Not In Our Name

As George W. Bush is inaugurated for a second term, let it not be said that people in the United States silently acquiesced in the face of this shameful coronation of war, greed, and intolerance. He does not speak for us. He does not represent us. He does not act in our name.


No election, whether fair or fraudulent, can legitimize criminal wars on foreign countries, torture, the wholesale violation of human rights, and the end of science and reason.


In our name, the Bush government justifies the invasion and occupation of Iraq on false pretenses, raining down destruction, horror, and misery, bringing death to more than 100,000 Iraqis. It sends our youth to destroy entire cities for the sake of so-called democratic elections, while intimidating and disenfranchising thousands of African American and other voters at home.


In our name, the Bush government holds in contempt international law and world opinion. It carries out torture and detentions without trial around the world and proposes new assaults on our rights of privacy, speech and assembly at home. It strips the rights of Arabs, Muslims and South Asians in the U.S., denies them legal counsel, stigmatizes and holds them without cause. Thousands have been deported.


As new trial balloons are floated about invasions of Syria, or Iran, or North Korea, about leaving the United Nations, about new “lifetime detention” policies, we say not in our name will we allow further crimes to be committed against nations or individuals deemed to stand in the way of the goal of unquestioned world supremacy.


Could we have imagined a few years ago that core principles such as the separation of church and state, due process, presumption of innocence, freedom of speech, and habeas corpus would be discarded so easily? Now, anyone can be declared an “enemy combatant” without meaningful redress or independent review by a President who is concentrating power in the executive branch. His choice for Attorney General is the legal architect of the torture that has been carried out in Guantánamo, Afghanistan, and Abu Ghraib.


The Bush government seeks to impose a narrow, intolerant, and political form of Christian fundamentalism as government policy. No longer on the margins of power, this extremist movement aims to strip women of their reproductive rights, to stoke hatred of gays and lesbians, and to drive a wedge between spiritual experience and scientific truth. We will not surrender to extremists our right to think. AIDS is not a punishment from God. Global warming is a real danger. Evolution happened. All people must be free to find meaning and sustenance in whatever form of religious or spiritual belief they choose. But religion can never be compulsory. These extremists may claim to make their own reality, but we will not allow them to make ours.


Millions of us worked, talked, marched, poll watched, contributed, voted, and did everything we could to defeat the Bush regime in the last election. This unprecedented effort brought forth new energy, organization, and commitment to struggle for justice. It would be a terrible mistake to let our failure to stop Bush in these ways lead to despair and inaction. On the contrary, this broad mobilization of people committed to a fairer, freer, more peaceful world must move forward. We cannot, we will not, wait until 2008. The fight against the second Bush regime has to start now.


The movement against the war in Vietnam never won a presidential election. But it blocked troop trains, closed induction centers, marched, spoke to people door to door — and it helped to stop a war. The Civil Rights Movement never tied its star to a presidential candidate; it sat in, freedom rode, fought legal battles, filled jailhouses — and changed the face of a nation.


We must change the political reality of this country by mobilizing the tens of millions who know in their heads and hearts that the Bush regime’s “reality” is nothing but a nightmare for humanity. This will require creativity, mass actions and individual moments of courage. We must come together whenever we can, and we must act alone whenever we have to.


We draw inspiration from the soldiers who have refused to fight in this immoral war. We applaud the librarians who have refused to turn over lists of our reading, the high school students who have demanded to be taught evolution, those who brought to light torture by the U.S. military, and the massive protests that voiced international opposition to the war on Iraq. We affirm ordinary people undertaking extraordinary acts. We pledge to create community to back courageous acts of resistance. We stand with the people throughout the world who fight every day for the right to create their own future.


It is our responsibility to stop the Bush regime from carrying out this disastrous course. We believe history will judge us sharply should we fail to act decisively.



