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actions & protests | economic justice | imperialism & war m20: day x

The Whole World is Marching - the Anti-War Movement

The most impressive development in all this is that millions of people have come out to protest all over the world before the war has even started. Two million demonstrated in London, 2.5 million in Rome, over a million in Barcelona, over half a million in New York, a quarter of a million in San Francisco, 200,000 in Damascus-the list goes on and the mass radicalization continues apace.
The Whole World is Marching - the Anti-War Movement
The Whole World is Marching - the Anti-War Movement
In the U.S., the antiwar movement has been embraced by so many that it has quickly become part of mainstream politics. This is in spite of the scale of the ideological onslaught by the Bush administration, and in spite of the cravenness of the press, which behaves as if it were the propaganda department of the U.S. government.

First, we must continue to argue that the UN Security Council (the real decision-making body within the UN) does not represent the international community, but rather a handful of the most powerful capitalist states. Second, UN support for a war on Iraq will act, as it has in the past, as a mere fig leaf to cover naked U.S. aggression. With or without a UN mandate, therefore, we must continue to oppose the war. Even with UN sanction, the movement will still embrace millions of people around the world-who have become more and more disillusioned with the UN these last few months, as the U.S. has bribed and bullied its way toward war. Moreover, the outbreak of war will harden the core of opposition and deepen its politics.

What is striking is the way in which millions are making the connection between the economics of capitalism and war-and the connection between the cost of war, who benefits and who is made to pay for it. In the U.S., the war abroad combined with the Bush administration's economic attacks and heightened domestic repression, means that the radicalization around the war will deepen and spread. The class component of the antiwar movement has become clear internationally, from the AFL-CIO's unprecedented decision to criticize the war, to the threat by unions in Australia, Italy and elsewhere to take industrial action in the event of the war's outbreak.

It would be a mistake to think that the outbreak of war is proof that these protests have had no effect. Far from it. Tony Blair's government in Britain may fall as a result of his support for war. Berlusconi, initially an enthusiastic supporter, has become quiet. Even the U.S. seems hesitant to plunge into war without a nod from the UN. The fact that the U.S. government is hell-bent on war in spite of the protests teaches activists a valuable lesson-when the vital interests of American imperialism are at stake, the political cost of their interventions must be raised to a higher level to stop them. Millions will learn that ruling classes respect the will of ordinary people only if it is forced upon them.

"There is a basic weakness in governments," Zinn writes,

"However massive their armies, however wealthy their treasuries, however they control the information given to the public-because their power depends on the obedience of its citizens, of soldiers, of civil servants, of journalists and writers and teachers and artists. When these people begin to suspect they have been deceived, and when they withdraw their support, the government loses its legitimacy, and its power."

That is why, even if the U.S. is at war as you read this, we must emphasize the importance of redoubling resistance. No meeting, no protest, no action is too small. Every action is a link in the chain of a movement and a struggle that will eventually challenge and stop U.S. imperialism from wreaking its havoc on the world.

 http://www.isreview.org/issues/28/editorials.shtml

 http://www.howardzinn.org/
effective anti-war activism- Craig Rosebraugh 23.Mar.2003 22:21

GRINGO STARS gringo_stars@attbi.com

Here are seven EFFECTIVE and DIRECT tactics for stopping the war, written by activist Craig Rosebraugh. Remember that protesting is only useful in a democracy (the US is not a democracy, sadly). Since we live in a plutocracy where the ultra-wealthy don't pay any attention to input from the people, the only actions left are those which directly disrupt the war machine and the benefits it derives from war:


1) Attack the financial centers of the country. Using covert or black block techniques, depending on the situation, physically shut down financial centers which regulate and assist the functioning of U.S. economy. This can be done in a variety of ways from massive property destruction, to online sabotage, to physical occupation of buildings. However the latter I would shy away from, especially the open civil disobedience type of activities which purposely involve arrests. This movement needs all the assistance it can get and absolutely NO good will come from going to jail. Allowing yourself to be purposely arrested demonstrates that an individual has at least some faith in the U.S. legal system. This is completely foolish. One primary objective is to engage in serious unrest and disruption and NOT to get caught. Not getting caught means you are able to continue the struggle the next day.

2) Large scale urban rioting. With massive unrest and even state of emergencies declared in major cities across the country, the U.S. government will be forced to send U.S. troops into the domestic arena thereby taking resources and political focus away from the war. Unstable conditions in much of the country also serve as a political embarrassment for the Administration and could assist in forcing them to stop the war to deal with domestic concerns. Rioting should be focused on governmental agencies and corporations -- especially those that are profiting from the war or destruction of life.

3) Attack the media centers of the country. It is the corporate media who has and continues to influence and control the minds of the mass body of people in the United States. These new media outlets cannot be utilized by the movement as they are owned by the very corporations one should be opposing. Using any means necessary, shut down the national networks of NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, etc. Not just occupations but actually engage in strategies and tactics which knock the networks off the air.

4) Spread the battle to the individuals responsible for the war and destruction of life -- the very heads of government and U.S. corporations. No longer should these people be able to hide behind their occupations, living their lives in peace while they simultaneously slaughter countless people. Hit them in their personal lives, visit their homes, and make them feel personally responsible for committing massive atrocities.

5) Make it known publicly that this movement DOES NOT support U.S. troops as long as they are serving an unjust and horrifying political regime. Create an atmosphere lacking of support to assist U.S. troops at home and abroad in losing their morale and will to fight. If you are supporting the troops you are supporting this war and the very U.S. government that is the primary terrorist regime in the international arena.

