We Don't Exist

By Cindy Sheehan

Last weekend, Karl Rove said that I was a clown and the antiwar movement was "non-existent." I wonder if the hundreds of thousands of people who showed up today to protest this war and George's failed policies know that they don't exist. It is also so incredible to me that Karl thinks that he can wish us away by saying we aren't real. Well, Karl and Co., we are real, we do exist and we are not going away until this illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq is over and you are sent back to the depths of whatever slimy, dark, and loathsome place you came from. I may be a clown Karl, but you are about to be indicted. You also preside over one of the biggest three ring, malevolent circuses of all time: the Bush administration.

Kafka Does Iraq: The Disturbing Case of Abdul Amir Younes Hussein

Published on Saturday, September 24, 2005 by the Huffington Post
By Arianna Huffington

The disturbing case of Abdul Amir Younes Hussein, the CBS cameraman who has been detained by U.S. forces in Iraq for over five months without a shred of evidence being publicly presented against him, has taken yet another bizarre turn.

As reported by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal last week, Hussein is a 25-year-old freelancer who has found himself trapped in a nightmare of secrecy, suspicion, and legal uncertainty since being wounded by U.S. forces while filming the aftermath of a car bombing in Mosul on April 5th.

Media Notices March

Even with Bush hiding out of town, the media has acknowledged the massive march through DC yesterday.

According to Truthout.org, C-Span says there were 500,000 marching. Citing unnamed organizers, the Washington Post reports that 300,000 people came, while Knight Ridder says 250,000, and the LA Times says 200,000. The New York Times names whom they talked to, but stays silent on the crowd size. Meanwhile, Reuters simply says "over 100,000." This additional story in the Washington Post says something about some of the marchers, and visitors to AfterDowningStreet.org will recognize some of the names.

Britain to pull troops from Iraq as Blair says 'don't force me out'

Defence Secretary confident withdrawal will start in May
-- Plan follows pressure for exit strategy
Peter Beaumont and Gaby Hinsliff
Sunday September 25 2005
The Observer, http://www.observer.co.uk

British troops will start a major withdrawal from Iraq next May under detailed plans on military disengagement to be published next month, The Observer can reveal.

The document being drawn up by the British government and the US will be presented to the Iraqi parliament in October and will spark fresh controversy over how long British troops will stay in the country. Tony Blair hopes that, despite continuing and widespread violence in Iraq, the move will show that there is progress following the conflict of 2003.

The Mother of All Anti-War Rallies

By William Hughes

Washington, D.C. - As I pulled my car into the parking lot of the "New Carrollton" metro station, just northeast of our nation’s capital, around 9:30 AM, on Sept. 24, 2005, I knew it was going to be a great day! The place was already mobbed with Anti-War protesters carrying all kinds of flashy banners, signs and posters indicating their opposition to the Iraqi War. From New Carrollton, it is only a short hop to the "Smithsonian" metro station, which is right on the National Mall and very close to the Washington Monument. A further hike by foot takes you - to the staging area for the "Bring the Troops Home Now," rally: the Ellipse.

AP Improves a Little

AP is now saying 100,000, which was the gross underprediction of UFPJ, presumably aimed at being able to later claim to have drastically overshot the prediction. Trouble is, the best we're getting from the media now is the prediction.

_____________

Crowds Opposed to Iraq War March on D.C.
By JENNIFER C. KERR, Associated Press Writer

Crowds opposed to the war in Iraq surged past the White House on Saturday, shouting "Peace now" in the largest anti-war protest in the nation's capital since the U.S. invasion.

The rally stretched through the day and into the night, a marathon of music, speechmaking and dissent on the National Mall. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, noting that organizers had hoped to draw 100,000 people, said, "I think they probably hit that."

'You Can't Wash Your Hands When They're Covered in Blood'

By Hart Viges, The Independent UK
via Truthout.org
Saturday 24 September 2005

My name is Hart Viges. September 11 happened. Next day I was in the recruiting office. I thought that was the way I could make a difference in the world for the better.

So I went to infantry school and jump school and I arrived with my unit of the 82nd Airborne Division. I was deployed to Kuwait in February 2003. We drove into Iraq because Third Infantry Division was ahead of schedule, and so I didn't need to jump into Baghdad airport.

