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RE: [casi] to Gabriels response

'g', I can't make out when I (or indeed anyone eles) stops being an
'ordianry person' and becomes a 'professional activist'. I know several
people who've been to Iraq breaking sanctions: none of them were paid to do
so. As far as I know, VoW pays nobody to do anything: all the Voices
sanctions-busters have been 'ordinary people' like me or (I presume) you.

With the possible exception of the odd CND or Friends staffer, I think that
all the people who camped out on the Iraq/Saudi border in 1990 were also
amateurs - I've met a few of them, too. What's the definition, g?

I think that the main reason Gabriel took some exception to your post was
that you mentioned that all of it would be done with the help and support of
Saddam. Was this ironic? If so, beware: irony doesn't travel well in email.


Chris Williams

> -----Original Message-----
> From: g []
> Sent: Saturday, July 20, 2002 3:51 AM
> To:   casi-discuss
> Subject:      [casi] to Gabriels response
> [ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]
> Well, I'm sorry you didn't like my suggestion Gabriel, and while I'm
> certainly thankful for groups such as Voices in the Wilderness who are
> doing what they can, I honestly don't believe the presence of a few
> "seasoned protestors" will be enough to stop the US from dropping those
> bombs. It has already been shown that the US government does not
> particularly value the lives or civil or human rights of professional
> protestors. It was shown in Seattle, at the WTO protests, it is shown to
> be the case when Green Peace protestors are shot at, or run over, by the
> coast guard, it was shown to be the case, as far back as the Vietnam war,
> when unarmed college protestors were gunned down by the National Guard.
> Over 40 children, at Waco, each and every one of them American citizens,
> was not enough to stop swat teams from setting the compound on fire, and
> burning everyone alive. There was no compassion shown for mothers and
> infants at Ruby Ridge. I'm not sure why you say it would be a "PR
> disaster". (Maybe you could explain that one to me, a little better?)
> Whatever works, I think, is what's important, whatever stops those bombs
> from falling, whatever prevents another Iraqi child from dying of
> starvation, bad water, or lack of medical care. I'm not sure "PR" should
> be the top priority here, since the people involved would not be doing it,
> to further their political or "professional activist careers", they would
> be doing it, out of a strong sense of urgency and need to save these
> peoples lives, through whatever means necessary. The kind of protest I am
> talking about, would be more like a massive exodus of American, British,
> and other foreign citizens, who would not necessarily be professional
> activists, just ordinary people who care very much about what is going on
> there. (enough to risk their lives, in fact) I don't personally believe
> small groups of professional protestors will ever be enough to prevent
> "Uncle Sam" from nuking Baghdad, or completely annihilating the Iraqi
> people, they will just call that "collateral damage", or "unavoidable
> civilian casualties", and move on. However, if a very large number of
> ordinary citizens (men, women, and children) were to protest in such a
> manner, that would be a bit different scenario. Of course, it would not be
> easy, it would be very difficult, it would require the cooperation of the
> Iraqi government, and quite a bit of help from them, as well. Imagine, if
> you will, tent cities encamped all around Iraq, full of foreign citizens,
> thousands of people, entire families, saying, "if you bomb them, you bomb
> us", now THAT would make a statement, that would be harder for the US
> government to ignore, or to pass off as "acceptable casualties". Of
> course, only people with a truly serious commitment to this cause, would
> be able to do this, it would not be a job for "career activists", who
> intend to live on, to protest again, somewhere else, this would only be
> for those who are willing to risk their very lives, as there is no
> guarantee that Uncle Sam will not drop the bomb on it's own, at this
> point.
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