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Posts Tagged ‘Anti-War’

‘Burn the flag on inauguration day!’ By William T. Hathaway (USA)

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

Burn the flag on inauguration day!
By William T. Hathaway

Let’s welcome our new Commander in Chief by demonstrating how little he knows about the Constitution of the United States. Each incoming president is required on inauguration day to take the oath of office, affirming to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.” But Trump proved his ignorance of this document when he recently wrote, “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag — if they do, there must be consequences — perhaps loss of citizenship or a year in jail!” The Supreme Court, however, thinks otherwise. It has twice ruled that burning the national flag is not a crime but a form of free speech protected by the First Amendment, a legal way to protest government policies.

Let’s give Big T a lesson in the Constitution on January 20. We the people should exercise our rights by burning the flag during his swearing-in ceremony. We can counter his jingoistic nationalism with a display of true patriotism, affirming our love of a country which was founded on the principles of egalitarianism rather than elitism, of government by the people rather than by just the rich.

Trump’s autocratic proclamations make it clear we’re going to have to fight to maintain our rights. His appointments to key offices display the pro-rich, anti-worker character of his administration. Our already low wages and benefits are scheduled for further slashing, our already suffering environment for further abuse. The future of our country and planet depends on our willingness to defend both against this attack by rightwing demagogues. (more…)

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Posted in Anti-Fascist

'Peace Chaplain' – Chapter 13 of the book 'Radical Peace: People Refusing War' by William T. Hathaway (USA)

Friday, December 25th, 2015

Peace Chaplain

Chapter 13 of the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

RADICAL PEACE is a collection of reports from antiwar activists, the true stories of their efforts to change our warrior culture. A seminarian contributed this chapter about learning to love her enemies. Because of her activism, she prefers to remain anonymous.

To celebrate Armed Forces Day the military base near my seminary held an open house, a public relations extravaganza to improve their image and boost recruiting. They invited the public in for a marching band parade, a precision flying show, and a sky diving demonstration. They even offered free lemonade and cookies.

A subversive seminarian, namely me, decided to disrupt the festivities and remind people that the military’s job is murder. I bought a jump suit and dyed it orange like the uniforms the prisoners in Guantánamo have to wear. I bought two U-shaped bike locks, three diapers, and a pair of old-people’s rubber underpants.

All suited up, I had a friend drive me onto the base before people started arriving for the celebration. She dropped me off at the traffic circle just inside the main gate, kissed me on the cheek for good luck, and drove back out the gate. In the center of the traffic circle stood a flagpole flying the Stars and Stripes. I ran to the pole, fastened my foot to it with one bike lock and my neck to it with the other — pretty uncomfortable — and started shouting, “Close Guantánamo! No More Abu Ghraibs! Free the Prisoners!” People gawked as they drove by, some laughing like I was part of the show, some waving, some giving me the finger. (more…)

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Posted in Library

'Saboteur : An interview with a domestic insurgent' – Chapter 11 of the book ‘Radical Peace: People Refusing War’ By William T. Hathaway (USA)

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

Saboteur
An interview with a domestic insurgent

Chapter 12 of the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

I first met the man we’ll call Trucker in 1970 at a rally against the Vietnam War. Our demo was going to start on the Berkeley campus and continue with a march down Telegraph Avenue. This was shortly after the National Guard and police had murdered six demonstrators at Kent State and Jackson State, so the mood was extremely tense. The Berkeley city government had denied us a permit to march and called in police reinforcements from Oakland. The Oakland cops had a reputation for brutality (based on their treatment of the black population), and we were expecting an ugly and possibly violent confrontation. Out of fear, many people decided not to march, but others of us argued that marching was now more important than ever. We needed to defy the government’s attempts to scare us into silence.

After speeches and music in front of Sproul Hall, we marched off the campus and were met by a wall of police sealing off Telegraph Avenue. Some of our hard-cores in front tried to break through the barrier but were clubbed down. Cops began firing what looked liked shotguns, and people started screaming and running in panic, but it turned out to be tear gas. (more…)

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Posted in Interviews

'Keep on Rockin' – Chapter 11 of the book ‘Radical Peace: People Refusing War’ By William T. Hathaway (USA)

Friday, September 11th, 2015

Keep On Rockin’

Chapter 11 of the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

RADICAL PEACE is a collection of reports from antiwar activists, the true stories of their efforts to change our warrior culture. An American exchange student in one of my courses here in Germany contributed the following essay about how she became an anarchist for peace. Because of her activism she wishes to remain anonymous.

