Sat Jul 30th, 2005 at 09:31:25 PM EST
An innocent man was murdered in England by a Special Unit of the Metropolitan Police. His body was shipped home and buried yesterday in Gonzaga, Brazil. Ten thousand people payed respect to Jean Charles de Menezes. "Jean was very well-loved in Gonzaga," said Pedro Zacharias, a friend who works as a lawyer in the town hall. "He was a kind, gentle and very decent person who only wanted to help his family."
He was executed, says Jean's cousin. This was no terrorist on his way to explode a train - this was an electrician on his way to work. This was not a "Muslim extremist." This was a Brazilian national, a Christian, a Catholic. And at the center of the Catholic religion is an innocent man who was publicly executed by the corrupt political powers of that time. This is a huge public relations problem. And all the newspapers have to talk about in the UK is maybe his visa did not have the correct stamp? There is no way to cover up the truth. This was a decent, extraordinary, ordinary man. This was some mother's son. He was one of us.
The Special Police Unit who killed Jean Charles de Menezes have left a lesson for all non-whites... for all immigrants, and for all ordinary working people... the "good guys" are out of control. They have guns but no understanding, no intelligence, no common sense. They have training, but no comprehension. They do not know who the enemy is. The "good guys" are dangerous to the citizens they are meant to protect.
Mayor of London Ken Livingstone attempted to exonerate the government and the police for Menezes' killing, stating, "This tragedy has added another victim to the toll of deaths for which the terrorists bear responsibility." No, Mayor, the terrorist acts are evil. But responsibility must also rest with those who initiated a war without moral legitimacy - and in total disregard for the world community, the UN and international law. Evil has met evil and it's become increasingly difficult for the government to balance its rhetorical juggling act in the face of Mr. Menezes' murder.
The spin wars are on: Thou shalt not relate terrorist bombings to the illegal war in Iraq. Not even if the Chatham House report makes this connection. Suicide bombers are insane evil criminals... but the illegal war in Iraq is government sanctioned, controlled, managed and sponsored evil on a scale that seeks to make itself legitmate - and it does so largely through controlling the people through fear, and through disinformation in the media.
At this point, I suppose all good Christians are supposed to say, "Forgive them, Father, they know not what they do." Well, I am not a good Christian. I do not forgive them for this, or for the 128,000 civilian deaths in Iraq. And I do not forgive those who try to excuse the men who shot Jean Charles de Menezes, that "they were only doing their job." And I do not forgive those in the media who try to excuse this murder by trying to suggest that he was an illegal alien... I like to remember a song during the Civil Rights era, "Which side are you on?"
Mr. de Menezes has become a martyr - a symbol of racial profiling, police brutality and the increasing erosion of civil and human rights during these times of terror. Jean Charles de Menezes has paid the ultimate price for their learning curve: as when the Special Police Units located the actual bombers, they did not kill them, but stunned them with tazer guns and brought them in to custody.
”There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. ….. and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream." Martin Luther King, 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C
The unfortunate reality is that Menezes was not a victim of the terrorists who have attacked London, but the state-sponsored executioners who are the specially trained police squads -- squads who received their training on the Israeli model. They are trained to shoot to kill on suspicion that someone might be a suicide bomber. Did anyone notice that? That the war on Iraq was launched on suspicion that Iraq possessed the weapons of mass destruction? Suspicion without information plus deadly force equals death of the innocents. Mr. de Menezes is just one more.
Jean Charles de Menezes' family can be contacted through his friend:
Pedro Zacharias, Town Hall, Gonzaga, Brazil.
The Embassy of Brazil in London:
32 Green Street, Mayfair, London W1Y 4AT.
Tel: (020) 7499 0877 -- Fax: (020) 7493 5105
de Menezes Family Legal Defense Fund
De Menezes's cousin, Alex Alves Pereira, confirmed to the Sunday Herald that the family would be working with Gareth Peirce, the British human rights lawyer. According to Pereira, Peirce has even offered to send money to help de Menezes's London-based family support themselves while they are in Brazil.
Gareth Peirce, British human rights lawyer
Gareth Peirce, of Birnberg Peirce & Co. Solicitors, has a distinguished track record defending victims of miscarriages of justice, represents people detained without charge under "anti-terrorism” legislation.
Contact: Address to:
de Menezes Family Legal Defense Fund
c/o Ms Gareth Peirce,
Birnberg Peirce & Co., Solicitors,
14 INVERNESS STREET,
LONDON NW1 7HJ, ENGLAND
DX: 57059 CAMDEN TOWN
tel: 020 7911 0166 fax: 020 7911 0170