portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article

human & civil rights | imperialism & war


But certainly, namby-pamby calls for peace will be met with war. The best way to stop the war is to take the warmongers out of the positions from which they can wage it. In our country, peaceful regime change between elections is accomplished by resignation or impeachment.

"Not in our Name" is Not Enough! (Updated)

By KÚllia Ramares

As you get ready for the latest round of marches and rallies, please consider the character of the people whose conduct you are protesting. These are ruthless usurpers, militaristic imperialists who have repeatedly shown that they don't care what people think. Warmongers, fearmongers, and liars.

So Colin Powell gets caught citing a plagiarized report? Go to Orange alert (that buried the plagiarism story in a hurry) and start making New York and Washington D.C. look like armed camps. (Hey, where were all those armaments and planes on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001?)

Some countries in NATO and the U.N. Security Council not going along with the program? Come up with another "Osama bin Laden tape" and claim that it proves a "partnership" between bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, when the best it shows, even assuming it's authentic, is that Osama is saying, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend... for now."

Are France and Germany not bowing to the browbeating of Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld about them being "Old Europe" and Rep. Peter King's (R-NY) calling France "a second-rate country?" Start saying there could be terrorist attacks as early as this week and people should by duct tape and plastic sheeting. (Duct and cover? or shall I say, "Duct tape, peanut butter and bottled water: The economic stimulus package for the rest of us).

And what if the informant whose story supposedly led to the Orange Alert couldn't pass a lie detector test? Claim other sources. Gotta keep that Orange Alert! After all, it's handy for judges to use to say, "Sorry, kiddies, it's too dangerous to march by the U.N."

(The alert can be quietly set back to yellow after too many people realize that if you seal off a room with plastic sheeting and duct tape, you will run out of oxygen after a few hours).

So please, don't get the idea that any amount of yelling, "What do we want, Peace? When do we want it, NOW!" is going to matter to the Bush Cabal. No number of celebrities on the podium, and no number of singers, dancers, drummers and spoken word artists performing to show how diverse the movement is, is going to mean anything to these liars and warmongers. Certainly no amount of shouting, "Not in our name," is going to dissuade them from bombing Iraq. Go ahead, disclaim the war all you want. They don't care. They're not doing this for you. Sure, they're using your tax dollars, they are using the bodies of you and your loved ones, but this war is not in your name really. This is their war, for their purposes. Your bodies and your money are just the tools. No one values the opinions of tools.

Bush likens paying attention to you to running his foreign policy by focus group. And he would never do that.. He doesn't have to...now whilehe has defense contractors, oil barons and contributors from the radical right in his ear.

And please, politicians, (attn: Rep. Barbara Lee), no talk about voting them out in '04 or taking back the Congress then. Have you ever really considered that there may not be an election in '04? That a timely bioterror attack could make it too unsafe to hold an election? If you think they wouldn't go that far, just remember September 11, 2001. That was the day of the New York Primary. Candidates to succeed Mayor Rudi Giuliani were to be picked that day. The primary had to be postponed, and in the aftermath of the attacks, there was talk of passing emergency legislation to either allow Giuliani to run for a third term, extend his then current term for two years, or extend it for three months. But that the idea was in play, however briefly, is another example of the idea that is at the basis of things like the Patriot Act and Homeland Security---Democracy only works when times are good.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't march. The more the better. But you've got to have a message that is going to mean something to the warmongers. You've got to tell them that their actions will have serious consequences, not in the afterlife, not in the next election, but soon. They know you are marching against the war. Don't bother advertising that. If you are marching in the US, go with signs demanding resignation or impeachment. If you are in the U.K. demand a vote of no confidence and new elections.

I completely endorse nonviolence. But it seems that somewhere along the line we forgot how to be militant while we are being nonviolent. My impression of the big January rally in San Francisco was that protesting is becoming another form of entertainment. As a friend of mine pointed out, "We march down empty streets [e.g. San Francisco's Financial District on a weekend], into an empty plaza, where we talk to and sell food to each other."

Remember the fall of the Eastern bloc? Demonstrators didn't fill the squares with signs full of cutesy slogans. They were there for one purpose, to get rid of their regimes. More recently Bolivians have been demanding the resignation of their president over economic troubles. It is a unified and militant message. Yes, regime change begins at home. How do we do that in the U.S.? With calls for resignation or impeachment. A threat to their careers might make the warmongers sit up and take notice.

Massive demands for impeachment would also send a message to the Congress that we expect them to have the backbone to do their constitutional duty and that we will support their efforts to do the correct thing. We need to convince Congress that it is politically neccessary for them to impeach and political suicide for them not to.

And if the British can topple Tony Blair with a vote of no confidence, that would isolate Dubya even further.

Now what the warmongers will do in response to large demonstrations for impeachment, I can't say. Given their ruthlessness, their answer to a massive impeachment drive may very well be another terrorist attack on our soil. Or it may be another unfortunate plane crash for an outspoken member of Congress, which is why impeachment has to be initiated by a group of about 20 or 30 members, not one or two brave souls.

But certainly, namby-pamby calls for peace will be met with war. The best way to stop the war is to take the warmongers out of the positions from which they can wage it. In our country, peaceful regime change between elections is accomplished by resignation or impeachment.

Given how opposition from several countries has set their timetable waaaay back, an impeachment may be more than they can handle. It might help other nations that disagree with the warmongers' course of action the courage to stand up and be counted, which will give other members of Congress the courage to say, "Look, more and more of the international community is against this," and so forth.

So please download the PDF files linked below. Make signs of them and take them to the demo. They look good as 11 X 17 (computer paper) signs.

No cutsey slogans. No fancy artwork. Just a message that the people mean business.

homepage: homepage: http://www.rise4news.net/name.html

namby-pamby electoral reformist tactics? 11.Mar.2003 14:28

GRINGO STARS gringo_stars@attbi.com

So electoral tactics are better than protesting? I assure you that protests have a profound effect on so-called "leaders." But direct action, and lifestyle choices, are what really make change. Not buying gasoline. Not buying what they sell on corporate TV and radio. Cutting them out of your life is far more harmful to them than continuing to buy into their system and taking their lifelines. Electoral, reformist tactics are a release valve designed by the founding fathers - a mechanism where the ruling elite offer people an illsuion of democracy while still effectively ignoring the peoples' will completely. Changing one careerist public leech for another does nothing. Quit fooling yourself. I hate to see people wasting their energy when they see a problem but refuse to see their part on the problem. This is not about "diversity of tactics" - this is about making REAL change.