Part 5 - more additions 3

Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8


Okay, this time around I thought I should run some of the information that I'm getting in from people who get this newsletter.



That Chomsky editorial really hit the nail on the head. This is really turning out to be a big victory for the right. Here go our civil liberties.

Here's what Karl Howeth in Oklahoma said:

"You know, right here in Oklahoma, at Wal-Mart (fucking bastards), they wouldn't let Arabic people in for the first day. I work there, and was called into the office for making a comment about it not being unprovoked. I listened to myself on video. They are recording us in the break rooms and departments. Welcome to 1984 (clichéd, but more true than ever)"

Reports are starting to come in from everywhere about racist attacks happening in the US. Again, I urge anyone that has any information even from their local mainstream new, about such attacks, send them to Dozens of racially motivated attacks are happening around the US. Charles Maggio said that in Hoboken people were driving around with "Kill All Arabs" written on the side of their trucks.

In Philadelphia, several University of Pennsylvania students attacked two cab drivers. Everyone by now is aware of the man who was shot in Arizona for looking like Bin Laden. He was a Sikh, which means he was neither Muslim nor Arab. Here in Austin, the Nation of Islam temple was attacked with Molotov cocktails but the neighbors, none of whom were Muslim, put out the fire and have stood outside defending it ever since.



Okay, all of us here on the left are sick to death of petitions and I know that they sort of represent a middle of the road approach to a lot of people. But here it is. I'll leave it up to you what to do with it.



Greg from Go-Kart Records has been down in Manhattan working as part of the relief effort. A question that he asked me that I'm wondering about myself is "where are the punks?" Where the hell are all the kids we know who work tirelessly to put together a basement show or start a band or do a fanzine? Where are they now? I was turned down for giving blood because of my heart condition (I'm an idiot. I always forget about my heart condition and my medication to say nothing of the fact that giving blood could kill me) when it occurred to me that most DIY kids probably haven't even done that much. May seem trite to a lot of you. But it seems like if you are in the area you should be doing all you can to help. God knows everyone helped during the aftermath of the Earthquake in SF.

Anyway, Greg has had some amazing insights that I haven't heard about anywhere else in the news. Here are some segments of his communications with me…

September 15th
"I have spent the past two days helping out by sorting supplies and delivering them down to the WTC. It's really creepy there - surreal doesn't describe. I get queasy every time I go down there and the feeling doesn't go away for at least a half hour after you leave.

"What scares me is all the pro-America rhetoric that I keep hearing. I am there to help my fellow humans. People keep handing us flags and waving "honk if you love America" signs. Don't they realize if we keep the treating the world like shit this will just keep happening? Probably not. Might I add that other than FedEx and UPS I have not seen any donations or help from any megacorps. (Well McDonalds and Outback Steakhouse are serving food at Ground Zero). But no one else. We donated 300 shirts from the shelves at Go-kart, okay so most of them would never sell, but where are the Wal-Marts and others. They are making a fortune off the good intentions of people who go there to buy socks for the workers; it's sick but not surprising. They are making money off this tragedy, what else is new.

"One good sign - I guess, was the fact that I have actually heard political debate. In union square (Tuesday and Wednesday night at least) people actually were debating what to do and the fact that America's needs to change our foreign policy. Of course, for every intelligent comment there was 10 "fuck you, USA rules" or something like that. But at least there was some discussion. Then again, this is Greenwhich Village.

"Oh well - that's my two cents. I felt your letter deserved a response. I will be back working tomorrow and I am doing food detail on Sunday. The workers at the WTC are all zombie-like, but all really appreciative of our help. Here's something I don't understand that maybe you know the answer to, why are there so many Scientologists there? It makes no sense. But there are hundreds."

September 16th
"Just an update - today everything went to the unions. Volunteers are no longer needed as you have to be in "certain" unions if you want to help. 150 welders from Local 150 showed up today, with credentials, who wanted to work for free. But they were turned away. They were not in Local 30 and only they can work there now. Of course they all get paid. The Local 150 guys wanted to work free, I guess that was their mistake. Amazingly all the Union guys who were helping sort donations were pissed. They don't want money, they just want to help. But someone's pockets are getting greased and that's all that matters. Of course their was no way a contract could have been sent out for bids to save some of the taxpayers money.

"One of their main reasons for this is they say it's easier to control the "private" workers. Some stuff disappeared - I am sure it did. But if $10,000 of stuff got stolen who cares, it will costs $1,000,000+++ to have the Unions do what we did in the past few days. There were close to 200 people at our site alone, and some went without sleep for days.

