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more relevant for those in the US, but a good idea for us? Contact info at the end of this message.... IRAQ: Nationwide Days of Action To End the War on Iraq (April 26-28) Websource: http://www.endthewar.org/april_28-30.htm Across the country (USA)there will be demonstrations at supermarkets, drug store chains, medical supply outlets, water treatment plants, water towers, electric and gas companies, schools, and hospitals. Why? Because we want people to imagine just for a moment what life would be like if our cities were being bombed and under a sanctions blockade that prevented us from having access to food, safe drinking water, medicine, health care, power, education and economic security. These are the conditions the Iraqi people have been faced with for the last ten years. Join us in bringing this war into the light of day and in building a powerful grassroots movement to end this humanitarian disaster that has taken the lives of over a million Iraqi civilians. Ideas for Actions Sample Flyers: Jeff Grubler has posted flyers that you can grab and use for the event at http://www.amanullah.org/stopthewar/ Theme: The idea behind the April 26-28th Nationwide Days of Action to End the War is to draw attention to the devastation that has occurred to Iraq's infrastructure (ability to produce, transport, and obtain access to food, safe drinking water, medicine and healthcare, transportation, power, education and economic stability) caused by ten years of bombing and sanctions blockade. Where to demonstrate: The way in which we hope to draw attention to the situation in Iraq is to demonstrate at sights in our towns and cities that represent our own ability to gain access to these basic necessities of life. Some groups will be picking a single sight for their actions. For example, it looks like groups in the South Bay Area of Northern California will be holding their demonstration at a water tower that is located in down town Palo Alto. These groups are extremely lucky since they have a sight that represents our ability to have access to water and is conveniently located in a busy and populated area. Many water treatment plants, dames, and power plants are located on the outskirts of town. If your group chooses to do actions at these places you are taking a gamble since the only way that people would see your action is if media chooses to reported it. This is a gamble, but it might be worth it. A demonstration in front of a sewage plant by anti-war and anti-sanctions groups might capture the imaginations of both protestors and reporters. Another idea is to have a march that stops at different sights along the way. These might be the office building or payment center for your local gas and electric companies. The march can also stop at supermarkets, drugstore chains, medical supply outlets, banks, hospitals, schools, museums, stationary stores and stores that sell refrigeration equipment and garages that sell car and truck tires, health clubs with swimming pools, clothing and department stores, and toy stores. Why protest at these places? At each sight it might be a good idea to have someone on the bullhorn who can briefly explain why we are stopping at these places. Here are some suggestions, however, this is not meant to replace your own research. Supermarkets, Drug stores chains, Medical supply outlets, Hospitals, and Schools There is a ton of information on the web and in books on how the sanctions have reeked havoc on Iraq's ability to provide food, medicine, heath care, and education to its population. In other words these are easy ones to explain the connection between our demonstrations and the situation in Iraq. Here are some locations that might provide a bit more of a challenge. The electric and gas company It should be explained that power goes out in Iraqi cities for a certain amount of hours on a daily basis and that this interrupts phone lines, medical equipment in hospitals, lights in schools and cuts off power to the water treatment plants causing further contamination. Banks Recession - ha! Imagine our currency being completely worthless with 80% of our family's income (for those who are employed) going to putting food on the table. Places that sell Refrigeration equipment and Tires These are restricted items considered dual use -civilian and military items. Unfortunately they are also necessary for the preservation and transportation of medicine and food. Clothing and Department Stores Everything from children's clothing to wedding dresses have been restricted or prevented from entering Iraq at one time or another. Toy Stores All sorts of toys have been prevented from entering Iraq at one time or another (I have a copy of the list that is no longer posted to the Iraq Action Coalitions website. This list was compiled in 1997 and contains items that were banned, restricted or simply not let into Iraq at one time or another by the sanctions committee.) Stopping items such as clothing and toys from getting into Iraq does not cause death, but it does demonstrate that the sanctions have been aimed at making the people suffer. Also a few months ago it was in the news that Saddam was importing Sony Play Stations supposedly for their military components. This type of stuff needs to be ridiculed. Was Saddam upgrading his arsenal from Atari II, and was the US successful in February in bombing Iraq back to Pong? Stationary stores Remember Iraqi children should not have pencils because the lead or something or other can be taken out of the pencils and used to make Iraqi planes invisible to radar. I'm not making this up, check it out in the book "Iraq Under Siege". Health clubs with Swimming pools The lifeguards in these health clubs are using chlorine - which is considered to be a dangerous chemical weapon that has been restricted in its importation to Iraq regardless of the fact that it is needed to purify the drinking water. Creative stuff