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Will Portland ACT to stop the war?

San Francisco has a plan to shut down the city if bombs start dropping in Iraq. They plan to inflict real economic and political costs by blocking 12 key intersections in the city thru mass nonviolent direct action. We have seen how easy it is for Bush to ignore protest marches. How easy would it be to ignore the financial machine disabled on entire West coast? We in Portland need to look at San Fran's plan and join them!
San Francisco has a plan to shut down the city if bombs start dropping in Iraq. They plan to inflict real economic and political costs by blocking 12 key intersections in the city thru mass nonviolent direct action. We have seen how easy it is for Bush to ignore protest marches. How easy would it be to ignore the financial machine disabled on entire West coast? We in Portland need to look at San Fran's plan and join them!
It seems like Portland has some of the pieces put together already, the Critical Mass ride if bombs start dropping, and the plan to meet at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 4 pm if bombs drop earlier, or 4 pm the next day if bombs drop after 4. But we have thousands of people who are going to feel like they want to take action, like they need to DO something. Let's set up a structure so that people can act together, and in solidarity with San Francisco, and inflict real economic damage against the war. Let's strategically pick targets that profit from war, or assist war. I'm sure lots of folks are already thinking along these lines. Is there someone who can set up a website for Portland like the one in San Fran, so that we can quickly get a spokescouncil meeting together and make plans? Please reply here and let's get this going.

Here are some excerpts from the website actagainstwar.org, which is the site set up to organize and inform the San Fran action.

OUR GOALS

1) If the government and corporations won't stop the war, we'll shut down the warmakers! We will impose real economic, social and political costs and stop business as usual until the war stops. We are publicly declaring and organizing mass nonviolent direct action now, before war begins, with the express intention of deterring a war against Iraq and future wars.

2) Assert our power to transform our city from profits, oil and war to resistance and life! We will create an open, welcoming, inspiring space that gives voice to the anti-war majority as an assertion of real democracy.

3) Uproot the system behind the war (and behind the war at homeŚracism, poverty... ); help catalyze mass movements to challenge corporate and government power and create socially just, directly democratic, ecological, peaceful alternatives.

What You Can Do If the Bombs Drop

Don't go to work or school. Call in sick, walk out, don't goŚand get your co-workers/ schoolmates to join you. Head downtown-- leave early or come the night before-- things may be jammed in the morning. Or ride your bike and join Bikes not Bombs.

Bring friends, music, art, performance, and food to share

Join / create an ongoing transformation/occupation

Form an affinity/action group now to get prepared. Get a group of five to 25 of your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, or schoolmates to prepare for and participate in the emergency morning-after action. Make a plan of how you will get together, get downtown and what you will do if war starts. Send one or two people from your group to the weekly action "spokescouncil" to coordinate with other groups. Participate in a nonviolent direct action training to get prepared. Several affinity groups can join together as a "cluster."

Action Menu
We are asking affinity (action) groups to choose an item from the menu. Take over and transform one of the following key intersections and corporate and government offices/buildings. Or join the "Take Out" mobile Bikes not Bombs actions. Or plan your own action and menu item. Attend the weekly spokescouncil meeting to coordinate and help organize.

On the business day the morning after war starts you may wish to just go directly to a "menu" location. Otherwise go to Main and Market where people will come out to support the actions. There are many ways to reclaim, transform, occupy or blockade spaces. Sit-ins, street parties, lockdown, objects, performance, street murals, gardening, large sculpture, die-ins...

Plan Ahead. Invite everyone you know. We will have fliers and encourage everyone to make an effort to talk to, diffuse or get support from those who get stuck on their way to work, school or other business.

National Call to Action
Direct Action to Stop the War (San Francisco Bay Area) call on other cities to organize widespread noncooperation; Instead of going to work or school, we call on everyone to resist this war by particpating in or supporting mass nonviolent direct action, particularly focussed on the corporations, financial districts and other institutions involved in the war.

homepage: homepage: http://actagainstwar.org

before, not after, bombing resumes 13.Mar.2003 10:29

no war

hey all,

i agree that it is important to plan and prepare for actions once the war starts, but why not put more energy into stopping it before it starts. why not take action that will inflict real ecomonic and political costs, as well as interupting the fuctioning of the war machine, before the next wave of bombing starts.

much of the world is against this war, and we can ecalate our resistance to a scale they cannot ignore. get some friends together, organize a little jail support, and go to work!

yours in struggle

OK, How? 13.Mar.2003 18:50

portlandrise

OK, How?