"And where are all the fucking punks? There is only one kid there who's a punk. I asked him where his friends are and he told they all said they were too tired to come. He dragged his Mom out today to help. I guess I shouldn't expect the fashion punks of today to show up when there is a chance to put their money where their mouth is. They're too worried about the fact that Hot Topic is closed this weekend.

"You will probably find this amusing as well - It should come as no surprise that even in a time of tragedy egos are uncontrollable. At the parking lot outside of Javits Center where we work, people have appointed themselves "managers". I thought they were sent by some city organization, but they were just volunteers like myself. Of course, the managers never lift boxes and they have even set up a "command center" where they do their "work". Meanwhile, the people at Ground Zero are not getting their supplies. These people are in so far over their head it is ridiculous. So the city sent in pros today. And of course the "managers" flipped out. One of the "managers" actually held up her phone and yelled "I'll call the brigadier general, he'll tell you I'm in charge here" while she shoved her cell phone around for all too see. Apparently the coup was successful, she left as did all the other managers. I couldn't be happier.

"Down at ground zero the workers asked for as many palettes or plywood we could get them. They are sliding all over the place. So when a lumber company pulls up with q huge flatbed full of lumber I freaked out when the "managers" told them we didn't need it. Of course they have no idea what they need, they've never been down there. But they were more than happy to do five interviews today.

"The cops got so pissed they started driving up in city buses that they loaded up with supplies. Some people wouldn't help until the "managers" gave their approval. Good riddance I say. I ignored these morons and the cops started referring to me as the leader of the "black market" - they would pull up to the back gate, tell us what they need and we would just get it, the way it should be. The "managers" never knew - they couldn't see us from their command center.

"In the "losing my faith in humanity all over again" category again. One truck that was loaded up the other day drove away and has not been seen since. An ex-fire department chief went down to ground zero and flashed his badge - he was arrested stealing $3,000 worth of jewelry out of Tourneau. And a total of six people including two cops were arrested at our site today for stealing donations."

September 17th
"Joe, who works here, just got back Japan (he sells merch for Sick Of It All as well). He told me that his sister is a sergeant at the Verazano Bridge. Joe lives in her house.

"So he got back yesterday after being stuck in Japan for a few days and his sister told him that when they shut down the Verezano Bridge they found three vans full of explosives. The drivers must have fled by foot or in another vehicle.

"A fourth van was found a little down the road parked where the Hess oil tankers are. Apparently those tanks run a pipeline directly to JFK and had those blown up, they would destroy JFK. This has been not been reported in the news here at all/ Probably in an effort to keep people from being to scared.

"If this is true, and I have no reason to believe it isn't - then I wonder how many other things have gone unreported for our "protection".

"Yesterday, on canal street, some of the sweatshop workers were being told to sell shirts that said "World Trade Center: I Survived The Attack". The people selling the shirts barely spoke English, but people were getting really pissed off. The started yelling - "What the fuck do you think this is, an amusement park ride!"

"It was ugly - the people selling the shirts left, I am sure they came back later. And I am sure there were others all over the city. Of course the guy yelling was wearing a ribbon. I doubt he did anything else.

"Yesterday I worked at the McDonalds truck at Ground Zero (yeah, yeah I know McDonalds - but I want to help, and they are the only restaurant down there -Outback is not there as I previously thought- and I had an in so I could help). We served over 14,000 burgers in 9 hours. Never mind McNuggets. Tim, from Ensign who works at Go-kart, went back up to Javits. We had been going up there together. When I got to ground zero, I asked if there was anything needed and everyone said hard hats.So I called Tim at Javits and told him. He tried to organize a truck to go down, but was told repeatedly that there was no way. The power struggle that had gone on the day before had apparently reached higher heights of stupidity. Some guy who works at the White House, we have no clue what he does there, but he has been showing up every once and a while. He is like a character out of a movie; he constantly smokes, speaks in a whisper, and is always looking past you when he talks to you. He flashed his white house badge whenever there is a dispute. So, he apparently has taken over the Javits site. Since no deliveries were being made yesterday, there was not much garbage. But somehow the Javits trash haulers kept making runs, so finally someone figured it out and stopped them at the gate. When they took off the top level of garbage, the bottom was full of boots, shirts - you name it. So the people working the gate, including Tim called over the Police. The Police basically said there is nothing they could do, the trash haulers work for Javits, if we arrest them Javits shuts this place down. Javits, a city-owned, tax-payer funded building, will shut down one of the main donation centers for the Word Trade Center Tragedy will shut down, if you arrest people who steal from the workers risking their lives at the WTC. What a crock of shit.

