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Brian Willson, Protester Injured by Train

September 12, 1987

As someone who objects to our government supporting the contras, I am very upset with the coverage of the incident in which Willson had his legs severed when he did not get out of the way of an oncoming train that was allegedly carrying munitions to the contras in Central America.

Willson is not a "peace activist." He is a pro-Sandinista supporter. To me they are not one and the same. And Willson is most definitely not a "martyr," as Jesse Jackson called him (Part I, Sept. 6). Webster's defines a "martyr" as "one who sacrifices his life for the sake of a principle." Willson is not only very much alive, but I do not feel he had any intention of "sacrificing his life," nor being hit by a train. His group had notified media and the government ahead of time. The four others with him got out of the way and were not injured. From what I have read, Willson only was injured because he was unable to get out of the way, not because he intended to be maimed.

Now a tragedy has become a circus. Will Phil Donahue and Geraldo Rivera be the next to arrive at Willson's bedside? Nicaragua First Lady Rosario Murillo Ortega, who entertained Willson as a house guest in Nicaragua, has already shown up. Joan Baez, Jesse Jackson, etc. have been on the scene.

Politically active recording artists staged a benefit in Los Angeles Friday night (Calendar, Sept. 10) to raise money to lobby congressmen and senators who are on the fence on the contra-aid issue. This seems to me a much more reasonable action for people to take than sitting in front of trains and then courting the media afterwards!

LINDA MOSE

Sherman Oaks

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