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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.
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
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
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
By Jim Hightower
George W is the kind of guy who'll gladly sacrifice your life for his country.
Not only was he a cheerleader when he was in college at Yale, but he also was an energetic cheerleader for the war that was raging in Vietnam at the time. Of course, he cheered from a safe distance, using family connections to make certain that he personally would not have to do any fighting.
Now that he's in the White House, Bush is cheerleader-in-chief for his own war. In a recent speech designed to shore-up sagging public support for his misadventure in Iraq, he referred to the terrible fact that nearly 2000 Americans have already died there. Of these dead troops, Bush said, "We owe them something," by which he meant continuing the war. What a callous payback: Many have died, so many more must die to pay tribute to those who've died. That's a war rationale chasing its own tail.
ACTION ALERT * UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE
www.unitedforpeace.org | 212-868-5545 | Click to subscribe
END THE WAR ON IRAQ!
BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
Justice for the People of the Gulf Coast
3 Days of Action in Washington, D.C.
September 24-26, 2005
In this alert:
Housing & Volunteers Needed!
What to Bring
Contingents in the March
Tabling at the Peace & Justice Festival
We Need Your Financial Support!
Still haven't made your plans to join us in Washington, D.C. this weekend? This 3-day anti-war mobilization promises to be the most dynamic, powerful peace and justice gathering in years. We're at a real turning point: A solid and growing majority of this country is now against the war, and there is deep discontent nationwide with the appalling priorities of the Bush Administration and the shameful government response to Hurricane Katrina. This is the time to stand up and demand a dramatic change of political direction. Don't miss your chance to be part of this extraordinary series of events!
The federal government flexed it’s muscles on this first day of testimony
by peace activists, charging two defendants with contempt of court, and
interpreting the charges in the indictment to make it easier for the
prosecution to attain a conviction.
Senior U.S. District Judge Hon. Thomas J. McAvoy charged Peter DeMott and
Teresa Grady with contempt of court for testifying about the fact that there
was a previous trial.
McAvoy previously informed the defendants they were forbidden from
testifying on a laundry list of topics including: the illegality of the Iraq
war, international law and its relevance to their actions, the mandates in
All of us will be in Washington to let this administration and the Congress know this war needs to end. Change will happen in the house and senate. Once we leave Washington, we need to be well-informed and emboldened to continue lobbying our representatives in Washington to be among those demanding and working toward ending the war.
This week-end is the perfect time to share every known method to accomplish this goal!
UFPJ is sponsoring a
LEGISLATIVE ACTION TENT
Reserve a table for your group or organization today!
Display Materials * Distribute Proposals * Discuss Initiatives * Offer training * Help educate Provide Petitions * Exchange ideas
Thursday September 22, 2005
BUSH in Washington, DC: President Bush gets a briefing on the War on Terror and will then deliver a speech on it around noon at the Pentagon. Later in the day Bush welcomes King Abdullah of Jordan to the White House. [White House; Congress Daily, 9/19/05]
NEW* MEHLMAN in Washington, DC – 12:30 PM: Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Ken Mehlman will address more than five hundred pastors of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC) on Thursday, September 22nd, 2005. As part of the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Chairman Mehlman's remarks will reflect the Party's on-going commitment to reaching out to the Hispanic Americans. [RNC Release]
To view PDF and contribute to placing this ad in newspapers, go here.
Katrina is the Iraq War Come Home to Roost
Time to Recall the National Guard from Iraq
By Kevin Zeese
As I watched the scenes on television -- soldiers driving by dead bodies in the street, wayward people looking like refugees, soldiers pointing their guns at civilians -- I could not help but think of Baghdad, but it was New Orleans. The reports of people on the ground were even worse:
“Police drove by, windows rolled up, thumbs up signs. National guard trucks rolled by, completely empty, soldiers with guns cocked and aimed at them. Nobody stopped to drop off water. A helicopter dropped a load of water, but all the bottles exploded on impact due to the height of the helicopter.
Comments for Congressional hearing on Iraq exit strategy, Sept. 15, 2005
By Tom Hayden
Madame Chair and members,
Today you commence a vital shift in our government’s official discourse on Iraq, from how to win the war in Iraq to how to withdraw troops and end the occupation. This change of paradigm is overdue, is in keeping with public sentiment, and begins to fill a dangerous vacuum. We cannot accept a faith-based commitment to “stay the course
"As the Executive Director of the Center on Conscience
& War and part of the GI Rights Hotline where we speak
daily to our men and women in uniform, I bring you the
words of the soldiers themselves. The Center has been
a voice for soldiers since 1940. We have spent almost
65 years trying to end war, one soldier at a time.
Let me give you their voices now:
A Special Op, career, in his thirties, called us prior
to being deployed to Iraq. Special Ops are train to
allow nothing to get in the way of their mission. They
can even shot their own commanding officer if he
stands in the way of completing their mission. "I was
The Costs of Quagmire
The death and destruction strewn by hurricane Katrina may equal or even exceed the death toll of U.S. soldiers in the Iraq War. But while 6,000 miles separates the two, the links between war overseas and the fate of those in Katrina’s wake are closely interwoven.
