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The World Protests - will Bush and Blair listen?

The people have been heard, at last. Millions of voices all shouting 'No War in Iraq'–'No blood for Oil '– 'No to Bush's War'– Even posters calling for Bush and Blair to be tried for 'war crimes'. The voices and posters could be heard in over 300 cities across the world in around 60 countries.
It happened here in Vancouver as well. The city came to a complete stop as the crowds spilled over onto West Georgia Street from the Art Gallery meeting point and jammed Canada Place. It's difficult to estimate numbers but at a minimum fifty thousand came. Families, the old and the young. No radicals these, but genuine Canadians with a conscience and loud voices. It was friendly, peaceful and earnest. The bus drivers, cooped up in their buses lining up along the whole length of Granville Street were philosophical. They can't stop this war, but at least the politicians will 'know ' which side they had better get on board now. Is it left-wing to hate war? I don't think so.

Instinctively the protesters world-wide know that G.W. Bush wants this war for revenge and oil. There is no other reason. No evidence has ever been shown to the world that links Saddam with 9/11 and yes, he is a beast, (murdering hundreds of thousands of his own people over time) but he is Iraq's beast and I don't see 150,000 US troops massed on Zimbabwe's border, even though Mugabe is starving his people for political ends. Ah yes, Zimbabwe has no oil. No strategic value.

Colin Powell looks more foolish by the day with his flimsy 'evidence', excuses and demands. His credibility is shot to hell. Why aren't the 150,000 massed on North Korea's borders where the real threat to world peace is emanating. Instead now the US and British press are mounting a propaganda war against France for suggesting that there might be a better way to deal with Saddam other than killing everyone. NATO may have agreed to help Turkey in time of war, but the US are prepared to destroy European unity to get their way. In fact the French deserve our support for resisting American Imperialism. Boycotting French wine and cheese? Well it works two ways. Boycott Boeing, Boycott MacDonalds, Drink Chablis not Coke...

In Italy over a million marched for peace in Rome, in London revised estimated put the crowds at over a million. None of these people will be voting for PM Blair again and his career is effectively over. The people have at last found a voice and a cause and unlike other protests over hunting or gay rights, for example, this protest unites nations. Everyone, but the US adminstration and PM Blair and his supine supporters in the media can see the unbelieveable injustice of this upcoming war and though the united protesters voices will not stop it, they will remember come the next elections (coincidentally less than two years away for Bush and Blair).

The revulsion for war is felt right across Europe as well as Australia and New Zealand (though only 400 turned out in Moscow). The crowds in Western Streets are not reflected in the Arab countries that surround Iraq. No protests, no marches, no stirrings. Is it fear or indifference that keeps them indoors or do they want Saddam destroyed for their own reasons?

Right now, the people of the world listen to Hans Blix and know he is speakiing the truth. Iraq is not a threat to world peace. The people have at last found their voices. How this will play down the road of history remains to be seen, but thismay be the beginning of a change– a big change. If ignored the protesters will despair, then turn angry and the war could end up in our streets.

Feb 6th 2003
How you can help 'turn off the war'

It's pretty easy to become depressed and not a little angry with world politics right now. G.W. Bush, Dick Cheyney and other hawks are so gung-ho for war that all the reason in the world seems to pass them by. Inside Fortress America it's all about evil doers and Code Orange (one step away from Code Red when all hell breaks loose). Even kids in the playground now play with 'weapons of mass destruction' they are so brainwashed and Iraq is the Death Star that must be destroyed at all costs.

Outside of America (with the sad exception of Tony Blair's UK) the whole world can see it is a 'big bully versus the nasty smelly kid no one likes' scenario. A pissing contest in other words and if all Colin Powell can come up with is alleged soldiers talking about hiding some modified vehicles to justify the attack, then it is a sad, sad world indeed.
(I might add that in the USA there's some very scary guys with guns driving around in modified Humvees or SUVs that need taking care of before they do something crazy.)
G.W. Bush sees himself as a prince fighting evil under God's banner. One more crusade for the road and the infidels will never bother us again.
Fat chance of that.

So do you feel powerless? Does the future look uncertain? Well here's a way to deal with it.
Ignore it.
Yes, turn off the news, don't buy anymore newspapers. If G.W., Dick or Donald come on the TV turn he sound down and watch their insincere faces. Now concentrate upon yourself, your friends and family.

YOU are what matters. Now think about your creativity. Think about the music you like or want to create, or the art or series of photographs you always wanted to take. Call your friends, invite them over for potluck supper, talk about everything except the war. (When I was younger politics was never allowed at the table as it always led to tears and indigestion).

Your creativity will defeat evil.
Paint, compose, do some pottery, be someone who places some value into the world.
That picture, that short story or novel, that child you read a story to or made a bear for, will generate affection and love and tear at the fabric of hate that surrounds us.
You can do it.
They can have their war, but you won't be watching CNN this time.

Call your friends, make them promise to go to the theatre, cinema, art galleries, cultural events, assert your right to civilization. If we all practice enjoying life we will all come to appreciate what we could lose by allowing the paranoia in Washington to militarise our lives, restrict our freedoms and by default achieve the enemies aims for them.

Don't be afraid, create. The door is open to tyranny. McCarthyism is never far away. 'You're with us or agin us'. Well being against terror is not unpatriotic. Disbelieving Iraq is a a threat to word peace is to reclaim your own sense of mental well being. The real weapon of mass destruction is doubt and fear and hate in our hearts.

Today call your friends, tell them the bread is warming in the oven and you expect them at 7pm.
No War
No Body Bags
No missiles exploding on schoolyards

Go out and create - exercise your freedom to choose.

Next Hackwriters Update March 3rd 2003

© Sam North 2003

This month in a rolling edition of Hacks:
Lots of new fiction: Try The Swing or journey to Bulgaria for the first time or read Mandy Mand's last despatch from Japan and J.T.s first from Tokyo- where there are some amazing bargains to be had. Meet Casey in Bangkok or catch up on Alex Grant's reviews. There's political comment from Ben Jonjak in Chile and James Campion in Jersey, lifestyles and just moments in coffeeshops. New material day by day, check back to find out what's new.

Previous Editorials:

Renting in Kits

Winter Escape to the UK
Hacks takes a break
What will you seeing at the movies? November
'The city where everyone gets to live a millionaire lifestyle'
It’s SECTION 9 in the N.Y. Sunday Times
A cornucopia - October
The Kids stay in the picture- August
Hacks visits the new Museum of Glass in Tacoma- August
Hot Sweats in a Cold Read at the Anza Club- August
LIFE ON FAST FORWARD - Vancouver on speed -September
SweetSista'Shorts Carousel Theatre- Granville Island - Off Fringe
ROUNDHOUSE is celebrating its FIFTH ANNIVERSARY. - September
Arts in the Community is for real -
Time to enrol
Vancouver Film Festival Trade Show report

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