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IRAQ: Nationwide Days of Action To End the War on Iraq (April 26-28)

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)


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


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

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

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.


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


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