Statements: September 11 Attacks

October 10, 2001

The Seamless Garment Network stands opposed to all forms of violence. We have condemned the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., and we have called for bringing those responsible to justice through an international tribunal. We have also advocated using international bodies, such as the United Nations, to work to eliminate the root causes of terrorism.    

 

On Oct. 7, the United States Government and a few of its allies began a war of retaliation against Afghanistan, dropping bombs that are claiming the lives of the innocent in a destitute nation.

Instead of working to eliminate terrorism through nonviolence and through works of justice, the U.S.-led coalition has opted to maintain the cycle of violence with a devastating bombing campaign.

The commanders of the war effort assure us only military and terrorist targets are being hit, but we know better. On Oct. 9, four U.N. workers engaged in an effort to remove land mines in Afghanistan, were killed by a wayward bomb. As in all modern wars, it is the civilians who are in harm's way as Afghanistan's infrastructure is being destroyed by bombs with no ability to distinguish terrorists

from children.

Once again, the Seamless Garment Network condemns violence. We say no to the war against Afghanistan. We challenge our world leaders to seek creative solutions to conflict.

War is not the answer. Nonviolence is the only moral choice in our world today. We remember the words of the late Martin Luther King, Jr.: "The choice today is no longer between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence."

The Seamless Garment Network is a coalition of individuals and organizations committed to the protection of life which is threatened in today's world by war, abortion, poverty, racism, the arms race, the death penalty and euthanasia. We believe that these issues are linked under a consistent ethic of life. We challenge those working on some or all of these issues to maintain a cooperative spirit of peace, reconciliation and respect in protecting the unprotected.

Mary Rider
SGN Executive Director

 

September 26, 2001

On Sept. 11, 2001, the world was shaken by the suicide terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania that claimed thousands of innocent lives.

Our hearts are heavy with grief. The cry for revenge is strong. In our anger and sadness, we search for a response that will address these terrible acts of hatred.               

Yet hatred is not the antidote to hatred. The only solution is love.

Certainly, it is difficult to speak of love in the face of such atrocities. How ridiculous and inadequate a response it seems. But what will more hatred get us? Only a spiral of violence and death that grows and grows as a funeral pyre, destroying more lives, leaving nothing untouched by its flames.

Only nonviolence can extinguish the flames of violence. After thousands of years of warmaking it seems the world is no wiser.

US Government leaders, with much support from allies and US citizens, are loudly proclaiming their intent to retaliate, to defeat those seen as responsible for the atrocities of Sept. 11.

There is another way, however; a better path. To respond with nonviolence does not mean to passively accept the terrible, evil actions perpetrated against the United States.

While violence is never justified, and we condemn terrorism on all fronts, we must be willing to try to understand why terrorists sacrifice their own lives, and the lives of thousands of others, for a cause they perceive as just.

US foreign policy has brought death and destruction to untold numbers of people around the world. The US is the number one purveyor of weapons globally. In recent years we have often had our own weapons turned against us. Policy decisions, such as US-supported sanctions against Iraq, have resulted in the devastation and death of thousands of civilians, mostly children.

We cannot continue on this violent path. The nuclear age has brought our world to the brink of destruction. Now, more than ever, alternatives to violence and war must be found. We must find a way to bring about justice, not revenge.

The Seamless Garment Network urges US leaders to look for those alternatives to war and to look to the United Nations and to the international community to help find solutions to global terrorism. The perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks and all terrorists should be brought to justice in an international court of law.

It is time for us to stand together, not as Americans, but as members of the global family. We are all one people who share a common destiny because we share a common home, the Earth.

As the Rev. Martin Luther King said, "We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools."

The Seamless Garment Network opposes violence in all its forms: war, abortion, poverty, racism, the arms race, the death penalty and euthanasia. We call on the United States to seek a nonviolent response to this tragedy, to focus on healing and reconciliation rather than revenge and retribution. Let us now turn from violence and embrace nonviolence for the sake of the Earth and her people.

 

September 11, 2001

 

The Seamless Garment Network joins the rest of the world in mourning the thousands of people who were injured or killed in today's airline crashes at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. We look forward to the day that the people responsible for planning and executing these heinous attacks are found and tried for their crimes.                

                                               
In the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, many people leaped to the erroneous conclusion that Arab terrorists were responsible. Some of these people even directed their frustration toward Muslims and people of Middle Eastern descent. Innocent people were beaten, knifed, and shot due to racism on the part of angry and grieving Americans. At least one was killed. In the coming days and weeks, we will find out how much the United States learned from that tragedy. We urge the American people not to allow their entirely understandable fear and confusion to manifest themselves in still more acts of senseless brutalization.

Violence begets violence. Already we hear calls for retaliatory bombing against any nations found to be complicit in this horror. Such an action cannot bring back the dead or take away the grief of the survivors; it can only lead to more loss of life, more poverty and desperation, and more people who are so consumed with hatred that they will kill themselves and others. Further bloodshed does nothing to honor the precious lives lost in these senseless acts of terrorism -- breaking the cycle of violence is a much more fitting memorial.

It is our hope that cool heads and warm hearts will prevail both in the streets of the United States and in the corridors of power. We will work to ensure that our national response to this tragedy will further the cause of peace and justice, rather than setting it back.

Once again, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the victims.

 

 
 
 

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