Huddle Up!

By David Swanson

Team, huddle up. Huddle UP! Now, listen. I’m not going to even tell you what to do in the second half unless you understand what you did in the first half. Do you?

You think you’re tired and worn down and you got beat bad, right? Is that what you think? When you pulled off the most powerful offensive attack in league history on February 15, 2003, putting millions of people in the streets against this war, you think no points went up on the board, right? You need to understand that you sidelined three-quarters of their lineup. They’ve been using the same players without a break ever since. You sent most of the nations on the globe and the United Nations out of the stadium. You left them with a couple of skinny Brits and a fat Italian as substitutes, and that’s it. Now, do you think you’re the ones who are dog tired? Their uniforms look bright and clean, but they’re hurting bad.

And what about your defense? Have you seen them move into North Korea or Iran or Syria yet? You’re holding them to the little stuff. They’re losing the ability to think and adjust. And when you thumped them in the November 7, 2006, elections in the final seconds of the half, you could see the fear in their eyes. They’re running on rubber legs, they’re spitting blood, and they’re scared. And look at your bench! You could each play a half a minute and go home. You’ve recruited two-thirds of the stands onto the team. You’ve also put the refs on your side by calmly and relentlessly exposing their cheating. The cards are in your hands, and this is your game to lose.

Now, I’m going to talk about the second half and we’re going to go out there and finish this thing right. But first you’re going to give me 100 pushups. Now! You think you’re tired? You think you’re ready and wasting energy? The more energy you use the more you’re going to have. We’re playing for the world here, and we have the world to work with. Don’t think about saving resources. We’ve got resources you can’t drill for in any wilderness. You can only find them in a crowd. You can only find them on a team. There you go! Faster! 2 – 3 – 4! Push it! Don’t stop! It’s making you stronger! Strong enough to walk out there and win this thing with a look.

Stand up! If you think you’ve struggled, you don’t know your history. And you don’t know the misery of your opponents’ victims. Pain is not the worst thing you can face. Pain together for the better good of all is a pleasure you should value. You’re not going to win a field full of virgins in paradise. But nobody else is either. You’re going to win something that actually exists. You’re going to win peace and life and freedom – and before any of that you’re going to find solidarity. Did you know that protesting is good for your health? It is the brotherhood and sisterhood. It nourishes your soul. It brings you in from your masochistic exurban mansions of isolated media intake and puts you into action with others. You will get stronger the longer you struggle. And it’s going to be a struggle. They haven’t exhausted their playbook yet. They’re going to open the second half with a defensive formation called the Democrats.

Pay attention. This is when you strike hard and long. This defense is misleading. You move into it and it gives way, but it cushions your blow and then moves you to the side, to the side, to the side, and endlessly out of bounds. You start out right up the middle demanding an end to funding the war. They are going to counter with a claim that bringing our men and women safely home is an attack on those troops. You’ll think you’ve heard them wrong, but you cannot pause. They’re just throwing sand in your eyes. They’re about to hit you with an escalation and an opposition to the escalation, and they’ll have the fans getting into the opposition too. And you’ll find yourself sliding out of bounds unless you stay in the middle and cut off the funding for the war. If you do that, you’ll slowly gain traction, and if you hit them hard with articles of impeachment they’ll be on their backs wondering which way up is.

Their offense is still going to look like a standard corporate media assault on free thought, but it’s going to overreach and commit more errors. Your best defense is a good offense. Turn to the independent media and build it, and play tough with the corporate corrupters of communication. You can shut them down and turn them around. They need you much more than you need them.

Our opening drive is January 27th in Washington, D.C. If you are not there you are letting down the team. If you are not there you will feel shame when your grandchildren ask you about your life. If you are not there you are not in solidarity with the people of the world who do not know what Americans think because not enough of us are there. Get up! There are no excuses. No, not even that one. No, not that noble one. Not that personal one. Not that strategic one. NO excuses. You need to be in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, January 27th. If ifs and buts were candy and nuts you could just go buy a trophy and put it on your television. You’ve got to EARN IT, my friends. You’ve got to get your ass to Washington, D.C., this Saturday, or you can join the other team. We don’t need you. We’ll win without you. Have a nice glass of oil with your steak. Or come and eat and march and sing and share and laugh with us as we turn this world on its axis.

We’re going to march past the U.S. Capitol, and it’s surrounded by Capitol Police, but they are on our team and they know we’re marching for them too. We’re marching to tell Congress what it has to do. But we’re also going to march past Fox News, and this is where we throw a screen pass and go long. We’re going to hit Fox News with a protest so loud that deep within their studios a guest will seize his throat and some truth will come out. We’re going to rock the opposition’s two key players, Fox News and the U.S. Senate, to the ground. We’re going to demand an end to this war now: http://www.unitedforpeace.org

And then we’re really going to start. Then we’re going to reach way back into our playbook and drag out of our memory what really happened in Washington, D.C., the last time it was run by a man named Dick. The antiwar movement last time around built the momentum for an impeachment movement, which gave Congress the nerve to end the war, and then the threat of impeachment stopped Nixon from vetoing the bill that cut off the war funding, and the exhilaration of doing the decent thing and cutting off the war funding drove impeachment to the goal line.

You can come to Washington on Saturday and march, but you can’t go back home. We need you on Sunday as we train and prepare:
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/january27

And we need you on Monday as we lobby Congress to cut off the money and start the investigations:
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/16562

We need you for three days. Three key days. Then you can climb back on any cross you choose. This game is within our reach, but they’re tough and determined and devilishly slippery. They can’t beat you, but they can and will drive this into overtime.

On February 5th you will hit them hard all over the country with nonviolent and creative occupations of congressional offices:
http://vcnv.org/project/the-occupation-project

When you walk out of those offices it will be because you have won, and you will walk out with a smile, a handshake, a hug, and friendship for our newest teammates: your congress members.

Now, put your hands together here! Who’s going to win this game? The people! Are we going to win it for the Gipper? Hell no! Are we going to win it for Halliburton? Hell no! Are we going to win it for Hillary Clinton? Hell no! Are we going to win it for our grandchildren’s grandchildren and their loved ones? Hell yes! Are we going to win it for the people? Hell yes! Get out there!