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Anti-war blackout

Dr. Michael L. Love,
Wed, 19 Mar 2003 22:48:52

In the event that war breaks out with Iraq, GNU-Darwin will observe the anti-war moratorium by replacing our home page with the following message; Stop the war now! If you see this message on the GNU-Darwin home page, then I advise you to stop what you are doing and join the demonstrators in the street.

No war for oil. I cannot in good conscience support killing for the benefit of US hegemony. Saddam is certainly a bad governor, but if the US preempts, then we will be invaders and aggressors in an unjust war, just like Germany in WWII. GNU-Darwin support for the anti-war protesters is a foregone conclusion, and it is right to do so. We are an activist software distribution, and the message in question is a part of that activism. There can be no free software without freedom.

No one could really believe that the GNU-Darwin anti-war blackout could end the war by itself. Rather it is a statement and demonstration against the war. It is a signal to let people know that it is important to stop the war. If GNU-Darwin were joined by many other websites, then it could possibly have a major impact, with coverage in the media, and an example of the anti-democratic nature of the Bush administration. This is only one action, such as it is. If you feel strongly against the war, then you should do something about it now, even if the impact is low, because it adds to what others are doing. If everyone does everything that they can, then we can stop the war.

Don't worry if anyone tells you it is spam or off-topic. They are wrong, because this war will affect everyone and everything. The process has already started with an attack on the US Constitution, which would undermine the nexus of freedom from which free software sprang; an attack on the humanitarian principles of the UN Charter, which would undermine the altruistic impulse which is the basis of software freedom. Let us do whatever we can to stop this war now.

If they accuse you of supporting an genocidal dictator, then remind them that Saddam was established, propped up, and deliberately genocide-enabled by the US. It only recently appears that he has lost favor with the oilygarchy, who has taken it out on the people of Iraq, a tragedy all around for sure, and a US instigated downward spiral of misery. Moreover, Before US intervention, Iraq was a secular modern state and friends of the US, not terrorists. Clearly, they would be crazy to attack the US, and it will never happen. Ask them if they would like to see Saddam brought before the world court to be judged for his crimes. The US may have been a liberator in past wars, but that does not justify the current one.

Others may try to stop you by saying that you are not supporting the troops, but this is also an invalid argument. The war is unjust and the US is wrong to pursue it. Our troops are bound under the UCMJ at this unfortunate time, and they will do what is required of them. (I was in the reserve myself years ago, so I understand and empathize.) The best way to support the troops is to repudiate the war and bring them home now.

Of course, I cannot speak for all of our users, but if they agree with the anti-war sentiment, then they will welcome the small inconvenience of by-passing the home page, in order to make a prominent statement against an unjust war. All of the email that I have been getting from our core usership has been encouraging, and many have told me that they are doing something similar in their own websites. Apparently, GNU-Darwinists welcome this as another opportunity to participate in action against the war. This is probably true of the majority of free software projects and many website communities. This is how we will make the internet work for us, and do its intended job. Please consider joining us in this action and help to stop the war.



Mar 21 16:46:03 EST 2003
It appears that the blackout has been beneficial to the Distribution. We have paradoxically experienced a surge upward of subscription proceeds and CDR sales since the blackout began, with which we have been able to commission a new server for our internet service users.

Many thanks to all of those who continue to support us at this crucial time. It is nice be able to make a prominent statement against the war, while providing these services back to the community. The people are voting with their dollars, and hopefully we will be able to sustain GNU-Darwin in this manner for a long time to come.

Thus it appears that this action has now proven as highly successful, impactful, and recommended to webmasters and projects who are opposed to this war of aggression. Stop the conquest of Iraq! Blackout now!

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