Wednesday, February 11, 2009

ISM's Adam Shapiro on Gaza, The Revolution Interview/plus responses from the street

Adam Shapiro on the Situation in Gaza “Scenes of complete utter devastation”
As Israel and the U.S. announced the “ceasefire” in Israel’s U.S. supported massacre of Gaza, Revolution correspondent Alan Goodman sat down with Adam Shapiro, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement, at Revolution Books in New York City to talk about the current situation on the ground in Gaza, threats and attacks on the International Solidarity Movement and their reporters in Gaza, how to speak to the question of “what about the Hamas rockets,” and Adam Shapiro’s new film series, “Chronicles of a Refugee,” a six-part documentary series.

Revolution: Why don't you start out by sharing what you know about the situation in Gaza.

Shapiro: So as we're talking now a ceasefire seems to be in place. It's not a ceasefire in terms of an agreement but there seems to be both sides have agreed to actually not fire weapons at each other at the moment. And we have, I think, five volunteers with the International Solidarity Movement who are on the ground in Gaza and who have been there during the entire onslaught. What I'm hearing from them, now that they're able to start moving around a bit, and also what I'm hearing from other Gazans is just scenes of complete utter devastation.

In Gaza City itself, yes there were air strikes and tank firing in certain parts of the city particularly in the refugee camp, in Jabalia Camp there was intense fighting. But when you go out from Gaza City to the south and to the north, in the south to places like Rafah and Khan Younis and even smaller villages, I guess we can almost call them, although they're not necessarily properly organized as such. Just complete and utter—buildings completely demolished for miles around. I mean, nothing left standing. Families coming back are just sifting through the rubble to see if they can find anything of their property, of their memories, of anything that they had had and also finding bodies. This is the story now that people, my colleagues, are reporting, is that dozens and dozens of bodies are being found in the rubble of people who were trapped in the homes when they were hit by bombs or tank shells or whatever. And so the death count is certainly rising in Gaza.

It's not clear, some of these people may have been killed instantly, some may have been just injured and bled to death because no medical assistance was coming. I did hear from a friend who has family in Gaza that just two days ago his father and two brothers were driving in a car trying to escape an area where there was heavy bombing, and their car was targeted and hit. The one brother died instantly. The other brother was bleeding and ultimately after 14 hours bled to death. The father was injured and required surgeries but in the end will hopefully be OK. This story we were able to get attention to, in the sense that we were calling to Israeli journalists and to other people in Israel with the exact location of where the car was, to try to get the Army to allow medical personnel to come to save the brother who was bleeding to death. And nothing would happen. There was no permission for any kind of ambulance to come, and so ultimately my friend's brother succumbed. This is similar to the case of the Palestinian doctor which has made some news coverage, who lost his three daughters in an air strike, I'm sorry, in a tank shell bombing.

People in Gaza are, I think, by all accounts from my colleagues there from talking to people are, I think shell-shocked is the term. But I don't even think that captures it, because you are talking about a population that was already severely traumatized not just from 18 months of siege and blockade, but from—what are we talking about, basically for over a decade, since 2000—intense campaigns waged by the Israeli military to terrorize the population, to intimidate them. Even on days when bombs weren't falling the Israeli planes would consistently break the sound barrier giving off the impression of bombs going off.

It's been widely reported—at least by Palestinian health agencies and international children’s advocacy and health groups—the effects that this is having in terms of traumatizing the population. So how do you measure the additional amount of trauma that people have been experiencing for these last three weeks? And how do you figure out at what point were they already traumatized, and then how much additional can a human being take?

I was just remarking with a friend and I have often said this before: Israelis should be sending thank you notes to Palestinians that there aren’t millions of people strapped with suicide bombs ready to blow themselves up at this point, for what Israel has done—of course, I am not advocating Palestinians take such action. There is often this line that Israelis or pro Israeli folks use of saying, “Look at what the Palestinians have made us do. They made us… Look at what they have made us become.” Israeli leaders use these terms all the time, “We don’t want to do this, but look what they’ve made us do….” If they can get away with saying that, then the Palestinians certainly are justified to suggest that and to show that what they’ve become as a people and as individuals—in terms of how they might feel towards Israelis, and towards their overall situation including as supporters of Israel—they are more than justified in feeling whatever they feel.

