A new peace movement emerges
Students rally Thursday; peace gathering set for Sept. 30
By Eric Pianin
THE WASHINGTON POST
Sept. 20 ^ Ending their silence after a week of mourning
the victims of terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, a broad range of
religious leaders, social activists, entertainers, student organizations and
business leaders are publicly beginning to urge President Bush to show
restraint in his response and to carefully calibrate the use of U.S. military
'We must not, out of anger and vengeance, indiscriminately retaliate in ways
that bring on even more loss of innocent life.'
^ NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
AS PART OF the budding peace offensive, over 1,200 members of the
National Council of Churches and a diverse coalition ^ organized by Harry
Belafonte, Danny Glover and Rosa Parks ^ issued strong statements yesterday
noting that, while the attacks' perpetrators should be brought to justice,
wholesale military action would incite more terrorism, not end it.
Demonstrations and teach-ins are planned on scores of campuses today,
and some of the groups that had geared up to protest the International
Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Washington are joining forces,
instead, in plans for a peace gathering here on Sept. 30.
Some protesters bring a special moral force to their argument. Judy
Keane, whose husband, Richard, was killed in the World Trade Center during
last week's attacks, spoke out against military retaliation during a prayer
vigil that she helped organize near her home in Wethersfield, Conn., Sunday
evening. The event drew more than 5,000 people.
"The World Trade Center was in retaliation for something else, and
that was the retaliation for something else," she said in a telephone
interview yesterday. "Are we going to continue this in perpetuity? We have to
say at some point, okay, let's find another way of doing this."
Businessman and CNN founder Ted Turner argued against a military
solution yesterday at the United Nations as he delivered a $31 million check
to cover part of the United States' U.N. dues. "We should not, I don't think,
go around and indiscriminately start bombing countries that we suspect the
terrorists are in because there are terrorists everywhere, here in the United
States," he said. "What were [Oklahoma City bombers] Terry Nichols and
Timothy McVeigh but terrorists?"
The statement by the National Council of Churches declared: "We must
not, out of anger and vengeance, indiscriminately retaliate in ways that
bring on even more loss of innocent life." The coalition of more than 100
people organized by entertainers Belafonte and Glover and civil rights legend
Rosa Parks said in a separate letter: "Our best chance of preventing such
devastating acts of terror is to act decisively and cooperatively as part of
a community of nations within the framework of international law."
Organizers say there is a fast-growing network of peace activists who
will likely outnumber the demonstrators who rallied during the Persian Gulf
War a decade ago. Student groups are planning peace demonstrations on 105
college campuses in 30 states across the country today. More than 1,000
students and community members from nine Boston-area schools are expected to
participate in noontime rallies that will converge in a march from Boston to
Harvard Yard, while close to 3,000 are expected to march and mourn on the
campus of the University of California at Berkeley.
"There's pretty much a consensus among students in this group [that]
we want to prevent the continuation of the cycle of violence by averting
war," said Brad Hornbake, 22, a senior at Emerson College in Boston.
Meanwhile, the Washington Peace Center, a pacifist and human rights
group, is planning a major "peace event" in Washington on Sept. 30 as an
alternative to the canceled meetings of the World Bank and IMF. Organizers
stressed that the event will not involve any of the "confrontational tactics"
that were used during previous meetings of the international agencies.
"We don't want the violence here to be perpetrated somewhere else,"
said Maria Ramos, a coordinator of the event. "The U.S. has the moral high
ground now ... This is a time for building alliances based on law and
strengthening international tribunals [for] cross-border terrorism."
Students rally against war
Sept. 20, 2001
By Jill Lawrence, USA TODAY
Remember the peace movement? It's back on campus. This time it's called
"Peaceful Justice," and students are swimming against the patriotic tide
following last week's terrorist attacks. A wave of anti-war sentiment crests
at noon Thursday on 150 college campuses in 36 states. Organizers expect as
many as 8,000 people to rally at the University of California-Berkeley and as
few as several dozen to sign letters to President Bush at Baylor University, a
Baptist school in Waco, Texas. They are a distinct minority, but these
students want the nation to hear their argument for "justice without war," and
their distress at the rapid move to war footing.
"We should work on a peaceful solution as opposed to continuing the global
cycle of violence," says Jessica Gould, 20, a Harvard sophomore from
Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J. "We shouldn't answer the deaths of thousands of innocent
people with more deaths of innocent people."
Students at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., originated today's
national action. "We just really wanted to get an alternative way to react to
the situation, " says Mary Thomas, 19, a sophomore from Lafayette, Calif.
The alternative appears to exclude confronting terrorists, however. In its
mission statement, the group opposes "retaliatory violence" and urges U.S.
policymakers to study the underlying causes of terrorism.
Campuses have been holding teach-ins, memorials and other events since the
attacks Sept. 11. As Bush has tried to prepare the country for a long-term
war against terrorism, many college newspapers have published dissenting
A military attack guarantees that "our search for justice will end in the
slaughter of more innocent civilians," said editors of The Michigan Daily at
the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. "Punish (Osama bin Laden) in our
federal courts," Chris McCall, a junior at the University of Wisconsin in
Madison, wrote in The Badger Herald.
Nick Woomer, 21, a philosophy major at the University of Michigan, says he
has received one-third positive, two-thirds negative responses to a column in
which he called for "a strong, broad-based anti-war movement to bring
everyone back to their senses." He calls Bush's rhetoric "pretty scary."
Academics who study social movements say students are being taught to
question and analyze, and that's what they are doing. Peter Kuznick, an
associate history professor at American University in Washington, D.C., says
scores of his 180 students say the country should "step back and think"
before doing anything. He says they are critical of U.S. foreign policy,
curious about why the United States is so hated and convinced that "a military
response will probably cause more harm than good."
Todd Gitlin, a sociologist at New York University, says students have a right
to be skeptical, but they also a responsibility to suggest realistic
alternatives. "Bin Laden is not going to walk into a police station to turn
himself in," he says. "Are they really opposed to armed force that
accomplishes that end?"
Gitlin led the leftist Students for a Democratic Society in the 1960s and
protested the Vietnam War. Now he has hung a flag outside his Greenwich
Village apartment and says the nation has "a right of self-defense," albeit
"restrained and focused," in the face of attack.
Jessica Gould's father, Harris, a New Jersey lawyer, also protested the
Vietnam War. The difference now, he says, is that "we are under a direct
threat" and must "root out" terrorists. "I would not like to see innocent
people be killed, although I understand there would have be to some of that,"
The organizers of today's events are not ready to settle for that. "I
personally feel that war is never the solution," says Andy Ross, 25, of
Madison. "It's better to sit down and talk and work these things out, rather
than going into a violent situation which will inevitably harm innocent
'War Is Not the Answer,' Pacifists Tell Their Fellow Mourners
Joining a candlelight vigil near Greenwich Village, hundreds plead for a
by Matea Gold
Published on Sunday, September 16, 2001 in the Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK -- The mementos of death are everywhere. Fliers showing the missing
hang from the fences around Union Square Park; wax from hundreds of candles
melts onto the stone plaza. Photos of the World Trade Center's twin towers
are pasted onto the lampposts, and piles of flowers wilt in the warm
But in this park--which once offered a clear view of the two skyscrapers
reduced to rubble in Tuesday's attacks--mourning for the dead and missing
mingles with yet another, more unusual sentiment: a call for peace.
