[sixties-l] Anti-war actions...continued (6) (fwd)

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    [multiple items]
    Anti-war resources:


    Say No To War


    by Joel Bleifuss
    October 29, 2001

    What would be a sensible way for the United States to respond to the
    attacks of September 11? Though few signs of sense are to be found in the
    belligerent Beltway, common sense and human decency provide useful
    guideposts. The U.S. response should be based on the proposition that all
    human life is equally precious. To bomb Afghanistan and kill innocent
    people to get Osama bin Laden and the Taliban would be immoral.
    Strategically, it would be folly. Killing civilians in a retaliatory
    strike would only stoke the ranks of Islamic fundamentalist extremists
    across the Muslim world. Our allies understand this and have cautioned
    against such an indiscriminate response.
    Further, bombing Afghanistan would truly escalate the September 11 attacks
    to the level of a war. Absent such bombing, talk of war is nonsense. We
    don't need a war on terrorism, a war some pundits have morphed into World
    War III. Going to war may motivate Americans on the home front and unite
    the country, but it will elicit the same response from those we attack.
    Indeed, war (did someone say "crusade"?) ratchets up the conflict, turns
    criminals into warriors (in this case holy ones) and sets the stage for a
    never ending series of attacks and counterattacks, for death and more death.
    The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are more
    properly described as horrendous criminal acts. With such an understanding
    we could confront bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization as we would domestic
    terrorists. Of course, al-Qaeda, with branches in dozens of countries,
    operates on a worldwide scale. What is needed is a global, unified response
    to these criminals, and the very real threat they pose, preferably under
    the umbrella of the United Nations. Such a collective response could deploy
    the expertise of the world's military, police and intelligence communities
    and be guided by seasoned world statesmen.
    In formulating a united international strategy to stop al-Qaeda, we could
    learn lessons from how other nations have coped with homegrown terrorism.
    Britain doesn't bomb areas of Belfast to counter terrorist acts by
    extremist Republicans and Unionists. Spain doesn't bomb Bilbao to get ETA,
    the Basque separatists. Progress in these ongoing campaigns against
    terrorism has come only when the Spanish and British governments have
    acknowledged and addressed the legitimate grievances of historically
    oppressed peopleand reined in out-of-control security forces.
    Israel also provides us with a textbook case on how to deal with
    terrorists. Under Yitzhak Rabin, for a time, peace seemed possible despite
    the ongoing threat of suicide bombers. The policies of the Ariel Sharon
    government, endorsed by the United States with its silence, policies that
    include the bombardment of Palestinian neighborhoods, have undone what
    progress was made. Similarly, we can learn what not to do by examining
    Russia's brutal suppression of the Chechen rebellion.
    Unfortunately, the track record of Bush's foreign policy team, veterans of
    the war on communism, does not inspire confidence. Defense Secretary
    Donald Rumsfeld rabidly opposed detente with the Soviet Union. The future
    U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte (his nomination
    slipped through committee after the attacks), turned a blind eye to
    state-sponsored death squads trained by the CIA when he was ambassador to
    Honduras. And Secretary of State Colin Powell (now in the administration's
    moderate minority) burned Vietnamese peasants out of their huts, "starting
    the blaze with Rooson and Zippo lighters," as he recalled his autobiography.
    In this atmosphere of public apprehension and fear, the terrorist threat,
    like the communist menace of yore, has given the Bush administration carte
    blanche to do whatever it likes. The war on communism brought with it
    myriad atrocities, atrocities that moved Congress to put limitations on
    U.S. intelligence agencies. In this so-called War on Terrorism, those
    controls are now heading for the bonfire.
    In the enveloping darkness, it's time for those of us who doubt the wisdom
    of such actions to speak out.


    Anti-War Rally Draws Thousands to Washington

    By Mark Wilkinson
    Saturday September 29, 2001

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Thousands of protesters peacefully flooded
    the streets of the nation's capital on Saturday to call for peace,
    as President Bush moved forward with plans for a military strike
    against those responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks on the United

    Chanting "war is not the answer," an estimated 10,000 demonstrators
    assembled peacefully only blocks from the White House. Their voices
    rose in opposition to the "war on terrorism" that the Bush
    administration declared on Saudi-born militants including Saudi-born
    Osama bin Laden, the chief suspect in the attacks, which left 6,500
    dead or missing.

    "War is not the answer because the events on Sept. 11 were not the
    first battle in the war. This has been an escalating cycle of
    violence," Brian Becker, one of the protest organizers, told Reuters.

    "The U.S. has tens of thousands of troops in the Middle East. They
    occupy Saudi Arabia, they bomb Iraq every week, they impose economic
    sanctions in Iraq so dreadfully that the (United Nations) say 1.5
    million Iraqi people have died," he added.

    Many of the protesters traveled from across the country to join
    the rally. James Creedon, a rescue worker in New York City, left
    the rubble of Ground Zero, where the World Trade Center once stood
    as a symbol of America's economic might, to join the medical teams
    at the protests.


    "Like the people here I want justice done, but I don't want to see
    the destruction of more innocent lives," Creedon told Reuters.
    "Many people at Ground Zero want international justice, but we
    don't want to see a hundred or a thousand more World Trade Centers
    in this country or abroad."

    As hundreds of police officers in riot gear looked on, protesters
    of all ages, races and movements carried banners bearing messages
    that revenge would benefit nobody. "Eye for an eye and we're all
    blind," one banner read. "Violence does not solve violence," said another.

    Although recent polls showed an overwhelming majority of the American
    people support some form of military action, Becker said the
    protesters represented a broad spectrum of the U.S. population.

    "It is the rainbow, it is what America looks like right now," Becker
    said. "The administration is unfortunately believing its own
    propaganda and its own polls."

    Protesters also demonstrated against the hundreds of attacks on
    Arab Americans and Muslims carried out since the attacks across
    the country.


    Between the demonstrators' chants and drum beats rose some voices
    of support for the Bush administration and a forceful response to
    the attacks that have stirred emotions across the world.

    "This isn't about racism, this is about exacting justice for 6,500
    Americans and people from more than 70 countries around the world
    were murdered, murdered, mass murdered," said Carter Wood, a
    government employee who called the demonstrators "the hard-core
    anti-American left."

    "America mass murders every single day," interjected a masked
    protester angered by Wood's remarks.

    On Pennsylvania Avenue, one man walked swiftly past the protesters,
    brandishing a sign that read "Nuke them, and there will be no war."

    Others, like Bill Fredericks, brandished signs reading "God Bless
    America," and said those responsible for the attacks were in a war
    against America because of what the nation represents.

    "The people in the Middle East want to kill us no matter what we
    say or do, just because we are Americans," Fredericks, an office
    worker for telephone company, told Reuters.

    Further away, anti-war protesters set an American flag aflame. A
    young man grabbed the burning cloth and put the flames out, screaming,
    "Don't burn my flag -- ever."


    Stopping The War


    The Peace Movement returns

    by Geov Parrish
    October 29, 2001

    It seemed impossible. Within a week of the most devastating foreign attack
    on the U.S. mainland in its history, a day when thousands died and
    virtually everyone in the country began worrying about their
    own physical safety and that of their loved ones, people were in the
    streets, demanding peace. Lots of
    people: thousands in New York, San Francisco, Boston, Portland and Seattle.
    Smaller but equally
    determined crowds sprang up in cities and towns across the country. By
    September 2211 days after the attack, one student coalition had pulled
    together a day of events on 155 campuses nationwide. Was this the peace
    movement? The same folks who sleepwalked through NATO's U.S.-led bombing of
    Yugoslavia only two years ago? Well, no. Few ventured then into the moral
    quagmire of an apparent U.S. attempt at "humanitarian intervention." It was
    a confusing issue, but more importantly, it was one ordinary people didn't
    have to care about.
    Everyone, however, cared about September 11and had an opinion about what
    the government should do. At first, the dominant sense, the only sense, to
    hear our TV networks, was to go kick some A-rab ass. But within days, more
    and more people started asking significant questions about the
    effectiveness of George Bush's proposed War on Terrorism. Questions like:
    How can the war be fought? Who is the enemy? Where is the enemy? How can
    we achieve victory? How will we know when we've achieved it? Is this the
    best way to prevent future terrorism? Will we create more terrorists than
    we eliminate?
    Those are not simply pacifist questions; they're common-sense questions
    that transcend ideology, and so the crowds have grown from the pacifist and
    progressive core, through faith-based communities and into the mainstream.
    An international Gallup poll released on September 21 showed overwhelming
    public opposition in 29 of 31 countries to a U.S. military response.
    Majorities of up to 80 to 90 percent in Europe and Latin America favored
    extradition and trial of those responsible, not armed force. The only
    countries where military response was favored were Israel (77 percent) and
    the United States, with only 54 percent. A week after unimaginable loss of
    civilian life, nearly half of the American public had serious doubts about
    our proposed war.
    Very little of this appeared in national media until the White House and
    Pentagon finally acknowledged some of the same concerns. As a result,
    Americans have now been cautioned not to expect a massive land invasion.
    That comes as an enormous relief to the new anti-war movement, which has
    been motivated in large part by fears that what Bush and his circle of
    hawks had been proposing would not only be ineffective, but could rapidly
    become World War III.
    The new movement's challenge is to call for the United States and its
    allies to pursue a reasoned, effective strategy, 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, in other words, challenging policies by which the West promotes
    poverty, dictatorships and violence in the Islamic world.
    September 11 impacted American life in so many ways that the activist
    temptation is to incorporate everyone's pet issues, because they're all
    affected. But this movement needs focus and coordination for the many
    people who spontaneously came out into the streets so quickly. All agree
    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 military deployments end, the better
    our future. The race is on.


