Bridge players speak out; Can you trump this?

A U.S. team of world-class bridge players, tired of being asked to defend their country’s indefensible actions, disavowed George W. Bush’s policies — and risked their livelihood. All sorts of penalties are being threatened.

All they did was hold up a handmade sign saying, “We did not vote for Bush.”  But they did it at a public event in China.

In the polite, refined world of duplicate bridge, it rivals the black power salute of Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

Which leads to the question: If they can do that, what are we going to do Friday, Iraq Moratorium Day #3?

Organizers ask people to do something — anything — to call for an end to the war in Iraq.

It’s a largely unstructured, grassroots event, designed to continue to grow, expand and escalate.  It recognizes that it’s going to be a long haul to stop the war, and is digging in for a prolonged effort. It happens on the third Friday of every month.

Cynics say it won’t do any good.

But I am participating because it seems obvious that doing something is infinitely more likely to have an impact than doing nothing.

There’s no shortage of ideas of things you can do.  A few suggestions:

Wear an antiwar button or sticker to work or school.

Wear a black armband to let people know you mourn the overwhelming loss of life in this war.

Distribute black armbands to others.

Hang an antiwar sign in your window, or put one on your lawn.

Call a local radio talk show and explain why you want this war to end.

Write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper and let people know about the Iraq Moratorium and how they can get involved.

Make a large antiwar sign or banner and hang it from a busy overpass where people traveling to or from work will see it, or from some other highly visible location.

Put together a group to stand vigil in front of a military recruiting station, your local federal building, or the office of your senator or representative in Congress.

Call the Washington, DC, offices of your senators and your representative.

Buy no gas on Moratorium days

Pressure politicians and the media

Hold vigils, pickets, rallies, and teach-ins

Hold special religious services

Coordinate events in music, art, and culture

Host film showings, talks, and educational events

Organize student actions: Teach-ins, school closings, etc.

But there are no limits on what anyone can do.  Creative ideas that stir discussion or attract media attention are what’s needed.  

The moratorium idea is reminiscent, of course, of the 1969 Vietnam Moratorium, which mobilized millions.

Opposition to Bush’s war, while widespread and including a solid majority of Americans (and Iraqis) is not at that fever pitch yet.  But the moratorium is a vehicle that could mobilize more people over time, as the senseless, endless war drags on.

National groups endorsing the effort include United for Peace and Justice, a coalition of 1,300 groups which sponsored the January march in DC and 11 regional demonstrations on October 27.

Think it won’t help?  The Moratorium won’t end the war by itself; that’s for sure. A bull-headed President and a chicken-hearted Congress seem immune to public opinion. It can be disheartening.

But if the choice is between doing something, however small, and doing nothing, I’ll opt for doing something every time.


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    • Tigana on November 15, 2007 at 06:05

    Thank you, xofferson.  

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