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Making A Difference By Resisting Oppressive Governments


By War Criminals Watch - Posted on 25 November 2011

We are reflecting on a year marked by the breaking open of beautiful waves of resistance to oppressive governments across the globe on the one hand and mounting crimes waged by our government in our name on the other. In this dynamic landscape what we do can make a profound difference.

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Memorial to the
Victims of the Global War on Terror

9/11 Global Memorial

911globalmemorial.net




Continued Need for
an Anti-War Movement

Drone Protest
The Commander-in-Chief/Nobel Prize Laureate is moving toward a war-fighting doctrine increasingly based on the use of unmanned drones in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia, and also ordered their use in Libya and Iraq. On October 6 and 7, we organized a fleet of 3 replica Reaper Drones as a visual protest at General Atomics, a drone maker near the White House, and at the National Air and Space Museum. The U.S. drone programs, run by both the CIA and the military, announce always that “insurgents” were killed by drone strikes, though growing evidence and documentation is bringing the civilian toll of thousands killed, especially in Pakistan, to light.



Anthony Wagner [1982–2011]
speaker on the
We Are Not Your Soldiers tour

Anthony Wagner
Anthony Wagner, who was sent to Iraq by the U.S. Army in 2005-06, spoke on the We Are Not Your Soldiers tour and stayed in touch with high school students he met while explaining why they shouldn't join the military and participate in occupying and destroying whole countries. He was a filmmaker, college student, Illinois native and anti-war hero.
Anthony died unexpectedly earlier this month. Shown here in the back, left, he was a warm, sweet and funny man; our hearts and love go to his family and friends who share our commitment to end the wars that used and abused good people like Anthony.




Stop Mass Incarceration!

Debra Sweet at Stop and Frisk

Stop mass incarceration by the U.S. at home and abroad! Debra joined a nonviolent civil disobedience action against the NYPD’s “stop and frisk” program, which is on track to stop 700,000 people this year, almost 90% Black and Latino, and with less than 10% of those stopped even receiving a ticket. Here we are at Harlem’s 28th Precinct in October, in the first action of a campaign moving around the city to stop this unconstitutional, racist practice through mass resistance. World Can’t Wait organized support for two waves of hunger strikes this summer in the CA prison system, where prisoners of all nationalities united to protest solitary confinement carried out for decades.

Donating to World Can’t Wait and continuing your commitment to end the crimes of this government makes that difference.  Who could have anticipated the fresh, positive development of the OCCUPY Wall Street + Everywhere movement where it is most needed – here in the U.S.? In this new situation of possibilities for mass resistance, World Can’t Wait’s relentless voice is needed more than ever.  

We hope you can re-join our work with a donation. This movement is stronger with you. We need your financial support to reach our year-end goal of $50,000 by December 31.  

In February as the Mubarak government was driven out, Debra sent a one sentence message, accompanied by a gorgeous photo of millions in Tahrir Square, “Now, do you see what we were talking about?” A huge part of addressing major systemic problems is accomplished by masses of people taking to the streets and staying there.  

People are justified in feeling how intolerable the lopsidedness of income is in our own country, but don’t always know understand how much that is connected to our government expanding its empire, and thus becoming more repressive at home. Our mission helps people see that reality, and giving them a way to act to stop the crimes of our government becomes more important as those crimes mount. Bringing it all together is crucial at this time.  

Six years ago, when World Can’t Wait began, not enough people thought such actions were necessary or possible. But now, Occupy Wall Street is two months old, and occupations have spread, literally changing our concept of an “occupation.” Some are being evicted or brutally attacked by police (and being strengthened because of those attacks), but something new has been born. We have an answer to the question; tens of thousands are showing that they are moved – and sometimes both desperate and hopeful enough – to take such actions.  

Though Barack Obama announced the end of combat troops in Iraq – something necessitated by the opposition we in the antiwar movement are responsible for – the U.S. remains deeply engaged in occupying Iraq, with combat troops over the border in Kuwait ready to return quickly, and tens of thousands of private contractors in the country. Obama, in fact, wanted to scrap Bush’s 2011 date for withdrawal, provided he could get troops immunity from local prosecution. Reportedly the Iraqi government balked at such immunity because they read a U.S. diplomatic cable via Wikileaks which detailed a 2006 U.S. military killing of ten Iraqi civilians and bombings to destroy the evidence in Ishaqi, Iraq. The war on Iraq was illegitimate, immoral, unjust, and based on lies when George Bush began it, and the continued domination remains so. Someone needs to say: Prosecute the criminals who launched this war of aggression.  