The base of the tall statue of George Washington is covered with such
messages as "Pray for Peace." Across the grass, a long cloth banner is strung
on a wire fence: "Peace will not come out of a clash of arms but of justice
lived--Gandhi." In this park on the edge of Greenwich Village, one of the
city's most liberal neighborhoods, a loud chorus of dissent blends with the
grief. Hundreds have flocked here to voice their pleas for restraint, fearful
that the Bush administration's vow to take action against both terrorists and
the countries harboring them will lead to further violence.
Debora Goldstein knelt on the grass Saturday afternoon and carefully penned a
message on the banner: "Will no one hear us who are crying for peace?"
"We cannot honor our dead by killing innocent people," said the 33-year-old
administrative assistant. "That is not the way to find justice."
These pleas for peace fall within a tradition of New York dissent. Nearly
every American military action abroad has met here with protests of one kind
or another. But in a city reeling from the worst terrorist attack in
history--widely believed to be at the hands of militants whose goal is to
destroy everything Americans hold dear--most New Yorkers are loudly calling
for a tough military response.
And so on Friday night, it was startling to see thousands of people pack
Union Square Park for a candlelight peace vigil. To be sure, many came simply
to mourn. But dozens wore fliers pinned to their backs that read: "Islam is
not the enemy. War is not the answer."
Some say they are terrified that U.S. military action will only spark more
violent attacks against Americans.
Others argue that the U.S. needs to reassess a foreign policy they believe
has fed a hatred of America. Many admit to confusion about what the U.S.
should do to respond to Tuesday's attacks, suggesting an international
tribunal. They are resolute that bombing is not the answer.
"There is a really forceful hand winding up to hit somebody, and I don't know
that it's going to hit the right person," said Kimberly Peirce, a writer and
director holding up a large banner that read, "NYC wants Justice, Not
"If we obliterate Afghanistan, who's to say that's going to make a safer
situation?" she added.
Hoping to bring calm, peace activists nationwide have held prayer meetings
and candlelight vigils. They've called the White House and members of
Congress, begging them not to go to war.
"Often we counsel other nations that they need to stop and reflect," said
Mary Lord, a Washington-based lobbyist for the American Friends Service
Committee, a Quaker group. "We've said that to people in Northern Ireland and
the Middle East, and now we have to say it to ourselves."
But those calling for peace acknowledge that they are in the minority. In
fact, recent polls show that most Americans overwhelmingly favor military
"I think people are being consumed in this thirst for blood, for immediate
revenge," said Karen Zraick, 19, a student at State University of New York in
Purchase. "This is already a horrible tragedy. We have two choices: escalate
the violence or de-escalate."
Union Square Park has been transformed into an odd tableau of patriotic
symbols, memorials and 1960s-flavored symbols. Paper doves bob next to
American flags. At the vigil, mourners held hands and sang "Kumbaya," "Give
Peace a Chance" and the national anthem.
Strangers engaged in passionate arguments about what path to take. Osama
Chahine, 29, and Dale Britton, 32, stood debating in the park for three
hours. "My heart so yearns for justice," said Britton, a teacher of English
as a second language. "I think the only way is to do it through the military.
But I don't know what the target is."
"We have to make sure we're destroying terrorism and not just spreading more
hatred and violence," responded Chahine, a student at Columbia University.
Around them, candles flickered in the dark as the crowd sang, "I ain't going
to study war no more." Overhead, fighter jets streaked through the sky.
VOICES OF RESTRAINT
Peace vigils planned throughout the US
Amid talk of war, movement pleads for reconciliation
By Alice Dembner and David Abel, Boston Globe Staff, 9/18/2001, page A3
NEW YORK - They are gathering quietly in vigils, not mounting protests. And
they are largely being drowned out by a feverish tide of war rhetoric.
But across the country, voices of pacificism and restraint are growing
Little more than a mile from ground zero of the incinerated World Trade
Center, a vigil at Union Square for the victims has already evolved into an
ad hoc center for the budding peace movement. The square's monument to George
Washington is not only draped in American flags, but also covered with
Peace vigils have been held from Portland, Ore., to Cambridge, Mass., and
hundreds more are planned over the coming weeks.
More than 100 civil rights and religious organizations plan to gather
Thursday in Washington to map a larger response to last week's terrorism,
hoping to moderate the government's support for military strikes abroad and
expanded law enforcement powers at home.
Separately, peace groups will gather in New York Friday to plan national
action against President Bush's declared ''war on terrorism,'' arguing that
war is not the answer and will only add to the carnage.
''We're mobilizing the peace community to call for reconciliation, not
retaliation,'' said Judith Mahoney Pasternak of the War Resisters League.
''The faster we start singing the songs of peace to counter the drums of war,
the better it's going to be.''
While the War Resisters League said their organizing efforts have been
hampered by phone and e-mail failures at their offices only 11/2 miles from
ground zero, other groups said they had been moving slowly out of respect for
''We are committed to building public opinion in our communities and then
moving in the near future to a national expression,'' said Judith McDaniel at
the national office of the American Friends Service Committee in
Philadelphia. She confirmed that the office has received several bomb threats
since it launched a national ''No More Victims'' peace campaign.
Meanwhile, some in Congress are questioning whether lawmakers are rushing
into actions that will harm America. Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont
Democrat, yesterday said he is worried that the push to relax wiretapping
restrictions could infringe on civil liberties.
''We do not intend to tie the hands of the intelligence community, but
neither do we intend to curb the rights of millions of Americans,'' he said.
And Representative Barbara Lee, the California Democrat who was the only
member of Congress to vote against last week's resolution authorizing
President Bush to use force against terrorism, says there is growing support
for her stand.
''People are beginning to understand that we must show some restraint, that
we don't want to see this spiral out of control,'' Lee said. ''We've got to
make sure democracy is upheld and our country is safe.''
It's not only pacifists who oppose the war rhetoric, but also others who look
to history and see failures and abuses when the United States moved without
In 1998, they note, US forces bombed a suspected chemical weapons plant in
Sudan that turned out to be a pharmaceutical factory. And in World War II,
hysteria led the United States to round up Japanese-Americans into internment
''I really have a problem with the war analogy,'' said Stephen Zunes,
chairman of the peace and justice studies program at the University of San
Francisco. ''This was not an act of war but a criminal act. We need to think
in terms of police actions in response. But I don't think it would be
unreasonable to have small-scale commando operations to break up the
Longtime pacifist and MIT professor Noam Chomsky opposes even that action.
''A call for revenge without thinking about what lies beyond is a gift to the
terrorists,'' he said. ''It virtually guarantees an escalating cycle of
violence. An alternative in the short term is to follow the rule of law
through the United Nations Security Council or the World Court.''
