SDSU Teach In Speech October 2002

I have a riddle for you. How does George Bush tell when John Aschcroft is not speaking in tongues?

I have another riddle. In an International War of the Rich on the Poor, Who is WE and Who are YOU? 

This war is not a war against terrorism, against Islam, weapons of mass destruction, or against Osama bin Laden. This is an international war of the rich on the poor, an oil war, a continuation of the perpetual war to meet the incessant demands of capital, a system that thrives on war, exploitation, massive worldwide unemployment, low wages, and the imperial theft of raw material. The Perpetual Oil War that is now promised to the world must be stopped by the international mass actions of conscious citizens, students, workers, sailors, soldiers, much as the last major war was ended. 

All of the top players calling for war are millionaires with ties to oil. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Osama bin Laden, are all oil millionaires. In the U.S., these are the same people who with the Democrat liberal Gray Davis looted the entire budget of California, the world's sixth largest economy, and gave$12 billion to the oil companies in 2001. The oil reserves in the Caspian Sea region, Saudi oil, potential natural gas pipelines, Iraqi oil, this is the basis of

the war that is sending working class youths from all nations to their death, each flying a patriot's flag. 

This is not a war about terror. The US is among the greatest purveyors of terror in the world, harboring fascist Cuban terrorists in Miami, using its intelligence agencies to target foreign leaders for assassination, like Patrice Lumumba, training terrorists in the School of the Americas in Georgia, overthrowing popular elected governments, as in Chile, killing hundreds of thousands of working people, including US citizens, in the ruthless pursuit of world domination, as in Vietnam, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Grenada. The US created bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, the Shah of Iran and hence the Ayatollahs, the Saudi dictators, the Kuwaiti monarchy, and now the US seeks to pull together a counterfeit government for Afghanistan, made up of the heroin-dealing Northern Alliance gangsters and war criminals. How is the invasion of Haiti going? 

This is not God's war. It is an irrationalist's war. Despite George Bush's bizarre claims that the US has god on its side, only an evil god would be pleased with this war, which has every false leader invoking the name of god-with no evidence but the arrogant certainty of faith. 

This war is a racist war. Racist portrayals of Middle-eastern and Asian people in the media, for years, have resulted in a spike of hate crimes, dividing people who should be united in struggle against the supremacy of the rich. Racism is a tool of social control, divide and conquer. Only students and poor and working class people have an interest in seeing the end of racism. Racism is, after all, profitable. 

Now we are presented with a false choice: Tyranny or Terror. We should choose neither. We choose social justice, equality, democracy, community, freedom through honest human connections. The real choice is social justice or barbarism. 

US society was being torn apart by the forces of class warfare well before the vile terrorist billionaires attack of September 11. The economy was already a shambles, and that collapse is now in hyperspeed. Working people in the US are targeted to bear the brunt of financial collapse. People of color, people with little capital or resources, will be hurt first and most. The last decade of NASDAQ prosperity has come to an end. The NASDAQ has collapsed and will not recover. The stock market is close behind. 

Students, workers and poor people will be presented with a full scale assault on their working lives--and presented with that assault as a patriotic fact. It's only a fact if we do not fight back. Making concessions to the rich is like giving blood to a shark, they only want more. 

The CSU budget is already being gutted. We are told we can expect layoffs, rising class size, scholarships and private grants eliminated. But that will be true only if we do not resist. These cuts are not facts, they are problems for us to solve collectively. Rather than cut student aid, and layoff lecturers, we should say, lay off the bosses. We wont fund your oil war with out lives or with our taxes. 

There are Massive Cuts aimed at public education from the California Department of Education: 

. Heres a budget summary re Instructional Materials. "The budget

--reduces school library funding from $158.5 million to $32.7 million

--eliminates funding for classroom libraries, the previous

instructional materials program, and standards-based instructional

materials, totaling $447.8 million in 2001-02

--establishes a new instructional materials block grant at a $400.1

millioon level in 2002-03."

Already there is resistance, and there will be more. The Dock workers are demonstrating the great potential power of the working class right now. by shutting down, not OUR economy, but THEIR economy and we should do all we can to help them. Workers and students have the same enemy and the same fight. 

Teachers, parents and students in a nearby school just two weeks ago shut down that school to demonstrate their rejection of the genuinely fascist tyranny of the system by Alan Bersin and his Blueprint----which is designed to serve Blue Bloods.

In Detroit, teachers and students shut down the entire school system demanding books, supplies, lower class size--and a just tax system aimed at corporate profits to pay the way.

In Oakland, students went on strike under the slogan, Schools Not Jails.

Yesterday, in New York City, between 30,000 and 50,000 people demonstrated against this Bipartisan rich man's imperialist war, this bogus effort to invade the world, led by chickenhawks like Bush who fled the war that was offered to them. 

There will be more resistance. But resistance is not transformation. We do not need better conditions in the prison. We want freedom, reason, caring communities where people can have jobs and exercise their creativity, where we can live in harmony and peace. That means we must overcome the worldwide social sytem that relies on greed and fear its motor. That system needs to be named: capitalism and we need to go beyond it if all it can offer to the worlds people is perpetual war, organized social decay, unemployment, and misery. 

Charles Dickens classic, David Copperfield, begins with this sentence. Whether or not I will be the hero of my own story is yet to be know. Well, this is a period when each of us will define ourselves. What each of us do will count more than ever. The question, the riddle, posed to each of us, is the old labor slogan, which side are you on----rich or poor. Then you can answer who is we and who are you and what to do. 

No student blood for Oil, no worker blood for Nation, no blood for profits. 

Here is to equality, democracy, community, reason, and Freedom won through honest human connections on our struggle for social justice......



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