Saturday, August 19, 2006

Letter to the US Attorney

August 18th, 2006

U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Washington, DC

Re Violation Number : P0571225

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am in receipt of your letter dated July 1st, 2006 in regards to the payment of my fine resulting from the conviction of the above referenced violation being 120 days past due. I guess at this point it is coming up to 180 days past due, and I understand from your letter that your office “will proceed with further legal action against me without notice”. I am writing to tell you that this is fine with me.

I stand accused and convicted of demonstrating without a permit. I should probably make it perfectly clear that I have absolutely no intention of paying the assessed fines, penalties, court costs, and interest.

As I discussed in court, my reasons for participating in these actions was deeply rooted in my belief in nonviolent resistance to the criminal behavior of my government. My grievances are numerous and far ranging. To recap the most egregious grievances:

• The invasion and occupation of a sovereign nation that posed no threat to our country.
• The wholesale slaughter of the Iraqi people.
• The use of white phosphorus on the people of Fallujah,
• The use of depleted uranium throughout Iraq.
• The systematic use of torture on prisoners at Abu Ghraib, at Baghdad airport and elsewhere in Iraq.
• The use of war, mayhem, and violence to drive our economy and enrich the corporate cronies of the Bush Administration.

Despite the courts decision, I was acting under the Nuremburg principles of resisting the illegal conduct of my government. This is demanded of us as citizens. The only way my government can continue pursuing these immoral agendas is with the silence and complicity of its citizens. I refuse to be silent. I refuse to be complicit. I resist the Judiciary's complicity with such criminality. I will not pay fines for illegitimate and politically motivated charges. I will not pay fines levied against me for my nonviolent activism.

I understand that such a principled stand may present a problem for you. I must state here that I am willing to go to prison for my intransigence. I also have another option to present to you. On Sunday, August 20th I will depart for Beirut. While in Lebanon I will be documenting the results of Israel’s 34 days of bombing. As you may be aware, many of the munitions used were produced by American companies. Most of the devices used to deliver these munitions were also “made in the USA”. F-16’s and Apache helicopters have come to symbolize terrorism across the region, from Iraq, Gaza, the West Bank, and now Lebanon. Upon my return I will gladly provide community service so that American citizens can see our countries contribution to “the birth pangs of a new Middle East”. I anxiously await your response to this idea.

In the mean time, please note that I have used all monies for the assessed fines, court costs, penalties, and interest to support my trip to the Middle East. I think we can all agree that this is a much more appropriate use of my funds.

Sincerely, Johnny Barber
Three Treasures Buddhist Peace Fellowship