Letters to MotherJones

Active sonar too dangerous
Re: “Sound Effects”
05/04/01

The only allowable sonar should be passive sonar. Unless the citizens of this country protest, the Navy will be granted the permit to needlessly “take” endangered species. Also, no studies have shown coral reefs, plankton, fish or kelp beds to be immune to short-term — let alone long-term — effects of LFAS.

Gordana Leonard

 

A peaceful history
Re: “Smashing Windows for a Better World?”
05/04/01

Can Rall tell us where violence produced change that was ultimately beneficial? He should also do a chronology check: The civil rights movement in this country began in the 50s and succeeded precisely because it was nonviolent. The violence was directed at the civil rights advocates, not by them. The Voting Rights Act as well as other legislative measures came before the riots in Detroit, Newark, and other cities.

John Harrington

 

Get Real, Rall
Re: “Et tu, America?”
05/02/01

In general, I agree with Rall’s sentiments. But come on . . . Comparing a hundred-year-old railroad station (as beautiful as it was) and a 30-year-old sports arena with physical and cultural landmarks that had drawn pilgrims for more than a thousand years is stretching things a bit.

Yes, our disposable culture needs to be checked; but our cultural crimes pale in comparison to that of the Taliban.

Rod Proctor

 

Bush’s bad example
Re: “Stoners Need Not Apply”
4/30/01

Denying students education loans because of past drug offenses is a blatantly hypocritical move by a president who chalked up his own cocaine use as well as his three arrests to “youthful indiscretions.”

Lyn Isbell

 

Peaceful protest is pointless
Re: “Smashing Windows for a Better World?”
4/30/01

I was in Quebec and I came away from the weekend thinking that peaceful protest is almost stupid — letting the people vent in an organized and orchestrated protest.

After being chased like a rat in a maze in a city covered by tear gas, I am searching for ways to effectively cripple our corporate masters, and I have no doubt that there are thousands of people feeling like this.

Yvonne Vosacek

 

Rall needs perspective
Re: “Smashing Windows for a Better World?”
4/30/01

I disagree with Rall about what creates meaningful social change. I think he misses the bigger picture. Destructive and violent behavior may bring about more immediate changes, but peaceful protests (not disbarring civil diobedience or passive resistance) bring about more positive changes in the long run.

Mitchell Renner

 

Who said violence was radical?
Re: “Smashing Windows for a Better World?”
4/30/01

We need to be very careful with the language we use. Property destruction does not equal violence. Being an anarchist does not necessarily involve either property destruction or violence. I am an anarchist, and I believe in nonviolence as a way of life and as a tactic.

For all of those who think that violence is somehow more radical than nonviolent action, I suggest a healthy dose of radical feminist thought from Audre Lorde: “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” Mimicking the tactics of the military and the police is not remotely radical.

Beth Trigg