Global Co-existence and Action

It ain’t over even if it looks over! Although Bush and his fellow group of chickenhawks and the “Coalition of the Few, Ingratiating and Internationally Criminal” are invading Iraq, we should continue to plan for long-term vision and action of fighting war and other interrelated cultural, social and economic struggles.

‘Long-term’ is an important point to note because I noticed that a sister organizer and I both had feelings that were perhaps a little like losing our breath after Bush’s ultimatum of 48 hours on Monday night. And we started off focused on the long-term strategy all the while knowing full well that bombs were likely to rain down on Iraq at any moment. ‘Long-term’ is where this struggle is at, so if you’re new to, young at, tired of or revisiting education, organizing and action, then take a break if you need it, but stay on the path! Every one of us is needed: especially if they are interrelating struggles against war with other international and domestic struggles on cultural, social and economic issues.

There has been such a spontaneous and organized voice and resistance against war in Iraq that it is clear that these actions of solidarity are unprecedented in all of human history. A journalist for the New York Times even stated that there are indeed two superpowers: the United States and global public anti-war opinion and action.

Many incredible things have developed on our post-World War II planet.
In a recent speech by Edward Said at the Univ. of Calif. at Berkeley, he paraphrased the studies of Ken Booth, a Welsh political scientist, and stated that Booth “draws attention to the existence of a growing number of, what he calls, transcultural and moral political solidarities: that have acted the part of what he calls ‘sovereignty-free agents’ – that is to say actors and institutions not bound[ed] by the borders between countries …” That’s many of us, folks. Call us ‘patriotic,’ call us ‘worldly,’ call us ‘humans,’ call us ‘crazy,’ but also make sure you call us ‘feminists,’ call us ‘liberated’ (not necessarily liberal), indigenists,’ maybe even ‘sublime nationalists,’ whatever reflects our views of deeper, complex and more interrelated relationships. We are working at interrelations and positive justice and change for the short and long-term.

Although there is plenty of work to be done locally and nationally, there are also on-going possibilities for international and interrelational organizing and action. This organizing can involve actions and institutions ranging from the United Nations and the Organization of American States to participating in international solidarity actions and sharing letters, calls and e-mails across national borders.

  • The Center for Constitutional Rights has supported an urgent action called the Uniting for Peace Resolution. A member nation of the General Assembly can request a meeting of the general assembly to consider the threat to international peace by unilateral-oriented war from the U.S. and others. A resolution by the U.N. General Assembly against the U.S. and British-led invasion could conceivably prevent, shorten or stunt an imperialist and racist invasion and occupation.
  • We urge you to contact your U.N. representative, other members of your government, and other governments to request that they write to the Secretary-General to call for an emergency special session under the Uniting for Peace Resolution. Please also circulate these materials to other groups and individuals and encourage them to do the same.
  • Stay in touch with International ANSWER and other local (People’s Alliance for Justice and Change, national and global organizations to find out more about interrelational solidarity organizing and action.
  • Stay informed on and actively supportive of interrelated international and domestic political, social, economic and cultural issues and struggles: women; environmental; indigenous; disabled; prisons; media; poverty; labor; race and culture; civil liberties; etc. Sources like Z Magazine/ZNet and South End Press and others are invaluable in finding other sources and resources.
  • Support indigenous liberation and decolonization movements and struggles. The American Indian Movement is currently working on an Indigenous World Forum and Dark Night Press’ free e-mail publication “Pockets of Resistance” are excellent sources for stories and links on indigenous struggle. Support indigenous peoples in countries and regions like: Palestine, U.S., Colombia, Rwanda, Scandinavia, Japan, Diego Garcia, New Zealand, Iraq, etc.
  • Support the International Criminal Court and the campaign to get the U.S. to respect this judicial body of international humanitarian and other law. The Coalition for the International Criminal Court is one source of information.

“There’s room for all at the rendezvous of victory.” – Aimé Césaire

The Double Standard of United Nations Resolutions

The Bush administration has made a mockery of the United Nations process and the corporate media has failed to discuss the double standard for UN Security Council Resolution enforcement. To date, countries such as Israel and Turkey are in violation of more UN Security Council Resolutions than Iraq. What is the US’s response to this – reward them with billions of dollars in military and economic assisatance.

For More information:

This War is Illegal

After Bush’s ultimatum to Saddam Hussein, it is important that we remember that this military action, with or without the support of the United Nations, is illegal by a variety of international treaties and laws, while there are also serious questions about the legality of Bush’s undeclared war here in the United States.

