In the early 1980s, direct action in Northern California focused on nuclear issues. As the Reagan regime mounted pressure on liberation movements in Central America, support networks grew up in West Coast cities. Emigres, activists, and faith-based groups came together both to pressure Congress (then nominally controlled by Democrats) and to mount civil disobedience campaigns aimed at disrupting federal policies.
One successful organizing model was the Pledge of Resistance. In the Bay Area and elsewhere, people signed a pledge to commit civil disobedience in the event of US military action in Central America. Thousands of people signed the Pledge, and it may have played a role in preventing direct military action by the US.
Instead, the CIA illegally funded right-wing rebels and hit squads throughout Central America. In Spring 1985, the Pledge called a direct action at the San Francisco Federal Building in protest of US policies. Almost 800 people were arrested, and many more were arrested in related actions during those years.Introduction from a Reprint of the Pledge of Resistance Manual
Weapons and Supplies
Army Material Command HQR
Army Security Affairs Command
Armament, Munitions and Chemical Command
Rock Island Arsenal, IL
Army Troop and Aviation Material Readiness Command
St. Louis, MO
Tank-Automotive Command, Detroit Arsenal
Fort Monmouth, NJ
Concord Naval Weapons Station,
Oakland Army Base
Sacramento Army Depot
San Antonio, TX
Corpus Christi Army Depot, TX
Corpus Christin Naval Air Station, TX
Lowry AFB, Denver, CO
Lexington-Bluegrass Army Depot
Naval Air Rework Facility
Norfolk Naval Base
Naval Surface Weapons Station
Silver Spring, MD
Earle Naval Weapon Station
Colts Neck, NJ
Military Ocean Terminal
Sunny Point, NC
Ft. Belvoir, VA
Tracey Defense Depot
Training of Central American Soldiers
Training and Doctrine CommandFt. Monroe,VA
Hurlburt Field, Ft. Walton Beach, FL
Ft. Bragg, NC
Ft. Benning, GA
MacDill AFB, Tampla, FL
Ft. Rucker, AL
Duke Field, FL
National Guard and Regular Reserves
States that sent National Guard to Central America, 1983-1988
Beale AFB, Marysville, CA
Patrick AFB, Cocoa Beach, FL
Ft. Meade, MD
CIA Headquarters, VA
Defense Intelligence Agency, DIA
Probable Invasion Support Sites
Ft. Bragg, NC
Ft. Bliss, TX
Ft. Hood, TX
Camp Lejeune, NC
Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, CA
USMC-Santa Ana, CA
Ft. Lewis, WA
Ft. CAmpbell, KY
Ft. Ord, Monterey, CA
England AFB, LA
Beale AFB, CA
Coronado Amphibious Base, CA
Eglin AFB, FL
Ft. Stewart, GA
FT. Benning, GA
Pope AFB, NC
Naval Atlantic Command, VA
Little Creek Amphibious Base, VA
Long Beach Naval Station, CA
Treasure Island Naval Support Activity, CA
San Diego Naval Base, CA
Pacific Naval Command, Honolulu, HI
Ft. Devens, Ayers, MA
Ft. Sam Houston, TX
Ft. Carson, Colorado Springs, CO
Scott AFB, IL
Langley AFB, VA
This is a list of military installations directly supporting the war. The pledge is investigating many others sites —if you have information about other local military connections to the war in Central America, Please congact the Pledge National Resource Center.
CIVIL PLEDGE OF RESISTANCE
IF THE UNITED STATES INVADES, BOMBS, SENDS COMBAT TROOPS, OR OTHERWISE SIGNIFICANTLY ESCALATES ITS INTERVENTION IN NICARAGUA OR EL SALVADOR, I PLEDGE TO JOIN WITH OTHERS TO ENGAGE IN ACTS OF NONVIOLENT CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE AS CONSCIENCE LEADS ME AT U.S. FEDERAL FACILITIES, INCLUDING U.S. FEDERAL BUILDINGS, MILITARY INSTALLATIONS, CONGRESSIONAL OFFICES, OFFICES OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, THE STATE DEPARTMENT, AND OTHER APPROPRIATE PLACES. I PLEDGE TO ENGAGE IN NONVIOLENT CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IN ORDER TO PREVENT OR HALT THE DEATH AND DESTRUCTION WHICH SUCH U.S. MILITARY ACTION CAUSES THE PEOPLE OF CENTRAL AMERICA.
