ON THE GROUND NEWSLETTER:
Columbia College Chicago October 3, 2002

Senator Durbin, previously opposed to the war resolution, is now considering approval. To call him: DC office is better because of time constraint -- (202) 224-2152
but the Chicago office is better than nothing (312) 353-4952. Senator Fitzgerald supports the bipartisan resolution for war -- DC office: (202) 224-2854; Chicago office: (312) 886-3506

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Contents

1. OnTheGround Calendar

2. Congress Overwhelmed With Anti-War Calls

3. American Mainstream Press Now Using The Word "Empire"

4. Anti-War Statement And Draft Resolution By Joan Mcgrath

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1. OnTheGround Calendar

10/6 - Sunday
NOT IN OUR NAME
National rally and gathering @ TRIBUNE PLAZA ­ 435 N Michigan
1:00 PM

[The “not in our name” pledge of resistance kind of sums up what this rally is about. It will take place with simultaneous demonstrations in New York, San Francisco and elsewhere….]

    We believe that as people living
    in the United States it is our
    responsibility to resist the injustices
    done by our government, in our names

    Not in our name
    will you wage endless war
    there can be no more deaths
    no more transfusions of blood for oil

    Not in our name
    will you invade countries
    bomb civilians, kill more children
    letting history take its course
    over the graves of the nameless

    Not in our name
    will you erode the very freedoms
    you have claimed to fight for

    Not by our hands
    will we supply weapons and funding
    for the annihilation of families on foreign soil

    Not by our mouths
    will we let fear silence us

    Not by our hearts
    will we allow whole peoples
    or countries to be deemed evil

    Not by our will
    and Not in our name

    We pledge resistance
    We pledge alliance with those
    who have come under attack
    for voicing opposition to the war
    or for their religion or ethnicity

    We pledge to make common cause
    with the people of the world
    to bring about justice freedom and peace
    Another world is possible
    and we pledge to make it real

    (for more info: www.notinourname.net)

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10/6 - Sunday
ONTHEGROUND MEETING
@ NIC KREBILL’S House (2108 n. whipple, (logan square) phone: 773/489.0147)
6:00 PM (or after the Not In Our Name Demo)

From Nic:
meeting on sunday!! since i will be at the demonstration (not-in-our-name), we should meet up after (hopefully most of us will be together) and and head out from there. in case anyone will be coming to the meeting from a point other than the demonstration, i will tenitivly set the meeting time at 6pm, although it also depends on when it's all over or when we decide to leave. regardless, hopefully we'll start around 6 or 7pm. you can bring food...i'll also have some things to snack on...and possibly some movies to watch afterwards. chill, yo
2108 n. whipple (logan square)
phone: 773/489.0147

CTA: blue line to california station.
walk south on cali, turn right on shakespeare.
walk past humbolt blvd.
turn left on whipple (palmer park will be on your right).
house is on your right, walk to the back (it's a coach house).

BIKE: ride north on milwaulkee ave.
turn left on armitage.
turn right on whipple.

[We’ve had a hard time getting a normal meeting time together during the week, but it seems like there’s a drift towards Monday nights. Does anyone have any serious objections to that?--Spencer]

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10/7 - Monday
ANTI-WAR RENGA-POEM SPEAKOUT
On the sidewalk in front of 600 S MICHIGAN
1:00 PM - ?

Renga is a kind of poem-writing process that includes (I think) sitting down in a big circle, writing three lines of a poem, then passing the poem to the next person, who adds three lines of their own… the poem keeps getting passed around and around until you have a really long collectively written poem.

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10/7 - Monday
RUSH-HOUR PROTEST AGAINST WAR ON IRAQ
at FEDERAL PLAZA (Dearborn and Adams)
5:00 PM

There were two Federal Plaza protests last week and they were both excellent. One received excellent coverage (at least an excellent photo) on the front page of the Thursday Tribune. This one, on the one-year anniversary of the bombing of Afghanistan, was called by the Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism (www.chiantiwar.org)

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10/7 ­ Monday
NEW 9-11 VIDEO SCREENING
CAUTION: 2001 by Columbia College teacher Suree Towfighnia (25 min.)
New videos by kids in Chicago from VIDEO MACHETE (15 min.)
And a video by the NYC SURVEILLANCE CAMERA PLAYERS (7 min.)
@ the DOCUMENTARY CENTER (1104 S Wabash Room #302)
7:00 PM ­ 8:00 pm

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10/16 ­ Wednesday
TEACH-IN: THE WAR ON TERRORISM
in the HOKIN ANNEX (623 S Wabash)
10:00 AM ­ 6:00 PM

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10/26
NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION IN WASHINGTON D.C.
AGAINST WAR ON IRAQ

for more information on bus tickets visit www.internationalanswer.org we will also have more information on ontheground’s involvement in a few days.

