“I hereby make a commitment that on Friday, September 21, 2007, and the third Friday of every subsequent month I will break my daily routine and take some action, by myself or with others, to end the War in Iraq.”
— Iraq Moratorium pledge
Disatisfied with the “progress” in Iraq? With the Iraq War itself? With your legislators? With the trends in public policy? You are not alone ; you are in the company of the famous, infamous and an increasing number of average Americans in cities and towns in all 50 states.
Danny Glover, actor. Coleen Rowley, FBI whistleblower. Noah Chomsky, activist, linguist. Tom Hayden, activist. Eve Ensler, writer. Howard Zinn, historian. Susan Sarandon, activist. The Freeway Blogger. Cindy Sheehan, Goldstar Mother. Jabbar Mcgruder, Iraq veteran.
“Basically I have been so frustrated with the disconnect between the real war and the politicized war that I felt this film would at least acknowledge that war changes people, especially this war. We had a major legacy of suicide and homelessness and heartbreak after Vietnam; why should we repeat it?”
–Susan Sarandon in NewsdayVoters for Peace. Veterans for Peace. War Resisters League. Students for a Democratic Society. Food Not Bombs. Code Pink. United for Peace and Justice. Military Families Speak Out. United States Labor Against the War.
“[V]iolence only creates violence. And there may be a momentary, apparent victory in Kabul, but that violence has created in so many other people seeds of things that will come to be, in our lifetime, as deadly as anything we’ve seen … Our terror is better than their terror? I don’t believe that.”
— Eve Ensler from DiscovertheNetworks.org
Greenpeace. People of faith (CT). Stand Up Seattle.The Noise. Dreamers Wanted. New Orleans Voices for Peace.
“The whole idea is to crush any kind of dissent,” Glover said in an interview with the Associated Press. “Something is happening now that is very dark and very sinister in this country, and for us to not admit it is happening is, in some ways, for us to be blind. The world has come together and said ‘no’ to this war — and we must stand with them.”
— Danny Glover to Associated Press
And locally, Clarksville’s FreeThinkers for Peace and Civil Liberties.
Each of these individuals and groups — a list too long to print here — have something in common: each have signed up to support the Iraq Moratorium, which will make its debut as a national movement on Friday, September 21.
- Wear and distribute black ribbons and armbands
- Buy no gas on moratorium days
- Pressure politicians and media
- Hold vigils, pickets, rallies and teach-ins
- Hold special religious services
- Coordinate events in art, music and culture
- Host film screenings, talks and educational events
- Organize student actions: teach-ins, school closings
Iraq Moratorium is designed to take the issue to the people, and no event or action is to small to be of merit in opposing the Iraq war.
“The slow motion train wreck that is the occupation of Iraq grows more nightmarish by the day. In 2006 the American people voted to bring it to an end. But the political process is moving glacially at best. We must force the media and the politicians to recognize just how angry and how massive anti-war sentiment in this country has grown.
“The Iraq Moratorium will be an escalating, monthly series of actions demanding an end to the war. Commencing Friday, September 21st and continuing the Third Friday of every month thereafter, we will make a break with business as usual.”
—Bill Fletcher Jr., Moratorium organizer
Moratorium activities will range from wearing black armbands to not buying gas; from writing letters to politicians and the media to vigils, rallies and teach-ins; from special religious services to music, art and cultural events; from film showings and lectures to student-initiated alternative classes.
Hundreds of individuals and organizations ranging from those with national stature to those local groups and individuals based in small town America have endorsed the action. And while some of the participants have been long-standing vocal opponents of the war, others seem to come out of nowhere: Adam Neiman, CEO of the fair-trade fashion house Danticat, Actress Mercedes Rhuel, and the Freeway Blogger where the FreeThinkers “Impeach Bush” sign is posted.
“We felt that it was critical to move beyond the periodic national demonstrations in Washington, DC, New York and/or San Francisco, and instead develop and advance an approach that encourages increasingly massive local actions that suggests, more than anything else, no more business-as-usual.
“The Iraq Moratorium will allow local actions integrally connected at a national level such that each effort is understood and felt to be part of a national movement without at the same time creating a new organization or coalition. “
— Bill Fletcher Jr., Moratorium organizer
Organizers will work with netroots activists to post video of Moratorium activities on the site and on YouTube and similar sites. Poetry about the war will be solicited, and website visitors will be asked to help choose the best to be included in an anthology. Working groups have been formed to spread the word in the blogosphere.
“The Moratorium project is important in that it creates an opportunity to involve individuals in actions, however small, in bringing an end to this war.
“I sense that people want to be involved yet are frustrated by traditional modes of protest that are more often than not ignored by the media and politicians. We must find creative ways to utilize the new modes of communication made possible through the Internet. The fact that so much of what is new and interesting on the net is, in fact, user-created (YouTube, flickr, etc.) provides a wellspring of unique opportunities for protest.”
— Joseph DeLappe, University of Nevada Professor in The Nation.