Monday, July 2, 2007

A Tribute To Abba.

Anyone who has been involved in causes of Peace and Social Justice in the Danbury Area for many years, knows the name Gulamhusein Abba. And so to many of us, this letter came as a great surprise, and brings great sorrow. We at Stop the Raids owe a great debt of thanks to Abba Gulamhusein, who has certainly helped to inspire, and encourage activists of all branches of Social Action, and we would like to extend our best wishes for his continuing good health, and a prosperous and fruitful life.

Best Wishes, Abba. Thank you for everything.

"From: Gulamhusein Abba
Subject: Farewell, Al-Wida
Sent: Monday, July 2, 2007 9:24 PM
Dear friends,

After devoting more than 50 of my 79 years to various struggles and intense activism, and, in the process, completely neglecting my health, my finances, my career and my family, I have, in my 80th. year, decided most reluctantly and with a very heart to retire from the field, tie up loose ends before the Grim Reaper comes knocking on the door and, time permitting, try and write my memoirs.

In taking this decision I have been reassured and comforted by the fact that there are now vibrant anti-war, peace and justice, immigrants' rights, and environmental groups very active in the greater Danbury area.

After I came to this country in 1982, I was quite dismayed to see a lack of any visible labor movement or peace and justice activism in Danbury. My efforts to unionize the workers at my place of work met with little interest from the workers but quite a lot of interest from the employers, who promptly fired me.

I had the good fortune to be introduced to Walter Hrozenchik, a stalwart activist. He opened the door to activism in Danbury for me and provided me with an opportunity to get my views across to a large audience through his weekly hour-long TV program "Earth Matters".

I remember that during those early days, specially during the Desert Strom action against Iraq, often it was only Walter and me, and sometimes only Walter or only me, protesting the war, standing with signs in front of the Danbury Library. We lamented the lack of any appreciable involvement by young people, specially from the campus.

The picture is quite different now. Dedicated young people have come into the field. Chris Towne, Chris Garaffa, Alissa DeRosa, Elizabeth Dyer, Melissa Lane, Marisa Katz, Villavicencio Leonell, Kathy Devlin and her two youngsters, Andrew Ziegler, Dave Bonan, Tony Barrett, Elke Probst, Jeff Green, Colin Colon, Jason McGahan, Fatima Rojas, John Lugo, Marela Zacarias, Naveen, and several others have done excellent work and achieved commendable results.On the campus, Kileen, Sohair and Saman have revived old groups and formed new ones.

All these have received valuable support from people like Maria Cinta Lowe, Wilson Hernandez, P.J. Leopold, Lynn Taborsak, Philip Berns, Carl Trichler, Emanuela Palmares Lima, Eliette Matos, Pena, Rev. Linda Hansen, Rev.Laura Westby, Stanley Heller, Mazin Qumsiyeh, Justine McAbe, Christine Gauvreau, Leo McIlrath, Gale Courey Toensing and others.

And, of course, the irrepressible and indomnitable Walter Hrozenchic carries on.

Yes, activism is well and strong in not only Danbury but all over USA, indeed all over the world and I feel I can now withdraw from the field with an easy conscience and with the full confidence that it will grow stronger by the day.

To all those with whom I have had the honor and privilege to be associated with I say thank you for having extended to me your support, camaraderie and friendship. It was a pleasure working with you for the common cause.

So, my comrades, goodbye, farewell, sayonara, au revoir, al-wida.

Keep the struggle going.

With best wishes and in peace,

Gulamhusein Abba

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