to do Have some people wearing dark suits with incredibly oversized yellow badges that say "weapons inspector" or "sanctions committee". These weapons inspectors and sanctions committee members can explain to shoppers and protesters that the items in their cart or in the stores are either "dual use", or that under the sanctions blockade they are not entitled to have them. ** Please keep your professional decorum as weapons inspectors and members of the sanctions committee and not yell at the shoppers. Carolyn Scarr has proposed that our weapons inspectors and sanctions committee members stop a shopper (who is one of us) and starts pulling restricted items from their cart. This is a good idea and could be effective if our weapons inspectors and sanctions committee members were on the microphone (or are loud enough to address the entire crowed and not just one individual person otherwise no one will know what's was going on. In front of the banks you can have someone buy a loaf of bread for a wheel barrel filled with Iraqi money. Make bull's eye targets on paper with the text reading "legitimate target for bombing and blockade" that can be taped on appropriate buildings along the way. You can also make large bull's eye targets on paper or cloth that can be taped onto or held in front of the locations that you stop at. This is to represent the idea that if these places were in Iraq they would be considered legitimate targets to be bombed. To make that message even clearer one or more people can be dressed as smart bombs and make a point of running into these targets. You can even play matador and bull with the smart bomb. Since it is claimed that smart bombs only hit military targets you can wave the target in front of the smart bomb like a bullfighter waves the red cloth and then at the last second pull the target away and "bam" the smart bomb crashes into the school or supermarket. When the smart bomb hits the building people can do a die in. What is a die in? Simply fall down and pretend to be dead or twist and turn in agony as if you have just been bombed. Everyone should also remember to scream. Another idea is the air raid bombing drill. Basically this is the good old "duck and cover". Imagine everyone squatting down with their hands behind their heads when the smart bombs pass by them. What does a smart bomb costume look like? You can make a tube shaped silver colored missile with fins at the bottom and coming to a cone shaped point at the top. Remember that there needs to be a place for the persons face so they can see and that they need to be able to move there legs. Write smart bomb on the side of the missile and give it a blue or black graduation cap and tassel which can be made out of thick paper and stapled on. Silly thick black glasses that you can pick up in novelty, magic and joke shops would be a welcomed addition. Detailed instructions with practical suggestions of how to make a smart bomb costume will soon be on the way. After the smart bomb has crashed into the school, museum, supermarket or other legitimate military target you can drape yellow caution tape (which your group has taken the time to print the word "sanctions" all over) in front of or around the building. This is to symbolize that after these structures have been bombed sanctions have prevented them from being rebuilt. You can also hold up a banner in front of these places saying something like "Bombed and Blockaded" or "Closed to due to bombing and blockade" or "legitimate target of bombing and blockade". You can probably think of something better than these, but that's the idea. You can also make a "Smart Sanctions" costume. Have someone dressed like a diploma that reads "Smart Sanctions Diploma" "This is to certify that the Sanctions on Iraq have successfully achieved a PHD in starvation, illness, deprivation and death." I would hand write the "Sanctions on Iraq" in red marker or paint since you can say something about it being written in blood. Speaking of that, it should be signed by Colin Powell. We are very fortunate here in the Bay Area to have a dead ringer for Collin Powell. If you do not have a Collin Powell impersonator to introduce the Smart Sanctions you can do a short name changing ceremony or something explaining how during the Viet Nam War bombing people's houses and villages got a bad name so that's why we came up with the name Smart Bombs. Now that sanctions are starting to get a bad rap it is time for a PR campaign and a name change for the sanctions. I know this sounds cynical about the recent developments. Actually I am quite hopeful, but I think that we have to make the point that we want real change and will not except PR crap to make the sanctions more palatable while not making them less deadly. You don't have to get arrested to do this stuff. In fact it's better if you don't, if you get arrested less people will see you. These things can be hit and run -create a ruckus in front of each place and then get the hell out of there. You can also explain to the police and maybe even to the managers or whoever is in charge of the places that you are stopping at that you have nothing against their business and that your goal is not to shut them down but to get your point across and then you will be moving on. Some places you only need to spend a few minutes at. For most places 10 or 15 minutes at each site would do the trick but you can push it if things are going well. Some of these things might seem very silly and they are, but they will get the attention of folks on the street and will make for good photos in the paper and footage on TV. Hey what's so wrong with having a good time at a protest anyway? The more creative we are the more effective we will be. Until we have a permanent home, the Network can be contacted through: Robert Jensen Department of Journalism University of Texas Austin, TX 78712 office: (512) 471-1990 fax: (512) 471-7979 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk