Ramsey Clark, A Celebration I Wouldn’t Have Missed
- New York 01/28/2013 by Tahrir Blog (WBAI)
Ramsey Clark, A Celebration I Wouldn’t Have Missed blog by BN Aziz Jan. 27
The banquet opened with a robust invocation-- a song for the recovery of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez—sung appropriately in Persian by Iranian vocalist Hussain Ajhabeizadeh who accompanied himself on guitar… no less.
Surely this couldn’t have happened in the USA? But it did. New York was indeed the venue of this extraordinary evening, one celebrating the 85th birthday of an extraordinary person, Ramsey Clark.
“Whereas today most Americans do not know the name Ramsey Clark, across the world millions do—wherever people are fighting for justice”, noted the party’s host. She wasn’t speaking of ‘convenient’ justice for ‘selected’ victims as defined by US policy makers, their UN lackeys and a compliant media. She referred to a justice for nations, a justice for truth and parity.
What endears Ramsey Clark to people worldwide is his insistence on a universal justice that respects national integrity and independence, that rejects demonization and marginalization of people who refuse to bow to American demands and accept roles the West assigns them. Nicaragua, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Venezuela, Palestine are among nations Ramsey Clark focused his attention over the past half century.
Also individuals in US jails: the Cuban Five, Lynne Stewart, Mumia AbuJamal, Leonard Peltier, Aafia Siddiqui, Jamal AlAmin. (Few in this country know their names, locked away
for decades, imprisoned far from their families.) Ramsey’s unremitting role in their struggle is documented by the organization he founded, the International Action Center, celebrating its 20th anniversary this night too.
Attorney Clark and IAC go where even journalists won’t dare. They go there long before professional humanitarians will acknowledge suffering generated by western governments themselves. They go as witnesses to truth. Fortunately for us, IAC (iacenter.org) is not only dedicated but diligent and productive. Perhaps more important than succor, IAC has assembled a unmatched body of video and written testimony documenting, for example, the years of sanctions against Iraq, the US invasion of Panama, NATO’s Balkan war. Along with the record of Clark’s International War Crimes Tribunals, you can find these on IAC’s rich web site, www.iacenter.org. And for those curious about Clark’s exceptional career as a lawyer in the US Justice Department, the Civil Rights Movement and beyond, find that online too: www.iacenter.org/gala).
As for the celebratory January 12 evening, it was not only affirming but great fun too-- something all activists need from time to time (http://ramseyclarkiacgala.com). Nothing wrong with celebrating ourselves, especially behind a figure like Ramsey.