[sixties-l] Anti-war actions...continued (3) (fwd)

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Date: Wed Oct 03 2001 - 15:42:31 EDT

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    Subject: Anti-war actions...continued (3)

    [multiple items]
    Anti-war resources:


    Worldwide Protests: "Stop War, End Racism"

    Via Workers World News Service
    Reprinted from the Oct. 4, 2001
    issue of Workers World newspaper


    By Greg Butterfield

    President George W. Bush's proclamation of a protracted "war
    against terrorism" sparked protests throughout the world
    during the last two weeks of September. Millions, both
    inside and outside the U.S., decried Bush's attempt to use
    the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon
    as the pretext for a new war of aggression in Afghanistan
    and the Middle East.

    In Central Asia, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent
    and Indonesia, militant demonstrations of tens of thousands
    have targeted U.S. government sites, Big Oil and Wall Street
    business interests. People in these countries have been
    frequent targets of U.S. economic strangulation and Pentagon

    Seeking to bully U.S. client regimes in the area, Bush
    declared before Congress Sept. 20: "Every nation in every
    region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us,
    or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any
    nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be
    regarded by the United States as a hostile regime."

    Washington has consistently labeled as "terrorist" any
    country or movement resisting U.S. economic and military
    domination, from the Palestinian liberation movement to
    socialist Cuba to the revolutionary forces in Colombia.

    Revolutionary and progressive organizations in Nepal,
    Bangladesh and Pakistan protested after the governments
    there agreed to let their airspace be used for U.S.-launched

    "The U.S. has itself indulged in killing the people of poor
    countries, labeling them as 'terrorist,'" said Nepal
    Communist Party (Maoist) leader Kirshna Bahadur Mahara. In
    India, the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist)-Liberation
    called for a week of protests against Bush in Delhi and
    other cities.

    President Fidel Castro of Cuba said Bush's war plan, called
    "Infinite Justice," could turn into an "infinite killing of
    innocent people."

    In the U.S., where many workers are still grieving the loss
    of loved ones, anti-war sentiment has taken more moderate
    forms, including vigils, rallies and teach-ins.

    But in the hundreds of cities and towns where anti-war
    actions have been held-from New York and Washington to Los
    Angeles and San Francisco-organizers have been encouraged by
    strong turnouts and sympathetic responses from the public.

    "There is a strong anti-war sentiment just under the
    surface," said Larry Holmes, a co-director of the
    International Action Center (IAC) and an organizer of the
    Sept. 29 International A.N.S.W.E.R. rally in Washington.
    "Our job is to provide a way for workers and poor people
    here in the U.S. to grieve for the Sept. 11 victims while
    also standing up to the racist attacks and Bush's war

    A.N.S.W.E.R. stands for "Act Now to Stop War & End Racism."
    Groups throughout Europe plan actions to coincide with
    International A.N.S.W.E.R.'s demonstrations on Sept. 29.


    The media and government's unceasing barrage of chauvinist
    propaganda has led to hundreds of racist attacks on
    immigrants from the Middle East and South Asia.

    On Sept. 19, over 200 representatives of Arab, Muslim and
    South Asian groups rallied in Washington, D.C. They gathered
    at the memorial to the 120,000 Japanese-Americans forced
    into internment camps after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

    "A turban does not signify a terrorist," said one
    participant, Tejpal Singh Chawla of the Sikh Mediawatch and
    Research Task Force. A Sikh immigrant from Punjab, India,
    had been killed by a racist gunman Sept. 15. At least three
    other immigrants have died in racist attacks.

    Defending Muslims and immigrants was a big priority for anti-
    war activities in New York. There, at the epicenter of the
    Sept. 11 tragedy, Union Square Park in lower Manhattan and
    its memorial for World Trade Center victims became home base
    for progressive and anti-war forces.

    Grief and mourning turned to action Sept. 21. Earlier in the
    week community groups and progressive organizations met at
    the embattled Charras Community Center and called for a
    march from Union Square to Times Square to protest Bush's
    war plans.

    Over 2,500 people marched on the sidewalks, chanting: "Bush
    says war, New York says no!" Hundreds of police used horses
    and clubs to block the peaceful, mostly young marchers from
    entering the area around the Times Square Recruiting Station-
    the traditional site of anti-war rallies. Five people were

    Workers World's G. Dunkel reported: "The slogans were
    varied, but all opposed the war. The IAC's chants of 'No
    more victims, no more violence, no more war' and 'No to war
    and racism' were popular. Another was, 'Stop the war, stop
    the attack, that won't bring our loved ones back.' Banners
    read 'No racist war for oil profits' and 'Don't use my grief
    as an excuse for more grief.'"

    Dunkel added: "What was particularly noticeable was the
    support and encouragement the march got from passers by and
    people in bars, restaurants and coffee shops. Counter-
    protesters were few and far between."

    Anti-war activities continued over the next two days, with a
    Sept. 22 rally at Union Square and a teach-in Sept. 23
    sponsored by Al-Awda, the Palestinian Right of Return


    In Los Angeles, hundreds gathered on Sept. 22 and Sept. 24
    in Pershing Square to denounce the war drive, including
    Mexican and Chicano community groups. Many passing motorists
    waved or honked their horns in support.

    Like many foes of war, Pawel Chmielewski said U.S. policies
    were at the root of the Sept. 11 attacks. "We need to
    normalize our relations and end sanctions against Iraq and
    the Palestinians," he told the Los Angeles Daily News.

    In San Diego, some 500 people turned out Sept. 22 for a
    "very powerful demonstration of opposition to Bush's war
    drive," said WW correspondent Bob McCubbin. The diverse
    crowd "lined both sides of Broadway in the heart of the
    downtown area, holding signs, banners and flags opposing war
    and racism," he explained.

    Speakers included a high school student from Afghanistan, an
    Armenian activist who participated in the first Iraq
    Sanctions Challenge, and a representative of the
    International Action Center. Gloria Verdieu, a leader of the
    San Diego Free Mumia Coalition, read from death-row
    political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal's commentary on the Sept.
    11 attacks.

    A spirited march through the Gaslamp District followed.
    Hundreds of flyers were distributed.

    Northeast Ohio was the site of several anti-war/anti-racism
    activities. On Sept. 18, 30 people rallied in Akron at an
    action called by the Radical Action Network. In Cleveland,
    the Interreligious Task Force held a silent vigil Sept. 21,
    and the People's Fightback Center brought out 100 people,
    including students, for a loud Sept. 22 protest.

    "This threat to go to war will do nothing to ease the
    suffering that thousands of people are facing right now,"
    said organizer Martha Grevatt. "They need jobs. They need
    assistance. They need support," she told the local Channel 5

    On Sept. 24 in Boston, the Women's Fightback Network of the
    IAC held a Women's Speak-out that drew hundreds of listeners
    in the downtown area. Some passersby stopped to thank the
    speakers for their statements and to express their own
    solidarity with struggling people around the world. IAC
    members also participated in the weekly Vigil for the Iraqi

    Boston was a major hub of nationwide campus actions Sept.
    20. During the day, 650 students and workers rallied at
    Harvard University. Hundreds more gathered at Boston
    College, Boston University, Brandeis University, Emerson
    College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern
    and other area campuses. That evening, groups from all the
    campuses sponsored a united march.

    Over 130 campuses nationwide participated in the National
    Day of Student Action. "Here in Oberlin College, a school of
    3,000 in the middle of rural Ohio, the new coalition-the
    Campaign Against Racism and War-had a march and rally
    against the racist attacks, the war, and the attacks on
    civil liberties," reported Ted Virdone, a member of
    Socialist Alternative. "We drew 500 people, which is more
    than I have ever seen come out at my school."

    Over 3,000 students answered the call at the University of
    California in Berkeley. WW correspondent Bill Hackwell
    reported, "Activists flooded Sproul Plaza, a symbol of anti-
    war protest from the free speech movement that began there
    in the early 1960s against the Vietnam War." Later they
    marched through the streets. "For many students in the
    march, it was their first political protest," Hackwell

    WW received reports from the State University of New York at
    New Paltz and Bard College in New York's Mid-Hudson region;
    Washington, D.C.'s Georgetown University; Virginia Tech in
    Blacksburg, Va.; the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and
    several campuses in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.

    Buffalo, N.Y., activists reported numerous anti-war
    activities, the largest being a Peace and Unity Rally at the
    University of Buffalo on Sept. 21. A speak-out in front of
    the student union drew 100 people, including representatives
    of the Organization of Arab Students, the Muslim Student
    Association, the Asian Student Union, Environmental Network,
    Lackawanna High School International Youth and Student
    Organization, U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization, Workers
    World Party and the IAC.

