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MORE HIGHLIGHTS:
  • IGC/PeaceNet's role in reporting the crisis in Kosova. April 1999

  • What's a Pacifist to Do? Pondering the place for a pacifist in the crisis in Kosova. April 1999.

  • Crisis in Kosova: Links to breaking news and background on the crisis in Kosova. March 1999

  • The New Zamir Chat: Participate in an ongoing discussion of building a civil socisty in the former Yugoslavia. March 1999

  • Project Censored's list of the most under-reported stories of 1998. March 1999.

  • International Treaty to Ban Landmines: On March 1, 1999, the treaty became international law. March 1999

  • Black History Month: Check out IGC's list of Black History Month resources. February 1999

  • Takoma Park Celebrates 15 Nuclear Free Years: Learn what it means to live in a nuclear free zone. January 1999

  • Making the World Safer for the Millenium: Strategies for de-alerting nuclear weapons to prevent accidental strikes. January 1999

  • Remembering Acteal: The commemoration, and the aftermath, of the Acteal Massacre on its first anniversary. December 1998

  • USA/IRAQ Crisis Page: Resources include links to action alerts, news, analysis and background on the conflict. December 1998

  • A Peaceful Day of Mourning for Native Americans: Ellen Barfield reports from the annual National Day of Mourning demonstration in Plymouth, MA. December 1998

  • Human Rights and the Internet: IGC Members share their stories and lessons learned from incorporating Internet tools into their human rights work. December 1998

  • Over 2300 Cross the line to Clost the School of the Americas: A PeaceNet volunteer shares stories and photos of crossing the line at this year's protest. November 1998

  • Of Kennedy and Kings: Plea to stop November 16th execution of Tyrone Gilliam in Maryland. November 1998

  • Nicaragua: The Aftermath of Hurricane Mitch. Read first-hand reports of conditions in Nicaragua and learn how you can help. November 1998

  • Free Leonard Peltier: A call for executive clemency during the week beginning with Indigenous People's Day. October 1998

  • Remove the Burden of Debt: Economic justice organizations call on the IMF and World Bank to cancel the oppressive debt owed by low-income countries. October 1998

  • The War Resisters' International, an international pacifist network with affiliates in over 30 countries, discussed the war and humanitarian crisis in Kosovo/a at its Triennial conference in September. October 1998

  • Stop the War in Chiapas: Learn the background and take action to bring an end to the violence in Chiapas. Ongoing

  • Social Justice Issue #29: Ray and Kim Goforth's E-Zine with articles on the gender pay gap, Kosovo, debt slavery, and more. September, 1998

  • Teaching Terror At Home: PeaceNet volunteer Tom Roberts takes a hard look at the U.S. Army's School of the Americas. August, 1998

  • Conflict in Northeast Africa.IGC staff member Efrem Teweldebrahan provides historical context and a personal viewpoint on the current conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea. July, 1998

  • A Peaceful Election in Cambodia. Norbert Klein, IGC's colleague from Open Forum in Cambodia, shares his thoughts and some reports on the recent election there. July, 1998

  • A Sincere and Somewhat Desperate Plea from Cambodia. A first-hand view of the election from Norbert Klein, a colleague of IGC. July, 1998

  • An Epidemic of Explosive Proportions. Gun violence as a public health issue, and IGC Member sites focused on education and advocacy to stop the epidemic. June, 1998

  • Media in a Dark Age/ A Media Run World: A report on the International Conference on the Ownership and Control of Media, from Brian Murphy, Editor, PeaceNet Headlines. June, 1998

  • From Belgrade: Anti-war Campaign. A grassroots action to stop the violence in Belgrade. May, 1998

  • Legal Homicide. A look at the death penalty in the United States, and how IGC Members work to abolish state-santioned killing. March, 1998

  • USA/IRAQ: Links to news and analysis of the USA/IRAQ crisis. February, 1998

  • PeaceNet in Israel: Patti Mallin's Travel Journal. IGC's PeaceNet Coordinator travelled to Israel to lead a series of Internet workshops for the NGO community. Her daily journal entries detail her experience there. January, 1998


  • What's a Pacifist to Do?
    A tale of two demonstrations.
    Patti Mallin, PeaceNet Coordinator

    Living in a suburb of Washington, DC, presents all sorts of opportunity for national-level activism, and observation thereof. Wednesday, March 31 was such an opportunity. As the PeaceNet coordinator I try to keep my eye on the actions taking place here in the neighborhood, so that I can cover them for IGC, if only in photos. I learned from the network that on March 31st, there would be not one but two demonstrations related to the NATO air strikes in Yugoslavia. I packed up the camera and prepared to spend the day in front of the White House.

    Shortly after 11 A.M., I arrived in Lafayette Park to attend a rally sponsored by the National Albanian American Council. It was promoted as a rally to "Stop the Genocide." I was prepared for an emotional experience, but not at all ready for what I actually encountered. I will say at the outset that I am horrified at the slaughter and the violent displacement of ethnic Albanians in Kosova. In my heart and in my mind I know this needs to stop. I was expecting to be swept up in the moment.

    As I approached I saw a large crowd waving American Flags shouting "U-S-A! U-S-A!" I wondered if I was in the wrong place. It reminded me of the Olympics or a national political party convention. As I got closer the Albanian flags came into view. I did see much of what I anticipated -- parents and children worried about their grandparents, people chanting about independence for Kosova, and bringing an end to the genocide. But then my stomach turned.

    There was a NATO pep rally going on around me. Adults and children alike yelling, "Bomb, NATO, bomb!" Signs saying "Send in the ground troops!" And a Yugoslavian flag was burned. I know very clearly that these are people whose families are being executed, or driven from their homes. I know they feel like every peaceful alternative has been exhausted. "We signed the peace accord, we lived up to our part." But it really truly stunned me to see the vehement call for more violence. There was no shortage of passion in this rally. Granted most participants had been bussed in from other cities as Washington has a very small Albanian community, but orchestrated or not the passion was real.

    From the stage, speaker after speaker -- representing the administration, Albanian-American organizations, the American Jewish Committee and others demanded stronger actions from NATO. "The only solution is to get troops on the ground as soon as possible." "NATO must be on the ground as soon as possible." "Inaction would deepen despair." Only the former ambassador to Albania acknowledged that bombing meant more killing, not less.

    My heart broke a little more when a child spoke from the stage and said, "I may only be nine years old, so I don't kow how to bring Milosevic to the bargaining table. I do know the only way to stop him is to bomb him."

    What's a pacifist to do? I can't bring myself to believe that dropping bombs or sending in ground troops is a morally responsible action. And yet, what are the alternatives?

    So later in the day I crossed the street to the White House where a "Stop the Bombing" protest was taking place. Here's where I'd find my answers about the alternatives. Here's where my pacifist leanings would be strengthened again. At least that is what I thought.

    What I found was a protest without heart or soul. The passion, the spirit I saw earlier was nowhere in evidence. I saw mostly the usual suspects walking their slow oval on the sidewalk in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, being led through a series of chants. "Clinton, Clinton, you can't hide, bombing equals genocide!" Yes, I agree. But tell me something more than that dropping bombs is bad. Tell me what to do. Help me think this through.

    There were more tourists pushing past the line of sign-bearers to peer through the fence at the White House than in the protest itself. Most folks took a photo and moved on. A man approached me and asked if he could tell me why he was protesting. I eagerly said, "Yes, please do!" and he handed me a photocopied sheet of paper and walked away. It basically said that bombing is bad.

    Please tell me I don't have to choose between escalated bombing and escalated ethnic cleansing. What's a pacifist to do?

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