The Pittsburgh Organizing Group (POG) recently announced plans to launch a month-long fast in September at the front door of the Oakland military recruiting station.
The goal of this fast and camp-out is simple: To contribute to the movement working for the immediate withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq, and an end to military recruitment in Pittsburgh.
I have taken some time before posting this. While I do post about direct action issues on a semi-regular basis, I have not always been in POG's corner on some of their tactics nor in the corner of other direct action groups that are self-described anarchists. That being said, I am opposed to the war in Iraq and support a troop withdrawal. I am also intrigued by how well-laid out this tactic seems to be, similar to how impressed I was with the direct action at the CMU National Robotics Institute.
I've also noticed that when I do blog about direct action tactics, it generates a lot of response from POG and their supporters, which I appreciate of course. The problem seems to be finding and respecting common ground. My impression from some of the commenters is that it is all or nothing and that's just not going to build a bridge with me. At the same time, it doesn't sway me from believing that individuals *like me* can make a difference.
Fasts and long term encampments have historically been used as personal and political statements of protest and have been successfully utilized by groups seeking to raise the moral and political pressure in society necessary for specific changes in policy. In September, we will be demonstrating our outrage and sorrow through our actions as we work to create the world we want to live in. We will not only do this by fasting, but by marching, mourning and reflecting.
There's a long list of events, including a rally, picket, candlelight vigil, and a festival at the very end. So you and I can get involved. I'm planning to head down and liveblog at some point, depending on my own schedule.
What do you think?