    And on Sept. 22 students from Goucher College, Johns Hopkins
    University and Towson University joined with Baltimore
    community groups for a march and rally against war and
    racism. Two thousand marched against war in Seattle that


    The Bush administration called on its fellow imperialist
    governments in Canada and Europe to join the planned war-
    under Washington's command, of course. Attacks on Muslims
    and immigrants have escalated in those countries, and
    activists have responded with strong protests.

    In Montreal, over 1,000 people demonstrated Sept. 23. Jaggi
    Singh, a leader of the movement against capitalist
    globalization, reported: "The protest, called by the
    Emergency Coalition Against War Hysteria and Racism, was
    organized within one week, and only publicized for a few
    days. It is part of ongoing anti-war events that have
    emerged here since Sept. 11."

    The demonstration gathered at Concordia University. Speakers
    represented the local Afghan community, opponents of Iraq
    sanctions and the South Asian Women's Community Center.

    "The speakers voiced clear opposition to war and racism, and
    some spoke of the context of U.S. imperialism in the world,"
    Singh said. After a march to the U.S. consulate, Palestinian
    and Jewish activists spoke.

    On Sept. 22, several thousand rallied in the German cities
    of Berlin, Cologne, Bremen and Kassel, carrying banners
    reading "Enough deaths" and "No retaliation," the Reuters
    news service reported. Another rally in Berlin by the Afghan
    community demanded "No bombs on Afghanistan."
    Representatives of the German peace movement met in Kassel
    and called for a national demonstration in Berlin on Oct.

    Thousands more demonstrated Sept. 22 in Britain. Prime
    Minister Tony Blair has been a major backer of Bush's "anti-
    terrorist" campaign. In London about 5,000 people gathered
    near Blair's official residence at 10 Downing St. Many
    carried signs reading: "Stand shoulder to shoulder for peace
    and justice. No more violence."

    The protests, also held in Manchester and in Glasgow,
    Scotland, were called by the Campaign for Nuclear
    Disarmament. Thirty protesters also gathered outside the
    U.S. Air Force base in Lakenheath, Suffolk.

    At the Glasgow rally, Scottish Socialist Party leader Tommy
    Sheridan said, "I appeal to everyone to become involved in a
    broad-based anti-war movement, a broad-based movement for
    peace and for equality throughout the world."

    In Italy some 7,000 people demonstrated in Florence Sept. 23
    along with smaller demonstrations in other cities. The
    entire week up to Sept. 29 has been designated as a week of
    actions to stop the war, with a national protest set for
    Sept. 27 in Naples. A NATO summit that had been earlier
    scheduled for that day has been moved to Brussels.

    Groups that had united around the Genoa Social Forum for
    anti-globalization protests last July are supporting the
    anti-war actions. The Refoundation Communist Party has
    called another national action for Sept. 29 in Rome.

    In Liege, Belgium, on Sept. 22, some 2,000 mostly young
    people protested against the war.

    [With reports from Bill Hackwell in Berkeley, Calif.; Bob
    McCubbin in San Diego; G. Dunkel in New York; Workers World
    bureaus in Boston, Buffalo, N.Y., Cleveland, Mid-Hudson,
    N.Y., and Seattle; J. Gilbert in Florence; the web site of
    the Belgian Workers' Party; the German daily newspaper Junge
    Welt; and the "Studentsnowar" e-mail list.]


    Internet gives peace a chance

    The anti-war movement has been fuelled by counter-cultural online news
    services, making it very different from its Vietnam predecessor, writes

    by Duncan Campbell
    Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday September 26, 2001

    Union Square in New York became over the last two weeks the unofficial
    shrine and assembly point for people who had lost friends or relatives and
    wanted to light a candle for them or to leave a message about them.
    Many of the messages were calls for peace so it was interesting to see that
    the CD on special offer in the neighbouring Barnes & Noble bookshop on the
    square was Songs From the Divided House. It is a special compilation album
    about the Vietnam war which includes both Country Joe McDonald's anti-war
    anthem, I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag and John Lennon's Give Peace A
    Chance as well as speeches from both of the presidents who prosecuted the
    war, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.

    What is already clear is that the anti-war movement evolving out of the
    events of September 11 will be a very different one from that which
    gradually emerged to oppose the Vietnam war in the 60s and 70s. Time moves
    much more swiftly now and it was within hours of the terrible events that ad
    hoc groups from New Yorkers Say No to War to campus movements had formed.

    Key to this speed has been the internet, which, of course, did not exist in
    the 60s. Then, the anti-war troops were rallied through flyers, through the
    old "underground press" from the Berkeley Barb to the Village Voice, through
    the Pacifica network radio stations and by word of mouth.

    Now, countless emails and counter-cultural online news services operate to
    channel the movement. People seeking alternative views have only to click on
    to commondreams.org, laweekly.com, thenation.com, alternet.org,
    accuracy.org, nowarcollective.com or humanrightsnow.org to be presented with
    an array of information and opinion that 30 years ago would have taken weeks
    to assemble and disseminate.

    This week's anti-war march in Washington, which will take place at noon on
    Saturday, has been fuelled and publicised through the internet, on sites
    like iacentre.org, as much as by any other method, not least because there
    has not been much coverage in the mainstream media of its existence.

    There are other ways in which the new anti-war movement differs. While the
    anti-Vietnam campaigners included those who supported the North Vietnamese
    as well as those who just opposed the way the war was being waged, no one in
    the current anti-war movement supports the perpetrators of what took place
    on September 11.

    And this week such performers as Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx, the Pointer Sisters
    and Aerosmith have offered to perform for any US troops who find themselves
    stationed abroad in the coming weeks.

    During the Vietnam war, such entertainment was undertaken by the
    conservative wing of the industry - most notably in the form of Bob Hope. In
    his recent collection of celebrity profiles, the writer John Lahr recalls
    that, towards the end of the war, the GIs in Vietnam were deeply unimpressed
    with Hope, even walking out of one of his shows and at one Long Binh concert
    holding up signs that read "Peace not Hope" and "The Vietnam War is a Bob
    Hope Joke".

    They would rather have heard from Country Joe McDonald. Changed days indeed.


      Thousands march in anti-war demo in Italian NATO city

      Thursday September 27, 2001

      NAPLES, Italy, Sept 27 (AFP) -
      Thousands of anti-war demonstrators began marching
      through the centre of Naples on Thursday to protest a
      military build-up and the threat of a global conflict
      in the wake of the attacks on the United States.
      Around 3,000 anti-globalization and anti-war
      demonstrators gathered in the centre of Naples, which
      is home to NATO's Southern Command, to lead a march on
      the city's municipal headquarters several kilometres
      (miles) away.

      The protest had been scheduled in Naples when it was
      thought that a key NATO meeting would be held in the
      city, but although the talks were moved to Brussels,
      where they took place on Wednesday, the protesters
      decided to maintain their march.

      Hundreds of Italian police and carabinieri kept a
      close watch on the march, which was expected to
      attract up to 15,000 people, but the gathering bore
    none of the tension which preceded the rioting that
      marred the G8 summit in Genoa in July.

      Neither police nor any of the demonstrators wore
      protective riot gear, in marked contrast to the Genoa

      However some demonstrators took the precaution of
      wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the phone number of a
      lawyer in case of arrest.

      The mainly student marchers blew whistles and chanted
    anti-war slogans as they set off from Garibaldi
      Square, close to the main train station in the port

      Those at the front chanted in English "one, two,
      three, four ... we don't want another war. Five, six,
      seven, eight ... stop the violence, stop the hate."

      Many were from left-wing organizations and carried
      portraits of Karl Marx and Che Guevara.
      One banner, referring to US President George W. Bush
      and to fears that a military strike could spark a
      retaliatory attack using biological weapons, read:
      "Sure, W, we'll suck anthrax, so you can feel tough in
      your bunker."

      Classics student Tonia Capuano, 17, who handed out
      Communist party pamphlets, claimed many demonstrators
      had arrived from the northern cities of Turin and
      Venice, as well as Rome, and the Sicilian city of

      Capuano claimed she would demonstrate anyway against
      anti-globalisation, "because that's where the war and
      the violence comes from".
      Another marcher, Giuliano Malet, 25, said: "I feel
      that war in Afghanistan, or Pakistan, would only hit
      poor people."

      The United States named blamed Islamic extremists
      based in Afghanistan as prime suspects for the
      September 11 attacks on its territory.

      Hundreds of demonstrators were arrested following the
      Genoa riots, and many were beaten amid widespread
      claims of police brutality.


    Pentagon widow's plea for non-violence

    A widow's plea for non-violence

    By Amber Amundson. Amber Amundson is the wife of the late Craig Scott
    Amundson, an enlisted specialist in the Army

    Published September 25, 2001
    Chicago Tribune

    My husband, Craig Scott Amundson, of the U.S. Army lost his life in the
    line of duty at the Pentagon on Sept. 11 as the world looked on in
    horror and disbelief.

