Letter of the Week

The right to remain silent

I am baffled by your decision to publish the names of every single person arrested during the protests ["The Honor Roll," September 8–14]. The disembodied names carry very little news interest to the vast majority of readers, and if the arrestees want to prove to anyone that they enjoyed the "honor" of being arrested, it shouldn't be too hard: Arrests generate plenty of paperwork. On the other hand, if arrestees had any reason to keep their arrest secret (for instance, they called in sick from work in order to protest or are applying to a job where it might hurt their chances), you just made their task a good deal more difficult. Whether people choose to publicize their arrest should be their decision, not the Voice's.

Phil Weitzman

Pen state

Sarah Ferguson's story on the detentions on Pier 57 ["Guantánamo on the Hudson," villagevoice.com, September 2] reported that 40 people were held in the 10-by-20-foot chain-link-fenced pens, a situation that would have been atrocious enough were it not for the fact that the pens actually held an average of 80 people or more through most of Tuesday night.

After being transferred to my third pen, and seeing no place to sit and no space to walk for some blood circulation, I did a head count. There were 85 crammed in there. Prisoners from the other cells reported the same. The double-locked cages containing the portable toilets had been opened to create another five-by-15-foot space, but at the expense of blocking access to the toilets. People in a state of collapse were curled around the bases of the tanks.

There was no running water on the pier, no soap, and no paper towels for washing hands. The toxic filth from the floor just entered our bodies wrapped around what little rations came our way.

As the last of us were being removed to Central Booking by mid Wednesday, carpeting was being rolled out over the vile floors, in advance, we were told, of an inspection.

A thorough independent investigation needs to be conducted, not only of the conditions at Pier 57 but of Ray Kelly and Michael Bloomberg for their role in the planning and their callous remarks during later questioning. The police have thousands of photos and miles of videotape of the detention process.

Maybe Amnesty International or the United Nations should take charge.

Steve Greenfield
New Paltz, New York

No choice

Why did Sarah Goodyear, in "The Women Who Stand for Dubya: It's So Nice to Have a Man Around the White House" [September 8–14], insist on referring to the Republican Party stance against women's reproductive choice as simply "anti-abortion"?

Let's be fully accurate. The Republican Party is more than just anti-abortion, it is anti-choice. It wants to outlaw a woman's right to make her own reproductive decisions. It wants to make the decision for her.

Mike Schilling
Springfield, Missouri

Standing order

I was intrigued by "The Women Who Stand for Dubya." Sarah Goodyear illuminated several important issues about the Republican convention: that those who claim to "stand" for women do so on rather hollow ground. However, her attempt to discredit the views of Bush supporters by bringing out details of those women's dress/appearance/social-group membership/career choice was no less lamentable than the very tactic she criticized Bush supporters for using at the convention. Can we really challenge these positions of those who say such things as "economic girlie-men" credibly if we are caught up in irrelevant details about lifestyle opinions rather than political ones?

Larkin Reynolds
East Village

Small wonder

Thank you for Charles McNulty's impressive article on Peter Dinklage ["The Little King: Size Doesn't Matter at a New Production of Richard III at the Public Theater," September 8–14]. Words are too few to describe his allure. Most publications do not include any reference to his talents, let alone photographs of him.

There are those of us who are unable to live without him now. You may have just exposed a new natural wonder, one with manners and integrity. Bravo!

Cindy Mayer
Chicago, Illinois

Sage words

Grady Hendrix, in his review of Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell ["Do You Believe in Magic?" September 1–7], writes:

"Life in England must be hell on earth. How else to explain the huge number of fantasy authors who hail from its shores? While America has produced sci-fi authors focused on the application of technology for the betterment (or detriment) of humanity, many British authors seem to value nothing more than a headlong flight from this world into another. J.K. Rowling, Philip Pullman, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Neil Gaiman have all made themselves rich and famous by running away. Joining this exodus from reality is Susanna Clarke and her first novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, which is being billed as a Harry Potter for adults."


I'm sorry, you seem to have accidentally employed an Anglophobe. I know America is the best place in the world, because Americans do go to great pains to tell everyone so at any given moment, but even so—whaaaaaat?

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