together to save our children from those who wish to kill them in the name of God, or in the name of peace, or justice, or "democracy," or other righteous causes. I want to band together with parents who wish to see their (our) children live to have children of their own.

I'm going to start with a personal pledge:

I pledge to work with parents of all religions, all races, all political persuasions, all ethnicities and all nationalities, who wish to say NO to killing. I pledge to support all individuals, groups, and governments that believe in the practicality, indeed the urgent necessity, of nonviolence. And I pledge to condemn any and all forms of terrorism-including acts of violence and war committed by my own government in my name and, especially, in the name of my own imperiled children.

I know how idealistic this must sound to a world conditioned to believe in the efficacy of violence, but I see no other way out of this cataclysmic cul-de-sac inside of which our children are condemned to die. The choice seems quite simple to me: Either we, the world's parents, unite to save our children, or we will be forced to live in constant fear that they will be sacrificed on the altar of religious and political fanaticism. Terrorists, and those who claim to wage war on terrorists, will never stop killing until we, parents of the world, unite to denounce violence against our own children. Terrorists, and those who terrorize people in the name of democracy and freedom, have at least one thing in common. They believe that some children are expendable in order to create a world in which, according to these ideologues, all children will live and learn according to some "divinely-inspired" principles.

As a parent of four children, two of them living in a city that lost thousands of people on September 11, 2001, I say to hell with Mr. bin Laden and Mr. Bush and all of the fools who think they speak for the sanctified state or for God when they countenance killing children. When we parents of the world decide to work together to save our children, no power on earth can defeat us.

This editorial is my way of launching the Save the Children campaign. I hope that millions and millions of parents will soon join this effort to protect the world's endangered children.



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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

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1 August 2005

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Strange Bedfellows?
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Parents of the World Unite
Fred A Wilcox

31 May 2005

Justice is the Right of All Our Victims
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Quis Separabit? The Short Strand/Markets UDA
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Civil Law as an Instrument of Resistance
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A Salute to Comrades
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