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actions & protests | imperialism & war m19 2006


This past weekend saw demonstrations all around the world with
hundreds of thousands taking to the streets to protest the third
anniversary of the War in Iraq. But something new is happening.
Seeing demonstrations (of sometimes 100,000+ people) being totally
ignored by the corporate media and the Gov't., activists are taking
their message straight to the politician's door steps.

In Oregon over the weekend, ten thousand people gathered to show their
displeasure with the Iraq War and the Bush Administration. But a stronger
impact came from a group of activists that have changed tactics and decided
to take over the offices of our Congress people and also the industrial war
complex.....namely Halliburton and the Carlyle Group.

In Oregon, about 20 activists took over Senator Wyden's, Senator Smith's and
Congressman DeFazio's office building in an attempt to tell them to stop funding
the war in Iraq.

"So we sat down in the hallway outside of Wyden's office, read the names of
the American and Iraq dead, chanted and made a lot of noise until the building
manager called the cops to come arrest us. Which was the plan from the start.
I must say the cops were very civil and professional about it. They told us we
were under arrest, wrote citations for criminal trespass 2, a misdemeanor, and
turned us loose. We all have court dates and are expecting fines, which supporters
will pay for those of us who have no money. "

"First, we had a six hour training session the day before in nonviolent civil
disobedience for all of those who were going to participate in this action.
You need a tight group of people to do something like this. You need to
know that they're behind the idea, willing to follow the script, and won't
blow up on you."

"Second, I've never done this before and was slightly dreading it, but it really
wasn't bad at all, getting arrested. As long as it doesn't cost me money or
jail time I'm up for it. If you've been afraid of getting arrested, you might want
to try it. But be sure you have support lined up beforehand. Groups like this
also need support people who are not willing to get arrested. It takes organization.
If you can't stand organization you would be better off doing something else."

In a similar action, "Eight people blocked the doors to Senator Feinstein's
Office building today to protest the war in Iraq. A die in was staged and then
the doors were blocked." Eight arrests followed.

In Washington, DC activists "protested inside the lobbies of Halliburton and
Bechtel, reading out the names of the dead on the first day of war."

Also in DC, "Activists marched on the Pentagon, on March 20, 2006. In a
direct action, a symbolic coffin was hoisted over a fence by the protesters
at the facility, located in northern Virginia, just opposite Washington, D.C.
About 20 demonstrators were arrested."

In San Francisco today, "Act Against Torture (staged a) visual take-over of Diane
Feinstein's downtown office at Market and Montgomery. Art, props, people,
music, speakers and non-violent, creative, civil disobedience to protest
torture at U.S.-run prison camps and a way to publicize actions that we
all can do to help stop torture."

In Washington, DC there have been half a dozen or so protests at the homes
of officials. "On the evening of Feb 4, protestors continued the offensive of
home protests. With torture and exploitation as the common theme, we
first visited the home of a GSK exec (a SHAC action), then moved on to
the home of Paul Wolfowiz's girlfriend, where he is rumored to sleep."
This past weekend, Sen. Spector's house saw a demonstration by
Philadelphia activists.

When thousands of people are demonstrating against this war and being
ignored, it is time that activists take a different tack. Kudos to these brave
individuals that realize it is time to move on to a different strategy.

I manage a website that is devoted to protests and demonstrations
against the war worldwide, and this is a sea-change that makes allot
of sense, and is very welcome. Bless these people for taking it to another