Letters from our readers

On Bombing suspect captured after military-police lockdown of Boston”

WSWS writers often bring an objective perspective to current events that can’t be found elsewhere. Lantier and Randall have hit the nail on the head with this one.


Terry M
Arizona, USA
20 April 2013


National Public Radio (NPR) host Melissa Block provided updates on the police lockdown of Boston (April 19) and the police shootout with the Tsarnaev brothers.

After hijacking an expensive automobile (a Mercedes SUV), the alleged bombers were surrounded by police. Block provided a “most interesting” eye-witness report on this episode:

The brothers leapt out of the Mercedes, guns blazing, “throwing explosive devices” as the police closed in on them.

“Tamerlan, the older one, went down. Dzhokhar, at that point, gets back in the Mercedes and makes a run for it, goes straight at the police who are marching toward him—’rammed a police line with [his] car’—and that’s apparently how he got away.”

The elder brother was shot to death and the wounded younger brother, Dzhokhar, briefly evading the police, apparently surrendered later that evening….

NPR’s Robin Young was interviewed by Steve Inskeep. Her nephew knew the younger Tsarnaev boy, Dzhokhar. She met him at a prom party and described him this way: “And Dzhokhar was just—you know, the light of the party, a beautiful, beautiful boy with curly black hair, you know, [and a] light attitude.”

Inskeep, annoyed at Young’s unguarded and humane remarks, cut her off, sneering, “In any event, he didn’t push [his Muslim faith] into people’s faces.”

Clearly, the whole point of the NPR coverage on the Boston Bombing is to dehumanize the men who committed the crime, and to rationalize—and celebrate—the massive police reaction whose real purpose is to intimidate the working people of Boston. It is now obvious that a de facto police state has fully emerged in America, just as the WSWS and the SEP has been reporting for years that it would.

Randy R
Arizona, USA
20 April 2013

On Obama comes to Boston

This was a very true and very powerful editorial comment. Good job!

Gene G
Brooklyn, New York
19 April 2013

On Newark, New Jersey students protest education cuts

Dear Editor,

I recently saw an article published by the WSWS that caught my attention. It was titled “Newark, New Jersey students protest education cuts,” and it made me aware of students’ brave defiance when their resources are threatened. Moreover, it is related to a social problem I am investigating and publicizing through my blog.

Personally, I believe it’s iniquitous what the state government is doing. They have already cut educational funds before, forcing schools to lay off teachers and reduce programs, and now they want to further diminish our activities? And instead of being supported for their effort, the students of Newark are threatened with suspension if they try to stand up for their education! This is outrageous.

As minors, we do not yet have the right to vote. Adults need to take into consideration that when new laws are made, they are affecting our futures. We are the tomorrow of this country, and it will not be a considerable one if the people who will make the decisions next are deprived of basic assets to education.

Virginia Q
New Jersey, USA
18 April 2013

On Texas plant explosion highlights gutting of health and safety rules

The articles on the plant explosion in Texas have been very good. There is one thing that I would note about the response to the fire.

It was reported yesterday that anhydrous ammonia was spilled in the plant and that it was possible the explosion was caused by the local firefighters pouring water onto the already existing fire and reacting with the pure ammonia. As to my knowledge, this is the most plausible scenario for what happened.

And yet, this is precisely what should not have happened. In any chemical spill, one of the absolute worst things to do is pour water over it. Water, despite being a compound required for life, reacts rather violently with a great deal of man-made chemicals. In a chemical spill, the proper response is to pour carbon dioxide foam over the spill, much like using a giant fire extinguisher.

So, a further question in this case is: Among the myriad other safety violations, why was the volunteer (!) fire department not properly equipped to handle such fires? This is another aspect of the criminal negligence that contributes to these disasters. Any town with a chemical plant, under a rational society, would be prepared to deal with a chemical fire, which is vastly different from a house fire. Otherwise, things such as this explosion will occur with increasing frequency and tragedy.

Bryan D
20 April 2013