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What Individuals Can Do To Oppose Warfare State

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You can find a lot of "local" information on the web site of the National Priorities Project of Northampton, Mass., which shows the cost of aggressive wars by states. Feel free in your literature to emphasize "America First!" The numbers of Americans who are jobless, in poverty and without decent health care are growing rapidly.

Distribute anti-war leaflets outside theatres showing war movies to reach youth and at bingo games to reach seniors, emphasizing in the latter case how the military siphons off their tax dollars.

Distribute articles to motorists in parking lots about how the Middle East wars have increased gasoline prices to motorists. Leaflets can also show how much war is costing each American family and how it is starving large sectors of American economy for capital, causing non-defense factories to close and limiting entrepreneurial start-ups.

Display Anti-war placards at major intersections where pedestrians and motorists can see them.

Go door to door in neighborhoods with anti-war leaflets urging families to pressure their teen-age children not to enlist. This is particularly important in poor and minority neighborhoods that have been targeted by Pentagon recruiters.

Organize a Peace Now motorcade and drive slowly through communities and downtowns. Point out how taxes wasted in wars could finance needed projects in your city or town.

Distribute non-violent leaflets with a photograph of the Rev. Martin Luther King stressing his opposition to war and aggression.

Urge city councils to close down military facilities and convert them to peaceful uses.

Urge the public schools to create courses on non-violence to curb crime domestically as well as aggression against foreign states.

In his book, Swanson names a number of groups that are working for non-violent change that you could contact. These include "The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance," "No War, No Warming," "Port Militarization Resistance" of Washington State, and "The International Longshoreman's and Warehouse Workers' Union" that "has shut down West Coast ports in opposition to the occupation of Iraq."

Swanson also urges joining and supporting groups such as his own After Downing Street,, Progressive Democrats of America, the National Accountability Network, the Peace Team, the World Can't Wait, CODE PINK: Women for Peace, Veterans for Peace, High Road for Human Rights, the American Freedom Campaign, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Lawyers Guild, and the American Civil Liberties Union. Of course, Quaker action groups should be on everyone's list.

"Work on what moves you, what would make a difference in your life and your family's life," Swanson advises. "Mobilize your community, your school, your clubs and organizations. I can't provide a complete list of useful organizations that you might want to join to work for the cause of peace and justice, but hundreds of good ones are listed at"

(Sherwood Ross formerly worked in the civil rights movement and for daily newspapers and wire services. To support his Anti-War News Service or comment reach him at )

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Sherwood Ross worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News and contributed a regular "Workplace" column for Reuters. He has contributed to national magazines and hosted a talk show on WOL, Washington, D.C. In the Sixties he was active as public (more...)
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what each individual is willing to do -- individua... by sometimes blinded on Sunday, Sep 20, 2009 at 7:05:16 PM
A tax strike would be a good way to bring the warf... by Darren Wolfe on Sunday, Sep 20, 2009 at 8:36:05 PM
Darren: Thanks for your Tom Paine quote. He says i... by Sherwood Ross on Sunday, Sep 20, 2009 at 9:22:00 PM
of the movie Rethink Afghanistan, put out by Brave... by Ross Levin on Sunday, Sep 20, 2009 at 9:42:41 PM
There is only one way, besides the necessary educa... by Guitar Chris on Sunday, Sep 20, 2009 at 11:58:59 PM
The power to issue money is the tool used to conti... by Patrick on Tuesday, Sep 22, 2009 at 5:03:33 PM
Patrick, thanks for your views. I think bankers re... by Sherwood Ross on Tuesday, Sep 22, 2009 at 7:14:59 PM
It's a conservative group that just put between 70... by Matt Stouler on Wednesday, Sep 23, 2009 at 6:26:41 PM
It's a conservative group that just put between 70... by Matt Stouler on Wednesday, Sep 23, 2009 at 6:26:58 PM
It's a conservative group that just put between 70... by Matt Stouler on Wednesday, Sep 23, 2009 at 6:27:10 PM
Conservatives have a lot to gain from smaller gove... by Sherwood Ross on Wednesday, Sep 23, 2009 at 8:35:05 PM