Over 11,000 people have now signed this statement. Among the initial signers are:


James Abourezk, former U.S. senator

Janet Abu-Lughod, professor emerita, New School

As`ad AbuKhalil, California State University, Stanislaus

Michael Albert

Edward Asner

Ti-Grace Atkinson

Michael Avery, president, National Lawyers Guild

Russell Banks

Amiri Baraka

Rosalyn Baxandall, chair, American Studies/Media and Communications, State University of New York at Old Westbury

Medea Benjamin, cofounder of Global Exchange and Code Pink

Phyllis Bennis

Larry Bensky, Pacifica radio

Michael Berg

Terry Bisson

Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen

William Blum, author, US foreign policy

St. Clair Bourne

Judith Butler, author and professor, University of California at Berkeley

Julia Butterfly, director, Circle of Life Foundation

Leslie Cagan, national coordinator, United for Peace and Justice

Kathleen & Henry Chalfant

Noam Chomsky, MIT

Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney-General

Marilyn Clement, nat’l coordinator, Campaign for a National Health Program NOW

Robbie Conal, artist

Peter Coyote

John Cusack

Angela Davis

Diane di Prima, poet

Ronnie Dugger, co-founder, Alliance for Democracy

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Michael Eric Dyson

Nora Eisenberg, author of War at Home and Just the Way You Want Me

Daniel Ellsberg, former Defense and State Department official

Kathy Engel

Eve Ensler

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Laura Flanders

Carolyn Forché

Michael Franti

Su Friedrich

Boo Froebel

Nancy Garden

Peter Gerety

Jorie Graham, Harvard University

André Gregory

Jessica Hagedorn, writer

Suheir Hammad

Sam Hamill, Poets Against the War

Danny Hoch, playwright/actor

Marie Howe

Abdeen M. Jabara, past president, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

Jim Jarmusch, filmmaker

Bill T. Jones

Rickie Lee Jones

David Kazanjian

Barbara Kingsolver

C. Clark Kissinger, Refuse & Resist!

Evelyn Fox Keller, Professor of History of Science, MIT

Hans Koning, writer

David Korn

David C. Korten

Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor, TIKKUN magazine & Rabbi, Beyt Tikkun Synagogue , SF

Phil Lesh, Grateful Dead

Staughton Lynd

Reynaldo F. Macías, chair, National Association for Chicana & Chicano Studies

Karen Malpede

Dave Marsh

Maryknoll Sisters, Western Region

Jim McDermott, Member of Congress, State of Washington

Robert Meeropol, executive director, Rosenberg Fund for Children

Ann Messner

Robin Morgan, author and activist

Walter Mosley

Wayne Nafziger

Jill Nelson, writer


Rosalind Petchesky, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Hunter College & the Graduate Center – CUNY

Jeremy Pikser, screenwriter (Bulworth)

Frances Fox Piven

James Stewart Polshek, architect

William Pope L

Francine Prose

Jerry Quickley, poet

Michael Ratner, president, Center for Constitutional Rights

David Riker, filmmaker

Larry Robinson, mayor of Sebastopol, CA

Stephen Rohde, civil liberties lawyer

Matthew Rothschild, editor, The Progressive magazine

Luc Sante

James Schamus

Peter Dale Scott

Roberta Segal-Sklar, communications director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Frank Serpico

Betty Shamieh

Wallace Shawn

Gregory Sholette

Zach Sklar

Peter Sollett


Tony Taccone

Grace Tsao

Alice Walker

Naomi Wallace

Immanuel Wallerstein

Leonard Weinglass

Peter Weiss, president, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy

Cornel West

C.K. Williams, poet, Princeton University

Saul Williams

Krzysztof Wodiczko, director, Center for Advanced Visual Studies, MIT

Damian Woetzel, principal dancer, New York City Ballet

David Zeiger, Displaced Films


Howard Zinn, historian


(for a more complete list of signers, click here for A-K and here for L-Z)


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You may sign this statement on this web site at http://www.nion.us/READ_AND_SIGN.htm. You may also e-mail your name, how you would like to be identified and your state of residence to [email protected]. (Personal contact information will not be shared or utilized for any other purpose.)


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