“Declaration of Peace” Aims for D.C. Direct Action

The Declaration of Peace campaign, which I wrote about , is coordinating large-scale nonviolent civil disobedience actions .

Washington D.C. seems to be where most of the action will be. The Declaration campaign hopes to target the offices of Senators and Representatives immediately after its deadline. In addition, Cindy Sheehan plans to bring Camp Casey to the Ellipse in .

They hope to put pressure on those legislators facing the voters in in the hopes that they will feel the need to throw a peaceful bone to their war-weary constituents. I fear that rather than being able to be of much influence in this way, they will become backdrops or props as Washington becomes even more theatrical and absurd than usual during its biennial election show. Politicians seem better at manipulating organized citizen pressure groups than the other way around, and election-year politicians in particular are prone to infect everyone around them with their idiocy.

But I’m being over-cynical again. Certainly Washington is a fine place for a large civil disobedience campaign, and there are many attractive targets that aren’t politicians’ offices. Furthermore the Declaration campaign looks as though it plans to encourage the actions of people all across the country in a loose coalition that will have a variety of targets — symbolic and otherwise.

If you’re interested in taking part, either in Washington or elsewhere, there will be nonviolent action training courses coming up all around the country. In large-scale, coordinated nonviolent action it really does help if everyone is on the same page and has a good understanding of the goals and the methods being used.

And, stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but tax resistance is a nonviolent direct action you can do every day, and you certainly don’t have to go all the way to Washington, D.C. to do it.