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News ::
DC Demo - Now more than ever! (english)
09 Mar 2003
Modified: 12:54:38 PM
This observer cannot think of a moment in his brief half-century on planet Earth when his presence was more needed than in the belly of the beast this coming Saturday.

The historically unprecedented anti-war protests around the world on February 15 and the massive demonstration preceding it on January 18 in Washington, DC, San Francisco and elsewhere put the governments of the world on notice that the people of the world were not pleased with the prospect of a U.S.-led pre-emptive war in Iraq and all the regional and international turmoil that conflict entails. It is after all, governments that make war, not the people. However, it is the people, outraged at the machinations of their leaders, who have throughout history taken to the streets on various occasions to either attempt to change a regime’s policy or overthrow its rein. Try as they will to denigrate or ignore such demonstrations, government officials and their operatives in media know full well what power lies within the populations under their nominal rule.

After months of listless and uninformed reporting on the growing peace movement around the globe, the mainstream media finally woke up to the reality of that force. Reports on the massive demos in New York City, Washington, LA, San Francisco and in major European cities began to convey the movement’s historic potential. An exceptional New York Times editorial spoke of “reminders that there may still be two superpowers on the planet: the United States and world public opinion.” Now, that second superpower’s voice is more important than ever.

At the UN Security Council meeting on the Iraqi crisis this past Friday, the UK’s Jack Straw gave Iraq 10 more days to disarm and warned fellow foreign ministers on the council that if Iraq did not comply, action must follow. Likewise, U.S. Secretary of War, Colin Powell noted: “Leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons of mass destruction for a few more months or years is not an option.” What history may look back on as the beginning of World War III could take place March 17. Where will you be this week?

On Saturday, March 15 an Emergency Convergence on the White House will take place. There is a very good chance that the event will be the last opportunity to confront the war machine before it rolls over Iraq and releases the hounds of hell around the world. Regardless of who organized the Convergence or who speaks from the platform, would you care to tell your grandchildren (should we survive to have grandchildren) that you chose not to take that opportunity?

This observer cannot think of a moment in his brief half-century on planet Earth when his presence was more needed than in the belly of the beast this coming Saturday. If that event is not as massive or even more overwhelming than the previous peace demonstrations in the U.S. the message will be sent to the Bush regime and the world that the superpower of public opinion is faltering. No worse message could be sent.

Given the stakes, given the potential for the complete destabilization of international order, the onslaught of greatly increased terrorism world-wide, the probability of the use of nuclear weapons by any number of parties, the return of the Crusades and the mindless religious wars of our dark past, why would anyone in their right mind not do all that is within their power to stop the beast? It is all well and good to make contingency plans for anti-war actions in the event of the war’s initiation, to pledge resistance to the war machine as it rolls over the people of Baghdad, but to focus solely on such plans is defeatist, it invites that dreaded machine to commence its journey, it invites disaster.
For the life of me, I can’t think of another time in history when a bigger tactical error was about to be made by any peace movement. Think about it. Think about the children. Think about the future. Is another trip to Washington too much to spare? You are needed in your nation’s capital now more than ever.
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why d.c.? why not locally? (english)
09 Mar 2003
I really enjoyed the above essay. It brought out many interesting points. The only thing I don't understand, is why D.C.? Wouldn't it make more sense to have a demonstration in your local city/town? There are several reasons I feel that one should organize and demonstrate in their local city (but, I could be wrong).

One reason is that local cities are more accessible. If one works it is harder to make the 4.5-5 hour trip to D.C. One would have to take at least 9 hours just in traveling time. This is made even more difficult if one has children to take care of. It would also be harder to organize co-workers and friends if one told them that they had to go to a completely different city. Hence, less people would particpate in this great form of direct action.

One could also argue that there would be more awareness made about the war and all the destruction it is going to cause if it was held in one's local city. It makes it much harder for the mainstream media to ignore. It gives the appearance of a much bigger turn-out. Imagine if on Feb. 15 that at least 350,000 (using the media's numbers) did not demonstate in NYC. That instead 150,000 of those demonstrators went to D.C. instead. but, because of the trip that needed to be made, only 50,000 demonstrated in NYC. There would be many New Yorkers who would not be made aware of the huge resistance against the war.

A final reason that I can think of is; or more of a question: why D.C.? The American governement and corporations spread all across the U.S. (and the world). They are not just in the capital. In Houston Texas Kellog (sp?), Brown, and Root, for example. The decision to go to war is not just being made in D.C., but through phones and e-mails across the U.S. D.C. is one of the most fascist cities in the U.S. Demonstrators are more confined. And arrests are made much more often.

I could be wrong about all of my reasoning above; I have not been "active" very long.

t.b.