Freedom Socialist Letters to the Editor

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BORDER PATROL

A tragic death

I want to tell your readers about the unnecessary tragic death of Benjamin Roldan Salinas on May 14, 2011. That day seven Border Patrol vehicles systematically swept through the one-stoplight town of Forks, Wash. They chased, corralled, and terrorized non-white people. Even native tribal members were held until they could show tribal enrollment cards. Immigrants warned each other by cell phone of the abusive ambushes.

Salinas, a Mexican immigrant, and his partner Crisanta were stopped by the Forest Service after a day picking salal. When the Border Patrol arrived to “translate,” the couple panicked and fled. Crisanta, was dragged down, cuffed in front of her two small children, and taken to a Tacoma detention center for ten days. Salinas was chased into the woods by agents from nine Border Patrol vehicles. His body surfaced four miles down the Sol Duc River after a desperate three week search by over 100 neighbors.

The Olympic Peninsula community is outraged at these oppressive Border Patrol tactics. A letter sent by Latino leaders and several concerned groups demands that U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell call an official investigation. Don’t let our towns become occupied territories! Don’t let Salinas’ death be in vain! For more information go to stopthecheckpoints.com.

Lois Danks, Coordinator, Stop the Checkpoints Committee, Port Angeles, Wash.


SAUDI ARABIA

Largest oil exporter?

Steven Strauss’s short article on protests in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain is certainly important [United States stays mute on Saudi and Bahraini repression, Vol. 32, No. 3]. The capitalist media, while covering the protests to some extent in Bahrain, has largely ignored political prisoners and protesters in the Saudi kingdom.

Strauss makes a small error in his statement that “Saudi Arabia is the largest oil exporter in the world.” Until 2006, this was true. Today Russia with partially state owned oil giants like Gazprom is the world’s largest exporter of petroleum products including oil.

What is true is that Saudi Aramco is still the world’s largest oil company, but the country itself is not the world’s largest exporter of oil anymore.


Phil Davis, Athens, Ohio


BEHIND BARS

Appreciate those who donate subscriptions

I wish to extend my appreciation to the people who make it possible for me to continue to get the paper. Texas prisons refuse to pay prisoners and try to tax everything. Keep up the good work.


Willie A Milton #561014, Allred Unit, 2101 F.M. 369 N, Iowa Park, Texas 76367


UGANDA

Need to educate

Uganda is a country that has been infested with wars before and after the so-called independence. It seems here the seeds of democracy are planted on unfertile grounds. Most folk here don’t have a proper understanding and education of the world we live in.

There is a need to educate the masses about their rights, freedoms, and what citizens can do and should expect from government.

The government must stop oppressing and torturing people who oppose its way of doing things. It must halt corruption and nepotism that has characterized these past 25 years of the Yoweri Museveni regime and the coming ones.

But before positive change can come to Uganda, Uganda needs the support of every human being everywhere and anywhere on planet earth. Once that is done, the country can be restored to its former glory as the Pearl of Africa and shine again.


Weijagye Justus, Uganda


QUEER YOUTH

We make it better

Thanks for the article and sentiment of “ ‘It gets better’ when we MAKE it better” [Vol. 32, No. 3]. It was uplifting to read about people around the country who are helping make things better for young queers. It’s easy to believe these activists want the world to change more than, say, celebrities who put out empty promises of a future promised land, free of bigots.

Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” campaign did a good job drawing publicity, but I feel its approach is seriously flawed. What young queers need to hear more than anything is “I’m here, NOW, to help you,” and “let’s work together to MAKE things better.” Life might magically get better if you’re an older, rich white man like Mr. Savage, but no such miraculous thinking will save the rest of us. I look forward to reading more in the Freedom Socialist about radicals forging change for the betterment of queers and all working-class stiffs in need of a gentler, kinder system in place of capitalism.


Kevin Hatch, Seattle


FUND DRIVE

Good socialist paper

My enclosed check equals one dollar for every year I have read the Freedom Socialist. I do appreciate being able to read such a good socialist newspaper, and to have had the chance to write for it also.

Here’s to the further success of the Freedom Socialist!

Allen Thompson, Newcastle, Wash.


The FS welcomes your feedback, opinions, and resource info. Letters may be edited for length. Please write to 5018 Rainier Ave­nue South, Seattle, WA 98118, or ­e­­mail FSnews@mindspring.com.

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