Essay in Response to Buhdy’s “Impeach: A Battle Cry for the People”

(Bumped in honor of Iraq Moratorium Day! – promoted by buhdydharma )

I simply can’t wait to try to write something smart, engaging, even very coherent.  Something needs to be done…and soon!  

Yes. Buhdy, we must come together behind a “unified field theory & action” to take back our country, to take back the soul of our country.

Impeachment is a good one.  A high percentage of people are for this.  There is an even higher percentage of people who think we should get out of Iraq.  

The issue is not “finding” an issue.  The issue is how to empower and persuade people to do something, to “yell louder,” to get up, go out and make their opinions heard.  This is what appeals to me about the IRAQ MORATORIUM.  I am also greatly in favor of a General Strike.  

So, I think we can unify and act behind these three ideas:

         IMPEACH

         IRAQ MORATORIUM

         GENERAL STRIKE

The Iraq Moratorium was conceived as a platform to bring out massive numbers of people.

Although between 2/3 and 3/4 of people surveyed are now in opposition to the Iraq war, they don’t come out to express their feelings.  The population of the United States is 300 million.  The last major, national demonstration, October 27th, had been planned and organized for months in advance; but only about 80K to 150K people came out to protest.  

While 67% to 75% of the U.S. population opposes the war, only about 5/100s of 1% came out to protest.  The apathy, distraction, or feeling of hopelessness expressed by these numbers should be taken into account.

The Iraq Moratorium takes account of these dismall numbers and has developed an idea to help the voiceless speak out through the simplicity, regularity, and non-competitive umbrella nature of the action.  All P & J groups can join in under the umbrella of Iraq Moratorium.  Power in numbers.  “Solidarity Forever!”  

Hopefully, the Iraq Moratorium can turn into a General Strike!  The Iraq Moratorium (IM)is scheduled for the Third Friday of Every Month.  People who participate in IM take a pledge to do something for peace on the 3rd Friday of each month.  The commitment is easy as there is a broad range of actions to be taken, ranging from wearing a black ribbon or arm band, to buying no gas on that day, to vigils, to informational forums, to civil disobedience.  The main thing is to sign the pledge (numbers are important)

and to

         do something!

The Iraq Moratorium could be combined easily with The General Strike.  Garrett Keizer, a contributing editor to “Harper’s Magazine” had an excellent essay on this in the October ’07 issue “Notebook” section:

       “Specific Suggestion: General Strike”

   

Keizer begins his essay:

Of all the various depredations of the Bush regime, none has been so thorough as its plundering of hope.  Iraq will recover sooner.  What was supposed to have been the crux of our foreign policy–a shock and awe tutorial on the utter futility of any opposition to the whims of American power–has achieved its greatest and perhaps its only lasting success in the American soul.

It is obvious that we need to find a way to overcome this hopelessness and apathy.

The actions must be simple and easy to try, at least for those who are reluctant.  The essence of these actions should be a refusal to go along with business as usual.  This strategy is depicted convincingly in the video documentary, “A Force  More Powerful,” which shows how non-cooperation was the key to successes in many non-violent protest movements from Gandhi, Danish resistance against Hitler, to the civil rights movement of the 60s, to apartheid South Africa.

When massive numbers of people simply refuse to go along in complicity, simply opt out of the system, for a few hours, a day or more, that power can overwhelm the system.  Dan Ellsberg, at a strategizing session this past September, recalled the days during the Vietnam war when Nixon was threatening to bomb North Vietnam with nuclear bomb.  The Vietnam Moratorium came along at the same time.  After the 1st Vietnam Moratorium Day, when Nixon realized that a couple of million people could walk off their jobs each month on Moratorium days, Ellsberg speculates that Nixon was deterred from his nuclear bombing plans.  

I propose that we reach out through our blogs and our communication nets, through what Teilhard de Chardin called “the Noosphere,” to inspire and empower the discouraged and silent ones to just try it — try it once, twice, a few times — observe the next Iraq Moratorium, Nov. 16, and build to a General Strike & walk out on the following IM day, Dec. 21.

Let’s work to call a General Strike for 12/21, IRAQ MORATORIUM Day #4 and wear Impeach Cheney hats which can be purchased from PEN, People’s E-Mail Network.

Keizer continues:

Any strike, whether it happens in a factory or a nation, or a marriage, amounts to a reaffirmation of consent.  The strikers remind their overlords–and, equally important, themselves–that the seemingly perpetual machinery of daily life has an off switch as well as an on.  … The stream of commuters heading into the city, the caravan of tractor-trailers pulling out of the rest stop into the dawn’s early light, speak a deep-throated Yes to the sum total of what’s going on in our collective life.  The poet Richard Wilbur writes of the “ripped mouse” that “cries Concordance” in the talons of the owl; we too cry our daily assent in the grip of the prevailing order–except in those notable instances when, like a donkey or a Buddha, we refuse to budge.

So, fellow playmates and visionaries—

    Let us withdraw our consent…

    Let us refuse to budge…

GENERAL STRIKE……IRAQ MORATORIUM……IMPEACH

The next Moratorium day, #3, is day after tomorrow, Friday, November 16.  Go to iraqmoratorium.org and find an event near you, take the pledge and go.  And call the

General Strike for IM Day#4, December 21.

…like a donkey or a buddha…refuse to budge!!

15 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. ya beat me on the coherent front

    note to self…never try to type after working with concrete all day

    This place is starting to shape up nicely, welcome aboard!

    • Alma on November 15, 2007 at 07:07

    And I already have my Impeach Cheney hat.  I took the question mark off of it because in my mind there is no question!  I’ve been wearing it on IM days already, so all I have to do is add the strike in.  🙂

  2. should I bring my video camera?  

  3. is a great vehicle to get many kinds of actions going.  A strike would be extremely effective, IMHO.  Without saying a word, it’s a loud statement.

    Good job on this!

  4. …long overdue.

Comments have been disabled.