Citizen Diplomacy – “Talking to the American People”

Torture Survivors as Ambassadors – Year 2009-12

In a letter written to President Barack Obama on June 27, 2009, the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC) – International members said, “We gather annually at the end of June on occasion of the U.N. International Day in Support of Victims of Torture for a 24 hour Vigil of solidarity with our sisters and brothers who are currently suffering torture in more than 150 countries around the world… We gathered to protest the military aid the U.S. administration had given to governments involved in torture. It was most distressing that after 9/11, the Bush administration, in betrayal of America’s most cherished principles, began to endorse torture as a tool in the war against terrorism…”

TASSC also praised the President, Barack Obama, saying, “One of your first statements on becoming a President was that your administration would never engage in torture anymore.”

The United States Congressional Human Rights Commission sponsored a hearing on June 25, 2009 at Capitol Hill with TASSC Panel of Survivors and members who came from all regions of the world, many living as political refugees in the United States. The hearing was lead by Hans Hogrefe, a special assistant to Representative James McGovern (D-Massachusetts) to address the need for accountability and to put pressure on countries that practice torture.

“As a member of Congress and an American citizen, it is very painful for me that my government over the past few years condoned the use of torture in a cruel, degrading, and inhumane treatment of prisoners,” said Congressman James McGovern (D-Massachusetts) in his opening commentary on the hearing. McGovern said he had “faith” that the “Obama administration is moving the country in the right direction.”

According to the annual report issued by TASSC International, 133 torture survivors entered the United States in year 2008 and 65 of them (about 49%) came from Ethiopia. Everybody was shocked by that statistics that clearly speaks for itself that Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia is holding world record in torturing the Ethiopian people.

The world was silent while Hitler was committing genocide against the Jews. The world was silent during the genocide in Rwanda. The world is silent again while the racist and fascist regime of Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia is committing genocide against the Oromo people, the Ogaden people, the Anuaks, the Amharas, the Sidamas and other people of the Horn of Africa region. I seize this opportunity to thank the World Genocide Watch for issuing an arrest warrant against Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia.

A founder and former politburo member of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and a former Defense Minister of the regime once said, “The prison speaks Oromiffa. Mr. Seye Abraha said, “About 99% of the prisoners in Qaliti are Oromos.” Apparently, it is evident that the majority of torture survivors that entered the U.S. in year 2008 are Oromos. However, I do not have the exact breakdown of their ethnic background.

Albert Einstein once said, “Great spirits have always found violent oppositions from mediocrities. The later cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.” Mr. Seye and his former comrades have waged a war against truth and the moral supremacy we have as compared to these weak personalities and the force of reason and the power of truth is exposing them in every corner of the world. The recent report by one of the top three prestigious universities in America, Princeton University, about the barbaric torture of an Ethiopian Auditor, Mr. Demissie Abebe, by Meles Zenawi’s security forces is a good proof to my statement. The hopeless regime is engaged in a rampant corruption that is failing the country. Being a professional auditor is a crime when judged by such corrupt and evil regimes. However, Mr. Demissie Abebe is one of the award winning human rights activists by the Washington Peace Center. He is the Executive Director of TASSC – International.

National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), an advocacy group and a coalition of 130 religious institutions in America, also gave us the chance to give testimony against torture on March 19, 2009. Out of three torture survivors that were given the chance to testify, two were from that evil empire – Ethiopia and another survivor from Uganda. I have tried to explain briefly about the policy of the regime – the Red Scare, an ingeniously crafted policy of inspiring fear on the people to justify what is unjustifiable. I also thanked President John F. Kennedy for passing the torch to my generation. He gave us a real gift – John F. Kennedy Library at Addis Ababa University. I said, “Instead of giving us a dead fish, he taught us how to catch a live fish. It is that torch that gave me the confidence to challenge an inferior ideology that is crafted by Meles Zenawi  - Revolutionary Democracy. ” The mediator who was standing next to me during my testimony couldn’t control his laughter after these remarks. It was that torch which gave me the confidence and that enabled me to read and understand what Jeffersonian democracy and revolutionary democracy is.