Afghanistan is now fully Obama’s war, with civilian deaths increasing since he sent more troops and continued the “night raids” that so outrage the population there. As we are meeting more veterans of the war, we sense growing anger at the ongoing crimes against the Afghan people. We are proud to have helped initiate the occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington on October 6, the 10th anniversary of the U.S. bombing and invasion of Afghanistan. Someone needs to say: Ten years is way too long for the richest country to be destroying one of the poorest on the planet.  

A foundation of the Bush doctrine was that the president can do whatever he wants. Bush didn’t, however, openly order the killing of U.S. citizens. That Barack Obama just sent drone strikes to kill 3 three U.S. citizens (Anwar al-Awlaki, a Muslim cleric, his 16 year old son, and another associate in Yemen) and justifies it is a horror. This is monstrous immorality – no government should be allowed to kill with impunity, much less from a distance, in secret, off a battlefield. These actions are not making the world, nor people in this country, safer. Someone needs to say: Crimes are crimes, no matter who does them.  

Someone needs to say all this louder, and World Can’t Wait does! We go after the cutting edge issues, dig through the lies and cover-ups to speak the truth. We find substantive and visible ways to encourage people to act on what their consciences tell them is true, opening up space for people to take principled stands of resistance. And we support them when they do.  

We’ve learned how much people crave community, and how much a community of truth-seekers, artists, activists, war resisters and youth can open up possibilities. World Can’t Wait fosters this community and provides a place for all those who are disgusted and want to act, including those in non-urban areas. We connect people across the country through our volunteer national office, conference calls, webcasts, online social networking, and live events.  

Supporters of World Can’t Wait – including you who support this work financially – have been tremendously energetic, creative and determined in showing collective conscience in action. We can’t and won’t stop now, though we will do a lot more with sufficient funding.  World Can’t Wait has stuck with its principles, and is leading others to take meaningful actions that challenge the wars, the torture state and the re-making of U.S. society in a fascist direction. Can you think back to before the USA PATRIOT Act, before surveillance cameras and “watch what you say” and “Homeland” security? Can you remember when only Republicans rounded up immigrants and separated families in detention, or supported legislation giving “personhood” rights to fetuses? We cherish allies who tell is like it is. As we said in the Call to Drive Out the Bush Regime, “This whole idea of putting our hopes and energies into ‘leaders’ who tell us to seek common ground with fascists and religious fanatics is proving every day to be a disaster, and actually serves to demobilize people.” We need our own voices speaking up for the people’s interests.  

We ask for your year-end donation now in support of concrete efforts to stop the crimes of our government.  

• 2012 begins with the tenth anniversary of Bush opening the U.S. prison at Guantánamo. World Can’t Wait has been working for months in coalition with Amnesty International, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Witness Against Torture and other groups to mark it by gathering a human chain of 2,271 orange jump-suited protesters from the White House to the Capitol.  

171 will represent the Guantánamo prisoners, more than half of whom were cleared to leave by the Bush regime. 2,100 will represent an approximate number held in the U.S. prison at Bagram, Afghanistan, without habeas corpus rights, thanks to the Obama administration. The 2,771 detainees still at Guantánamo and Bagram represent all that is wrong – morally and legally – with the war of terror the Bush regime loosed on the world after 9/11.  

• Dozens more schools are waiting for the We Are Not Your Soldiers tour. We are meeting more veterans who want to speak as soon as we get funds for transportation, stipends, and materials. But even that is not enough! It will be a crime if this program doesn’t get so well known and controversial that it becomes an attraction for kids who know the wars are wrong. This tour needs to be a news item, known by millions. When the tour starts being debated in school board meetings, we’ll know we are cracking open the school to military pipeline.  

Will the dogs of war be unchallenged at the major political events in 2012? NATO and the G8 meet in Chicago in May, the Republicans in Tampa in August, and the Democrats in Charlotte in September. Repressive police measures are being planned now. They mobilize silence, so we must mobilize truth-speaking. We are going to do everything we can, not to let people drop their sights or lie to themselves about the decisive need for our interests to be represented in the streets, and on the airwaves as the fate of millions is decided in barricaded convention centers.  


World Can’t Wait’s message is directed at people living in this country who have a basic responsibility for what our government does. We know that political protest by a mass, independent movement which is determined, broad, and large enough can force governments to respond to just demands. Let’s work together to be sure that this new wave of street protests brings forward sustained resistance aimed at stopping the crimes of our government that cause so much suffering. Because the world can’t wait!  

Sincerely,

Debra Sweet,
DIRECTOR,
WORLD CAN’T WAIT

Debra Sweet


and

Candace Gorman,
ATTORNEY
FOR GUANTÁNAMO PRISONERS

 

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