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Be a Stopping Traffic Advertisement for Peace

a civil disobedience tactic
I have been pondering my recent episode of blocking/stopping traffic during the Not in Our Name Rally. It is a tactic that many protestors do not agree with,I know. There are tactics that I do not agree with as well. We all do what we have to do.

Some people ask what it accomplishes, besides "pissing motorists off". In truth, it is not my intention to piss anyone off. In fact, I am not attached to their response. I am simply doing what I feel I need to be doing. I am making a plea for peace.

When someone is trying to "sell" an idea they often "advertise" it. Since so many people spend so much time in front of their television, taking out an ad would be a great idea, but not a practical one financially.

So standing in the street in oncoming traffic is a way to get people to stop and pay attention to a message, to an "advertisement". They may indeed get upset or excited (effective advertising does cause arousal) but they do see and will recall the message.
mad props 09.Oct.2002 22:14

easy e esprotagonist@yahoo.com

i think that your revelation is true, but to be effective it needs to happen more often. your form of advertising is one that happens little enough that it does piss people off... kind of like the introduction of corporate ads on PBS you want to watch the news then, whats this annoying thing, i want to watch my show?! but instead with ...I want to get home! this street advertising will be more of a message and less of a distraction if it happens often enough, like how ads are just accepted on TV rather than pissing people off, for the most part. peace out. cross your fingers for tomorrow morn. E

Good Idea! 09.Oct.2002 22:15

Trilox

Now why don't you try it in the freeway and then get back to us on how it worked out for you?

Babies dying for male testosterone and oil 09.Oct.2002 22:59

Sister NoKKKAR

Girl stand upright and proud! KKKars are the enemy! We kill babies for kkkars and then blame our addiction on religion. It's them bad muslim mothers. Those bad covered women we are trying to protect from their evil husbands. We'll come kill your children and protect you! sings out from the radios of KKKars. What would we do without KKKars? Those who know that only if they stop driving, will we end the endless war against the arabic oil, and still drive look at you and tsk, tsk. You shouldn't block KKKars, it only makes people mad. Meanwhile already in IRAQ a women is dressed in black keeling over her child killed by kontaminated water and lack of medicine from our last war. Already a father cries in solitude knowing his child is suffering from lack of food. Are the drivers you block tired from working, and hungry? This same father cried after he also worked all day in Iraq. They used to have clean water and sustainable agriculture. Bush wants to play with his "new toys." He wants to unleash the new technology they have been making. Tonight a muslim man is crying out on an island in Cuba as they use the new skin burning device on him they developed for protesters- see no skkkars. Stop the kkkars girl. Stop them for all time. Don't let them move. All should be uncomfortable with this kkkar war!

Repeating History's Mistakes 10.Oct.2002 07:41

Alienated Middle American

Dear Peace Rebel Girl:

So you and a bunch of your pals thought it would be a good idea to take over an intersection and harass, intimidate and frighten your fellow citizens in the name of peace? What sort of flawed rationale did you employ when making this decision?

There was nothing peaceful about your actions; it was an act of pure aggression, pack mentality designed to impose your will upon others. You attempted to "sell" and "advertise" your beliefs by putting the ugliest possible face on your product. I suggest that you not seek a career in marketing. The only thing positive that can be said about your escapade is that it is fortunate you did not come up against a motorist desperately trying to make it to his local watering hole before happy hour ended.

The people you disrupted from their routines went to work on Monday morning and told their colleagues about the "Peace Creeps" who made them run the gauntlet while they were attempting to go about the mundane business of their lives; running errands, buying grocery's, going to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for a sick child. Your actions started a ripple effect of negative publicity. Their co-workers will hear their tale of woe and when coupling this information with the newscast that showed a teenager climb atop City Hall, will conclude that the antiwar movement has no more credibility than an MTV video, and that demonstrations are nothing more than an excuse for civil disobedience and antisocial behavior.

And if you think the opinion of those people don't matter you'd better think again. It is a popular misconception that the Vietnam War was halted by radicals employing civil disobedience tactics, riotous youths taking over the streets. It was not. If anything these tactics only prolonged the agony and suffering. The carnage in Southeast Asia was eventually halted by middle Americans, mainstream folks with moderate political views, alienated by the squeaky wheels at both ends of the political spectrum. The war was not ended until these people, the largest voting bloc on the political landscape, finally put their collective foot down. Though their hearts and minds may have been have been against the war, they were as loathe to make alliance with those who were taking over their streets and burning their flag as they were to side with those who would send their children off to kill and be killed. Thousands of lives could have been spared if these people had not been alienated in the first place.

