rn: Aaron Koleszar on TIME cover


Jan Slakov

Dear RN,

I managed today to track down a copy of the Dec. 13 issue of TIME magazine.
I had been told that Aaron (who is a personal friend & friend of this list
too, eg. see the Oct. 11 RN posting) was on the cover, and indeed, it was
quite a shock to see Aaron there, being roughed up by police in Seattle.

I have been wondering for days how I might write a letter for local papers
that would help people better understand the significance of the Seattle
events. Now I think I know. Because Aaron is almost a "local boy" people are
fairly likely to be proud of him and to care about him as a person. That
link will help move them to care about something Aaron cares very deeply
about: corporate globalization.

I have written two letters for TIME, which I will copy below. I urge any of
you who feel so moved to write as well, in the hope that if enough of us
write they will surely choose at least one of our letters.

And for those of you who can get CBC radio (Canadian Broadcasting Corp.),
Aaron is to be interviewed on Wed. morning at about 10 AM. 

all the best, Jan
to: •••@••.•••

Dear Editor,

Quite a shock to see the cover of your Dec. 13 issue. I know Aaron Koleszar,
the young PEI (Prince Edward island) man being roughed up by two other men,
anonymous in their heavy riot gear.

I hope Aaron was not hurt.... I hope some of the pain in his expression is
outrage at the overly violent police tactics. Certainly, such treatment
would have been foreign to the way Aaron was raised. His parents are
exceptionally gentle people.

I am thankful to Aaron and the thousands of other WTO protesters. Because of
them, may daughter may one day live in a healthier, less violent world.

sincerely, Jan Slakov (address, phone # etc.)
letter written after speaking with Aaron's mother:

Dear Editor,

Remember the young man on the cover of the Dec. 13 issue of TIME? He's Aaron
Koleszar, a truly gentle man from PEI. As the photo shows, Aaron's arrest
was painful. He had been pepper-sprayed in the face and the police were
using "pain-holds"; later Aaron was thrown down with others onto the cement
floor of an unheated cell. They spent the night there shivering; their
jackets had been taken away.

Those of us who know and love Aaron are lucky. He has become something of a
celebrity; PEI newspapers are asking hopefully whether or not he will be
home for Christmas. And Elizabeth May, one of Canada's most loved
environmentalists says he will; she'll get him a plane ticket with her
points if need be.

In all the fuss over Aaron though, let's not forget why he was arrested.
Because he and thousands of others put their bodies on the line in Seattle,
our future will surely be healthier and less violent. And democracy has been
reborn; our governments must not sign away our birthrights to some
corporate-controlled agenda like the MAI or the WTO.

sincerely, Jan Slakov

You can call Seattle mayor Paul Shell (sp?) at (206)-684-4000. His address
would be: Honorable Paul Schell (sp?), Mayor, 600 4th Ave., 12th Fl.,
Seattle WA, 98104.) Ask what is being done to ensure the police violence
will not occur again. And urge him to apologize to the protesters who were
mistreated and to ensure that they be treated fairly now.