    Where Have All The Liberals Gone?


    Barbara Lee stand alone

    by Annette Fuentes
    October 29, 2001

    When the history books are written, let the record show there was one
    politician with a backbone when it mattered. Rep. Barbara Lee of Oakland,
    California was the only member of the House or Senate on September 14 to
    vote against handing President George W. Bush vast authority to commence
    war or wars against unknown terrorists and the countries that aid them.
    When the vote on Resolution 64, Authorization for Use of Military Force,
    was called in the House that Friday night, Lee stood tall even if she stood
    alone among the 421 members present. "I know this use-of-force resolution
    will pass," Lee said. "There must be some of us who say, let's step back
    for a moment and think through the implications of our actions today, let
    us more fully understand its consequences."
    Recalling the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that opened a Pandora's Box in
    Southeast Asia we still haven't closed, Lee invoked the prescient words of
    Sen. Wayne Morse. One of just two senators opposing that resolution, Morse
    said: "I believe that history will record that we have made a grave mistake
    in subverting and circumventing the Constitution."
    The congresswoman, who now has a police guard because of the death threats
    she received after the vote, is a voice of reason and dissent when almost
    all other voices being broadcast, from Congress, the White House and the
    media, are irrational, ill-informed and incendiary. The real question is
    not why Lee voted against HR 64 but why she was the only one of 421
    representatives and 98 senators to vote against it.
    The resolution authorizes Bush "to use all necessary and appropriate force
    against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned,
    authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks ... or harbored such
    organizations or persons." Although it contains no requirement that Bush
    return to Congress to report on his activities, HR 64 states that nothing
    supercedes the War Powers Act, which requires a president to report and
    consult with Congress.
    This deficiency bothered at least some House members, but not enough.
    Democrat Pete Stark, another Bay Area congressman, told the House: "I have
    real reservations about the resolution we are considering today. It should
    contain explicit language ensuring that the president reports to Congress
    and consults with us in planning and executing a military response. But it
    does not." Stark nonetheless voted with the herd.
    Rep. Maxine Waters, another California liberal, has seldom been afraid to
    speak truth to power. Whither Waters on HR 64? "The congresswoman felt she
    had to give full resources to the president," says spokeswoman Candace
    Tolliver, who adds that Waters "expects the president to come back to
    Michigan Rep. John Conyers, always a forceful counterweight to
    congressional conservatives, was MIA when the vote was taken on HR 64.
    Although he'd been in Washington earlier, Conyers was in his district and
    unable to get back to Washington for the vote the night of September 14,
    according to spokeswoman Danielle Brown. "He's not saying how he would have
    voted," Brown says. Rep. Bernie Sanders, the independent congressman from
    Vermont, stated for the congressional record that "widespread and
    indiscriminate force could lead to more violence and more
    anti-Americanism." Then Sanders voted with the rest. In New York, erstwhile
    liberal Democrat Rep. Jerrold Nadler seemed himself transmogrified by
    events. Proving that Bush and his cadre of craggy advisors don't have a
    monopoly on rah-rah rhetoric, Nadler declared from the House floor: "We
    must pass this resolution. We must wage the war that has been thrust upon
    us. We must do it resolutely, and we must be victorious and rid the world
    of this scourge of terrorism."
    Asked if Nadler was concerned by HR 64's lack of any reporting requirement
    for Bush, spokesman Eric Schmeltzer replied: "He thinks Congress is not in
    the business of micromanaging a war. We have to give the commander-in-chief
    some leeway to defend the country."
    Asked if Nadler now had confidence in Bush, whose legitimate claim to the
    presidency is still debated, Schmeltzer said, "At times like this you have
    to have trust in your commander-in-chief. We can't have another election."
    At least that much is true. But if there were another election, there is
    only one person with the intelligence to understand that violence is at the
    root of our present predicament. Barbara Lee for president. Imagine.


    What We Did in DC:

    by Starhawk
    4 Oct 2001

    We filled the Streets:
    We participated, in one way or another, in three different marches
    over the weekend, with very different tones and energies. And they
    were all fine. The ACC march had some tense moments, but it all
    worked out. Nobody rioted, none of the marches were attacked by
    counterdemonstrators, even the masked Black Bloc in the ACC got peace
    signs and waves of support from bystanders. We held onto the
    political space of street demonstrations in spite of a lot of fear in
    a whole lot of people. We kept the movement for social justice
    moving forward. And the success of the marches will inspire more
    people to speak out and stand up.

    We did magic:

    We did intensive, marathon magic: was it five or six spiral dances?
    that helped shift the balance of probabilities toward peace. We held
    onto this moment in time as a possible positive opening. And we
    exorcised the World Bank!

    We did healing:

    We set up healing spaces in the park on Saturday and Sunday, a
    foot-washing, foot massage space after Sunday's march, and ministered
    to a whole lot of people, whether that meant giving out water to
    thirsty kids from the Black Bloc, or holding someone while she cried
    and grieved.

    We explored new models:
    We continued developing a model of organizing that allowed everybody
    to participate in ways that best used their skills and at the level
    of risk they felt comfortable with. This includes the people who did
    home support, who provided food, water, banners and the hand-died
    cloth of our magical river, and rituals. There were people who could
    not march but who anchored the healing space, offered Tarot readings,
    helped organize trainings and discussions and workshops. Our model
    allowed us to bring elders and children on a march surrounded by riot
    cops and bring them out again safely.

    We made new alliances:

    A lot of us in the Pagan cluster got pretty tight with the
    Anti-Capitalist Convergence folks. We offered and received
    solidarity from the Black Bloc and had great conversations with lots
    of activists of different persuasions. We also met some of the local
    Peace Activists and did a spiral dance to close the Peace March.

    We had a Pagan presence in the Interfaith Service:

    Katrina represented us, and now let me praise her: she was
    brilliant! In under five minutes, she woke up the church, had them
    eating out of her hand, then dropped the words 'Witch' and 'Pagan'
    onto them, and then planted the seeds of our magical spellworking
    into all the different traditions. And she looked beautiful!
    Awesome job! Then afterwards, we did a spiral dance across the
    street for those who had survived what turned out to be a marathon
    religious service.

    We deepened connections:
    We deepened our connections with each other, and helped to strengthen
    the ties between our different communities. Also we had a whole lot
    of fun hanging out together.

    All in all, it was important and successful work. Thanks again to
    all who made it possible.

    And now we face the even harder work of taking it home, of regaining
    momentum for all the issues that we've been working on, of exploring
    the strategies and tactics and models that can serve us in this
    particular moment.


    Feminist's anti-U.S. speech causes uproar


    Hedy Fry jeered by opposition for sitting silent

    by Peter O'Neil poneil@sns.southam.ca
    Vancouver Sun
    Tuesday, October 02, 2001

      OTTAWA -- A B.C. feminist told a cheering audience here that the United
      States government is more threatening to the world than international

      Sunera Thobani received several standing ovations from about 500
      delegates attending the Women's Resistance Conference on Monday.

      Her comments caused a political uproar, with opposition MPs condemning
      Secretary of State Hedy Fry for sitting silently as Thobani spoke. MPs
      called on the government to fire Fry, charging that she should have
      immediately condemned Thobani's statements.

      "Today in the world the United States is the most dangerous and the most
      powerful global force unleashing horrific levels of violence," said
      Thobani, a women's studies professor at the University of British
      Columbia and former head of the National Action Committee on the Status
      of Women.

      "From Chile to El Salvador to Nicaragua to Iraq, the path of U.S. foreign
      policy is soaked in blood."

      Thobani said she empathizes with the human suffering following the Sept.
      11 terror attacks in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania that left
      more than 6,000 people dead or missing. "But do we feel any pain for the
      victims of U.S. aggression?"

      In an interview with The Vancouver Sun Monday night, Thobani said her
      comments were directed at George Bush, not the American people.

      "I made a 40-minute speech. I provided a contest for those comments. I
      was basically advocating an end to war," she said.

