Desis and the overthrowing of Bush

In the past, news views and analysis has featured on the upcoming “World Can’t Wait” event in November.“As taxi drivers and grocery store owners you meet hundreds of people every day– figure out ways to plaster the World Can’t Wait posters, stickers, flyers across the city and spread it throughout the communities–“

Today I received an email from Prachi Patankar, member of the steering committe, World Cant Wait.

The email is an open letter to the South Asian Community here in the US. It makes for very interesting reading.

“As taxi drivers and grocery store owners you meet hundreds of people every day– figure out ways to plaster the World Can’t Wait posters, stickers, flyers across the city and spread it throughout the communities– imagine if on November 2nd, South Asian communities across the city are vibrant and alive with a visible and public proclamation to Drive Out the Bush Regime–we are not alone or scared because hundreds of thousands more across the country are with us.”

As much as I dislike Bush, and his regime and decisions, I think this is a lost cause. Yes the world cant wait to see him go, and go he will in 2008. The US constitution in all its follies, has one very important clause and whoever wrote that clause, should be given a Nobel Prize. The clause I am referring to, is the one which says that no President can be in office for more than two terms. Can you imagine, what it would be if Bush ruled for one more term.

Americans, dont seem to learn from their mistakes. Even after the debacle of the first four Bush years, what does the country do ?? They re-elect the guy with the biggest margin in a looooong time. Of course it did not help that the other guy, did not measure up according to the popular media and the spin merchants.

Why i feel this is a lost cause is because at the end of 2005, Bush has three years left. In another 12 months the race for the Presidency of 2008 will start officially. Bush frankly has no incentive to work for the better. He is not going to stand for re-election. He does not need any brownie points.

Now, in this what would the role of us desis be, as the open letter propogates.

Desis in America are present right across the economic spectrum. From daily wage earners like cabbies, to newspaper stall owners, to gas pump owners, all the way up to lawyers, doctors, scientists, architects, technology and IT specialist, venture capitalists, and a new but slowly growing genre…the Indian-American politician.

Desis come in contact with the population on a very frequent interval. But for us to go out and propogate the overthrowing of Bush, seems a little too far fetched and not as important an issue, as for example, the one about outsourcing or race-hate crimes, or immigration

Outside of the big metros, like NYC, desis are pushed in the same genre as mexicans who come across the border….illegal immigrants. The recent case of the desi shopkeeper in Georgia who was arrested for allegedly selling ingredients to make methamphetamine is one case in point. Outsourcing of jobs to India, is another bigger issue. Though the actual number of jobs transferred to India is a miniscule 3-4 % (???) the brouhaha created by those in power seems to make one believe that half of America is jobless because the brown brother in India is doing his job.

I think as desis, we need to channelize our strength and our voice in addressing these issues. Bush will go, one way or the other. Thank God and that dude who wrote that clause in the constitution. But desis are here to stay. We need to establish a more credible identity, where we are taken for who we are, and not what some white trash/redneck perceives us to be in some god forsaken small town in the middle of Nowhere America.

A very strong campaign to get rid of the stereotype is necessary. I would wait to put my energies there, and kicking Bush out would be one of the points in the grand agenda of things and not the agenda itself.

How about the Great Desi Uprising of 2008 ??

Read the contents of the entire letter below.

 

An open letter to the South Asian Community By Prachi Patankar -Steering Committee,World Can’t Wait Saira Ali- San Francisco, World Can’t Wait

You look at the pictures of naked men on leashes ordered at act like dogs and your anger wells up…

You hear about Falluja being bombed to rubble and despair…

You see over 100,000 mainly Black people left behind to die in New Orleans and your blood boils…

You see John Robert’s swearing in as Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court and get chills imagining how we will go back to back-street alley abortions and no birth control…

You read about prisoners at Guantanamo bay pledging to starve them-selves to death to end the torture and indefinite detentions without trial and you are infuriated…

You hear about two 16-year old Muslim girls picked up from their homes, detained without charges, with secret so-called evidence against them, and you fear for what will happen to the youth…

And it doesn’t stop there. Every day you open the newspaper, open your emails or put on the TV wondering what will be next: intelligent design in schools, vilification of gays and lesbians as unnatural and satanic, unleashing of Minutemen militia, moves towards a theocracy, attacks on academic freedom and unfettered assault on the environment.

The Call for the World Can’t Wait, Drive out the Bush Regime says, “The Bush regime is setting out to radically remake society very quickly, in a fascist way, and for generations to come. We must act now; the future is in the balance.” November 2nd 2005 will be the beginning of this! What you do in the next two weeks could be part of making history.

Many of us organized for and marched on February 15th and March 20th to stop the invasion of Iraq. We poured onto the streets to stop the attacks on immigrant communities and against the Patriot Act. We celebrated the tremendous resistance of millions of people around the world. Some of us organize for detainees, worker’s rights and against the war. Some of us voted for the first time in our lives in the last election and organized others to do the same. We’ve been talking to our friends, families, and co-workers about our anger, despair and frustration.

This is not enough! Anger and frustration alone will not stop the current atrocities carried out by this government and the horrific direction they are taking.

However, this anger and frustration can drive us to take history into our hands and organize and mobilize the millions of others who feel the same way. It is no longer enough to live an ethical life of good politics. It is no longer enough for us to declare our solidarity with those people around the world whose lives have been devastated by this government.

“Silence and paralysis are NOT acceptable. That which you will not resist and mobilize to stop, you will learn– or be force– to accept.”[1] We can already see the beginning of this being borne true with torture, racial profiling, mass murder and destruction and the list goes on.