The campaign made by these advocacy groups and a group of Catholic workers who have written about their campaign as Witness Against Torture call it “Speaking truth to power on a heroic scale.” These groups wrote a book called “Witness Against Torture” and they say: “As people of faith, we believe our own dignity and humanity are bound up undeniably with the dignity and humanity of all other people.”

Political dissent is the highest form of patriotism and we need to learn from the developed world. For instance Thomas H. Johnson, a research professor at the Naval Postgraduate school in Monterey, California wrote on the Washington post on March 27, 2008: “People in the beltway are aware that Musharaf’s days are numbered, and so they recognize they may only have a few months to do this. Musharaf has…very few friends in the world – he probably has more inside the beltway than in his own country.” Similarly, Zenawi had more friends in the beltway than in Ethiopia.

Torture survivors were asked to define torture on the June vigil that was held in front of the White House in 2009. A torture survivor woman said, “Torture is worse than death. “ I also confirmed that she was right because I was begging my torturers to kill me but they were saying, “We want you to suffer not die.” They preferred my suffering to my death. That is why we say torture is worse than death. I always say torture is the moral equivalent of terrorism.

The human cost and the damage to the environment of this region has already been too high. Therefore, every Oromo and the people of this region must work hard to expose the very systematic genocide that is going on since this minority regime came to power.

I also thank the Common Good and Staff members of Senator Robert P. Casey of Pennsylvania including the staff members of Senator Arlen Specter, a Republican Senator turned Democrat, for giving me the chance to talk to them at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania about the barbaric torture techniques that Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia is using against the Oromo people and other people of the Horn of Africa region. I am honored to have the opportunity to see the City that survived job export to overseas. My sponsors explained to me that the city lost jobs and population after the still mills were exported overseas. However, with the conviction of the people of Pittsburg, the City was rebuilt; the rivers and parks that were polluted were cleaned.

I extended a heartfelt greeting and thanked my sponsors for protecting and keeping their environment so neat and clean. I explained to my sponsors how the forests of Pennsylvania reminded me of the forests of Roggee Mountains in Tuqur Inchinni, Oromia. I explained that it takes more than 300 years for an alpine juniper tree to grow to its highest level but it took only seventeen years to destroy the dense alpine forest during the communist regime of Mengistu Hailemariam of Ethiopia. The bio diversity of plants and animals in that forest were gone in less than two decades because of lack of responsibility and accountability. The communists have destroyed our own way of life by importing ideas that were engineered from Kremlin. Soviet ideologies and killer machines have been used to destabilize the region for 17 years.

I also told them how Zenawi’s regime set fire on Oromian forests covering about 100,000 square kilometers on the pretext that the insurgents of the opposition groups were hiding in it. After listening to my testimony, they promised to tell my story to their mayor and Senators. While the Prime Minister of Ethiopia is savagely treating the people of the Horn of Africa region, the civilized world shows how it cares for a puppy dog that had been hit by a car accident. My sponsors were telling me about the story of a puppy dog whose legs were broken by a car accident. Its legs were treated by surgery at the Animal Hospital and it was very exciting to walk the dog that has survived a car accident in that tranquil and serene park that reminded me my grand fathers’ forest land. I once again thank my sponsors for keeping our world so healthy and neat and for taking care of the survivor dog in a city that survived job loss and human cruelty of terrorists on September 11, 2001. We remember those innocent people that lost their lives on one of the planes that was hijacked by Al-Qaeda members and crashed near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

During the June 2009 survivors panel discussion, a torture survivor woman from Iran said, “Being a woman is a crime in Iran. We are second-class citizens.” Thanks to Jeffersonian democracy, neither being a woman nor being an Oromo is a crime here in the United States of America. That is why I have never regretted fleeing to the United States. A torture survivor from Iran could be more politically important than a torture survivor from Oromia. Corporate media and politicians might favor the former to the later. If you ask a Western diplomat about Meles Zenawi, s/he may say, “We know Zenawi is a dictator; but he is our favorite dictator!” Nevertheless, s/he must now realize that embracing a dictator in Ethiopia is an absolute failure. Some autocratic governments could get public sympathy by arguing that the Western world is not interested in promoting a just democracy but in promoting their own greed and interest by intervening in the internal affairs of weaker nations through their thugs and puppets such as Zenawi of Ethiopia. Now, thanks to the groundswell of advocacy no one can hide Zenawi’s and his Western allies failures in the Capital City of Africa – Finfinne (Addis Ababa.)

