Friday is the third Iraq Moratorium.
Organizers ask people to do something — anything — to call for an end to the war in Iraq.
Cynics say it won’t do any good.
But I am participating because it seems obvious that doing something is infinitely more likely to have an impact than doing nothing.
It’s a largely unstructured, grassroots event, designed to continue to grow, expand and escalate. It recognizes that it’s going to be a long haul to stop the war, and is digging in for a prolonged effort. It happens on the third Friday of every month.
There’s no shortage of ideas of things you can do. A few suggestions:
A few ideas from the national coordinators:
Wear an antiwar button or sticker to work or school.
Wear a black armband to let people know you mourn the overwhelming loss of life in this war.
Distribute black armbands to others.
Hang an antiwar sign in your window, or put one on your lawn.
Call a local radio talk show and explain why you want this war to end.
Write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper and let people know about the Iraq Moratorium and how they can get involved.
Make a large antiwar sign or banner and hang it from a busy overpass where people traveling to or from work will see it, or from some other highly visible location.
Put together a group to stand vigil in front of a military recruiting station, your local federal building, or the office of your senator or representative in Congress.
Call the Washington, DC, offices of your senators and your representative.
Buy no gas on Moratorium days
Pressure politicians and the media
Hold vigils, pickets, rallies, and teach-ins
Hold special religious services
Coordinate events in music, art, and culture
Host film showings, talks, and educational events
Organize student actions: Teach-ins, school closings, etc.
But there are no limits on what anyone can do. Creative ideas that stir discussion or attract media attention are what’s needed.
The moratorium idea is reminiscent, of course, of the 1969 Vietnam Moratorium, which mobilized millions.
Opposition to Bush’s war, while widespread and including a solid majority of Americans (and Iraqis) is not at that fever pitch yet. But the moratorium is a vehicle that could mobilize more people over time, as the senseless, endless war drags on.
National groups endorsing the effort include United for Peace and Justice, a coalition of 1,300 groups which sponsored the January march in DC and 11 regional demonstrations on October 27.
Think it won’t help? The Moratorium won’t end the war by itself; that’s for sure. A bull-headed President and a chicken-hearted Congress seem immune to public opinion. It can be disheartening.
But if the choice is between doing something, however small, and doing nothing, I’ll opt for doing something every time.