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Why I Did Civil Disobedience at Wall Street

with the War Resisters League


With over a half million Iraqi civilians killed as result this catastrophic war &

occupation, four million others forced to flee their homes, it doesn't seem right

America whoops or wails daily about consumer overconfidence second-home

sales bull-markets business-as-usual.

When I got to Wall Street holding my aching back from previous day's march, I wasn't

sure whether I was well enough to join in, but an electric impulse at base of

spine seemed to surge me forward & urge me to sit.

A recent poll showed most Americans believe under 10,000 Iraqis have been killed–

which home planet's TV reality shows are those purple patriots watching?

I was holding an anti-Halliburton sign and thinking of new chants, "the people are

hollerin', no more deaths, no more dollars"–maybe it was the off-rhyme giving me

extra spinal energy?

While America's soldiers come back homeless & wounded, Halliburton execs make

millions & move their castles to Dubai–will someone please introduce a bill

outlawing private contractors making more money than the troops?

In his essay on civil disobedience, Thoreau said "Let your life be a counter-friction

to stop the machine!"

Everyone knows the Democrats were elected to Congress to stop the war, but it seems

like most of them are still wandering lost in the basement halls.

I love MoveOn.org, but their calls for peace vigils only mentioned honoring

dead American troops & not Iraqis buried under depleted uranium-covered

earth, and I felt a stronger nonviolent statement ought to be made.

Continued U.S. occupation serves as recruitment tool for extremists and as blood-boiling

pot for hundreds of thousands families that've lost loved ones since 3/19/03–

and all suspect rightfully Bush wants oil rights & permanent military bases!

In the police van heading to the holding cells, there was a great spirit of comraderie

among activists meeting for first time in plastic handcuffs, coming from a

dozen different traditions to the same stock-exchange street-corner sit-down


In near-secret nooks and crannies of the Internet, one reads reports of Iraqi children

born with leukemia birth defects from uranium weapons U.S. won't admit is a

problem. What will it take to bring this emergency health & war crimes issue

into mainstream light?

Under current levels of chaos & destruction, seven hours in police vans and holding cells

seemed like a small form of existential penance an American could pay on the

4th anniversary of the war.



[Originally published in NHS 2007, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs07/Eliot_Katz.htm.]