The cost of having over 6,000 National Guardsmen stationed from Mississippi and Louisiana far overseas in Iraq is just being felt as the region seeks to deal with the horrific aftermath of hurricane Katrina.
Headlines across the nation highlighted the looting, the need for more rescue operations, and the need for boots on the ground to help with reconstruction—all tasks that the Guard is asked to perform.
HEAR OUR CRY*
I am a concerned father of two, a grandfather of two and a taxpayer. Hear our cry, Mr. President, hear our cry: end this quagmire of a war and bring our troops home.
Make no mistake about my support for our men and women who are in harm’s way.
I salute the men and women of the U.S. armed services and reserve units who so bravely and courageously are serving in Iraq today. Theirs is a gallant battle.
To the families of those valiant soldiers who have given their last measure of full devotion for our beloved country, my heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and brothers, neighbors and friends. They are truly America’s heroes and who are deeply missed.
The War at Home and the War Abroad
Gene Bruskin, Co Convenor, US Labor Against the War
September 15, 2005
I want to thank Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey and the Congressional Out of Iraq Caucus for their principled and critical efforts to end what was a predictably disastrous war in Iraq, at a time when disaster has predictably struck our own nation. There could not be a more timely moment to press this issue. Bush is caught between Iraq, and a hard place.
I am here to speak on behalf of US Labor Against the War, a national network of more than 120 labor organizations representing millions of workers from across our nation. We have witnessed a dramatic growth in opposition to the war in the labor movement this year, first in the overwhelming response to our national tour of Iraqi trade unionists in June and then in the powerful support for the resolution to bring the troops home at the national AFL-CIO convention in July.
REMARKS FROM ELLEN BARFIELD, VETERANS FOR PEACE BOARD MEMBER
Veterans for Peace is proud to join Representative Woolsey, other elected officials, and all the
other organizations here at this rally to yet again demand that the war in Iraq end.
Vets for Peace helped launch the "Bring Them Home NOW!" campaign with the then quite
new Military Families Speak Out in the summer of 2003, shortly after Bush's infamous and
reckless challenge to the Iraqi resistance, "Bring 'em on!" We meant "Bring Them Home
NOW" back then, and we have continued to say it ever since. The campaign now includes the
September 20, 2005 #31
September 24th - into the streets to stop the war!
Join us Saturday at the national march in Washington DC! Regional mass marches also in Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, San Francisco, and Birmingham. End the occupation - US out of Iraq now! > More info
Katrina's aftermath: a man-made disaster
"We say not in our name to an administration that wages illegal, immoral wars ... while blatantly neglecting real and preventable threats to its own people within its borders." > Complete statement
Get Not in Our Name gear (link only)
Last chance to get stuff for the weekend! Orders will ship Wednesday afternoon via US Priority Mail at no additional charge. Also, our infamous "Bomb Flag" t-shirts are once again available! > Complete catalog
No thanks, there's just something about regimes of blood...
Award-winning poet Sharon Olds declined an invitation from the first lady to read at the National Book Festival in DC this weekend. Not that Olds is hard up for cash or recognition but poets don't often get the chance to read before 85,000 people -- especially poets whose poems don't rhyme.
Olds writes: "The possibility of finding new readers is exciting for a poet in personal terms, and in terms of the desire that poetry serve its constituents--all of us who need the pleasure, and the inner and outer news, it delivers."
She then delivers this powerful condemnation that I wouldn't excerpt if you begged me to:
By Mike Ferner
All last week I had a rare opportunity – to join several impressive speakers on the “Bring Them Home Now
Yesterday in New York City, for the first time during this tour, local police disrupted one of our events. Cindy Sheehan had just finished speaking to the crowd when the police disconnected the sound system and arrested a local organizer. We have included a statement at the tour website.
The 21 day tour is nearing Washington DC as the North and Central buses stop together in Baltimore, MD and the South bus stops in Norfolk, VA this evening. Tomorrow we will arrive in Washington DC. We have traveled to 51 cities in 28 states and participated in over 200 events, met with dozens of elected officials and members of the media. We’ll have more details on these events and reports and reflections on the tour in the coming days.
The New Fight Against the War
A big march in D.C. marks a change in tactics for those who want the U.S. out of Iraq
by Jarrett Murphy
September 19th, 2005 7:03 PM
A March long ago: Protesters in NYC in 2003
photo: Cary Conover
Anyone who thinks today's anti-war movement is trapped in tie-dyed '60s nostalgia should go to the United for Peace and Justice website, where one can sign up online to participate in civil disobedience next Monday, at the close of a three-day protest in Washington. It's not just a sign that the peaceniks of 2005 are Internet savvy; it's a signal that the movement thinks the D.C. rally is the moment to turn the tide against the war.