If you watch the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, you may note that the theme of the movie is that there is a pervasive evil force in the world, a force typified by an urge toward domination implemented through massive armaments and armies, as well as destruction of the earth.
In 2003, this powerful evil force seemed everywhere active, with images of carnage and cynicism, with complicit corporate media cheering on war, with corrupt politicians lying to a largely-complacent populace.
Yet, there were people who challenged the evil force, who sought to bring peace and freedom to the world. Here is a list of some of them. The goal of noting their achievements is not just to thank them and highlight their heart and bravery, but to inspire all of us to be warriors for good.
Some notable heroes of 2003:
MARC EMERY- Cannabis seed merchant who spent his summer traveling around Canada smoking pot in front of police stations, getting arrested, challenging marijuana law enforcement, paying for Supreme Court challenges to Canada’s marijuana laws, funding dozens of other activistic efforts.
NEW JERSEY WEEDMAN ED FORCHION- Imprisoned for pot and for telling government officials to kiss his ass. Refuses to obey court orders. Smokes pot in public in front of police officers, tells them, “Fuck You,” while also using the hand gesture which means the same thing. Manages to do this without getting his head beaten in.
AMY GOODMAN- New York internet journalist whose Democracy Now audio program is the best journalism in the world. Amy regularly challenges the propagandistic version of reality put forth by corporate media. Check out her archived and live shows at www.democracynow.org
ALEXANDER COCKBURN- Long-time radical journalist whose www.counterpunch.org features hard-hitting journalism that is the print equivalent of Amy Goodman’s audio shows. Criticizes Bush, Zionist Israel, earth destroyers, and politicians with a stable of professional journalists, and toothy sarcasm.
NOAM CHOMSKY- Feisty 75-year-old elder statesman of the radical Left, continued his decades-long criticism of the US Empire with facts, historical context, and morality. Aided in his endeavor by HOWARD ZINN and GORE VIDAL.
JANE GOODALL- Still warning the world that humans are destroying all other species, including Goodall’s beloved chimpanzees that she has long studied, and who are now on the verge of extinction (www.janegoodall.org). Assisted in her efforts to save primates and life on earth by scientists E.O. WILSON, PAUL EHRLICH, VENDANA SHIVA (www.ecoworld.com, www.overpopulation.org).
DENNIS KUCINICH- Member of the US House of Representatives who is the only Democratic presidential candidate who opposes the war on drugs, the war on Iraq, the war on Labor, the war on freedom and the war on the earth. Mainstream media pretends he doesn’t exist while grassroots supporters rally to him. Fund him at www.kucinich.us.
MICHAEL MOORE- Oscar-winning documentarian and best-selling author whose latest book directly confronts President Bush’s business partnerships with the bin Laden family and the Al Saud royal family, and who ties together the evidence that shows that 9-11-01 was just as likely a CIA operation as it was the act of 20 Arabs directed by a bearded guy from a cave in Afghanistan.
ED ROSENTHAL- Cannabis Culture grow guru who told the federal government to go to hell after being caught growing a lot of pot in California. Instead of fleeing the USA, Rosenthal stood down federal prosecutors and the judge, proved the jury was on his side, sued the parent company of High Times magazine, and otherwise refused to bow down to swine. Rosenthal’s book publishing company is soon to publish a book featuring Cannabis Culture writers and photographers.
LORETTA NALL- Southern belle falsely arrested for less than a gram of pot in 2002 in Alabama, a state that has no civil rights, where defendants can be convicted of crimes without ever having had a fair trial. Instead of plea bargaining and kissing ass, Nall went on a righteous rampage, becoming a popular Pot-TV news anchor, president of the US Marijuana Party and also muckraking across the Deep South, exposing police corruption and hammering drug warriors with her sexy Southern babe accent. Nall goes on trial in Alabama in February. Nall’s efforts are sponsored by MARC EMERY.
SCOTT RITTER- Former UN weapons inspector who busted Tony Blair, George W.Bush and other warheads for lying about Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction. Assisted by JOSEPH WILSON, a US government analyst and former ambassador to Iraq who told the Bush administration in 2002 that its claims that Hussein was developing nuclear weapons with uranium from Niger were false. Bush and Tony Blair ignored Wilson, falsely claimed that Hussein had nuclear weapons, and then somebody in the Bush White House retaliated against Wilson’s challenge to Bush lies- the White House outed Wilson’s wife, a covert CIA operative.
JESSICA LYNCH- US soldier taken captive in Iraq, was made into a “hero” by propagandists from the Pentagon and corporate media, who created a false story about her capture and rescue. Lynch has since publicly stated that the military and media lied about what happened to her in Iraq, and said she resented how they had used her plight to whip up sentiment in favor of war. Shares honors with the DIXIE CHICKS, the three-member musical group that was condemned by right-wingers for mild anti-war comments made by a member of the group during a London concert. The Chicks continue to be a top musical act, and they posed nude for a magazine photo shoot that showed them tattooed with words like “communist,” and “traitor.” Incidentally, the photo revealed that the Chicks are absolute hotties.
FORESTFIRE- “Activist name” of female Earth First! forest guardian, a 17-year-old Oregon native who fought with three male loggers and disabled chain saws they were going to use to kill a 450-year-old tree in a Northern California forest. Check out www.earthfirst.org for more info on activists like Forestfire and on an organization that has been labeled as a “terrorist” cell by John Ashcroft.
PAMELA ANDERSON LEE- Pot-smoking blonde bombshell who uses her fame to do good. Her latest activism is directed against the Kentucky Fried Chicken corporate junkfood chain, which she criticizes for procuring chickens from factory farms that feature “torture” conditions for the little chicklets. Assisted in her efforts by Pretender’s lead singer and guitarist CHRISSIE HYNDE, as well as Beatle Sir PAUL MCCARTNEY, who is also known to have been a long-time pot-smoker. Visit www.peta.org.
These are just a few of the people who put their lives or careers on the line for freedom, ethics and justice during 2003. They risked it all, and stood up for good.
It’s not a value judgment or a matter of opinion- some people contribute to health, peace, beauty, earth, freedom, kindness and justice while other people work for prisons, military hardware corporations, military killers, polluting industries, death industries, earth-destroying industries, animal enslavers, and other bad karma outfits.
Which side will you be on in 2004?