As we drove into Samawa to secure their supplies my mortar platoon dropped numerous rounds on this town. I watched Kiowa attack helicopters fire Hellfire missile after Hellfire missile. I saw a C130 Spectre gunship ... it will level a town. It had belt-fed artillery rounds pounding with these super-Gatling guns.

Turnout Huge in DC

Today's march in DC certainly looked from the middle of it like the biggest we've had.
Here are some photos.

Here are more photos.
Here's some blogging at truthout.
Here's coverage, including videos at BradBlog.
Here are photos and blogging at DemocracyCellProject.
More photos on Dailykos.
Some photos of creative Protest Signs and Shirts.

The Associated Press Lies

There are hundreds of thousands of people marching in DC, right now, but the AP reports:

Demonstrators call for U.S. troops to leave Iraq
JENNIFER C. KERR
Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Opponents of the war in Iraq marched by the tens of thousands Saturday in a clamorous day of protest, song and remembrance of the dead, some showing surprisingly diverse political views even as they spoke with one loud voice in wanting U.S. troops home.

____________

REUTERS LIES:
Thousands protest Iraq war, economic globalization
By Lisa Lambert
WASHINGTON, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Thousands of protesters flooded Washington on Saturday to stage dual demonstrations against the U.S.-led war in Iraq and economic globalization, and to demand that President George W. Bush bring troops home.

Blackwater Down

by JEREMY SCAHILL
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20051010/scahill
[from the October 10, 2005 issue]

The men from Blackwater USA arrived in New Orleans right
after Katrina hit. The company known for its private
security work guarding senior US diplomats in Iraq beat
the federal government and most aid organizations to the
scene in another devastated Gulf. About 150 heavily
armed Blackwater troops dressed in full battle gear
spread out into the chaos of New Orleans. Officially,
the company boasted of its forces "join[ing] the
hurricane relief effort." But its men on the ground told
a different story.

Live Photos & Blogging from Pro-Peace March in DC

The Democracy Cell Project has people who are at the march right now and are calling in with reports as they line up to march. Stay tuned for continuous updates, reports & photos here.

Democracy Cell Project Live Blogging

Cindy Sheehan's Speech at UFPJ Rally

Ahhhh, I love the smell of Patriotic Dissent in the afternoon!

As we stand here on the grounds of a monument that is dedicated to the Father of our Country, George Washington, we are reminded that he was well known for the apocryphal stories of never being able to tell a lie. I find it so ironic that there is another man here named George who stays in this town between vacations and he seems to never be able to tell the truth. It is tragic for us that o ur bookend presidents named George have two completely different relationships with honesty.

I also find it ironic and heartbreaking that my son, Casey, who was a brave person, tall and proud, who loved his country and was honest beyond measure, could be sent to his death by someone who is even too cowardly to meet with a broken hearted mom, let alone go and fight in the illegal and immoral war of his generation. We are losing our best and our brightest in a country that we are destroying that was no threat to the United States of America. Iraq was and still is no danger to our safety and security, or to our way of life. The weapons of mass destruction and mass deception reside in this town: they are the neocons who pull the strings and the members of Congress who have loosened the purse strings with reckless abandon and have practically given George and company a blank check to run our country into monetary and moral bankruptcy. We are out here in force today to take our country back and restore true democracy and sanity to our political process. The time is now and we are here because we love our country and we won't let the reckless maniacs destroy her any further.

Peace Moms Get Ready to March

On the eve of Saturday's demonstration, Sheehan again challenges Bush for a meeting
Village Voice
By Sarah Ferguson

Standing in the shadow of the Washington Monument on Friday, before a sea of white wooden crosses, Cindy Sheehan and about two dozen other military family members called out President Bush for proclaiming this Sunday National Gold Star Mother’s Day, after so adamantly refusing to meet with her and other mothers who oppose the war.
“We’ve been asking for this meeting since August 6,

Lecture Series Urges Political Action

Hofstra Chronicle
By Nicole DiGrazia

The projected image of an authoritative-looking memo greeted students and community members last week during common hour in the Student Center Theater.

