The aggressive policies of the current Bush administration,
especially against Iraq but also the "war on terrorism"
and the new strategy for world domination by military might, have
aroused the peace movement throughout the world. Many people are
outraged that the United States is perpetrating a "pre-emptive
war" on specious grounds. Millions of people have marched
in various cities all around the world to protest these crimes
against peace (as defined by the Nuremberg
Principles). I have much experience in protesting, and for
those considering civil disobedience I recommend they consult
the Nonviolent Action Handbook.
Now I believe the time has come for direct action and resistance
against an immoral and illegal war, although many people may
continue to engage in creative
Actions that are legal and will probably not result in being
arrested. It is important that we build as large a movement as
possible, because this is going to be a long campaign, which if
successful could lead to a nonviolent revolution and world-wide
disarmament. We need what Einstein called a "chain reaction
of awareness" to educate people that nonviolent solutions
work better than military ones. Usually the people dedicated enough
to commit civil disobedience are the most aware on the issues
and can be educating many people with bold and daring actions.
The Bush administration has plans, as Reagan did in the 1980s,
to arrest and intern dissenters to an active war; but budgetary
constrains in both federal and state governments make it difficult
to incarcerate large numbers of people. Fortunately the democratic
process deterred Reagan from ever actually invading Nicaragua
or El Salvador with U.S. forces, and this was prevented; but the
Bush administration has already started locking up "terrorists"
based on their ethnicity and national origin. These already violate
the United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well
as the United States Constitution. Bush hard-liners would like
to imprison many protestors on justifiable grounds that they broke
the law. Many people might see them as martyrs, but many others
would think that they broke the law and deserve to go to jail.
In addition many active protesters can use our First Amendment
rights to speak out, to assemble for the redress of grievances,
and to publish educational materials and leaflets to hand out
to many people in public places in order to reach many more people.
If people are arrested for exercising their rights, oppressive
authorities will not have any justification, and people will have
more sympathy for those arrested. I think people can do both.
I intend to use direct action in order to make a strong protest,
and I expect that I will soon be arrested. I ask you to consider
your strategies carefully.
I recommend that people sign the Iraq Peace Pledge whichever you decide. I ask people of conscience to refrain from paying federal income tax to the U.S. Government, because half of it supports expenditures for war, which are crimes against international law. You can file a new W-4 form with your employer indicating that you are exempt from federal withholding tax so that you can refuse to pay for the war crimes. During the Clinton administration the United States passed a law making it illegal to contribute money to any terrorist organization. The United States Government is the largest terrorist organization in the history of the world. Since the era of the Stalinist Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, the United States military has killed by far more people than anyone else. Therefore, like Thoreau, I ask people to stop paying for war and recommend the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee.
Since the United States is invading Iraq, I recommend that people either go on strike or go to work and vocalize their opposition to the war crimes. Then meet with your local peace group to plan other actions.