Voices from June 6:

"Not In Our Name"

Revolutionary Worker #1156, June 23, 2002, posted at http://rwor.org

The following are short excerpts from some of the statements made at the June 6 Not In Our Name events around the country:

Phillip Berrigan, Ploughshares activist:

"Let us make this splendid pledge with all of our hearts. But let us also back our words with our bodies, with direct action, indeed, with non-violent resistance, because the psychopaths in power wrap themselves in the flag and hide behind the mob as they terrorize people everywhere. For we must say no to their criminality, for our faith and sanity, for the children and the innocent, for our sisters and brothers globally."

Leslie Cagan, Chairperson, Pacifica Foundation:

"I really do believe that we can turn it around, that we can stop the madness, that we can end the bombing wherever it is, that we can stop the repression and the racism--and that we can do that not because we and some friends are doing it, but because we every single day go out there and talk to other people and bring other people into our ranks and we do this consciously as part of an international movement... We can learn from our own history and we can learn from our sisters and brothers all around the world and we can actually stop this madness."

Michael Ratner, Center for Constitutional Rights:

"I am taking the pledge today because the time comes when all of us must stand and be counted: counted against repression at home and war abroad. We will not be safer at home until the U.S. government sees itself as part of the world and not as the world's exploiter. This means an end to its stripping of the world's resources; an end to its refusal to join in a global system of world justice; an end to its disregard of treaties that would protect us all from global warming; an end to its oil politics in the Middle East and an end to its support for militarism in Israel, Colombia and throughout the world. The struggle to regain our lost liberty at home will only be won when we have a more equal world; a world based upon justice and equality; a world free from economic exploitation."

Lynne Stewart, Attorney:

"I was in this church in the mid-'60s when a band of brave young men resisted the United States marshals who dragged them out of the sanctuary because they refused to go to Vietnam. I was not there, but I know the lessons of the Underground Railroad. I know the lessons of resistance, and I know that resistance is not rewarded except by the most important of rewards: that you can call your conscience your own and you can get up in the morning and look in the mirror at yourself. Those are the two rewards of resisting an unjust and unfair government."

Juanita Young:

"I am the mother of Malcolm Ferguson. I know what it is to have a loved one so violently taken away from them, and I stand here and watch my friends' lives being changed by the way the government is now targeting them. I cannot stand by and let them be living the way they're living. I'm taking this pledge because I'm against the killing of innocent people. I take this pledge for you young."

Rabbi Michael Feinberg:

"As a Jew, I want to add myself to the struggle, add myself to the forces that are supporting those Arabs and Muslims in this country that are under attack. As a Jew, I want to recommit myself to a just peace in the Middle East that guarantees full equality, sovereignty and self-determination to the Palestinian people. As a Jew, I know from Jewish history and from Jewish ethics what the ultimate price of the dehumanization of any people is. And for that reason I take this pledge to work for all, to build real human security and solidarity."

Samia Halaby, Al-Awda:

"It's really wonderful to see so many young faces. I love the different ways people say no to the system, say no to imperialism, to the oppression of this government, to this fake war against terrorism by terrorists themselves."

Earl Kooperkamp, St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Harlem:

"This pledge gives us hope, and with that hope we can make a difference. Because we know another world is possible. Those of us who pray, we know another world has been promised. Those of us who have worked together with our comrades, we know another world will be made for all of our sisters and brothers together."

Yuri Kochiyama:

"We must let the U.S. know that we have had enough of their oppression, repression, lies, greed, robbery, false intentions, wars, assassinations and coups. We want to make it clear, not only to our fellow citizens, but to our brothers and sisters all over the world -- NOT IN OUR NAME. This must resound and echo widely especially to make it known to our red, white, and blue government."

Jeff Paterson, first GI resister in the Persian Gulf War:

"I was ordered to the Persian Gulf. And my battalion commander said, `If anything goes wrong over there we'll whip out the silver bullet and nuke the rag heads until they glow.' And I was trained to put together the silver bullet--the artillery fired nuclear warhead. And that's when it came to me...not in my name could this happen. Not in my hands would I put together that warhead."

Van Jones, Executive Director, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights:

"We are in a situation now with possible nuclear war between Pakistan and India. Why? Because the United States and the CIA deliberately liquidated the left all around the world so oppressed people have no one else to turn to than fundamentalists of all stripes and shades, and now there is a clash of fundamentalisms that's threatening to destroy the world. Well, who thought that was a good idea? Not us. It should not have been done in our name."

Paul Flores, writer and poet, Los Delicados:

"Where are these leaders leading us to? What `freedom' are they defending?... The freedom to go rip off other nations, the freedom to put a Coke bottling plant in Indonesia? We have to find one way to unite all of us here and everyone else that we know. Everybody. Our parents, change their mind. Teachers, change their mind. Your congressmen, change their mind. Do as much as you can. We have to unite and create an organized front for this. That's what we're going to try and do with this pledge today."

Frank Dorrel, Veterans for Peace, publisher of Addicted to War :

"We need to wake up the Americans that aren't here, the people who don't understand, the people that believe what we are told from the mainstream media: that our country is fighting for freedom and democracy all over the world, when they're using our tax money to drop bombs on people in Afghanistan, sanctions against the people of Iraq that are killing 5,000 children every month, the war against the Palestinians, and on and on. It is the war of the rich versus the poor... They're doing it in our name, and we have to stop them.

Blase Bonpane, Director, Office of the Americas:

"It is incumbent on us to resist the war-like threats being made now to 60 countries around the world, 60 nations... As Noam Chomsky said, terrorism is generally the behavior of the powerful toward the weak. We cannot allow the Pentagon to change the dictionary itself by defining terrorism in its own way, without realizing that these horrible wars that we have witnessed and been a part of are simply homegrown terrorism. We're here to say Not in Our Name, and we hope that this message goes throughout the world this evening."

From a resolution adopted by Green Party of Orange County, California:

"...Whereas Not In Our Name and the Pledge to Resist is a commitment to make common cause with the people of the world to bring about justice freedom and peace,

"Be it resolved that the Green Party of Orange County encourages all registered Greens and people who share our vision of creating a new politics to join us in making the Not in Our Name Pledge to Resist."

This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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