28 OCTOBER 2002


is launching a set of playing cards aimed at prompting people to take part
in a day of silent protest against “The War.”

will launch the ‘Silent Protest’ cards during a special presentation at
the Marx Memorial Library in London (October 29). Following the event,
he’ll move to The Foundry in east London, where Tracey Sanders-Wood will
release 1,000 helium-filled balloons.

to each balloon will be a randomly selected card from a pack of Silent
Protest. Anyone who retrieves one of the balloons and returns the card
will be sent a complete pack of Silent Protest.

    The cards
are just like regular playing cards. However, instead of numbers and suits
on the front are simple everyday phrases – such as ‘Today I’m silent as
a protest against the war’, ‘coffee’, ‘Where is the lavatory’ and ‘Fuck
you’ – which the silent protestor can use to get through.

world seems to want to go to war. I don’t want it to,” Drummond explained.
“Nobody who can do anything about stopping it is going to listen to me.

of thinking about my futility, I thought maybe I could manage a day of
silence, and I thought about the practicalities of getting through a normal
working day without saying a word. Maybe I could cut up a sheet of white
cardboard so that I would have a stack of cards that could fit in my pocket?
Instead of four suits there would be 52 cards with 52 short statements
or questions or single useful words – maybe leave a couple blank for whoever,
to add their own.

    “I might
not be able to manage more than a day of silence but if I got these Silent
Protest cards printed up and distributed to bookshops, maybe other people
would do days of Silent Protest which would soon mount up way past the
365 days that I originally envisaged.”

added that the silent protest was against “whichever war you want to stop:
the one in your family or bedroom; the one at work or the war in a far-flung

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About Jay Babcock

I am the co-founder and editor of Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curator of the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was one of five Angelenos listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. Today, I live a peaceful life in Tucson, Arizona with Stephanie Smith.