United Studenets Against Sweatshops (USAS) Statement on Attacks September 14, 2001
Tuesday's tragedies have jolted every fiber of our country. United Students Against Sweatshops mourns the victims in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania, as well as victims of terrorism all over the world, and vehemently condemns the people and organizations that perpetrate such acts. Our hearts and thoughts are with those people who lost their lives, as well as the people who grieve for them. Our greatest measure of respect is with the working class heroes who have labored tirelessly in rescue and recovery efforts. It is time for compassion and unity to be paramount to all of us.
We have witnessed and are deeply saddened by the racist actions
which have been perpetrated against sisters and brothers in our campuses and
communities. USAS is an actively anti-racist organization that stands in solidarity
with all members of our communities. We urge all of our allies and affiliates
to take a stand against the scapegoating of and violence towards Muslims,
Arab Americans, and all other individuals and communities victimized by hate.
We recognize our responsibility to show support to all affected communities
and call on all people to be especially vigilant at this time so that more
tragedies do not occur from the xenophobic and racist aspects of the aftermath
of the recent tragedy.
USAS calls on all students to work locally on anti-racist and peace-oriented events to help see each other through this difficult time. Now is the time to talk to the folks in our neighborhoods, find out where people are coming from, share thoughts, and show love and compassion to our sisters and brothers.
We stand firmly against sentiments of military retaliation. We are an organization that promotes peace and justice and we urge all Americans, especially our leadership, to show compassion and exercise restraint in the coming weeks. Moreover, we call on the media to play a more balanced and responsible role in its coverage of the unfolding events. It will be increasingly important to stand for peace internationally and to recognize that our hearts are not made lighter by the harming of any more innocent women, men and children.
United Students Against Sweatshops, with our strongest allies,
has decided to cancel all involvement in the previously scheduled protests
against the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank meetings scheduled
for the end of this month. We are making this decision out of respect and
compassion for the victims of the September 11 tragedy and those, including
ourselves, who will be grieving for some time to come. While our opposition
to policies of these international financial institutions does not waiver,
we realize that this month in DC is neither the time nor the place to gather
We realize that there is a great deal of work and healing ahead of us, and hope to move forward from this moment to build a more just and inclusive place.
In peace, justice and solidarity,
The USAS Coordinating Committee and Staff
"An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind."
-- Mahatma Gandhi