Antiwar. More than mass protest is needed

Dave (Buddhagem) from TheBlueVoice comments on our post about the upcoming Sept. 15 March on Washington.

I will be there with you on September 15, but don’t you think it’s time we employed some other tactics? I just had a really interesting conversation with a girl who is here illegally from Indonesia. She said, “Those aren’t protests [talking about our anti-war protests specifically] those are celebrations.” Then I read a really interesting piece on Indymedia LA; and the guy was basically making a similar argument. Saying, “You don’t ask for permission [getting permits and the like] to protest. The ruling elite can accept that all day long.

Now I’m not saying we give up on the large demos. But there seems to be a need to do something more. To ratchet it up a bit. I wonder what your thoughts are.

I agree. Mass protest is important, but more is needed. Sometimes, even at big demonstrations, it feels like the speakers are talking to the already converted. More outreach is always good, but polls show the majority of the public now opposes the war and nearly 50% favor impeachment of Bush, so the outreach is mostly done. Yet Congress ignores the antiwar sentiment of those who elect them.

So, how about we protest pro-war congress members wherever they go, at any public event. Ditto for cabinet members, Cheney, and Bush. Make it uncomfortable for them to appear in public. This could be creatively done, not just angry protesters, but with street theater and massive civil disobedience too.

Work stoppages and walkouts. Sure, this would be hard to organize, but imagine the effect. In 2006, the work stoppages coupled with the historic immigration rights marches sent a clear message – and that’s when the ruling class started paying attention. The antiwar movement needs to do the same.

Unity. The antiwar movement is fractured, often with quite real, hard to resolve differences between the various antiwar organizations. Somehow, we all need to come together under one banner, End The War. Imagine what could be accomplished if we did.

So, those are my thoughts, what are yours? How do we end these insane wars?


  1. Let’s suppose that you picketed Obama for his essentially pro-war stance. You picketed him with a million people everywhere he went. He’d be on the news every day, and it would likely increase his chances of getting elected just on name recognition alone. You would have helped promote what you wanted to stop.

    I don’t believe you can change the status quo with confrontational tactics and a single-issue approach. These are part of the system that promotes war. To end war, we must step outside the system.

    The discussion here over these past few months shows an evolving understanding of the nature of conflict– let’s talk now about an evolution of tactics.

  2. I don’t mean just Obama. Picket all of them. Since the ruling elite doesn’t appear to be responding to logic and persuasion, then political pressure needs to be brought forth.

  3. I don’t mean just Obama, either, he was just an example of how (just like in conducting a war itself) conventional tactics fail, and actually benefit those they are intended to defeat.

    Don’t get me wrong: there is political pressure available that can be effective. But I think in this post-modern world, picketing often (if not always) plays right into their hands.

    To paraphrase Toffler (1992), we’ve got a dofferent kind of war, we need a doifferent kind of peacemaking.

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