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Grassroots Action Spotlight
While United for Peace and Justice is most widely known for organizing massive, national demonstrations, the most important work we do happens at the grassroots level, among our more than 1,400 member groups and allies, as well as dedicated individuals working in their communities. Here we recognize and highlight some of the actions groups and individuals are taking every day across the country to end the war.
Photo courtesy of Harvey Gaylin
and Gina Holmes.
The Grassroots Action Spotlight is now a blog! This means that you can post comments and questions about the actions you read about. Please read on to see what exciting things are happening; maybe you'll find something you'd like try in your own community.
If you would like to submit an item to be featured on this blog, please send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a photo or some other graphic or links to press coverage to go along with your information, please be sure to send that along as well. The blog will be updated weekly. As we wish to feature a diverse range of actions happening across the country, not every submission will be published. Please post upcoming events and actions on our events calendar.
Cost of the War in Iraq
by Mary Oliver, Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet
Wage peace with your breath.
Breathe in firemen and rubble,
breathe out whole buildings and flocks of red wing blackbirds.
Breathe in terrorists
and breathe out sleeping children and freshly mown fields.
Breathe in confusion
and breathe out maple trees.
Breathe in the fallen
and breathe out lifelong friendships intact.
Wage peace with your listening:
hear sirens, pray loud.
Remember your tools:
flower seeds, clothespins, clean rivers.
learn the word thank you in three languages.
Learn to knit, and make a hat.
Think of chaos as dancing raspberries,
imagine grief as the out breath of beauty
or the gesture of fish.
Swim for the other side.
Never has the world seemed so fresh and precious.
Have a cup of tea and rejoice.
Act as if armistice has already arrived.
Don't wait another minute.
Thanks to Rob M. For sending me this:
to speak directly to politicians,,,
at a start.............http://ga3.org/ct/spSYvm41XmhE/
Subject: Let President Bush know why he is isolated
Time Magazine’s lead story this week is entitled “Bush’s Lonely Election Season: How the election became a referendum on an isolated President” Reflection can be a good thing.
We believe four issues in particular deserve his immediate attention: the Iraq War, the genocide in Darfur, creating a living wage for all, and healing Planet Earth.
Here is an opportunity to let President Bush know what YOU believe his priorities should be as he and the new Congress prepare their agenda for the nation for next two years.
We are offering TWO ways of contacting the President:
- Go here to send an email or record your own voice message.
AND shared on
Dear Senator Feinstein,
Dear Senator Boxer,
To the Honorable Mike Thompson, Representative First District of California,
President George W. Bush intentionally misled Congress and the American public regarding the threat from Iraq in order to engage in preemptive war, and intentionally conspired with Richard Cheney, Vice-President and others to defraud the United States in connection with that war, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Sections 1001 and 1805.
President Bush has admitted to ordering the NSA to conduct electronic surveillance of American civilians without warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, duly constituted by Congress in 1978, in violation of Title 50 US Code section 1805.
President George Bush has conspired with others in and outside of his administration, to commit the torture of prisoners in violations of the UN Torture Convention, and the Geneva Convention, and thus in violation of Article VI of the United States Constitution, along with Amendment VIII of the US Constitution.
George W. Bush has acted in violation of Amendment IV of the US Constitution and laws pursuant, by ordering indefinite detention of citizens, without access to legal counsel, without charge, and without opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention. He has done this based solely on his discretionary designation of a US citizen as “an enemy combatant.”
George Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, and subversive to Constitutional government in these and many other ways. He has ordered the denial of public access to administrative information and proceedings not vital to the security of the United States, but essential to the preservation of life, of the public trust, and of the welfare of this nation.
I am writing to demand that you use your influence, to act to Impeach and bring to trial George W. Bush and Richard Cheney for these and other high crimes and misdemeanors.
