World wide resistance to Bush II’s war of conquest and empire is growing. On February 15th, in the largest single day of protest ever, an estimated 10 to 30 million people took to the streets across the world to prevent the slaughter of thousands of Iraqis.
Major demonstrations occurred in almost every city on the planet. There was even an anti-war rally in Antarctica! Police brutality and suppression of dissent were reported in New York City, Colorado and Greece. In San Francisco, a sizable anarchist breakaway contingent targeted capitalists with spray paint and window trashing.
With typical arrogance, Emperor Bush brushed off the protests as irrelevant and advised Americans to buy duct tape. He deemed the millions a mere “focus group” and claimed to care more about America’s security. Big Brother and his Ministry of Peace pushed forward with plans to conquer Iraq despite global opposition. As we move into spring, and the likelihood of a full-scale slaughter increases, look for the protest movement to respond with mass civil disobedience.
While the mid-February protests were the largest, rebellion has continued on almost a daily basis for months. On Saturday, January 18th. hundreds of thousands of people braved icy cold to demonstrate in Washington DC, Canada and many other cities across North America and the world.
In San Francisco, an anarchist contingent broke away from the huge leftist peace march and rally. The 500 person strong breakaway bloc made its way into the financial district and proceeded to trash the office of the Federal Immigration and Naturalization Service. The bloc managed to move quickly and erratically enough to avoid being corralled by the SF pigs. Starbucks, Victoria’s Secret, the mainstream press, and other buildings were also targeted with spray paint and broken windows. Most folks escaped into the subway system without arrest.
On the A-infos website, an anonymous communique stated: “Indianapolis Offices of the Coast Guard and Army Recruitment were trashed. The walls were spray-painted with ‘Fuck Your War’ and close to ten large office windows were broken. Two government vehicles were spray-painted and the windows broken. The political, military, and economic rulers of the US continue a ‘war on terrorism’ which is nothing more or less than the capitalist war against the poor and working people of the world.
“Oil companies and weapon manufacturers capitalize on more starving and dead Iraqi people just as they have in Afghanistan, Colombia, Philippines, and many other parts of the world where disaffected people are resisting the brutal capitalist regime. We will not ask or beg the politicians and generals in Washington, D.C. for justice and peace. We know the peace and justice of capitalism and state power is based upon the misery and death of many. We fight the march to war as we fight a world run against us.”
Further, workers and activists around the world are disrupting the war plans. In the UK, two workers refused to move war material in early January. The train drivers refused to move a freight train carrying ammunition believed to be destined for British forces being deployed in the Gulf Railway managers canceled the Ministry of Defense service after the crewmen, described as “conscientious objectors” by a supporter, said they opposed Tony Blair’s threat to attack Iraq. Meanwhile, Greenpeace International has been using its ships to block harbors with military bases across Europe. And late February saw Italian activists begin to blockade train routes moving US military supplies between bases in Italy. In West Australia, unions have promised a campaign of statewide industrial action the minute a military strike is launched on Iraq. The anti-war stance—to involve more than 75,000 workers from nine key unions—will go ahead even if the United Nations backs the attack.
Back in Washington, DC, over 200 high school students staged an anti-war walkout on January 13th. A similar student walkout occurred in New York City in November. At press time, college and high school students around the world were planning a massive strike for March 5th. In late January, the White House canceled a planned poetry reading and discussion because Laura Bush and others feared it would turn into an “anti-war symposium.” The cancellation sparked anti-war poetry readings and events all over the country on February 12th and March 5th.
In Canada, citizens have begun demanding inspections for weapons of mass destruction in the United States. They have even begun sending citizen inspection teams across the border to demand access to US Military and Government bases. To get involved in the inspections or to support their work, see www.rootingoutevil.org or contact info(a)rootingoutevilorg or call 306—664-6071.
An internationally respected news journal, The Onion, has reported on nuclear weapons stockpiling in North Dakota: Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix confirmed that the remote, isolationist state of North Dakota is in possession of a large stockpile of nuclear missiles.
“Satellite photos confirm that the North Dakotans have been quietly harboring an extensive nuclear-weapons program,” said Blix, presenting his findings in a speech to the U.N. Security Council. “Alarmingly, this barely developed hinterland possesses the world’s most technologically advanced weapons of mass destruction, capable of reaching targets all over the world.”
After initially offering no comment on the report, North Dakota officials admitted to having a stockpile of 1,710 warheads at two military sites and confirmed that the state has been home to an active nuclear-weapons-development program for decades. The U.S. has admitted to arming North Dakota.
Attention readers: We need “reporters in the field.” Please send us your original analyses and reflections on current events & the growing anti-war movement. Fifthestate@pumpkinhollow.net
When the government cancels poetry
to protect itself from politics
The poets must cancel government
or forever eat words of war
The poets of war are the speechwriters
who spin newspeak on the axis of evil
But if poets sung paeans on Pennsylvania Ave.
What would the spectacle look like?
When Whitman goes to the white house
He will eat broccoli in the kitchen
When Ginsberg goes to the white house
He will ask to be Monica
Baraka won’t go to the white house because
its always been a white folks’ house
And besides, if he did go, Secret service agents
would escort him to the nearest
mob of racist talk radio listeners
Poets don’t need houses or presidents or wars
When nothing rhymes with the anticipation
of hundreds of cruise missiles each day
words defy the daisy cutter
& the cluster bomb
but the killers jump-cut
to grandiose distractions
because the third world war was
when the third world was
brought to its knees
with first world metaphors
—Sunfrog (30 January 2003)