"Later that day some NYPD officers showed up to get some stuff. They were not going down to the WTC but showed up on their own. I realize they are all working 12 hour shifts, with no days off, and the stuff that is being donated is intended for everyone, including the NYPD, but the orders from the people in charge was that nothing was to leave the site. Now when I was there, I just did it, but not everyone sees things my way. And apparently the people at the gate told them nothing was to leave the site. So the officers got about 10 more and threatened to arrest everyone and close down the Javits donation site, the same threat must be in some training manual. So the White House Guys and the cops have a cell phone-pissing match, and the word comes down, let the NYPD take what they want.

"By the end of the day, one delivery was made, of about 30 hard hats. Some help.

"Down at McDonalds I would take 200 burgers and sodas and walk down to the where all the workers were and ask them if they wanted any. Most people were happy to see us. I was throwing burgers in to the welders who were down in the remains of the WTC. It is just massive the debris. It is unreal. Remember that scene in ET when they discover ET and all those guys in white suits are running around, it's like that. Except there are cops, National Guard, guys in white suits, and welders everywhere. Everything was going well until they found people with cameras sneaking around. After that I needed a police escort. The cops were cool enough with help, but it wasn't as easy anymore.

"I dunno if I told you but every time we went down to Ground Zero from the Javits center, we would be swarmed by people with cameras trying to jump on. Yesterday, when the McDonalds van got down to the first checkpoint, I jumped out to speak to the police. Some guy offered me $500 to sneak him on the van, so he could take pictures. How sick is that.

"Also - I am going to start researching an email I want to send. I think it is ridiculous that people like Bill Gates have only donated $10,000,000. That may seem like a lot, but to a man worth an estimated $40,000,000,000 - that is pocket change at best. This is a man who donated close to $5,000,000 (according to Newsweek) to political causes last year. I want to know how much Microsoft gets in Government funds (read: taxpayer money). I am sure it is more that the paltry $10,000,000 he donated. He may have donated more privately, but if he did, why announce the $10,000,000?

"The Backstreet Boys donated a whopping $10,000. That's $2,000 per dancing buffoon. They have received more than $10,000 worth of press for their fabulous donation. And they have the gall to say that the money is going to set up the Backstreet Boys' donation fund. So their money is not going to help anyone, just create a self serving organization so they can pat themselves on the back. Why not just donate the money? They are also thinking about donating some of the proceeds from some upcoming shows. Thanks a lot.

"Jennifer Lopez donated $25,000 so far. She makes an estimated $10,000,000 - $15,000,000 a film. Thanks again Jen.

"If these people just made anonymous donations then I wouldn't care, but they use this tragedy for their own gain in the name of publicity. Fuck that. If you want credit do something that will actually make a difference. One woman in Syracuse, NY showed up at the local radio station that was collecting donations for the Red Cross (a coalition of 12 stations in Syracuse has raised over $600,000). She refused to give her name, but since the station was live on the air at the time, the DJ asked the woman for some info. She explained that she was a widow with two young children. Since her mother is now babysitting the kids, she started a savings account and she is donating all her savings, along with her pay check from the past week to the red cross. It was a total of $2,500. She is a hero. Not the Gates, Lopez and the Backstreet Boys.

"So to write an email and ask people to forward, that lets people know the truth about these "donations" - do you think it's a good idea?"



I'm also guessing that by now you all know about the cover art for the new album by the Coup. For those of you who don't know the whole story, here's a synopsis. The Coup is a brilliant Hip Hop group from the Bay Area. Very political, most of their songs are political in nature and carry a heavy anti-capitalist slant. For their fourth album, titled Party Music in response to people complaining that they were too political, the cover art depicted DJ Pam The Funkstress holding a baton like a conductor of an orchestra and Boots Riley holding a detonator. The backdrop, however, is a graphic of the World Trade Center exploding. Needless to say, this was meant to be metaphorical as an act against capitalism, which the WTC certainly represented. Of course, the cover art was also put together two months ago as the record was scheduled for release this Tuesday.

People are getting hot and bothered about the cover for two different reasons. On the one hand, people are calling it an "early warning" that went unheeded. People assume that the Coup advocate the kind of violence that happened last Tuesday. They think that because they have allied themselves with so-called left wing ideas that they are somehow connected to the terrorists that did the attack. Basically, America is myopic when it comes to looking at its perceived enemies. Commies, fascists, Muslims… they're all the same to ignorant America.

On the other hand, people are taking a really creepy type of sick pleasure reveling in its timing and nature. People are fascinated with the "novelty" of the record cover like they used to with the old Carcass record covers.

To make the Coup into a novelty band is really fucked up. People are missing the point here. The cover art was meant to be metaphorical and the World Trade Center was used as a symbol of capitalism. Needless to say, the Coup has withdrawn the cover and has openly expressed their own horror at the WTC attacks.


Back to Article Index