Relevant Articles:

As the war gets closer, activists around the world are engaging in a variety of direct actions designed to make it harder for the government to wage war. Here in Michigan, activists in Traverse City delayed a troop deployment and in London activists halted trading at London’s International Petroleum Exchange, while numerous other actions continue around the world.

Antiwar sit-in at Grand Rapids Federal Building leads to at least five arrests

4pm today, a group of around 20 people gathered around the U.S. Federal Goverment Building in Grand Rapids, MI (or – as named by the Odawa peoples – Owashtinong Aajigaaning) and part of the group entered to speak to U.S. Representative Vern Ehlers about his crimes against international law as it related to an impending invasion of Iraq. The community members who entered the building never made it past the lobby since an aide came out to try to address the needs of the group.

Although Vern Ehlers was not present, his aide was informed of his crimes and was handed the list of violations – current and potential – to forward to him. The aide attempted to frame the confrontation as a matter of different opinions. Community members responded that opinions were not the focus but that it was the actions of government representatives and whether they supported or committed crimes against international law that was the focus.

A list of varous charges and violations cited the U.S. Constitution, Geneva Convention, Nuremberg Principles and other international resolutions and laws that the U.S. government has broken or violated in the past, presently and in the future if an invasion of Iraq starts. The list explained that such violation affected the peoples of Iraq, indigenous peoples around the world, and involved such crimes of genocide as found in Rwanda and Bosnia-Herzegovina. [please see related handout text below]

The aide left after promising to forward the information. Members of the direct action explained that the Nuremberg Principles legally compelled citizens of countries to confront violators of international humanitarian law and refused to leave the lobby until a significant and appropriate response came from the U.S. Representative. The federal building closed at 5pm. Around 5:30pm the Grand Rapids Police Department arrested at least five community members. The remaining group of observers and media contacts observed the five being driven to Kent County Jail.

Hand Out Distributed by the Protestors:


U.S. government abuse and violation of international law & domestic and global order

Establishing background and history

-the U.S. and Israeli governments have consistently blocked or stopped multiple U.N. resolutions to end Israel’s illegal, ongoing invasion and occupation of Palestine since 1967;

-the U.S. government ignored atrocities and genocide in Rwanda and Bosnia in the 1990s;

-the U.S. government continues to seek to undermine the self-determination or liberation of the world’s indigenous peoples by actively undermining the U.N. Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;

-During the Gulf War of 1992 with Iraq, the U.S. government violated international humanitarian agreement and law – including the 4th Geneva Convention and Protocol II of the Geneva Convention – by indiscriminant bombing of civilians, targeting of civilian infrastructure with the intention of creating civilian misery, and killing surrendering Iraqi soldiers in retreat;

– U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 of November 2002 does not authorize armed force, invasion or bombing for a “material breach”;

-U.N. members are threatened by withholding of U.S. aid; for example, the African Growth and Opportunity Act requires that as a recipient of US assistance, a country “does not engage in activities contrary to U.S. national security or foreign policy interests”; in autumn of 2002, Mauritius recalled an ambassador because he failed to clearly support the U.S. position;

-the U.S. government continues its history of bribery and coercion of other nations by trying to get troops stationed where they want them and in purchasing, pressuring or cajoling of votes on the U.N. security council.

It is an outright crime for the U.S., Britain, Spain, Bulgaria and others to invade Iraq because:

-Article 2(4) and Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations prohibit a country from attacking another unless in response to an armed attack, or unless approved by the United Nations. Any other attacks are illegal, and crimes of aggression, for which U.S. civilian and military leaders and their teams may be held accountable in international courts;

-Armed aggression will destabilize and break down international law. Israel and Russia will be fortified in arguments already made that they too are utilizing pre-emptive war policies against Chechnya and Palestine; Nelson Mandela has stated, “the attitude of the United States of America is a threat to world peace. Because what [America] is saying is that if you are afraid of a veto in the Security Council, you can go outside and take action and violate the sovereignty of other countries.”

-the U.S. policy of an “all options” pre-emptive strike includes nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, in complete violation of Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaties;

-according to U.N. resolution 687, sanctions were to end with completion of disarmament, so if no weapons of mass destruction are ever found, the U.S. government’s past, current and ongoing implementation of sanctions could be criminally liable under international law;

– Article VI of the Nuremburg Charter defines Crimes Against Peace as “planning, preparation, initiation or waging of war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties . . . or participation in a common plan or conspiracy . . . to wage an aggressive war.”

