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Tuesday, September 19, we spoke at the UN

Tuesday, September 19, we spoke at the United Nations. Now YOU must speak.

A delegation led by the Bush Crimes Commission delivered our verdict: that George W. Bush is guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He is a criminal and does not speak for us.

This was a message that echoed what millions in this country and around the world know to be true. And when your government is guilty of crimes against humanity, silence is not acceptable. We refused to leave the area and our entire delegation was arrested, garnering wide coverage on TV in New York, and it was the front page story of El Diario.

The contrast was stark.

Inside the United Nations, like a global godfather, Bush was submitting his demands to a list of Muslim countries.
To Syria: "Your government must choose a better way forward.."
To Lebanon: you must accept occupation by "an international force, led by France and Italy. "
To Iran: "The United Nations has passed a clear resolution that the regime in Tehran meet its international obligations. Iran must abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions."

These were not idle threats, because the regime in Washington has more than ambitions. They possess the greatest number of nuclear weapons in the world, they have announced their plan to "remake" the governments of the Middle East, and they have demonstrated over and over again their utter disregard for international law and human rights.

Outside the United Nations, we came with the compelling evidence assembled by the Bush Crimes Commission, which has now found Bush and his cohorts guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity in launching wars of aggression, torture, destruction of the global environment, sabotage of international AIDS prevention programs, and the abandonment of New Orleans.

Our action at the United Nations was also a first step in making good on our pledge in the second Not In Our Name statement: "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." This has now become an urgent necessity.

While the Congress debates over which bill should be used to destroy the right of habeas corpus, we must develop, spread and deepen a national debate on the war crimes and crimes against humanity that the Bush regime has committed. While the politicians contend over how to rewrite the Geneva Conventions to protect American torturers from criminal prosecution, we have to summon people to increased resistance.

Building on our action, we have several great opportunities now coming up.

1. We want to place as soon as possible a quarter-page ad in the New York Times. This ad would headline that Bush and his regime are guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. It would invite people to the Commission web site, promote the reading of the Commission Verdict and the purchase of DVDs featuring the key testimony taken at the Bush Crimes Commission hearings. These are very powerful moral indictments.

If you have not yet read the Final Verdict, we urge you to do so. And if you have not yet watched the amazing DVD of testimony, we urge you to order it today. You may also watch the 28-min segment on torture and detention on line.

Such an ad in the country's premiere newspaper will make the Verdict and the video of testimony available to a national audience and put these into the hands of tens of thousands. This can be done for only $19,000. Please make your donation today to speed the verdict into the hands of millions.

2. On the day following our action at the United Nations, the World Can't Wait organization placed a full page ad in USAToday calling for a national day of resistance on October 5. World Can't Wait was inspired by the Not In Our Name statement of conscience, and we urge all our signers and supporters to consider the importance of such an action. We can no longer be silent, because silence is complicity.

"I think it's incumbent upon everyone to speak up," Sean Penn says. "Not enough people do it. Maybe they're afraid they'll be criticized or called a Nazi. But I hope that never makes me embarrassed to lend a hand or speak my mind." And torture? Molly Ivins was bitterly sarcastic the other day in calling us all to account: "How will you feel if you didn't do something? 'Well, honey, when the United States decided to adopt torture as an official policy, I was dipping the dog for ticks. '"

Finally, we want to remind everyone of the importance of coming to the defense of those arrested at the United Nations on September 19. In particular, Fr. Luis Barrios, an Episcopal priest and an associate professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice was knocked to the ground by police. As the result, he was charged with assaulting a police officer, the exact opposite of what happened. We urge you to contribute for the defense of "the UN 16."

Today, each of us has an urgent responsibility to act. Act in the streets, act in speaking out boldly, act refusing to be complicit, and act in contributing the money to mount the resistance that is now required of us. Let's be real -- no one else is going to do this for us. As the call to Drive Out the Bush Regime concludes: "history is full of examples where people who had right on their side fought against tremendous odds and were victorious. And it is also full of examples of people passively hoping to wait it out, only to get swallowed up by a horror beyond what they ever imagined. "

Which do you want to be part of making happen?

Make your donation at
Tax deductible donations can be made at
Or mail your check made out to Not In Our Name, to NION, 305 West Broadway, #199, New York, NY 10013.

Text of the verdict may be downloaded as an Adobe PDF file.


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