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Action Info from Direct Action to Stop the War
We're circulating this overview of our organizing plan because we know that in order for this action to be successful, it needs the creativity, energy, experience, and connections that you and many others can bring.
Several months ago, a group of Bay Area activists got together and re-started Direct Action to Stop the War (DASW). Five years ago, on March 20, 2003, DASW – a coordinating body/spokescouncil that brought together several thousand people from a broad cross-section of communities, social justice groups, and anti-war organizations – organized a massively successful shutdown of the San Francisco financial district, in protest of President Bush’s decision to attack Iraq. This mass direct action of over 10,000 people was planned and carried out using an anti-authoritarian and highly effective organizing model of affinity groups, decentralized leadership, and coordinated action through mass spokescouncil meetings.
Some of the people who were involved in that organizing effort, along with many new people, have come together to organize two mass direct actions on the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. We believe that the time has come for the anti-war movement to escalate our tactics, and put pressure directly on the people who are waging this war. We're circulating this overview of our organizing plan because we know that in order for this action to be successful, it needs the creativity, energy, experience, and connections that you and many others can bring.
On March 19, 2008 - the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq - Direct Action to Stop the War will be organizing a day of decentralized, multiple-target direct action against government offices and war profiteers in downtown San Francisco. We have created a list (which below and available at http://www.actagainstwar.net) of San Francisco offices of federal agencies, corporations with military contracts or contracts in Iraq, politicians who have failed to stop the war, and foreign embassies of countries linked to the war in Iraq. We are focusing primarily on corporations with military or Iraqi contracts, because we want to focus attention on the prominent role played by war-profiteering corporations in the U.S. occupation of Iraq. We will take direct action on March 19th against as many of these locations as possible, in order to send a clear message to the economic and political elites that control this country: No business as usual until all U.S. troops are withdrawn from Iraq!
On March 15, Direct Action to Stop the War – together with the West County Toxics Coalition, Greenaction, and many other community organizations – will be taking direct action against the Chevron refinery in Richmond. We will holding a rally at Carroll Park (W. Cutting Blvd. and S. Garrard Blvd. in Richmond) at 11am, and then doing a direct action at the Chevron refinery (100 Chevron Way in Richmond) at 1pm. The purpose of this action is shut the Chevron refinery down for the day, and to support community efforts to stop Chevron from expanding its refinery, which will increase pollution and cause asthma, cancer and rising death rates in surrounding communities. Chevron is driving the war and occupation in Iraq, refining over a million barrels of stolen Iraqi oil in Richmond a month, and actively lobbying for the privatization of Iraq's oil fields so companies like Chevron can seize control of them. Join us, and help send a clear message to Chevron: Stop stealing Iraqi oil, and stop polluting our communities!
Next DASW general organizing meeting:
Sunday, March 2nd at 4pm
674-A 23rd St. in West Oakland
DASW will be holding another general organizing meeting on Saturday, March 8th, at 4pm (location TBA – check http://www.actagainstwar.net for details). A spokescouncil for the March 15th action will be held on the evening of March 13, in the East Bay; a spokescouncil for the March 19th action will be held on the evening of March 17, in San Francisco. Check http://www.actagainstwar.net for more details.
**How you can plug into the March 19th San Francisco Day of Direct Action:**
We're asking that you:
1. Get together with a group of your friends, and plan a direct action against a government or corporate office on March 19th.
2. If doing a direct action isn’t your cup of tea, there are many, many other vital roles you can play in this action. Please come to our next organizing meeting and plug in (see above, or check http://www.actagainstwar.net).
3. If helping organize this action isn’t something you have time for, we’re asking that you take the day off work or school on March 19th, and meet up with us at Market & Sansome starting at 7:30am. Snake marches will be leaving Market & Sansome throughout the day, and going on “tours of shame” of the different war profiteers in downtown SF (and supporting the direct actions, which will be ongoing throughout the day). Please come out, and invite your friends!
4. Come to the next March 19th working group meeting (see website). This is a meeting for folks who are interested in planning the action, coordinating the snake marches, and helping out with other logistical needs.
If you decide to plan an action at a corporate or government office, we’d encourage you to come to the DASW general organizing meeting on March 2nd (see above, or check http://www.actagainstwar.net) and announce what action you’re planning on doing. But if you don’t feel comfortable announcing your action at our meeting, please contact Adrian (adrianw [at] riseup.net) and tell him where and when your action will take place (so that he can let you know if someone else is planning on doing an action at that same location); anything you tell him will be strictly confidential.
Here's some suggestions of what kinds of actions you could do at a corporate or government office (and, of course, you could always do more than one):
• *Blockade the entrance to the building.* (If you feel up to it, we'd strongly encourage you to try to do a blockade/occupation of some sort, and we'd be glad to help you out with planning and logistics. Email the March 19th working group at dasw.march19th [at] gmail.com to learn more.) • Occupy their office by handcuffing yourselves to desks or doorways.
• Do a sit-in or die-in in their office.
• Do creative and attention-grabbing street theater outside, educating people about what that company is doing (we can help you do research on the company).
• Hang a banner from their building (again, we can help you out with that).
• Try to get into the company's office and do a creative action (present a mock award, deliver a coffin, hold an impromptu 'dance party for peace'...).