    Losing my 28-year-old husband and father of our two young children is a
    terrible and painful experience.
    His death is also part of an immense national loss and I am comforted by
    knowing so many share my grief.
    But because I have lost Craig as part of this historic tragedy, my
    anguish is compounded exponentially by fear that his death will be used
    to justify new violence against other innocent victims.

    I have heard angry rhetoric by some Americans, including many of our
    nation's leaders, who advise a heavy dose of revenge and punishment. To
    those leaders, I would like to make clear that my family and I take no
    comfort in your words of rage. If you choose to respond to this
    incomprehensible brutality by perpetuating violence against other
    innocent human beings, you may not do so in the name of justice for my
    husband. Your words and imminent acts of revenge only amplify our
    family's suffering, deny us the dignity of remembering our loved one in
    a way that would have made him proud, and mock his vision of America as
    a peacemaker in the world community.

    Craig enlisted in the Army and was proud to serve his county. He was a
    patriotic American and a citizen of the world. Craig believed that by
    working from within the military system he could help to maintain the
    military focus on peacekeeping and strategic planning--to prevent
    violence and war. For the last two years Craig drove to his job at the
    Pentagon with a "visualize world peace" bumper sticker on his car. This
    was not empty rhetoric or contradictory to him, but part of his dream.
    He believed his role in the Army could further the cause of peace
    throughout the world.

    Craig would not have wanted a violent response to avenge his death. And
    I cannot see how good can come out of it. We cannot solve violence with
    violence. Mohandas Gandhi said, "An eye for an eye only makes the whole
    world blind." We will no longer be able to see that we hold the light of
    liberty if we are blinded by vengeance, anger and fear. I ask our
    nation's leaders not to take the path that leads to more widespread
    hatreds--that make my husband's death just one more in an unending
    spiral of killing.

    I call on our national leaders to find the courage to respond to this
    incomprehensible tragedy by breaking the cycle of violence. I call on
    them to marshal this great nation's skills and resources to lead a
    worldwide dialogue on freedom from terror and hate.

    I do not know how to begin making a better world: I do believe it must
    be done, and I believe it is our leaders' responsibility to find a way.
    I urge them to take up this challenge and respond to our nation's and my
    personal tragedy with a new beginning that gives us hope for a peaceful
    global community.


    Marchers: Let's give peace a chance


    By SUSAN BROILI : The Herald-Sun broili@herald-sun.com
    Sep 23, 2001

    CHAPEL HILL -- About 400 people marched for peace Sunday. Men and women of
    all ages, children and even
    some dogs walked in loosely organized lines down
    Franklin Street, through the UNC campus and back to grassy, tree-shaded
    McCorkle Place where the March to End the Cycle of Violence event had begun
    at 2 p.m.
    They carried signs: "Honor the victims with peace." "More war creates more
    terrorism." "An eye for an eye creates blindness."
    They chanted: "Break the silence with nonviolence!" and "Peace! Now!"
    They sang: "All we are saying is give peace a chance."
    Onlookers stood in silence. One man in a wheelchair took off his hat and
    placed it over his heart as the
    group passed by. Only one dissenter was spotted, a man who made an obscene
    gesture and muttered, "That's what I think about it," as he walked in the
    opposite direction.
    "Nothing, nothing justifies what happened last week in Washington and New
    York," march organizer Jim
    Warren told the crowd before the march. Warren heads the newly formed
    Coalition to End the Cycle of
    Violence. "We mourn the victims of those attacks, and we send our
    sympathies to their families," Warren
    He called for a moment of silence "to mourn the victims and those in this
    country and other countries who are in fear of war," Warren said.
    He spoke of the reasons for the march.
    "We're calling for the rule of international law to apply here," Warren said.
    "The United States must begin, finally, to address the root cause of hatred
    against the United States," Warren said.
    "We want to end the racism and violence being caused against Muslim and
    Arab Americans and even people who look like Arab Americans," Warren said.
    He acknowledged that emotions are charged, people are afraid, but reminded
    the crowd to keep the rally negative-free.
    "Keep in mind we can't win hating each other," said Warren.
    He said that all people have a common ground: "We all want to end terrorism
    and protect public safety here and abroad."
    He spoke of how anger and fear cloud wisdom.
    "Unfortunately, it's hard to be angry and smart at the same time," Warren
    Sarah Shields, a UNC professor of Middle Eastern studies, spoke of the
    overwhelming nature of the tragedy and of how military retaliation would
    cause further tragedies.
    "Each victim had so many friends, so much family. They went to work. They
    never came home. There are so many orphans," Shields said.
    Shields spoke of the U.S. government's role in training fighters to combat
    the Soviets in Afghanistan in 1979 and that many of them may now be members
    of the terrorist network led by Osama bin Laden.
    Shields spoke of how people in Afghanistan and other Middle Eastern
    countries have been victims of the same terrorists and of how those people
    would be victimized again should the United States bomb Afghanistan.
    "If the United States begins military action ^ we will inevitably kill
    civilians," Shields said.
    Shields called on American people not to take the path of revenge because
    it would feed and escalate violence. Retaliation would be a deterrent only
    if the perpetrators were afraid of death, she said.
    "They will welcome death as a tool in their struggle," Shields said.
    "Is it retribution, or is it ending terrorism? We have a choice now,"
    Shields said.
    "We must work in an international arena to find the guilty and make sure
    they will never create orphans anywhere again," Shields said.
    Rania Masri said she wept when she heard President Bush's speech before
    Congress last week. Masri said that Bush had made demands about turning
    over all terrorists and closing all terrorists camps, demands that were
    impossible to meet and therefore paved the way for an open-ended war.
    Masri called on people to try to get to know others who are different, to
    learn "that life-affirming values lie at the core of all people."
    After the march, the Rev. Gary Phillips asked that people see connections.
    "When I see a sign, 'End the cycle of violence,' I think of the domestic
    violence in our homes," Phillips said.
    Phillips said that to have peace, people need to be peace, "to model the
    culture we want to make."
    He called for inclusiveness.
    "Bring everybody to the welcome table, take care of everyone in our
    community," Phillips said.
    "We must acknowledge our fears, but we must not act out of fear," Phillips
    He concluded with a benediction: "And now may the peace of God and the God
    of peace give you the courage to hold to your convictions and keep an open
    heart to do the work for the transformation that has to happen," Phillips
                  Events to promote peace
    A number of activities are planned to promote peace, according to
    organizers of Sunday's March to End the Cycle of Violence.
    Peace vigils will be held in Chapel Hill today through Friday, 5 p.m. to
    6:30 p.m., at the post office on East Franklin Street, and in Durham today
    through Friday, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the main post office on Main Street.
    A public meeting takes place at 7 p.m. today in room 209, Manning Hall on
    the UNC campus in Chapel Hill. A bus trip to stage a protest for peace in
    Washington is being planned for Saturday. A food drive is under way to help
    the people of Afghanistan, who have been experiencing a famine for three
    years. For more information, contact Internationalist Books, 405 W.
    Franklin St., 942-1740.
    For more information, contact the Coalition to End the Cycle of Violence at
    563-2636 or via e-mail at writelou@aol.com.


