Monday, February 27, 2006

Black Flag Protest Against Bush

Mahatama Gandhi was considered the Gentle Anarchist by Canadian Anarchist writer and Gandhi Biographer George Woodcock. Woodcock saw in Gandhi that Direct Action which was non-violent, the kind of spiritual anarchism advocated by the Russian Writer (who inspired my Dido, grandfather) Tolstoy.

Thus, Tolstoy writes:

The situation of the oppressed should not be compared to the constraint used directly by the stronger on the weaker, or by a greater number on a smaller. Here, indeed it is the minority who oppress the majority , thanks to a lie established ages ago by clever people, in virtue of which men despoil each other. ...

Then, after a long quote from La Boetie, Tolstoy concludes,

It would seem that the workers, not gaining any advantage from the restraint that is exercised on them, should at last realize the lie in which they are living and free themselves in the simplest and easiest way: by abstaining from taking part in the violence that is only possible with their co-operation.

Leo Tolstoy, The Law of Love and the Law of Violence (New York: Rudolph Field, 1948), pp. 42-45.

Furthermore, Tolstoy's Letter to a Hindu, which played a central role in shaping Ghandi's thinking toward mass non-violent action, was heavily influenced by La Boetie. See Bartelemy de Ligt, The Conquest of Violence (New York, E.P. Dutton & Co., 1938), pp. 105-6.

Etienne de La Boetie, Vrijwillige Slavernij (The Hague, 1933, edited by Bart. de Ligt). Cited in Bart. de Ligt, op. cit., p. 289. Also see ibid., pp. 104-6. On Landauer, see ibid., p. 106, and George Woodcock, Anarchism (Cleveland, Ohio: World Pub. Co., 1962), p. 432

George Woodcock, Civil Disobedience (Toronto: Canadian Broadcasting Corp., 1966)

Woodcock, George-, Gandhi, London : Fontana/Collins, 1972.

Woodcock, George-, Mohandas Gandhi, New York, Viking Press [1971]

Nonviolence Versus Capitalism, by Brian Martin, in Gandhi Marg, 1999

The Black Flag is the symbol of Anarchism. In India when George Bush arrives to set flowers on Ghandi's grave this Thursday he will be met with mass protests, appropriately deemed the Black Flag Protest.

Of course the Black Flag has a different meaning in Islam.....

Bush's scheduled visit and offer of flowers on Gandhi's cemetery an "act of defilement"

New Delhi, Feb 27, IRNA


Offering of flowers on Father of the Nation Mahatama Gandhi's cemetery by a person (Bush) who has become the largest exporter of death and destruction through its expanding defense business would be an "act of defilement."
US President George W Bush's policies were responsible for the death of thousands of innocent people all over the world, said a prominent writer, Arundhati Roy, at a prayer meeting held yesterday at the Rajghat (Mahatama Gandhi's cemetery).

Roy said the offering of flowers on Gandhi's samadhi by Bush would be seen by the people as an act of defilement.

Hundreds of people under the banner of Azadi Bachao Andolan, Lok Raj Sangathan and Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind gathered at the Rajghat to pray for peace and voice their protest against the upcoming visit to India and the Gandhi memorial of US President George Bush.

Participants included Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Sikhs and Christians. Hundreds of youths sported "Keep Bush Out" slogans on their shirts.

Among those who took part in the prayer meeting were writer Arundhati Roy, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind general secretary Farooqui, Lok Raj Sangathan activist Sucharita and former IPS officer K S Subramanian.

The organizers have appealed to the people to turn out in large numbers for the protests planned against Bush's visit.

George Bush is scheduled to visit the Rajghat on March 2.

Meanwhile, Left parties along with many other parties, including the Samajawadi Party, have indicated they would participate in the planned countrywide protests for three days during the visit of American president.

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of three Punjab-based NGOs -- Lok Morcha Punjab, Inkalabi Kendra Punjab and Lok Sangram Morcha -- has said it would hold a black flag protest in front of the US embassy in Delhi on March 2.

The JAC said it would protest the Indo-US military pacts and the "continuous oppression unleashed by US forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.

Similar demonstrations have been planned countrywide.

In Lucknow, religious scholars led by noted Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawaad and the Imam of Lucknow's oldest Sunni mosque Maulana Fazlur Rehman, have said Muslims will wear black clothes and also release black baloons from rooftops.

NOVEL PROTEST: Children with a poster against war during a demonstration in front of the Mahatama Gandhi statue in Bangalore on Sunday. — Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

As children stood around the poster, they were telling the warmongers to keep off.

"Mr. George Bush cannot unilaterally decide upon a war on the people of Iran. Dictators should not play with the innocent lives of people," they were talking for the voiceless millions, the children who often suffered the most.

Children are often dismissed and excluded from social life and political decisions.

The reason: they are seen as not possessing the maturity and discerning ability to take sound decisions.

"But what sense do presidents and prime ministers have to wage war and put children into misery?," they asked.

In any war, the first victims are always children. Nobody cautioned them when bombs were dropped on Hiroshima, in Vietnam and in Iraq.

"Of the 60 million people killed in World War II, 24 million were children."

Shouting slogans, the children were telling the world to pause and beware of the wrongs of war.

"The people of America do not want war. The children of Iran do not want to fight. The people of India desire peace. Stop the Bush bomb. Save the children of Iran. Save the children of the world," the children were pleading for a just world, far from the violence perpetuated by the "thinking" adults.

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