The “Democracy” agenda of the Bush administration has only damaged the global image of the United States. It was our own perception that was wrong if we have ever seen his freedom agenda as a genuine promotion of democracy. I thanked that courageous Iranian woman for fighting for her right on behalf of my mother, my wife, my daughters and sisters and other women that stood for their rights. We are free people and we no more worry about torture and disappearances here in the U.S. since Jefferson’s great ideas have grown to such a stage and the son of an African immigrant, Barack Obama, is now in the White House. That is why people prefer the United States to other countries. However, I am not naïve to believe that disingenousness would magically vanish because the son of an African immigrant took over the White House. It is not easy to change the status quo. It is very easy to observe here in the U.S. that there is a bitter struggle as a result of a conflict between special interests and public interests.

As Steven Biko said, “The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” I was so amazed by the wisdom of Biko when an Oromo woman, a torture survivor, and a long time member of TASSC that came from Canada said, “I have never been oppressed. I left my country when I was only 14 years old. I am a free woman.” This year many Oromo Torture Survivors attended TASSC’s Torture Survivors week and commemorated the U.N. International Day in Support of Victims and Survivors of Torture.

I have never doubted the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson for we have managed to attract one of the editors of our popular newspaper, Urji, a torture survivor, a human rights activist and one of the founders of the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLA), Mr. Garoma Bekele. He also came from Canada and he was one of Oromo active participants at TASSC – International in year 2009. We all agreed to work together and we will soon prove to friends and foes about Jefferson’s observation that “… Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a Government without newspapers or newspapers without a Government, I should not hesitate to prefer the later.” Both Urji newspaper, Urji magazine, Bakkalcha Oromia, Gada, Ayyaantuu, Opride, Bilisummaa,… etc. will continue to be voices for the voiceless in the Diaspora even before having our own Government in Oromia. What is needed is a liberated and free mind that entertains diverse views, ideas, and the opinions of mankind. Obbo Garoma is recognized as Oromo person of the year by OPride and Gadaa.com. Thank you Obbp Garoma for your humanitarian work and congratulations for getting the recognition you deserve.

TASSC has been endorsed by many prestigious institutions and organizations and prominent personalities, among others, three Nobel Peace Laureates: Oscar Arias, Dalai Lama, and Mairead Corrigan Maguire.

Meles Zenawi has shattered our lives and affected both the lives of our families and communities. However, torture survivors are proving that they are not people drowned by anger, fear, hopelessness and hate. We have the courage to forgive if the perpetrators refrain from their evil works and if they resign and give power to the people. We will challenge them by the force of human freedom and their inferior ideology, Revolutionary Democracy, that was crafted to confuse people that had no access to education and the less privileged and disadvantaged sectors of the society.

Are We Breaking the Silence ?

As one Evangelist puts it, “Human concepts, no matter how cleverly conceived they are; almost always work against the whole.” The grand collision of corporate interests with public interests has resulted in an outrage of the people of the United States towards corporate greed. The greed that led to the collapse of Enron, and Madoff’s greed that shattered the lifetime savings of many Americans and charities has forced millions not to entrust their own future and the future of their children to few elected officials and greedy businesswomen/men only. The debates made by candidates during the 2008 U.S. presidential election also highlighted this fact. It is not surprising if sharks in men’s face such as Madoff and Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia hate professional auditors like the one we have at TASSC, Demissie Abebe, a torture survivor from Ethiopia.