    Peace protest

    Echoes of Vietnam stir US campuses


    Students refuse to be drowned out by clamour for reprisals

    by Matthew Engel in Oberlin, Ohio
    Monday September 24, 2001

    As the town clock struck six and the dusk-insects began biting, the Stars
    and Stripes hung limply at half-mast for the last time before the official
    mourning period ended yesterday.
    It was a sight visible in small towns all over the United States on
    Saturday night. But in Oberlin, Ohio, the accompanying sound was somewhat
    unexpected. A speaker was telling about 500 people gathered in the main
    square: "Just remember that a bomb on Afghanistan is a bomb on us" - and
    was wildly applauded.
    Shortly afterwards, the crowd marched three blocks to the town's memorial
    to Martin Luther King, chanting the while:
    "1-2-3-4! We don't want your racist war!" "2-4-6-8! Stop the war! Stop the
    Then they chanted some more and heard more speeches before stopping for
    vegetarian nibbles and dispersing. A few of the older protesters could be
    heard gently humming peace songs from the 1960s. It was a gloriously
    nostalgic moment. It may also be immensely significant.
    Oberlin is emphatically not the voice of Ohio, the Midwest or the nation.
    It is an agreeably funky and viscerally liberal college town in a
    Republican state that epitomises Middle America. It has a history of
    activism that pre-dates not only Vietnam but the American civil war. And
    the Oberlin College bookshop must be the only one in the state where Pencil
    Puzzles Vacation Special ("A Bountiful Harvest of Puzzle Fun!") sits
    alongside the latest issue of Spartacist ("A Trotskyite Critique of Germany
    But Oberlin is not alone. Within the past few days, below the radar screens
    of the mainstream US media, a vast network of peace activists has become
    established in colleges across the country. Its website
    (www.peacefuljustice.cjb.net) lists contacts on more than 150 campuses.
    There have been demonstrations at about a hundred of them.
    Leaders are now making plans to march on Washington next weekend, the dates
    originally set aside for the IMF and World Bank meetings - cancelled
    because of the atrocities - and accompanying Genoa-style protests. It is
    possible that this movement's internal contradictions will cause an early
    collapse. But its growth has been dramatic. At the very least, it is the
    return of opposition to President George Bush, a role abandoned by
    Congressional Democrats.
    The scene in Oberlin might have been a film director's re-enactment of the
    anti-Vietnam protests, or a homage to retro-chic: there were rebellious
    hairstyles, bellbottoms and even a few kaftans. Only the proliferation of
    nose-studs and the general air of naive good order made it clear that these
    students were mostly the children of the 60s children, and that the clothes
    might have been pilfered from their mothers' attics.
    But some had longer memories. In the square before the protest began, Chris
    Baymiller was collecting signatures on a petition to be sent to the local
    congressman. Now he is the assistant director of the Oberlin students'
    union; three decades ago he was an undergraduate.
    "It was not uncommon to have draft-card burnings on any given day," he
    recalled. "There was one very famous incident when a group of marine
    recruiters were trapped in their car and the police had to teargas the
    entire area. It was a very intense time, a time like no other. But this is
    the nearest I can remember to that atmosphere."
    Oberlin is not far from Kent State University, infamous as the campus where
    National Guardsmen panicked during a demonstration in 1970 and shot four
    students dead. Despite its place in history, Kent State has never had
    Oberlin's reputation for activism - but anti-war protests are planned there
    this week too.
    The major difference is that the message from the current action has to be
    more complex than the "hell-no-we-won't-go" slogans from 30 years ago.
    These students are not being drafted - yet. And there is still no serious
    support anywhere for doing nothing in response to the attacks. The most
    astute speakers at this rally attempted to get across a cautious and
    non-rabble-rousing message: yes, but.
    It was summed up by the undergraduate organiser, Jim Casteleiro: "On
    September 11 I felt more pain than I ever imagined. Americans want
    retribution for what happened. But remember this: Every life we take means
    there will be retribution for that. There is going to be more war, more
    Mr Baymiller explained to a waverer: "We support going after the
    terrorists, bringing them to justice. And if they find Bin Laden in a cave
    and bomb the cave, fine. We don't want to see a large part of the world
    being bombed back to the Stone Age." The waverer signed his petition.
    Mr Baymiller was sitting at a stall set up in the square at a routine
    back-to-college recruitment market for Oberlin's various societies. The
    Socialist Alternative (membership at Oberlin: eight) was there, as were the
    Spartacists (membership here: zero - their representatives had driven from
    Chicago, presumably bringing their magazines with them). But the
    professional lefties were outnumbered by the folk music club, the karate
    club and the chess club.
    And even the apolitical students were not wholly unsympathetic to the
    protests. Goldie Greenstein, studying economics and psychology, refused to
    attend the rally: she was mainly interested in recruiting members to the
    film club. So what did she feel when she heard Mr Bush's speech on
    Thursday? "Fear. Terrorists will kill themselves if they wish to do so,
    and they will bring people down with them."
    Oberlin's students are more politicised than elsewhere. But there is
    evidence that the mood here is merely a more concentrated version of the
    unease developing on other campuses. The place is considered eccentric, but
    it has generally been ahead of its time rather than wrong.
    The town was founded by anti-slavery campaigners, and helped to precipitate
    the civil war by refusing, in 1858, to hand over a runaway slave. Oberlin
    College pioneered coeducation and non-racialism. It is also a town with a
    reputation for tolerance. There was thus no hint of confrontation, except
    from one elderly guest at a nearby wedding, who began booing theatrically.
    The march to the Martin Luther King memorial drew only a couple of bemused
    looks, not least from Tracy Michael, who works in a pet shop, and was
    sitting opposite the monument on her front porch, decked out with the
    American flag.
    She was, in keeping with Oberlin tradition, perfectly indulgent. She just
    didn't share the sentiments. "I want peace just as much as they all do, but
    we're not going to get it. The terrorists put us in the war."


    New peace movement for a new war



    (September 24, 2001 3:39 p.m. EDT) - Just as America must fight a "new kind
    of war," so it must deal with a new kind of peace movement, one that blames
    American foreign policy for the recent terrorist attack. Blame the hateful
    mass murderers seeking martyrdom in their radical holy war against America?
    Not the new peace movement - it's a part of a global war against America.

    Those who opposed U.S. military action in the past questioned the right of
    America to protect its interests in other countries. That questioning
    centered on two issues: the definition of American interests and our right
    to impose our interests on others. These have always been reasonable
    questions, whatever one's view in particular cases.

    The new peace movement has nothing to do with reasonable questions. "Where
    is the acknowledgment that this was not a 'cowardly' attack on
    'civilization' or 'liberty' or 'humanity' or 'the free world' but an attack
    on the world's self-proclaimed superpower, undertaken as a consequence of
    specific American alliances and actions?" So asked Susan Sontag in The New

    Never before have so many Americans been killed on American soil. But the
    new self-proclaimed peaceniks are anti-American cultural warriors willing
    to sink to unimaginable moral equivalencies.

    Whereas the old peace movement questioned America's right to kill people in
    other countries when no attack on American soil had occurred, the new peace
    movement defends the brutal killing of thousands of Americans on the
    grounds that America got what it had coming.

    The new peace movement doubtless recalls the old. The latter began with
    communist sympathizers who excused the Soviet Union its innumerable crimes
    against humanity, seeing capitalism as the world's great evil. Having
    adjusted to the end of the Cold War, the new peace movement hates America
    for being the world's sole remaining superpower. And it wants that power

    Unmoved to anger against the perpetrators of the atrocious violence of
    September 11th, the new peaceniks merely heat up their longstanding anger
    against America. Deplorably, they turn the death of thousands of innocent
    lives into an opportunity to point a cold ideological finger at America.

    In its extremism, the new peace movement has something in common with Jerry
    Falwell: the refusal to blame those responsible for the September 11th
    atrocity, choosing instead to blame America. Falwell blames America for
    harboring heretics. The peaceniks blame America for harboring Americans.
    Put the two together and you get the holy war of Osama bin Laden, the jihad
    declared against the U.S. by the Taliban.

    So far the percentage of Americans who blame America is small. But those
    who do blame America congregate in places that shape the future of American
    culture: our nation's college and university campuses.

    Anyone who thought that the loss of more than 6,000 lives on American soil
    might have led to unanimous patriotic compassion even at America's campuses
    was too hopeful. The Sontag sentiment is highly audible on campus. The day
    after the September 11th attack, one of my Columbia students voiced this
    representative reaction: "I hope it will cause America to examine its
    foreign policy decisions."

    Like the old one, the new peace movement is rooted in our universities.
    Thus, it is ruled by political correctness, which, after expunging
    America's virtues and exaggerating its crimes, credits America's most
    vicious enemies with political and moral validity.

    As part of its anti-American campaign, political correctness teaches young
    Americans to identify their country as a global oppressor and to regard the
    rest of the world as blameless victims. It not only urges identification
    with such victims but also encourages students to see themselves as victims
    too. Thus they can simultaneously identify with the victims of the
    September 11th attack and blame the oppressive United States. Off campus,
    Americans are united, and their present unity is a beauty to behold. A New
    York Times/CBS poll shows 85 percent supporting military action against
    whoever is responsible for the recent attacks. But once America starts
    fighting, opposition will grow. The same poll shows there is already less
    support for a protracted war than for a short one. And this "new kind of
    war" is likely to be a very long one.

    If we are to win this long war against terrorism, the next generation will
    have to be another great generation. Lines at recruitment offices for
    America's armed forces suggest it just might be exactly that. But
    courageous, patriotic young Americans will find their peers using the cloak
    of a new "peace" movement to make a war against them.
    Marc Berley is president of the Foundation for Academic Standards &
    Tradition and teaches literature at Columbia University.


    10 Things You Can Do to Prevent War


    by Geov Parrish, AlterNet
    September 26, 2001

    1. Educate yourself on the issues.

    To stop terror and avoid war, we must first understand what causes it, and
    what approaches have, and haven't, been successful in the past. So far,
    America's "War On Terrorism" seems to be focused exclusively on the
    movement that has apparently spawned the perpetrators of the September 11
    attacks: radical, violent fringe conservative Sunni Muslims, from an area
    that stretches geographically from Northwest Africa to Southeast Asia. It
    can only help if we learn more about the history, culture, religions and
    economies of those parts of the world; the West's historic and current
    religious, military, political and economic relationships with them and
    with Islam; and how those conditions, from colonialism through global
    economic changes and geopolitical rivalies, have contributed to poverty,
    desperation, hatred and, at times, religious fanaticism today. Part of how
    we've gotten here is the West's tendency to impose our own cultures, values
    and expectations on these regions without taking the time to understand
    where the people we're dealing with are coming from. People interested in
    stopping terror and avoiding war cannot afford to repeat that mistake.