      "If America wants to lead this war, then I'm against American foreign

      In her speech, Thobani also ridiculed any suggestion that the U.S. would
      be advancing women's rights by ousting Afghanistan's Taliban regime,
      which has forbidden women from working, attending school, or showing
      their faces in public.

      "It's really interesting to hear this talk about saving Afghani women,"
      she said. "Those of us who have been colonized know what this saving

      The Tanzanian-born Thobani became the first non-white president of the
      NAC in 1993, a position she held until 1996.

      As the outspoken leader of the NAC, Thobani created much controversy when
      she said in 1995 that only white, middle-class women had benefited from
      the feminist movement.

      Monday she said women will never be emancipated until the U.S. and the
      West stop dominating the world.

      "The West for 500 years has believed that it could slaughter people into
      submission and it has not been able to do so. And it will not be able to
      so this time, either."

      After Thobani's speech, opposition MPs said Fry, the Chretien
      government's secretary of state for multiculturalism and the status of
      women, who also delivered a speech at the conference and was on the
      podium while Thobani spoke, should have sent an immediate message that
      the speech went too far.

      "She should apologize to Canadians and our American cousins for not
      condemning these comments and walking out on this insulting and
      inflammatory speech," said Chuck Strahl, deputy leader of the
      Tory-Democratic Representative coalition.

      New Democratic Party leader Alexa McDonough, whose party was once a close
      ally of NAC's, said Fry should have offered "an unequivocal rejection of
      the kind of cheap sloganeering, of the excessive rhetoric.

      "This is a time to be building tolerance, to be building bridges, not to
      create greater divisions," McDonough said.

      Fry defended freedom of speech within Canada, but said she didn't applaud
      and immediately left the event after Thobani spoke.

      "I condemn that speech," the Vancouver Centre MP told jeering opposition

      "I thought the speech that was made by the expert of NAC to be

      Opposition MPs said Fry, who wrongly portrayed Prince George as a haven
      for cross-burning racists earlier this year, has made one too many
      blunders and must be fired.

      "The history of this minister is not a very happy one and I think it is
      time for a change," said Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day.

      McDonough said Fry doesn't have the credibility to travel across Canada
      and speak publicly against intolerance.


    'Blair should read the polls'

    by David Miller
    Wednesday October 3, 2001
    The Guardian

    Opinion polls since the attacks in the United States on September 11 show
    that a slim but consistent majority of British people oppose military
    strikes on Afghanistan if they harm civilians or are targeted on anyone
    other than those directly responsible - in other words, in any form likely
    to take place.
    Yet the media have reported general support for war. Across the range of
    the press, we hear that public opinion is "solid" (Economist), or that "Two
    thirds of Britons back Blair action" (Independent). The News of the World
    reported "overwhelming" support for bombing under the headline "Attack.
    Attack. Attack". Even an editorial in this paper argued: "There is no
    disputing the bottom line. On this one, Tony Blair is definitely speaking
    for Britain."
    Public opinion has been misread. Between September 11 and September 24,
    seven public opinion polls were conducted by Mori, Gallup, ICM and YouGov.
    Typically, the Guardian ICM poll found 67% supporting action against the
    "terrorists". But the headlines have masked a strong current of opinion
    against military action which would target anyone but the terrorists or
    risk harming civilians. Gallup found that 82% of those questioned said
    military action "should only be taken after the identity of the
    perpetrators was clearly established, even if this process took several
    months to accomplish". But clarity on who was responsible remains minimal
    following successive (broken) promises to reveal conclusive evidence.
    Some poll questions clearly have little scientific value. In a YouGov poll
    for the Observer, 65% said they would support "'surgical air strikes'
    against countries knowingly harbouring terrorist organisations". But when
    asked about "massive air strikes", a majority (60%) were opposed. The
    Observer reported that Britons were "ready for battle". But the term
    "surgical strike" is something of an oxymoron. Dreamed up in the Gulf war
    in 1991, it was supposed to presage the era of the "clean war". Civilians
    would be protected by "smart" weapons technology. But, according to
    official sources, only 7% of the ordnance used in the Gulf was "smart"and
    40% of the smart weapons missed their targets - which in any case often
    contained civilians, such as the air-raid shelter in Baghdad incinerated by
    US forces. So to ask whether the public approves of surgical strikes is of
    questionable value.
    The reluctance of the public to support the inevitable civilian deaths is
    emphasised in the data left off the front pages, but available on media and
    polling websites. Of the seven polls taken so far, five have asked
    questions about civilian casualties. With one exception, they have all
    shown a majority opposed to strikes risking civilian casualties. In
    separate polls Mori found 46% and 47% opposed (to 43% and 45% in favour,
    respectively), ICM 45% to 40%, Gallup 62% to 21%.
    Public opinion on the causes of the current crisis is also notably at odds
    with most media cheerleading. In the YouGov poll a majority blame the US
    (62%) and Israel (53%). Fully 70% agreed that "in the past, the US has been
    far too arrogant and selfish in the way it has treated the world's poorest
    countries". None of these responses made it into print.
    And as only the Daily Mail has reported, "International public opinion
    opposes a massive US military strike to retaliate for last week's terrorist
    attacks, according to a Gallup poll in 31 countries. Only in Israel and the
    United States did a majority favour a military response against states
    shown to harbour terrorists."
    One problem is the effect on broadcast news if journalists are misled about
    public unease. According to James Naughtie of BBC Radio 4: "This is not a
    war which is likely to split the country down the middle. It's not like
    Suez, Vietnam, or even the Falklands. There is a lot of consensus."
    Naughtie is clearly wrong about this, but it is the impact of such
    misjudgments on how radio and TV news cover the build-up to war that is
    most worrying.
    Is there not an argument for a bit of caution during such a period? In the
    light of the attacks on public debate about the crisis by journalists such
    as Andrew Neil, the Observer's opinion poll contained an ace. One question
    asked whether "critics of the US should voice their opposition or stay
    silent over the next few weeks"? A massive 70% agreed that criticism of the
    US should be voiced. There is a sceptical and critical public out there.
    Despite the partial reporting of opinion polls and the assault on dissent,
    there is precious little evidence, so far, that there is public support for
    David Miller is a member of the Stirling University Media Research Institute.


    15,000 March and Rally in SF to Say No to Racism & War

    San Francisco

    In a strong display of a growing grassroots movement, thousands of
    people streamed into Dolores Park in San Francisco to protest the
    escalating war drum of the Bush Administration.

    Demonstrators also brought a strong message against racist scape-
    goating of Arab, Muslim and South Asian people living here in the
    United States. The rally and march was organized by a newly formed
    coalition, International Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER).
    The action was initiated by the International Action Center and
    endorsed by hundreds of organizations and individuals, locally and

    If the United States attacks Afghanistan and kills innocent
    civilians, it could intensify anti-American feelings in the Islamic
    world, said Zulfikhar Ahmad, a member of the Pakastani community, at
    the opening rally. "I am very afraid that there is a very big tragedy
    in the making and it will be the biggest dishonor to the memory of
    the 6,000 innocent people who have died."

    Rev. Dorsey Blake began the rally with a eulogy, expressing grief for
    the thousands of innocent victims who died from the attacks on the
    World Trade Center and Pentagon, and the plane crash in Pennsylvania.
    He went on to say that our grief was not to be construed as an
    endorsement for war.

    The rally -- co-chaired by Eyad Kishawi, of the American-Arab Anti-
    Discrimination Committee, Gloria LaRiva, of the International Action
    Center, Barbara Lubin, of the Middle East Children's Alliance, Dorsey
    Nunn, of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, and Miguel
    Molina, of KPFA Radio -- featured over 30 speakers. At one point the
    entire demonstration left Dolores Park and wound its way through the
    Mission District, the most multinational community in the city.

    During the march, protesters stopped at two stores who had had their
    windows broken out earlier in the week. One was a popular caf run by
    an Iranian and the other a Pakastani restaurant. In a moment of
    solidarity, one of the march leaders told the cheering protesters
    that there is no room for this type of racist attack and that if it
    were necessary we would organize security teams to protect these
    stores at night.

    Union activist Dave Welsh read a statement from the San Francisco
    Labor Council, which passed a resolution in support of the rally. "As
    we mourn the tremendous loss of life, we declare our resistance to
    efforts to use this tragedy to engage in military actions that can
    lead only to more carnage and senseless loss of life," the Labor
    Council said. "We reject the idea that entire nations should be
    punished for the actions of a few. Bombing raids and military strikes
    will only fuel an endless cycle of revenge that can only bring the
    deaths of more innocent civilians, both here and around the world."