David Marcum and Steven Smith wrote in their book Egonomics that, “Leadership is best reserved for those who don’t need positions of leadership to validate who they are.” This reminds me about Sister Dianna Ortiz, Sister Alice, and many volunteers at TASSC – International. According to the information I have obtained from TASSC members and the Catholic University of America (CUA) website, “The Catholic University of America Alumni Association’s highest honor recognizing service to the church, the country, or the university has awarded Sister Alice Zachmann the James Cardinal Gibbons Medal. Sister Alice has served as a volunteer at TASSC for about 13 years and she was gracefully retired at the age of 84 in year 2010. According to the CUA website, “Sister Alice Zachmann founded the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission -USA in 1982. It became a powerful force in advocating for victims of repression in Guatemala and lobbying for better U.S. policy decisions regarding that country.” People that are close to TASSC and CUA said that such rare and highest honorary awards were given only to very few people and President John F. Kennedy was one of the recipients of such award.

Sister Alice also took me and another Oromo torture Survivor to the U.S. Congress in year 2009. After that hearing, an activist from Minnesota got closer to her and said “You are an angel.” That group has also exposed Zenawi’s atrocities on the VOA,

I was so glad to have an opportunity to talk to U.S, officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). We had the opportunity to raise the following issues:

  • An award-winning magazine, Foreign Policy (FP), listed Ethiopia as one of the failed states.Their critical observations were so accurate and the head quarter of African Union and U.N. Economic Commission for Africa and the sit of many international organizations such as the European Union and diplomats, Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) are now in the dark. Electric power is rationed to the public every other day. As we speak, people get power three or four days in a week.
  • According to TASSC International, 133 torture survivors entered the U.S. from all regions of the world in year 2008 and 65 of them (about 49%) came from Ethiopia. This is so alarming and one can imagine those who cannot leave the country due to the tight restrictions on visas and shortage of resources to escape torture. That is why people attempt to flee the country in cargo compartments of planes and highly risky and unsafe boats. Many people in the East Africa region are dying while they were trying to escape persecution and economic injustices by unsafe boats to other countries.
  • The Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) party drew a large crowd of its members and supporters in year 2007 at the National Mall here in Washington, DC. A U.S. Congressman said, “The Bush administration is not listening to you. Therefore, find out as to how you can reach out to the American people.” Although I was neither a member nor supporter of the CUD, I found out that the message of that Congressman was so powerful. Thanks to TASSC, we found out as to how we talk to the American people. We talked to the faithful at Churches, schools, colleges, and universities. We talked to Americans and people from other parts of the world as Truth Speakers.
  • We thank the DHS for giving work authorization to an Oromo Torture Survivor who has shown the severe torture he has endured in Zenawi’s prisons more through his emotions than his words.
  • We also thank the DHS for promising to make the perpetrators accountable for their crimes. The officers said, “America is not a safe haven for torturers and criminals. They cannot walk freely with victims of torture on American streets.”

A TASSC volunteer asked the Officers from the DHS how they define torture and they replied that, “We define torture according to the Convention against Torture.” We thanked them for the policy review and we sincerely demanded the U.S. to stop embracing dictators like Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia. We believe that America is an inspiration to those who struggle for more honest, just, and democratic society. It is only in America that the son of an African immigrant runs for and takes the most revered office in the world – the White House. I simply say to Thomas Jefferson, rest in peace! President Clinton’s speech on the acceptance ceremony of President Obama that “People all over the world are impressed not by America’s power but by the power of our ideas” was a proof to the beauty and power of Jeffersonian democracy. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, do you hear me? Where is the change? President Obama, do you hear me? Where is the change you advocated for? Are you still embracing dictators like Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia at the expense of the people of Horn of Africa?

I have already seen what hell looks like in Zenawi’s prison cells. I do not think God is cruel like Zenawi of Ethiopia to put me in hell for the second time. I am not trying to issue a ticket to heaven to my self but I wanted to tell you about two of my entertainers in Zenawi’s prison cells, artist Michael Jackson and Tilahun Gessese. After drugging me, the perpetrators were hanging T-shirts that have photos of these great artists on the wall. I think they were checking the effect of the drug on my brain before they start reading it. I was mimicking Jackson and Tilahun. I don’t know why they have chosen Jackson but I guess they have chosen Tilahun to gauge the level of my Oromo nationalism since I was singing and dancing only his Afan Oromo songs. Both artists are now called by their Creator in year 2009. I also say to both artists rest in peace.

