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[casi] Voices on the railings (fwd)

I don't think this has been mentioned on this list before, and I thought
it's quite a nice idea which is worth sharing. The website is worth a visit if the idea appeals.


----- Original Message -----
Subject: Voices on the railings

A suggestion - 'Voices on the railings'

In the coming weeks US and UK leaders and 'intelligence agencies' will be trying to get public and 
international support for war.

Without any real public or parliamentary debate, there needs to be a way in which people right 
across the country - in villages, towns and cities - can articulate their thoughts and concerns 
about Britain launching this war.

This needs to include people who cannnot attend the march in London on 15th February for practical 
reasons, or who don't feel sure enough about the issues to join the march and declare that Blair is 
wrong.  These millions of people are no less concerned about Britain starting a war.  As human 
beings, we are all thinking about the soldiers and civilians who will die, and the human costs and 
environmental costs for generations to come.  We are concerned that this will simply add recruits 
to alQuaida.  Most people find it very difficult to believe that the way to remove Sadaam Hussein 
from power is to explode bombs and uranium coated warheads on Iraq and the Iraqi people.

So here is a simple proposal for a very local response, and if we all do it, it could become a 
national response.  It is a simple way to enable people to share their concerns, and make these 
visible.  Now is the time to do it.  It's already happening...

The full description is at

But here is a brief explanation:

At Ground Zero in New York City people tied messages and photos to the railings to remember those 
who died and to grieve. Now the US and UK are threatening war on Iraq, and initially justified it 
as a response to September 11th.  A similar response is needed in advance of, and during, this next 
human tragedy.

The suggestion is that people across Britain tie messages, pictures, tie-on tags and ribbons to the 
railings on our streets, in our villages, in our markets and around our churches, to share our 
thoughts and concerns about Britain proposing war.  The idea is to prompt people to think about 
what's happening in their name, and to encourage them to articulate their concerns.  It's to draw 
attention to the lack of real public debate about such an important issue.  It is to make public 
concern visible.

The website at includes resources and a DIY guide for getting local 
people's voices "on the railings."  This can be done simply by individuals, without organisation.  
Or it can be organised by churches, community groups, schools, Women's Institutes, etc.  It can be 
on people's garden gates, as well as on railings.

Why railings?
Railings have a distinct place in the history of  war and protest.  In the Second World War 
railings in Britain were melted down to produce weapons.  (Many churches and villages never 
restored them.)  The suffragettes tied themselves to railings to protest that women did not have 
the vote.  They also symbolise keeping people in and keeping people out - like the 100s of 
prisoners being kept in Guantanamo Bay by the US since September 11th, without charge.

Why tie-on messages?
Tie-on luggage labels are associated with coming and going - the soldiers going to Iraq, and the 
people who will inevitably leave Iraq as refugees.  Tie-on tags will be used in mortuaries to tie 
on the foot of the dead, both here and there.  On your railings, tie-on labels and tags can be 
supplemented with coloured ribbons and paper in A5 plastic pockets.

What next...

-  Visit the website and download anything useful.
-  Get some tie-on tags, or A5 plastic pockets and wire ties.
-  Write some thoughts and concerns.
-  Tie these to some railings in your area.

And please forward this email.

With hopes and best wishes

from the 'On the railings' team.

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