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Gullible boy

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Steve Fennessy's commentary on the anti-Bush rally that took place in Atlanta Oct. 17 was weak, wandering, lazy and spasmodically petulant (News & Views, "The protest as tempest," Oct. 23). Fennessy clearly suffers from the common generational affliction of would-be journalists born since 1970 who have grown up so thoroughly corporatized that they only recognize a limited spectrum of overlapping "Clinton Democrat" and neo- conservative opinions as politically valid.

His commentary displayed zero local or national historical context, a distaste for "the usual liberal suspects" and their icky messy protests, and a failure to get outside his infotainment smog and actually ask several of the protesters (not just the two who were crunk enough to pass Fennessy's anti- democratic credentials test) what they were actually there to protest.

As for the "complex nature of the Iraqi question" and Saddam's brutality as a dictator being an implied excuse for Bush II's unilateral pre-emptive strike national security doctrine -- that's a no-sell and most Americans either aren't buying it or fear it deep down in their guts because it is inherently un-constitutional and flagrantly violates the U.N. charter. At the rally I began the chant "George Bush we know you; your daddy was a killer too" -- as concise and to the point about the Bush Oil Dynasty as one can get. The chant refers to the U.N. and non- governmental organization-estimated 350,000 to 500,000 Iraqi children killed by 10 years of ongoing U.S. economic sanctions -- sanctions put in place by Bush the first -- and the other hundreds of thousands or millions of innocent Iraqi civilians that will be killed by another war on Iraq soon to be executed by Bush the second. Even neo-liberal media pets like Tom Friedman have been gullible enough to believe that this war push is "really about weapons of mass destruction and is not about oil." Oh no, never, not that. The more public protest against these oil fascists and their unilateral pre-emptive strike doctrine of petrol-empire the better, and Mr. Fennessy, unless he gets drafted into a ground war in Iraq, ain't seen nothing yet.

-- Scott Crutcher, Decatur



Reaching out
Thank you for naming Atlanta Harm Reduction Center Best Nonprofit in the Loaf's Best Of Atlanta edition (Oct. 16). We would like your readers who didn't see last year's CL story on us to know more about what we do and why. Approximately one-third of new HIV cases a year are related to injection drug use. Injection and non-injection drug use (i.e. crack use) also puts people at greater risk for HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.

The Atlanta Harm Reduction Center's street outreach program is dedicated to educating and empowering drug users to prevent HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, and sexually transmitted diseases. The term "Harm Reduction" describes a public health strategy that is participant centered, caring and practical. We offer people information that is respectful, non-judgmental and acknowledges the complex challenges people face when choosing safer behaviors while surviving on the streets without many resources. Poverty, mental health issues, fear of arrest, stigma and addiction impact people's ability to practice safer sex and safer drug use.

Our outreach workers encourage people to become thoughtful about drug using and behavior and our approach strives to empower people to make positive changes. We offer safer sex supplies, safer drug using supplies, and facilitate referrals to helping agencies including, but not limited to, drug treatment.

Our outreach team goes to the people five times a week in four neighborhoods. The sex workers, injection drug users, crack users and homeless people our program serves are resourceful, intelligent, beautiful people who want to protect their health and the health of their communities. We would like to thank you for your support, Creative Loafing.

-- Terry Morris, outreach worker,

Atlanta Harm Reduction Center



Unsung heroes
Thank you for your Best Of Atlanta 2002 issue. As a supporter of the spoken word community, I was delighted to see the award given to Apache Cafe as the Best Place to Hear Spoken Word (Oct. 16).

The phone call about the award came from the spoken word artist guru and producer of the Sunday event who won this award for Apache Cafe -- Son-Christopher. Son-Christopher of the Mighty I Am indeed deserves printed recognition -- if not for his and his co-producers' production of Free Forum Exchange then at least for their untiring work in advancing spoken word period. Since 1997 the Mighty I Am has produced shows dedicated to the spoken word.

If you would, please give these producers/artists their due as the unsung heroes who produce the Sunday show at Apache Cafe.

-- Kevin Stewart, College Park

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