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(en) US, NY, We Will March

From Chuck0 <chuck@mutualaid.org>
Date Sat, 8 Feb 2003 01:04:25 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

We Will March by Brian Dominick (Z Mag.)
Today I called the office of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. I left
a short message for him, stating that I will be marching on the streets of
his town next Saturday, February 15, in protest of a renewed war on Iraq.
I added that I will do so whether a permit is granted for the
demonstration or not. I also mentioned that I intend to bring two or three
hundred of my neighbors with me on buses fellow organizers and I  have
chartered. I made it quite clear that, permit or no permit, we will march.

As a US invasion force builds in the Middle East, the largest, most
diverse movement ever to challenge a war expands in scope and intensity
throughout the world. This latest clash between the streets and the elites
is at this phase neither cataclysmic nor revolutionary, but it is
certainly momentous. The coordinated, global actions of February 15th will
almost certainly constitute the largest grassroots mobilization in

Citing a concern that people's "everyday lives" would be disrupted by a
massive demonstration in Manhattan, police and city officials have refused
to provide protest organizers a permit to march outside the United Nations
headquarters. Somehow the preposterousness of that statement seems to be
lost on authorities and most reporters: It is the destruction and
cessation of peoples' lives we will be marching to prevent. Disruption of
lives the world over is guaranteed by the policies being aggressively
pursued by the US government. To oppose the elimination of lives, we will

Bloomberg's attempt to deflate demonstration sizes by denying a permit is
remarkably transparent. It has been tried before, in New York and many
other cities throughout the United States. There's a significant
likelihood that, as is typical, a permit will be granted at the eleventh
hour, once officials are satisfied that a substantial number of would-be
demonstrators have cancelled their plans to participate.

Ironically, if a permit is not handed down, officials will be partly
responsible for transforming what would otherwise be a legally sanctioned
expression of dissent, into a truly massive act of civil disobedience. The
remainder of that responsibility rests on the shoulders of those of us who
can participate. If the state wishes to offer us a choice between silence
and civil disobedience, they leave us no choice at all. If we number in
the tens of thousands, they will have no capacity to stop us, and any
attempt to do so would be massively detrimental to the City's image. We
will look around at ourselves, at the sheer mass of protesters, and we
will march.

We are motivated, at this point, by something no politician can so easily
manipulate or stifle. We are repulsed by the anti-democratic process by
which our leaders have settled on the course of war. We are disgusted by
the disdain their carelessness demonstrates toward the security of the
Middle East and the world. We are terrified of what missiles, bombs and
bullets will do to the people of a country already tortured by more than a
decade of vicious sanctions. These motivations have compelled us to pour
out into the streets of countless cities large and small, in unprecedented
numbers. And as the buildup of invasion forces in the Middle East
continues, a comparable escalation in the size and intensity of antiwar
forces is approaching a boiling point throughout the world.

Now that the government has revealed its objective is to use crude
repression to quell our dissent, those of us who live in the Northeastern
US have even more reason to turn out in New York City. Instead of letting
them frighten off a movement they have no practical ability to restrict,
we will demonstrate their efforts to quiet us can only backfire by
inspiring still more action. We will march!

Brian is an antiwar organizer in Syracuse, NY. He and other local
activists have organized 5 charter buses and numerous carpools to NYC for
February 15.

For more information on the demonstrations in New York and San Francisco,
check out http://unitedforpeace.org.

To tell New York City officials you intend to march on New York streets
come February 15:

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg: 212-788-9600, 212-788-3010, 212-788-3040 NYC
Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly: 646-610-8526 NYPD Chief of
Department Joseph Esposito: 646-610-6710


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