Where's the Communism?

Drawn in by the cover art of the Weekly article "So, You Want to Be a Communist" (4/29), I read Geov Parrish's



"Calling attention to these well-meaning groups by labeling them left-wing and, by insinuation, 'Communist' is nothing but red-baiting!"

Where's the Communism?

Drawn in by the cover art of the Weekly article "So, You Want to Be a Communist" (4/29), I read Geov Parrish's article and wondered, "Where's the Communism?" While the idea of listing Seattle's activist groups is good, what Geov seems to offer those looking for a different world is a view that the best one can hope is to "influence public or corporate policy" from within. By doing so, his article lowers people's sights about what kind of future is possible and urgently required.

The fact is that humanity is confronted with the failure of this system of capitalism/imperialism on an unprecedented level. The situation demands nothing less than an end to this spirit-killing setup, not weak calls to influence this mess from within. We need a liberating real communism that can eliminate oppression and exploitation. Now is the time for people of all kinds to act on their highest beliefs and sense of justice, not to settle for small changes to make themselves feel better. I encourage people to get the Revolutionary Worker newspaper and come to Revolution Books to grapple with these questions and help build a movement to change the world.

Terri Allred Seattle Spokesperson Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

Activism achieves

Thanks to Geov Parrish for his strong pat on the back for local political activists ("So, You Want to Be a Communist," 4/29). It can often be rough and grueling work with very little reward, recognition, or support. I thoroughly enjoyed this piece, which felt very accurate and supportive.

Recent successes in my neck of the woods (Beacon Hill) were our community's work with CCEJ (Community Coalition for Environmental Justice) and Seattle Healthcare Without Harm in shutting down the second-to-last medical waste incinerator at the local VA hospital. We couldn't have done it without the help of these groups and the media coverage of local papers such as Seattle Weekly and Eat the State.

Albert Kaufman

Jefferson Park Alliance

Che vive!

I'm more commie than you! Thanks to your great cover of the (4/29) "So, You Want to Be a Communist" issue. I now hold up Seattle Weekly at the end of my spoken-word piece in Radio Mambo: Culture Clash Invades Miami (also reviewed in the 4/29 commie issue). I ask audience members if they want to join me on the streets for the revolution. The audience recognizes the Weekly, the Che Guevara image on the Weekly. As they consider the question posed to them, it gets very quiet at the Rep. Then I realize that I can read the ads on the back of the Weekly and exclaim, "Shit, there's a sale at Nike Town." They recognize that, they recognize you, they recognize me, and the hypocrisy of it all.

It's good to see Che on the streets of Seattle again. When are you well-intentioned, mostly white liberals putting Mumia on the cover? I'll be at Starbucks passing out flyers on Chiapas and coupons for jamba juice! Che vive!

richard montoya

culture clash

at the right-wing seattle rep

Scarlet letters

I was intrigued by the cover headline of the 4/29 issue of the Weekly, "So, You Want to Be a Communist." Turning to the story, my interest turned to dismay when I noted the listing of every progressive organization in the area listed as the response to the question posed. Calling attention to these well-meaning groups by labeling them left-wing and, by insinuation, "Communist" is nothing but red-baiting! I naively thought that the well-meaning people interested in making the world a better place to live in, promoting peace and justice, and improving the environment do not deserve such a label.

Elaine Birn


Shallow Poole

Will someone please hurry and give Carol Poole whatever she needs to "go fishing" and stay there ("Confessions of a Lapsed Leftist," 4/29). One proviso, though; no deep places—say more than 3 feet deep. From her piece it's clear that she rapidly gets out of her depth when it comes to thinking; so it's best not to direct her anywhere she can't "feel" herself out of. Her powers of thought seemingly peak with rickety rationalization in the service of self-justification.

bruce barni

via e-mail

Bloody Reds

The Weekly's cover on Communism showed perfect timing ("So, You Want to Be a Communist," 4/29). How better to celebrate the deaths in Littleton and Kosovo than with stories on the champion killers of all time. As the sober French history, Le Livre Noir du Communisme, reminds us, the Communists have killed about 100 million people in this century. That total does not include deaths in war. Stalin and Mao made Hitler look like an amateur.

The mass killings were their worst but not their only crimes. More people were put in slave labor camps by Stalin than were brought to the US in the transatlantic slave trade. No Communist nation has allowed truly free exercise of religion. No Communist nation has ever had a free press. The Weekly, which celebrates Communism, couldn't be published in a Communist country.

Does the Weekly not know these facts or does it not care?

James R. Miller


Enforce and obey

Wow! Great job Rick Anderson did on "The SPD Blues" (5/6). I agree with Rick's assessment of the situation, and I'm a little disappointed that he didn't dig up Earl Warren's decision (which was unanimous) of 1959, which said, "The police must obey the law while enforcing the law." Justice Warren also wrote, "Life and liberty can be as much endangered from illegal methods used to convict those thought to be criminals as from the actual criminal themselves."

The current situation in Washington, and Seattle, indicates that a few people need to be made aware that (in police work, especially!) the end does not justify the means. Police organizations are not above the law, and they must realize that.

Maybe when police realize this, and begin to treat citizens with respect once again, they will receive the kind of respect they used to have . . . and have lost.

Rachel Hawkridge


WTO sponsors $ay it all

Re: Lawrence Clarkson's defense of corporate America's benign "sponsoring" of government policymakers' meetings ("Not-so-Free Trade," 4/22): Why can't companies just say they support the WTO and their setting of trade rules the "old-fashioned" way, in words, verbal or written, rather than "saying" it with megabuck contributions?

To me, this $ays it all!

I don't see where us average folks who only have votes to give at election time even figure in the equation, except at election time and then quickly forgotten, only to be dusted off again when they need us at the polls. It doesn't seem like it could get much more brazen, but most people don't even seem shocked! In so many ways, we as a people don't seem to expect much or question much anymore, which is a pretty scary trend in a democracy.

I, for one, would like to see the "public" put back in public servants.

Fellow Americans, are you asleep at the wheel?

Roxie Phinn


'Slate' mate

First Newsweek praised us for being a "cheeky" women's Web site—"nicely written, fun." Then Mike Romano of Seattle Weekly denied our existence in "How Gates Got Game" (4/29).

Just for the record: Slate isn't the only MSN "program" still in existence. UnderWire has been around since the heyday of MSN shows. Not only is it still going strong, but it's also an important feature on MSN's successful WomenCentral (http://womencentral.msn.com). The New York Times praised UnderWire recently for "exceptional graphics," "harmonious design," and attention to "serious sisterhood."

Candace Dempsey

lead editor UnderWire and WomenCentral

Beware of Bills

I agree that Seattle benefits, if not mightily, and least tangentially from the Microsoft money machine ("World Without Microsoft," 4/22). We here on the East Coast are happy that our monopolistically extracted cash is flowing your way, enriching your deserving community. I'm sorry that we are going to have to extract Windows from Gates and company's control so that extortion for a necessary but utterly inferior product will cease. I'm sure that the visionary ("Internet? What's that?") Master Gates will come up with something, despite widespread opinion around these parts that hold him to be a $#@%&ing piece of human garbage. Sort of a Bill Clinton without the hush-my-mouth ability to lie and wear a big red nose. Beware of Bills.

kent beuchert

via e-mail

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