Retired Boston University historian Howard Zinn suggests that the answers to
terrorism lie elsewhere. ''We have to move from a war-making nation to a
nation that uses its resources for constructive purposes ... to get at the
grievances that feed terrorism,'' he said.
In the Boston area, peace vigils are planned at noon today at the JFK Federal
Building and at 6 p.m. tomorrow at Copley Square, with a planning meeting for
more events to follow. At Tufts University, members of the peace and justice
studies program are circulating a petition urging that ''the search for
justice'' focus only on the perpetrators of the crime, avoid targeting entire
nationalities, and respect civil liberties.
At Union Square in New York, young and old, Jews and gentiles, blacks and
whites have gathered around thousands of votive candles, American flags, and
pictures of the missing to pay their respects and chant such slogans as
''Vengeance isn't justice'' and ''Break the cycle of violence: War is
weakness, peace is strength.''
''People need to know that there are other feelings in America, that we are
not all hawks hoping to exchange an eye for an eye,'' said Josh Torpey, 24, a
Manhattan teacher who met a group of friends on Union Square Sunday night.
Ted Lawson, a 31-year-old artist from Boston, was creating a painting of the
American flag out of thumbprints of passersby to signify American unity, but
said he wondered whether previous acts of war by the United States had
Heated arguments have erupted throughout the park between those who question
US policy and those who believe the United States should annihilate any group
or country who helped organize the attacks.
But others were frightened about the prospect for war. Lighting a candle next
to a row of roses arranged to evoke the World Trade Center, Christine
Andriopoulos said she was scared.
''The message should be that the violence has to stop,'' she said. ''Here.
Thousands Rally for Peace in Portland, Oregon
[On Sunday, September 16, there was a massive rally in Portland
Oregon. It was seriously under-reported by the mainstream media, who
have also failed to cover many other demonstrations around the world
against Bush's Crusade of Terror. There have been demonstrations for
peace (or against the United States) in Germany, the Philippines, the
Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and El Salvador as well as,
unsurprisingly, in Pakistan. In San Salvador, American and Israeli
flags were burned over the weekend in a student demonstration. ]
source - Red Emma <email@example.com>
THOUSANDS march for peace in downtown Portland
Many thousands of people gathered on the South Park
Blocks Sunday at noon to rally and march for peace.
The event, put on by Portland Peaceful Response, had
three themes: (1) to mourn the victims of Tuesday's
terrorist attack; (2) to speak out against racist
scapegoating; and (3) to demand that there be no more
violence, including no military retaliation by our
government. The crowd was the largest seen at any
anti-war demonstration since the Gulf War ten years
ago. A count taken at one street corner registered
2,630 people. Estimates of the total number of people
ranged from 3,000 to 4,500.
Attendees and speakers ran the gamut from members of
the local Middle Eastern community, to Native American
and Christian spiritual leaders, to teachers and union
activists, to long-time peace activists, and many
more. We all were very much heartened to see so many
of our fellow Portlanders coming out and standing up
for peace. As several speakers remarked from the
stage, the media accounts saying 85% of Americans
support war do not seem so believable now.
There was no counter-demonstration, and I personally
did not see any harassment or overt hostility from
passers-by, although there may have been some.
For a fuller account, with pictures, go to
www.portland.indymedia.org (give them a few hours to
get everything loaded up!) Look for us on tonight's
news--just about every local station was there.
Listen to KBOO 90.7 FM Monday morning at 7am for audio
coverage. If there's nothing about this in Monday's
Oregonian, call them up and ask them why.
Above all, help spread the word. In this frightening
and confusing time, those of us who support peace are
Attendees at the rally signed a letter to President
Bush, and were urged to make calls to our
representatives in Congress. EVERY ONE of our Oregon
congressional representatives voted for Friday's
resolution authorizing use of force (basically, a new
"Gulf of Tonkin" resolution authorizing the President
to do whatever he wants). But they may change their
tunes, if they hear from enough constituents. This
could be the beginning of a long war, and it is not
too late for our congress to change course and
reconsider. We should tell them: NO declaration of
war against Afghanistan; the PEOPLE of Afghanistan are
not our enemy. The Capitol Switchboard number is
1-888-449-3511 or 202-224-3121. The White House
comment line number is 202-456-1111 (not that HE's
going to listen, but heck, we can try.)
If/when the bombing starts, there is still a standing
plan for an emergency protest action: 4-6 pm at Terry
Schrunk Plaza (SW 3rd and Madison, across the street
from the Federal Building). This will be the DAY OF
the bombing, if it starts before 4pm; and the DAY
AFTER, if it starts after 4pm. Portland Peaceful
Response will continue to coordinate these actions.
We can be reached at 503-223-1399 (voice mail) or
<portland911.tripod.com> (website). .
A New Movement Emerges Against War, Violence
Anti-War Coalitions Form at College Campuses Across U.S.
By EVE LOTTER. Contributing Writer
Tuesday, September 18, 2001
Alarmed by President Bush's declaration that the nation is headed to a "new
war" against terrorism, some students at UC Berkeley have already set up a
coalition calling for an anti-war movement.
Students from UC Berkeley and at least 30 different schools across the
country are organizing marches, rallies, and teach-ins to take place on
Thursday as part of a "National Day of Action Against Scapegoating Arab
Americans and to Stop the War," organizers said. "I don't think more
violence will solve the problem," said Brian Marsh, a Berkeley resident who
has joined the anti-war coalition.
"I think if we cause violence, it's just going to snowball and get bigger
and bigger. There's just too much of a
possibility of creating World War III out of this," said Marsh, a
photographer for a San Francisco Web site.
UC Berkeley students had already organized a meeting to gather anti-war
activists last Friday, after President
Bush told Americans to prepare for a long, drawn out military conflict to
attack the terrorists who brought down
the World Trade Center and part of the Pentagon.
Organizers said 200 students met in Wheeler Hall and approved three points
for the burgeoning coalition: to stop the war; to defend Arab American,
Middle Eastern, and Muslim communities against racist scapegoating; and to
defend civil liberties.
The UC Berkeley group, called the Stop the War Coalition, began tabling on
Sproul Plaza yesterday, and had a table at the campuswide memorial service.
Organizers were handing out green armbands to show support for the Muslim
and Arab American communities.
Green is a traditional Muslim color for peace and unity, according to the
Within 20 minutes of setting up their table, the coalition had collected a
page of signatures.
"These green bands are not only in solidarity with Arab, Muslim, and Middle
Eastern students, but show that we will come to the aid of and be escorts
for Arab, Muslim, and Middle Eastern students facing harassment and
attack," said UC Berkeley student Ronald Cruz, a member of the Stop the War
Cruz said UC Berkeley has the potential to become the focus of a national
He noted Berkeley's representative in Congress, Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, was
the only lawmaker to vote against the use of force Friday, and mentioned
the historical precedent set here in anti-war protests during the 1960s.
