Environmentalists Against War (EAW) is a coalition of environmentalist groups and individuals opposed to the U.S. War in Iraq and the American government’s post-9/11 security measures, characterizing the latter as assaults on immigrants and civil liberties. Founded by environmental activists Peter Drekmeier, China Brotsky, and Gar Smith, EAW bitterly opposes the Bush administration, a host of U.S. foreign and domestic policies, and America’s military campaigns in general. With “stopping the [U.S.] war against the planet and all its peoples” as its declared goal, EAW has participated in many anti-war protests and initiated anti-military Internet campaigns.
In February 2003, on the eve of Operation Iraqi Freedom, EAW produced its “10 Reasons Environmentalists Oppose the Attack on Iraq,” a document endorsed, according to EAW, by more than 100 environmentalist and social justice organizations. It was drafted at the Sierra Club‘s offices in San Francisco and was signed by such organizations as Earth First!; the Earth Island Institute; Friends of the Earth; Global Exchange; the Green Party; the Institute for Policy Studies; the California League of Conservation Voters; the Rainforest Action Network; the Ruckus Society; and Working Assets. Among the “reasons” enumerated in the document were the following”:
The attack on Iraq could kill thousands of people. Most of the people killed would be innocent civilians.
War destroys human settlements and native habitats. War destroys wildlife and contaminates the land, air and water. The damage can last for generations.
U.S. clusterbombs, thermobaric explosions, electromagnetic bursts and weapons made with depleted uranium are indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction.
Bombs pollute, poisoning the land with unexploded shells and toxic chemicals. Bombs can’t locate or neatly destroy hidden chemical or biological weapons (CBW), but they can cause the uncontrolled spread of deadly CBW agents.
EAW was an endorser of the March 16, 2003 “Books Not Bombs” rally which called on college students across the U.S. to strike in protest of the War in Iraq. Other endorsers of Books Not Bombs included Global Exchange, Historians Against the War, the Muslim Students’ Association of the United States and Canada (MSA), the Student Peace Action Network, and the Young Communist League.
EAW conducts workshops, presentations, and “teach-ins” to spread its message. In October 2003 EAW organized and sponsored a teach-in titled “The War at Home and Abroad: The Environmental and Social Justice Effects of War from Baghdad to the Bay Area,” held in San Francisco. The event included workshops with such titles as: “Military Impacts on Iraq’s Environment and Health”; “No Blood OR Oil: The Deadly Consequences of Oil Addiction, and What We Can Do To Break the Petroleum Habit”; and “The Erosion of Civil Liberties Under the Guise of National Security.” Keynoting the event was Congresswoman Barbara Lee — a member of both the Congressional Black Caucus and the radical Progressive Caucus, and the only U.S. Representative to vote against the war in Afghanistan following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This teach-in was endorsed by the American Friends Service Committee, Earth First!, Earth Island Institute, Global Exchange, Greenpeace, International A.N.S.W.E.R, MoveOn.org, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Sierra Club, United for Peace and Justice, Veterans for Peace, the War Resisters League, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, among others.
EAW’s founders — Peter Drekmeier, China Brotsky, and Gar Smith — contend that the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq was motivated by America’s lust for oil. “It appears that the only weapon of mass destruction to be found in Iraq is oil,” said Drekmeier. Gar Smith asserts that American dependency on foreign oil was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, and recommends that to avoid future calamities such as those of 9/11, the U.S should “replace polluting jets with high-speed rail,” reasoning that “a train will never be hijacked and flown into a skyscraper.” He further advises that America “give up its position as the world’s reigning Superpower.”
Although EAW is not forthcoming about its sources of funding, the registration form for its 2003 teach-in stated that checks should be made out to “Environmentalists Against War/Tides Center.” EAW co-founder China Brotsky serves as the Director of Special Projects for the Tides Center and its affiliate charitable entity, the Tides Foundation.
EAW is a member organization of the After Downing Street anti-war coalition.