    2. Develop a closer, more respectful relationship to Muslims and the
    Islamic world.

    As the world shrinks, this is actually something we should be doing with
    all cultures and religions, but for the purposes of our current War on
    Terrorism, it is particularly important that, much as Christianity and
    Judaism have learned to live in greater harmony after two millenia of
    tension, Western cultures and religions must find and develop our common
    interests with the Islamic world. Just as with any minority or "other," the
    more we each work with and understand people of the Islamic faith, the less
    they will seem strange and threatening and the more we will recognize each
    other as individuals and as human beings.

    3. Communicate!

    Don't be afraid to speak out, and to listen: talk with your neighbors, your
    friends, relatives, co-workers, classmates. Learn from the people you
    disagree with, but don't shy away from voicing your opinions in places
    where they're unpopular. Call in to radio and television talk shows. Write
    letters to the editor and opinion articles for your local community
    newspapers. Visit their editorial boards.

    4. Take your case to the community.

    Set up community forums, teach-ins and panels, to educate the public, to
    air out differing opinions and to force politicians to go on the record
    with their beliefs. Table at community events. Write and circulate flyers,
    with information on the issue, lobbying and contact information,
    publicizing events or putting out powerful graphic images. Circulate
    petitions that you can then use both to notify people of future events (and
    to recruit volunteers to help organize them!) and to lobby elected
    officials or other prominent community figures. Take out ads in your local
    newspapers. Make your advocacy visible, so people will think, even if local
    media is hostile, that your cause is popular and widespread. Set up and
    publicize your own web site or list-serve.

    5. Raise money for the Third World.

    Rather than collecting money for survivors' families or to rebuild the
    World Trade Center, send it where it's more desperately needed: to the
    countries whose crushing poverty helps spawn terrorism. A more economically
    just world will be one with less terror. Donate your own money, or organize
    events where your whole community can pitch in and help: benefits,
    readings, raffles, auctions, walk-a-thons and so forth. Consider working
    jointly with a local mosque or Third World community center.

    6. Publicize and oppose racial profiling, the curbing of civil
    liberties and the backlash against immigrants.

    This is both a local and a national issue, involving everything from new
    INS and Justice Department programs and regulations to local police
    behavior and cases of isolated bigotry. While this is in many ways a
    separate issue, bear in mind that it's easier for our government to pursue
    an irresponsible or counter-productive military-oriented solution if more
    of the public hates and fears people who look like the enemy. When civil
    liberties are taken away in an emergency, they're rarely restored
    afterwards; and when a precedent is set whereby constitutional rights can
    be denied to any one group, you could be next.

    7. Lobby for Congress and the White House to pursue policies that
    minimize civilian deaths; rethink our national defense and foreign policy
    priorities; and change global economic institutions and trade agreements so
    that they create less, not more, poverty and death.

    Send a letter (preferably handwritten) or card, make a phone call (faxes
    and emails are less effective, but better than nothing), go to the forums
    of public officials, visit their offices. Much of our ability to minimize
    future terrorist activity depends not just on better security at home, but
    policies abroad that work consistently to promote the ideals of freedom and
    democracy America stands for. Powerful special interests often keep the
    White House and Congress from doing the right thing; it's up to us, the
    public, to require that when they act in our name, they treat others the
    way we would want to be treated. We, the public, are the people whose lives
    are on the line in this conflict; we have a right to demand that the people
    acting for us make our safety a priority, and not put us in further
    jeopardy by making matters worse.

    8. Participate in or create visible public events for the same goals.

    It's not enough to send a letter. To create the public momentum to convince
    an elected official to do something s/he might think isn't in his personal
    best interest, s/he has to think it's the right thing to do and that a lot
    of people agree with them. Attend or organize vigils, rallies, marches,
    parades, art festivals, music events, nonviolent direct actions or civil
    disobedience. Be creative, have fun, be visible, get the word out.

    9. Work the media, or be the media.

    Send out press releases, talk with reporters and editors, make sure when
    you're doing public events that local media outlets know about it, and
    offer something they'll want to cover. Train yourself to give interviews
    and be articulate. Start your own newsletter or radio or cable access TV
    show, or contribute to others. Support independent media that's willing to
    provide critical information and alternative viewpoints not as easily
    available in big mainstream outlets.

    10. Reclaim patriotism!

    We all want the most effective possible course for stopping
    terrorism. Disagreeing with our government's proposed strategies isn't
    treason, it's the highest form of citizenship in a participatory democracy.
    We're becoming activists on this issue because we love our country, as well
    as our community and the world. Don't let anybody claim that you're
    "blaming America" or "betraying the President." We're proud to live in a
    country where we have the right, and the obligation, to speak out when our
    government is wrong. We're speaking out because we care. Unthinking
    obedience is the point at which our democracy has broken down.
    Geov Parrish is a political columnist for WorkingforChange.com and a
    longtime peace activist.


