Levitating the federal building

In the spirit, perhaps, of the Vietnam war protesters (pictured) who attempted to levitate the Pentagon in 1967, activists in Springfield, Mass. will observe the Iraq Moratorium on Friday, Aug. 15, by encircling the federal building there.

They’ll gather at 4 p.m. for a short rally, then will encircle the building and hold hands around it. The theme for the day is “Dont Invade Iran.” They are calling the action “Hands Around the Federal Building,” and say that car pools are coming from other cities. “we need 350 people to make this work. We are confident we will have that,” they say on the Moratorium blog.

That’s just one of dozens of events happening across the country, which are listed on the new, improved Moratorium website. There are always more that don’t get posted, or that only surface after the fact.  If you are planning a local action and don’t see it on the list, email the information so it can be posted and others can find out about it and join you.

The list keeps growing.  This month, two Wisconsin communities, Rice Lake and Waupaca, will have their first Iraq Moratorium actions.

The Iraq Moratorium is a simple concept.  It asks people to interrupt their daily routines on the Third Friday of every month and take some action, individually or with a group, to end the war and occupation.

The national Moratorium doesn’t try to tell people what action to take.  It offers a wide variety of options, from wearing a button or armband to taking part in a demonstration, and many things in between.  The important thing is that people do something.

The national website acts as a clearinghouse for information, collecting and posting events planned by local organizers and reports, photos and videos afterward.  It also offers some tips and tools for organizers to use.

It’s almost an exaggeration to call it a shoestring operation.  It operates on virtually no money with a volunteer crew. (Disclosure: I’m part of the volunteer core group that tries to keep it growing.)

Given its almost non-existent resources and media blackout of antiwar actions, it’s first year record is somewhat remarkable.  There have been more than 1,200 actions in 41 states and 240 communities since the Moratorium began in September 2007.  No one really knows how many individuals also observe the Moratorium in some way on the Third Friday of the month,  but it’s a significant number.

As Iraq Moratorium #12 approaches, think about one thing, big or small, that you can do to help.  If nothing else, a donation would be gratefully accepted — and you don’t have to wait until August 15.

Whatever it is, please do something.


  1. 4 pm in Springfield, MA on 8/15 looks like something I might actually be able to make.  About 1.25 hours each way from here.  Maybe worth it.

    My big question: anybody else here want to meet up and become the docuDharma 4 pm in Springfield, MA, affinity group?

    Also, anybody want a ride from any exit ramp on I-90 E between B-1 (NY Thruway) and I-91 to Spfld and back?  I might have room.

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