Rise Up Stronger!

In the end, the world may not be able to prevent the mad bombers in Washington from starting their full-scale war on Iraq, but as I write, there is still hope that we can. The Turkish parliament’s decision rejecting U.S. troops on their soil was a major blow, logistically and politically. Iraq’s decision to begin destroying the Al Samoud 2 missiles is another positive development.

And then there is the public exposure of the Bushites’ secret surveillance of U.N. National Security Council members, as came out yesterday in the London Observer.

Shades of Watergate, magnified many times.

“Watergate” is the hotel where the Democratic National Committee had an office in 1972. It was secretly bugged by agents of President Richard Nixon. Unfortunately for Nixon and his henchmen, fortunately for U.S. democracy, they were caught in the act. Eventually, many months later, the exposure of the Nixonites’ widespread government surveillance, illegal activity and dirty tricks led to Nixon being driven from office and the indictment and imprisonment of large numbers of those around him.

Let’s do all we can to see history repeat itself in 2003 and 2004. But first things first.

We need to seize the time and nonviolently escalate our resistance to the rabid warmongers! The U.S. peace movement needs the spirit of Seattle, 1999!

This spirit is building, and not just in the United States. Today’s Washington Post reports: “More than 120 activists from 28 countries emerged from an all-day strategy session here (in London, England) this weekend with plans not just to protest a prospective U.S.-led war against Iraq but to prevent it from happening. They want to intensify political pressure on the Bush administration’s closest allies—the leaders of Britain, Italy and Spain—and force them to withdraw their support, leaving the United States, if it chooses to fight, to go it alone. And they intend to further disrupt war plans with acts of civil disobedience against U.S. military bases, supply depots and transports throughout Europe.”

Many groups in the U.S. have been making plans locally for nonviolent direct action immediately after a full-scale war starts, which is good. But it’s time to accelerate the timetable. Because our actions worldwide have delayed the Washington warmongers’ plans, we now have a window of opportunity that we must take advantage of. We must rise to the occasion with all of the energy and intelligence we can muster.

As this is being written there is serious consideration being given by a number of groups to the idea of a mass day of lobbying and nonviolent direct action directed at Congress on March 17th in Washington, D.C. Tens of thousands of people will be coming to D.C. for an important, major, peace demonstration March 15th. Why don’t we plan to stay over and on the morning of the 17th bring the voices of democracy to Congress? If they won’t represent the people, a majority of whom continue to be opposed to a unilateral U.S. war without international approval, we must do it ourselves.

Perhaps the entire week of March 17th through March 22nd could become a week when we rise up stronger and more determined all over the country. The meeting yesterday in England called for March 21st to be an international day of workplace action against the war. The organizers of the huge peace march in New York City on February 15th plan to march again, with or without a permit, on March 22nd.

Remember Seattle? Who would have thought that nonviolent direct action demonstrations outside of the meeting place of the World Trade Organization would have led to the collapse of the WTO negotiations taking place inside, a major, immediate victory for the world’s peoples? But it happened, because of the dedication, commitment to disciplined nonviolence, positive spirit, willingness to overcome fear, and democratic, coordinated organization on the part of those demonstrating.

Will a nonviolent escalation of our resistance force the Bushites to look for a face-saving, no-war, exit strategy? We don’t know. But in combination with everything else, all of the other pressures at play, all around the world, they might. They just might.

The World Says No to War! Si, Se Puede!