21
Feb
2005

People power is an assertion of real democracy

The author of the article below is attending a gathering of delegates from the almost 1,000 member groups of United For Peace and Justice in St. Louis, Missouri to set a course for the anti-war movement for the next eighteen months. They will meet from February 19-21 to plan a strategic direction, develop a common program of work, and elect national leadership. Danny Glover and Tom Hayden are headlining the conference. For more info on that, go to //www.commondreams.org/news2005/0215-10.htm


Shelter Under the Anti-war Umbrella

by David Solnit, AlterNet. Posted February 18, 2005.

//www.alternet.org/waroniraq/21298/

EXCERPT - The world seems to be waiting for those of us in the U.S. – and millions of us here are ready – to really stand up to the Bush administration and the bipartisan policies of empire. But it's hard to mobilize against the war and occupation when there is no clear logic to where our efforts are headed. What will another march or even nonviolent direct action add up to? How will we actually stop the war and occupation? Where is a strategy that could work?

The anti-war movement needs a strategy of how we are going to stop the war and occupation of Iraq.

The solution is written in last month's mountain road blockades and the citywide shutdown of El Alto, Bolivia that kicked out water privatizing transnational corporation Suez from devastating their water system. It's also in our own re-written history. It's called people power.

In 2003 we tried almost everything to stop the invasion of Iraq, and in 2004 we tried to un-elect the invader. Both times, incredible groundswells of grassroots activism from most nearly every sector of society hit the streets and doorsteps of America and won important, less visible victories, but failed on both counts.

We have clearly and massively exhausted the established channels of change; political pressure, lobbying and elections have not worked. It's time for a different approach.

People power is an assertion of real democracy. It can assert the democratic will of communities and movements to change the things that matter when the established so-called democratic channels turn out be little more than public relations for elite rule. Every successful movement in U.S. history, from the workers and civil rights movement to today's farmworker-led Taco Bell boycott, and every dictator toppled in recent history have relied on people power methods.

A people power strategy that identifies the key pillars that support the Iraq war and occupation and wages a determined campaign to weaken and eventually remove those pillars can stop the U.S. war and occupation of Iraq. It can also take a major step in weakening the systemic pillars of empire at the root of so many problems in our communities and in the world. Do we have the guts and imagination? [READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT //www.alternet.org/waroniraq/21298/]


"We must address the root causes of terrorism -- poverty, ignorance and injustice -- rather than responding to violence with violence." - from the Statement of the 5th Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, 11/12/2004


Lourdes Leger
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