Pittsburgh Educational Speak-Out, September 30


Terrorism and “Globalization”—the Need for Global Justice in the Shadow of War


[Following is the text of a flyer for an “Educational Speak-Out” scheduled for September 30 in Pittsburgh. After the flyer we reprint the draft of a statement about the speak-out.]

Speakers include…

Bob Clark, Secretary-Treasurer of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America
Economic Justice at Home and Abroad

Muhammad Sidky, scholar living in exile from his native Afghanistan
Islamic Fundamentalism and the Taliban in the Context of Globalization

Carmen Schrock-Hurst, Co-pastor, Pittsburgh Mennonite Church
Spiritual Dimensions of Peace and Justice

Lisa Valanti, Cuba Coalition
Terrorism and Globalization

Molly Rush, Thomas Merton Center
Taking Action for Peace

**THERE WILL BE AMPLE TIME FOR QUESTIONS AND DISCUSSION**

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 30

2:00 p.m.

David Lawrence Hall, Room 121

University of Pittsburgh

The terrorist violence of September 11 starkly highlights the need for a future in which innocent men, women, and children will not be destroyed by anyone seeking to impose—through mass terror and killing—some grand agenda on the world.

“Globalization”—advanced to maximize the profits of multinational business corporations—has done violence to human rights, to the environment, to democratic principles, to the quality of life of many millions of working people of all countries, and to the cultures and the survival of people throughout the world.

We must understand the links between the violence of September 11 and other forms of violence. We must reject and resist the inhumanity of terrorism—and also reject and resist the inhumanity of globalization as we find ourselves under the shadow of war.

Sponsored by September 30th Coalition for Global Justice

For more information, call Thomas Merton Center: 412-361-3022

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[The following is a draft of a statement explaining the purposes of the speak-out.]

This event has been organized by the September 30th Coalition. We were originally working to facilitate Pittsburgh participation in what was to be a broadly sponsored international demonstration in Washington, D.C., for Global Justice on September 30.  This demonstration was cancelled because of what happened on September 11.  We are still coping with the pain and loss inflicted on all of us by those vicious assaults that destroyed thousands of innocent people.

There can never be any explanations or rationalizations to erase that horrible crime. But we want a future in which innocent men, women, and children will not be destroyed by anyone (whether small groups of fanatics or powerful governments) seeking to impose — through mass terror and killing—some grand agenda on the world.  More than this, we believe that there are links between the violence of September 11 and other forms of violence that our coalition was formed to oppose.

In his recent speech to Congress, President George Bush said: “We are in a fight for our principles, and our first responsibility is to live by them.” Among those principles, according to the President, are pluralism, diversity, tolerance, and freedom of expression – including the freedom to disagree with each other. Such things certainly define much of what today’s gathering is all about.

But we believe that when the President tries to explain why such people as the September 11 terrorists hate us, his answer is very incomplete. He says: “They hate our freedoms — our freedom of religion, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.” The problem goes much deeper than that, and if we fail to understand and overcome the deeper problems, we will never transcend the murderous violence.

Many of us have been especially concerned about a certain variety of what has been called “globalization” — advanced to maximize the profits of multinational business corporations. This has done violence to human rights, to the environment, to democratic principles, to the quality of life of many millions of working people of all countries, and to the cultures and the survival of people throughout the world. Just as we must absolutely reject and resist the inhumanity of terrorism, so must we reject and resist all forms of inhumanity. And we must understand that these things are interrelated. 

We need to understand the meaning and causes of terrorism and global violence in all their forms. To help us do that, we are drawing on speakers who will—without necessarily agreeing with each other on everything—offer useful information and challenging ideas. And we intend to leave plenty of time for questions and discussion. It is our hope that today’s discussions can help us deepen our understanding of what we are facing today, and of what we must do to create a better future.