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Call for an International Boycott and Go-slow

by Peter Ravenscroft Thursday, Mar. 20, 2003 at 1:21 AM 617 32894470 PO Box 108, Samford, 4520, Queensland, Australia.

A call has been issued by a small Australian peace group, for a consumer boycott of all goods and services from the United States, Britain, Australia and their allies, and for everyone in these countries who is opposed to this war, to go slow economically in every way possible, until the war is over.

The bad news is, George III was barking mad too. The good news is, the Taming of the Shrub is opening tonight at a supermarket near you.

An Australian peace group has issued a call to boycott all trade with the USA, Britain, Australia and their allies, and for an ongoing go-slow strike within these countries, for the duration of the war against Iraq.

People all over the world are being asked to impose a five year personal and collective boycott on the purchase of all goods and services from the United States of America, Britain, Australia and any of their allies, if they attack Iraq militarily. Everyone living in these countries, who is opposed to this war, is being asked to go slow economically in every way possible until the war is over. This call has been issued by a small peace group, Not in Our Name, from the village of Samford, in Queensland, Australia. The group has issued the following statement:

"We are asking all those who do not believe in inflicting capital punishment and lifelong torture and mutilation on people who are guilty of nothing, to simply check the source of whatever it is they are about to buy. If it is from one of these belligerent nations, please put it back on the supermarket shelf, or fly by another country’s airline, or buy a different brand of car, or whatever.

We are also asking decent folk in these countries to put off major purchases, or plans for business expansion, to close their businesses down if they are debating doing so anyway, and in every other way possible to reduce their liability to pay taxes to the runaway militaristic governments presently ruling these countries. This is a direct and legal way of withholding taxes from these governments. If you do less, you pay less taxes and so do your suppliers, and you will incidentally waste fewer of the world’s scarce resources. Please relax commercially and feel good about it.

We are not in any sense supporters of the government of Iraq. We are supporters of the right of the Iraqi people to live peaceful and decent lives, and to not live in constant fear of airborne terrorists, or of any other kind of inhumane behavior.

The last time Iraq was attacked, a long string of war crimes was committed by the attackers, and hundreds of thousands of people were killed and terribly injured. The country was impoverished and next to nothing was achieved. The belligerent nations now demanding that Iraq scrap the weapons of mass destruction it may have, are quite deaf to all calls to scrap the weapons of mass destruction they themselves definitely do have, or to submit to similar UN weapons inspections and destruction themselves. They are likely to shortly use radio-active foul bombs on the cities, towns and fields of the country that is the cradle of human agriculture. These will not only kill children and blow their feet off, they will render some of Iraq’s fields, and parts of its ancient towns and cities, uninhabitable for all time. Under the patriotic rhetoric of the leaders of the western belligerents and their supporters, there seems to lurk the thin edge of an attempt at species suicide.

We wish to see a civilized, negotiated settlement to this problem, and the stripping of all belligerent nations of their weapons of mass destruction by the United Nations. We are tired of nationalistic and patriotic barbarism.

We apologize to those who are opposed to this and other wars and will suffer financially from this boycott and go-slow but we can, at this late hour, see no other way to try make the militant people of these countries reconsider their course. They seem to be impervious to appeals to decency, so perhaps self-interest will stay them. Probably four billion people on this planet are opposed to this war. Together, we have considerable purchasing and earning power.

We have once again been sold short, in country after country, by our governments. Let’s now use our right to buy what we choose, from whom we choose, and to work or not work as we choose, to remedy that. In particular, we are calling for a boycott of any and all services directly supplied by the governments of the United States, Britain, Australia and their militant or collaborating allies, including their currencies. We are also asking all decent peace-loving people who happen to work for these governments to reduce their enthusiasm for their governments’ efforts and objectives on every front, until this attack of militant hysteria recedes.

We appeal to all the world’s people who are opposed to the settling of disputes by the barbarities of war, to help spread this call and to make this boycott and go-slow effective. It is issued in defence of the children of Iraq."

There are similar boycott calls from the US, the UK, Mexico, Iceland, and Belgium and one from Byron Bay, also in Australia.

Thank you.

Peter Ravenscroft. Reprint freely.

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