Thank you for your continuing service to America,
I had a great, GREAT BEST time at an anti war rally on Sat. It was at the beach. Who can complain. One gentlemen yelled out his window: what you gonna do when the Muslims nuke LA? I simply blew a sweet kiss, and blessed him :Namaste, over and over, heartfelt, it was. It was amazing, the energy, what others witnessed, and my own (God's ) compassion for this man....lovely!!! And of course, I make up little slogans as I go: Make Pizza Not War...It's a blast...
Anyway, the main purpose of this post:
How about posting on PDF format (anyone know how to do that? I can figure it out I'm sure) of petitions, educational flyers, etc. It would be SOO COOOL to archive them here, or on a thread..Yippee..this would be a bblast..(Wish I could say I'm a Yippie, I'm more a SLippie, Slightly aging int'l partie!!! *grin*
Ten anti-war activists led by Father Jerry Zawada were arrested today on orders from Senator John McCain's office after members of the peace groups CODEPINK, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, and Veterans for Peace tried to meet with the Senator's legislative aide to discuss defunding the war. Activists sang the names of the 75 US servicemen and women from Arizona who have been killed in the war in Iraq, interspersed with the names of Iraqi civilians killed, and collectively chanted "We remember you," after each name and dropped a flower petal on the ground. They delivered framed photos of Iraqi civilians and US soldiers from Arizona who have been killed in Iraq and carried banners reading "Stop Funding War!" and "Americans Want a Prez for Peace".
This is just the start of a national campaign of nonviolent occupations of the offices of Congress Members who support the war and the war-president. Let them have a tiny sense of what Iraqis are experiencing - let them feel a tiny sliver of the inconvenience of an occupation. Let's get them to behave like we have a democracy!
In Fairbanks, Alaska, actions are underway at the offices of Senators Murkowski and Stevens and Representative Young. In Northern Alabama, join a sit-in inside or a demonstration outside the office of Representative Bud Cramer. In Arizona, creative demonstrations are being organized against Senator John McCain. Activists in Los Angeles have planned protests at various offices. In the South Bay, sit-ins are underway in the offices of Representatives Honda, Lofgren, and Eshoo. In Des Moines you can sit-in at the offices of Senator Grassley and Rep. Boswell. In Illinois, the focus is on Representatives Jesse Jackson, Ray La Hood, and Mark Kirk, and Senators Richard Durbin and Barack Obama. All over Minnesota, every Tuesday, constituents will enter the offices of their Congresspersons and Senators at 9:00 am and begin a vigil until 5:00 pm or whenever the offices close. Actions are underway in Portland OR, St. Louis and Seattle as well.
Join these actions - or organize your own!
Join the Impeachment Race in State Legislatures
New Mexico and Vermont are in a race to be the first state to send impeachment resolutions of Bush and Cheney to Congress (see details below). Several other states are also in the race, including Maine (http://www.maineimpeach.org) and New Jersey (http://www.impeachthem.com). A state legislature, without a governor, can petition the House to begin impeachment, and a single Congress Member can force an impeachment debate by accepting the state resolution.
You can sign up to get involved and stay informed in your state by signing this petition (you can also print it out and collect signatures):
You can also join a Congressional District Impeachment Committee to hook up with others in your area:
Senate Joint Resolution 5 was introduced on Jan. 23, 2007, by eight Senators. There is a Rules Committee hearing this Friday, and four of the five Democratic Senators on the Rules Committee have already signed the bill: Chairwoman Linda Lopez, Vice-Chair John Grubesic, Cisco McSorley, and Dede Feldman. Ben Altamirano, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, is sending positive signals - anyone who knows him personally should encourage him to be present and vote Yes on February 9.
New Mexico activists can do two urgent things:
1. Come to the Rules Committee hearing this Friday, February 9th, at 9 a.m. in Room 321 of the State Capitol Building. We need a big turnout to let the Senate know we want action!
2. Call local talk shows to discuss the urgent need for New Mexico's legislature to start the impeachment process by passing Senate Joint Resolution 5.