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2. Congress Overwhelmed With Anti-War Calls

29 September 2002
Democracy Now

Republican and Democratic Senate offices report "overwhelming" opposition from their constituents to war with Iraq. This comes as Congress prepares to pass a war resolution granting President Bush sweeping powers to invade Iraq. The national news radio show Democracy Now! conducted an informal survey on Thursday of 70 Republican and Democratic Senate offices. Of the 26 offices which responded to our inquires, 22 reported an overwhelming majority - in some cases up to 99 percent -- of constituents opposed war in Iraq; three said the response was split and just one office reported a majority called backiing the war. Among the findings: (from democracynow.org)

Democrats

  • Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl: Aides say they are receiving 1,000-2,000 calls per week with the overwhelming number opposed to an attack on Iraq.

  • Washington Sen. Patty Murray: Over 5,000 letters and phone calls were received last week on Iraq, aides say. Only about 100 came from constituents who supported an attack.

  • California Sen. Dianne Feinstein: Staff in her San Francisco office reported about 200 calls a day with 99 percent of the callers opposing the war.

  • New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman: The D.C. office has been receiving at least 1,300 calls a day with about 70 percent opposed to war.

Republicans

  • North Carolina Sen.Jesse Helms: Staff declined to give figures but said the "majority is against" when it comes to calls on Iraq.

  • Nebraska Sen. Charles Hegal: According to aides, constituents favor diplomacy over war at a rate of 5 to 1.

  • Virginia Sen. John Warner: About 150 constituents a day are calling into the D.C. offices. "A very small minority supported military action," said one aide.

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3. American Mainstream Press Now Using The Word "Empire"

Below is a link to a remarkable article, an editorial analysis by the South's largest newspaper, of the Bush Administration's unabashed commitment to "empire." It appears that the current global imperialist policy of the U.S. was actually first established in 1992 in a study overseen by the ever-grasping Paul Wolfowitz.

From below: "This war, should it come, is intended to mark the official emergence of the United States as a full-fledged global empire, seizing sole responsibility and authority as planetary policeman... So in debating whether to invade Iraq, we are really debating the role that the United States will play in the years and decades to come."

"The President’s Real Goal in Iraq"
By Jay Bookman
The Atlanta Constitution - September 29, 2002

    The official story on Iraq has never made sense. The connection that the Bush administration has tried to draw between Iraq and al-Qaida has always seemed contrived and artificial. In fact, it was hard to believe that smart people in the Bush administration would start a major war based on such flimsy evidence....    more...

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4. Anti-War Statement And Draft Resolution

by Joan McGrath, staff member in the Film/Video Dept. and faculty advisor to OnTheGround

[There is going to be a resolution put forth to the Columbia College Council soon concerning the war and Columbia College’s position. It turns out that Joan’s draft below was too long, but I thought it was well written and deserved an audience, so here it is… ]

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Columbia College has always heard a different drummer. Since its reincarnation in 1960 as an upstart alternative to elitist higher education, Columbia students, faculty, and staff have refused to accept that the way the world is is the way the world has to be.

At commencement Dr. Carter praised the recent groundswell of activism, telling the Class of 2002, “As you have enlivened the campus with your civic engagement, you have helped to revive the tradition of liberal education, to ask hard questions in a forthright and civil dialogue. You have shown you are unafraid to question authority - whether it’s the president of the United States, or the president of Columbia College.”

Our students have been asking hard questions in an environment hostile to democracy - where free speech is threatened; communications, surveilled; snitches are planted and people of targeted religious orientations are arrested and disappeared without a trace. The men who control the U.S. government say they will save democracy by curtailing it, but we must not trust them.
Our “Founding Fathers” warned us against such folly, and we know not to believe them because we’ve gone down this road many times in our lifetimes. We know that democracy’s strongest weapon is dissent, and we know from experience that dissent is the only thing that will make a difference.

And so we at Columbia College continue to ask questions and dissent to this perceived inevitability of an attack on Iraq.

We must dissent to plans that most certainly will result in horrific loss of life both, Iraqi and American. We should take heed when our generals are reticent to back the Commander in Chief.