    Other speakers included Elias Rashmawi, American-Arab Anti-
    Discrimination Committee; author Michael Parenti; Alicia Jrapko, Free
    the Five Committee of the International Action Center; Tony Gonzalez,
    executive director of the International Indian Treaty Council; Riva
    Enteen, National Lawyers Guild; Forrest Schmidt of Workers World
    Party; Medea Benjamin, Global Exchange; Carl Pinkston, Vanguard
    Foundation; Zulma Olivera, Comite 98; Penny Rosenwasser, Coalition of
    Jews for Justice; Michael Bleeker, director of Swords to Plowshares,
    an advocacy group for Vietnam veterans; and Bianca Bonilla, a
    Berkeley high school senior. Musical artists Company of Prophets,
    Thenmozhi Soundararajan and Grito Serpentino also performed.


    Report from Washington, DC, Sept. 29, 2001


    The September 29th National Anti-War, Anti-Racist rally and march in
    Washington, DC was a great success with over 20,000 people in
    attendance arriving from all points around the country. There were
    also extremely successful solidarity rallies in the US and abroad
    that took place on Saturday.

    Initially there was skepticism over whether it was too soon or
    inappropriate to have an anti-war, anti-racism demonstration so soon
    after the events of September 11th. The overwhelming positive support
    and endorsements from individuals and organizations representing a
    broad cross section of the country and abroad showed that this was
    not the time to shrink away from the escalating war drive. Rather, it
    is the time to stand united and show the world that there is a
    strong, growing anti-racist anti-war movement both here in the U.S.
    and in countries around the world.

    Speakers at the rally included Reverend Graylan Hagler, from the
    Plymouth Congregational Church in Washington, DC; Teresa Gutierrez,
    from the International ANSWER Coalition; Reverend Lucius Walker,
    IFCO/Pastors for Peace; James Creedon, an emergency medical
    technician injured at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11; Samia
    Halaby, Al-Awda Palestinian Right of Return Coalition, New York;
    Chuck Kaufman, national coordinator, Nicaragua Network; Rev. Curtis
    Gatewood, President Durham Chapter of the NAACP; Peta Lindsay, high
    school student organizer for International ANSWER; Kostas
    Alyssandrakis, Greek member of the European Parliament; Mara
    Verheyden-Hilliard, Partnership for Civil Justice; Macrina Alarcon,
    Mexico Support Network; and many others.

    The vast majority of the participants on Saturday were students and
    youth from around the country. Their presence reflected a broad
    spectrum of support from various cultural, social and religious
    The International ANSWER Coalition wants to keep the momentum from
    Saturday going by encouraging all individuals around the country and
    abroad to organize a day of local and regional actions for October
    27th. This way we can continue to build the visibility and voice of
    this new anti-war movement. We also encourage people to set up ANSWER
    chapters in their schools, community centers and towns to take on the
    organizing for this day of action.

    We will be developing a factsheet on U.S. policy in the Middle East
    that will be available very soon on the www.internationalANSWER.org
    web site.

    The Sept. 29 rally in Washington was covered by hundreds of national
    and international media. CSPAN covered the Freedom Plaza rally live
    during the day, and repeated the coverage at 10:30 PM and 3am the
    next morning. This coverage is available to view by internet on the
    CSPAN website. You can also access the CSPAN STREAMING
    VIDEO of the rally at the www.internationalANSWER.org website.


    Women in Black Stand Silent, Oppose War, Reprisal

    By Cynthia L. Cooper - WEnews correspondent

    NEW YORK (WOMENSENEWS)--At first, four women dressed in black formed a line
    on the wide, white steps of the New York Public Library, 15 feet in front of
    one of the guardian lions. In addition to black pants, black shirts and
    black jackets, some wore black head scarves--to demonstrate solidarity with
    Muslim women who have been assaulted or harassed in blind reprisals for the
    Sept. 11 terrorism attacks.

    Even in the aftermath of terrorist bombings, these peace activists deliver
    no speeches, chant no slogans and invite no male participants. And, they
    say, these are precisely the elements that make the international human
    rights group, Women in Black, effective.

    On Wednesday evening, the women in line were soon joined by more women, most
    wearing black but some gray, denim and khaki, until over two dozen stretched
    across the white stone steps to create a stark and imposing image. A plain
    cloth banner announced: "Women in Black Against War."

    The women stood without speaking for the next hour.

    "At times like this when people don't know what to do, we allow for people
    to communicate in silence," said Indira Kajosevic, one of the participants.
    "Silence is very powerful. I am mourning the victims of violence, and I am
    making a public statement about that."

    Women in Black Silently Focuses on Historic Voicelessness of Women

    Women in Black is a loose international network of women who share a common
    philosophy of opposition to militarism and violence and use a similar style
    of silent demonstration. Without a formal organization or officers, they
    convene at standard times for peace vigils in public squares, wearing black
    clothing of bereavement. Only women are invited to participate.

    "There's a strong communal energy among women together," said Stephanie
    Damoff, a philosophy student who began standing in the vigils in New York
    several years ago. "It makes people stop and think."

    The silence is a contrast to noisy demonstrations, a familiar part of the
    anti-war protests during the Vietnam years. "There are already too many
    words about the issue," said Pat DeAngelis, a longtime participant. And
    silence, said Kajosevic, draws attention to the historic voicelessness of

    The first Women in Black protests began in Israel in 1988 to mobilize
    sentiment for peace with Palestinians. In 1991, a group formed in Belgrade,
    where women stood weekly in the Republic Square to protest war in
    Yugoslavia. Allied groups sprang up in Azerbaijan, Canada, Denmark, England,
    France, Israel, India, Indonesia, Italy, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland and
    Turkey, and in several U.S. locations, including San Francisco, Portland,
    Ore., Ann Arbor, Mich., Rhode Island and Arizona.

    The Belgrade group, which has been particularly active in "street
    manifestations" and programs offering assistance to displaced women, was
    awarded a Millennium Peace Prize for Women by the United Nations Development
    Fund for Women and International Alert, a global women's awareness program,
    in March 2001. In June, eight Danish and Norwegian parliamentarians
    nominated Women in Black for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

    Women in Black Urge Male Leaders to 'Step Back From War'

    Monthly New York vigils have been ongoing since 1993, at first located
    across the street from the United Nations to protest the rape of women as a
    tool of war in the former Yugoslavia. At times, the women have joined with
    local action groups, such as Women in Mourning and Outrage, an organization
    that formed in response to the New York City police killing of Amadou
    Diallo, an unarmed immigrant from Guinea.

    After the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, the New York group changed its
    monthly vigils to weekly ones.

    A flyer handed to passersby at the library calls on government officials to
    "step back" from war.

    "We mourn the dead and feel deep sympathy with the bereaved and injured,"
    the flyer says. "Those who perpetrated the violence must be brought to
    justice under international law."

    Unlike a conventional nonprofit organization, Women in Black does not have
    officers, staff or an operations center. Core members make collaborative
    decisions and take on particular assignments, such as Internet postings or
    photocopying. Money, when needed, is collected in a coffee tin.

    "We are not interested in power; we are very interested in social change,"
    said Kajosevic, who joined New York vigils after moving from Belgrade in
    1994. "It's a means of mobilizing," she added.

    Women in Black groups around the world act independently. But an
    international network comes together yearly. At the tenth reunion in Novi
    Sad, Yugoslavia, in August, 250 women from 16 countries attended and made
    opposition to violence in Macedonia a priority topic.

    The idea of acting in concert with women around the world is central for
    many regulars.

    "I have a tremendous sense of solidarity with all our sisters around the
    world facing conditions of violence and war," said DeAngelis, who has
    sometimes maintained the vigil on her own in rain and cold. "It's terribly
    important to take a stand against injustice and to take a visible stand."

    Responses to that stark and silent stand are not always positive. One man
    raised his fist and yelled, "Bomb them, bomb them!" But a woman spectator
    stopped and pointedly shook the hand of every woman in the line.

    "It's effective," said Damoff, adding, "but slow and steady, not big and
    Cynthia L. Cooper is a free-lance writer in New York.
    For more information:
    Woman in Black: - http://womeninblack.net/


    In dire need of a patriotism of dissent

    By Lloyd J. Averill
    Chicago Tribune
    October 3, 2001

    A patriotism of dissent has been one of the most vital ingredients of
    American political life throughout history. It has always been in the
    national interest to "speak truth to power," and never more so than in
    times of crisis. We are now entering an era in which the nurture of an
    active patriotism of dissent will be a most difficult, but most essential
    task. Patriotic dissent is required if! we hope to achieve anything
    approaching rational and moral balance in American policy and behavior. It
    is essential for people of faith and goodwill, who seek to honor the
    prophetic traditions of all religions, to explore what we can say to
    predispose such an outcome.