SF has been damned strategic about this. They have figured out what actually needs to get done to shut down the city. We need to do the same. They have also been fun and all inclusive: anarchists, buisinessmen, direct actors, the elderly, average folk, labor, etc. Everybody has a specialty where they can make a real impact. We need to hit where we feel comforatble hitting.

It also needs to be fun and non alienating. SF is having fancy evening dinners in the middle of the streets. We can do a lot of different things- we all have dreams about crazy stuff going down- we don't need to follow ANY conventional models of resistance.

Let's do it!!!!

targets 13.Mar.2003 22:45

class struggle

targets:
1. world trade center downtown
2. Nike & Intel Headquarters (plus any other major corporate headquarters).
3. The Docks
4. Military recruitment centers, INS building, military bases, and other establishments that are crucial to war & terrorism by the US government

How?
1. Form affinity groups.
2. Distribute literature explaining how we have to shut down the infrastructure that allows war to function, where to go (with plans, tactics, and directions), etc.
3. Attain blockade materials, protective materials against police chemical warfare, etc

thats a start at practical brainstorm

Direct action deserves honest conversation. 13.Mar.2003 23:13

frank

Direct action deserves honest conversation. Neither the direct actions discussed here, nor, I think, those discussed elsewhere in America, will actually stop the war machine or even force it to changes its course. Turkey's refusal to allow American troops on its territory actually delayed and may alter Bush's war plans because Turkey has something our war machine wants. Let's not fool ourselves into thinking Bush needs or even wants to have the traffic on Portland's streets running smoothly. All of the "direct action" envisioned here is just another form of symbolic protest. How many times have we heard a few here complain about how taking part in peaceful marches make the liberals feel good about themselves, but doesn't do any real good? It is time for those radicals to apply their own high standards to their own actions. 'If it feels good, do it' is not likely to be an effective strategy for radicals anymore than it is for liberals.

Many activists here feel that when the bombs fall it will be time to break the law. I'm asking everyone who decides for him or herself that it is time to break the law, to just think about whether or not it might it not be much more effective to get arrested for doing something that does not piss most people off. For example, rather than stop rush hour traffic, stage a peaceful silent vigil INSIDE a shopping mall. Such a protest in a mall, no matter how much it is concerned with the safety of our troops as well as the safety of Iraqi citizens, is illegal as hell. They may arrest you. However, if the protest is done in a way that doesn't insult the shoppers, but appeals to their conscience it might have a very different effect than stopping traffic. If shoppers join in, then you might be starting a movement that they can't stop.

About ten days ago at the Crossgates Mall near Albany, New York one man was arrested for wearing an anti-war t-shirt. This one arrest became a national news story and a national crusade. The mall was carpet bombed with letters of protest. So-called "soccer moms" wearing similar t-shirts and wheeling infants in strollers paraded up and down the mall daring the mall security forces to arrest them. Soon the mall dropped all charges against the man they arrested. Why? Because the protest was growing, and it was growing among the mainstream folks their business depends on. In other words, the protest threatened to take something they needed away from them. In a similar fashion Bush needs mainstream America to respect him and approve of his actions.

Since the direct action available to us is actually only a more radical form of symbolic protest let's consider carefully how that symbolism will be perceived, not just by our friends, but by our neighbors. I'm not arguing against all street closures. Some ideas expressed here about teach-ins or street theatre that invited participation might be successful. However, remember that most of Portland is already deeply uneasy about Bush's plans for an unprovoked attack on Iraq. Distracting these worried citizens from that unease by making them afraid of chaos in America will only help Bush and his henchmen. Let us consider how we might inspire other Americans to join in our protests, not frighten them with our outrage.

