February 2003 – Call For ‘Not In our Name’

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Not In Our Name

As George W. Bush is inaugurated for a second term, let it not be said that people in the United States silently acquiesced in the face of this shameful coronation of war, greed, and intolerance. He does not speak for us. He  does not represent us. He does not act in our name.

No election, whether fair or fraudulent, can legitimize criminal wars on foreign countries, torture, the wholesale violation of human rights, and the end of science and reason. In our name, the Bush government justifies the invasion and occupation of Iraq on false pretenses, raining down destruction, horror, and misery, bringing death to more than 100,000 Iraqis. It sends our youth to destroy entire cities for the sake of so-called democratic elections, while intimidating and disenfranchising thousands of African American and other voters at home.

In our name, the Bush government holds in contempt international law and world opinion. It carries out torture and detentions without trial around the world and proposes new assaults on our rights of privacy, speech and assembly at home. It strips the rights of Arabs, Muslims and South Asians in the U.S., denies them legal counsel, stigmatizes and holds them without cause. Thousands have been deported.

As new trial balloons are floated about invasions of Syria, or Iran, or North Korea, about leaving the United Nations, about new ?lifetime detention? policies, we say not in our name will we allow further crimes to be committed against nations or individuals deemed to stand in the way of the goal of unquestioned world supremacy.

Could we have imagined a few years ago that core principles such as the separation of church and state, due process, presumption of innocence,freedom of speech, and habeas corpus would be discarded so easily?

Now, anyone can be declared an ?enemy combatant? without meaningful redress or independent review by a President who is concentrating power in the executive branch. His choice for Attorney General is the legal architect of the torture that has been carried out in Guant?namo,afghanistan,and Abu Ghraib.

The Bush government seeks to impose a narrow, intolerant, and political form of Christian fundamentalism as government policy. No longer on the margins of power, this extremist movement aims to strip women of their reproductive rights, to stoke hatred of gays and lesbians, and to drive a wedge between spiritual experience and scientific truth. We will not surrender to extremists our right to think. AIDS is not a punishment from God. Global warming is a real danger. Evolution happened. All people must be free to find meaning and sustenance in whatever form of religious or spiritual belief they choose. But religion can never be compulsory. These extremists may claim to make their own reality, but we will not allow them to make ours.

Millions of us worked, talked, marched, poll watched, contributed, voted,and did everything we could to defeat the Bush regime in the last election.

This unprecedented effort brought forth new energy, organization, and commitment to struggle for justice. It would be a terrible mistake to let our failure to stop Bush in these ways lead to despair and inaction. On the contrary, this broad mobilization of people committed to a fairer, freer, more peaceful world must move forward. We cannot, we will not, wait until 2008. The fight against the second Bush regime has to start now.

The movement against the war in Vietnam never won a presidential election. But it blocked troop trains, closed induction centers, marched,spoke to people door to door — and it helped to stop a war. The Civil Rights Movement never tied its star to a presidential candidate; it sat in, freedom rode, fought legal battles, filled jailhouses — and changed the face of a nation.

We must change the political reality of this country by mobilizing the tens of millions who know in their heads and hearts that the Bush regime?s ?reality? is nothing but a nightmare for humanity. This will require creativity, mass actions and individual moments of courage. We must come together whenever we can, and we must act alone whenever we have to.

We draw inspiration from the soldiers who have refused to fight in this  immoral war. We applaud the librarians who have refused to turn over lists of our reading, the high school students who have demanded to be taught evolution, those who brought to light torture by the U.S. military, and the massive protests that voiced international opposition to the war on Iraq. We affirm ordinary people undertaking extraordinary acts. We pledge to create community to back courageous acts of resistance. We stand with the people throughout the world who fight every day for the right to create their own future.

It is our responsibility to stop the Bush regime from carrying out this disastrous course. We believe history will judge us sharply should we fail to act decisively.