    We need each other because, clearly, the national mood and political
    momentum generated by the events of Sept. 11 will move massively against
    patriotic dissent. It is an admirable sign of national strength when some
    disaster brings Americans together, and that strength has been shown in
    small and large ways since those sad September days. Expressions of unity
    demonstrate an awareness of a common humanity amid our great diversity, a
    capacity to come together in grief and in resolve, and the presence of
    shared bonds that are present but sometimes go unnoticed.

    Unity is not, however, acquiescence, especially in a national tradition
    that values dissent. We share a common heritage, but a part of that
    heritage is respect for diversity of commitments, for differences in
    outlook and aspiration. So we must be vigilant lest the celebration of a
    kind of spiritual unity be turned into an expectation of, or worse a demand
    for, political uniformity.

    I have no idea who first characterized the events in New York, Washington
    and western Pennsylvania as "war." The striking fact is that the
    characterization was taken up at once by President Bush and by his
    administrative apparatus, which made an immediate effort to persuade the
    American public that waging this new form of war would involve a long-term

    Prior to the day of crisis, the president's approval rating had sunk to
    nearly 50 percent. He and his administration had been in trouble, even
    among congressional faithful, and had increasingly experienced political
    heavy weather among the public on a wide range of domestic and foreign
    issues. By late morning on Sept. 11 there was an instant transformation.
    Suddenly! , the wartime leader of a nation victimized by cowardly attack,
    the president reduced his response to crisis to a few simplisms (Osama bin
    Laden "wanted dead or alive"), spoke them with obvious conviction to a
    public desperately seeking firm assurance, and soared to an unprecedented
    82 percent approval.

    What is the same, of course, is the man, George W. Bush, with all of his
    limitations of political outlook and vision, though now with a stronger
    sense of mission to see them realized. He is surrounded by the same
    advisers, many with a Cold War mentality, now given fresh range and new
    opportunity. There has been no transformation of the Bush program with
    respect to missile defense, education, the environment, patients' rights,
    taxes or Social Security. Those issues still are what they were, with
    whatever strengths or defects they had before Sept. 11. But with the
    radically altered political climate, they now face a strikingly altered

    A patriotism of dissent is needed now on at least three levels.

    On the first level, we must say "no" to the president when he promises that
    America under his leadership will take action against the terrorist threat,
    "whatever the cost." We must dissent if the cost is an assault on essential
    civil rights, and especially if hasty legislative action seeks to subvert
    due process, invade essential privacies, detain without formal charge or
    adequate representation and utilize secret evidence. Conveniences are
    expendable; essential rights are not. A reduction in the freedoms that are
    the essence of the American experiment, and are anathema to our
    adversaries, can never be in the interest of national security.

    On a second level, we must be prepared to say "no" to still-troubling
    aspects of the Bush administration's foreign policy. We must be prepared to
    say "no" to any use of overt military force, or covert action, that
    destroys innocent civilians. To call such consequences "collateral damage"
    dehumanizes its victims and ourselves, reducing or eliminating differences
    between us and our terrorist adversaries. We must dissent from an American
    arrogance in foreign affairs that seemed to be the style of the young Bush
    administration, and that may become even more marked post-Sept. 11. And we
    must say "no" to the president, in the Congress and in public forums, on a
    wide range of policy issues domestic and international that possess no
    greater virtue or validity now than they did prior to Sep. 11. Wartime
    leadership should not immunize the president against organized and
    principled political opposition. I consider national missile defense to be
    among these.

    On a third, pressing, more fundamental level, we must admit that we live in
    murderous times. If we are to honor those who died on Sept. 11, most
    fundamentally we must dissent from murder--from the capricious, wanton
    taking of human life quite apart from any demands of justice.

    Political philosopher Albert Camus once said that we must make a choice:
    between being murderers or the accomplices of murderers, and those who
    refuse to do so with all of the force of their being. As individuals and as
    a nation, in the post-Sept. 11 world, we will be facing some agonizingly
    difficult decisions. There is danger that, given their difficulty,
    individually we may simply permit others to make them for us, in which case
    we may find, too late, that we have sided with the murderers.
    Lloyd J. Averill is a professor emeritus from the University of Washington.
    He lives in Kalamazoo, Mich


    Solutions not slogans


    The anti-war protesters are lacking a needed directive

    On Saturday, an estimated 10,000 gathered to oppose war and racism in
    Washington. D.C. Thousands more protested in New York, Los Angeles, San
    Francisco, Seattle, and points in between and beyond. Thousands marched in
    Sydney, Australia. CNN reported 15,000 demonstrating in Vancouver, Canada.
    It was the third straight weekend of such protests, and additional various
    "National Days of Action" have been called already for Oct. 7 (by a
    coalition of traditional peace groups) and Oct. 13 (an already-planned
    series of national protests regarding weapons in space that has morphed,
    like yesterday's D.C. gathering, into an anti-war event.)
    Given the stakes, such activity on the streets isn't surprising; to many
    people, after all, what is at risk is nothing less than World War III, a
    conflagration that has global implications in a way that Kosovo or the Gulf
    War never did. But the public demonstrations are severely misleading to the
    public in at least two important ways.
    First, it's not just the tactic of a street protest that's vaguely and
    dispiritingly familiar. We're asking our political and military leaders to
    make new and different choices in treacherous terrain, but protest leaders
    are, themselves, falling back on comfortable, familiar tactics and
    iconography. This is not a "peace" movement, in the sense that "peace," to
    most observers, means that government critics don't want anything done.
    It's not even an "anti-war" movement, in the sense that critics of Bush's
    declared "War on Terrorism" do, in fact, oppose terrorism and want it stopped.
    But by highlighting what they're against, public agitators are refusing to
    answer the most obvious question any observer has: "Well, what, then?" A
    lot of people, including a lot of Pentagon generals, doubt that full-scale
    military action is the best way to tackle this problem. The only way in
    which our country is "united" on this issue is in the belief that something
    must be done, both to bring September 11's accomplices to justice for their
    acts and to prevent future strikes. By implying that nothing should be
    done, peace signs and "no war!" posters run counter to the sensibilities of
    nearly everyone in the country, alienating what are in fact oftentimes
    potential allies.
    What's needed, desperately, is sound bite language for a positive program
    that would combat terrorism far more effectively than military action. That
    program might look like:

    --Better domestic security, without sacrificing civil liberties;
    --Better global police and intelligence cooperation, without giving covert
    operations a free hand to act
    illegally; and
    --Demanding that all governments, including ours, act in ways that promote
    the ideals of freedom, democracy, and economic opportunity that the U.S.
    wants to stand for, so as to address many of the conditions that inspire

    The ambitious might throw "religious tolerance" on to that last list, or
    suggest a role for the U.N. or World Court in trying crimes against
    humanity. But the point is that, as never before, the "peace" movement must
    start, in all its public pronouncements, not by emphasizing what it's
    against, but by rallying support for what it favors. In this war, for
    once, everyone is concerned, and few people need to be convinced that war
    would be a dangerous step. War is a failure of imagination; what's needed
    is the alternative. Without it, what should be a massive street movement
    risks sliding, week by week, into irrelevance.
    And that's a shame, because the second way in which these protests mislead
    is that the real anti-military-response organizing is elsewhere, and
    everywhere. Almost all of it is both below the media radar and not being
    done by established anti-war groups (or various left-leaning opportunists)
    at all. It's happening in one-on-one conversations, between people in
    their workplaces, schools, churches, on the Net or phone, or over back yard
    fences, as people share fears, anger, worries, and their doubts about the
    wisdom of an open-ended "war" against an indefinable enemy spread
    throughout the world.
    Those are, in simplest terms, the concerns of the generals, not the
    peaceniks. But in this "new kind of war," the traditional divisions don't
    apply; there's no reason a vision of a world of greater peace and economic
    justice cannot be wed to what makes strategic sense. We should, in fact,
    demand it. But until public demonstrations start focusing on what the U.S.
    and its allies should do, rather than what they shouldn't, few are going to
    make that connection.
    Geov Parrish is a Seattle-based columnist and reporter for Seattle Weekly,
    In These Times and Eat the State! He writes the weekdaily Straight Shot for