Don't Buy The US War.... 14.Mar.2003 03:45

Marc Madow brokencamera@yellowhammer.com

Don't buy the U$ War....

Millions of people have marched in the streets of the world to show their moral and intellectual contempt for the intentions of the United States to wage war against the nation of Iraq. Although these marches have been impressive to watch, they unfortunately will not be effective at preventing the execution of America's war plans.

Something else is needed. What can we the people, do to control the aggressive actions of America? What is the Achilles heel of our government? The answer is clear. Every bomb, every bullet, every soldier that is used to wage war is paid for with tax dollars. The government is a junkie of sorts, and their drug of choice is money.

Its our choice. Collectively, we have the economic power to stop this war, if we act now. We need to take immediate steps which are legal and moral to restrict the supply of our money that goes to the government. How? First, all of us who are outraged at what is about to happen must accept some level of sacrifice to achieve our goal.

Temporarily, stop buying Cigarettes and Alcohol. The amount of "sin" tax collected on these products is almost obscene. We must make a choice. Are our addictions more important, or is stopping this wargasm the right choice? Priests, basketball players, couch potatoes, soccer moms, and rocket scientists can all do this together. We the people, can all make this temporary sacrifice together.

Don't buy lottery tickets. Can you go for a while without losing money in the lottery? This is a cash pipeline that goes straight to the government. The States will scream like pigs if this cash cow is disrupted. They will ask the Federal Government for more bailout money and demand that something be done to stop our lottery boycott. This is a boycott against murder. War will not make the world a more peaceful place.

Don't fly anywhere. The airline industry is the most vulnerable industry in America today. Several airlines are in bankruptcy proceedings now, and a few more are not far behind. The government has both given them money, and provided loan guarantees amounting to billions of dollars. They can't let this industry collapse as it is essential to America as we now know it. Recently, just a couple of days of closed airports due to snow in the Northeast were enough to severely impact the weakened airlines. If we further reduce the airlines revenues as much as possible, it will cost the government billions of dollars more. If we can demonstrate our discipline not to fly, the shrewd Wall Street investors will also pressure the government to do something. Cancel the war. That's the answer. Then, we will start flying again.

The gasoline situation. Gasoline generates huge amounts of tax, that our government can use to explode bombs, shoot bullets and launch missiles with. We can't stop driving very easily, however we can set a realistic goal of a twenty-five percent reduction in our driving without giving up our lifestyle completely. This would be significant. Again, the government's flow of tax money would be immediately choked. The amount of gasoline being made is almost exactly what is consumed. There is a very efficient pipeline of supply, however it doesn't have the ability to store large amounts that are not purchased. In fact, there is basically nowhere to store it all, if we greatly reduce consumption immediately. We can further cause a glut by only buying a half tank of gasoline and not storing all that gas in our cars. One of the additional benefits of this reduced gasoline consumption plan would be the likely immediate crash in the price of gasoline to attempt to stimulate sales again. Toward this end, we should also not buy candy or other snacks or drinks at gas stations while we are reducing our patronage of oil companies. Buy your food at markets.

We are not helpless. Actually, we are in control, but we rarely exercise our power. All of those elected officials in Washington are our employees. We are their employer and boss. Usually, we just let them work without our guidance. Now is certainly the time, that we must be the managers that we are. We need to spend far less time fearing them, and more time controlling them. We are held responsible for the actions of our dogs. Why shouldn't we be responsible for our elected officials? Please make the above sacrifices and take control of our country. Stop the war now!

How do we get the word out? You are looking at the tool of the people. If you are online right now, you are in a powerful position. I'm sending this eMail to at least ten people who I know are like-minded with myself, and will give this plan their best effort. If each person who receives this will send it to at least their ten most likely friends and associates who will also give it their best effort, after only six generations after my initial eMail, we will have reached 10,000,000 (ten-million) people. If each group will attempt to send it on within an hour or two, we will make a large and unforgetable impact upon the cash-dependant war machine in our nation almost immediately. We the people will have spoken loud and clear. And, we will end up having saved some money in our own pockets, that we would have spent on cigarettes, booze, airline tickets, lottery tickets, and gasoline.