Or, you could do an action that isn't specific to any single location - like altering billboards, or forming a roving bike brigade that pelts corporate offices with rotten vegetables, or anything else you can come up with! Basically, we would encourage you to be creative, come up with an anti-war action that excites you and your group, and then do it! And if you belong to a smaller group, you could always get together with other groups and do an action together. And, of course, we're here to support you in any way we can. Email us at dasw.march19th [at] gmail.com if you need any specific support, or have any questions.
Attached to this email is a list of government and war profiteer offices in downtown SF that we've researched and confirmed. (The attached target list is a Word file; for a PDF version, email adrianw [at] riseup.net, or visit http://www.actagainstwar.net.) For a map of those offices, check out (http://tinyurl.com/3afjgs). And, of course, if you want to target a building that isn’t on this list, go for it!
Finally, we'd encourage your group to send one person to the meetings of the March 19th working group, so that you can get plugged in, and so that we can better support you in creating your action.
**How you can plug into the March 15th Chevron action:**
On March 15th, we will shut down the Richmond Chevron refinery by land, by bike, and by sea. We’re asking that you form an affinity group, and help us shut down Chevron. Here’s some ways you can plug in and help out:
1. Get together with a group of your friends, and help blockade the refinery (please check in with the Chevron working group if you want to do this – their email address is dasw.chevron [at] gmail.com).
2. Join the “bike brigade,” and help us block trucks from getting into the facility (if you want to participate in the bike action, please contact Bria (brihannala [at] gmail.com).
3. If you have a boat, you can join the 'DASW Yacht Club,' and try to block Chevron tankers from accessing the facility! If you’re interested in this, please contact Jess (jessicambell [at] gmail.com).
4. If these options don’t sound appealing to you, there are many, many other important roles you can play in this action. Please come to the next Chevron organizing meeting (see website). This is a meeting for folks that are interested in organizing the rally, street party, logistics and general outreach for the Chevron action. We’re holding this meeting in Richmond because we would like to strongly encourage people from the community to attend.
5. If helping organize this action isn’t something you have time for, you can just show up at Carroll Park (W. Cutting Blvd. and S. Garrard Blvd. in Richmond) on March 15th, at 11am. And please tell your friends!
Check http://www.actagainstwar.net for later meeting times & locations, or email dasw.chevron [at] gmail.com
**Other events and resources:**
If you’re interested in helping us do outreach for these action, we’d invite you to get in touch with the outreach working group (dasw.outreach [at] gmail.com), and come to the next outreach working group meeting. Or, if coming to a meeting isn’t your thing, you can download flyers, posters, and other outreach materials below or from http://www.actagainstwar.net, print them out, and distribute them yourself! Or make your own flyer/poster, and distribute it yourself! (Please send a copy to dasw.outreach [at] gmail.com if you do this.)
DASW will be holding several nonviolent direct action trainings. These trainings will cover strategy tactics and goals for direct action, nonviolence agreements, group process, jail solidarity, dealing with police, and specific information about the actions and how to prepare for them. The nonviolent direct action trainings will be held at the following dates and times:
• March 2, 11:30-4:00, AK Press (674-A 23rd St. in West Oakland)
• March 8, 11:30-4:00, location TBA (check http://www.actagainstwar.net for details)
• March 18, in the evening, location and exact time TBA (check http://www.actagainstwar.net for details)
Please contact Kate (katrap [at] mindspring.com) to RSVP, or if you have any questions about these trainings.
DASW will also be holding a Know Your Rights training, which will cover interactions with police, jail solidarity, arraignments, legal rights, and many other important topics. The Know Your Rights trainings will be held on Feb. 26, in the evening, in the East Bay (location and exact time TBA – check http://www.actagainstwar.net for details). Additional Know Your Rights trainings will also be held on March 15th and March 19th, at the action sites. Please contact dasw-legal-wg [at] unsealed.net to RSVP, or if you have any questions about these trainings.
We also have a media working group that can help you put together press releases and publicize your action. The media working group is also looking for folks to help out – especially for folks with media/communications experience. Contact dasw.media [at] gmail.com to plug in.
If you have any legal questions, contact the legal working group at dasw-legal-wg [at] unsealed.net. The National Lawyers Guild legal support line is (415) 285-1011.
Together with the San Francisco Community Land Trust, DASW will be throwing a Homes Not Bombs benefit show to commemorate International Women’s Day. The show will be on March 8th, from 8pm - 12am, at Balazo Gallery (2183 Mission St. in San Francisco). The show will include the Brass Liberation Orchestra, the Party Lights, Conspiracy of Venus, and spoken word artists, including members Molotov Mouths Outspoken Word Troupe and Tito Arana, and more fantastic artists. All proceeds will go directly to DASW’s campaigns. We’re asking for a $7-20 donation (no one will be turned away for lack of funds). The venue is wheelchair accessible. Please come out, and invite your friends!
If you’d like to be put on our email list, contact takedirectaction [at] riseup.net.
For other upcoming events, please see http://www.actagainstwar.net.
For some great training resources, check out the Ruckus Society website (http://www.ruckus.org/article.php?list=type&type=9).
Finally, to donate money to our worthy cause (believe us, we need it), visit http://www.actagainstwar.net and click the “Donate” button on the right. We will be spending thousands of dollars more before this action is over, and right now, most of that is coming out of (relatively impoverished) people’s pockets; please, please donate if you can.
Thanks for reading, and please forward this email to your friends and allies. (And please include the direct action menu.)
We’ll see you in the streets!
Direct Action to Stop the War
takedirectaction [at] riseup.net
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Backgrounds and locations of war profiteers, government offices, embassies and more in downtown San Francisco.