Men have shown us their capabilities in defacing the face of humans such as artist Michael Jackson but not created a single cell. I am also free to believe in my Creator God – (Waaqaa) in my language – Afan Oromo. I believe that He created me. I ask Him to forgive me if I have ever said, “True” to Marxists that used to say, “God does not exist. You have created Him in your mind and bothering yourself.” We have seen while their theories vanish in 1991 and we hope the end of the faithless communist, Zenawi’s revolutionary democracy, will not be too far.

Finally, I sincerely urge all Oromos to be united to solve the problems of the Oromo people. The Horn of Africa region is one of the hottest conflict zones in the world. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.” All Religious leaders have to come out of the four walls of their Churches, Mosques, Temples and Galmas and reach out to the people of the world. “Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in day out.” Henry David Thoreau.

“People of Value Vs People of Small Thinking”

The sum of our small efforts that we have repeated day in day out have started giving results. On March 19, 2009, when we gave testimony at Catholic University of America on a conference organized by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, a Professor from Harvard University promised to empower the torture survivors after listening to our testimonies. The actions of such high profile intellectuals and powerful religious activists gave us hope and we managed to overcome fear and hate.

On a fund raising event organized by TAS SC- International on April 17, 2010, the President of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, Linda Gustitus, said: “During the Bush – Cheney administration, the United States has become a victim of small thinking. East Africa has also become a victim of such small thinking.” Then, she asked, “All torture survivors in this hall please stand up.” We stood up. Then she asked the audience to look at us to prove that the overwhelming majority of torture survivors that were standing in that hall were from East Africa – Ethiopia, Eritrea and Uganda.

It is our courage, our persistence, and our conviction to tell the truth to people of value that led us to success. Linda Gustitus is President of the Board of Directors of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture; former trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division; served as an aide to Senator Carl Levin as Staff Director and Chief Counsel on his Governmental Affairs Committee Subcommittee and as his Chief of Staff, and retired in 2003; served for one year on the Congressional Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. She has taught at Washington College of Law, American University, George Town University, and George Washington University; member of River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Bethesda for over 20 years. In 2006 she co-founded the Washington Region Religious Campaign Against Torture.

We Have Made a Splash in Year 2010

When I was a kid in elementary school, I asked my mother: “Christians have the Bible; Muslims have the Qur’an, Where is our Bible or the Qur’an? She replied, “My mother told me that the cattle ate our Holy Book. Our forefathers asked God to give them another Holy Book. Then God replied, here I give you my Holy Spirit “Ayyaanaa.” Don’t worry about the Holy Book. Slaughter the cattle that ate your Book and read its “mooraa”, the fatty layer that covers the stomach, the small and large intestines. That is why some wise men and women read “mooraa” and some very few have “Ayyanaa”- the Holy Spirit. I think she was right. She sent me to school and she was saying “jabaadhuu baradhu” to mean study or work hard. I found both the Holy Book and “Ayyanaa” and I think that is from where I drew my strength.

This year, we commemorated June 26, 2010, the U.N. Day in support of victims and survivors of Torture with a great success. We had a three days workshop on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was organized by the U.N., TASSC International, and Pax Christi USA.

I am so honored to have this opportunity to tell my story to so many influential activists such as Patricio Rice who gave us the training on the Universal Declarations of Human Rights from June 21-23, 2010. After passing the torch to many world activists during the Torture Survivors Weeks every year, he died on July 7, 2010 as a result of a heart attack here in the U.S. at Florida. I seize this opportunity to extend my condolence to his beloved families and friends. I promise to continue to work hard like him to abolish torture wherever it is practiced. A short biography of Patrick Rice was written by TASSC as follows:

Dear Friends,

It is with a heavy heart that I write to tell you we have lost our dear brother Patrick Rice.  He died last night (July 7) of a heart attack while en route from Ireland to Buenos Aires, at a hospital near the airport in Miami.  Scott has gone to Miami to accompany his body back to Buenos Aires.   What a gift it was for many of us to be with him less than 2 weeks ago for Survivor Week.  Patricio was a vibrant, loving person who touched everyone he met with his positive energy.  He devoted his life to the fight against torture and we are forever grateful for his passionate witness.