-And, it is a violation of centuries of common and written international law to dictate the governance of Iraqi Shi’ia, Sunni and Kurds and call it democracy while threatening more such invasions and redrawings of boundaries around the Middle East.



Anderson, Sarah, Phyllis Bennis and John Cavanagh, “Coalition of the Willing or Coalition of the Coerced? -How the Bush Administration Influences Allies in its War on Iraq,” Institute for Policy Studies, Feb. 2003.

Bennis, Phyllis, “Understanding the U.S.-Iraq Crisis,” Institute for Policy Studies, January 2003

Center for Constitutional Rights [], NY, NY; Letter to Pres. Bush and Sec’y Rumsfeld, Re: Consequences of Future Use of Force Against Iraq, January 2003;

Fourth World Bulletin, “Stop Making Sense: State’s Distortion of U.S. Indigenous Policy,” Summer 1998, University of Colorado, Denver.

Fitrakis, Bob and Wasserman, Harvey, “Bush and America’s willing executioners would be guilty at Nuremburg,” March 2, 2003, The Free Press, Columbus, OH

Herold, Marc, “A Dossier on Civilian Victims of United States’ Aerial Bombing of Afghanistan: A Comprehensive Accounting”, 12/01,

Jaimes, M. Annette, ed., “The State of Native America: Genocide, Colonization, and Resistance.”

Krugman, Paul, “Let Them Hate As Long As They Fear,” New York Times, March 7, 2003.

Power, Samantha, “A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide”

Challenging the War on Terror and Stopping the Invasion of Iraq

Reprinted from The Rant (September 2002)

Despite the generally hostile climate towards people opposing the Bush administration’s war on terror immediately after September eleventh, and indeed the media’s continued hostility towards and failure to report dissenting views, there is growing evidence that a successful opposition movement can be built. Shortly after the attacks, many activists felt they were in an extreme minority, a feeling largely shaped by the media that has not reported on dissenting views.

In the months since September eleventh, the media has not adequately covered the growing movement against the war. If you get most of your news from one of the major US news outlets, you would see little coverage of a movement which has staged two major demonstrations in Washington DC and countless smaller actions across the country. On September 29th, 2001, just two weeks after the attacks, there was a demonstration with several thousand people on the National Mall, showing that mass dissent was possible and would not result in immediate arrest, public ridicule, or any number of other concerns raised by people who argued it was too soon to begin organizing against the poorly defined war on terror. While media coverage was limited, the rally was televised nationally on CSPAN and was not subject to police repression. A larger demonstration, involving a diverse coalitions of groups and participants numbers in the tens of thousands was held on April 20th, 2002, with thousands of demonstrators staging a simultaneous demonstration in San Francisco. In the year since the attacks, there have been a number of teach-ins on campuses, video screenings, marches, and other actions. Recently there have been an increasing number of protests against administration policy, gearing up for an October 26th national day of action against the potential invasion of Iraq. The most dramatic of these recent protests was on August 22nd in Portland, where 3,000 non-violent protestors were assaulted by police with pepper spray and rubber bullets for voicing their dissent, while the police department has come under scrutiny for their handling of the protests.

Clearly, those opposing the war administration policy are not alone and while the media may help the Bush administration by minimizing dissent and espousing their belief that it is the patriotic duty of Americans not to question administration policy, they are increasingly unable to hide the fact that public approval for the war on terror is not nearly as unanimous as was once believed. While statistics are not the best way to gauge public opinion, it is worth noting that a recent survey of Michigan voters indicated that 47% of people believe Bush has not made a convincing case for invading Iraq with 44% of people said that they opposed an invasion of Iraq. While approximately 60% of people support military action against Iraq on the national scale, at the current time there is no poll indicating how people feel about military action now that Iraq has agreed to allow inspectors to return. Ironically, as the Bush administration seeks to expand their war they are simultaneously strengthening the opposition.

It is of utmost importance that those who are opposed to the war take advantage of the current climate and begin organizing against the potential invasion of Iraq. We need to continue making coalitions, doing outreach, and most importantly engaging in highly visible actions designed to influence the United States government. At the present, the public is divided, which can be used to the advantage of dissenting groups who should experience a more positive response to their actions and resulting in more participation. Not only will there be more participation, but it should be more diverse as more groups being to oppose military action in Iraq. A successful movement could be effective in pushing public opinion against an invasion of Iraq and if that opinion threatens the politicians’ reelection prospects, they will listen. Aside from the increase in numbers, we know the Bush administration has not made a case that justifies the invasion, that 5,000 Iraqi children die each month as a result of the sanctions, and that an attack will serve to motivate future terrorism. Organize!