    Mainstreaming the Anti-War Movement


    Geov Parrish, AlterNet
    September 26, 2001

    Only three days after the most devastating direct attack on the United
    States in its history, thousands of New Yorkers gathered for a peace vigil
    in Manhattan. By day five, some 4,000 rallied in San Francisco; another
    2,000 in Portland. Thousands followed in Seattle, Boston, New York and San
    Francisco again, and elsewhere; smaller vigils, rallies, and marches came
    together in cities and towns across the country. Thousands, maybe millions
    more reached out on the Internet, finding virtual communities and message
    boards flooded by those who shared their views. In their homes, people
    began churning out letters to their newspapers and to the White House and
    Since September 11's tragedies, large groups of people who didn't know each
    other on September 10 -- many who hadn't ever been politically active
    before, have begun meeting and finding an unexpected common
    ground. They've been reassuring each other that they're not insane, and
    that they're not alone in wanting the United States not to respond to a
    horrific crime by flattening some country, any country. They're not alone
    in fearing World War III. They're not alone in worrying about an undefined
    war against an unknown enemy in undefined places, when we don't know what
    victory would look like and we don't know how we'll recognize it if it's
    Those are not simply pacifist questions; they're common-sense questions
    that transcend ideology. Almost immediately, there was a significant, and
    broad, counter-current to America's impulse for revenge. At first glance,
    it seemed astonishing; thousands died and virtually everyone in the country
    began worrying about their own physical safety and that of their loved
    ones. Of course something needed to be done.
    But what? Is war, especially the prolonged one George Bush warns of, the
    answer? Most of the people of the world don't think so. An international
    Gallup poll released Sep. 21 found that 46 percent of Americans were either
    undecided or opposed to military action. In 29 of 30 other countries polled
    (Israel being the exception), the public was opposed to military action,
    preferring extradition and legal remedies. Margins against war were in the
    80-90 percent range in Europe and Latin America. People have their doubts,
    abroad and at home.
    Thankfully, the indeterminate nature of the war Bush initially called for
    (wiping out evil? All of it?) also gave the rest of the White House and the
    Pentagon pause. On Sep. 25, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld cautioned
    Americans that, to our presumably great disappointment, there will be no
    massive land invasions in this war. But there are still plenty of other
    dangers down this path, and there are still more effective means of
    combatting terrorism.
    To its credit (so far), while the rhetoric has been understandably
    bellicose and the White House has been busy lining up foreign support and
    military options, it hasn't blindly lashed out in retribution. But it has
    given in to the seeming American need to put a single name on the enemy
    (Saddam, Noriega, Qaddafi, Fidel), and that is a serious mistake. Even if
    bin Laden was involved in the Sep. 11 attacks, the enemy we are fighting
    doesn't need him, and, in fact, now that he has the cachet of being
    America's target, they'd greatly benefit from the volunteers his martyrdom
    would produce. Bin Laden isn't a major strategist among the world's radical
    conservative Sunni Moslems; his role has been relatively minor, even as
    financier. (His much-vaunted riches have been frozen for years.) He simply
    acts, as do a number of other individuals, as a facilitator among a broad
    network of radical, violent fringe Sunni groups. Removing him doesn't begin
    to solve the problem.
    Instead, the War on Terrorism confronts an enormous, complex web of groups,
    and it's likely to get more, not less, complicated if we send in the
    military. Bush has exacerbated that concern by announcing they will target
    all terrorists (presumably including prospective ones), and the countries
    that "harbor" them. That essentially is a blank check for invading any
    country in the world, since the implicit assumption, that bin Laden and his
    boys are responsible for it all, and they're all holed up on a ranch
    somewhere in Afghanistan, waiting for the Delta Force, is preposterous.
    Even the direct accomplices to Sept. 1 were smart and prepared enough to
    scatter to the four winds ahead of time, and bin Laden's modus has often
    been to have sympathizers go into deep cover for years in the West. Many
    other groups have done the same. The War On Terrorism, as defined by Bush,
    can be fought against anybody, anywhere and everywhere on the planet.
    That's the new reality anti-war activists confront, and as with military
    planners, they, too, will have to shift their thinking and tactics.
    In this case, most activists share the country's primary concerns: bringing
    September 11's perpetrators to justice, and minimizing, to the extent
    possible, such acts in the future. The differences come in what activists
    believe to be the most effective strategy for trying to end terrorism.
    The first step, they believe, is to acknowledge what most of the public, in
    other countries, already know: that however horrific it was, stealing and
    crashing four jets was a crime, not an act of war. Except for the pilot
    training given the perpetrators (presumably in part at an Afghan training
    camp), the attacks were planned and carried out by surprisingly simple and
    pedestrian criminal means: forged identity papers; deep cover in places
    that are most emphatically not in the mountains of Afghanistan; exploiting
    our freedom of movement; availability of all sorts of dangerous (if
    misused) consumer goods; and exploiting gaps in our domestic security.
    The only place anywhere in that chain of events which might benefit from
    military intervention is locating that Afghani training camp, and how long
    does it take to build a new one in some other country? How many are already
    built? In how many countries are there already people living who have made
    a pact with their god, working toward a day, near or distant, when they
    will take their own life and (they hope) many others in the service of
    their cause?
    That is a police matter, not a military one. And while racial profiling
    must be avoided and civil liberties most emphatically are not negotiable,
    better domestic security, intelligence, and more capable investigative work
    would help far more, at far less cost, than military operations. Ditto for
    developing better working relationships with law enforcement agencies in
    other countries.
    The other part of the equation is preventing people from becoming suicidal
    terrorists in the first place. Here, again, activists believe, is where the
    military will create more problems (and more martyrdom-seeking suicidal
    terrorists) than it will dissuade or stop. Intimidation will not work. What
    will work is a closer and more respectful relationship between the
    Christian world and the Islamic world; a genuine effort to alleviate the
    crushing poverty of most Islamic countries, including debt forgiveness,
    education, aid, and investment; working toward more open, democratic
    regimes (many of the most brutal and dictatorial, Saudi Arabia, Algeria,
    Egypt, and now Pakistan, are heavily dependent upon Western support);
    genuine efforts to alleviate the war and suffering of Moslems in places
    like Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir, and the Balkans; and a foreign policy
    that upholds and practices our ideals of freedom and democracy. Much of the
    Islamic world is already at war; it needs less war, not more.
    The growing anti-war movement's challenge is to call for the U.S. and its
    allies to pursue these sorts of reasoned, effective strategies, without its
    demands sounding like apologies for terrorism. That will require tact,
    clarity, and understanding. It requires saying not just what activists want
    to say, but what that 46 percent, and others, need to hear. It requires not
    just a litany of past U.S. foreign policy sins, but explaining how
    non-military options can stop terrorism better: improved security, without
    stripping civil liberties; improved policing and intelligence, without
    abusive covert programs; and attacking the motivations of young, poor,
    devout, desperate terrorists: challenging policies wherein the West
    promotes poverty, dictatorships, and violence in the Islamic world.
    Terrorism can never be totally ended, no matter how many people we jail or
    kill, no matter how much we tighten our security. Israel can't do it, and
    we're a much larger, more diverse country. We will always be at risk, and
    there will always be people who hate us. But that risk can be minimized,
    and it's best done without a war. To redirect the efforts of a war already
    underway, peace groups are scrambling to provide focus and coordination for
    the many people who spontaneously lobbied or came out into the streets so
    Everyone agrees that the War on Terrorism won't go away soon. That gives
    anti- war activists time to organize, and to insist that terrorism be
    prevented more effectively, without war. The sooner our military
    deployments end, the better our future. The race is on.
    A coalition of activist and religious groups, including American Friends
    Service Committee, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Peace Action, Pax Christi,
    War Resisters League, WILPF, Shundahai Network, Global Exchange, Black
    Radical Congress, the Institute for Policy Studies, and many others, is
    calling for local anti-war actions on Oct. 7. See www.warresisters.org for
    more details.


    Yoko Ono sends message of peace


    Wednesday, September 26, 2001

    NEW YORK ^ Yoko Ono issued a response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on
    New York and Washington with the words "Imagine all the people living life
    in peace," a lyric composed by her late husband John Lennon, in a paid
    advertisement in Tuesday's edition of the New York Times.

    The anonymous ad, in which the eight-word line occupied an entire page of
    the newspaper, conveyed a simple yet powerful message of peace in contrast
    to other full-page calls for patriotism and solidarity in light of the
    terrorist strike that left nearly 7,000 people dead or missing.


    Message from Kim Scipes

    Dear Friends--

    A few thoughts as we proceed to try to stop the insanity:

    (1) PERSONAL SUPPORT. Especially for those of you who haven't been
    in a similar situation previously, please keep this in mind: yes,
    this is an emergency, and yes each person needs to do as much as we
    can, but we each need to take care of ourselves, personally. While I
    hope we can stop things before Bush attacks Afghanistan or Pakistan
    or wherever, the likelihood is that this "war" could go on for a
    while. Good organizers know you must take care of yourselves over
    the long run: playing "kamikaze" over the short term generally
    causes more problems than it solves. We each have to figure out what
    we can do over the long-term, and then must try to keep our lives in
    as much balance as possible. We have to keep ourselves in good
    mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual shape as possible because
    when we interact with people, we need to be grounded in who we are
    and how we're dealing with the world, or all our work will
    immediately be dismissed if we are seen as being another "crazy."

            This probably sounds totally contradictory to what we think
    we should be doing, but the above is from a lot of experience. We
    succeed in our efforts if we have our act together so much that we
    can successfully recruit other people, so that together we can carry
    the big load, and we don't burn out people who have to do everything
    themselves. We have to celebrate every little contribution, because
    each helps carry the load.

            So, tied in with that is that each person needs to have at
    least one other person to which you can talk with, share your hopes,
    fears, desires, etc. We can all get caught up in the individualism
    of the larger culture, but we really need to build collective support
    on the personal level as well as political. To sustain yourself,
    please make sure that you have "organized" at least one person to be
    your personal support person. Especially in times like this, when
    the media and the government are so opposed to what we're about and
    trying to do, we really need AT LEAST one person who can support us
    in our work, to reassure us--when times get tough--that we aren't
    insane, etc.

    (2) BUILDING ORGANIZATION. At times like this, there is a tendency
    to just "do it" as far as organizing. I think we need to think more
    long-term on this: even if we stop this escapade, it's a certainty
    that there will be others in the future that we have to confront, so
    it makes more sense to take our time and build solidly. [Although
    this might be a contentious point, I would argue that one of the
    general weaknesses of the movements of the 1960s, is that people did
    not build solid organization, especially within the anti-war
    movement, so when Nixon ended the draft, the movement collapsed to a
    very big degree.] We need to create organization so that our
    experiences, our resources, our knowledges, our inspiration, our joy,
    can be united so as to build on the energy of the group to create
    what's known as "synergy": in other words, good organization, will
    collectively MULTIPLY our individual strengths and contributions
    instead of just add them. Therefore, it is crucial to take some time
    to think about building organization in ways that will work to do
    this. Any success we achieve will be based on our ability to build
    organization, to bring people together, so we can figure out all
    kinds of ways to disrupt the "machine," the daily running of the

            This requires figuring out a form of organization that
    ensures maximum participation, and a decision-making process that
    works to ensure such participation. It also requires us to think
    about the building of organization.

    (A) First, I'm going to suggest that we think about leadership
    differently than usual. Traditionally, only those who are elected or
    appointed to certain positions are defined (or consider themselves)
    as leaders. I think a better way to think about leadership is that a
    leader is EVERYONE who works to ensure the well-functioning of the
    organization and helps it achieve its purpose/goal. In other words,
    if you are an activist, then you are a leader, whether you occupy a
    position on an organization chart or not. We need to appreciate the
    work of everyone who is contributing to the well-being of the
    organization and to the realization of its goals.

    (B) Second, I suggest that we work consciously to keep our
    organization as NON-HIERARCHICAL as possible. We don't want to have
    leaders and followers in the organization, but we want to have an
    organization of leaders. We want each person to carry a piece of the
    load. That means we must treat every person with respect, at least
    until one shows him/herself unworthy of such respect.

            If we decide to choose representatives (say of committees or
    of affinity groups) to a council (in the anti-nuclear movement, we
    used the term "spokescouncil," to which people were elected to serve
    and who were empowered to make decisions for the larger group), then
    we need to make sure that we periodically rotate representatives to
    reduce change of domination, to ensure wider development of skills,
    to ensure wider participation; that we make sure that both women and
    men are elected; that we train ourselves to run meetings; that we
    spread out public speaking responsibilities, contact with the media
    responsibilities, etc.; that we allow no one to dominate
    meetings/speak over and over again, etc. Tied into this is the
    responsibility of representatives to help the smaller group
    beforehand come to decisions, and for the representatives to act
    accordingly at the representatives' meeting, and then the
    representatives must report back to members of the group what
    happened at the meeting and especially what decisions were made.

