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MARCH 20, 2003
12:59 PM
CONTACT:  Not In Our Name (NION)
Cat David,
Not In Our Name Vows to Step Up Actions in Resistance to “War on the World”
WASHINGTON - March 20 - The Bush administration has begun its attack on the people of Iraq. In an unprecedented use of force, the Pentagon has vowed to “shock and awe” the people of Baghdad into surrender. Today, organizers from the Not In Our Name Project (NION) responded to the news.

Robina Niaz, an organizer with NION, said, “Of course the invasion of Iraq is a terrible tragedy. However, this is not a failure of the peace movement but a failure of US foreign policy. I am not discouraged because I believe we have made great strides. Who could have imagined that the whole world would become organized and march millions strong against the war?”

Mary Lou Greenberg, another organizer, described how NION will continue its fight: “Now that the war has started, it’s up to the people to stop it as soon as possible, building on everything the movement has done so far – from school walkouts and civil disobedience to resistance from the pulpit. People are going to step up the resistance. We are expecting that with the start of war there will be heightened efforts to silence and intimidate people but the antiwar movement will not be silenced.”

“We’re going to work with other forces to take it to a new and more powerful level,” said Maya Sen, another NION organizer. She pointed to the March 5 National Moratorium Against the War that was called by NION, in which thousands of students nationwide walked out of classes. “We encourage people to speak out at their jobs, stage walkouts and teach-ins, and disrupt business as usual. The idea is that people bring resistance into their daily lives.”

Joe Urgo, a veteran and organizer with NION, said, “This war started before Iraq and is clearly intended to go beyond it. My only answer is relying on the people to stop it. The people in this country have a dynamic role to play, a place where they can put their hands on and change history.”

NION, an organization that was founded one year ago this week, has vowed to resist not only the war that will “last a generation,” in the words of the administration, but also the ethnic profiling and roundups of immigrants and other attacks on Americans’ civil rights taking place at home.

Maya Sen said that NION is unique in how it links these issues together: “We’ve always taken the position that the aggressive actions the US is taking against immigrants at home is really just another front in the same war the US is fighting abroad on Iraq. There has been a real building of consciousness on this issue over the past year.”

From the time of its inception, NION has grown into a network that includes 28 chapters across the country and several in other countries, representing the broad and deep diversity of the peace and justice movement around the globe, and has mobilized hundreds of thousands of people to take action to resist a government program it sees as “immoral, unjust, and illegitimate.”


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