The following have offered themselves for inclusion on the ACTA’s public list of those with the nerve to question aspects of the Bush Administration’s war on terrorism. We’ll be adding additional comments in the days ahead.
“Former Yankee virtues, common sense, scepticism if not suspicion of authority, a belief in the mastery of the future, have been driven underground. Diffuse but pervasive authority, a desperate, no obsessional insistence on national solidarity, and near total obedience to authority, constitute the national temper.” With these words I began a “Letter From Washington” which has been published and read widely in Europe,not least by academics, officials, parliamentarians and publicists–and by several heads of government. I’ve also been interviewed on television and radio in several countries, and occasionally asked about ACTA’s list of transgressors. I replied, generally, that Ashcorft was a far greater danger–but that they were supinely doing his work. Surely, I belong on their list.
Professor of Law
Georgetown School of Law
I would like to name my own name–Claire Potter, Associate Professor of History and American Studies, Wesleyan University. On the day that the United States initiated the bombing of Afghanistan, I attended a peace rally run by our students. With other faculty and students, I walked up to a microphone and announced my name, followed by “and I am against the war,” as I had been asked to do by the organizers. Subsequently, I facilitated a teach-in for faculty and students on peace movements in the United States, during which I told students that they should expect that the government would, as it had in the past, use its police powers to abridge their Constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties to suppress dissent. I also raised questions about how their stance of complete nonviolence might be affected if they, as they should expect to be, became the objects of physical violence by the police during the course of a public protest.
Please add me to your list, as I am not a full professor yet, and am much too unimportant to fall into ACTA’s net all by myself.
Associate Professor, History and American Studies
I wish to add my name to the list. I imagine that public high schools fly under the radar of the ACTA and so I am willing to forgive their oversight in my case. Since the events of 9/11 I have taught several lessons critical of the government response and the media coverage of the aftermath. As well, I have openly questioned our military actions and have presented points of view that offer alternatives to war. And finally, I passed out an article that raised the issue of government foreknowledge of the attacks and called for an investigation.
English teacher, Clayton Valley High School
I am humbly submitting my name to the ACTA to sadly report myself as a campus radical. Over the last several months, I have dabbled in fostering discussion around the “p-word”: pacifism. The dental professor who called me at my place of work was right to harass me and tell me he hoped my “movement” would fail. The repeated e-mails I received were also effective in outing me, forcing me to admit my crimes to the ACTA. I can only hope that once the academy is an environment completely devoid of intelletual discourse or even a variety of opinion, you will remember that I repented before it was too late to save my soul from free thought.