Harvard University, the University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin
at Madison, and San Francisco State are among the many campuses where
students are organizing for peace, Cruz said.
Student activists at University of Wisconsin at Madison attended an
anti-war rally last night.
Several of those in attendance reported that activists sang an Iraqi song,
recited poetry, and listened to speakers who echoed the same concerns as
those at UC Berkeley.
Robb McFadden, president of the Berkeley College Republicans, said that
though he has not yet heard much
about the anti-war movement on campus, his group and the Cal Berkeley
Democrats believe those responsible for Tuesday's attacks must be punished.
Campus Democrats agreed with Republicans in saying the country must not
turn against Americans of Middle
"We as a country ought to be united. This has nothing to do with race, it
has to do with those who have attacked our way of life," said Anka Lee,
president of the Cal Berkeley Democrats. "(But) any American who
discriminates against Americans of Middle Eastern background are no better
than the terrorists."
A Call For Conscientious Objection to War and War Preparations
War Resisters' International, 20 September 2001
War Resisters' International, an international network of pacifist
organisations with 80 affiliates in more than 40 countries, calls for
conscientious objection in view of the war preparations undertaken by NATO,
Afghanistan and many other countries. Although still shocked by the
terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon on 11
September, we are deeply convinced that a war of retaliation will only fuel
the cycle of violence. Fighting the crime of the terrorist attack with the
crime of bombing and killing equally innocent people doesn't sum up to
zero - it only adds to the suffering.
We call for justice without war. It is the responsibility of each of us to
resist war and the preparations for war.
In this situation:
* War Resisters' International calls on all soldiers - in whichever forces
they are supposed to fight - to follow their conscience and refuse to take
part in the preparation of war, or in war: refuse orders, apply for
conscientious objector status, desert, say No!
* War Resisters' International calls on everybody involved in war
preparations in the administration or in factories: refuse orders, say No!
* War Resisters' International calls on journalists and the media asked to
support war preparations, and to promote war: refuse to do so, insist on
writing the truth, say no!
* War Resisters' International calls on its members and on everybody, to
support those refusing to participate in war and war preparations, and to
get involved in direct nonviolent resistance against war!
War Resisters' International
5 Caledonian Road * London N1 9DX * BRITAIN
tel.: +44-20-7278 4040 * fax: +44-20-7278 0444
email: firstname.lastname@example.org * http://www.wri-irg.org
U.S. pacifists speak up as America braces for war
Wednesday, September 19, 2001
By Claire Soares, Reuters
WASHINGTON -- With war rhetoric flying around Washington, pacifists in the
United States called for restraint Tuesday, saying any U.S. military
retaliation for last week's attacks in New York and Washington would
escalate the violence.
President Bush has said that the United States would win a new war on
terrorism and that the military was ready to defend freedom at any cost.
But groups like the Hague Appeal for Peace said war would not be an
appropriate response to the attacks.
"An eye for an eye leads to blindness," said Cora Weiss, the group's president.
"This past century started with a war, and the new century is starting with
war talk. In between, humanity has learned a great deal about conflict
prevention and resolution."
"We abhor terrorism," she said in a telephone interview from her New York
office. "These people must be ferreted out and brought to justice, but we
cannot let a justifiable anger lead to unjustifiable action."
Weiss said existing international legal institutions offered the best hope
of getting justice for the nearly 6,000 dead or missing after hijacked
planes demolished the World Trade Center and plowed into the Pentagon. "We
urge the United States to support the international criminal court, to
respect and work with and through the United Nations, especially the
antiterrorism conventions which we have so far refused to join," she said.
In Washington, Richard Becker of the International Action Center (IAC) was
organizing a peace march in the capital. The group had planned protests
against the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, but after the
monetary watchdogs canceled their meetings, the IAC decided to use Sept. 29
to demonstrate against war plans.
"The initiation of new military action, open-ended war, is only going to
escalate the cycle of violence. We have to take a step back to look at what
has brought us to this point," Becker said, citing sanctions against Iraq
and intervention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as issues to be examined.
Becker said consequences of any U.S. military action would be felt at home
as well as abroad. "We are going to see ... an escalation in racist attacks
against Arab-Americans and an erosion of civil liberties and democratic
rights, such as greatly widened powers for police to conduct wiretapping,
surveillance, and seizure."
Pacifists were skeptical of recent polls that showed most Americans favored
war, even if it meant further U.S. casualties. "There's tremendous pressure
being placed on Americans, which feeds on people's worst reactions to this
type of crisis," said Bruce Nestor, president of the National Lawyers
Guild, which is supporting the peace rally.
He applauded Rep. Barbara Lee, a California Democrat, who was the lone
dissenter to a congressional resolution allowing Bush to use "all necessary
and appropriate force" in retaliation for the attacks.
Weiss, who has received 150 messages daily from as far afield as Israel and
Hiroshima, Japan, said pacifist voices had remained largely underground,
hidden away in emails. She said she was confident the peace movement would
Building an anti-war movement: what we can do
by Kim Scipes <sscipe1@ICARUS.CC.UIC.EDU>
In the aftermath of last Tuesday's (Sept. 11) attacks, there has been
a tremendous amount of material come across my e-mail address, as I
suppose it has for many of us. There is no question that those
attacks were atrocities, and horrible--I cannot even imagine what
those people who were not killed immediately were to go through
before dying, and I cannot give thanks enough that me or my loved
ones (as far as I know) were not in any of those attacks. I also
feel for all those who were not so lucky as me.
I am angry at those who perpetrated those attacks--they cannot be
excused. But my anger is, I must say, somewhat attenuated because I
understand (at least somewhat) what is behind them. The fact is that
the United States government (including the CIA, the military, the
Treasury Department, etc.) and its allies around the world, have been
carrying out these and other atrocities against peoples throughout
the "developing" world for a very long time--since, at very least,
the last part of World War II. The US HAS been at war with many
peoples of the world for a long time, and not in the war that Bush,
et. al., are talking about it: whether we want to talk about the
bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki AFTER the Japanese government had
begun seeking to end the war, Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Viet
Nam ... (ah, the list is too long, and I don't have the time to go
look up all the details, but suffice it to say, these
operations--from invasions, war, to overthrowing governments, to
launching and/or supporting right wing coups and dictatorships, etc.,
etc.--have taken place in many, many countries around the world. The
US HAS killed a lot more people--directly and indirectly--than were
killed in the US on September 11th (incidentally, on the anniversary
that the US supported the coup in Chile in 1973 against the
democratically-elected and constitutionally-supported government of
Salvador Allende). I can understand why this might have pissed off
some people, and that they might have decided to strike back.
But I'm even more angry at the politicians and newspaper pundits,
etc., who are trying to stir the US public to go to war against
"terrorism." Here the US has attacked people across the world, and
now we're supposed to go to war because they just happened to strike
Let us understand one thing out of what is going on: no matter how
righteous the cause may seem to some, the very reality is that the US
Government is prepared to and is planning to kill a lot more people.