As the antiwar effort struggles to call attention to itself it should be mindful of the image it presents. The media will likely focus on those who are engaged in acts of civil disobedience, and the many thousands of people who marched in an orderly and lawful manner in an attempt to exercise their democratic rights, will have their heartfelt desire to prevent an ill-advised war compromised and discredited by the few. It's not right, but that's how it works. Millions of Americans with moderate political views who oppose making war on Iraq, and within whose power it is to stop this war before it starts, will witness the antics of you and your pals and make a conscious effort to stay as far away from the next "Peace" rally as they can; they will witness the actions you took in the name of peace and shout: "NOT IN MY NAME!" Don't look for them to show up in any large numbers at the next rally to march arm in arm with the likes of you.

There is precious little time to prevent this war and the antiwar movement cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of history. It would be wise not to alienate middle America by making their democratic right to voice their opposition as distasteful as being asked to choose between Bush and Gore. You are probably a good, well-intentioned person looking for a meaningful way to express your views. So am I; so are millions of others. On behalf of millions of Americans who want to prevent this war, I would like to ask that you not compromise or discredit our forum for being heard by engaging in civil disobedience. It is counterproductive. If you do not feel as though you can refrain from aggravating your fellow citizens in the name of peace, I contend that the antiwar effort would be far better served if you and your little friends would stay home and watch MTV, and leave the deadly serious business at hand to the adults.

Alienated Middle American

Repeating History's Mistakes 10.Oct.2002 07:43

Alienated Middle American

Dear Peace Rebel Girl:

So you and a bunch of your pals thought it would be a good idea to take over an intersection and harass, intimidate and frighten your fellow citizens in the name of peace? What sort of flawed rationale did you employ when making this decision?

There was nothing peaceful about your actions; it was an act of pure aggression, pack mentality designed to impose your will upon others. You attempted to "sell" and "advertise" your beliefs by putting the ugliest possible face on your product. I suggest that you not seek a career in marketing. The only thing positive that can be said about your escapade is that it is fortunate you did not come up against a motorist desperately trying to make it to his local watering hole before happy hour ended.

The people you disrupted from their routines went to work on Monday morning and told their colleagues about the "Peace Creeps" who made them run the gauntlet while they were attempting to go about the mundane business of their lives; running errands, buying grocery's, going to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for a sick child. Your actions started a ripple effect of negative publicity. Their co-workers will hear their tale of woe and when coupling this information with the newscast that showed a teenager climb atop City Hall, will conclude that the antiwar movement has no more credibility than an MTV video, and that demonstrations are nothing more than an excuse for civil disobedience and antisocial behavior.

And if you think the opinion of those people don't matter you'd better think again. It is a popular misconception that the Vietnam War was halted by radicals employing civil disobedience tactics, riotous youths taking over the streets. It was not. If anything these tactics only prolonged the agony and suffering. The carnage in Southeast Asia was eventually halted by middle Americans, mainstream folks with moderate political views, alienated by the squeaky wheels at both ends of the political spectrum. The war was not ended until these people, the largest voting bloc on the political landscape, finally put their collective foot down. Though their hearts and minds may have been have been against the war, they were as loathe to make alliance with those who were taking over their streets and burning their flag as they were to side with those who would send their children off to kill and be killed. Thousands of lives could have been spared if these people had not been alienated in the first place.

As the antiwar effort struggles to call attention to itself it should be mindful of the image it presents. The media will likely focus on those who are engaged in acts of civil disobedience, and the many thousands of people who marched in an orderly and lawful manner in an attempt to exercise their democratic rights, will have their heartfelt desire to prevent an ill-advised war compromised and discredited by the few. It's not right, but that's how it works. Millions of Americans with moderate political views who oppose making war on Iraq, and within whose power it is to stop this war before it starts, will witness the antics of you and your pals and make a conscious effort to stay as far away from the next "Peace" rally as they can; they will witness the actions you took in the name of peace and shout: "NOT IN MY NAME!" Don't look for them to show up in any large numbers at the next rally to march arm in arm with the likes of you.

