Affinity Group Statement, Wednesday, March 26, 2003, at the time of a Gandhian nonviolent act of civil disobedience, at the federal building, Eugene, in opposition to the war on Iraq.

We are here today, because we feel that we have been betrayed by our government. The values for which we stand, as United States citizens, as world citizens, have been betrayed. We cannot stand by while we watch other human beings, from the other side of the globe, from another culture, but our sister and brother humans, slaughtered. We cannot stand by, as our government sends hundreds of thousands of our young men and women, to kill, to be killed, and to be subjected to the disease and trauma that will result.

We are here because helplessness about the supposed inevitability of war is not a viable choice.

We are here to say that we support human life. It does not matter if a person wears a soldier’s uniform, or from what country that person comes, or to what god that person prays. We have no enemies. All humanity, indeed all life on earth, is bonded. We cannot survive without each other.

We are here to say that there is a force more powerful than violence for solving this or any conflict. It is a force that decries greed and empire, and embraces compassion. It embraces the spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood of all humankind. In that spirit, our aim is to not inflict harm and suffering on others, but rather to take suffering upon ourselves, if we deem it necessary. In times of war, young people seem to willingly offer their lives to go to fight. We believe that to achieve peace, within the power of love, just as many must be willing to take risks and make sacrifices. Will we who believe in peace have the courage?

There has been an abysmal lack of vision on the part of those leading our government. We must embrace and cry out a new vision with all our strength and imagination. We will make mistakes as we move ahead, but we will cry out, and we will take risks.

Written by Peg Morton, Vip Short and Susannah Lustica

Signed in addition by Gordie Albie, Amy Beller, Doug Black, Sarah Charlesworth, Charles Gray, and Ann Tattersoll, all participants and/or supporters of the action.

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