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 9/11 EMS Workers’ Statement against War
 Emergency Medical Service workers, USA
 October 6, 2002
 
We, a group of 9/11 Ground Zero rescue workers,
Take this pledge of nonviolent resistance—
Because we feel we have a responsibility to those we could not save
And to those who call us heroes
To do everything in our power to make sure that no one, every again,
Experiences such horror, here or abroad.

We, a group of people who ran for our lives on 9/11,
Take this pledge of nonviolent resistance—
Because we know that we are not the first or only people
To run so fast and run so hard
All the while knowing that if the buildings don’t kill us
Surely our shattered hearts will.

We, a group of people who watched as mothers and fathers jumped to their death,
Take this pledge of nonviolent resistance—
Because we believe it is unpatriotic to care only for American families.
We believe that there is no competition in grief,
We know first hand that gut-wrenching loneliness is so powerful that it translates into every language.

We, a group of 9/11 uniformed public servants,
Take this pledge of nonviolent resistance—
Because we resent our President telling us how we represent the best America has to offer
While simultaneously withholding funding for our medical treatment.
As soon as we are told how thankful he is for all we have done, how proud he is of our bravery,
Our efforts and suffering are used as the excuse for further violence.
Please know that we do not want to be repaid with vengeance
And we will not allow it to be perpetrated on our behalf.

We, a group of people who searched hour after hour for survivors
Fueled only on hope and adrenaline,
Take this pledge of nonviolent resistance
Because we are tired.
We are tired of being told that if we do not hurry and get back to "normal" that we are letting the terrorist win.
While such a simplification of terror insults us, if the game must be played

Let us remind you, the terrorist have already won.
Not just because we lost so many dear lives,
But because the terror of September 11th has actually made people in this country so frightened that they have stopped thinking.
Terror makes well meaning people so scared and so tired that it becomes easier for them to believe what the media and the government tell them, than to trust their own thinking.
We have become so frightened that we have convinced ourselves that racial profiling "just makes good sense."
But of course, it is inhuman.
We understand that when fear this intense is used in place of thought that we become so defensive that we will set out to kill others before they kill us.

We, a group of people celebrated for our bravery,
Take this pledge of nonviolent resistance—
Because we are scared.
We have seen the loss of life that results when two planes crash into two buildings.
We have witnessed enough to understand that a nuclear attack would look a lot like Ground Zero—only it would span for miles—and the effects would linger for years.
We are so scared that we become physically ill with the anticipation of another attack.
However we do not believe that war will make us safer.

We, a group of people have the work experience and skills that would benefit the US Armed Forces,
Take this pledge of nonviolent resistance—
For self-preservation.
We are made up of laborers, people of color, and recent immigrants.
Given our nations’ racist and classist military history, our male colleagues will be amongst the first to be recruited for the War on Terror.
We have already lost far too many of our coworkers.
We are a shattered community but
We will not let the rest of our good men be treated as disposables.

We, a group who gave our best on our nation’s worst day,
Take this pledge of nonviolent resistance—
Because we are courageous, resourceful and compassionate.
And we know that this world is full of people exactly like us.
We are a world of smart, creative, thoughtful, kind hearted people.
And there is simply no reason we cannot build a just and peaceful world.

And finally, we, a group of 9/11 Ground Zero rescue workers—
Take this pledge of nonviolent resistance—
Simply because we are rescue workers.
We do not choose to save only the victims who look like us, share our faith, or were born in our county.
Instead we faithfully attempt to save the lives of anyone who needs us.
Given this, it don’t make sense that we support the creation of any more causalities here or abroad.

A group of Emergency Medical Service workers who were on duty on 9/11 read the above statement at the Not in Our Name Rally in New York’s Central Park, October 6, 2002, explaining why they took the Pledge of Resistance. The text of the Pledge of Resistance can be found at Not in Our Name.