LEGAL PROTEST PLEDGE
IF THE UNITED STATES INVADES, BOMBS, SENDS COMBAT TROOPS, OR OTHERWISE SIGNIFICANTLY ESCALATES ITS INTERVENTION IN NICARAGUA OR EL SALVADOR, I PLEDGE TO JOIN WITH OTHERS TO ENGAGE IN ACTS OF LEGAL PROTEST AS MY CONSCIENCE LEADS ME, INCLUDING SUCH ACTIONS AS PARTICIPATING IN DEMONSTRA TIONS, VIGILS, LEAFLETTINGS, AND APPEALS TO CONGRESS AND THE WHITE HOUSE. I ALSO PLEDGE TO DEMONSTRATE MY SUPPORT FOR THOSE WHO ENGAGE IN ACTS OF NONVIOLENT CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IN ORDER TO PREVENT OR HALT FURTHER DEATH AND DESTRUCTION IN CENTRAL AMERICA.
For decades, the people of Central America have faced the terror of daily violence. Brutal dictatorships, death squads, and powerful militaries created and reinforced a condition of repression, poverty, and hunger throughout the region. Currently, armed conflicts are being waged in four countries: EI Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras. Since 1979, over 70,000 people have died in these wars. In each case, the United States plays a significant role. Now this violence is escalating as the U.S. military presence widens in Central America-and as the possibility of a full-scale U.S. invasion increases.
In the midst of this situation, Central American teachers, labor leaders, farmers, and church people appeal to U.S. citizens to change current U.S. policy toward this region. They have urgently called us to help stop the bombing, incursions, paramilitary aggression, and spy overflights which contribute to the reign of terror in these countries. They ask us to do all in our power to reverse the U.S. government's plan to paralyze the forces for social change in the region, including its plan to openly intervene.
In response to this possibility-and in honoring the appeal being made by our sisters and brothers in Central America—tens of thousands of people across the United States are publicly repudiating U.S. policy in the region by signing the "Pledge of Resistance," a commitment to engage in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience and/or legal' protest in the wake of significant U.S. military escalation in Central America. These people, acting on their highest moral, religious, or civic principles, sign the "Pledge of Resistance"—a pledge to engage in acts of nonviolent resistance if the United States invades, bombs, sends combat troops, or otherwise significantly escalates its intervention in Nicaragua or El Salvador. If such circumstances should occur, our nonviolent action will bring the issue dramatically before the American people, will pressure Congress to act, and will signal the unwillingness of thousands of U.S. citizens to support this war.
In the event of mobilization:
A signal will go out to regional and local groups from a national "signal group" chosen by the participating organizations.
People across the country will gather at a previously designated church or other location in their local community for information sharing, mutual support, prayer, and preparation for action.
A nonviolent vigil will be established at local Congressional offices and other predesignated federal facilities and military installations. Some people will engage in legal protest and dialogue. Others will go in waves into the offices and begin a nonviolent appeal, refusing to leave until the invasion has stopped.
A large number of people will go to Washington, D.C. (in delegations from every area of the country) to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience at the White House to demand an end to the invasion.
U.S. citizens in Nicaragua will initiate their own nonviolent action and will possibly be joined by supporters sent from the U.S.
Both legal protests and nonviolent civil disobedience will be sustained and supported until U.S. military escalation ceases.
Before an invasion, the very existence of the Pledge of Resistance network may deter an invasion from happening. As tens of thousands of people conscientiously pledge to engage in acts of nonviolent direct action if the U.S. initiates direct military intervention in Central America, chances improve that the government will abandon this catastrophic plan.
The Pledge of Resistance movement, first organized by members of the U.S. religious community, seeks to be a broadly-based campaign, spanning the religious, peace and justice, and anti-interventionist communities, offering non violent opposition to U.S. intervention in Central America. At this writing, the following organizations are participating in the campaign:
American Friends Service Committee, Church Women United, Clergy and Laity Concerned, Committee in Solidarity with the People of EI Salvador, Episcopal Peace Fellowship, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Gray Panthers, Interreligious Task Force on Central America, Jewish Peace Fellowship, Methodist Federation for Social Action, Mobilization for Survival, National Network in Solidarity with the Nicaraguan People, National Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala, New Call to Peacemaking, Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, Pax Christi, SANE, Sojourners, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Unitarian Universalist Peace Fellowship, Witness for Peace, World Peacemakers, as well as hundreds of local groups across the country.
This Pledge of Resistance Handbook offers organizers and pledge signers information on establishing a Pledge Campaign in local areas. It lays out the general components of such a campaign, including a detailed description of nonviolence preparation. This manual is not, however, the final word on organizing the pledge network; rather, it is meant to be a springboard for creative thought and action tailored to the specifics of your particular area.