Peaceful protesters picket perfectly
Probably around last week I picked up the April 8-14 issue of People’s Weekly World in order to find an article for my Community Studies class. We were writing about activism in the news and how writers are able to focus on aspects of a form of activism to convey whether it was a successful or unsuccessful public act.
It was a great assignment and couldn’t have come at a better time as I had just watched “SWAT: Protest Edition” the previous night. The show seemed blatantly one-sided, as close to none of the protested issues were discussed or even mentioned for that matter. The narrator would say “San Francisco erupted in chaos April 14, 1992, when protesters of recent laws affecting the gay community lashed out against city officials.” The lack of context was sickening, the bulk of the show focusing on outbursts of violence rather than the matters being deliberated.
All this negativity surrounding protests was relieved when I read your World newspaper. It seemed to cover the issues from top to bottom with additional focus on the emotion of those participating in the protest. Although articles may mention police activity or struggles when they occur, these actions were never used out of context nor was violence used as an attention seeker. The articles in your newspaper have shown me a side of protesting I feel isn’t focused on enough in the media. This abundance of attempts for positive public reform really shows how protesting and the idea of free speech is meant to be functional in our society at a peaceful and progressive level.

Isaac Schnitzer
Santa Cruz CA

New politics needed here
I appreciated Rosita Johnson’s article “African Americans have a stake in immigrant rights” (PWW 4/22-28). Johnson’s point about the need to replace the Republicans this November seemed “right on,” except that I, for one, have been very, very disappointed in the public stances this year taken by the presently elected Democrats.
I suspect that this nation is trapped in the political dead end that Latin America had, until recent years. To me it is quite interesting that the progressive governments in Latin America come from new political movements, and from individuals who are not from the traditional “liberal” or “conservative” parties of their countries.
We see people who are not in the “political caste,” i.e. new people such as Lula the union leader become president in Brazil, plus the oncologist — the new president of Uruguay, the pediatrician — new president of Chile, the son of a postal worker — president of Argentina, the son of school teachers who leads Venezuela, and the coca farmer — president of Bolivia.
I worry that we may be doomed to have politics run by the political caste, which can be defined as: student body vice president in junior high, who becomes student body president in high school, then a role on the city school board, followed by a spot on the city council, followed by terms as state representative, followed by a spot in Congress, by which time the politician is politically senile.

Ted Vincent
Via e-mail
Ted Vincent is the author of “Voices of a Black Nation: Political Journalism of the Harlem Renaissance” and other works

While spying, watch cats
Open letter to the “sneak and peak” folks at Homeland Security:
Please be careful to not let any of the cats out. Watch the orange and white, Tigger, who is very good at rushing out an open door.
Please forgive the mess. Been meaning to clean it up, but … well you know how that is.
Iced tea in the fridge — help yourself. Glasses in left of sink cabinet. Ice in freezer container.
I would appreciate if you don’t rip anything up with your efforts. What looks like junk to you might be treasure to me.
I hold no hard feelings toward you in just trying to do a job for which I’m sure you are poorly paid and likely poorly appreciated, if at all, at the “higher levels” of what must be the most bizarre agency in recent history.
It can’t be easy or very rewarding. I’ve worked in a few such jobs. Thankfully I’m now retired! Someday … (Are you counting the days?)
Take care, be well and please join with me, in heart, mind and spirit, in hoping and striving for a better world.

Bill Ramsay
Grand Junction CO

A better way for beavers
In light of the increasing number of Illinois landowners who find themselves dealing with beavers, readers should remember that that humane solutions are not only kinder, but cheaper and more effective than trapping these industrious animals.
Trapped beavers may suffer for hours before succumbing to suffocation, blood loss or exposure. Beavers caught in underwater traps can struggle for up to nine agonizing minutes before drowning.
Not only is trapping cruel, it does nothing to prevent more beavers from damming an area, so trapping becomes an endless cycle — and an expensive one for property owners, with fees in the vicinity of $200 per beaver.
Humane deterrents such as pipes that distribute water in ponds and lakes and “Beaver Deceivers” — fence systems that prevent beavers from damming culverts — permanently and humanely prevent problems caused by beaver dams at a fraction of the price of exterminating these sensitive animals.
For more ways to live in harmony with wildlife, visit

Stephanie Boyles
Norfolk VA
Stephanie Boyles is a biologist for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Plan, please
When I read the PWW I expect to see some material, a plan if you will, written to help working people get out from under the yoke of “big oil.” I understand that there are many issues that need to be covered in the PWW but please have a plan for working people to know and act on. Also in Connecticut Sen. Lieberman is being challenged by Ned Lamont. Many progressives see this challenge as a positive action to rid the Senate of a senator who has betrayed working people and his party. I hope PWW feels the same way and gives some support to the challenger Lamont.

G. Bannon
Via e-mail

Lock him up
With his presidency reduced to a mess, George W. Bush may just decide to lash out wildly at Iran. We should lock him away to stop the next war.

Paul Welch
Via e-mail