Jason was my boy-friend for a while in high school. It wasn’t a match made in heaven. Looking back, I think the main thing we had in common was that I wanted a boy-friend and he wanted a girl-friend. Other than that there wasn’t much between us, as we discovered whenever we tried to talk about anything. I broke up with him when he asked me to go rabbit hunting with him. We stayed friends, though, probably because since it was obvious we could never be a real couple, neither of us had hard feelings.

We both left town after graduation; I went to college, Jason went to the marines. Two years later we were both back home; I was on summer vacation, Jason was on medical leave after having half his leg blown off in Iraq. He’d been riding in a truck that hit a mine. (more…)

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'The Transformer' – Chapter 10 of the book 'Radical Peace: People Refusing War' By William T. Hathaway (USA)

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

The Transformer

Chapter 10 of the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

A former student of mine works as a janitor. After graduating from college he worked as a market researcher and an advertising salesperson, but both jobs soured him on the corporate world. He hated being a junior suit, and the thought of becoming a senior suit was even worse.

He finds being a janitor a much better job. He’s left alone, it’s low pressure, and what he does improves the world rather than worsens it. The pay’s lousy but that’s standard these days. He loves music, so he loads up his MP3 and grooves to the sounds. Although the work is routine, it’s brightened by occasional bits of human interest: used condoms in executive wastebaskets, marijuana butts in the emergency stairwell, a twenty-dollar bill under a desk. His shift is from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., and afterwards he hits the late-night clubs, where he can enjoy the scene with the advantage of being sober. He works for a janitorial service company, and one of their clients is a defense contractor — not secret weapons, just ordinary supplies. (more…)

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Posted in Library

'The Split' – Chapter 9 of the book 'Radical Peace: People Refusing War' By William T. Hathaway (USA, Israel)

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

The Split
Differences over Israel tear apart a Jewish marriage

Chapter 9 the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

Stan and Hannah Cooper are friends of mine from college days. Both are Jewish, but they have diametrically opposed views about Israel, and their differences have become so bitter that they’ve decided to divorce. As the three of us talked about this, it became clear that their dispute is a microcosm of the conflict that is tearing the Jewish community apart and also destroying lives in an increasingly large part of the world.

William: Your differences must have become quite serious if you’ve decided to end your marriage after all these years.

Stan: Well, these are very serious issues. If you take the Holocaust seriously, you have to support Israel. And Hannah doesn’t. If she has her way, if the people she supports come to power in Israel and the USA, they’ll stop resisting the terrorists and become holier than thou pacifists while the Arabs push the Jews into the sea and blow up half the USA. Then the pacifists will cry about what a tragedy it all is.

Well, I’m not going through another tragedy. I’m not going to see America and Israel destroyed because we didn’t have the courage to stand up to fanatics. I’m not going to have our generation go through something like our grandparent’s went through. Once is enough, once was way too many, and now we finally have to defend ourselves. (more…)

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'Generations of Resistance to War' – Chapter 8 of the book ‘Radical Peace: People Refusing War’ By William T. Hathaway (USA)

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

Generations of Resistance to War

Chapter 8 the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

A Granny for Peace told of finding young allies in the struggle against military recruiting. Due to the PATRIOT Act, she wishes to remain nameless.

