( – promoted by buhdydharma )
It’s important to be reminded that innocent and precious lives are being needlessly lost right now and every day until we stop it. I know there are no high-priced hookers involved (as far as I know) or super delegates or anything like that but this senseless war is five years old now. It’s bad enough that we initiated such a stupid catastrophe in the first place. That we haven’t ended it by now five years later is a crying shame.
We have a responsibility for this war, a responsibility to do something about it. If you take your responsibility in this regard seriously and have been thirsting for an opportunity to do something about it, then please consider coming to Washington DC on March 19 to pitch in and help those of us who have had enough.
March 19th marks the 5th anniversary of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. This disaster, along with the one in Afghanistan, is costing us a nearly unimaginable three trillion dollars, and that is having a devastating effect on our economy, an economy already ravaged by ill-considered tax cuts to millionaires, the wholesale exportation of American jobs, a misguided policy of corporate welfare, unregulated predatory practices in the credit and banking industries just to mention two and the list goes on and on. More importantly, just under four thousand youthful, promising American lives have been snuffed out for purely foolish reasons, and a million or so Iraqis have been murdered by American forces for no good reason and in all of our names.
It is just too easy to cheerlead war when you’ve never been anywhere near one and are too intellectually lazy to imagine the bombs dropping on the homes of innocent men, women and children – the horror and the carnage. Too many Americans (as in those who support these foolish wars) are too smug and self-satisfied to question the brutality or object to the nightmare we so casually inflict on those we deem worthy. I’ve always hated bullies and I hate that my country, our country, has become the biggest bully on the planet.
People sometimes argue with me for calling the invasion of Iraq illegal saying that Congress authorized the use of force – but that doesn’t make the invasion legal, it makes Congress complicit. The invasion and occupation of Iraq was then and remains now patently and blatantly illegal. There is no way under the sun to turn this pig into a pony.
The Iraq War: Legal or Illegal? Pooties Weigh In
It is time.
It’s time to stand up to these bullies. They have stolen our country and it is time for us to take it back. It’s time to take it to the streets!
But somehow the conventional wisdom has adopted the right wing meme that protest is ineffective. That’s a load of crap. We didn’t stop the war in Vietnam by sitting at home.
The following applies specifically to environmental protest but extrapolates to other issues as well (IMO). The conventional political wisdom is almost always wrong. Here is an instance where that is proved:
Three key findings in this first-ever quantification of environmentalist power upend conventional political wisdom:
1 – Protest is significantly more important than public opinion or institutional advocacy in influencing federal environmental law. Agnone found that each protest event increases the likelihood of pro-environmental legislation being passed by 1.2 percent, and moderate protest increases the annual rate of adoption by an astonishing 9.5 percent.
2 – Public opinion on its own influences federal action (though less than protest), but is vastly strengthened by protest, which “amplifies” public support and, in Agnone’s words, “raises the salience of public opinion for legislators.” Protest and public opinion are synergistic, with a joint impact on federal policy far more dramatic than either factor alone.
3 – Institutional advocacy has limited impact on federal environmental policy.
Agnone’s findings demonstrate that protest is neither a historical phase of the environmental movement nor a peripheral tactic: it is the central basis of environmentalists’ power.
As Agnone notes, “these results lead to an important conclusion: when both protest and public opinion are at high levels, they jointly influence policy makers in ways that would be impossible if each existed without the other.”
When we stopped protesting, in other words, and began to rely on advocacy and mobilizing pubic opinion alone, we threw away our single most important lever of influence.
Nobel Laureate, Al Gore agrees that old-fashioned ‘takin’ it to the streets’ protest works.
Gore Says Yes On Protests: Study Shows Effectiveness
Posted by Patriot Daily
There are several myths used by powerful groups, such as our government and corporations, to limit our rights to effect changes in unjust laws by protest and to deter us from protesting. We are told that protest is not an effective means of political action, but Al Gore knows this is not true. Just this month, Gore stated that young people should be encouraged to “engage in peaceful protests to block major new carbon sources:”
“I can’t understand why there aren’t rings of young people blocking bulldozers,” Mr. Gore said, “and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants.”
Right-wingers jumped on Gore, claiming he wanted young people to be killed or harmed by bulldozers when Gore was simply making the point that peaceful protest is effective.
It’s time. It’s finally time for deep change in America.
Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-Changin’
5 years of insanity and slaughter in our names in Iraq is killing us as surely as it’s killing the Iraqis.
Actions in DC are underway, and will continue to build through this week and next, leading up to our national day of action on Wednesday, March 19. It’s not too late for you to make plans to come to DC or to get involved in an event in your area.
Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan will feature testimony from U.S. veterans who served in those occupations, giving an accurate account of what is really happening day in and day out, on the ground. The four-day event, March 13-16, will bring together veterans from across the country to testify about their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan — and present video and photographic evidence. In addition, there will be panels of scholars, veterans, journalists, and other specialists to give context to the testimony. These panels will cover everything from the history of the GI resistance movement to the fight for veterans’ health benefits and support.
24 Hours of Action Against the War — Join Us in DC!
We are just two weeks away from what promises to be an unprecedented day of coordinated nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience against the illegal war in Iraq and the five “Pillars of War” that sustain the occupation.
On Wednesday, March 19th, people from almost 40 states (so far) will gather in Washington, DC, for this historic day of action.
There are a variety of actions planned including a Veterans’ March for Peace. My son and I have decided to join the blockade of the IRS. We will be looking for other kossacks and dharmaniacs in McPherson Square at 7:30 am on Wednesday, March 19. We will look to connect with others who go in different directions as time and circumstances allow.
SHUT DOWN THE IRS / SHUT DOWN THE WAR
On March 19, 2008, we will set up a nonviolent blockade of the national Internal Revenue Service headquarters in Washington, DC, as part of the day of actions against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Just as military recruiters supply the bodies for the war, the IRS supplies the funding. Just as some soldiers have the courage to resist the war, we – as tax payers – should have the courage to resist paying the taxes that send soldiers to war. We call on all war opponents to help dramatize our opposition and to disrupt business as usual by joining this nonviolent blockade.
For at least this one day – March 19, 2008 – we need to create a disturbance in the smug complacency of the IRS/Pentagon money-axis.
We will gather in our affinity groups at 7:30 am on Wednesday morning, March 19, at McPherson Sq., 15th & K St. NW. From these areas we will march to the IRS main entrance at 1111 Constitution Ave. (between 10th & 12th Streets), NW, and across from the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History. Once at the entrance, some of us will sit down to prevent the IRS from opening as usual, while others will hold signs and banners, pass out flyers, talk with passersby, and generally call attention to the cost of the war and our collective responsibility to stop funding it.
For more information, go to:
I’ve talked about the efficacy of protest, the plans for it and the desperate need for it but I have not talked about how good it feels.
If you can’t make it to DC, there are 410 actions planned around the country.
“You just have to do what you know is right.”
Tracy Chapman – New Beginning