women and men held a large banner which said Sharon and Bush
are Hitlers of the 21st Century, at the opening of Joel Meyerowitzs
photo exhibition After September 11: Images from Ground Zero
on Sunday April 7, 2002. The exhibition, which according to its
brochure is a cultural presentation of the United States
of America, was inaugurated by the US Ambassador Mary Ann Peters,
at 18:30 hrs. at Drik gallery. The Director General of the Bangladesh
Shilpakala Academy Mustafa Zaman Abbasi was present as the Special
assembled only a block away from the gallery, were repeatedly hassled
by police to leave. Soon the on-duty uniformed police were reinforced
by plainclothes men carrying arms, but the demonstrators left only
after the inauguration was well under way. When asked about why
the demonstration was being held here, one of the demonstrators
replied that the US Ambassador, and other top US and Western diplomats
led very secluded lives in the Gulshan-Baridhara enclaves and had
no inkling of the tremendous outrage that Bangladeshis in general
felt at recent global events. Clarifying that they had been shocked
at the Twin Tower tragedy and extended all sympathies to those who
had lost family members and friends, she went on, What is
outrageous is how the US government is capitalising on the tragedy
specially at a time like this when the Israeli government is carrying
out genocidal programs against the Palestinians. This Meyerowitz
exhibition is obviously a ploy to elicit sympathy and as such is
expressed deep concern at the spread of fascism in American society.
He said, Its just amazing at how quickly fascism is
spreading in the United States. And what I find most shocking is
that the average American doesnt even realize it. A
fellow-demonstrator, partly to explain the slogan in the banner
told us that she had turned to reading-up on German history and
particularly the pre- and Nazi periods, after reading in the newspapers
that recently an Israeli military commander had advised his fellow
officers and soldiers to examine Nazi strategies of Jewish extermination
so that these could now be applied towards the Palestinians.
br - Stringent security for the American ambassador
dignitaries tried to force the demonstrators to retreat.
Dhaka, April 2002.
Photos : Sameera
br2 - Foreign dignitaries are met by demonstrators
on their way to Drik Gallery, for the inauguration
of "After September 11: Images from Ground Zero",
an exhibition of work by American photographer Joel
Meyerowitz, organised by the American Embassy in Dhaka.
7 April 2002, Dhanmondi, Dhaka.