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Actor Danny Glover speaks out against war
Standing up to Bush

January 4, 2002 | Page 4

Dear Socialist Worker,

As the U.S. military continues to bomb Afghanistan, it sometimes seems like everyone in Hollywood is jumping on the patriotism bandwagon.

Whether it's Mariah Carey being flown overseas to sing to troops in Kosovo, or images of Spike Lee used in public service announcements to "sell" the war to America's youth, it appears as though there's no voice of dissent in the entertainment industry.

That's why it's so encouraging to hear actor Danny Glover take a courageous stand against the tide of warmongering.

In early November, Glover was invited to speak at an anti-death penalty forum at Princeton University. Glover, a longtime activist in the abolitionist movement, called the death penalty "homicide as the official tool of the state."

When an audience member asked if his opposition to the death penalty extended even to the U.S. executing Osama bin Laden, Glover didn't back down. "When I say the death penalty is inhumane, I mean inhumane whether that person is in a bird cage [jail] or it's bin Laden," he told the crowd.

Glover went on to criticize the detention of Arab immigrants since September 11 and Attorney General John Ashcroft's eavesdropping on private conversations between lawyers and clients. He also attacked Bush's ordering of secret military tribunals and called on activists to organize against the erosion of our civil liberties.

"This is clearly a slippery slope," he said. "We must stand vigilant against Bush in these times and work with the abolitionists. [One] of the main purveyors of violence in this world has been this country, whether it's been against Nicaragua, Vietnam, or wherever."

Predictably enough, politicians and media pundits blasted Glover as "unpatriotic" for speaking his mind. But I say that this is one star I can admire!

Nicole Colson, Chicago

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