The Downing Street Memo, according to professors David Green, Cindy Bogard and Carolyn Eisenberg, was another form of proof that the Bush administration knowingly deceived the country while promoting the war in Iraq.

Green, a professor of political science at the University, referred to the Downing Street Memo as the "smoking gun" of the Bush administration.

"These were not mistakes," Green said. "They were lies."

Balanced Reporting

Already the media is equating an historic anti-war march with a handful of pro-death counter-protesters:

Mothers Plan Opposing War Marches on D.C.
By JENNIFER C. KERR
The Associated Press
Saturday, September 24, 2005; 7:22 AM
WASHINGTON -- Diane Ibbotson and H. Elaine Johnson are grieving mothers. Both lost sons in Iraq, and both feel strongly enough about the war to travel to the nation's capital for demonstrations. That is where the similarities end.

Pattern of Abuse

Time Magazine
Friday, Sep. 23, 2005

A decorated Army officer reveals new allegations of detainee mistreatment in Iraq and Afghanistan. Did the military ignore his charges?
By ADAM ZAGORIN

The U.S. Army has launched a criminal investigation into new allegations of serious prisoner abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan made by a decorated former Captain in the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, an Army spokesman has confirmed to TIME. The claims of the Captain, who has not been named, are in part corroborated by statements of two sergeants who served with him in the 82nd Airborne; the allegations form the basis of a report from Human Rights Watch obtained by TIME and due to be released in the next few days (Since this story first went online, the organization has decided to put out its report; it can be found here). Senate sources tell TIME that the Captain has also reported his charges to three senior Republican senators: Majority Leader Bill Frist, Armed Services Committee chairman John Warner and John McCain, a former torture victim in Vietnam. A Senate Republican staffer familiar with both the Captain and his allegations told TIME he appeared "extremely credible."

Is This March Mainstream or Radical? Read the Numbers.

http://www.pollingreport.com/iraq.htm

Associated Press/Ipsos poll conducted by Ipsos-Public Affairs. Sept. 16-18, 2005. N=1,000 adults nationwide.

"As you may know, the U.S. Congress has appropriated 260 billion dollars to fight the war and help rebuild Iraq. What best describes how you feel about federal spending on the rebuilding of Iraq? We are spending too much. We are spending the right amount. We should spend more." Asked of half the sample

9/16-18/05
Spending Too Much 65%
Spending Right Amount 27%
Should Spend More 6%
Unsure 2%

About Cindy Sheehan

Introduction of Cindy Sheehan, Recipient of Pacifica Radio's Unvarnished Truth Award
By David Swanson

I came to know Cindy Sheehan in May, and – like most people – I immediately loved her. She is a very friendly and loving person, and you cannot work on a project with her without being constantly reminded of what it is all about, how important it is, how right it is.

Cindy does not talk about peace movement strategy as if she were working on any old project. She talks about the urgent need to end the vile crimes of the greedy bastards who sent her son to die so that they could grow rich on his flesh and blood. This is Cindy's language that I am repeating.

Join Us in DC

From www.BringThemHomeNowTour.org

Things are really heating up in Washington DC now that all three tours have arrived! We've got a schedule full of events and congressional meetings, and we're getting ready for the big march tomorrow.

On Wednesday night, September 21st, Hart Viges of Iraq Veterans Against the War spoke at American University along with other members of the tour. Here he is in his own words:

"I go and search this hut for AK-47s, for explosives, for RPGs - you know the things that would need to convict someone, maybe, for a crime: Evidence. And all I can find is a tiny little pistol, probably to scare off thieves who were trying to steal his crops.

Introduction and Lobbying Overview

As you read through this Lobby Kit it is important to keep in mind two points. First, that the act of lobbying [influencing] your congressperson is a dynamic process; it will become easier to master the more it is practiced. Second, lobbying begins with a small number of committed and focused individuals. As time progresses, others in your community will be drawn to this crucial work
Lobbying is an attempt to influence elected officials on specific legislation. Legislation can either be an introduced or a draft bill that may be introduced in the future to any legislative body such as a city council, state legislature or Congress. Writing letters is one of the most fundamental grassroots tools for showing support or opposition towards an issue. A handwritten letter shows the congressperson that the constituent has thought about the issue and has serious opinions about it.