Period. Full stop.
And we all know the US Government has prior convictions for doing
this, so only someone who has their head buried very deeply in the
sand can doubt this. And this looks quite clear at this point that
the scene of the crimes will take place in Southwestern Asia in
particular--i.e., Afghanistan and probably Pakistan--but probably
elsewhere as well.
Well, there's a contradiction here, needless to say. As Holly Near
put it in a song about the death penalty--and I hope my memory is
correct here--she asked, "Why do we kill people who have killed
people to show that killing people is wrong?"
THERE ARE THREE MAJOR CONTRADICTIONS (at least) IN THE MOVE TOWARD WAR
(1) As pointed out above, the US Government is planning to kill
people to show that killing people is wrong. Not only that, but the
overwhelming odds are that they will kill innocent people in their
efforts, people themselves who are probably opposed to the attacks.
This will happen if the US launches missiles, rockets, air strikes,
etc., to try to kill the "terrorists." When the US Government talks
about "collateral damage," think September 11--there was a lot of
collateral damage done that day in efforts to strike both the heart
of the US war machine--I refuse to call it the "defense"
department--and the heart of the financial system. Collateral damage
means non-combatants. And there is about a snowball's chance in hell
that there will not be any collateral damage to a military attack.
If Bush decides to try to invade Afghanistan--and ironically, if
anyone fights against that, it will be US military leaders, although
they'll lie down at the end--then there will be even more people
killed, both Afghanis and American military personnel, as well as
many, many civilians. But there is no guarantee that even if Bush
were to invade that the US would succeed in "rooting out terrorism,"
because it is not in the land that there is the desire for revenge,
but in the hearts of real living human beings who can move around.
Even if the US were to invade Afghanistan and occupy the entire
country--just even speaking that possibility shows the impossibility
of the idea--there is no certainty that the US would end "terrorism."
And that's if the US military won--and as the Soviet military can
testify, that's not a sure bet!
To invade and fight in Afghanistan--which would cause turmoil around
the world and many volunteers from around the world would come to
fight the "attack on Islam"--would take almost all US military
forces, and that would tie down the Empire's goon squads, so they
would be unable to respond to perceived crises elsewhere. Not to
mention that, for better or worse, there are a lot of Afghanis who
are experienced fighters, whose last war ended in a victory against
another superpower, and who would be fighting to defend their
homelands AND their religion (despite that Islam does not support
"terrorism)." On the US side, you have troops that have not engaged
in serious warfare really since at least 1973--they were prepared to
do so in the Gulf War, but the Iraqi army collapsed on them, denying
most US troops of the "experience," and probably most of the military
that faced any combat at all in the Gulf has already left the
military. Air power and high technology can be helpful, but at the
end of the day, it's the grunt on the ground that has to win the
war--and anyone who believes otherwise knows not what they are
talking about. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO WAY THAT THE US CAN INVADE
AFGHANISTAN WITHOUT TAKING LARGE NUMBERS OF DEAD AND WOUNDED--AND
MENTALLY MESSED UP--AND THAT'S EVEN IF THEY WERE TO "WIN."
(2) Tied in with this, the whole US trip is based on overlooking a
small detail, which I've seen come out in e-mail messages, but
haven't seen in the press: assuming Osama bin Laden and his
organizations are behind the attacks, who trained them? No less than
the CIA. In official parlance, this is known as "blowback," where
something you created turns against you. (Haven't I read about this
(3) The other contradiction is that, from what I can see, this
demand for revenge is being media- and government-driven. Yes, there
are ordinary people who would like to kill bin Laden, and that's not
surprising. But I don't think this is very deep. I live in
Chicago--the supposed "heartland" of this country--and in my travels
around the city, and to the zoo with my kids since the attacks, I'm
not seeing many people that are seething to seek revenge: hell, I've
seen much more emotion when the Bulls won their NBA championships!
(And much scarier then--I can remember feeling ill at ease when I
didn't show sufficient enthusiasm to other celebrants for such
TO COIN A PHRASE, WHAT IS TO BE DONE?
As I read e-mail--and no, there's a lot I have not had time to read,
and I don't pretend to have read it all or know all--I get the sense
of people being upset about Bush's efforts to lead the country into
war, and a great deal of information is flowing back and forth to
those on our similar lists. But I also get the sense that people are
feelilng that there is little chance of stopping a train that's
picking up speed....
I think we need to look at things from another perspective. I don't
think there is a lot of solid support for war, although the Bushies
and their buddies in the Democratic Party are trying to build this,
and they are aided and abetted by the moral nematodes in the media,
such as William Saffire and many others. There are a lot of people
who want to send 17-18-19 year olds to get killed. (And where was
Mr. Saffire during Viet Nam--I can't ever recall him speaking of
military service during those years....)
I think there is a LOT that can be done, that this isn't as much as a
"sure thing" as Bush, etc., would like us to believe.
First, and because of the simplicity of it, I think it often gets
overlooked: we've got to challenge the media. How we do it is up to
ourselves. Certainly, alternative news networks are important, and
should be used extensively. But I STRONGLY believe that we have to
challenge the mass media on its own ground--we cannot concede that
terrain and struggle to them! Many more things can be done, but the
very least must be efforts to write letters to the editor and call
and talk with journalists. Even in the Chicago Tribune--which I think
is a terrible rag--I've already seen a letter asking is our support
for Israel is worth the damage of September 11th? Yes, that was only
one letter, and there haven't been many others, but the mass media
gets to too many people to leave it unchallenged. Even if they don't
publish our letters, THEY know that a lot of people are looking over
their shoulders at their coverage, and this tends to smooth off some
of the rough, go to war, edges. We cannot overlook this simple act,
while trying to do more: write letters to the editors! (And since
most TV coverage pulls from the morning newspaper in an area, focus
on the morning newspapers especially but not exclusively.)
Second, the moral nematodes in the US Senate and Congress need to be
challenged and condemned for giving in to their emotional response to
the events of September 11th. Write them and let them know what you
think of their votes. And Barbara Lee, Democratic Representative of
Berkeley/Oakland gets my utmost respect for her unwillingness to go
against the tide--she was the only one in two houses of congress that
had the heart to go on the record opposing Bush's war plans.
Third, we need to think strategically about what we can do. A
technique I've always found useful is to think of human groups as
consisting of three parts: one part in favor of something, one part
against something, and one part not sure and able to go in either
direction. I don't know what the respective strengths of the three
parts are today, and it really doesn't matter. If those of us who
are against Bush's war want to act, here's my suggestion of the way
to think about mobilization: (1) we need to solidify our own forces,
through communication, sharing of information (which seems to be
already taking place), and organizing ourselves to act; (2) we need
to move those in the middle into our "camp"; and, when possible, we
need to move those who are against us--i.e., for the war--into the
How we do this is up to people and how much time and energy they have
and/or can put into these efforts. No effort is too small or
insignificant. But we also must treat people with respect: even if
they don't agree with us now, if we treat them respectfully, they may
come over to our side in the future. Our goal must be to build an
anti-war movement in this country that is too big, and too strong,
and too willing to disrupt the government's efforts for them to
ignore us: we must stop Bush from attacking other countries in his
Ahab-like ambition to stop terrorism by military means. We have to
seek political solutions, not military ones.
