Monday, September 11, 2006

Self Evident (by Ani Di Franco)

Five years ago my mother shook me awake at just before 7am. I'd set my alarm for 7, as I had an interview at Seattle Central Community College Bookstore that day at 10, and needed the time to be able to drive from Renton to Seattle during rush hour - not a fun prospect on I-5. Being woken up before my alarm went off completely threw me (although it probably hadn't helped that I'd stayed up until about 2am reading a book) and I was even more confused when the first words out of her mouth, before I'd even gotten a chance to blink twice, were "They've blown up the World Trade Center."

I very intellengently said "What?" but my mother was already leaving the room to go and reattach herself to the television. I wandered downstairs in my pyjamas and a robe and watched in disbelief as they replayed the plane hitting the second tower.

My mom didn't want me to go to my interview, but I needed the job too badly not to. The freeway was almost deserted, and not a single station was playing music. They just kept saying the same thing over and over. "I can't believe this." I got to Seattle, and found a parking space easily on Broadway (something that hasn't happened before or since). I got out of the car, and right next to where I parked were a group of people clustered around a radio. One of them looked at me, and just said 'Do you know what's happened?' I nodded.

There was a noise in the sky, a plane or helicopter, and every single person on that street looked up, desperately searching for where the sound was coming from and getting ready to run. I don't think I will ever forget the feeling of solidarity that day gave people. The group clustered around the radio had business people, students, and the homeless.

5 years later, alot has changed. Americans have lost the majority of their civil liberties to 'counter terrorism' measures. The man that many historians think is the worst President in our history is still in office. The United States has completely destroyed any hope it had of reaching a firm and lasting country-to-country peace or agreement with any middle eastern country by fighting a war that was overwhelming unsupported by the American public.

So. Where do we go from here?

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