    Between five and six thousand demonstrators joined a Communist-led anti-war
    march in Washington, on September 29, scuffling with police and war
    solidarity demonstrators, and denouncing racism, Israel and imperialism as
    the root causes of the events that led to the September 11th bombing of the
    Pentagon and the World Trade Center.
    The rallies began in three locations, each organized by different groups.
    In addition to the main rally,
    organized by the International Action Center, a front for the communist
    Worker's World Party, which was
    formed, ironically enough, to defend the Soviet imperialist invasion of
    Hungary in 1956, two smaller rallies,
    each organized by competing groups of anarchist anti-capitalist
    demonstrators, gathered in the morning. Washington police concentrated
    their efforts on the two anarchist rallies. Around 10:15 AM, several
    anarchists who had gathered around 8th street in Chinatown provoked a
    confrontation with police by laying down in front of the police cars that
    were escorting them, blocking the car's path. When one of the cars they
    were blocking accidentally hit them, and the police driver stepped out to
    see if the anarchist was all right, the crowd swarmed on the driver,
    striking him and his car repeatedly. Police used pepper-spray to disperse
    the crowd, and made several arrests. Approximately half an hour later, as a
    second group of approximately 400 anarchists gathered outside the World
    Bank building outside 18th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, police deployed
    approximately 500 officers in padded body armor and helmets, wielding
    pepper guns, gas guns and batons, to surround and contain the crowd,
    including at least a hundred additional passersby who had merely been
    walking through the area when police cordoned it off. As individuals tried
    to leave the area, police would push and shove them back in, and state that
    all 400 people had been temporarily detained.
    The main rally, of approximately 4000 additional individuals, was conducted
    with less than 15 police officer
    escorts in Washington's Freedom Plaza, at 14th and Pennsylvania. Because of
    Washington's traffic pattern, most individuals there remained ignorant of
    their comrade's plight four blocks away. Eventually, the police relaxed
    their cordon on the militant anarchist anti-capitalist group, and allowed
    them to march towards the main rally. While marching near 15th and H
    Streets, several anarchist demonstrators, some themselves wearing body
    armor and wielding makeshift shields fashioned from trash can lids and
    sheet metal, formed into a wedge formation and charged the police line,
    scattering officers and allowing at least thirty individuals to escape, and
    one to be arrested. Police responded by gassing a crowd of reporters and
    passing tourists, causing at least two people, a passerby and a report for
    the Independent Media Center (http://www.indymedia.org) -- to receive
    emergency treatment from paramedics. Scuffles with the police subsided as
    the anarchist crowd joined the mainstream march, but were replaced with
    scuffles with "war solidarity" demonstrators and militant supporters of
    George W Bush organized by the activist website FreeRepublic.com. While the
    bulk of FreeRepublic.com supporters, approximately 150 individuals,
    including local Republican officials, who also call themselves the "Bush
    thugs" after their reputation for confronting supporters of Al Gore during
    the 2000 presidential election dispute, gathered near 10th Street and
    Pennsylvania Avenue, approximately 20 of them attempted to "confront" what
    they called the "pro-terrorist" crowd.
    Fighting broke out when a group of anarchist protestors began to burn two
    Americans flags. Four of the
    war-solidarity demonstrators waded into the anarchist-communist crowd fists
    flying in an attempt to stop
    the flag burning, and were pounced on by approximately five hundred
    demonstrators, some of them
    waving Palestinian flags, and severely pummeled. A group of approximately
    forty police officers waded into
    the crowd with pepper spray and batons to save the "patriots" from serious
    injury. Four other "patriot" demonstrators were removed by police after
    isolated scuffles broke out across Freedom Plaza. One gentleman carrying a
    sign reading "Nuke them and there will be no war" was assaulted by
    individuals wearing rally security guard shirts, and escorted away by
    police. Three other men who began shouting obscenities and threats at the
    anti-war demonstrators were also removed. The march itself was conducted
    peacefully and without incident. Police deployed three companies of
    officers and a mounted unit, approximately 120 officers overall, to keep
    the communist and Republican demonstrators separate.
    Themes in the anti-war demonstration were consistently pacifist, with
    several of the demonstrators suggesting that the US should never enter war
    under any circumstances, even if the country was invaded. Popular slogans
    in the anti-war demonstration included "US out of the Middle East", "Israel
    Get Out Of Palestine", "bin Laden was trained by the CIA" and "Long Live
    the Intifada". One group of Palestinian-Americans carried a banner
    proclaiming "Global Intifada Against Israeli Apartheid
    Stop US Aid to Israel now!" Themes at the Patriot demonstration were more
    confrontational and personal.
    Right-wing Republicans carried signs labeling and bullying their opponents,
    declaring them to be in a
    "Traitors and Cowards Rally" and stating they were "Anti-War, Anti-American
    and Pro-Mass Murder." As the
    anti-war demonstration passed them, outnumbering the "Bush thugs" by a
    ratio of about 40 to 1, the Bush supporters chanted "Hates America, radical
    left!", "Liberate the Afghan people!" and "Hey hey, ho ho, leftist commies
    got to go!" Anti-war demonstrators responded with cries of "Bush, you
    coward! No killing in our name!" and "Islam is not the enemy!"
    The rally ended peacefully in a park just south of the US Capitol building.
    Several protestors frolicked in a public fountain while a group calling
    themselves the "Rhythm-worker's Union" beat out a style of music known as
    "jungle", using bongo drums and whistles. The rally concluded with a series
    of speeches by Palestinian groups, several Communist organizations, and the
    Green Party, as members of a variety of Trotskyist and Maoist organization,
    including the International Socialist Organization, the Revolutionary
    Communist Party, the Progressive Labor Party, and at least two dozen other
    factions, splinters and tendencies, distributed literature.
    How much was achieved was unclear. Most US newspapers and many US
    television networks de-emphasized the rally by relegating coverage of it to
    their Metro sections and local television affiliates, denying the story
    prominent national exposure. Pravda reporters witnessed cameramen from
    several US networks staging television shots by walking up to groups of
    protestors and asking them to shout certain slogans, sing certain songs, or
    walk in certain directions, so as to give the appearance of various things
    happening at the rally that were not actually happening. Several cameramen
    told Pravda they had been told by their media bosses to present the rallies
    in a certain light, and to ignore the actual facts of the event.
    But despite the efforts of the largely Zionist American media to
    de-emphasize the impact, it is clear that
    there is a growing body of Americans, particularly young college students,
    who have rejected the rhetoric
    that semi-official commentary publications and the short list of approved
    American commentators on public
    affairs have presented. Despite attempts to obfuscate issues and
    de-emphasize the role of US Israeli policy as a factor in the targeting of
    the US for terrorism, it is clear that several thousand American citizens
    have seen through to the truth.

    Bill White for PRAVDA.Ru


    From: Chuck0 <chuck@tao.ca>
    Subject: [ACC] Washington, DC: Update from the Anti-Capitalist Convergence
    Date sent: Wed, 03 Oct 2001

    Washington, DC: Update from the Anti-Capitalist Convergence

    Lots of people have been asking what happened during the Anti-Capitalist
    Convergence, so I thought I'd do an update in lieu of writing an
    article. I've got a cold and I'm recuperating from the week, so I'll be


    * As of Monday afternoon, everybody who was arrested has been released
    from jail. Around 9 people ended up getting arrested: two during the ACC
    march, six at a direct action at D.C. General Hospital on Saturday, and
    one person who locked down outside of D.C. General Hospital on Sunday
    night. I haven't heard of any serious charges, but the legal collective
    can give everybody a more complete update.

    * Around 1500-2000 people attended the Anti-Capitalist Convergence march
    on Saturday morning. The march was not permitted and the cops took an
    aggressive role in deciding where the march went. During the march, both
    the police chief and the assistant police chief were knocked in the
    head. The assistant chief also managed to pepper spray himself.

    * The march made it to its destination, the World Bank, but as it was
    breaking up, the police surrounded several hundred people and kept them
    in the park for over a half hour. They then forcibly marched this group
    over to the IAC/ANSWER rally at Freedom Plaza. Contrary to many media
    reports, the ACC march did *not* join the IAC rally. A group of ACC
    participants were marched to the IAC rally, but the ACC march ended at
    the World Bank.

    * While people were being detained in front of the World Bank, the Pagan
    Cluster performed a ritual to "exorcise" the building of evil.

    * Several people busted through the police lines during the forced march
    to the IAC rally.

    * There was a black bloc during the ACC march and during the peace march
    on Sunday.

    * There were a few injuries during the ACC march, with most of these
    being from baton blows and pepper spray. The person who suffered the
    most from a pepper spray injury was probably the assistant police chief.

    * There was little to no opposition to any of the 3 anti-war marches. A
    few dozen right wingers turned out on Saturday downtown, but there was
    lots of support from people on the street. The folks who said that we
    shouldn't have protested because of opposition from city residents were
    proven wrong.

    * Six people were arrested near D.C. General Hospital on Saturday
    morning. The police had gotten the news that a major direct action was
    going down at D.C. General Hospital. In fact, a group of ACC members had
    been planning for over two months to take over one of the abandoned
    buildings on the D.C. General Hospital campus. The people in this group
    saw this action as the major anarchist direct action of the World
    Bank/IMF protests in the original pre-9/11 scenario. The talk about
    taking down the fences was mainly a bluff. After Genoa, it was felt that
    the anti-capitalist movement needed to do a major empowering direct
    action that smashed the stereotypes that has risen after Genoa. After
    9/11, it was decided to go ahead with the action in a modified form
    because the closing of D.C. General is still a major issue here.

