The RICE solution - Action
There is a grassroots campaign underway to
[stand for peace] with Iraq in a simple, but potentially powerful way:
Place 1/2 cup (4 oz) uncooked rice in a small
plastic bag (a snack-size bag or sandwich bag work fine). Squeeze out excess air
and seal the bag. Wrap it in a piece of paper on which you have written:
"If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
Romans 12:20. Please send this rice to the people of Iraq; do not attack them."
Place the paper and bag of rice in a small jiffy
bag, close well with tape and address to:
Tony Blair -10 Downing Street, London SW 1
Attach #1.06 in postage. (But get postage
checked at PO!)
Drop this in the mail TODAY.
It is important to act NOW so that Tony Blair gets
the letters ASAP
Each one of these packets is effective, and
hundreds of thousands of such rice deliveries to 10 Downing Street will make
hopefully make an enormous stand. We can do this if you each forward this
message to your friends and family.
There is a positive history of this protest! In the
1950s, Fellowship of Reconciliation began a similar protest, which is credited
with influencing President Eisenhower against attacking China.
Read on: "In the mid-1950s, the pacifist Fellowship
of Reconciliation, learning of famine in the Chinese mainland, launched a 'Feed
Thine Enemy' campaign. Members and friends mailed thousands of little bags of
rice to the White House with a tag quoting the Bible, "If thine enemy hunger,
As far as anyone knew for more than ten
years, the campaign was an abject failure. The President did not acknowledge
receipt of the bags publicly; certainly, no rice was ever sent to China. "What
nonviolent activists only learned a decade later was that the campaign played a
significant, perhaps even determining role in preventing nuclear war. Twice
while the campaign was pending, President Eisenhower met with the Joint Chiefs
of Staff to consider U.S. options in the conflict with China over two islands,
Quemoy and Matsu. The generals twice recommended the use of nuclear
weapons. President Eisenhower each time turned to his aide and asked how
many little bags of rice had come in. When told they numbered in the tens of
thousands, Eisenhower told the generals that as long as so many Americans were
expressing active interest in having the U.S. feed the Chinese, he certainly
wasn't going to consider using nuclear weapons against them."
From: People Power: Applying Nonviolence Theory by
David H. Albert, p.43, New Society
Excerpt from an interview with Noam
Chomsky on war with Iraq....
OB: As you said, it seems that a US invasion of
Iraq is pretty much inevitable at this point. How much difference can popular
resistance still make?
NC: A huge difference. It's the only thing that can
stop it. That's always been true. What prevented the US from carrying out
saturation B-52 bombing of Nicaragua in the 1980s? Popular resistance. It wasn't
strong enough 40 years ago to stop it in South Vietnam, but it did stop the
invasion in the 1980s, and now resistance to the war has no historical precedent
to my knowledge. I can't think of another case where there was large
scale protest to a war before it started. Nothing like that during the
Vietnam years. Protest over the Vietnam War came after four to five years. There
is unprecedented opposition -- UK and US policy analysts are keeping their eyes
open to it, and if it grows even more, they'll be concerned. In fact, some of
the high level hawkish arguments against the war is that too much divisiveness
will be created inside the UK and US. That's a concern -- No matter who you are,
you are going to be concerned about popular opinion.