When the U.S. government announces the commencement of the war against Iraq, go on strike. Take your car and park in the nearest major intersection.

Block our freeways, bridges and subway entrances. Close down our cities. If you have no car, find a group of like-minded people and lie down in an intersection. No more business as usual. Close down our cities and stop the war machine!

Nonviolent civil disobedience is an American tradition 150 years old. First coined by Henry David Thoreau, adopted by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, it has been credited for the success of Gandhi's independence movement, the U.S. civil rights movement, and the South African campaign against apartheid.

There is nothing to be afraid of. Towing your car might cost between $85 and $110, but with the streets totally jammed they can't tow us. This war will cost you much more than $110. And what's more valuable, your car or human lives? Put your body on the street. Call out to all those who are against this war to join you. Let those who support this war see our power.

Your excuses? You can't find your keys (give them to a friend, or hide them in your socks). You're "looking for a mechanic." You felt dizzy, were about to black out, or were afraid you were having a heart attack. You need your "medication" and demand to be taken to the hospital. Pretend to faint.

Tell the police you saw a wounded child or someone being beaten. Tell them you had to stop because the cars in front of you were stopped. Tell them you are afraid.

You won't need excuses anyway. There will be thousands of us, all over our cities. 200,000 or a million, we'll outmatch the jailcells and police 100 to

1. Where will they tow 15,000 cars? They won't even be able to reach us because the cities will be gridlocked. We may live in a digital world, but everyone still drives on the ground. Shut down the cities! Vote with your feet!

When the war starts, we must act immediately. Modern wars last weeks, not years. One day's bombing kills untold numbers of people. Ending the war in Vietnam took years of protest, but it also took years to unfold its mass destruction. From everything the news media tells us, this war will be different. The Germans invented the concept of Blitzkrieg, "lightning war," and today's American technology has perfected it. The U.S. government is counting on your apathy. They are counting on the "Desert Storm" effect: before the Gulf war in 1991, the majority of people in this country were opposed to military ntervention, but once the war began Americans rallied around their president.

We need to do the opposite. Respond immediately and loudly. Hit the streets. Show the world what "freedom," "democracy," and "justice" really mean.

The corporations, big oil and the religious right have hijacked this country and  they have hijacked our language. Take them back. Take back "the moral high ground," "compassion" and "truth." Take back "America," and "God."

If the war doesn't stop, start blockades every day at rush hour, 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Make the business world listen. Call in sick. Slow down at work.

Stop shopping for anything but bare necessities. Tear off the top left corner of every dollar bill. Wear black armbands. Tie up the phone lines, keep your computer modems on all day. Paralyze the internet.

"A time has come when silence is betrayal. That time is now." Martin Luther King Jr.