I think it’s remarkable that you can still hold a conversation with a Palestinian anywhere, but especially those who live in Gaza, and not feel hatred coming from their side. It is a remarkable measure of the humanity of the people of Gaza that you can actually have a conversation and they are just not full of hate completely. That’s what I’m hearing from my colleagues in Gaza. It is not surprising, because if you spend any time among the Palestinians it won’t surprise you. But still it is almost a wake-up, a reawakening in a sense, to realize that people who have experienced all of this, they still have hope in a way. I mean not hope in their leaders. I’m not sure where their hope is directed towards. But there is hope, and that is I think something is utterly, utterly remarkable.

Revolution: We will definitely return to that. But I wonder if you can go a little more into the backdrop for the current humanitarian nightmare situation in Gaza in terms of the history of the Israeli blockade and also Egypt’s complicity in that, and the kind of situation that it’s created in terms of lack of food and medical supplies and exchange with the outside world.

Shapiro: So since over 18 months now, or 19 months now, Israel has imposed what is called the blockade on the Gaza strip, essentially sealing off all entry points to Gaza. This would include the numerous checkpoints and crossing points between the Gaza Strip and Israel itself, as well as of course, blockading the port, which has been blockaded for over 40 years. The port has always been blocked by a naval blockade. And then of course, convincing Egypt to maintain a full closure of the border at Rafah. Now, by all accounts, the border being closed with Egypt was not only a request by Israel, but also a request by the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank who also sought to, during the blockade, use economic and humanitarian pressure to wrest political concessions from Hamas. So there’s many hands that are dirty.

Revolution: Part of this ceasefire agreement—bizarrely enough between the United States, Egypt and Israel—is to even tighten that vice.

Shapiro: Oh absolutely, I mean there’s huge political implications that are trying to be imposed. But that’s a good point, though also, that with regard to the blockade of Gaza, also complicit -- Israel was the primary blockader -- but Egypt and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank were also complicit. But also complicit was the United States and European Union as well. And quite frankly all Arab states. The whole international community is guilty. Nobody was seeking to break the blockade. Nobody. Not Venezuela. Not Bolivia. Not Iran even. Yes there were these smuggling tunnels, but the smuggling tunnels were not an effort to break the blockade so much as to enrich—I mean certain mafias essentially got started as a result of [this] black market and this is the ultimate in black market smuggling and marketeering, and both in Gaza and in the Sinai and elsewhere, people were getting rich off of these things. So this should not be seen really as a political maneuver, it’s an economic maneuver solely.

So that was the situation in Gaza for the last 18 months, food prices were rising, goods were blockaded. Cement could not be brought into the Gaza Strip, a place that needs an incredible amount of reconstruction and rebuilding, before this war on Gaza occurred. All kinds of goods, that we in the U.S. should be somewhat familiar with because we imposed or attempted to impose a similar type of sanction on Iraq prior to the 2003 war in which anything that could be labeled as a dual use good, even to the extent that pencils, because they contained small traces of lead in them, were banned from being exported to Iraq. This kind of thing to that level was also being banned from Gaza. So Gaza really was in a desperate kind of situation prior to this war beginning.

The larger backdrop though, that needs to also be considered before even the blockade, is that Gaza could be and has been, since 1993, since the Oslo Accords, increasingly a prison. It’s only following the 1993 Oslo Accords that Gaza was sealed off completely. Before that there was not a single day of closure of the Gaza Strip, even during the first Intifada, where there was great tension and violence and all those things. In those days it was still possible just to get in your car, and go to West Bank and go to Israel and go wherever you wanted. It’s only since 1993 and this peace process began—this sham of a process—that Gaza became increasingly like a maximum security prison and that’s the next step of the larger context. And finally, not finally, but the next larger context of course is 40 plus years of occupation by Israel in which the living conditions in Gaza in particular, have deteriorated, where Gaza has become the most crowded place on earth. Where up until recently Israeli settlers had free rein in the Gaza Strip to ride around, do as they like, take over territory, take water, destroy things, all with the sanctioning of the Israeli government and the complicity of the Israeli Army, with the facilitation of the Israeli Army, I should say.