There is precious little time to prevent this war and the antiwar movement cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of history. It would be wise not to alienate middle America by making their democratic right to voice their opposition as distasteful as being asked to choose between Bush and Gore. You are probably a good, well-intentioned person looking for a meaningful way to express your views. So am I; so are millions of others. On behalf of millions of Americans who want to prevent this war, I would like to ask that you not compromise or discredit our forum for being heard by engaging in civil disobedience. It is counterproductive. If you do not feel as though you can refrain from aggravating your fellow citizens in the name of peace, I contend that the antiwar effort would be far better served if you and your little friends would stay home and watch MTV, and leave the deadly serious business at hand to the adults.

Alienated Middle American

Repeating History's Mistakes 10.Oct.2002 07:45

Alienated Middle American

Dear Peace Rebel Girl:

So you and a bunch of your pals thought it would be a good idea to take over an intersection and harass, intimidate and frighten your fellow citizens in the name of peace? What sort of flawed rationale did you employ when making this decision?

There was nothing peaceful about your actions; it was an act of pure aggression, pack mentality designed to impose your will upon others. You attempted to "sell" and "advertise" your beliefs by putting the ugliest possible face on your product. I suggest that you not seek a career in marketing. The only thing positive that can be said about your escapade is that it is fortunate you did not come up against a motorist desperately trying to make it to his local watering hole before happy hour ended.

The people you disrupted from their routines went to work on Monday morning and told their colleagues about the "Peace Creeps" who made them run the gauntlet while they were attempting to go about the mundane business of their lives; running errands, buying grocery's, going to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for a sick child. Your actions started a ripple effect of negative publicity. Their co-workers will hear their tale of woe and when coupling this information with the newscast that showed a teenager climb atop City Hall, will conclude that the antiwar movement has no more credibility than an MTV video, and that demonstrations are nothing more than an excuse for civil disobedience and antisocial behavior.

And if you think the opinion of those people don't matter you'd better think again. It is a popular misconception that the Vietnam War was halted by radicals employing civil disobedience tactics, riotous youths taking over the streets. It was not. If anything these tactics only prolonged the agony and suffering. The carnage in Southeast Asia was eventually halted by middle Americans, mainstream folks with moderate political views, alienated by the squeaky wheels at both ends of the political spectrum. The war was not ended until these people, the largest voting bloc on the political landscape, finally put their collective foot down. Though their hearts and minds may have been have been against the war, they were as loathe to make alliance with those who were taking over their streets and burning their flag as they were to side with those who would send their children off to kill and be killed. Thousands of lives could have been spared if these people had not been alienated in the first place.

As the antiwar effort struggles to call attention to itself it should be mindful of the image it presents. The media will likely focus on those who are engaged in acts of civil disobedience, and the many thousands of people who marched in an orderly and lawful manner in an attempt to exercise their democratic rights, will have their heartfelt desire to prevent an ill-advised war compromised and discredited by the few. It's not right, but that's how it works. Millions of Americans with moderate political views who oppose making war on Iraq, and within whose power it is to stop this war before it starts, will witness the antics of you and your pals and make a conscious effort to stay as far away from the next "Peace" rally as they can; they will witness the actions you took in the name of peace and shout: "NOT IN MY NAME!" Don't look for them to show up in any large numbers at the next rally to march arm in arm with the likes of you.

There is precious little time to prevent this war and the antiwar movement cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of history. It would be wise not to alienate middle America by making their democratic right to voice their opposition as distasteful as being asked to choose between Bush and Gore. You are probably a good, well-intentioned person looking for a meaningful way to express your views. So am I; so are millions of others. On behalf of millions of Americans who want to prevent this war, I would like to ask that you not compromise or discredit our forum for being heard by engaging in civil disobedience. It is counterproductive. If you do not feel as though you can refrain from aggravating your fellow citizens in the name of peace, I contend that the antiwar effort would be far better served if you and your little friends would stay home and watch MTV, and leave the deadly serious business at hand to the adults.

Alienated Middle American

Exactly Trilox! 10.Oct.2002 07:47

peace rebel girl

I spoke with a friend who protested against Vietnam. He said that he and a group shut down I5 in Seattle!

