Michael True

posted by Mike on June 24th, 2005

Worcester’s Michael True, an academic and an activist, was profiled this week in Worcester Magazine:

This was a hotbed of abolitionism. The mayor of the city announced that the Fugitive Slave Law would never be prosecuted in the city of Worcester. Imagine if [current mayor] Tim Murray said that we weren’t going to supply any money to Raytheon to build weapons of mass destruction. That’s what it would be like.

Michael is a Quaker and a staunch supporter of his local Catholic Worker community. He’s also a really friendly guy. One day, during a peace demonstration at a busy intersection, a driver stopped her car in front of Michael True, rolled down her window, and shouted at him: “Michael! I want my daughter to go to Assumption College because of you!”

Michael True holds forth on Colombia

Earlier this year, Professor True gave a talk about Colombian nonviolent activists.

Audience question:

In the United States, we only hear about the Colombian druglords and military. What thought has been given here in this country to raising the awareness of the peace initiatives in that country and in other countries so that we see a linkage of movements around the world?

Michael True:

That’s how I spend most of my life! The information is available, but it’s not going to appear in the New York Times or the Boston Globe.

The mainstream media is manipulated. It’s brainwashing. It’s withholding information. It’s controlled by multinational corporations. So the information we get is about Michael Jackson’s trial. Really important in my life, right? Really crucial.

That’s one of the major problems–we don’t know all the great work that’s being done.

There’s always hope. Hope, to me, is a necessity.

People like Gaviria, Rissuto (?), and others, the hope they bring is necessary.

Or, I have a friend, Mohammed Kalhutin (?) in Bangladesh, who works with the poorest of the poor, helping them get prosthetics. Or my friend Benjamin, in Janai, with the Dalits–the untouchables.

So there are people like that. But it’s so screwy, that it’s “heroes” who get the attention all the time, but there’s no place to hear about people like these.

So kudos to Worcester Magazine, who this year have used their “One on One” feature to profile three peace activists, a preacher, three visual artists, three small businessmen, three performing artists, a social worker, two poets, an African cultural center director, a woman who home-schools her kids, an audio journalist, a yoga teacher, a history buff, a theater director, a cable access host, a farm steward, an arts director, and no irrelevant celebrity criminals.

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