In a statement that was to have been printed in the New York Times in the Jan. 21 edition on the inauguration of George W. Bush but which only saw the light of day on Sunday, Jan. 23, Not In Our Name lays down a challenge to the legitimacy of the president. -- He does not speak for us. He does not represent us. He does not act in our name, says the statement, which has been signed by hundreds of well known activists and intellectuals. -- The statement is gathering thousands of signatures, and Not In Our Name is soliciting contributions to have the statement printed widely in publications across the country and internationally. -- The new statement of conscience rejects the notion that the election held on Nov. 2, 2004, is capable of legitimizing the policies of the Bush administration: NO ELECTION, whether fair or fraudulent, can legitimize criminal wars on foreign countries, torture, the wholesale violation of human rights, and the end of science and reason. -- The statement is notable for its forthright attack on the Bush administrations alliance with the Christian right and its attempt to impose a narrow, intolerant, and political form of Christian fundamentalism as government policy. -- Signed by a number of prominent scientists, the statement accuses the administration of trying to drive a wedge between spiritual experience and scientific truth. -- Those wishing to add their names to the statement may do so on the NION web site. ...
A NEW STATEMENT OF CONSCIENCE
Not In Our Name
New York Times
January 23, 2005
AS GEORGE W. BUSH is inaugurated for a second term, let it not be said that people in the United States silently acquiesced in the face of this shameful coronation of war, greed, and intolerance. He does not speak for us. He does not represent us. He does not act in our name.
NO ELECTION, whether fair or fraudulent, can legitimize criminal wars on foreign countries, torture, the wholesale violation of human rights, and the end of science and reason.
IN OUR NAME, the Bush government justifies the invasion and occupation of Iraq on false pretenses, raining down destruction, horror, and misery, bringing death to more than 100,000 Iraqis. It sends our youth to destroy entire cities for the sake of so-called democratic elections, while intimidating and disenfranchising thousands of African American and other voters at home.
IN OUR NAME, the Bush government holds in contempt international law and world opinion. It carries out torture and detentions without trial around the world and proposes new assaults on our rights of privacy, speech and assembly at home. It strips the rights of Arabs, Muslims and South Asians in the U.S., denies them legal counsel, stigmatizes and holds them without cause. Thousands have been deported.
AS NEW TRIAL BALLOONS are floated about invasions of Syria, or Iran, or North Korea, about leaving the United Nations, about new lifetime detention policies, we say not in our name will we allow further crimes to be committed against nations or individuals deemed to stand in the way of the goal of unquestioned world supremacy.
COULD WE HAVE IMAGINED a few years ago that core principles such as the separation of church and state, due process, presumption of innocence, freedom of speech, and habeas corpus would be discarded so easily? Now, anyone can be declared an enemy combatant without meaningful redress or independent review by a President who is concentrating power in the executive branch. His choice for Attorney General is the legal architect of the torture that has been carried out in Guantánamo, Afghanistan, and Abu Ghraib.
THE BUSH GOVERNMENT seeks to impose a narrow, intolerant, and political form of Christian fundamentalism as government policy. No longer on the margins of power, this extremist movement aims to strip women of their reproductive rights, to stoke hatred of gays and lesbians, and to drive a wedge between spiritual experience and scientific truth. We will not surrender to extremists our right to think. AIDS is not a punishment from God. Global warming is a real danger. Evolution happened. All people must be free to find meaning and sustenance in whatever form of religious or spiritual belief they choose. But religion can never be compulsory. These extremists may claim to make their own reality, but we will not allow them to make ours.
MILLIONS OF US WORKED, talked, marched, poll watched, contributed, voted, and did everything we could to defeat the Bush regime in the last election. This unprecedented effort brought forth new energy, organization, and commitment to struggle for justice. It would be a terrible mistake to let our failure to stop Bush in these ways lead to despair and inaction. On the contrary, this broad mobilization of people committed to a fairer, freer, more peaceful world must move forward. We cannot, we will not, wait until 2008. The fight against the second Bush regime has to start now.
THE MOVEMENT AGAINST THE WAR in Vietnam never won a presidential election. But it blocked troop trains, closed induction centers, marched, spoke to people door to door -- and it helped to stop a war. The Civil Rights Movement never tied its star to a presidential candidate; it sat in, freedom rode, fought legal battles, filled jailhouses -- and changed the face of a nation.
WE MUST CHANGE the political reality of this country by mobilizing the tens of millions who know in their heads and hearts that the Bush regimes reality is nothing but a nightmare for humanity. This will require creativity, mass actions and individual moments of courage. We must come together whenever we can, and we must act alone whenever we have to.
WE DRAW INSPIRATION from the soldiers who have refused to fight in this immoral war. We applaud the librarians who have refused to turn over lists of our reading, the high school students who have demanded to be taught evolution, those who brought to light torture by the U.S. military, and the massive protests that voiced international opposition to the war on Iraq. We affirm ordinary people undertaking extraordinary acts. We pledge to create community to back courageous acts of resistance. We stand with the people throughout the world who fight every day for the right to create their own future.
IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY to stop the Bush regime from carrying out this disastrous course. We believe history will judge us sharply should we fail to act decisively.
For a complete list of the 9,000+ SIGNERS of this statement and to download printable versions, visit http://www.nion.us. You can also sign the statement on the website or by writing to the address below. HELP PRINT THE NEW NOT IN OUR NAME STATEMENT OF CONSCIENCE IN PUBLICATIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND INTERNATIONALLY. Make your contribution payable to NOT IN OUR NAME, and mail to Not In Our Name, 305 W. Broadway, PMB 199, New York, NY 10013. We suggest a $200 contribution, but all contributions large or small help to make the goal possible. Your contact information will be kept confidential.
Rabab ibrahim Abdulhadi, director, Center for Arab American Studies, U. of
James Abourezk, former U.S. senator
As`ad AbuKhalil, California State-Stanislaus
Janet Abu-Lughod, prof. emerita, New School
Michael Avery, president, National Lawyers Guild
Rosalyn Baxandall, S.U.N.Y at Old Westbury
Medea Benjamin, cofounder of Global Exchange and Code Pink
Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, playwrights, The Exonerated
William Blum, author of Rogue State
Wayne C. Booth, professor emeritus, U. Chicago
St. Clair Bourne
Yvonne Jacquette Burckhardt
Judith Butler, U. of C., Berkeley
Leslie Cagan, national coordinator, United for Peace and Justice
Kathleen & Henry Chalfant
Ben Chaney, president, James E. Chaney Foundation
Bell & Paul Chevigny
Ramsey Clark, former U.S. attorney-general
Marilyn Clement, Campaign for a National Health Program NOW
Mitchel Cohen, Green Party of N.Y.
Blanche Wiesen Cook
J. Keay Davidson
Diane di Prima
Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist Party
Michael Eric Dyson
Nora Eisenberg, author of The War at Home
Daniel Ellsberg, former Defense and State Dept. official
Nina Felshin, author of But Is It Art? The Spirit of Art as Activism
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, City Lights Bookstore
Lynn Gonzales, Military Families Speak Out-San Diego
Michelle Gross, V.P., Communities United Against Police Brutality
Sam Hamill, Poets Against the War
Donna J. Haraway, History of Consciousness U.C.-Santa Cruz
Christine B. Harrington, Politics and Law Program, NYU
David Harvey, Anthropology, CUNY
Rev. Louise B. Higginbotham, pastor, United Church on the Green, New Haven
Connie Hogarth, Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action
Thomas Dudley Hurwitz, verger, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
Abdeen M. Jabara, past pres., American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Alice Jardine, Harvard
Bill T. Jones
Rickie Lee Jones
Evelyn Fox Keller, History of Science, MIT
Bill Keys, pres., Madison (WI) School Board
C. Clark Kissinger, Refuse & Resist!
David Korn, author of Kornshell
David C. Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World
Joyce & Max Kozloff
Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor, Tikkun magazine
Phil Lesh, Grateful Dead
Raymond Lotta, author of America in Decline
Reynaldo F. Macías, chair, National Association for Chicana & Chicano Studies
Holly Maguigan, co-president, Society of American Law Teachers
Maryknoll Sisters, Western Region
Rep. Jim McDermott, Member of Congress, Washington State
Robert Meeropol, executive director, Rosenberg Fund for Children
Robert R. Merritt, Physics Dept., Ohio State
Arnold Mesches & Jill Ciment
Sheldon Patinkin, chairman, Theater Department, Columbia College
Rosalind Petchesky, Hunter College & the Graduate Center-CUNY
Eric L. Peters, Ecology & Environmental Biology, Chicago State Univ.
Guy Picciotto, musician/Fugazi
Fred L. Pincus
Frances Fox Piven
James Stewart Polshek
Michael Ratner, pres., Center for Constitutional Rights
Stephen Rohde, civil liberties lawyer
Matthew Rothschild, editor, The Progressive magazine
Jane Nicholl Sahlins
Juliet B. Schor
David Seaborg, World Rainforest Fund
Roberta Segal-Sklar, comm. dir., National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Regina & Peter Serkin
Sister Annette Marie Sinagra, O.P.
Michael Steven Smith
Mary Ann Tétreault, distinguished professor, Trinity University
Rev. Dr. Marlene R. Walker
Peter Weiss, pres., Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy
Naomi Weisstein, prof. emeritus of Psychology/Neuroscience, SUNY
Martha Wilson, founder of Art Space
Krzysztof Wodiczko, director, Center for Advanced Visual Studies, MIT
David Zeiger, Displaced Films
Howard Zinn, historian
Organizations for identification only