YES! It is a great idea to "try it in the freeway".

Yes 'Easy E' 10.Oct.2002 07:53

peace rebel girl

I agree that advertisments work best when they are shown repeatedly. And of course, having more than a few people blocking traffic is a more colorful, exciting, powerful, and sexy sort of advertisment. People love that arousal factor, one that gets them worked up and their adrenaline rushing!

Think Stupid 10.Oct.2002 07:54

Makkol

Did it ever occur to you that some people might be on the way to pick up their children, go to the Doctor or go to work to feed their families?
This lil tirade is a power trip that you enjoy, and nothing more.
Don't be suprised if you pull this on the wrong person some day and end up getting your ass used as a mop across the stretch of asphalt that you thought you could occupy.
You'd probably cry like the spineless little bitch that you really are.

Alienated Middle American and Makkol 10.Oct.2002 07:58

peace rebel girl

Gandhi, MLK, and I disagree with you.

Don't judge me! 10.Oct.2002 07:59

fellow activist

I agree with Alienated Middle America regarding 'pissing' others off to prove your point. Did you go to the Not in My Name ralley on the 5th? If so, did you notice the wide range of people who marched and called for peace? Many of them work in the city and drive the streets you choose to stop for your cause. They already participate in various non-violent activities throughout the state. Pissing them off is not proving anything. Others who have not seen the need to become involved yet, will be pushed farther away from making that choice when faced with frightening and unruly people behaving in ways they do not understand. I understand the need for expressing your frustrations, and am not 'offended' by your actions, but I do think that perhaps you might be a little more creative and bring your cause a wider base of supporters.

Repeating History's Mistakes 10.Oct.2002 08:01

Alienated Middle American

Dear Peace Rebel Girl:

So you and a bunch of your pals thought it would be a good idea to take over an intersection and harass, intimidate and frighten your fellow citizens in the name of peace? What sort of flawed rationale did you employ when making this decision?

There was nothing peaceful about your actions; it was an act of pure aggression, pack mentality designed to impose your will upon others. You attempted to "sell" and "advertise" your beliefs by putting the ugliest possible face on your product. I suggest that you not seek a career in marketing. The only thing positive that can be said about your escapade is that it is fortunate you did not come up against a motorist desperately trying to make it to his local watering hole before happy hour ended.

The people you disrupted from their routines went to work on Monday morning and told their colleagues about the "Peace Creeps" who made them run the gauntlet while they were attempting to go about the mundane business of their lives; running errands, buying grocery's, going to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for a sick child. Your actions started a ripple effect of negative publicity. Their co-workers will hear their tale of woe and when coupling this information with the newscast that showed a teenager climb atop City Hall, will conclude that the antiwar movement has no more credibility than an MTV video, and that demonstrations are nothing more than an excuse for civil disobedience and antisocial behavior.

And if you think the opinion of those people don't matter you'd better think again. It is a popular misconception that the Vietnam War was halted by radicals employing civil disobedience tactics, riotous youths taking over the streets. It was not. If anything these tactics only prolonged the agony and suffering. The carnage in Southeast Asia was eventually halted by middle Americans, mainstream folks with moderate political views, alienated by the squeaky wheels at both ends of the political spectrum. The war was not ended until these people, the largest voting bloc on the political landscape, finally put their collective foot down. Though their hearts and minds may have been have been against the war, they were as loathe to make alliance with those who were taking over their streets and burning their flag as they were to side with those who would send their children off to kill and be killed. Thousands of lives could have been spared if these people had not been alienated in the first place.

As the antiwar effort struggles to call attention to itself it should be mindful of the image it presents. The media will likely focus on those who are engaged in acts of civil disobedience, and the many thousands of people who marched in an orderly and lawful manner in an attempt to exercise their democratic rights, will have their heartfelt desire to prevent an ill-advised war compromised and discredited by the few. It's not right, but that's how it works. Millions of Americans with moderate political views who oppose making war on Iraq, and within whose power it is to stop this war before it starts, will witness the antics of you and your pals and make a conscious effort to stay as far away from the next "Peace" rally as they can; they will witness the actions you took in the name of peace and shout: "NOT IN MY NAME!" Don't look for them to show up in any large numbers at the next rally to march arm in arm with the likes of you.