And then the larger context beyond that level is then to go back 60 years, which of course is how these people got to Gaza in the first place. There was of course an indigenous Gaza population, certainly, prior to what happened in 1948. But then with the events of Nakba [the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population—editors] of 1947-1948 you end up with a situation where now over 80 percent of Gaza are refugees, and refugees from not that far away. I mean, we’re talking about places that are within kilometers of the borders of Gaza strip. We need to keep in mind all of these different levels of context in order to understand the reality of Gaza Strip, both the reality internally among Palestinian and the reality of what they have been forced to suffer through. And I think it’s fair to question whether another population limited in a geographic space anywhere on earth has experienced what Gazans have experienced over these last 60 years.

Revolution: Let’s return to this theme of the justifiable anger of the Palestinian people. I know all of us who are out there arguing with people, get bombarded with this “what about the Hamas rockets” question, and my answer in short is you’re asking the wrong question. When someone tells you that the United States was built on land stolen from the Native Americans and that millions of indigenous people in the Americas were wiped out by European settlers, do you say but what about all those Indians who were scalping people? You used the example the other night at the Emergency Town Hall Meeting we spoke at in New York City, of South Africa, and the struggle against apartheid, and that the goal was not “peace” but ending apartheid. You made what I thought was an important point, about even for good-hearted people, to put it that way, needing to get beyond this peace paradigm and actually look at things based on the reality of the situation.

Shapiro: The question about the rockets is the wrong question to ask, for two reasons. Like you said. One, it’s largely irrelevant because, from a military perspective, from a question of how can Gazans fight back for all the oppression they’re suffering under—and let’s face it, there is a consistent war on the Gazan people, the people who are in Gaza and on Palestinians in general, but especially those in Gaza, that is not only on days when the Israeli army chooses to deploy weaponry. It is a consistent war going on, started with the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1947 and before 1947 and continues every day ongoing, for every day that a Palestinian lives in a refugee camp and is denied his rights, that is essentially a war on the Palestinian people and so for them to fight back by firing rockets and not to understand it in that way, shows just a completely fundamental lack of understanding of what is going on. And for certain purposes of course. I think the real question that needs to be asked, and this isn’t so much a question for those who support Israel or those who question the Palestinians, I think it’s an internal Palestinian question, which is why, for whose purpose is Hamas firing rockets, and that is a much different debate and a much different discussion altogether. And for me, that’s the only valid question to ask about the rockets, so to leave it at that.

If people do want to engage on that issue, however, you can engage on the issue, which is this, in all the months that Hamas was firing the rockets at Israel, prior to the onset of this war on Gaza, there was I think only one Israeli killed the entire time. And while there had been some limited property damage, the vast majority, forget majority, we’re talking 99 point something percent of all the rockets hit empty space. Now since the war began, the Hamas rockets were able to kill four Israelis and not only reach further but also hit more property. So I don’t think—I think it’s, technologically speaking, they are not able to control where specifically, precisely these rocket are falling. But they are generally able to control where these rockets are falling. And we have seen a tremendous change in where these rockets fall since the onset of the war. So you can look at the rocket fire prior to December 27 when Israel started their campaign, as a political maneuver, as an effort to try to pressure Israel, if you want to look at it that way, to make changes vis a vis the border crossing, which was what Hamas was asking for, which was part of the cease-fire arrangement and potentially just an expression of anger, whenever the Israeli military conducted an operation in the West Bank, which is often when rockets are being fired, sort of revenge firings. So even for those who want to argue, what about the Hamas rockets, OK, let’s look at the details of that. There’s not a single Israeli bomb that fell on Gaza both during this war and prior to this war that did not intentionally seek to kill and yet it’s clear that Hamas was firing rockets without that intention. I think that’s where the debate needs to move, if people want to argue that.

In terms of dealing with the larger issues and contextualizing what Hamas, or any of the Palestinian resistance is doing, it needs to be put into this context of—despite the official talk about a peace process—the fact is that there has been a war on the Palestinian people prior to 1947 even, and it continues until this day. And that’s how Palestinians experience life. It should be in that sense, understood the same way that every single day that Apartheid was in effect, there was a war on the black people of South Africa, the colored people of South Africa. Just as prior to whatever other struggle you want to use, where there was a date at which the system of oppression ended legally or officially, there was a war on those people. And so to understand it any other way is to sort of impose your own sort of outside perspective on it and to not really understand what’s going on and I think in terms of the problem with the paradigm of peace, the peace process, is that it masks all this. And of course there have been Palestinians, most notably, obviously, right now the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, led by Mahmoud Abbas.