Over 9,000 people have now signed this statement. Among the initial signers are:

1. James Abourezk, former U.S. senator

2. Janet Abu-Lughod, professor emerita, New School

3. As`ad AbuKhalil, California State University, Stanislaus

4. Michael Albert

5. Edward Asner

6. Michael Avery, president, National Lawyers Guild

7. Russell Banks

8. Amiri Baraka

9. Rosalyn Baxandall, chair, American Studies/Media and Communications,

10. State University of New York at Old Westbury

11. Medea Benjamin, cofounder of Global Exchange and Code Pink

12. Phyllis Bennis

13. Larry Bensky, Pacifica radio

14. Michael Berg

15. Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen

16. William Blum, author, US foreign policy

17. St. Clair Bourne

18. Judith Butler, author and professor, University of California at Berkeley

19. Julia Butterfly, director, Circle of Life Foundation

20. Leslie Cagan, national coordinator, United for Peace and Justice

21. Kathleen & Henry Chalfant

22. Noam Chomsky, MIT

23. Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney-General

24. Marilyn Clement, nat?l coordinator, Campaign for a National Health Program

25. NOW

26. Robbie Conal, artist

27. Peter Coyote

28. Angela Davis

29. Diane di Prima, poet

30. Michael Eric Dyson

31. Nora Eisenberg, author of War at Home and Just the Way You Want Me

32. Daniel Ellsberg, former Defense and State Department official

33. Eve Ensler

34. Lawrence Ferlinghetti

35. Carolyn Forch?

36. Michael Franti

37. Boo Froebel

38. Peter Gerety

39. Jorie Graham, Harvard University

40. Andr? Gregory

41. Jessica Hagedorn, writer

42. Suheir Hammad

43. Sam Hamill, Poets Against the War

44. Danny Hoch, playwright/actor

45. Marie Howe

46. Abdeen M. Jabara, past president, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination

47. Committee

48. Bill T. Jones

49. Rickie Lee Jones

50. Barbara Kingsolver

51. C. Clark Kissinger, Refuse & Resist!

52. Evelyn Fox Keller, Professor of History of Science, MIT

53. Hans Koning, writer

54. David Korn

55. David C. Korten

56. Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor, TIKKUN magazine & Rabbi, Beyt Tikkun

57. Synagogue , SF

58. Phil Lesh, Grateful Dead

59. Staughton Lynd

60. Reynaldo F. Mac?as, chair, National Association for Chicana & Chicano Studies

62. Dave Marsh

63. MaryknollSisters, Western Region

64. Jim McDermott, Member of Congress, State of Washington

65. Robert Meeropol, executive director, Rosenberg Fund for Children

66. Robin Morgan, author and activist

67. Walter Mosley

68. Jill Nelson, writer

69. Odetta

70. Rosalind Petchesky, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Hunter

71. College & the Graduate Center – CUNY

72. Jeremy Pikser, screenwriter (Bulworth)

73. Frances Fox Piven

74. James Stewart Polshek, architect

75. William Pope L

76. Francine Prose

77. Jerry Quickley, poet

78. Michael atner, president, Center for Constitutional Rights

79. David Riker, filmmaker

80. Stephen Rohde, civil liberties lawyer

81. Matthew Rothschild, editor, The Progressive magazine

82. Luc Sante

83. Roberta Segal-Sklar, communications director, National Gay and Lesbian

84. Task Force

85. Wallace Shawn

86. Zach Sklar

87. Starhawk

88. Tony Taccone

89. Alice Walker

90. Naomi Wallace

91. Leonard Weinglass

92. Peter Weiss, president, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy

93. Cornel West

94. C.K. Williams, poet, Princeton University

95. Saul Williams

96. Krzysztof Wodiczko, director, Center for Advanced Visual Studies, MIT

97. David Zeiger, Displaced Films

98. Zephyr

99. Howard Zinn, historian

Please note that the statement text above is slightly edited from the text

originally posted.

You may sign this statement on this web site at

http://www.nion.us/READ_AND_SIGN.htm. You may also e-mail your

name, how you would like to be identified and your state of residence to

sign@nion.us. (Personal contact information will not be shared or utilized

for ny other purpose.)

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