I'm not a Leninist, but I have always liked the thrust behind Lenin's
slogan during World War I of "Turn the imperialist war into a civil
war." No, I am not calling for a civil war in the US--in fact, I'd
oppose it. But what I am calling for is for us on the left NOT to
lay down and concede inevitability, but to use this opportunity to
reach out to Americans across the country, and across every racial
and ethnic group, every gender/sexual identity group, every class,
every college and high school campus, and raise the issue of US
foreign policy and what the US is doing in the world. I think, if
utilized intelligently, we have the opportunity to challenge our
"leaders" on these and related issues about how we want the US to act
in the world--and don't forget the slogan, "Challenge
Former Sergeant, US Marine Corps
Please feel free to pass on widely!
Peace Signs Amid Calls for War
September 20, 2001
By ANDREW JACOBS
The drumbeat for war, so loud in the rest of the country,
is barely audible on the streets of New York.
In Union Square Park, which has become an outdoor memorial
to loss and grief, peace signs, antiwar slogans and pleas
for nonviolence far outnumber demands for retribution. The
equestrian statue of George Washington charging into battle
has been transformed into a monument of antiwar sentiment,
and although there are a handful of wanted posters
featuring Osama bin Laden, there are far more that say,
"Mourn the Victims, Stand for Peace" or "An eye for an eye
In interviews with two dozen New Yorkers, most people said
the desire for peace outweighed any impulse for vengeance,
even among those directly affected by the destruction of
the World Trade Center. Many said they were worried that
the rest of the country, encouraged by the White House and
the news media, was driving the nation toward a large-
"I don't want to see more people go through pain and
suffering," said Shannon Carr, 34, who teaches at St.
Ann's, a private school in Brooklyn. Several children at
the school have parents still buried in the rubble of the
twin towers. "There has to be justice," Ms. Carr said, "but
I don't think war is the answer."
While much of the country clamors for martial retribution,
with polls showing nearly 90 percent supporting a military
response, many New Yorkers who were interviewed remain
ambivalent about President Bush's promised war against
terrorism. Many expressed fear that any strike would spark
another wave of mayhem in New York.
"It's easy to call for blood when you live in Des Moines,"
said Terrance Kincaid, 37, an insurance broker from Queens.
"We have seen the horrific consequences of aggression. For
the rest of the country, it's still just a bunch of
Other New Yorkers said they had no wish to inflict misery
on the civilians who would inevitably become victims of an
American military assault.
"A few days ago I was saying, `Bombs away,' but now that
I've calmed down, I don't want a war," said Jana Crawford,
29, a photo editor at Advertising Age magazine in
Manhattan. "I don't want a lot more people to die."
Some of those opposed to military action say their voices
are not being heard by Washington or the mainstream news
"The White House is demanding blood and the television is
preparing us for war, but no one is considering
alternatives," said Carol Thompson, a political science
professor at Northern Arizona University, one of 530
academics who have signed a petition urging restraint. More
than 1,200 religious leaders have added their names to a
similar statement, as have a group of actors, authors and
other celebrities who plan to publish their "Justice Not
Vengeance" declaration in newspapers across the country.
This afternoon, a series of rallies on college campuses
around the nation will strike a similar theme, and on
Friday night, a peace vigil will wend its way from Union
Square to the armed forces recruiting station in Times
Of course, there are plenty of New Yorkers who believe that
only war will end terrorism, including many liberals who
have been surprised by their own emotions. "I've had blood
lust from the very beginning," said Jackie Bayks, 38, a
lawyer who has been unable to return to her apartment in
Battery Park City. "It's strange because I'm not a
patriotic person, but I've been feeling very patriotic this
week. I just can't help myself."
Karen Senecal, a minister at Judson Memorial Church in
Greenwich Village, said she had been trying to resist the
temptation to join in the culture of jingoism. "Part of me
realizes that violence brings more violence, but another
part of me wanted retaliation," she said. "Many people are
getting strength in that, and I felt I was missing
Some say they are reluctant to buck the tidal wave of
patriotism by speaking about peace. "I feel like I can't
talk about nonviolence because I'm afraid it will be
perceived as disrespectful or un-American," said Madeleine
Bloustein, 40, a voice-over actress from Brooklyn.
But a large number of New Yorkers are not sure where they
stand. As shock gives way to anger, their thirst for
revenge is only growing stronger; others say the opposite
is true. But many, like Matthew Pack, a student at New York
University, have been whiplashed by their emotions. A
self-described pacifist who is "way to the left," Mr. Pack,
22, said he felt disgusted by his own vengeful fantasies.
"I'm not used to feeling this way," he said, "and every
time my head starts to cool off, I see one of those missing
person posters and all those emotions come back. The only
thing I can say at this point is that I'll never be the
Teach-ins spread on state campuses in wake of attacks
by Mary Jane Smetanka
Published Sep 21 2001
Noah Kunin's family has roots in the antiwar movement of the 1960s. His
mother was a protester at the University of California, Berkeley, the
University of Minnesota student said Thursday. But he's never really been
interested in such things himself.
Kunin was among the 100 university students, staff and faculty members who
jammed into a standing-room-only lecture hall for a teach-in on last week's
"On September 11, I was totally shaken," the freshman said. "I thought, wow,
I need to reorganize my priorities. I want to learn more. I'm finding this
In an echo of the 1960s, teach-ins, rallies and forums have proliferated on
Minnesota college campuses since last week. At St. Cloud State University,
there were sessions on anti-Arab bias and biological terrorism. The College
of St. Catherine held discussions reflecting on peacemaking. Carleton
College in Northfield held discussions on Islam, and at Macalester College
in St. Paul, student groups sponsored community forums.
At the University of Minnesota, teach-ins are being organized by politically
active students. So far, the sessions have been decidedly left-leaning.
Marwa Hassoum, a graduate student in feminist studies, is unapologetic about
that. She said teach-ins simply balance "pro-war" information.
"I think we are getting enough rhetoric about going to war," she said. "If
you want to see the other side, flip on your TV or pick up the newspaper."
The university's teach-ins, which began last week and have been running
three days a week, have been standing-room-only. (For space reasons, they're
open only to students and university employees.) Thursday's talk by
political science Prof. August Nimtz drew about 100 people.
Nimtz, who studies African politics, social movements and Marxism, called
last week's events "dastardly" and said terrorists do not represent the
interests of oppressed people. But he said the act might be explained by
U.S. foreign policy, which he said has victimized people around the world.
"Victims are not always able to distinguish between working people and
policies," Nimtz said.
Nimtz argued that the United States has used "state-sponsored terrorism"
against Vietnam, Korea, Panama and Iraq, among others, and said foreign
policy is designed to benefit "the ruling rich."