6) Actively target U.S. military establishments within the United States. Again, following the above stated goal of NOT getting caught, use any means necessary to slow down the functioning of the murdering body.

7) When engaging in the above six activities, strike hard and fast and retreat in anonymity. Select another location, strike again hard and fast and quickly retreat in anonymity. Engage only in actions where you will be victorious. Do not be concerned with alienating the mainstream sectors of the movement -- that mainstream has NEVER stopped a U.S. military activity or war. Do not get caught. DO NOT GET CAUGHT. Do not get sent to jail. Stay alert, keep active, and keep fighting. Remember, an action is only good (especially at this juncture in U.S. society) if it will serve to severely disrupt the political system of the country, its economy, and the corporate interests that drive this society.

I don't agree with Gringo Stars 24.Mar.2003 05:20

Dannyboy

We need to keep the rest of the population on our side - get them to participate using boycotts / letter writing / other "fluffy" techniques as well as the typical Black Bloc more militant actions.

If this movement gets too violent then we are becoming what we are fighting against and this will damage the cause. Never underrestimate the power of millions of "ordinary" Americans performing boycott actions on US oil companies etc.

Real cute, that.... 24.Mar.2003 09:46

xyzzy

Here are seven EFFECTIVE and DIRECT tactics for stopping the war, written by activist Craig Rosebraugh. Remember that protesting is only useful in a democracy (the US is not a democracy, sadly). Since we live in a plutocracy where the ultra-wealthy don't pay any attention to input from the people, the only actions left are those which directly disrupt the war machine and the benefits it derives from war:
Well, they're certainly direct. One wonders how effective most of them will be at anything other than convincing the rest of the public that (a) anarchists are indeed terrorists, and (b) we need even stronger anti-terrorism laws to protect ourselves.

All the glorification of massive destruction and attack seems like the typical agro-het-boy testosterone fetish to me. Sounds like Craig would have made a good leatherneck.

While it is true that both violent and non-violent means were used in, say, opposing the Vietnam War or the struggle for independence in India, I don't think it's possible to isolate all the variables and proclaim that the nonviolent ones had no effect. In fact, judging by the time the British colonolial authorities spent griping about the disruptions caused by Gandhi's campaigns, it's pretty clear they _did_.

How about some nice nonviolent sabotage? I've heard the Sauer-Danfoss plant in Hillsboro makes parts for military vehicles, though I've yet to conclusively verify this. If so, how about seeding their parking lots with caltrops?


Portland

anarchists are ANTI-terrorists 24.Mar.2003 10:45

GRINGO STARS gringo_stars@attbi.com

xyzzy, I am not interesting in propaganda or what people may think. I am interested in stopping an insane war of conquest. Go work for the corporate media if you want to pretend that we live in a democracy and propagandise how sweet everyone is.

Dannyboy, I would understand using "fluffy" techniques if we lived in a democracy, but the US is NOT a democracy. The public is entirely ignored by our (ultra-wealthy) ruling elite. This war, despite what the craven Pentagon-dictated corporate media propagandizes, is VERY unpopular, but the plutocracy that runs the US government has gone ahead with the Iraq invasion, because they do not give a damn what the people think. People need to wake up, quit believing media spin and lies, and STOP THIS WAR. By stopping this unjust war of aggression, we are not at all becoming what we are working against. I am all for defending myself. We must stop "our" government from putting Americans at risk by earning the world's hatred. Destroying "our" nation's ability to wage war is pure self-defense. FACT; "Our" government is the worst terrorist organisation to ever operate in world history, killing more civilians than any so-called terrorist oprganisations have.

Protesting and fluffy techniques did not stop the Vietnam War, Dannyboy. Notice how the war stopped only after fragging became endemic? Working-class grunts fragging the more uncaring, bloodthirsty middle-class officers - that is what ended our military's abilty to wage war in Vietnam. No orders were given that might put soldiers in danger, because doing so put the commander's life in danger. xyzzy, read about how the soldier's revolt ended the war in 'Nam (corporate media will never tell you);
 http://www.isreview.org/pdfs/09/soldiers_revolt.pdf

"The enemy is anybody that is going to get you killed."
-- Joseph Heller, Catch-22

People must stop putting false hope in a cold, uncaring government. I repeat; the US is NOT a democracy, so acting like it is, by merely being a "good German" as the Nazis called their obedient citizens. Do not be a good German. In a plutocracy, protesting and letter-writing are virtually worthless, as far as effective activism is concerned.

Peace is the face that fascism wears. "Agro het-boys" are destroying the world in the name of American Empire. xyzzy, do you think another love-fest will woo them away from making a killing in defense industry stocks? Gandhi was a latecomer to the Indian independance movement, a movement that was full of violence. Gandhi was a good unifier and speaker, but he was pushed aside before the movement gained independance, mostly because of his bizarre protectiveness of the Indian ultra-wealthy. Gandhi's constant retreats in the middle of successful nonviolent actions and occasional ditching of the Indian independance movement was galling to Indians, who did not trust him as a tactician in the movement after awhile. Gandhi did do good things like cultivate economic independance from British industry in the Indian people, but it was threat of violence that drove the British out of India. Don't believe everything you see in Hollywood movies. Read about Gandhi's failed politics of nonviolence;
 http://www.isreview.org/issues/14/Gandhi.shtml

Alexander the Great, amongst many others, would disagree with your stereotype of only heteros being violent, xyzzy. There are many VERY aggressive gay men and women. Don't pigeonhole people too quickly.