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Torture, War, and New Vision: Action Alerts


Action Alert on Torture, War, and What YOU can Do NOW.

Torture, War, and New Vision: Action Alerts

There are things you CAN do:

Torture:

Last Thursday, President Bush and several members of the Senate struck a deal on human rights. In the process, they dealt away America's commitment to fundamental human rights principles.

Make no mistake about it, this deal is a betrayal of the America we believe in. No human rights activist can remain on the sidelines in the days ahead. Call on your Senator to oppose these dangerous provisions.
We are literally days away from action in Congress on a proposal to:
*Abandon the rule of law and give the President the freedom to interpret the Geneva Conventions any way he sees fit.
*Provide immunity to those responsible for past human rights abuses
*Exempt from prosecution those who authorize treatment traditionally considered torture.
*Strip detainees of access to US courts.

If America renounces the Geneva Conventions like President Bush wants to do, nations all over the world will follow. American soldiers will be placed in greater threat of torture and cruel treatment when captured, not just by one or two rogue nations, but by many nations that follow America's lead. Amnesty makes all these points on its webite.

Please call both your local Congressional representative and your two U.S. Senators (even if you don’t think they’ll agree with you). Call 1- 202-224-3121 and ask the Congressional switchboard to connect you with the offices of the Senators and Congressperson. Then, when that office answers, let the person on the phone know that you are a constituent, and tell them that the deal President Bush has struck is a betrayal of the America you believe in. Ask your Senator and representative to stand firm in defense of human rights, including joining in a filibuster if necessary, or any other delaying or deflating tactics. Tell them that on this one you don’t want just pious statements—you want them to do every legal thing possible to stop this attempt to give official sanction to torture. And if they say, “but it’s not torture,” say right back, “I know it is allowing the president to override the Geneva Convention, and that is unacceptable to me.”

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WAR

There is a mass mobilization being planned for October 5th which you can join. There are already events planned in 90 cities, and if there is nothing in your area, contact the organizers and they’ll tell you who in your area you might work with to create something.

Although I’ve signed the appeal for this demonstration, and will participate in it, I’ve repeatedly made the critique both of its harsh language (“drive out” may sound sexy, but it feels too violent in undertone to make me satisfied, and although the organizers have assured me that this will be totally non-violent, I believe that it should have used said explicitly that it supported militant, disruptive, but totally non-violent behavior) and for its lack of a positive vision (such as the Global Marshall Plan). I also object to pointing to Bush's misuse of God in defending his militarism, because one could point at the secular militarism of Vice President Cheney and Sec. of Def. Rumsfeld.
You can, however, ask to speak at the local demonstrations and present the Spiritual Covenant (as developed in our Spiritual Covenant with America and more fully articulated in the book The Left Hand of God).

So why do I think we should participate and help mobilize others to participate? Because, frankly, the danger from the Bush administration, its possible extension of the war to Iran, its
active dismantling of the human rights we’ve held sacred for centuries, its destructiveness toward the planet itself, its continuing war in Iraq, its refusal to push for Middle East peace, its total insensitivity to the needs of the poor, and its destruction of human rights and civil liberties constitute a clear and present danger to the survival of our beloved country and to the survival of the human race. So, as long as we conduct ourselves with non-violence, it is imperative that we get out into the public arena, and this is the first of many non-violent activities in the coming years until there has been a dramatic change in US policies.

So below is the call from The World Can’t Wait organization. I’ll be there—will you?

************************

FRIENDS:
The hour is late.
Endless Wars… Torture… Katrina… Theocracy… Bring This To a Halt!!

October 5th: PROTEST and MARCH in over
80 cities and towns nationwide to
DRIVE OUT THE BUSH REGIME.
FIND THE PROTEST IN YOUR CITY: http://worldcantwait.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2418&_event=14

On October 5, 2006, people in over 80 cities & towns will take off work and school, gather in the city center, and march. We will declare our determination to bring the whole Bush program to a halt and drive out this regime.

The World Can’t Wait Call is signed by Gore Vidal, Cornel West, US Senator John Conyers, Sean Penn, Paul Haggis, Jane Fonda, Jonathan Kozol, Mark Ruffalo, Esther Kaplan, Alice Walker, Rabbi Michael Lerner and thousands more.

