||Kosovo: What You Can Do|
The Independent Thinker--Critical Thinking, Activism, New Ideas
"History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period
of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people,
but the appalling silence of the good people."|
Martin Luther King, Jr.
You have already taken the first step: getting informed. The more you know,
the better you are equipped to address any situation. Visit my site on
Alternate News Sites often. If you wish to go
beyond staying informed, there are a variety of things you can do, from the
most conservative to the most (well, almost!) radical. Here's a list:
- Endorse the June 5th
March on the Pentagon to Stop the War.
- Call, fax or write the President, and your Senators and Representatives
and tell them what you think. Go to the Web site on
Voter Information right now and make a list of your representatives and
how to contact them. Calling them, or visiting their local office, is the
best option. Go to the
Electronic Activist site and read up on the protocol for dealing with
each level of politician. Also, possible things to mention, in addition to
the specific issue of Kosovo:
- Ask them why, from World War II to the present time, the
United States has consistently supported right-wing anti-democratic
governments against popular reformist governments -- in Mexico,
El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Brazil, Haiti, Panama, Cuba,
Costa Rica, Granada, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Chile, Morocco,
Egypt, Iran, Mozambique, Angola, Congo, South Africa, Indonesia,
Philippines. (from Third World Traveler)
- Tell them you don't want your tax dollars being used to
fight wars. Use the numbers from the site,
Where Your Income Tax Money REALLY Goes
- Tell them that the US should help fight for human rights in --
Burma, Guatemala, East Timor / Indonesia, Tibet / China,
Mozambique, and other countries with abysmal human rights records.
(from Third World Traveler)
- You don't want your foreign aid tax dollars going to support
authoritarian governments or Third World elites. (from Third World Traveler)
- Tell them that the sale of weapons to repressive right-wing
military governments is not acceptable to you. (from Third World Traveler)
- Let them know that the U.S. spends too much money on the
military and on weapons. (from Third World Traveler)
- Support organizations which promote peace and nonviolence, and/or
combat war. Start by looking at The
OneWorld, Pacifica Radio,
The Peace Center of
PeaceNET, and The War
Resistors League. Each of these sites lists organizations which you
can support, including local groups. You could also contact your local
church or Quaker organization and they can put you in touch with local
groups working to stop the war.
- Support the
Peace Tax Fund bill which would allow 100% of your taxes to go to
NONmilitary programs (call 1-800-732-2382).
- Get involved in anti-war activities: demonstrations, sit-ins,
marches, etc. The Web sites listed in number two above will get
- Don't buy products from or deal with companies which manufacture or
sell war materials.
- Get involved in politics and lobbying. Contact your local Democratic,
Republican, Libertarian, Socialist, or other party. For contact information,
check the PAC
- Support organizations sending aid to the victims of warfare.
- Write letters-to-the-editor of your local paper. Send all of them copies
of the articles in What's REALLY Happening in Kosovo?
- "Contact the network and cable TV news programs, you watch,
including PBS, and the newspapers and news magazines you read, to
complain about their inadequate or misleading coverage of harmful US
government and corporate policies in the Third World" (Third World
- "Support organizations that work for
improvements in human rights in the Third World --
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Oxfam America, Global Exchange,
School of the Americas Watch, 50 years is Enough, and others" (Third
- "Help organizations that provide aid to those in the
Third World resisting repression by dictatorships and authoritarian
governments -- Free Burma, Coalition for Corporate Withdrawal from Burma,
International Campaign for Tibet, East Timor Action Network, and others"
(Third World Traveler).
- If you want to take the radical approach, think about refusing to pay
your taxes. For more information on this option, see the site
Where Your Income
Tax Money REALLY Goes. They have a list of things you can do. If you
really get serious, take a look at the
National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee Web site.
Links on What You Can Do
ACLU Freedom Network. Alerts you to threats to civil liberty and facilitates
- your sending faxes or emails to your representatives.
Electronic Activist. Includes "how to" on activism, including Campaign
- strategies, Campus organizing, Coalition building, Communication techniques,
Countering the religious right, Fighting to win, Getting started in activism,
Home-based activism, How to publish a newsletter, How to win the fight,
How to write your congressperson, Mass media for activists, Mel White's soul
force, Organizing a candidates' forum, Say it on the radio, School board
candidate questionnaire, Success story, Tips for activists, Tips from Cecile
Richards, Tips from Mel White, Tips from Morton Metersky, Using your talents,
and, When the religious right comes to town
Freedom Train. "In politics, the bad guys can hire professionals.
- FreedomTrain helps the rest of us -- without a lot of time or money -- fight
back. The next page lists petitions from a variety of sources, and includes
links to their complete texts. Read each one. Click the checkbox beside a link
to endorse a petition. When you finish endorsing, press SEND button. This
adds your name and address to all petitions you checked... Periodically we
forward endorsements to targets, via e-mail, fax or snail mail as
appropriate... The point of this service is to provide an automated way to
add your name and address to petitions of your choice.
Phone Numbers and Addresses of key people and organizations to contact.
What You Can Do. Third World Traveler
Please send comments to:
Colby Glass, MLIS