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.
On the eve of Saturday's demonstration, Sheehan again challenges Bush for a meeting
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,
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."
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.
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."
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
Spending Too Much 65%
Spending Right Amount 27%
Should Spend More 6%
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.
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.
How to Lobby Training Kit
UPDATES MARCH 2007:
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.
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.
1. What to have on hand:
blank white computer paper
“Sample Letter to the Congressperson
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.
For exact details please refer to the “How to Conduct a Letter-Writing Campaign
A guide for demonstrators, marchers, speakers and others who seek to exercise their First Amendment rights.
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.
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.
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."
From the Peace Alliance
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."
March on Washington/ Tampa Bay
End the War In Iraq
September 24, 2005
Williams Park, St. Petersburg
11:30 – 4:30 P.M.
Special Guest::: Ray McGovern, Washington, D.C.
Founder of Veteran Intelligence professionals for Sanity
Additional speakers: Carol Ann Breyer, * Charles Ferris,
Rev. Charles McKenzie * Samar jarrah * women in black
Music: Kritikal resistance *the Refuge * tribal style
Food: st.pete food not bombs asks you to
bring a vegan/ vegetarian dish to share!
Participating groups include: Tampa Bay Veterans
for Peace * St. Pete for Peace * st. pete food not bombs *
Democracy Rising's Ralph Nader will be speaking at the main event in Washington, DC tomorrow, Saturday, 9/24. An exact time has not yet been scheduled but it is likely to be before 12:30. The rally begins at 11:00 am.
Kevin Zeese will be speaking at a feeder rally at McPherson Square at 10:00 am.
Democracy Rising activists will be handing out literature and gathering contact information near the Iraq tent during Operation Ceasefire beginning at 2:00. Come meet us. And, come help us hand out literature and make contacts.
Additionally, Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm our webmaster Karen Kilroy's short film, “Something’s In the Air / But Its Not on the Airwaves
Public Pressure Mounts for Bush to Curtail Iraq War
After Katrina Disaster
By Beth Gorham
September 22, 2005 by the Canadian Press via Common Dreams
WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush says he can wage
war in Iraq and still pay most of the huge bill for
rebuilding the hurricane-lashed Gulf Coast. Most
Americans don't agree with him. And for the first time,
Bush is facing a serious revolt in his own party over
how to pay for hurricane relief. Republicans already
edgy about the estimated $200-billion US price tag to
clean up after Katrina were bracing for more damage by
Published on Friday, September 23, 2005 by The Independent / UK
On both sides of the Atlantic, two mothers who lost sons in Iraq have launched campaigns to end the conflict. One camped outside George Bush's ranch. The other stood in the general election. This week, they came face to face for the first time. Andrew Buncombe reports
Along the sunbaked sidewalk of Pennsylvania Avenue came the sound of singing. It was music from an earlier generation, but as relevant now as it ever was. "All we are saying is give peace a chance," chanted the group of demonstrators as they made their way to the north-west gates of the White House. "All we are saying is give peace chance."
Thursday night, 11:30 PM ...
(Lietta)This was an extremely busy day. I got to see a lot of famous buildings I've only seen on TV and in movies ... The Supreme Court Building, the Library of Congress, the Senate office buildings, the Capitol Building ... just like the tourist I always felt I'd be when coming finally to Washington D.C. to see first hand the tangible monuments to our national heritage and democracy-in-action. Only I wasn't a tourist today, but an activist lobbying for our core American values and what we baby boomers were taught growing up in a country proud of its heritage and unafraid to practice what we we taught.
Contingent of Over 250 Military Families to Join Tens of Thousands in
Massive March and Rally Against Iraq War
Largest Group of MilitaryFamilies to March Against War in U.S. History
WASHINGTON, DC - This Saturday, Sept. 24, a contingent of over 250 military
families from 42 states and the District of Columbia will join Iraq War
Veterans and Veterans from previous wars, to march among tens of thousands
of people from across the country in a massive march and rally against the
Iraq War, organized by United for Peace and Justice.
WHEN: Saturday, September 24, 10:00 A.M.
WHAT: Media Availability: Military Families Available for Interview before
By Dave Lindorff
Just what kind of ally is the US and its Coalition of the Willing or Sort of Willing?
First, imagine if you will that the U.S., unable to get enough troops into New Orleans to handle the post-Katrina rescue and security situation, had invited in German or maybe Venezuelan troops (actually on offer from Hugo Chavez). Imagine then that those foreign troops had begun busting into people’s homes to haul them out of town, had begun shooting people they considered to be lawbreakers, and had conducted aerial bombardments of neighborhoods deemed too dangerous to go into. Imagine that U.S. authorities called for a halt to such activities, only to be told by the foreign forces’ generals that they were going to continue with their aggressive tactics to keep their own casualties down.
Hear George Galloway's Sobering Yet Sometimes Humorous Message from Chicago, IL
By Michael Butler
Cindy Sheehan gets attention. ["How Cindy Sheehan Is Waking The Media Up," David Swanson, AfterDowningStreet.org, August 21, 2005--
The mainstream American media was hardly covering the Peace Movement at all, before Cindy Sheehan came along. The voices of literally millions around the world who had spoken out in opposition to the war had been marginalized and discredited. A majority of the American public had come to believe that the U.S. occupation in Iraq was heading ever deeper into a wrongheaded mess ["Americans Conflicted About Iraq War," Gary Langer, ABC News Poll, March 16, 2005---http://tinyurl.com/5f9dh], but the defenders of "staying the course" owned the airwaves, the editorial pages, and the electoral process. Then, like the lone protester at Tiananmen Square facing down a tank with one hopeful flower, Cindy Sheehan stood up to a bullying President, and made herself a symbol that the media could recognize.
Suz and I spent the afternoon at the Peace Festival site, at the corner of 17th and Constitution, helping the staff and volunteers of Operation Ceasefire set up the stage and tents for Saturday and Sunday’s activities. Well, we were very encouraging to those who were doing the heavy lifting anyway!
We first ran into Tina, who was serving up food for the volunteers:
“Working in the concert production business, I was thrilled to be able to donate my time to the cause. Plus, I have a soon-to-be draft-age son and two more behind him, so this effort matters to me on a very personal level.
In just two days, United for Peace and Justice will bring huge numbers of people into the streets of Washington to tell the White House and Congress: It's time to end this disastrous war, bring all our troops home, and expend all the resources necessary to fully rebuild the devastated Gulf Coast.
We very much hope you can make it to DC this weekend -- but whether or not you'll be joining us in the streets, you can lend critically needed support to this mobilization by making a donation today.
We have three easy ways to donate:
by credit card online at http://www.unitedforpeace.org/donate