Johnson won the right to burn the flag against enforced patriotism in the U.S. Supreme Court's 1989 landmark decision, Texas v. Johnson. For the police to effectively nullify this right in actual practice undermines this decision at a time when it is more imperative than ever to protect the right to dissent.
Last week I asked you to hold the dates of Monday & Tuesday October 5 & 6 and Friday March 19, 2010. I reported on the unity of plans achieved at the Pittsburgh conference to end the occupations of Iraq & Afghanistan. See the message here.
World Can't Wait is not waiting for someone else to re-build the kind of resistance needed, in the face of horrors that must be stopped. We are eager to work with organizations and people who are not arguing to give President Obama "more time" but want to stick to anti-war principles now by visibly resisting the wars with the intention of stopping them.
We've put out a proposal for actions in early October, including Monday October 5 in Washington DC for actions at the White House & Congress, and a national day of resisting the recruiters in high schools Tuesday, October 6.
After networking and consulting with other organizations and leaders, the World Can't Wait Steering Committee will meet on August 1 to finalize fall plans. We want your input. Please take the survey here by July 31. Or write me about the questions below...or what is on your mind.
1. Do you feel the controversy over the Obama administration not prosecuting anyone involved in torture has changed the political climate in this country? If so, how so? If not, why not?
2. What do you think of Obama's expansion of the war in Afghanistan? Why? Do others you know agree or disagree? How much has that war been successfully re-branded as the "good war"?
3. In the past few months has your opinion of Obama changed? Favorably or unfavorably? Why? How about people you know?
4. After reading the October 5/6th proposal what do you think is possible for these days of resistance? What do you think is necessary? What is your vision of protest for those days?
Here is the message World Can't Wait brought Thursday, when Barack Obama spoke in NYC:
The Illegitimate Occupations of Iraq & Afghanistan & the Torture State All Belong to Obama Now!
If you hated what was done in your name under Bush, you must act against crimes being done in your name during the Obama administration. We must visibly and loudly oppose and resist crimes of our government, no matter who is commanding the "war of terror" on the people of the Middle East.
The election of the first Black president is effectively re-branding preemptive and illegal wars of aggression to make us feel good about them. Massive anti-war sentiment and action is already being transformed into flag-waving patriotism, passivity and capitulation in the face of horrors.
Barack Obama escalated the war in Afghanistan begun by George Bush. It's a war of aggression, a supreme war crime. Most of the people killed by the US military there are civilians, with the U.S. justifying collateral damage and collective punishment, secret prisons, denial of due process and torture.
It is wrong, unjust, illegitimate and immoral. And it won't be otherwise, no matter who is president. There is no such thing as a "good" war on terror. Obama widened the war to Pakistan where air strikes by unmanned aircraft are a regular occurrence which killed hundreds of civilians in Pakistan since October.
While troops are being withdrawn from the urban areas of Iraq, 130,000 troops and 150,000 civilian contractors remain in bases near the cities, where they can strike in minutes. US combat troops are now classified in name as "advisers" bringing to mind the war crimes carried out on civilians by US "advisers" in Southeast Asia.
If you don't think this is right, say so!
Director, The World Can't Wait
World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.