There is precious little time to prevent this war and the antiwar movement cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of history. It would be wise not to alienate middle America by making their democratic right to voice their opposition as distasteful as being asked to choose between Bush and Gore. You are probably a good, well-intentioned person looking for a meaningful way to express your views. So am I; so are millions of others. On behalf of millions of Americans who want to prevent this war, I would like to ask that you not compromise or discredit our forum for being heard by engaging in civil disobedience. It is counterproductive. If you do not feel as though you can refrain from aggravating your fellow citizens in the name of peace, I contend that the antiwar effort would be far better served if you and your little friends would stay home and watch MTV, and leave the deadly serious business at hand to the adults.

Alienated Middle American

Then Go Back to "Middle AmeriKKKa"! 10.Oct.2002 08:42

Sickof MiddleameriKKKa

So "alienated Middle AmeriKKKan", why don't you take your ALIEN racist butt back to middle AmeriKKKa(better yet-Europe!)!

Dear Middle American 10.Oct.2002 09:11

Hope Marston hmarston@epud.net

Dear Middle American:
Just one clue about using Indymedia for your comment -- you just hit the "add my comment" button once.

When you hit it more than once, or submit your comment several times, you do the same thing that peace rebel girl talked about doing to cars and trucks in traffic. You stand in the way and piss people off.

I, for one, am not pissed off. However, I do see clearly that it's usually what we accuse others of, that we are guilty of ourselves. Every time I accuse someone else of intolerance, it is easy to go inside and see my own intolerance. Every time I get angry at a fellow driver for what I consider to be poor driving, I notice my own poor driving.

I would advise the same introspection for you. You accuse peace rebel girl of alienating others by demonstrating her free speech in a place you think it should not be demonstrated. Yet, in this space on Indymedia, you did the very same thing.

Wouldn't it be great if people looked at themselves and their own behavior before criticizing others? I imagine there'd be much less criticism, and possibly more peace and harmony.

Why not allow her to show her opposition to war in the way that fits for her, and you can show your opinion in your own way? As long as we do not physically harm each other, I see no need to remove tactics from other individuals just because we don't agree with them.

I encourage you to take a look at yourself Middle American before you start casting stones at peace rebel girl. And please remember my advice about pushing the "add my comment" button.

Lets put this aside and be one 10.Oct.2002 10:04

JohnnyRebound

OK kids, I think we need to focus on the real issue here. All you are doing by bickering is creating division within an already segregated minority. We, the protestors, are completely and utterly against war in Iraq. That doesn't change the fact that more that half the people in this country think differently. If we become divided as a minority it only makes our voice weaker. Let's not argue about these petty problems and focus on the problem at hand: when should we have our next peace rally?

good idea 10.Oct.2002 10:14

fellow activist

Good idea Johnny Rebound. We should do another peach march soon. This energy needs to make a difference, not tear us apart.

Oh, look Hope... 10.Oct.2002 10:30

hope aint dope

Peace Rebel Girl is bragging (and defending) her tactics about blocking traffic to "advertise" her point of view. I think we can draw a direct correlation with this particular subject and the desires of those IMC fans who wish to censor "non- believers". Bush Admirer, Trilox etc.. are standing in your cyber street with their signs in front of you, blocking your traffic and you cry like little babies. What a bunch of hypocrites. Can you feel the anger, the hatred in your blood against these "traffic blockers"? Are you finding yourself wanting to get them out of your "cyber street"? Well, good then. Maybe now you will realize that disrespecting others who may or may not agree with you is WRONG! Standing in traffic is just as wrong as posting hateful and heckling posts. Both sides have an equal amount of misguided individuals that ruin it for all of us.

the real polorizarion 10.Oct.2002 11:00

peace rebel girl

it is for me to decide if i choose to stand in the street. i would love to have more comrades out there with me, but i am indifferent to whether or not others want to do it or what others think of the tactic. bragging is not my intent. i am simply sharing my reason for doing it.

when i am ready to renounce the world, than i will have no need for blocking traffic, posting such tactics to indymedia or caring that pdx indy is being strangulated by others who are trying to take it down, so that readers leave the site in desperation, and no longer have access to what is going on in the world around us. this is the sort of polorization that we need to concern ourselves with.

unity 10.Oct.2002 11:25

JohnnyRebound

Yes, I agree that disrespecting those that have different values is prejudice, and we shouldn't lower ourselves to that. On the other hand, if we didn't hold marches and rallies our voice would never be heard. The media that is payed attention to by the majority in this country is corporate owned and government subsidized. The news that is predominantly referred to in our society as "factual" is convoluted with right wing Republican sentiment. In many cases, the only way to get this mass media monopoly to cover a story on OUR beliefs is to cause disruption. Does that advocate disrespect to other citizens? No. Let's just admit that there are two sides to the issue and move on. Unless that is anybody thinks we should stop marching?

