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News ::
Black Ribbon Campaign Against Violent Retaliation
17 Sep 2001
An open letter expressing opposition to the possibility of the United States government and media's perpetuation of nationalism and authoritarianism to justify violent retaliation against any person, religious or racial group, or nation.
Dear Members, Affiliates, and Contacts for the War Resisters' League and Friends:

We write to request your help on a very important and urgent project regarding the 9/11 crisis and impending military conflict.

Many Americans are thinking what we are thinking. We know that violent retaliation IS NOT the best answer to last Tuesday's inhumane crime. We share a desire to put an end to the cycle of violence which led up to this event. We understand that our security will not be advanced through
another violent conflict and want our national leaders to pursue the least violent and most level-headed alternatives available.

It feels like we are alone, but we are not.

It is time. We must publicly show our solidarity and commitment to non-violence. We can not allow the nine media conglomerates of the USA, all under the powerful influence of the US State Dept., dictate what we should feel and want as victims of Tuesday's crime. We can no longer tolerate the unchecked propagation of nationalism, authoritarianism, and the need for war to our families and our communities. We need to send out our own message. We are victims of a crime, not an act of war. We can only bring justice to this crime by bringing its perpetrators to international trial and issuing punishment under the Rule of Law. The answer to violence is not more violence.

How can we communicate our desire for a non-violent response? During the Gulf War, yellow ribbons were tied around trees to symbolize solidarity with US soldiers in the field. For the impending conflict, let's show our solidarity in pursuit of non-violent and well reasoned response to our situation. Let's tie black ribbons around trees to show our sorrow for the loss of life we have all felt due to this horrendous tragedy and our longing for the least violent and most diplomatic response by our government(s).

Please distribute this plan of action to your organizations, communities, neighbors, and friends. Together, we can make a bold, international stand for greater peace, justice, and non-violence in our world.

Nick Raleigh & L. Hogan,
Minneapolis, MN
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