Anti-Muslim posters have begun appearing as advertisements on New York City subway platforms. They read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.” In response, protesters have torn down some of the posters and defaced others with anti-racist stamps.
A Track division meeting Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, passed a motion raised by LRP and RTW supporter Eric Josephson to condemn the ads, defend anyone caught defacing the ads, and to support workers’ actions to not put up the ads or handle them in any way. The meeting, attended by over 20 workers, passed the motion unanimously.
At a Metropolitan Transportation Authority public hearing on Thursday, September 27, many protesters showed up to denounce the posters. As WABC-TV reported that evening:
“The voices of protest have grown louder. They are even drawing support from MTA workers. ‘I am here to condemn these ads that are appearing on subway stations and on MTA busses. They are racist, anti-Muslim and vile to the core,’ said Seth Rosenberg, MTA Train operator.”
Seth introduced himself as speaking for Revolutionary Transit Worker and the League for the Revolutionary Party. Here is our transcription of the rest of his comments:
TWU local 100 and other unions, workers, students and youth must organize mass action to insure that these posters are taken down and never put up again.
How dare these ads call Muslims and Palestinians ‘savage’? Muslims and Palestinians are defending themselves from the mass brutality and oppression committed against them by the U.S. and Israel.
It is savage to invade two nations, to brutally occupy them and to kill hundreds of thousands of civilians. U.S. imperialism did that. And it was not just Bush and the Republicans, it was Obama and the Democrats as well. Both parties are parties of war and mass murder – working in the interests of the U.S. capitalist class.
Savage is bombing Libya and a wave of drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan, killing hundreds of civilians. U.S. imperialism did that. The drones are Obama’s policy. Savage is the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians: stealing their land and terrorizing them. Israel did that. Savage is an apartheid state – denying Palestinians their basic rights and treating them like animals. That’s Israel.
Make no mistake, on a global scale the U.S. and Israel are the savages. All workers, here and around the world, need to unite in struggle to end this savage system of capitalism. We must also unite and fight to insure that these racist signs are taken down for good and never put up again.