“There is not going to be some magical ‘pendulum swing.’ People who steal elections and believe they're on a ‘mission from God’ will not go without a fight. There is not going to be some savior from the Democratic Party. This whole idea of putting our hopes and energies into ‘leaders’ who tell us to seek common ground with fascists and religious fanatics is proving every day to be a disaster, and actually serves to demobilize people.

“But silence and paralysis are NOT acceptable. That which you will not resist and mobilize to stop, you will learn - or be forced - to accept. There is no escaping it: the whole disastrous course of this Bush regime must be STOPPED. And we must take the responsibility to do it.”

- from the World Can’t Wait- Drive Out the Bush Regime CALL www.worldcantwait.org

“THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN. WHICH ONE WE GET IS UP TO US.”

Right now: 1. Raise Funds! 2. Get the Word out! 3. Volunteer! [link: http://worldcantwait.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2923&Itemid=223]
4. Sign the Call to Drive Out the Bush Regime: [link: http://worldcantwait.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2538&Itemid=2]

*************************************************

POSITIVE VISION

Popularizing within the liberal and progressive circles a positive vision of what we are for, not just what we are against, is an urgent necessity. For that reason, I urge you to get people to sign and endorse The Spiritual Covenant with America. Create a petition (we’ll soon have it on line, but not by Oct. 5th) to endorse the Covenant, and bring it to the attention of people at the demonstrations or planning meetings—in particular the plank calling for a Global Marshall Plan as a manifestation of what a strategy of generosity would look like as the alternative to the Bush/Cheney strategy of domination and control of the “evil Other.” This is the time to educate people about that, to get them to join a local NSP chapter or, if there is none, to form one yourself (yes, yourself—and we have a members’ guide that will help you: call Allyson@tikkun.org, 510 644 1200).

Create an Evening or Weekend Party at YOUR Home to Introduce People to the NSP

We have a video you can show to friends and family and people from your church, synagogue, mosque, ashram, community center, union, professional organization, etc. to help you launch a conversation about the NSP, The Spiritual Covenant With America, and The Global Marshall Plan as a positive alternative to war. Contact allyson@tikkun.org 510 644 1200.


SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION For Social Action and Tikkun (healing and transformation) of our World:

If you are looking for a spiritual foundation for this activity, almost every religious tradition has such a foundation. I urge you to read (not just own it) my book The Left Hand of God, and some of the other books that I recommend that are on our website www.spiritualprogressives.org, and to JOIN our Network.

I also invite you to come out to California (no, it won’t be on the web or available in other ways) for the course I’m teaching on a Re-Introduction to a Judaism of Love, October 13-15 in Berkeley. Details on the course and how to register at www.BeytTikkun.org. It’s for non-Jews too, and it’s ideas are easily translated into every other religious or spiritual tradition. And yes, there’s still space at our Yom Kippur services Sunday night Oct. 1 and Monday Oct. 2—at the Monday all day event we have (in the service led by me and along with other talks) Jack Kornfeld, prominent Buddhist founder of Spirit Rock Meditation Center who will teach about how to use spiritual practice in sustaining the life of political activists, and Daniel Ellsberg speaking about the current global mess, and me speaking about spirituality and politics. Registration in advance only: www.beyttikkun.org (and, no, it’s not a drop in event, it’s a whole day experience and you have to register for the whole thing, which does include as major part a religious service).

If you can’t come to any of this, you can still help us. Join the NSP, help create a local chapter, or tell us what else you’d like to do (after reading and completing The Left Hand of God and the members’ guide which you will get a month after you join).

Many blessings for a saner world and for a new spirit of kindness, generosity and open-heartedness!

Love,
Michael
RabbiLerner@tikkun.org

...

web: http://www.tikkun.org
email: community@tikkun.org


Copyright © 2005 Tikkun Magazine. Tikkun® is a registered trademark.
2342 Shattuck Avenue, #1200, Berkeley, CA 94704
510-644-1200 Fax 510-644-1255

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