It’s never easy being a parent or a child. The generations always have friction between them, a conflict between the elders’ need to give guidance and youths’ need to find their own way. I grew up in the 1950s, when the USA was very conservative and bound by traditions. My parents’ generation had grown up in the Depression amid poverty and then struggled through World War Two with its threat of death and destruction. By the time they were ready to start families, they were fixated on stability and security. They measured their progress by their possessions: buying their first car, first television, first house. Their morality centered on controlling sexuality and protecting private property. Their religion was a death cult of stern patriarchs, obedient virgins, innocent babies, and threats of eternal torture. Their deepest philosophy was, “There is no free lunch.” The peak of their scientific achievement was the hydrogen bomb. Fear was their strongest emotion. (more…)

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'From Cheerleader to Enemy of the State' – Chapter 7 of the book 'Radical Peace: People Refusing War' By William T. Hathaway (USA)

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

From Cheerleader to Enemy of the State

Chapter 7 of the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

The long, flouncy curls from Judy Davis’s cheerleader days are gone. Her straight blonde hair is now cut short. Large blue eyes stand out in a face pale without makeup. Her soft Southern drawl has an undertone of determination. “It’s taken me awhile, but now I’m glad to be considered an ‘unsuitable influence.’ That was how the school board justified my firing. That and ‘deviating from the curriculum.’ It’s like they were implying I was a deviant. And according to their norms, I am.”

The twenty-nine-year-old was fired for teaching her high school students how US foreign policy has provoked terrorism. This struggle with her school board turned her from a Republican into a revolutionary for peace.

“I taught my tenth grade American history class about what the USA has done for decades in the countries in which we now have terrorism. We work with the local oligarchs there to keep the country under control for our economic advantage. We support dictators and also the kind of managed democracy we have in the USA, where the only political parties that have a chance are those aligned with business and the private ownership of resources. People in those countries are tired of being kept at the bottom. They’re tired of CIA coups and assassinations of progressive leaders. So now they’re defending themselves the only way they can. And they’re getting pretty good at it. (more…)

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Posted in Library

'Exit Free' – Chapter 6 of the book 'Radical Peace: People Refusing War' By William T. Hathaway (USA)

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Exit Free

Chapter 6 of the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

The following report was contributed by one of the founders of Exit Free, a collective in the USA that helps women leave the military by discharge or desertion.

I’ve become a criminal for peace. How I got there is a complicated story, beginning when the community college where I teach reduced most of its humanities faculty to adjunct status. It saved them a bundle on salaries. We now teach a maximum of three courses per semester, for a really miserable hourly wage with no benefits. They brought in other part-timers to fill the gaps. So the faculty are now mostly freelancers. I ended up with a lot less money but a lot more time.

Several other women I knew were also broke — laid off or dropped out of the McJob economy. We decided to share the misery and formed a collective to make ends meet. One of us had a big empty-nester house from her divorce settlement, so we all moved in. We buy food in bulk, share two cars, planted a big garden, help each other with the things each of us is good at, sometimes quarrel and cry, but mostly we like being together. We feel stronger now than before when it was each of us alone against the neo-con world. (more…)

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Posted in Library

'Coming Home' – Chapter 5 of 'Radical Peace: People Refusing War' by William T. Hathaway (USA, Iraq, Afghanistan)

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

Coming Home

Chapter 5 of the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

RADICAL PEACE is a collection of reports from antiwar activists, the true stories of their efforts to change our warrior culture. In this chapter a mother tells of her son’s return from combat. She wishes to remain anonymous.

My son spent a year fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq in Delta Force. It was the worst year of his life … and of mine. As he told me later, there were times he thought he’d never come home. That was also my constant fear. For 365 days, every time the phone rang I thought it would be a voice from the Pentagon telling me with well-practiced condolence that my son had died a hero.

Jim had joined the army after college. I think he was trying to finally win his father’s approval. The old man was a West Pointer who had served a long military career, including two tours in Vietnam, and retired a colonel. He probably would’ve made general if it hadn’t been for his drinking. He never showed much interest in Jim and me, preferring the camaraderie of his soldier buddies.

We divorced when Jim was in high school. The colonel didn’t ask for visitation rights, and Jim was crushed when it became obvious that his dad didn’t care about seeing him. (more…)

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'SAMs for Uncle Sam' – Chapter 3 of the book ‘Radical Peace: People Refusing War’ By William T. Hathaway (USA, Germany, Iraq)

Friday, June 19th, 2015

SAMs for Uncle Sam

Chapter 3 of the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

Merna al-Marjan is a young Iraqi who is currently in Germany studying European history. We talked in her dormitory room, a spartan but functional cubicle in a building that embodies a hopeful change in European history: it was constructed in the nineteenth century as an army barracks but now houses university students. That’s progress.