For those of you who didn’t know Patrick, he was a longtime member of TASSC who was imprisoned and tortured in 1976 while serving in pastoral ministry in Argentina.  A native of Ireland, he had gone to Argentina as chaplain at the Catholic University of Santa Fe.  Dissatisfied with his pastoral role, he joined the Little Brothers (Hermanitos) of Charles de Foucauld, and began organizing workers and helping the poor.  When he started actively investigating the military government’s human rights abuses and atrocities he was captured and tortured by them.  After his release, he became a powerful voice denouncing torture and shining the light on injustice. He founded and participated in many organizations in Europe, the U.S., and Latin American countries to investigate disappearances, support and organize families of the disappeared, and advocate against human rights abuses.  He was a key member of the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances and one of the founding members of the Latin American Federation of Associations of Relatives of the Disappeared-Detainees (FEDEFAM).  He and his wife Fatima and three children lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  I’ve attached a biography that describes more of Patrick’s remarkable accomplishments promoting human rights.

The TASSC family deeply mourns Patrick’s passing and our hearts ache for his family.  We commit ourselves to continuing the work of this courageous man.

We also got the opportunity of Senate hearing in the good offices of 12 U.S. Senators. We had the opportunity to expose the highly systemic torture techniques of Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia to these Senators. TASSC-International’s report also exposed that Ethiopia is holding world record in Torture. Out of the 144 torture survivors that entered the U.S. in 2009/10, 73 of them, about 51%, came from Ethiopia. Eritrea was the second country in the Geography of torture with 12 torture survivors out of 144. In year 2011 Ethiopia still leads the world in torture and it contributed 48% to the total number of torture survivors. That report was used by the Washington Center, the Eastern Mennonite University, and Catholic University to teach students and Human Rights activists about Transitional Justice.

As an individual, I was so honored to get connected to so many wonderful people and I thank all organizations and individuals that have empowered us to tell our true stories so that they serve as lessons to prevent such human cruelties. It is so uplifting to get recognized, to have the chance to tell our stories, and be listened to with respect. I also thank the VOA Afan Oromo program and the Oromo Community Organization in Washington, D.C., TV Oromia of Toronto, Canada for giving adequate air time for the efforts we have made to educate the public about Zenawi’s barbaric torture techniques. Our enemy was so panicked and they reacted to our actions through their radio program in Washington, D.C. Since they could no more deceive the Diaspora Oromos, they were forced to discontinue the Afan Oromo speaking wing of the TPLF called “Raadiyoo Salaam” and replaced it with an Amharic program called “Hager Fiqir” after the VOA Afan Oromo program and Oromo Community radio programs made interviews with Oromo torture survivors. They realized that their lackeys are not competent enough to counter our actions. We have proved to our enemies and to the world communities that those who struggle for a just cause are more powerful than oppressors no matter how long it takes.

Our next step is working on making the perpetrators accountable for their crimes. We have already got the tools and skills and we will work as a team with other activists and Oromo Studies Association to produce a report based on the U.N. format. We have got the necessary training and a Professor from Johns Hopkins University also took the training with us to help us with the production of such report. It is a great opportunity to use this momentum to advance the Oromo cause since we were told that the Ethiopian Human Rights condition is one of the worst in the world and it is already high on the agenda of the United Nations.

 

Kallacha W. Kunee

The author has got many credentials for his accomplishments as a Human Rights Activist from various organizations and prominent leaders and personalities. Two of of them are Nobel Prize Laurettes, President Jimmy Carter, Author Toni Morison; a Presidential Candidate, Senator George McGovern. The Southern Poverty Law Center has awarded him a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of his important contribution to the ongoing fight against hatred and intolerance in America. The certificate indicates that his name will be added to the Wall of Tolerance in Montgomery, Alabama, to provide inspiration to all those who choose to take a stand against hatred. The Wall of Tolerance is in the same complex as the Civil Rights Memorial.

The author could be reached at akkumaa777@aol.com