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Who's the Terrorist?

Left Turn Editors
Date Published: 
May 01, 2005

As the neo-cons draw their plans for another four years in power, we use this space to challenge the anti-arab racism that is at the ideological core of this war of terror domestically and in Iraq and Palestine. The racism that is used to justify special registrations, illegal detentions at Guantanamo Bay, appointments of war criminals and torture proponents to key posts in the Bush administration and the threatened attacks on Iran and Syria.

These policies complement the racist ideologies at the core of all oppressive institutions, from prisons to immigration policy and that are the basis for the disregard for human life in the recent not-so-natural tsunami disaster. We also cover some of the exciting re-thinking and new organizing in the US labor movement, alongside struggles for a decent life in Bolivia where movements now struggle with questions of state power and autonomy.

At this moment when many of our communities are under renewed attack, and many of us are taking time to reflect, reorganize and strategize within our movements, we believe it is also important to take some space to recognize the resistance that gives us hope, and send our love and solidarity to all the artists, activists and organizers standing up against empire.

We are inspired by resistance and steadfastness against war and occupation in Iraq, in Palestine, and around the world.

We are inspired by resistance in the heart of empire, including groups like Critical Resistance, INCITE, DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving), No One is Illegal, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, Miami Workers Center, Project South, Anarchist People of Color, the Institute for Social Ecology and Military Families Speak Out; networks like PGA; and make your own media like Bitch Magazine, AK Press and South End Press.

We are inspired by the recent victory of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in their fight for a living wage for tomato pickers in Florida.

We are inspired by artists creating a culture of resistance. Poets such as Suheir Hammad and Amir Sulaiman. Painters such as Matt Sesow and Ellen O'Grady. Arab hiphop artists such as Euphrates, Shaheed, DAM, and Arrapeyat. And we send love to artists Eric Drooker, Jacqueline Salloum and Susan Greene, photographer Andrew Stern, Big Noise Tactical Media and the whole independent media network.

In Lydd, Palestine, DAM (Da Arab MCs) ask "Who's the Terrorist? I'm the terrorist? And I live in my homeland? You're the terrorist." In his song The Reality, New Orleans Palestinian hip-hop artist Shaheed says "Terrorism isn't our weapon/ it's the name they give the weak when they showin' aggression." Arrapeyat, Palestinian Muslim women hiphop artists rap, "Wake up people/A catastrophe is going to happen here/I will not tire or step aside/ I will step outside the line." From a US prison, Sami Al-Arian writes, "In honoring the memory of your ancestors/You rise/With my stateless brothers and sisters/I shall rise."

Left Turn Magazine is a celebration of resistance. It is written by activists and organizers on the front lines of struggles, from Bolivia to prison organizers in the US South.

We hope the writers, artists and movements featured in this magazine inspire you as they've inspired us.

In hope,
The editors