    * Bork, who is a local anarchist who did a hunger strike to keep D.C.
    General open, locked down in front of D.C. General on Sunday night. She
    was later cut loose and arrested. A rally before the direct action was
    attended by 100.

    * The Anti-Capitalist Convergence kept a Welcome Center open for 8 days,
    with no interference from the police. The Welcome Center was used to
    orient people, provide trainings and workshops, have general ACC
    meetings, provide an art space, and lots of other stuff. The Welcome
    Center also became the default info center for events that were
    sponsored by other groups.

    * Food was provided by Seeds for Peace and Everybody's Kitchen.

    * The housing volunteers did an awesome job and managed to find housing
    for nearly everybody who asked.

    * The Independent Media Center had a great space in Adams Morgan, which
    was used by many activists.

    * The rally for the residents of Arthur Capper homes on Monday at HUD
    was attended by around 40 people. Lots of support from ACC activists.

    * The ACC did all of this stuff on a budget of less than $3000, thus
    proving that the anti-capitalist movement doesn't need huge handouts
    from NGOs in order to do great work.


    As Peace Corps Evacuates, Peace Movement Activates

    After Years of Quiet, Opponents Of Violence Start to Mobilize

    Wall Street Journal
    Oct 1, 2001
    By Clare Ansberry

    PITTSBURGH -- Several hundred people gathered in the First Baptist Church
    here last Sunday night, among them students with their lips pierced, a
    grandmother wearing a white blouse with a red bow tied smartly at her neck
    and an African American man in a brightly woven hat. There were
    psychotherapists, lawyers, and professors.

    Like thousands of others in recent weeks, they were brought together by the
    events of Sept. 11. But this group had something else in common: They were
    reluctant to admit to neighbors, co-workers, and classmates that they
    belong to peace groups in a country so resolute in fighting the enemy.

    "We've been made to feel that anyone not united in the effort is not
    patriotic," said Molly Rush, who 20 years ago took a hammer to a nuclear
    warhead at a protest at a General Electric plant. Standing in the center
    aisle at last week's meeting, microphone in hand, she exhorted the group to
    break its silence, noting that speaking out is a hallmark of the peace
    movement and a critical American liberty. "But we are all patriots here
    tonight. We care about our country, our world. We need to be a voice of
    peace." With that, the once-silent crowd applauded and cheered.

    The peace movement, quiescent for years, is again beginning to mobilize.
    Over the weekend, an estimated 10,000 people, many of whom are actively
    involved in antiglobalization efforts, marched in downtown Washington,
    urging a peaceful resolution to the crisis. Last weekend, hundreds of
    students on college campuses gathered to create a coast-to-coast noon peace
    rally. Students from Harvard, Boston University and the Massachusetts
    Institute of Technology carried candles through Cambridge and Boston, while
    those at Lewis & Clark in Oregon formed a human peace symbol. In New York,
    which took the brunt of the terrorist attacks, thousands of people
    participated in a peace march from Union Square to Times Square.

    Veterans for Peace Inc. issued a statement cautioning against retaliatory
    violence and an alternative newspaper called Peace News was organized in
    San Francisco. A group of theologians at the University of Chicago began
    circulating a petition, imploring the president and international leaders
    to use international judicial institutions and human-rights laws to bring
    the terrorists to justice. It had 500,000 signatures.

    The task before them is enormous. Being a part of a peace movement has
    never been wildly popular with mainstream America, no matter how much
    people say they favor peace. Ms. Rush, who is one of the original members
    of the Plowshares Eight, a group of eight activists who were arrested after
    taking hammers to the nose cones of nuclear missiles, says the challenge
    for peace groups is even greater now. "I cannot recall anything of this
    magnitude and difficulty," she says. Never before, she says, has she seen
    the country, feeling angry, violated and vulnerable, so galvanized in a
    desire for retaliatory action. What makes their message even more difficult
    is that they are protesting a retaliation that has yet to occur and whose
    form is still unknown.

    The Sunday meeting was organized by the Thomas Merton Center, formed in
    1972 and named after the Trappist monk, poet and writer who was known
    world-wide for his campaign against the Vietnam War. Many other local peace
    groups here in Pittsburgh have become inactive. The Merton center, itself,
    had been focusing on living wages and racism, publishing a newspaper called
    New People and running the Giving Tree Alternative gift shop.

    Tim Vining, a lawyer and former Franciscan who taught philosophy and lived
    with homeless men for eight years in Baton Rouge, La., started his job as
    executive director of the center exactly one week before the Sept. 11
    attacks. The nation had to respond, and while he believes the best way is
    through an international war-crimes trial, he knew that it would likely do
    so with military force. Others with similar fears immediately began
    calling, asking "What are we going to do?"

    "A lot of people in the peace movement are just too overwhelmed to do
    anything," says Sandy Kelson, a Pittsburgh attorney who enlisted in the
    Vietnam War and is now a member of Veterans for Peace. The local chapter no
    longer holds monthly meetings at the Soldiers and Sailors Hall. Many of its
    members are affiliated now with the Merton Center. Mr. Kelson has found
    that when he raises questions about what actions the government is
    proposing, or what might have prompted the attack, he is rebuffed. "I'm a
    lawyer. I talk to lawyers. I talk to stockbrokers. I have a working farm. I
    talked to people on the farm. When I try to talk to people, they don't want
    to hear it," he says.

    Mr. Vining, wanting the center to bring the various groups and its own 500
    members together, met with his board during a weekend retreat and called
    for an Emergency Mobilization meeting. He expected about 100 people to show
    up. The crowd was three times that size, filling the front and side pews.

    They broke into 10 discussion groups, filling the church, its upstairs and
    balconies and the concrete steps outside under the moonlight. Another group
    stood in the vestibule. They proposed slogans that would defy stereotypes
    and resonate more broadly, like "Patriots for Peace" and "No more civilian
    casualties." They suggested providing escorts for local Muslims who felt
    threatened, creating a speaker's bureau, and organizing teach-ins at
    schools. They wrote their ideas on big sheets of white paper and taped them
    to the pulpit and along the walls. They formed committees and planned to
    meet again.

    This isn't the first campaign for activist Paul Le Blanc. His first
    demonstration was in the autumn of 1965 against the Vietnam War. That
    movement was unpopular, too, but ultimately it helped bring an end to the
    war. The same process is critical now, he says.

    After the meeting, people signed up for various committees to organize
    rallies and public forums. Says Mr. Vining, of the Merton Center, "We're
    only at the beginning of this. Now is not the time to pack up our tents and
    say peace is not possible anymore," he says.


    `No War' Chant Grows Louder in Europe

    For Some, Fear of Action By U.S. Is Replacing Feeling of Mourning

    Wall Street Journal
    Oct 1, 2001
    By Roger Thurow

    BERLIN -- The rain and wind have battered the flowers and the flags,
    extinguished the candles and blurred the ink on many of the messages of
    sympathy and solidarity. But fresh banners have begun to appear, shouting
    from the barricades that surround the memorial growing along the legendary
    boulevard, Unter den Linden.

    "America: forgive, love and unite." "No revenge, drop the hate." "Don't war
    please." "War is no solution."

    The enormous black banner proclaiming "Our deepest sympathy" still hangs
    from the top of the Brandenburg Gate, the majestic portal to Unter den
    Linden, which has seen more wars through the centuries than most any other
    promenade on Earth. In the short walk down to the memorial near the
    American embassy, though, the sentiments shift from mourning to fear, from
    shock at the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington to revulsion over
    the retaliation that may come next, from solidarity with America to
    indictment of American policy. At one point on the walk, an American flag
    hangs at a sorrowful angle from the awning of a sausage stand, while just a
    few steps away a bed sheet proclaims in gold lettering: "We also mourn the
    people who starve and die from the rampant greed of the civilized world."

    At the start of the long war against terrorism that President Bush has
    promised, the U.S. is counting on Europe to anchor global solidarity and
    perhaps contribute militarily. Germany's political leaders are so far
    standing firmly beside America, mindful of times when Americans came to
    their aid, and of increasing signs that Germany was home to one of the
    terrorist cells that attacked the U.S.

    But German society is already deeply conflicted, and as talk of war
    increases, disquiet is beginning to seep across this land. The message of
    the shifting sentiments is that unity in sorrow won't necessarily lead to
    unity in action.

    Immediately after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, for instance, students from
    a Berlin high school created a montage of messages and displayed it at the
    embassy memorial. "We are all Americans," says one. "With our sadness and
    anger, we are speechless," says another. A few days later, though, some
    students from the same school found their voice in organizing an antiwar
    street protest urging America to resist military retaliation.

    "This doesn't have anything to do with anti-Americanism," says Siegmar
    Alex, the school's director. "The students are often telling me that they
    simply are afraid of a war."

