Dear friends – I am a photojournalist with a personal grudge against George W. Bush, George Herbert Walker Bush, Jeb Bush, Laura Bush, Prescott Bush and the whole castes of right-wing idealogues who want to decide our futures.
In the year 2000, I covered the Florida election fiasco for TIME, asd spent 63 days observing it unfold up close. There is no doubt whatsoever that fraud was perpetrated there, mostly by throwng out thousands of votes of African -Americans in mid_Florida as “over-votes” (ie, when the voter votes for two different candidates) when in fact they checked Gore’s name and then wrote in his name to be sure.) I lost a piece of myself when I learned that my country, for the first time in its history, was to be run by an illegitmate president.
Then, on September 11th, I was arrested at Ground Zero and prosecuted by a DA – who had a signed picture of Newt Gingrich behind his desk – for supposedly dressing up as a firefighter to gain access to Ground Zero. The accusation was absolutely false, as my own photographs showed, but the DA insisted in destroying my images because he assumed any freelance photgrapher would be there only to gain money and fame off the bodies of his heroes. The DA falsified evidence and got police officers to perjure themselves in court as to what ID I had on me at the time, and I finally took a plea for a felony count of having a forged driver’s license. It took over a year of my life to safeguard the images, and I accepted the plea only after he dropped all charges of impersonation.
Anyway, that is a petty matter compared to what many suffered from 9-11, but it taught me the same lesson as Florida: the right wing has no respect for democratic values ,and
they will use the machinery of the State to cheat, lie and dispose of anybody who stands in the way of the society they mean to build . As photographers with a smidgeon of social conscience we are, like the african-americans in mid-florida, an automatic choice for the hostility of the Republican idealogues that are entrenched in the government, the corporate world and in the big media.
The only way that I, and a number of friends, can handle the anxiety of the possibility that Bush will be elected for a second term, is to try to do something about it. Ive held off on taking a number of assignments these last weeks to work on setting up VoteSwingers, a group project to register new voters in the swing states. Our only hope lies with using the internet to contact the young people in the “Swing States” who are angry with the fact that the US military practiced widespread torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gitmo, ashamed that old people are being systematically cheated out of their health benefits through “medicare reform.” and distressed that they cant get any job besides serving up fries . There are many young people out there who see Bush for the crook that he is, but who havent registered to vote. We can use the strength of the internet, and our skill with using it, to get those young people to the polls.
Here is the URL for VoteSwingers.
Please read the materials and get to work. Time is short and the stakes are very high.
[a former member]
2004-09-07 05:38:33 UTC
Mar 12 2008