On Merna’s small table sat a pot of peppermint tea and a plate of baklava. She’s short and plump with smooth skin the color of clover honey and deep anthracite eyes; she was wearing a long skirt of light cotton, a long-sleeved blouse, and a green paisley headscarf.

Hathaway: “Headscarves have become a controversial item of clothing here in Germany.”

Al-Marjan: “Yes, you can’t teach in the schools if you wear one. It’s OK for a teacher to wear a Christian crucifix but not a Muslim headscarf. I didn’t wear a hijab in Iraq, but I’ve started doing it here to show solidarity. It’s ridiculous to ban an article of clothing, a simple piece of cloth. What sort of freedom is that?
(more…)

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Posted in Library

'Comrades in Arms' – Chapter 2 of the book 'Radical Peace: People Refusing War' By William T. Hathaway (USA, Iraq)

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Comrades in Arms

Chapter 2 of the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

RADICAL PEACE is a collection of reports from antiwar activists, the true stories of their efforts to change our warrior culture. This chapter was contributed by an ex-soldier.

Hi Mr. Hathaway,

I got your letter (forwarded) asking for information for your book. To answer your first question, Yes, I’m enjoying living in Holland. I’m becoming the little Dutch girl — the little Black Dutch girl, but that doesn’t bother people here. They’re very tolerant and internationally minded.

As for the rest of your questions, at first I didn’t think I could answer them. They reminded me too much of an essay test in school. Plus it’s not exactly pleasant to remember back on all this stuff, you know. I’m trying to leave it behind and start a new life.

But I kept thinking about it and finally decided I would forget the questions and just write about what happened. Like you said, people should know about this. Don’t give anybody my address, though. The army still wants to put me in prison.

Compared to a lot of people, I had it easy in Iraq — on a huge base with a Burger King, cold beer, video games, movies, air conditioned trailers, baseball games. About once a month we got mortared or rocketed and had to dive into the bunkers and maybe every other time somebody got killed, but there were thousands of us, so usually you didn’t know them even though you felt bad for them. (more…)

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'Criminals for Peace' – Chapter 1 of 'Radical Peace: People Refusing War' By William T. Hathaway (USA)

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

325 presents the first chapter of the inspiring book ‘Radical Peace: People Refusing War’, which, according to the author, William T. Hathaway, one of our regular readers enjoying our site, is “the true stories of anarchists who have moved beyond demonstrations and petitions into direct action, becoming criminals for peace by defying the government’s laws and impeding its capacity to kill”. The author is a US special forces combat veteran turned anarchist peace activist. Whilst it shouldn’t need to be repeated that 325 embraces not only revolutionary violence but a diversity of tactics, we “can understand those who hate violence to the point of wanting to banish it from their life; would never kill, would never use force to make themselves felt; those who, because of their own character and aptitude, prefer not to have recourse to it” [see Escalation].

Criminals for Peace
Introduction to the book
RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War
By William T. Hathaway

How do we defuse an aggressive culture? How do we end an endless war?

A new group of war resisters, deserters, and anarchists from the USA, Europe, Iraq, and Afghanistan offers a variety of answers to these conundrum questions. In opposing militarism we’ve moved beyond demonstrations and petitions into direct action, flouting the government’s laws and impeding its ability to kill. As criminals for peace, we’re defying the PATRIOT Act and working underground in secret cells to undermine the US military empire.

I’m the spokesperson for the group because I live outside the “homeland” and as a Special Forces combat veteran I’m used to being under attack.

We’ve become outlaws out of despair. Obama’s morphing into a war president was the last straw. By continuing the aggression he’d promised to stop, he’s shown himself to be just another imperialist killing thousands of people to maintain US power. He portrayed his latest plan for Afghanistan as progress towards peace, but it really paves the way for long-term fighting as we now have in Iraq: US bases and support troops will stay indefinitely to prop up the local army. The killing will continue, but mercenaries and local soldiers will be doing most of it while the USA provides back-up. Just as many people will die, but far fewer will be Americans, so the war will disappear from the news and people’s minds. This is not a plan for peace but for endless war. (more…)

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