Thank you 10.Oct.2002 12:00

Hope aint dope

Johnny, please never stop the rallies and marches, it is vital to our community and country. I think we agree on the communal respect issue and that was the only point I was trying to make. The point that Alienated Middle American has made is one that holds true for someone like myself. I am against the policies of our current administration and Im against going to war, but I will not associate myself with childish pranks such as standing in traffic pissing people off or taunting riot police etc.. I want to participate in some of the rallies, but I work downtown and I have been experiencing these protests from a front row seat and I dont trust the "mob mentality" that can take over at times. I dont want to be part of a group where people cover their faces with bandana's and throw planters in the streets. Its not productive and it overshadows the true message of why people are protesting. If Portland can demonstrate a consistent ability to hold peaceful rallies, I would be very compelled to join in the streets.

Fuck business as usual 10.Oct.2002 12:04

Shut the cities down

Start a war?
Fine, no fucking economy.

Capitalist treadmill everyday life will be disrupted and replaced by a festival of celebration and life. The disruption of tightly controlled everyday life will soon be large and profound enough to punch an irreperable hole in this death trip "reality". No one will want to go to work or watch television or shop at Wal-Mart anymore because the revolution will be so much more compelling than the everyday misery that emotionally damaged people are so quick to defend. The treadmill people will shit-talk the eruptions of carnival at first, but eventually even they will no longer be able to justify allowing things to ever go back to "normal" again.

"There is a secret world hidden inside this one"
-Crimethinc

read your Gandhi 10.Oct.2002 12:28

Enji

small point: PRG, i don't know about MLK, but Gandhi agreed with AMA, at least as far as blocking traffic goes.

he made it very clear that his petitioners were NOT to block access to the store people were frequenting, but to make sure all people entering that store were approached and spoken to about (in this case) the evils of alcohol.

similarly, an action nowadays that i have seen welcomed, and would be welcomed by AMA and Gandhi(even if they disagree with the opinion) was something done by the Jews for Global Justice. a few times during the pprc friday rallies, they set up "israeli checkpoints", and DURING THE RED LIGHT "blocked" the street and spoke of the life Palestinians have under Israeli occupation and those checkpoints. at the same time, helpers swarmed to the stopped cars and handed flyers to whoever would accept them.

while exhilerating for you, it sounded to me like your action was not planned, not organized, and yes, alienating to those you would like to "convert".

while i disagree with the opinion that your action was violent, i don't think it was, i do think it was less thoughtful and more aggressive than you seem to admit. you really could end up alienating someone who would be on your side, our side.

Gandhi also said it wasn't easy being a person that did what he advocated. the differences are subtle, as i and AMA are trying to point out, between one who's got it, and one who hasn't, one who's going to be effective, and one who isn't.

i also agree with easy e, mad props, it's good that you're doing this, i welcome you to do it some more. i do think something more along the lines of what the Jews for Global Justice did would be more effective, though, and would attract more people willing to work with you. i also won't fault anybody for going beyond what Gandhi advocated, but it does irk me when you misrepresent what he advocated.

Blocking Traffic 10.Oct.2002 13:40

roseisarose

I do really agree with blocking traffic, but I do disagree with blocking public transportation.