Why aren't we Americans demanding that our country exhaust non-military options and support the UN Security Council clear's view that the best way for Iraq to meet the disarmament goals of Resolution 687 is to allow unfettered weapons inspections to urgently begin? We must remember that deterrence has contained Saddam Hussein for a decade and suspect the motives of those who would back him into a corner and provoke him to strike out.

We must dissent because the Iraqi people have endured twelve years of tremendous hardship, suffering, and death due to UN sanctions and an almost continuous, illegal bombing campaign by the US and UK. A million Iraqis have died (FC) since the Gulf War, half of them children under five. In the words of writer Arundhati Roy, “It’s a very terrible thing to hold civilians responsible for the actions of their governments.”

We must dissent because every blustery congressional resolution being bandied about by our electioneering lawmakers neglects the fact that they lack jurisdiction over the matter and, by the way, are about to shred fifty years of international law. Like it or not, Iraq is a sovereign country, and no government, no parliament, no congress has the right to call for an attempt to orchestrate the overthrow of another government. Aren’t Americans worried that a pre-emptive, unilateral attack would set a dangerous precedent that could presumably be used by other nations to initiate conflicts all over the world? Why won't our president take the calls of Nelson Mandela, who the Guardian describes as "towering like a moral colossus over the late 20th century?" Perhaps it is because, as Mandela knows, “If you look at these matters, you will come to the conclusion that the attitude of the United States of America is a threat to world peace."

What isn't our leadership concerned about the danger? Or will the catastrophe that our attack may set in motion justify their penchant for endless war and weaken the international bodies they so ruefully disdain? Why doesn't America respect international law? Why are we letting ourselves be distracted from the problems with the economy, the financial scandals, the 9-11 intelligence failures - in short, from seeking truth? Why are we letting this clique of men squander the vital resources that should be directed to our children. It is estimated by both Republican and independent analyses that a war with Iraq will cost $60 billion, and with reconstruction costs, $200 billion. Two Hundred Billion Dollars is SIX times what the federal government spends on K through 12 education. It is enough to provide health care to all uninsured children in the U.S. for the next TEN years.
 
We must reject the manipulation of our fears and patriotism by disingenuous patriarchal figures who twist words into lies. “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Let’s be clear…there is no credible evidence linking Iraq to the attacks of September 11, Al-Qaeda, or other anti-American terrorists. We must resist the power of their multi-million dollar public relations campaigns geared to heighten our emotions and anesthetize our common sense.
 
A U.S. attack on Iraq makes no sense. It does not serve the interests of the American people, and it damages American democracy and values.

Whereas, Columbia College has a proud history of dissent amidst conformity; and

Whereas, Columbia College President Warrick Carter praised the people of Columbia for becoming the “leading voices in the newly alert civic movements that have responded to September 11”; and

Whereas, Columbia College celebrates the multi-racial, multi-cultural nature of our urban campus and cherishes its international ties with people from around the world; and

Whereas, the Bush administration has demonstrated contempt for international law and treaties aimed at dealing with the world’s gravest problems; and

Whereas, the Bush administration has been embarked on a campaign of provocation toward the Arab world; and

Whereas, an attack on Iraq by the United States would greatly inflame anti-American sentiment around the world and place Americans in more, not less, danger of terrorist attacks; and

Whereas, non-military approaches to resolve the conflict are readily available; and

Whereas, the U.S. media has been disinclined to expose the conflicts of interest between the administration’s rush to war and its close ties to business interests which stand to benefit;

Therefore, be it resolved, that the College Council of Columbia College Chicago goes on record as strenuously opposing the US War in Iraq,

Be it further resolved, that the College Council opposes continuation of economic sanctions, which have harmed innocent Iraqis, decimated the Iraqi opposition, and left Saddam Hussein intact,

Be it further resolved, that the College Council calls on its elected leaders in the United States Congress to comply with international law and seek non-military solutions to its conflicts.

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Web Info For On The Ground Anti-War Group:

This is not the organizing listserv!
To join the organizing listerv (6 msg/wk) send an email to:
ONTHEGROUND-SUBSCRIBE@TOPICA.COM

EMAIL: ONTHEGROUND@CARE2.COM

WEBSITES: ONTHEGROUND.OKCANCEL.ORG, CIVIC.COLUMBIACOLLEGE.NET

MESSAGEBOARD (NEW): PUB38.EZBOARD.COM/BCCONTHEGROUND

to join or quit this newsletter email: spencerkingman@riseup.net

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CCC On The Ground October 3, 2002