    In the Black Forest town of Freiburg, Antonie Geiger awoke one recent
    morning hearing "the rattling of sabres." She, too, had mourned with
    America, but now she found herself rummaging through her linen closet for a
    worn sheet, and fashioning it into a protest banner. A few hours later,
    this church housekeeper was standing among 1,000 others at a demonstration,
    holding aloft her sheet with its "no war" message.

    The beat of antiwar protest can be faintly heard in other European
    countries as well, but in Germany demonstrations are already regular
    events. A socialist student group, active in the antiglobalization
    protests, is calling on people across the land to hit the streets on Day X,
    the day America strikes back militarily. "That will be the day the real war
    begins," says Dirk Spoeri, a computer-science student handing out pamphlets
    -- "Horror in America, but war is no solution," says one -- at the Freiburg
    demonstration. The terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, he says,
    weren't a declaration of war against civilization, "but a strike against
    American economic and military dominance."

    The youthful, leftist edge of society may be the most vocal, but it's not
    the only voice of protest. Carla Benndorf, a 62-year-old retired bank
    teller, paces in the rain during a demonstration on Berlin's
    Alexanderplatz. A piece of cardboard dangles from her neck like a giant
    pendant: "No more violence," it says. "No new victims."

    On the day of the terrorist attacks, she says, she was paralyzed with
    sadness and fear. "My blood stopped. I couldn't leave the television," she
    says. "I'm a pacifist, and that also means terrorism must be stopped. But
    then I thought, `My God, what's coming next?' There will be retaliation and
    then more violence. When will it end?"

    Karin Marx, who has come to the Berlin protest with her husband, peers
    across the emotional divide. "That the people in America, in their grief
    and anger, scream for revenge and war, I grant them that," she says. "But I
    simply can't understand that we here should be expected to scream along
    with them."

    Jurgen Grasslin, the spokesman for the German Peace Society, says: "I
    suppose the Americans can't understand this." He had just given a speech
    awash in the contradictions of the moment. Standing beneath Freiburg's
    statue of Berthold Schwarz, reputedly the German inventor of gunpowder, he
    had lambasted military action. His biggest applause lines were criticisms
    of Germany's current foreign and interior ministers, men who helped lead
    hundreds of thousands of West Germans onto the streets in the 1980s to
    protest the West's Cold War military buildup but who now are lining up
    behind military retaliation.

    "We say, `Yes to solidarity with the victims, but no to terror and war,'"
    he says, prompting whoops and cheers.

    At the memorial on Unter den Linden, ninth-graders from a Berlin school
    stop by. The students read the posters and cards, and line up to sign the
    condolence books waiting on a table. "In deepest sympathy," one boy writes,
    then searches for a candle to light. Another student picks up a pen and
    scribbles quickly: "Peace, no war." Later this year, when the school acts
    out a day at the United Nations Security Council, this class will represent
    America. For now, they represent the disquiet of Germany.

    "This is our field-trip day, and they chose to come here," says their
    teacher, Petra Merkle. "Usually, they would want to do something fun. But
    now the dominant feeling is of sympathy and sadness. Right below that,
    however, is fear that this can get out of hand."


    Japanese Americans fight backlash

    Peace rally opposes ethnic scapegoats


    by Ryan Kim, Chronicle Staff Writer
    Tuesday, October 2, 2001

    Yuri Kochiyama, who spent more than two years in an American internment
    camp during World War II, knows what can happen to people in uncertain times.
    So in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the
    Pentagon, the 80-year-old from Oakland wants to be certain that Muslims and
    Arab Americans will not struggle alone, as she and other Japanese Americans
    once did.
    "We went through some similar things in World War II when we were evacuated
    and incarcerated," said Kochiyama, who works as an activist on behalf of
    political prisoners. "Because we experienced harassment, Japanese Americans
    and all people of color should support one another."
    While many groups have spoken out against an ethnic backlash in the wake of
    the Sept. 11 attacks, few have been as prominent as the Japanese American
    During World War II, about 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were forced
    from their homes and interned after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in December
    Many already had lost their jobs and were looked upon as enemies by other
    Kochiyama, who spoke at a Japantown peace rally last week, said she hoped
    reminding people of their wartime internment would deflate some of the
    recent hysteria affecting the country.
    Already, many Arabs, Muslims and even South Asians around the nation have
    been the target of assaults, harassment and vandalism. Authorities are
    investigating the deaths of a Sikh gas station owner in Arizona, an
    Egyptian store owner in Los Angeles and a Pakistani grocer in Dallas, all
    of whom may have been victims of hate crimes.
    While most Americans have refrained from scapegoating, the incidents raise
    new concerns for many Japanese Americans leaders.
    "It's especially important that we educate the American public on being
    rational on how we respond to the attacks and to caution against hysteria
    in the same way we saw in 1942," said John Tateishi, executive director of
    the Japanese American Citizens League. "We don't want to see that happen to
    anyone else."
    Several Japanese American organizations have held rallies and publicly
    opposed incidents of racial or ethnic scapegoating, while Japanese American
    civil rights leaders have met locally with Muslim and Arab leaders.
    Other Asian American groups also have condemned the violence and threats
    against local Muslims and Arabs. Chinese for Affirmative Action and the
    Asian Law Caucus, both based in the Bay Area, along with the Organization
    of Chinese Americans, the Asian American Bar Association and others have
    held press conferences and other events recently to decry the growing
    It was not, however, a given that Japanese Americans or other Asian
    organizations would stand up for Muslims and Arabs. Dina Shek, who directs
    Nosei, a progressive Japanese American community organization, said many
    older Japanese Americans and recent Asian immigrants in general needed to
    be coaxed into stepping out and taking a potentially unpopular stand.
    "I fear there is a 'Thank God it's not us' mentality for a lot of people,"
    said Shek, who organized the Japantown peace rally.
    The support from the Japanese American community has been well received.
    Hina Azam, with American Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism based in
    the Bay Area, said when the attacks occurred, many Muslims recalled what
    had happened to Japanese Americans in World War II.
    "I have to say this situation has made us a lot more appreciative of what
    it must have been like at that time, and we appreciate the outreach and
    support Japanese Americans have been giving us," said Azam.
    The support has been somewhat surprising, Azam said, given the two
    communities have not worked together in the past.
    Shek said she was glad to be lending a helping hand during this tumultuous
    "We won't let this happen to another community," said Shek. "They won't
    have to go through this alone like our community had to."
    E-mail Ryan Kim at rkim@sfchronicle.com.


    The protests of disgust

    Washington Times

    They had to come, the anti-International Monetary Fund/World Bank
    protesters who gathered in Washington over the weekend. A little thing like
    6,000-plus dead Americans wasn't about to change their minds, besides, it
    had taken them minutes and minutes to redo their cardboard placards to
    announce that violence isn't the answer and that America is the problem.

    Perhaps those sentiments, more than any other, explain why they gathered on
    Saturday at Freedom Plaza. One protester wore a t-shirt that read, "I'm
    afraid of Americans." Another shirt proclaimed, "Columbus was the original
    terrorist." Others denounced "America's racist war" and "American
    imperialism." A few speakers actually expressed regret for the terrorist
    attack, but most seemed to think that the United States had it coming. They
    were denouncing America at such an aggrieved pitch that all dogs within
    earshot were barking and small furry rodents were scurrying away at top speed.

    Perhaps the critters couldn't bear the sight of the crowd, where dirty
    yellow signs screamed that revenge is bad, youths in burnt umber costumes
    decried the famine in Afghanistan, and anarchists in black sweatsuits
    suspiciously lingered in the background.

    There was also a heavy pink patina: Passing out pamphlets were what seemed
    to be every communist not tenured at Berkeley, attired in suits whose
    manufacture (and last laundering) probably occurred during the October
    Revolution. Not that anyone was reading the pamphlets. Perhaps they simply

    The organizers of the protest certainly couldn't count, which, coupled with
    their probable room temperature IQs, might help explain why they estimated
    the crowd at 25,000. After all, a sixth-grade level of math does little
    good when you run out of fingers and toes and body piercings ("Seventeen,
    eighteen . . . 25,000"). Arresting the lot of them would have rocketed up
    the test scores at campuses around the country. Police estimated the crown
    marching up Pennsylvania at 4,500, far fewer than were brutally murdered
    during the Sept 11 terrorist attacks.

    There were no commemorations for the people who perished at the World Trade
    Center, the Pentagon or the crash in Pennsylvania. No one seemed to care
    about the widows and the orphans. The large-denomination donations
    requested were not even set aside for disaster relief. In fact, aside from
    journalists and a few courageous and patriotic counter-protesters, not a
    single person seemed to be thankful for their hard-won freedom, that which
    enables protesters to spit in Uncle Sam's face. Nor did it seem to matter
    that such behavior would have gotten them bloodied in Beijing and killed in

    America is too good for these people the major-league practitioners of the
    protests of disgust.

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