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Ft. Detrick’s bio-weapons kill

By Kermit Leibensperger  
Frederick, Md.

Published Jun 11, 2005 5:10 PM

About 200 citizens of Frederick, Md., and the surrounding area rallied at Baker Park on June 5, then marched through town to a community festival to spread the word about the massive expansion of Ft. Detrick. The expansion includes building BSL-4 labs, used for experimentation with infectious agents for which there exists neither a vaccine nor a cure.

The tax money to be wasted on the Department of Homeland Security’s bio-weapons programs “dwarfs the size of the U.S. program back when [the U.S. was] overtly producing bio-weapons for offensive use,” according to Frederick Progressive Action Coalition spokesperson Chris Stevenson’s call for a halt to all operations at Ft. Detrick was well-received by the predominately young crowd.

Watu Mwariama of the African People’s Socialist Party and a Frederick resident, told of Ft. Detrick’s abuse of prisoners, alcoholics and drug abusers as guinea pigs. Agents of the fort go into prisons and poor neighborhoods, offering a few dollars to people for allowing themselves to be injected.

One federal employee, filled with horror and regret for not knowing what he was doing by injecting people, took a sick ex-prisoner into his home whose health had been ruined by the experimental injections. The skin came off the body of another poverty-stricken Frederick resident who took money in exchange for participating in an experiment, said Mwariama.

He also reported there have been many deaths from mysterious causes of Black custodial workers, whose jobs included handling dead and infected animals at the fort.

Unity of opposition to the bio-weapons labs was also expressed by many local and area activists, including representatives of Code Pink, Democracy Rising, Green Party, Institute for Social Ecology, International Socialist Organization, Women in Black, several local folk singers, and nationally acclaimed revolutionary rapper Son of Nun, whose politically incisive lyrics received the loudest applause of the day.

The marchers were well-received by the town’s people as they chanted, “Exxon Mobile, B.P., Shell. Take your war and go to hell!” and “We’re under attack from our own anthrax!”

Frederick Progressive Action Coalition organized the protest.

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