ON THE GROUND NEWSLETTER:
Contents4. Anti-War Statement And Draft Resolution By Joan Mcgrath
NOT IN OUR NAME
National rally and gathering @ TRIBUNE PLAZA 435 N Michigan
[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
Not in our name
Not in our name
Not in our name
Not by our hands
Not by our mouths
Not by our hearts
Not by our will
We pledge resistance
We pledge to make common cause
(for more info: www.notinourname.net)
---------------------------------------------10/6 - Sunday
@ NIC KREBILL’S House (2108 n. whipple, (logan square) phone: 773/489.0147)
6:00 PM (or after the Not In Our Name Demo)
CTA: blue line to california station.
BIKE: ride north on milwaulkee ave.
[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]
---------------------------------------------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.
---------------------------------------------10/7 - Monday
RUSH-HOUR PROTEST AGAINST WAR ON IRAQ
at FEDERAL PLAZA (Dearborn and Adams)
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)
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
TEACH-IN: THE WAR ON TERRORISM
in the HOKIN ANNEX (623 S Wabash)
10:00 AM 6:00 PM
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.
29 September 2002
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)
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"
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...
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… ]
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.
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.
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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CCC On The Ground October 3, 2002