We, the Brower Youth Award recipients
of 2001, would like to issue a statement in regards to the tragedy
of September 11 and the ensuing events. We would like to give
our condolences to the families and friends of those who were
We should proceed with the victims in
our hearts. For this reason we believe that the current policy
of the U.S. government is wholly inappropriate. The acts of September
11 were indeed horrific but were not an act of war, they were
a criminal act. Thus, they should be treated as such. A continuation
of violence merely disgraces the lives of those lost.
We should try those responsible in an
international court of law. Any other method merely returns the
injustice done unto us back to other innocents. Bombings that
kill innocent civilians bring us to the level of our attackers
and only continue a cycle of violence that will become larger
We need only to look at the current
situation in Northern Ireland and the Middle East to understand
what happens when you try to force people to comply unwillingly.
This is not to say that we should not make terrorists comply
with justice, rather it is to say that killing innocent civilians
will only breed more terror.
As Dr. Martin
Luther King said,
weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting
the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil,
it multiplies it... Through violence you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases
hate.... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness
cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
We feel that all of us must take it
upon ourselves to bring that love into a world full of hate.
A good place to start is to reexamine our economic, ecological,
and foreign policies so that all are truly treated equally. More
specifically we must incorporate a respect for humanity and the
environment into all aspects of our lives, from everyday conversations
and actions, to a more just trade policy.
As David Brower and others have said,
have peace on and with the earth.
Thank You and good night.