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Announcement :: DNC : Human Rights : International : Organizing : Politics
Call to Action | Seeking Feedback
14 Jul 2004
Modified: 09:30:00 PM
Everyone:

What are you up to on Wednesdays at noon? What are you up to on September 15? Some friends and I have gathered to form the Inter-University Coalition for Peace, and we're reaching out to all of you to give us your ideas, your feedback on this endeavor, and - most of all - to join up. How do you feel about meeting for weekly vigils to observe the situation in Iraq, commemorate those who have lost their lives, and share your thoughts on addressing international politics?

Part of the goal is more unity, more coordination for the left. We could use your feedback; e-mail me (mbrookes (at) bu.edu), and I'll be sure to respond.

In the meantime, we still meet every Wednesday by the John Harvard statue at noon. Come find us there to meet us in person. - B
Inter-University Coalition for Peace

Since the beginning of the war, over a year ago, many of us have kept quiet. We have awaited, with hope but also with trepidation, the outcome of a military conflict that seems to have no end in sight; the search for weapons of mass destruction that, apparently, do not exist; the investigation of ties between the Saddam Hussein regime and the Al-Qaeda terrorist network that, it seems, are a fiction; the attempt to establish a rule of law in Iraq, now undermined by revelations of widespread torture of Iraqis by the occupying forces; the quest for a broad alliance against terrorism, now undermined by the loss of American prestige and influence abroad and the rising anger of Muslims around the world. Through it all, we have observed the mounting loss of human life – the lives of Americans, the lives of those who have fought alongside us, and, most numerous of all, the lives of Iraqis.

The way forward is not clear and we do not purport to offer specific remedies for the present morass. Even so, we feel it is time to express our dismay – publicly and in no uncertain terms – over the destructive actions taken by the Bush administration in Iraq and elsewhere in the world. Unless a halt is called to this unilaterist, America-first, shoot-first-and-talk-later approach to foreign policy, our present difficulties will only multiply. There will be more deaths to our name, more bodies to bury, more unrest to pacify.

Over the past few months we have met on Wednesdays at noon in Harvard Yard to commemorate those who have sacrificed their lives, willingly or unwillingly, in the course of the misdirected and misconceived action in Iraq. We hope to call attention to the tragedy of these deaths, and of those that will follow if the present course of U.S. foreign policy is maintained. As a way of consecrating these lives, and preventing further loss of life without justifiable cause, we have gathered together to speak with one another and then to bear these names on our person – one person to a name – as we walk, silently, across the Yard. We find this sober form of protest appropriate to the tragedy now unfolding before us.

Now, it is imperative that we broaden the scope of this action for peace. Thus, we ask that you join us in helping to organize commemorations at other campuses around the Boston area on Wednesday, at noon, on September 15, 2004, and on every Wednesday thereafter until such time as this crisis has passed.

The cumulative effect of these coordinated protests will be difficult for the Boston media to ignore – and, if successful, may serve as a model for universities, churches, and community associations across the country. It was only a few short decades ago that a nationwide movement, led initially by students, helped put an end to an immoral and ineffective war against another supposed threat. It is time to begin a nationwide movement to end this war – a war begun with calculated lies, pursued with a reckless disregard for human life, and destined to end with an increase in terrorism directed against Americans and against the values that we hold dear. We hope you will join us.

For more information contact: Steven Bloomfield sbloomfield (at) wcfia.harvard.edu John Gerring jgerring (at) bu.edu

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Re: Call to Action | Seeking Feedback
14 Jul 2004
I like this idea, I have questions about it though. Would this only be on college campuses or high school campuses as well? Also, why not start now rather than September, since the problem exists already?
Re: Call to Action | Seeking Feedback
15 Jul 2004
Yes! Give tham hell!
Re: Call to Action | Seeking Feedback
15 Jul 2004
I would be thrilled to see this happening on high school campuses, too, now that you mention it. If you have any contacts with high school students in the area, do spread the word.

In fact, I don’t want to give the impression that this is a movement only for students. It’s for everyone who cares, be they graduates, drop-outs, disillusioned middle aged professionals, street kids, or what have you.

And you’re right – now is the time. The group that meets in Harvard Yard every Wednesday at noon has been doing so for months now. And we’re still there every week. But we set up 9/15 as sort of an arbitrary date to coordinate – more or less a kick-off date that gives us enough time to collaborate with others and launch a visible, powerful, city-wide effort.

There is a lot going on in the meantime, though. We could use everyone’s help in the organizing, and we welcome all of you to join us over in Harvard Yard every week that you care to show up. You're welcome to give us your input in person, too.

And if groups want to start holding Wednesday vigils on other campuses this summer, as soon as next week even, then all the better.

We're all in this together, yeah?