If everyone took public transport, there would be no war for oil.

to middle american 10.Oct.2002 13:57

bethany

Thank you, and those you may (or may not) speak for for taking to the streets on Saturday. It was good to see "middle america" finally awakening from its long stupor. But where were you when the road to this war was being laid? Because those "anarchists and crackpots" you are denigrating were out in the streets acting to stop the corporate globalization, naked avarice, self-centered warmongering that have led us here. Maybe if you had been there too, we would not be on this brink now. But I suspect you were lounging in your recliner watching it all through the lens of corporate media, distainfully clucking your tongue at the darn hooligans.
You demonstrate a total lack of understanding at how the issues you smugly dismiss are all connected to the anti-war movement. For example, you can't really be effective at opposing the war without an understanding -- and a willingness to dissent from -- the machinery of the state that never stops trying to smash all dissenting voices. In an over-simplified nutshell, the USAPATRIOT act begets police brutality begets oppression of dissenting voices begets carte blanche for war resolution, begets war, etc. The labeling of fellow dissenters as "anarchists and crackpots" is an establishment tactic, and you should refrain from it. Perhaps you could entertain the idea of actually learning something about anarchism from some other source than john stossel et al before throwing out the word with the rest of the garbage here-in contained. You are making blind assumptions that would really be laughable if not symptomatic of the disease of banality afflicting armchair apologists everywhere who are only now climbing off their la-z-boys, peeling their "very informed citizen" eyes away from the tv screen, and finally discovering that the world is going the wrong direction. Maybe if you and the masses whom you claim to represent had been struggling with the rest of us all along, we wouldn't be on the brink of WWw. Certainly if you had, you WOULD have an understanding of why the "anarchists and crackpots" do what they do, why it's necessary, and why your own law-abiding-citizen tactics will be completely ineffective without the more radical element holding your place in line. I must emphasize, it's been the "anarchists and crackpots" who have been struggling to do so, to make a world where people, armchair theorists and otherwise, can still take to the streets at all in a time like this.
I don't mean to offend your middle class sentimentalities, but pull your head out of your ass. How wonderful that you've finally noticed that "this issue is important" and how fuking ass-hole-anine that you now presume to take authorship and ownership of it! What are you actually DOING about it, other than attending one fuking protest and then bitching about what other people are doing? Cuz, the rest of us are actually DOING things about it. What are you doing about globalization, which, by the way, is the fuking disease that led us here? If a war breaks out, you can directly blame the global corporate structure. Do you even understand that? Have you ever acted to stop it? No? Then perhaps you need to go out and educate yourself before you presume to tell others that you're in charge now. Most of those "anarchists and crackpots" (including "sparky and his pals") have been struggling all along against this monster, and where were u and the rest of "middle america"? u been sleepin? u been bitching over lattes? cuz u haven't been DOING anything.
Very easy to drop in late to the party and have a few hors d ourves, another thing to have been there all along. It's been the struggles the "crackpots" have been facing all along that have radicalized them, that have showed them the necessity of not begging for permits to assemble, etc. As for "sparky and his pals," speaking as one of the pals I urge you to worry about your own "flint" and how much of it you possess. If not for those willing to break the rules, there would be nothing left for you to get out and stand up for in your law-abiding way. Who do you think wrote the "laws" you lovingly refer to? No, I'm not talking about the constitution, that's the one that gives us the RIGHT to assemble in the streets, remember? I'm talking about the coveted "interruption of commerce" laws etc to which you refer. Whom do you think those laws were designed to protect? You? Think again. Yeh, there's a new law now. It's called the USAPATRIOT act, and PAY FUKING ATTENTION this time. Cuz this law might just have your law abiding ass in jail if u ever get the nerve to wander on down to the local protest again.

By the way, how presumptuous to assume it was "middle america" (read "plain folks like me, yeh, it was me who did it") who stopped the Vietnam war. Isn't it pretty to think so. Where were you and middle america when the bombs started dropping? Sitting on your sofas "being informed"? Blissfully unaware? Not personally effected, so not caring yet? Watching ed sullivan and Laugh In? (See how easy it is to make blind, generalized assumptions about people you've never met?) It took the "riotous youths in the streets" (and by the way, they weren't all youths, not to mention riotous -- don't be so quick to buy the hype) to even bring it across middle america's radar screens, and i betcha you were as distainful of the hooligans at the time as you are now of the "crackpots and anarchists." Middle america didn't stop the war, they were dragged kicking, screaming, and complaining about "anarchists, crackpots" and "riotous youth" into the reality of coming face to face with their own demons. Not a pretty sight.
Wake up. Vietnam didn't just creep up on those who were paying attention. They were out there in the streets trying to stop it way before you even noticed what was happening. Take a lesson, and pay closer attention this time. The only reason you're even aware of the situation this time (in your myopic little way, anyway)is that people like "sparky and his pals" are out there struggling to bring you the real story above the din of CNN and Wheel of Fortune.