But quite frankly this was a strategic mistake by Yasser Arafat to engage in a peace process that wasn’t truly about peace that, whereby he essentially sanctioned the end essentially of a liberation movement for the sake of a place at state dinners and whatnot. And this is not to say that Yasser Arafat wasn’t a good leader or also to say that this was his only mistake, there were many mistakes along the way, there were many good things along the way, it’s a complicated picture. But what needs to be understood is that the paradigm of peace that is applied to the Palestinian conflict obscures and intentionally obscures the real questions of justice and oppression which are at the heart of this conflict. And it’s nothing else. It’s not about getting two aggrieved parties to come to terms to play nice with each other. That’s not what this is about. This is clearly about oppression. All you need to do is spend a couple of days, on the ground, in the Palestinian territories, to see that clearly without anybody filtering or explaining that to you, you can see it for yourself.

Revolution: Why don’t you talk a little bit about the work of the International Solidarity Movement and share some of what you were explaining at the Emergency Town Hall meeting about the kind of threats on people who are making the world aware of some of what you were bringing out in the beginning of this interview.

Shapiro: The International Solidarity Movement was started at the beginning of this Intifada as an attempt by those of us, foreigners and Palestinians who were there and who were witnessing the brutality of the Israeli Army turned against civilian, overwhelmingly nonviolent protesters who were taking to the streets, first to really protest the killing of Palestinians which occurred on the first day of the Intifada and then secondly as it developed into a more political movement opposing the ongoing occupation and everything that was happening.

We thought that our approach with ISM was basically well, as long as the conflict remains between Israelis and Palestinians, number one, the Israelis because of their position on the world stage, their access to media, all of these things, that it was an unfair fight obviously and that the Palestinian side was not being told well. Secondly it’s not just an Israeli/Palestinian fight because Israel of course receives tremendous military and political aid from the United States, first and foremost but of course other countries, European countries as well. And so to understand this just as an Israeli/Palestinian fight, that’s not the reality, the reality is that it’s Israel and the international community against the Palestinians. So we thought that if we could at least get foreigners and foreign civilians to come and join Palestinians in their protest, that at least in the very basic equation of the on the ground, face to face confrontation with soldiers, would number one change and ideally what that would do would mitigate against the use of lethal force against Palestinians. That was one goal that we had. And then secondly having foreigners be able to report back and talk to their own countrymen, countrywomen, in their own countries and in their own languages to be able to explain what they’re seeing, not to give political spin, not to represent a political faction, but to report back on what they’re seeing, what they’re living through and try to alter public opinion in countries around the world with that kind of reporting and that kind of eyewitness accounting. And we’ve had tremendous success in terms of numbers of people who have come and spin off projects and films and documentaries, all kinds of things that people have done independently. ISM is a very grassroots and loosely organized group, we’re decentralized to the extreme, sometimes detrimentally so. But that’s just how it has to work and how it has to function.

Now we have had people consistently, since 2000, in the Palestinian territories, including in Gaza although there was a period of time where it was impossible to get people into Gaza. But we did get people into Gaza now. And what we have seen over time is threats made mostly on the internet, but including also in Israel actually, people who are trying to make threats either against ISM volunteers or the key organizers of the International Solidarity Movement, myself included. What we’ve seen recently however, is an acceleration or something of a stepping up of the targeting of the five volunteers of the ISM who are currently in Gaza. About something like a week to ten days ago, there was a website that put up the pictures of these individuals and lots of biographical information, I mean nobody tries to really hide their identity too much, sometimes we don’t want people to know real names or things like that, but for the most part ISM volunteers are very open and public about who they are. We’ve seen their pictures put up on the web with great amounts of information about them, and not just an invitation, almost a pleading with the Israeli army to find and target these people which is, obviously this is a very serious thing to do and truly is just, I mean it’s an outrage in many ways and we’ve sought legal assistance to try to take down these web sites because we believe this is essentially conspiracy to murder, that would be what it is. And luckily we did actually get the main website that was promoting this to be taken down just two days ago. But this is the level at which it is. We have had Israeli soldiers use force and violence against ISM volunteers. The two most notorious cases and well known cases are of course Rachel Corrie who was killed, murdered by an Israeli bulldozer driver who we know identified her clearly to his commanders and was given orders to run her over. And this is in the Israeli military’s own audio recordings of the communication between the bulldozer driver and his commanders. We also know the other case, of course, Tom Hurndall, who was a British citizen, who was shot and killed by an Israeli sniper, that sniper has been issued a jail sentence because of pressure brought by the British government. However we don’t believe that he took the decision on his own and he testified as such, that he was given orders to shoot. And commanders who gave those orders of course are not being prosecuted. There is also Brian Avery, who was shot in the face by Israeli soldiers, an American citizen. We’ve had others, less severely injured and what not. I mean, again, not to make too big a deal—I mean these are big deals. But at the same time, it pales in comparison to what the Palestinians have lived through. And the only reason why Rachel Corrie, Tom Hurndall, Brian Avery have gotten attention is quite frankly is that they’re white and they’re foreign citizens. And what happens to the average Palestinian on any given day doesn’t get the same kind of attention it should because they’re no less innocent and no less deserving of their rights of their life. And Rachel and Tom would have been the first to say that very thing.

