[Air-l] the september project: invitation to get involved

Gina Neff ginasue at panix.com
Tue Apr 13 17:47:55 PDT 2004

I'm going to respond on list with the expectation that several of us may
need to move the conversation off list if it develops. 

I think that the conceptual work behind the September Project is
actually brilliant -- the project offers a way to subvert the
overwhelmingly militaristic definition of a historical moment that,
frankly, resonates deeply with people inside the United States,
regardless of their political tendencies. The September Project does
this by refusing to continue to allow the unexamined association between
Sept. 11 and a right-wing agenda, and it does so *without* resorting to
a politics of contention. Within the current, highly-charged political
environment here in the U.S., this dual move is critical to the success
of any oppositional politics. 

What it means to be American in a globalized world will prove to be the
most challenging and important question for progressive social movements
within the United States. I would argue that any movement *within* the
United States that attempts to be a mass, broad social movement must
take on some kind of answer to that question; and cannot as those of you
abroad might say, "quite enough already." Nor can this answer be framed
in anti-patriotic terms if it is to be a successful mass movement within
the U.S. If there's anything "sinister" in the September project, it is
that is the pure subversion of dominant ideological paradigms within the
United States.

I think many activists in the U.S. would agree that these expressions of
re-thinking and re-defining 9/11 would necessarily happen in different
ways in different countries (and might even hope that those expressions
include mass protests against the behavior of the U.S. government). And
different responses are to be expected given the cultural and historical
differences in the dominant ideological paradigms within different
countries. But frankly, the world can't afford to have American citizens
to throw up their hands and cede the rhetorical control of 9/11 to the
U.S. right wing. Nor can the world afford to have citizens in other
countries sit idly by and watch. 

Gina Neff

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