March 2008 Final Statement
We believe that as people living in the United States, it is our responsibility to resist the injustices done by our government, in our names
With these words from the Pledge of Resistance, the Not in Our Name project was started in March of 2002. In the aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001, our government had already launched the brutal invasion of Afghanistan, enacted the Patriot Act, and indiscriminately rounded up and detained thousands of U.S. residents based solely on their religion or country of origin. In response, the diverse activists who embraced the Not in Our Name project came together under three points of unity:
- No War on the World
- No Detentions and Roundups
- No Police State Restrictions
Not in Our Name began with the idea that a culture of resistance needed to be created to oppose all of this; that sitting idly by and “letting history take its course over the graves of the nameless” was not an option. We organized and mobilized tens of thousands for the October 6, 2002 rallies in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle and dozens of other cities and towns that sparked the rise of an anti-war movement that would see hundreds of thousands in the streets a few months later.
While others argued against the impending invasion of Iraq on grounds that it would surely result in American casualties, we used the symbol of the Earth, showing solidarity with the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the world.
Six years later, the devastation of two countries continues with no end in sight. Hundreds are still detained and tortured in Guantanamo, as well as a network of secret prisons around the globe. Repressive measures such as the Military Commissions act, secret wiretapping programs, and even “thought crime” legislation surface on a regular basis. Immigrants from the south are demonized as a new “threat”, which creates the need for more “detention facilities”, border walls, and heavily armed forces patrolling within our country.
While some may look to the upcoming elections as an answer, many of us see no meaningful change possible as a result of the outcome. The Democrats took control of the Congress in 2006, largely based on the perception that they would end the war in Iraq. Since then, we have seen an escalation in the murderous occupation in Iraq, accompanied now with talk of a “surge” in Afghanistan and the very real threat of an attack on Iran. The Presidential candidates promise more of the same.
Despite the fact that the national Not in Our Name project is coming to an end, it is not time to stop building this culture of resistance. We still believe that another world is possible, and it is up to us, not our government, to make it real.
- Not in Our Name National Steering Committee and Staff
Roman Becerra - Ventura CA | Peter Cobb - New York City | Max Diorio - Oakland CA | Maya Jones - San Francisco Bay Area | Aimara Lin - New York City | George MacAdow - Sacramento CA | Mary Jo Muser - Cleveland OH | Laura Negronida - Wisconsin | Efia Nwangaza - Greenville SC | Jeff Paterson - Oakland CA