Visiting Your Congressperson

Preparation:
Research the member's voting record. Find out which constituencies and/or industries are important in the member's district. What committees and/or subcommittees does the member sit on? How do they relate to your issue? What power does the member have to give you what you want?
Assemble a Delegation:
A delegation lets the member of Congress know that the issue resonates with the community. A good delegation is between five and eight people. Large delegations should be avoided because you don't want to overwhelm your member of Congress. You will want to begin building a relationship with your congressional representative and her/his staff so that a trust is formed.

How to Conduct a Letter Writing Campaign

1. What to have on hand:
blank white computer paper
clipboards, pens
“Sample Letter to the Congressperson

Lobbying the Media

Letters to the Editor:
Letters to the editor (LTE) are a great way to get your message out to others in your community. Editors and reporters may also look to letters to the editor for ideas and issues that they have not previously covered. The LTE should be clear, brief, and focused. Limit the letter to one page. Remember that shorter letters have a better chance of being published.
LTE campaigns are effective in generating many letters that deal with the same issue. They also serve to address particular news items or editorials that have appeared in the publication. To start a LTE campaign, you should form a LTE committee in your group. Stagger the mailings, a few days apart to address a particular issue.

How to Lobby the Public

For exact details please refer to the “How to Conduct a Letter-Writing Campaign

Know Your Rights to Demonstrate and Protest

A guide for demonstrators, marchers, speakers and others who seek to exercise their First Amendment rights.
GENERAL GUIDELINES
Q. Can my free speech rights be restricted because of what I want to say - even if it's controversial?
A. No. The First Amendment prohibits restrictions based on the content of speech. However, this does not mean that the Constitution completely protects all types of free speech activity in every circumstance. Police and government officials are allowed to place certain non-discriminatory and narrowly drawn "time, place and manner" restrictions on the exercise of First Amendment rights.

Firm as a Mule

Bush Firm on Iraq Policy as Antiwar Forces Plan Protest
By Maria Newman
The New York Times

Friday 23 September 2005

President Bush said today that even though Hurricanes Rita and Katrina had dominated national attention and resources in the last few weeks, "our focus on defending our country remains undiminished" and that he had no intention of heeding critics' calls to withdraw American troops from Iraq anytime soon.

With opponents of the war in Iraq planning a major protest in Washington this weekend, the president acknowledged that there were differences of opinion about Iraq and that he knew that many people believed the only way to curtail the violence in Iraq was to bring home American forces.

Caught red-handed

Nafeez Ahmed
www.rawstory.com

BRITISH UNDERCOVER OPERATIVES IN IRAQ

Zarqawi Eat Your Heart Out

Basra is relatively stable compared to central Iraq where violence involving insurgents, civilians and coalition forces is a daily routine. The city has rarely been a site of clashes between insurgents and coalition troops, nor is it a victim of regular terrorist attacks. This week, however, things changed, but not thanks to Zarqawi and his al-Qaeda ilk.

On Monday, two British soldiers were arrested and detained by Iraqi police in Basra. Within a matter of hours, the British military responded with overwhelming force, despite subsequent denials by the Ministry of Defence, which insisted that the two men had been retrieved solely through "negotiations."

Senator Dayton introduces Department of Peace legislation in the Senate!

From the Peace Alliance

Dear Friends,

On September 22nd, 2005, Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN) introduced the Department of Peace legislation into the U.S. Senate (S. 1756), calling for an elevation of the Reagan-established "Institute of Peace" to a Cabinet-level position.

This is a huge moment for our campaign, and for the future of the Department of Peace! Senator Dayton's leadership and enthusiastic support will take us to the next level in our work as we continue to advocate for this historic legislation.

Speaking from the Senate floor, Dayton said, "If we are to remain the world's leader, and if we are to lead the world into a more secure and more prosperous future, we must become better known and more respected for our peacemaking successes than for our military forces. Peace, to have any lasting value, must be advanced, expanded and strengthened continuously. Doing so requires skill, dedication, persistence, resources, and, most importantly, people."

Informed Activist

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