We will not conciliate with this regime over mass murder, torture of human beings, and denial of women’s right over their own bodies. We can’t afford to keep waiting and hoping that somehow we are going to make it through. We can’t sit there and hope that the ’empire’ will fall or that the Democratic Party will come to the world’s rescue. We can’t stand aside from what is happening here because our homes are in another country.

We need to stop this regime now. Because the world really can’t wait! Because the people living here and all around the country can’t afford to wait another day for more lives to be devastated, as they take us daily closer and closer to a society we could not stand to live in.

We need a movement that threatens their existence. We need a vehicle that is aimed at halting the entire program that encompasses all the outrages of this regime. ‘World Can’t Wait!’ is this vehicle and Nov. 2 will be the day of public manifestation of that aim to drive the regime out.

What is the responsibility of all of us who live in this country and hate the outrages forced by this government on the people of the world? As people who hate the Bush regime for what it is doing and the future it promises we have to take responsibility to

drive out the Bush regime. We are people from parts

of the world where we have seen various religious fundamentalisms take brutal forms we know what this looks like; we can begin to imagine what a fascistic form it would take in this country. We are those communities in the United States that have seen large scale mass round-ups, rampart racial profiling, surveillance and disappearances. We are those communities here and around the world torn between vicious choices over supporting Bush’s war on terror or siding with fundamentalists. As such people, we have a responsibility to drive out the Bush Regime.

As people from countries with a history of liberation struggles and driving out colonial regimes we have a responsibility to take inspiration from that courage, rebelliousness and determination and put it into ending this entire program.

And WE can do it.

“We need more than fighting Bush’s outrages one at a time, constantly losing ground to the whole onslaught.

We must, and can, aim to create a political situation where the Bush regime’s program is repudiated, where Bush himself is driven from office, and where the whole direction he has been taking society is reversed.”

As writers and artists you can express the anger, the pain, the truth of these outrages, you can inspire people to resist and you have an audience that reaches far beyond those you know. You can create art, write articles, call up editors and ask them to print the World Can’t Wait Call in their newspapers, put it on their websites and publicize November 2nd.

As professors and teachers you can start organizing the youth, students, teachers and professors–students have always played a tremendous role in upsurges and resistance, and in fact if the campuses and high schools are not alive with resistance and debate, we will not be able to drive out the Bush regime. Today when academic freedom itself is under attack, those who have dedicated their lives to this must play a forefront role in mobilizing others to resist.

As taxi drivers and grocery store owners you meet hundreds of people every day– figure out ways to plaster the World Can’t Wait posters, stickers, flyers across the city and spread it throughout the communities– imagine if on November 2nd, South Asian communities across the city are vibrant and alive with a visible and public proclamation to Drive Out the Bush Regime–we are not alone or scared because hundreds of thousands more across the country are with us.

As lawyers many of you know families of people who are currently caught up in immigration dragnets– you can give voice to these nameless and faceless people, you can organize lawyers, legal groups, bar associations and in law schools. The unanimous passage of the Patriot Act, the unabashed disdain and violation of International law, the rejection of international treaties on torture and detentions has many lawyers and legal scholars up in arms. All of this needs to be harnessed into a movement that is actually aimed at driving this regime from power.

As activists and organizers you work with people who every day face and stand up to the harsh realities of these outrages– draw these different people together as a strong force that isn’t aimed at just one outrage or another, or scrambling from one attack to another, but that can galvanize millions into a force that will actually have a chance to stop this onslaught in it’s tracks.

To everyone: we need you to be organizers and inspire others to be organizers. We need people ready to DRIVE OUT the Bush regime, we need to you to raise and donate money, we need you to mobilize your families and co-workers; we need ideas, creativity, courage and defiance. We all have a tremendous role we could play now, or we could continue with life as usual.

“November 2 will be the beginning– a giant first step in forcing Bush to step down, and a powerful announcement that we will not stop until he does so– and it will join with and give support and heart to people all over the globe who so urgently need and want this regime to be stopped. The future is unwritten. Which one we get is up to us.”

Go to www.worldcantwait.org, check out the website, and sign the attached call. Get in touch with us; take this call out to others and start organizing massive walk-outs from work places and schools for November 2nd, the ‘beginning of the end of the Bush Regime.’

[1] Call for the World Can’t Wait Drive Out the Bush

Regime!(www.worldcantwait.org)

 

6 Comments

  1. Atanu Dey October 25, 2005

    Arzan, you raise a very important point and that is that people must pick their battles wisely. There are tradeoffs invovled and there is no point in picking a fight one cannot win. Discretion is the better part of valor, as they say.

  2. arZan October 25, 2005

    Thanks for leaving the comment.

    Sadly, the anti Bush rhetoric is getting louder and louder and in the melee, people are losing focus of larger issues at hand. War in two countries, deaths due to natural disasters, and core issues like the appointment of the judiciary and immigration woes don’t seem to get the importance they deserve.

  3. anon October 25, 2005

    I don’t understand why Americans (and this includes South Asians) are so riled up about Bush. Most Americans (and South Asians are the bigger culprits since they are the richest community in the US and drive expensive fuel-inefficient cars) love burning oil and Bush is ensuring that America can monopolize the world’s oil supply.

  4. anon October 25, 2005

    I think the Minuteman militia are doing a great job. We should get more of them. US should seal its borders with Mexico. There are 20 million illiegal Hispanics in this country and they breed like crazy. These guys are going to over-run the society in no time

  5. Dharmesh November 1, 2005

    “Americans, dont seem to learn from their mistakes.”

    — Actully, American only made one mistake, electing Bush for his 2nd term. We (Indian) are keep making mistakes since last 40-50 years.

    http://www.deeshaa.org/2005/10/31/absolute-corruption-and-absolute-power/

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