Koby Nahmias, an Israeli graduate student, challenged Nimtz's premises and
questioned the worth of teach-ins he called one-sided and socialistic.
"Are we having a debate, or not?" Nimtz replied with a smile. "I think we
are -- you were here to disagree with me."
Nimtz said students invited him to speak. The last teach-ins at the
university were during the Gulf War, he said.
Kunin attended this week's teach-ins, and said he plans to attend next week
as well. Though he said he is open to other points of view, he already has
"My mom and I have flipped," he said. "She's pro-war, and I'm antiwar. She's
saying, 'This is different [from Vietnam].' And I'm saying, 'It's exactly
-- A schedule of college teach-ins is available at http://www.startribunecom.
Staff writer Lucy Her contributed to this story. Mary Jane Smetanka is at
Calls for Restraint
Groups Urge Peaceful Alternative to a Military Response
By Derek Thomson
Sept. 20 -- As the United States mobilizes its forces around the world for
a possible military response to last week's terrorist attacks, there is a
growing number of voices at home urging a peaceful alternative.
Today, students at colleges and universities across the
nation held rallies mourning the victims and calling for a nonmilitary
response. The organizers say they want to see the perpetrators brought to
justice without the loss of more innocent lives.
The student groups' calls for "justice rather than revenge" are echoed by
established pacifist and religious groups, as well as numerous petitions
circulating on the Internet. At the makeshift memorial in New York's Union
Square, many signs call for peace and restraint.
President Bush has said the prime suspect in the Sept. 11 attacks is
indicted terrorist Osama bin Laden, who has been based in Afghanistan for
several years. So far, Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia has been
unwilling to hand bin Laden over to the United States for prosecution,
raising the prospect of imminent U.S. military action.
An overwhelming number of Americans support military action. In an
ABCNEWS/Washington Post poll, 86 percent of respondents said they would
support military action against those responsible, while 69 percent said
they would support military action even if it means a long war with
substantial U.S. casualties.
Groups Share Common Message
The groups calling for a nonmilitary response are diverse, but they share a
number of points.
All of the groups strongly condemn the attacks on the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon, and say the perpetrators should be punished. However,
they warn that a military response by the United States could cost more
innocent lives and might provoke further terrorist attacks.
Instead, they urge the U.S. government to bring the perpetrators to justice
by legal means, preferably under the aegis of an international organization
such as the United Nations.
"A violent response will not bring back loved ones, or bring about justice,
or increase our safety. It may even increase the likelihood of more
terrorist attacks," said Mary Ellen McNish, general secretary of the
American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker group.
The groups also warn against "scapegoating" people of any nation, race,
religion or ethnicity for the actions. Pointing out that the Sept. 11
attacks were motivated by hatred of the United States, some suggest that
Americans should look inward and ask how U.S. policies could have generated
such hatred abroad.
Students Hold Rallies Across the Country
Campus organizers called today a National Student Day of Action for
Peaceful Justice. Activities at the different campuses ranged from rallies
to marches and vigils, with speeches and music. The organizers said they
were trying not to make the events seem like protests.
An estimated 1,000 marchers turned out at the University of California at
Berkeley. Berkeley and the surrounding Bay Area have been a center of
calls for peace in the past week. The area's Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif.,
cast the lone dissenting vote when the House voted in support of an armed
response on Friday.
At Harvard University, speakers used megaphones to address a rally of
several hundred students. At Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore., 300
students waved banners and sang "Give Peace A Chance."
The idea for the day of action originated at Wesleyan University in
Connecticut. Student organizers there say were frustrated by the tone of
vengeance that seemed to dominate Americans' reactions in the first days
after the attacks.
They decided to see whether students on other campuses shared their
sentiment, and say they were overwhelmed by the response. "We started
sending out e-mails Friday morning and by Sunday we already had 80
schools," said sophomore Mary Thomas, who is coordinating the rally at
Wesleyan. More than 140 campuses ultimately planned to hold events.
Other Groups Begin to Organize
Established pacifist groups are trying to coordinate their efforts, too.
The Quaker AFSC has pledged to join with "like-minded organizations" for
public action, and is also reaching out to religious leaders.
The National Council of Churches is circulating a petition among the clergy
that reads in part, "We must not, out of anger and vengeance,
indiscriminately retaliate in ways that bring on even more loss of innocent
Shift in Rhetoric Seen, But Most Americans Support War
Advocates of a nonmilitary response say they have felt a shift in the
national rhetoric in recent days, away from revenge and toward a more
considered response. They say they are encouraged by the Bush
administration's efforts to build an international consensus before
launching any military action.
The AFSC's McNish said she had seen a change in tone in letters to
newspapers. She attributed the shift to messages of peace preached in
churches and synagogues over the weekend. "Every priest, every pastor,
every minister, every rabbi this past weekend preached a message of peace.
That is a huge momentum," she said.
Wilson Powell, national administrator of Veterans for Peace, likened the
nation's initial reactions to those of a soldier going into battle for the
first time. "First you have disbelief and horror. Then fear, then deriving
from fear is anger, then driven by the anger is a desire for revenge. Then
hopefully somewhere along the line sanity sets in," said Powell, a veteran
of the Korean War.
Public opinion polls conducted through Monday show no change in Americans'
support for military action.
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001
From: "Emilie Nichols" <email@example.com>
Subject: Where are the peacemakers?
First, thank you for the programming showing people helping people.
Second, where are the peacemakers? I am a Quaker. As I listen to the
news, all I hear is the roaring of the war machine. Elise Boulding, author
of "Cultures of Peace"; George Lakey, Training for Change in PA; Sulak
Sivaraksa of Bangkok, Thailand, Buddhist, jurist; Howard Zinn, "Peoples'
History of the United States"; Fellowship of Reconciliation; American
Friends Service Committee; Women's International League for Peace; Witness
for Peace; Voices in the Wilderness. Is this still America? Can we hear
from other voices, other points of view? Are we going to relive the "red
scare" and the McCarthy period? General Haig and Senator Trent Lott have
already said in the media (NPR) that we shouldn't be squabbling over things
like civil liberties and the Bill of Rights.
I don't want to kill anyone. I don't want to pay for killing anyone. We
have heard a cacophany of voices trying, crying, begging to understand why
"they" (whoever that is) wanted to kill so many "innocents". Are we, the
US, or NATO, going to kill innocents -- not just the terrorists, "but those
who harbor them"? Will our soldiers be sent to shoot against the many arms
we have sold to countries in the Middle East?
