People everywhere could act against nations allied with the US such as Britain and the other NATO states, as well as Australia, Japan, South Korea, Georgia, and Puerto Rico. ‘If not so restrained, the US government could very well precipitate a Third World War.’”
Civil resistance “is the last constitutional hope” the American people have to stop the US government’s foreign aggression, a distinguished international legal authority says.
Unlike the civil rights activists of the 1950s and 60s who “conscientiously violated domestic laws for the express purpose of changing them,” says Francis Boyle, “today’s civil resistors are acting for the express purpose of upholding the rule of law, the US Constitution, human rights, and international law.” As such, they cannot be arrested by authorities or sentenced by the courts for their actions.
Boyle, of the University of Illinois, Champaign, said under US and international law, American citizens have the basic right to engage in acts of civil resistance “designed to prevent, impede, thwart, or terminate ongoing criminal activities perpetrated by US government officials in their conduct of foreign affairs policies and military operations purported to relate to defense and counter-terrorism.”
Mistakenly, however, “such actions have been defined to constitute classic instances of ‘civil disobedience’” as historically practiced in the United States. However, “nothing could be further from the truth,” Boyle says. “Today’s civil resisters are the sheriffs” and “the US government officials are the outlaws!”
Boyle made his remarks in a speech December 9 before the Puerto Rican Summit Conference on Human Rights, in San Juan. His topic was “The Condition of Human Rights at the International Setting.”
“Civil resistance,” Boyle said, “is the last hope America has to prevent the US government from moving even farther down the path of lawless violence in Africa, the Middle East, Southwest Asia, military interventionism into Latin America, and nuclear confrontation with Iran, Pakistan, North Korea, Russia, and China.”
Today’s civil resistors “disobeyed nothing, but to the contrary obeyed international law and the US Constitution. By contrast, US government officials disobeyed fundamental principles of international law as well as US criminal law and thus committed international crimes and US domestic crimes as well as impeachable violations of the US Constitution.”