            We need to help everyone develop their potentialities,
    because if we rely on only one or two people, what happens if they
    get hit by a car, go into the hospital, simply give-up or move away?
    If we rely only on a few, then the organization gets destroyed if
    anything (good or bad) happens to these few: we have to think
    long-term! Again, sharing responsibilities also fights hierarchy,
    which is usually the basis for domination, and which is directly
    opposed to equality, respect, and empowerment.

    (C) Third, and very importantly, we need to consciously define our
    organizational decision-making process, and do that just as soon as
    possible. Two different approaches are consensus and majority vote,
    and they are two different processes. Consensus process means that
    everyone gets to decide, sort of popular democracy writ large. An
    organization can be immobilized by talking everything to death and,
    in the most extreme versions of this, even one dissent can keep a
    group from doing something--obviously, not a good thing. Majority
    rule is more efficient in the short run, but it tends to run over
    people, to not allow thoughtful decisions in hard places, etc. It
    can easily led to the organization splitting. How do we prevent
    immobilization while getting input from all, the widest participation
    over time, and to move forward, without splitting?

            Different groups have addressed these issues differently, but
    I've been in groups that have tried to deal with these issues, and I
    think have generally succeeded. The best way I've seen is to set TWO
    different levels of decision-making processes: one for dealing with
    "policy" issues (for lack of better term) and one for dealing with
    "implementation" or "action" issues. Note: I'm dealing here with
    PROCESSES, not one time things. Anyway, this approach means
    categorizing issues according to their impact: "policy" issues are
    major, long-term, high-ramification issues that will especially
    effect the further life of the organization. These are issues that
    require some time to think out, to listen to others, to decide, and
    need to be respected as such. For example: does the organization
    participate in demonstrations? (A policy decision.) Action items
    are different: ok, we decided that we will participate in
    demonstration: do we participate in THIS one?

            For POLICY issues: I suggest that at least 60% of all
    participating agree before doing something (you may want to make the
    threshold higher, but I wouldn't go lower on these). That means that
    the group is solidly in favor of taking such a decision. If the
    organization cannot reach this threshold, then it doesn't do such.
    This threshold will help groups from getting torn apart on
    contentious issues: if you do a majority vote, and it's close, you
    can have all kinds of inner-organizational turmoil as the different
    groups lobby, manipulate, etc., to win that person or two to their
    side so they will win. Especially for important issues such as
    these, this is deadly.

            For ACTION issues: the group has already decided general
    policy, so now how do we implement it? Here, we don't need long
    debate: are we going to participate in this demonstration, this
    meeting, whatever? Yes or no--majority rules.

            A good way to handle policy issues is to decide beforehand
    how long the group thinks it should devote to the issue: 10 minutes,
    a half hour, an hour, what? Once this is decided, then the agreement
    is that at that time (unless the group decides to extend the
    discussion period BEFORE the agreed-upon cut-off time), the group
    will decide on the issue. Either it crosses the threshold or it

            The benefit to deciding the decision-making process early on
    is that once the "rules" are established, then no one feels that the
    "game" is rigged if and when they put an issue up for decision. As
    long as the process is fair, most people will agree with decisions
    made accordingly--unfair decisions cause MAJOR, MAJOR problems.
    Establishing a two-tiered decision-making process means that the
    group spends more time on relatively important issues than on those
    less-so. In other words, not all decisions have the same impact on
    the organizations, and this ensures that the organization spends the
    greatest amount of time on the most important issues. It also
    ensures that the group can act without requiring uniformity, which is
    damn near impossible to achieve.

    D) Fourth, I suggest that an organization include a "committee on
    organization" to further think about and refine suggestions such as
    these. This is just as important as education, outreach, finance,
    media, etc: thinking about organizational development is a major
    issue and should be given such respect.

    (3) GETTING INFORMATION. To have the greatest impact, the search
    for and obtaining solid information is terribly important. We need
    to have good, solid information, and that includes getting good
    information from the country/region that is threatened by attack. If
    you check it out, you will find that the mass media in the United
    States is some of the, if not THE, most unreliable in the world--and
    of course, you might want to ask why that is, but that's a subject
    for another time. I encourage people to read material from a wide
    range of things, and not just academic journals either. (For
    example, just on a regular basis, I not only subscribe to the New
    York Times--which, as bad as it is, is probably the best US source
    for international news, although be aware that it is extremely
    slanted toward Israel--but also Business Week and Z Magazine, which
    covers quite a range of opinion!)

            For my money, the single best web site in the US for getting
    up-do-date and solid information is Z Magazine's "Z Net" at
    <www.zmag.org>. This site includes writers, information and material
    from around the world, an features writers like Noam Chomsky, Edward
    Herman, Robert Fisk (THE best English-language writer on the Middle
    East, bar none!), Susan George, and many, many others. You can
    subscribe to get their periodic mailings, and if you join their
    sustainer program ($10/month, which I highly recommend), then you get
    DAILY COMMENTARIES from writers around the world that are generally
    top-rate. But whether you want to subscribe or not, I suggest
    everyone take some time and carefully check out "Z Net." Some of
    their material has been translated, although probably the widest
    assortment is in English.

            Along with Z Net, I would encourage people to subscribe to
    Portside, an e-mail list. This is free, and includes a wide range of
    information that is generally NOT in the US media. It's a list, just
    like this one. If you want to subscribe, send an e-mail message to
    'portside-subscribe@yahoogroups.com'. Especially for the days when
    you feel like it's hopeless, getting good information from people who
    are trying to stop the "war" will mean a lot!

    Friends, I apologize for going on so long---I won't be so long-winded
    in the future. But some time opened up for me, I had been thinking
    about these issues, and I wanted to share them. These are issues
    that aren't often thought about, especially in the heat of a
    campaign, but are important if we are to even have a chance at

    In solidarity--
    Kim Scipes


    Focus of D.C. Protests Turned to Peace Effort

    By Manny Fernandez and Petula Dvorak
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Monday, September 24, 2001; Page B03

    The world's finance ministers and central bankers may
    have canceled plans to gather in Washington this
    weekend, but scores of protesters and activists have
    not. Organizers campaigning against the annual
    meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary
    Fund are shifting their focus to the growing antiwar

    Demonstrators spent months preparing for the meetings,
    which were set for Saturday and Sunday, until the
    World Bank and IMF canceled the sessions last week in
    light of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Police had
    estimated that as many as 100,000 protesters would
    fill the capital for a raucous week of marches calling
    for reforms.

    With the meetings postponed and public attention
    focused on the devastation at the World Trade Center
    and the Pentagon, many in the movement feared a loss
    of momentum. But some activists have already tweaked
    their message from anti-IMF to antiwar and are
    coordinating marches and rallies in the city this

    "We've refocused our demonstration to address the
    immediate dangers posed by racism and the grave threat
    of a new war," said Richard Becker, a coordinator with
    the International Action Center, which changed the
    theme of its previously planned "Surround the White
    House" rally. "It's extremely important now, for those
    who are opposed to this plunge into the new
    militarization of society . . . to take a stand now."

    Federal and local authorities had taken extraordinary
    precautions to ready Washington for the
    demonstrations, developing a $29 million security plan
    that included fencing off a large swath of downtown.
    The canceled meetings have not meant a full reprieve
    for D.C. police, however, who expect about 4,000
    protesters for weekend antiwar events, Chief Charles
    H. Ramsey said.

    All D.C. officers will be on duty Saturday and Sunday
    and plan to work with the uniformed division of the
    Secret Service and U.S. Park Police to handle the
    crowd. Authorities have abandoned plans for the
    two-mile fence and will instead rely on the Civil
    Disturbance Unit and waist-high barricades used in IMF
    and World Bank protests last year, Ramsey said.

    A slight change of tactics may be in order, as police
    expect counter-demonstrators to show up to voice
    support for the Bush administration's response to the
    crisis. "We're also going to have to protect the
    demonstrators from one another," Ramsey said.

    Protesters characterize the police preparations as an
    overreaction, saying they expect a less militant tone.
    Close to two dozen groups, from immigrant-rights
    supporters to environmentalists to anarchists, planned
    to protest the meetings. This weekend's events will
    feature only a fraction of those groups, as several --
    including the AFL-CIO labor federation -- have pulled

    The International Action Center initially planned a
    march from the White House to the IMF and World Bank
    headquarters to demand an end to harmful economic
    policies. But the group switched targets and tactics
    and will now speak out against the U.S. war effort and
    recent violence against Arab Americans, Becker said.

    Surrounding the White House is also no longer part of
    the plan. Participants will gather at Lafayette Square
    at noon Saturday and march to the Capitol. The center,
    a national activist group based in New York, expects
    10,000 to take part.

