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Re: [casi] Chomsky et al. Sign Petition?

At 13:29 27/03/03, Dermot Moynihan wrote:
>Can't hurt to sign this.

Sorry, the following is the text - good advice on organising and reaching out:

We Work for Peace and Justice

Building a movement powerful enough to stop the war in Iraq or to
successfully curb a next war in Syria or Iran or Venezuela, involves many
factors. Among these, and perhaps the most fundamental, is sufficient numbers.

To successfully challenge those in power, our movement must constantly grow
in numbers as well as consciousness and commitment. We must reach out to
people who are against the war, but who have not yet acted on their
beliefs. We must reach out to people who are troubled by what they are
witnessing, but who have not yet decided to oppose the war and the policies
behind it. We must reach out as well to those who now support the war, but
without full knowledge of the context, history, and implications.

A key task therefore, in addition to demonstrating, is to talk to people,
to hear their misgivings, their confusions, and their insights, and to
provide an alternative viewpoint able to generate critical solidarity that
can last. We need to address the people whose addresses we don't have. We
need to go door to door in neighborhoods and dorms, and we need to do it
over and over. We need to talk to coworkers on the job, to people who we
encounter during the day shopping, to our neighbors, and to the person next
to us in class or in church or wherever we may be. We need to organize.

On a larger scale, our collective efforts can also reach out to audiences
beyond our current membership. Our marches can go through neighborhoods
instead of only downtown. People on the marches can go and talk with those
who will inevitably be drawn to watch such events. Thousands of groups can
go into shopping areas and set up tables and then talk to those in the
area. Talk. Talk. That is the foundation of building larger demonstrations,
deeper commitment, and raising costs for elites, and thus winning change.

If 100 or 500 or 5,000 or 50,000 people or more are ready and willing to
block streets or obstruct buildings as a means of pressuring elites in a
context where support is growing, that's wonderful, especially when the
targets are part of the war machine, as in the efforts to block military
trains in Europe. But shouldn't as many people, the next day, or the day
before, or both, be willing to spread out and talk to the population,
facilitating their becoming actively involved as well?

Our demonstrations create a context that facilitates reaching out to
organize the populace, but as important as they are, marches, rallies, and
obstructions won't by themselves do that organizing. To hear views and to
change minds requires that we listen and then convey evidence, arguments,
and also sympathy and respect for where people are at. It takes talk.

To win against this war, the next war, and the causes of war and of
injustice more broadly, we need to assemble tens of millions of active,
committed movement members. But even if we continually talk to those who
disagree with us, how can we know what we are accomplishing, and what can
be our point of entry?

A possible technique would be for all of us, worldwide, to go to people
with a statement for them to sign -- something that's timely  but that
won't grow stale, something that is concrete and specific, but that is also
universal enough for international use and thorough enough so that to get
signatures we will have to address all the issues that obstruct people
becoming actively involved in a growing movement for peace and justice.

Maybe something like this:

"I stand for peace and justice.

I stand for democracy and autonomy. I don't think the U.S. or any other
country should ignore the popular will and violate and weaken international
law, seeking to bully and bribe votes in the Security Council.

I stand for internationalism. I oppose any nation spreading an ever
expanding network of military bases around the world and producing an
arsenal unparalleled in the world.

I stand for equity. I don't think the U.S. or any other country should seek
empire. I don't think the U.S. ought to control Middle Eastern oil on
behalf of U.S. corporations and as a wedge to gain political control over
other countries.

I stand for freedom. I oppose brutal regimes in Iraq and elsewhere but I
also oppose the new doctrine of "preventive war," which guarantees
permanent and very dangerous conflict, and is the reason why the U.S. is
now regarded as the major threat to peace in much of the world. I stand for
a democratic foreign policy that supports popular opposition to
imperialism, dictatorship, and political fundamentalism in all its forms.

I stand for solidarity. I stand for and with all the poor and the excluded.
Despite massive disinformation millions oppose unjust, illegal, immoral
war, and I want to add my voice to theirs. I stand with religious and moral
leaders all over the world, with world labor, and with the huge majority of
the populations of countries throughout the world.

I stand for diversity. I stand for an end to racism directed against
immigrants and people of color. I stand for an end to repression at home
and abroad.

I stand for peace. I stand against this war and against the conditions,
mentalities, and institutions that breed and nurture war and injustice.

I stand for sustainability. I stand against the destruction of forests,
soil, water, environmental resources, and biodiversity on which all life

I stand for justice. I stand against economic, political, and cultural
institutions that promote a rat race mentality, huge economic and power
inequalities, corporate domination even unto sweatshop and slave labor,
racism, and gender and sexual hierarchies.

I stand for policies which redirect the money used for war and military
spending to provide healthcare, education, housing, and jobs.

I stand for a world whose political, economic, and social institutions
foster solidarity, promote equity, maximize participation, celebrate
diversity, and encourage full democracy.

I stand for peace and justice and, more, I pledge to work for peace and

If a million or more new people in many countries around the world come to
understand and to agree with this statement, it will have powerful short
and long run repercussions, enlarging our movement and giving it a positive
tone, as well. We therefore think this is an approach worth considering. At
any rate, we ought to organize, organize, organize -- among those not yet

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