PS Listen, I don't want to hurt your middle class american feelings. I AM happy you came out to the streets (finally). I just want to make you think. You've been snowed, you're starting to wake up, now take the next step. And for everyone's sake, please take the time to educate yourself before you attack those who have been awake all along.

Some clarifications Enji 10.Oct.2002 16:36

peace rebel girl

I was referring to Gandhi and MLK being advocates of civil disobedience, rather than specific tactics, such as blocking traffic.

I must say that blocking an entrance to a merchant is a much different tactic than blocking traffic. But then I wonder if Gandhi's civil disobedience would've reached to being in favor of blocking merchants such as GAP and Walmart.

Nope, the action was not planned, it's true it was quite impromptu. But the action in and of itself, was a positve one.

It is entirely unknown if our action was "alientating" to those motorists sitting behind the wheel. I've been to many a protest where the motorists were elated at our actions.

well, it was kinda planned 10.Oct.2002 16:44

peace rebel girl

the action of taking the street was somewhat planned, but the word of it did not reach enough people in time to be as organized as it would've been otherwise

peace is peace 10.Oct.2002 21:08

onevoice

I fear that as we fine tune our grievances, and prioritize our battles (a poor term for opposing war, I think), we are in danger of creating strife by alienating would be supporters, no matter how much or how little support they might lend. By assuming that everyone who does not go to your lengths to oppose the establishment is somehow less a person ,you set yourself up in the position to judge, however erroneously, their character and their determination.

All of us did not arrive at this point in time/space on the same bus. Therefore, we do not all have the benefit of the same education, information, and possibly not even the same intelligence.

Let us therefore assume, that persons who have taken the time and the effort to arrive here at all, at least have some common ground which we are all capable of cultivating, or of wasting. None of us is a truly bad person, if we are here seeking answers to today's most perplexing problems. If some of us are off put by the methods of others, it goes without saying that they, in turn, will find much to criticize regarding our reticence. When one is, by her/his actions causing us discomfort, it IS quite possible that this is a good thing.

This country, however you may feel about it, WAS born out of anarchy. It was the anarchist who made it possible for the establishment types such as John Adams (cousin to that great radical and maker of fine beer, Sam Adams) to ultimately arrive at the constitution that we (some of us) so highly prize today.

When "society" is too threatened, however, it circles the wagons, and then is the time that we should be most grateful for the radical, and even the anarchists, for without them, there would be no one to protect our liberties, and to go the extra mile so that the rest of us can be safe in our middle of the road lives.

What I am trying to say, I guess, is that we all need each other, and none is more valuable or less valuable than another, and to denigrate one another is to give the power back to the corporate machines that rule our lives from morning to night. Give credit therefore, to the chance takers, the edge dwellers, and thank them for their presence, and likewise, you edgers, remember, the middle of the road is what keeps the tanks off of your chest. The middle is where we all must meet. It protects the weak, almost as much as it protects the strong. Each deserves some credit, and neither deserves to be labeled or libeled.

Peace means peace, and let us try to remember that it begins with us. We will fail, but let us try. It is in the trying that some measure of improvement may be obtained.

This is not civil disobedience 10.Oct.2002 21:13

tom

This is not civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is intended for the masses, to cause major difficulties resulting in a change of standards. If you really want to upset people this way; get 1000's of people to do this then ask for the police to prosecute you to the full extent. That will make them think and lose money.

If your gonna bring yourself to that level at least make an impact!

Dear Tom-boy 12.Oct.2002 16:02

Loopy Woopee

Dear Tom-boy,
Civil disobedience is not Thoreau? Civil disobedience is not three women locking themselves into the nuclear testsite and dismantling the computer system? You definition involves you and you want an out... You know tom, I'd rather see the woman stand on her own, not with your permission. See, as far as I can see it it's the men right now who want to create the rules with lousy loopholes and the women who are the ones doing direct action against the war! It is women being arrested over and over in this country protesting Iraq. So if you really want to see the numbers in civil disobedience, why don't you as a man stand up? Otherwise quit the yappin and bring on the compliments. "Nothing is impossible." -Susan B. Anthony