The key point to stress is this is not a matter of a state stepping inappropriately into a federal issue. This is a state following a procedure that is laid out in the Jefferson Manual of rules for the U.S. Congress, a procedure that has been used successfully in the past to remove judges and other officials from office. And impeachment is the official position of the New Mexico Democratic Party.
If you live anywhere else, please forward this to everyone you know in New Mexico and ask them to send it to all of their local friends:
If You Want to End the War, Investigate It
The investigation season is off to a slow start. In "Beyond Oral Sex: The Bush Investigations" , David Swanson and Jonathan Schwarz lay out what's needed. Very little has been begun. Chairman John Conyers has held hearings on signing statements . Chairman Waxman is holding hearings this week on corruption . To lobby for the right investigations done the right way, go to:
Stopping the Next War
Impeachment and investigations are key to preventing future wars. So is directly lobbying against each illegal war as the fraudulent case for it is being made. Over 97,000 people have signed the petition against attacking Iran. Add your name here:
Our voices are being heard. Bills have been introduced in Congress to block an attack on Iran. Read about them at
The Bush Administration wants to send $65 billion in weapons to the Middle East but Congress has the power to stop it. Saudi Arabia will pay $20 billion to the arms dealers with the Pentagon acting as middleman our government will take a 3% cut from the deal. An additional $43 billion in arms to Egypt and Israel, however, is direct military aid from the Federal budget - blatant abuse of tax payer funds to line the pockets of the weapons dealers.
We ask that you sign our online petition to Congress calling for defeat of the Bush administration's plan. The potential for armed conflict in the region is high - weapons proliferation will only add fuel to the fire. The choice is simple: invest in people and peaceful diplomacy or invest in war.
We will collect signatures from across the nation over the next month leading up to the end of the Congressional Recess. You voice will be delivered to Congressional Members who can make a real impact on the arms deal through avenues like appropriations, defense strategy, and the Progressive Caucus.
We already have a draft -- the poverty draft.
Of course John is correct... if the draft were reinstated more of the young people would hit the streets, and so too would some of their complacent parents when they realize THEIR kid could be over there.
This post was modified from its original form on 14 Aug, 20:14
Erin asked me to bring this to the group. Its about the "Enough" protests that take place each Sunday from Noon to one o'clock in your time zone. This got its start on www.theyoungturks.com, on their show broadcast online, on progressive radio stations, and on AirAmerica radio. On their website is all the info for a lot of cities and towns where they have started gathering. This has been going on 2 or 3 months now. People make signs saying "enough" or wear t-shirts to let people know we've had it!!!!! With Bush, war, shredding of the Constitution, torture, spying, oh please, I could go on forever. If there is no gathering yet in your town, grab a friend and go to the courthouse, federal building, or any street corner you want!!!!! Call the local paper....they may pop down and cover it, as Sunday is a slow news day. Its an easy way to help wake people up. On the politcal news to note, everyone always says WAKE UP, PEOPLE! Well, here's a good way to draw people's attention to the fact things ain't good! And you don't have to get an in your face attitude, just say it..."enough"
Hopefully, this will spread and get us out in the streets and put a stop to the devastation going on in our country.
With the presidential campaigns now entering the general election period, we are ramping up our efforts to ensure that the next President of the United States ends the use of torture, cruel treatment, and all "enhanced interrogation techniques".
Currently, we are working with retired military leaders at both conventions to get strong, clear wording against the use of torture into both parties' platforms. This month, a letter signed by 31 retired Generals and Admirals went to both the Democratic and Republican Platform Committees asking them to commit to upholding our obligations under the Geneva Conventions and return the United States to its long-standing and proper role as a world leader on human rights.
You can participate in anti-torture advocacy in your own neighborhood by downloading our brand-new Elect to End Torture '08 toolkit and sharing it with friends and neighbors. Our toolkit provides tips that will help you question candidates and elected officials directly about their positions during public forums and town hall debates. It also addresses some frequently asked questions about torture.
Click here to download your toolkit today.
Together, we can elect to end torture.
Elect to End Torture 08
Also, you can sign up for Human Rights First.