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Director's Message

Another World Is Possible: Another U.S. Is Necessary

By Nora Callahan

It's been a spring and summer of lots of travel to more places than there is room to detail, and more events and community groups are on my own schedule this season through the next. The first ever United States Social Forum was held at the end of June in Atlanta, GA. Aaron Dixon, Teresa Aviles, and Father Tom Hereford attended along with Chuck Armsbury and me. Many allied groups were represented. I explained November Coalition's understanding of this historic gathering in an interview with the DrugTruth Network, ( during the forum:

"This conference is different from many in that there are a lot of issues. Social Justice Forum simply means people who have been affected by terrible policies all over the globe have come together to share our mutual concerns and develop strategies that will bring us out from under so much oppression. And there are all kinds of oppression.

"So, we have been attending workshops that are not necessarily about our particular focused issue of drug war injustice. We've attended workshops about water security. People might ask, what does that have to do with the war on drugs?

"When we look at our common problems, we have corporations that make extreme amounts of profit on people who have to suffer from the policies the companies promote -- mostly to our U.S. Congress -- via lots of money to make laws that will benefit them.

"When we look at water issues, the connect is -- most new prisons in the United States are being built in rural areas. And they are built near fragile aquifers. We take a stack of human beings and put them over a fragile water source. We've learned to call this unsustainable human density. So as we meet people concerned with water supply and quality, we make them aware that in rural areas of the U.S., many of the resources are becoming new assets.

"In our region, law enforcement officials have been talking about a 4,500 bed prison facility, and planning it over a drinking water source already quickly diminishing.

"Prisons are a mass of humanity planted in a small space that use up a lot of water and output a lot of sometimes very dangerous chemicals, because, very often, factories are attached to prisons these days. People that are concerned about water have to be concerned about a growing prison industrial complex.

"The war on drugs also has connects to our food security. Yesterday, we learned about companies like Monsanto™ , who have seeds that sell and people are not allowed to save Monsanto™ seed. We learned that the new Iraq constitution our government helped write forbids people, farmers and gardners, to save and own their own seeds.

"The connects we see in the drug war is that some plants and seeds the governments have deemed illegal. The government then in effect owns the plants. They might allow pharmaceutical companies to oversee some grown and harvesting, but ordinary people worldwide are now restricted from growing their own foods and medicines.

"Mostly, people at this Social Justice Forum this year find the thread of common oppression boils down to greed -the idea that a few people would get rich by creating policies that devastate thousands of thousands of people -- those policies need to go. It feels good to be with thousands of people who find common ground in our various focused struggles.

"That is what this social forum has been about -- an exchange of ideas and inspirations. We know that we'll all go home to our respective communities to struggle against what we feel are leaders and corporations who don't care about our futures, but take everything they can now. Prisons are part of that. If they cared about our futures would we be building cages for our youth?

"Our website is located at, where the public can read hundreds of stories about how drug war injustice has impacted human beings in our country and around the world.. The hope of the future is the presence of so many young people who are determined to build a better world."

In Struggle,

Working to end drug war injustice

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