Revolution: I think that work is very important. Lastly, let’s talk a little bit about your video project.

Shapiro: I myself am not allowed into the Palestinian territories by Israel any more. I’ve been banned, so far it’s going on, it will be seven years now. So I am, in a way, understand, I have somewhat of an experience—I was kicked out, forced out, and wasn’t allowed to get my possessions from my home or anything like that, so in a very superficial and minor way, I at least have some personal relation to the experience of Palestinian refugees. I have since spent a lot of time with Palestinian refugees all over the world, including in refugee camps throughout the region. And one thing I’ve learned both from my experience internally inside the West Bank and Gaza, and also among Palestinians in what is called Israel, as well as with the Palestinian Diaspora communities, is that the Palestinian—first it needs to be noted that there is nowhere in the world today that Palestinians can study their own history when they’re in school. In Israel, of course their history is denied to them. That’s 1.2 million Palestinians there in the West Bank and Gaza, the text books are still at the high school level, from the Egyptian period, so they are Egyptian-written textbooks in the West Bank, they are Jordanian-written textbooks and while they do touch on aspects of Palestinian histories, of course from the perspectives of the Egyptian and Jordanian governments, both of which have peace treaties with Israel, both of which have interests in suppressing Palestinian identity. In Jordan, obviously, it’s Jordanian government textbooks. In Lebanon, the Palestinian chapter that was part of the Lebanese history textbook has been removed by the Lebanese government from their textbooks. Syria is probably the only country where you can somewhat find a decent amount of Palestinian history—but even in Syria, Palestine is considered southern greater Syria, so there is a certain perspective in the way that that history is also taught, and of course it is within constraints and limits and certainly prone to the whims of relations between, in the past Yasser Arafat and Bashar Assad and more recently with Abbas and the government in Syria. And Egypt of course also doesn’t teach anything about Palestinian history except how it plays into Egypt’s role as the leader of Arab nationalism and so there’s that. And the same is true throughout the rest of the region. And of course in the U.S. and Western Europe and you are Palestinian and you get to college level and you want to study something about your part of the world, it’s always within the context either of conflict and conflict resolution and so you end up studying it from that prism alone or from the perspective of peace, peace-making. And again, it’s not about your own history or identity. And as such, there really is a tremendous lack of understanding of Palestinian history. There is of course a very strong, somewhat amazing, among the Palestinian Diaspora, a strong cultural commonality and identity that people have, whether it’s to the food or to the songs or to the music or to this or that. But in terms of really understanding a political, a sort of social history of the Palestinian people, there is quite a lack of knowledge and experience. And even within academia you won’t find much support for ethnographers to go and do research on Palestinian history and Palestinian study. You’ll find there is a lot of financial support to write something about the peace process, to write something about—there’s recently a book about demographics among Palestinians and the woman who wrote the book ended up finding that she could only get support for her research if she put it in the context of how this is a threat to Israel. The Palestinian wombs are of course the latest threat to the Israeli population.

Revolution: No one is actually telling the story from the perspective of the Palestinian people, so it is being shaped by the rulers of these other powers.

