Anarchists for Peace
- News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
Anarchists for Peace
by William T. Hathaway
February 2nd, 2011
It costs 50 million dollars to kill each Taliban, but when dead he
becomes a martyred hero to recruit new replacements, so the numbers of
Taliban are increasing. In Iraq the terror our invasion unleashed still
rages unabated, with hired mercenaries and local soldiers unable to stop
it, as our troops before them were unable to. Yet we continue the
fighting, and Obama the peace candidate has morphed into a war
president. We are trapped in endless war.
To break out of this death trap, anarchists have turned to radical
tactics. They’ve moved beyond demonstrations and petitions into direct
action, defying the government’s laws and impeding its capacity for mass
murder. Some of them have become domestic insurgents, helping soldiers
to desert, destroying computer systems, trashing recruiting offices,
burning military equipment, and sabotaging defense contractors. As
criminals for peace, they are defying the Patriot Act and working
underground in secret cells to undermine the US military empire. They
are convinced the only way to bring peace now is to bring the system down.
They tell their first-person experiences in a new book, Radical Peace:
People Refusing War, just published by Trine Day. Noam Chomsky called
it, “A book that captures such complexities and depths of human
existence, even apart from the immediate message.”
The book profiles several saboteurs. Trucker is the code name of a man
who burns military vehicles. He sees his sabotage as nonviolent because
it doesn’t harm human beings, only things. He states, “It’s only because
our culture worships property that we see destroying war machines as
violence. What I’m doing is depriving the military of their tools of
violence. I’m decreasing their ability to harm people. Since they refuse
to disarm, I’m doing it for them. I’d never set fire to a building
because someone might be inside. I even look inside the trucks to make
sure no one is sleeping there.”
Radical Peace also profiles a janitor who has destroyed computers at a
defense contractor with electrical surges. “I’m sure the lost work and
equipment has set back the war effort,” he states, “and I’m looking
forward to my next surge for peace.”
A college student relates how she threw a rock through the window of an
army recruiter after her friend returned from Iraq crippled. She plans
to do it again but says, “I wouldn’t throw a rock at the recruiter. I
don’t have anything against him as a person.”
Other domestic insurgents are cutting phone and electricity wires into
recruiting offices, slashing their tires, painting over their
billboards. At universities they are attacking military research
projects and ROTC offices: stealing their mail, squirting glue into
their door locks, hacking into their computers. An autonome tossed a log
under the wheels of an arms train and derailed it, but he was careful to
do it in the middle of the train so no one would be injured.
The anarchists in the book agree that such resistance must be
nonviolent, that it not injure living creatures. Setting bombs and
burning buildings where people could be inside can’t achieve anything
worthwhile. It just reproduces the same mentality that we’re trying to
Rather than randomly smashing windows and torching autos, they restrict
their activities to institutions that support or profit from the war.
Their goal is to make the war too expensive to continue. A few acts of
sabotage won’t do that, but thousands can. Government and corporate
resources are limited. Taxes and the deficit are already so high that
they’re crippling the economy. Every dollar the government has to spend
keeping things running here is one they can’t spend killing people overseas.
The militants believe that direct actions like these aren’t a substitute
for traditional organizing, but in critical situations like the present
they can supplement it. Sabotage won’t build a new society, but it can
help weaken the old one so the new one can be built.
Chapters of Radical Peace are posted on the publisher’s website .
William T. Hathaway's other books include A World of Hurt (Rinehart
Foundation Award), CD-Ring, and Summer Snow. He is an adjunct professor
of American studies at the University of Oldenburg in Germany. A
selection of his writing is available. Read other articles by William.
New book: _Weird Words: A Lovecraftian Lexicon_:
My collected fiction: _The Unspeakable and Others_
Lord Weÿrdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
Skipper: Professor, will you tell these people who is
in charge on this island?
Professor: Why, no one.
Skipper: No one?
Thurston Howell III: No one? Good heavens, this is anarchy!
-- _Gilligan's Island_, episode #6, "President Gilligan"