There is talk of a blank check for defense. $40 billion has been okayed by
Congress. Who will pay this $40 billion? Will the corporations that paid
zero income taxes in the past 5 year belly up? Will the CEOs and the
wealthy belly up for this? And what about the money launderers and tax
havens -- see testimony from Senator Carl Levin's hearings from last year
forward? Or will only some be accused of a lack of "patriotism" -- i.e.,
those without health care, the homeless, those without access to education,
those "bad" welfare mothers, those without jobs, those without full-time
jobs, those laid off and downsized, those who have seen continuing
decreases in income since the 1970s (that's about the bottom 2/5s of the
population. See the latest report by United for a Fair Economy in Boston,
Statements in the media say that it will take 30+ days to clear, repair the
damage to the city of New York. How do we sustain all the people involved
in that massive job -- i.e., the firemen, the counselors, the medical
people? They have to get relief. They need to pace themselves. How do we
help people get their lives back in order? When do we grieve? As if that
pressure were not enough, for the people of New York and the whole country,
are we now to shoulder going to war? For me, this is insane. It's
dysfunctional. It would be a dysfunctional, insane act for a single
family, as it would be for the human family.
Emilie F. Nichols
Come to DC on September 29!!!
WAR AND RACISM ARE NOT THE ANSWER
Sat., Sep. 29, 12 noon, Lafayette Park
International A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism) - a new
anti-war coalition - has secured permits for Lafayette Park, the
White House sidewalk and for a mass march to the Capitol for
Saturday, September 29. Please see the Call and signers below. Email
back to sign on and get involved!
Join a New Anti-War Coalition:
[Act Now to Stop War & End Racism]
Please join us in signing this call:
We join with people all over the world in condemning the horrific
killings of thousands of persons in the September 11th attacks on the
World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Our most heartfelt sympathies
and condolences are with those whose loved ones were lost or injured
on September 11, 2001. At this moment, we would all like to take time
to reflect, to grieve, to extend sympathy and condolences to all. But
we believe that we must do more. We must act now.
We are assembling International A.N.S.W.E.R. to call for worldwide
rallies against war and racism. On September 29, there will be a
national march and rally at the White House in Washington DC, as well
as marches on the West Coast of the U.S. and around the world. We
call on all people of conscience and progressive organizations to
take up this call and organize rallies around the world.
Unless we stop President Bush and NATO from carrying out a new, wider
war in the Middle East, the number of innocent victims will grow from
the thousands to the tens of thousands and possibly more. A new,
wider U.S. and NATO war in the Middle East can only lead to an
escalating cycle of violence. War is not the answer.
We must also act against racism. Arab American and Muslim people in
the United States, in Europe and elsewhere, as well as other
communities of color, are facing racist attacks and harassment in
their communities, on their jobs and at mosques. Anti-Arab and anti-
Muslim racism is a poison that should be repudiated.
The U.S. government is attempting to curb civil liberties and to
create a climate in which it is impossible for progressive people to
speak their mind. The Bush administration is attempting to take
advantage of this crisis to militarize U.S. society with a vast
expansion of police powers that is intended to severely restrict
basic democratic rights.
On September 29, tens of thousands of people had planned to
demonstrate against the Bush administration's reactionary foreign and
domestic policy and the IMF and World Bank. In light of the current
crisis, with its tragic consequences for so many thousands of people,
we have refocused the call for our demonstration to address the
immediate danger posed by increased racism and the grave threat of a
new war. We call on people to demonstrate around the world on that
Now is the time for all people of conscience, all people who oppose
racism and war to come together. If you believe in civil liberties
and oppose racism and war, demonstrate on September 29 in front of
the White House and around the world. October 12-13 will be
International Days of Action Against War and Racism. We urge all
organizations internationally to join together at this critical time
and take action.
-Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General
-Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Auxiliary Bishop, Catholic Archdiocese of
-Al-Awda, New York and New Jersey
-Barbara Lubin, Exec. Director, Middle East Children's Alliance
-Jews Against the Occupation
-Rev. Lucius Walker, Pastors for Peace
-Nania Kaur Dhingra, Sikh Student Organization, George Washington
-Chuck Kaufman, National Co-Coordinator, Nicaragua Network
-Karen Talbot, International Center for Peace & Justice
-Committee for a Democratic Palestine
-Michel Chossudovsky, Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa
-Howard Zinn, Author
-Michael Parenti Ph.D., author of Against Empire
-Ben DuPuy, former Deputy Ambassador-at-Large, Haiti
-Teresa Gutierrez, Co-Director, International Action Center
-Martin Espada, Poet
-Sakhi for South Asian Women
-Women for Afghan Women
-Michele Naar-Obed, Plowshares activist, Jonah House, Baltimore
-Pam Africa, International Family & Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal
-Tom Hansen, Mexico Solidarity Network
-Michel Collon, author and journalist, Belgium
-Heidelberg Forum Against Militarism and War, Germany
-Italian Tribunal on NATO Crimes in Yugoslavia
-Maryland Green Party
-Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild
-Helena Papadopoulos, Center for Comparative Study of Law and
-Elmar Schmaehling, Retired Admiral, German Navy
-Wolfgang Richter, President, European Peace Forum
-Nino Pasti Foundation, Rome, Italy
-Information-Post on Militarism, Tobias Pflueger & Claudia Haydt
-Ricardo Juarez, Pasamontaas
-New Communist Party of the Netherlands
-African Immigrant and Refugee Coalition of N. America
-Dominican Workers Party, NY
-Ray LaForest, Labor Organizer, 1707 AFSCME
-Kriss Worthington, Berkeley City Council
-Leonora Foerstal, Women for Mutual Security
-Asha A. Samad, Human Rights Center
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Terrorist Attacks Transform Protest
Thursday September 20, 2001
WASHINGTON (AP) - Demonstrators who planned to protest the now-canceled
meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund are still coming
to the nation's capital this month. Now their protests will be about war and
The global financial organizations called off this year's annual meetings
after last week's terrorist attacks. Groups representing most of the
expected protesters also canceled their demonstrations, many citing a need
to respect victims of the attacks.
But the New York-based International Action Center and other groups still
intend to assemble thousands of protesters across from the White House on
``We are demonstrating because of the imminent danger of a wider war, one
that could result in the deaths of tens of thousands or hundreds of
thousands more people in addition to the victims of the tragedy on Sept.
11,'' said organizer Richard Becker.
He said the protesters also oppose the backlash against Arabs and Muslims
and the Bush administration's efforts to expand police powers following the
While Becker said the group has a permit for the rally and march, it is
uncertain whether increased security around the White House will allow it to
Secret Service spokesman Jim Mackin said he had to consult with the National
Park Service before commenting. The park service didn't immediately return
calls seeking comment.
District of Columbia Police Chief Charles Ramsey said he has no problem with
the protesters as long as they're peaceful.
``But it remains to be seen how they would be welcomed if they come to the
city under the circumstances,'' Ramsey said.
He said police would be watching for other demonstrators who, angered by
challenges to the appearance of American unity, might clash with the
Police have blamed anarchists for much of the violence at anti-globalization
protests during the past few years. A Washington-based anarchist group, the
Anti-Capitalist Convergence, has announced plans for a separate anti-war
march on Sept. 29.
Before the terrorist attacks, police had said they expected as many as
100,000 protesters and wanted help from other jurisdictions, including New
York City. Ramsey said his force, along with federal authorities, should be
able to handle the scaled-back demonstrations.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Sep 21 2001 - 19:28:13 EDT