Shapiro: Absolutely, and to some extent in the past, when the PLO was more vibrant and had institutions, particularly in Lebanon there was more of an effort to do that internally. Now of course their ability to disseminate and their ability to publish all that was severely restricted. So there used to be this effort but that of course has really died, both with the expulsion of the PLO from Lebanon and just the overall trajectory that the PLO has taken politically. So what I thought I could do as someone who has had access to all these communities and working with two Palestinian colleagues was to literally go all around the world and interview Palestinians, focusing primarily on refugees, but we ended up, I mean the issues we discussed are not just limited to those who are officially refugees, looking at what has been the Palestinian experience over the last 60 years all over the world and then turning to certain issues in terms of internal debates and discussions that we feel need to happen among Palestinians, concerning issues of identity, concerning issues of representation and leadership, looking at the question of return and who’s working for return, and how and why and what kind of mechanisms are needed to organize and all these kinds of things. And we don’t have answers, we don’t propose that there are answers at this point. What we propose is that there needs to be a debate and discussion and more engagement.

Revolution: You say, you don’t propose that there are answers, or you don’t propose the answers?

Shapiro: We don’t propose both the answers or at the moment that there are answers at this point. The answers have to be developed through this kind of discussion. There could be more than one answer or multiple ways of doing it, but I think that still has to be developed.

I think it’s true that the younger generation of Palestinians who are coming of age now, people who are in their late teens and early twenties have surprised their parents’ generation in terms of their interest and attachment to Palestine and have caught their parents’ generation a bit unaware and off guard for both being able to engage in the societies in which they live, whether they’re in the Middle East or in Europe or in the United States, or South America or wherever. The younger generation has become incredibly adept, it's plugged in, it’s more global in vision, so the Palestinian struggle is understood not just as a limited struggle, it’s understood as a human struggle, it’s understood as being in solidarity with other struggles around the world. I think this is a development of this younger generation in a much more sophisticated and grassroots way than maybe the PLO used to represent it in the past as just saying it was in solidarity with all liberation struggles but then that really didn’t translate into much of anything except showing up to a meeting every now and then. So I think we’re seeing that but at the same time there is this thirst for and hunger for being able to participate and because of the political decisions that the Palestinian leadership embodied in the PLO made, to essentially forego the Diaspora for the sake of a state in the West Bank and Gaza, people don’t see that there is any way to participate and Palestinians who are not in the West Bank and Gaza cannot even vote in these elections that they hold for the leadership of the PA [Palestinian Authority]. So at that kind of level and well beyond that level there is desire, strong desire among Palestinians around the world to speak, to participate. And with this film, what we’re hoping to do is to bring focus to these kinds of debates and discussion and then to use it as a tool and a platform to move beyond. In a way, my colleagues and I have a visionary, or revolutionary kind of goal, but at the same time, I think that is driven by what we’ve heard and experienced from talking and living among Palestinians around the world. And maybe for me as an outsider I have that sort of step back, one step removed kind of ability to see a little bigger picture than those who are caught up in it more so than I am. So that is what the film is about and that is what we’re trying to do. So far we’ve screened it in camps in Lebanon.

Revolution: Tell people how to get the video.

Shapiro: The title of the film series is called Chronicles of a Refugee, it’s a six-part documentary series. We are self-distributing the DVD so if you go to the website for purchasing it is: It can also be bought here at Revolution Books [in New York]. And if anybody wants to organize a screening, and we’re interested in screening it, from big movie theaters down to somebody’s home where they just invite their family. There are something like seven million Palestinians, the average family size is something like between seven and nine, that is just the immediate nuclear family. If you could organize your family or extended family to sit together and watch a film, we only need to distribute less than a million copies, so that’s not too bad and not too difficult to imagine. If you go to YouTube and search for Chronicles of a Refugee, we have the preview on YouTube. And we actually have it so far in English, Arabic and Spanish on the preview. And French and other languages are on their way. And the film itself is translated into in English, with English subtitles, but also with Spanish subtitles and we’re getting French, Swedish, German, Portuguese, and Hebrew are all being worked on, subtitles.

Revolution #154, February 1, 2009

The Revolution Interview is a special feature to acquaint our readers with the views of significant figures in art, theater, music, literature, science, sports and politics. The views expressed by those we interview are, of course, their own, and they are not responsible for the views expressed elsewhere in Revolution.

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