    Park Police said a permit allowing the protest could
    be voided if security concerns warrant. "If a decision
    comes down [to void the permit], it will come down
    from the Secret Service," said Lt. Keith Horton, of
    the Park Police. "The Secret Service will make the
    final determination if it's a security concern."

    Other rallies will be held in Los Angeles and San

    Another Saturday march is being organized by the
    Anti-Capitalist Convergence, a D.C.-based network of
    anarchists and anti-capitalists. The group seeks to
    draw attention to the ties between the Sept. 11
    attacks and U.S. military and foreign policy, a member
    of the group said. "Until we understand the violence
    of our economic, military and foreign policies, we
    will continue to foster the conditions that make this
    kind of terrorism possible," a statement from the
    group reads.

    The group is no longer calling for militant blocs, a
    tactic used by some protesters featuring black-clad
    and masked members. Thousands are expected to attend
    week-long events, though details of the downtown march
    are still being worked out.

    An interfaith service at St. Aloysius Church in
    Northwest Washington on Saturday and a peace gathering
    organized by the Washington Peace Center and the D.C.
    office of the American Friends Service Committee on
    Sunday are also planned. "We need to stop and take
    time to grieve and look for some of the root causes of
    violence . . . that happens around the planet," said
    Bette Hoover, local director for the committee, the
    social service branch of the Quakers.

    The Mobilization for Global Justice, one of the main
    coalitions organizing against the World Bank and IMF,
    canceled its call for street protests out of respect
    for attack victims and their families. But global
    economy teach-ins will go forward, and individual
    members plan to join antiwar events.

    "I think the fight for global justice is not just
    economic, but it also deals with issues of peace and
    war," D.C. organizer Adam Eidinger said. "I think
    there's a sense of breaking through the media blackout
    of voices that want restraint and justice instead of


    Massive Worldwide Opposition to Military Strikes


    ZURICH, Sept 21 (Reuters) - International public opinion opposes a massive
    U.S. military strike to retaliate for suicide attacks on America by hijacked
    aircraft, according to a Gallup poll in 31 countries whose results were
    released on Friday.

    Only in Israel and the United States did a majority favour a military
    response against states shown to harbour terrorists, the survey found. People
    questioned elsewhere preferred to see suspected terrorists extradited and
    put on trial.

    "Around 80 percent of Europeans and around 90 percent of South Americans
    favour extradition and a court verdict. By European comparison, calls for a
    tough military response were above average among the French (29 percent) and
    the Dutch (28 percent)," said Swiss polling firm Isopublic, which conducted
    the survey in Switzerland.

    Seventy-seven percent of Israelis backed military action,
    while 54 percent of Americans were in favour, it said.

    The surveys were done between September 17 and 19, around a week after the
    September 11 suicide attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the
    Pentagon in Washington killed more than 6,000 people.

    U.S. officials have named Saudi-born dissident Osama bin Laden the prime
    suspect and have threatened military action if Afghanistan, where bin Laden
    lives, does not hand him over.

    Clear majorities of between 70 and 80 percent supported limiting any strike
    to military rather than civilian targets, the survey found.

    Asked if their own country should support a U.S. military assault, people
    in NATO countries other than Greece tended to agree.

    Four out of five Danes backed the idea, followed by 79 percent in Britain and
    73 percent in France. Greeks were the least enthusiastic with only 29
    percent, below 53 percent in Germany and 58 percent in Norway and Spain.

    The survey was done in Argentina, Austria, Bosnia, Britain, Bulgaria,
    Croatia, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel,
    Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway,
    Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Spain,
    Switzerland, the United States and Zimbabwe.


    Actors urge world leaders to call off war


    Thursday 20th September 2001

    A group of British actors has urged the world's leaders to call a
    halt to a campaign against countries which harbour terrorists.

    The nine-strong group, which includes playwright Harold Pinter
    and Corin Redgrave, appeal to stop the "madness" of a new world war
    following last week's attacks.

    Writing in The Daily Telegraph, they say a war against Afghanistan, Iraq
    and the world's poorest countries "will not rescue any victims of
    September 11, or make the cities of America and Europe safer".

    The actors stress the war must be prevented for the sake of all who were
    killed in New York and Washington and their families, friends and
    loved ones.

    The letter says: "Terrorism cannot be defeated by bombs, bullets or
    secret intelligence. Terrorism is the language of hatred and despair.
    Out of the carnage and rubble of a new crusade will come new
    terrorists, even more desperate and ruthless than before.

    "In Afghanistan, four million people are homeless and scores of
    thousands are starving or dying of cholera because of sanctions,
    imposed by the West in their attempt to force the Taliban government to
    hand over Osama bin Laden.

    "A million children in Iraq are dead or dying because of waterborne
    diseases and malnutrition caused by sanctions.

    "Human rights and civil liberties are being trampled on around the world
    as politicians call for tolerance while fanning the flames of
    intolerance with their preparations for war."

    The actors - Maggi Hambling, Lynn Farleigh, Merlin Holland, Bryony
    Lavery, Jehane Markham, Kika Markham, Roger Lloyd Pack, Harold
    Pinter and Corin Redgrave - add: "We must make war, but on poverty."


    The peaceniks are coming

    Washington Times

    Perhaps they hadn't heard that the IMF/World Bank conference was cancelled.
    That would explain why a group of about 90 anti-something individuals
    showed up Monday at Farragut Square to protest globalization, er, free
    trade, er, the anticipated U.S. response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks,
    and why thousands of others plan to join them this weekend.

    "I just came down from Boston to be a part of whatever protest I could
    find," said one participant, who presumably carried additional posterboard,
    or possibly even interchangeable placards. Since many students were a part
    of Monday's rally, what may have really been bothering him was that classes
    are still in session even though there is a war on. Talk about a bummer,
    dude. After all, fighting peace is a lot safer (unless you happened to be a
    student at Kent State) and presumably a whole lot more fun.

    The dress code on the perpetual global protest circuit is more fun than it
    is in school shoes, shirts and even pants are sometimes optional, while
    ponytails and body piercings are practically mandatory. Optional combat
    boots and gas masks only add to the thrill of the adventure. Considering
    that many members of the movement are vegans, the circuit food is weird,
    but copious amounts of illegal substances probably make up for it. The
    hours are better too, since who ever heard of an anti-war rally that began
    at 8 a.m.?

    But more than anything else, participation in the protest circuit provides
    the smug, self-righteous satisfaction that comes with knowing that parading
    around parks named after deceased admirals and shouting slogans at high
    volume is all that is necessary to solve all the world's problems,
    including racism, sexism and yes, terrorism. Surely, even Osama bin Laden
    would have come around if only he had seen the "Restraint is not
    retaliation" sign featured at Monday's rally.

    The protesters certainly think so, and it doesn't really matter that the
    evidence is non-existent. Actually, such evidence would probably only get
    in the way, since most of the perpetually indignant are convinced that most
    of the world's evils can be explained by Western, and especially American,

    One of the groups organizing this week's protests, the International Action
    Center (IAC), was founded by Ramsey Clark, Lyndon Johnson's attorney
    general and a blame-America-firster of top rank. The IAC web site is a
    place to procure "information, activism and resistance to U.S. militarism,
    war, and corporate greed" and also to make tax-deductible donations of
    American dollars.

    The IAC is predicting that "thousands" of its clueless brethren will show
    up for a rally in Washington this Saturday, which, shockingly, is scheduled
    to start at noon. It should certainly be easy to pick them out: Each of
    them will be brimming with indignation . . . and carrying an
    interchangeable placard.


    Peace Movement Says No to March Towards War


    By Staff

    Minneapolis, MN - About 100 people came together here,
    September 12, to say no to US military action in
    response to the attacks in response to the attacks on
    the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Holding aloft
    signs and banners, protestors lined a major bridge
    that spans the Mississippi River. The response of
    passing motorists was overwhelmingly positive. Many
    honked their horns and flashed peace signs,

    Among the organizations participating in the action
    were Women Against Military Madness and the Anti-War
    Committee. Many participants felt the current
    situation demands an active, visible, peace and
    anti-intervention movement.

    A press statement from Women Against Military Madness
    noted, "When people world-wide suffer the consequences
    of U.S. warfare and economic sanctions, when their
    homes are bombed with weapons made in the United
    States, when their only venues for political
    self-determination are undermined, terrorism will
    surely result."

    Jessica Sundin stated "We decry all acts of war that
    target civilians, and we grieve the perhaps-thousands
    of deaths. At the same time, we hope that Americans
    will also grieve the actions of our government that
    have provoked the anger that killed these people. And
    in that grief, we ask people of conscience to call on
    our government to stop the march to war today."

    Sundin also slammed moves against Arab peoples in the
    U.S. "We oppose this racist harassment, and call on
    media and government officials to stop scapegoating
    our Arab and Muslim neighbors."

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Wed Oct 03 2001 - 16:00:58 EDT