Other voices: Get on the bus and show your support | TheUnion.com

Other voices: Get on the bus and show your support

When I was growing up and going through the pubic school system in Los Angeles in the 1950s and ’60s, I learned that America was the “Home of the Brave” and the “Land of the Free.”

I was taught that as Americans we honor the principles of justice, Democracy, freedom of speech, and due process of law. We were taught to have racial and religious tolerance. But, the America of today cannot be said to be the America that I grew up in. Much has changed. We now live in a nation that has waged wars on foreign lands. We are now waging war in the Middle East in the name of democracy, but where the signs of democracy cannot be seen. We only see more hatred and the death toll is rising.

The reality is that the U.S. military forces are bombing and killing the people of Iraq and we seem to be engendering more hatred against us than support for our efforts. We are dumping thousands of tons of depleted uranium in Iraq, as we did in Afghanistan, and as we did in Bosnia before that. Americans might be more concerned if they realized we are also contaminating our own military sons and daughters with the evil stuff.

Once in the atmosphere depleted uranium cannot be eradicated, not even after hundreds of years. Once in the human body depleted uranium results in birth defects in the next generation. Just go online to learn that birth defects are commonly found now in babies born in Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Iraq, and yes, even in some children born of our own military service men and women. This is to say nothing of the staggering statistics of our Vets with post traumatic stress syndrome and other psychological wounds of war.

Yet this administration decreases the benefits for these Veterans who give their very lives for this country.

And there’s more. Our President Bush recently signed into law legislation that allows our security forces to arrest citizens of other countries, without extradition rights, without telling them the charges for which they are held, and without legal representation, all actions of oppressive tyrants not Democratic government. President Bush has even approved the use of torture in exacting information from these unfortunates that defies the Hague Convention on International Law. It is predicted that other countries will reciprocate in kind.

And if all this is not enough, we are suffering the largest environmental set backs in history, to say nothing of our overwhelming dependence on oil, and the drilling in the Arctic Wilderness. Our own president still doesn’t believe in “global warming” despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary.

And there’s yet still more, due to the government subsidies, tax credits and other incentives, we’ve lost hundreds of thousands of jobs due to U.S. jobs being outsourced by the overseas cheap labor market. Our emails, phones, the books we order online or check out of our public libraries are subject to scrutiny under the U.S. Patriot Act. Haven’t we as American citizens had enough?

As conscientious American citizens, we have to take back our country and all that America stands for. We must show our sons and daughters what democracy truly looks like. We have to vote corrupt politicians out of office in this November’s election.

If we don’t do something about this situation, who will? Now is the time to act. Join other conscientious American citizens and get on the bus! The Peace Center of Nevada County will be arranging deluxe buses to the U.N. Plaza in San Francisco on Saturday for a Peace Rally and March.

This is a national day of action with Peace Demonstrations in Washington D.C., New York, Los Angeles, and other U.S. cities. So stand up and show your government what you think! We will be picked up at the Rood Center on at 7:30 a.m. Saturday and ride to San Francisco for the march and rally. We’ll depart San Francisco about 4:30 p.m. arriving back at Rood Center about 8 p.m. Send your name, contact information and $35 each person, payable to “Peace Center of Nevada County,” 102B Argal Way, Nevada City, 95959 or call 478-0699 for more information. We need to receive your checks by today in order to schedule enough buses.


Lorraine Reich lives in Grass Valley.

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