This Thing Called Courage

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Get Active!

So many people are discouraged by the escalating war in the Middle East, and the deteriorating situation in Iraq. It's time to stop being consumers, and become citizens again. We surely can't go on like this. Here are ways to get iunvolved-- we are only as powerless as we believe we are.

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Join United for Peace and Justice as
WE DECLARE PEACETurning Up the Heat and Expanding Our Activism
WE DECLARE PEACE CAMPAIGN: Phase 1
August 6-9 -- NO NUKES! NO WARS!
August 7-11 -- Week of Emergency Action to Demand a Cease-Fire in the Middle East
August 12- September 2 -- Camp Casey
August 29 -- 1st Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and Disaster FEMA
Sept. 5-Sept. 21 -- Camp Democracy
5th Anniversary of Sept. 11th
Sept. 21-28 -- Declaration of Peace
Over the past four years, our work has helped turn the majority of the people in this country against the Bush Administration's illegal, immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq -- but there is much more to be done. With a new war in the Middle East -- one the U.S. contributes to through sales of bombs to Israel and the Bush administration's refusal to work for a comprehensive cease-fire and negotiations -- there is reason to be concerned that our government's commitment to permanent war is only expanding. Will Iran, or Syria, or North Korea, or Venezuela be next? Our voices must be heard; we must take action.
Now, as the people of this country are understanding the horror of war, the misplaced priorities of our nation, and the misuse of our tax dollars, we need to highlight how the ongoing occupation of Iraq is not just "another" issue but the central issue of the day. Our voices must be heard; we must take action.
Now, as the nation approaches what could become the largest "referendum" on the war in Iraq to date -- the Congressional elections in November -- we can expect an avalanche of fear-mongering and pro-war propaganda in the name of fighting terrorism. Our voices must be heard; we must take action.
United for Peace and Justice encourages you to join us as we turn up the heat and expand our activism. Join us as we DECLARE PEACE.
Beginning this weekend, on the 61st anniversaries of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, UFPJ is launching a campaign of public protest, mass education, pressure on members of Congress and those running for seats in Congress, and expanded opposition to the war and occupation in Iraq.
Anchoring our efforts in the next few months is our commitment to the Declaration of Peace project. During the week of Sept. 21-28, Declaration of Peace actions will take place in cities and towns across the nation and in Washington, DC. In addition to educational events, rallies and marches, and meetings with elected officials, this week will emphasize nonviolent civil disobedience and direct action. UFPJ is actively involved in the organizing for this powerful week of action. We believe the time has come to encourage greater participation in peaceful acts that will interfere with business as usual, and to escalate our opposition to the White House's warmongering by taking bolder action.
In the coming weeks we will provide more detail on each step of the Declare Peace campaign. Below is an initial overview of the work. Click on the links for more information and ideas for how you can be part of this nationwide effort.
Ongoing Projects -- which are already underway in many locations and will continue at least until Election Day in November.
Voters for Peace: It's time to put every Congressional candidate -- incumbents and newcomers alike -- on notice that if they want our votes, they must take a clear, public stand on ending the Iraq war and preventing any other unjust, illegal war. UFPJ is part of a nationwide effort urging outraged voters to sign the Voters for Peace pledge: "I will not vote for or support any candidate for Congress or President who does not make a speedy end to the war in Iraq, and preventing any future war of aggression, a public position in his or her campaign."
Bird-Dogging Congressional Candidates: Every time anyone running for Congress shows up in public, the antiwar movement must be there demanding to know what they will do to end the war in Iraq if they get elected. UFPJ will be providing organizing materials, how-to tip sheets, reports from local efforts and other resources. The mid-term elections are a vehicle to bring to the surface the broad antiwar sentiment throughout the country, and bird-dogging candidates is a concrete way to make sure that happens.
Events on Specific Dates:
August 6 - 9 -- NO NUKES! NO WARS!: On the 61st anniversaries of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki more than 80 protests and being held in 24 states around the country. These actions are demanding an end to the war in Iraq, no military attacks on Iran or North Korea, and the global abolition of nuclear weapons, starting with our own. Many of these protests will be nonviolent acts of civil resistance at corporate offices of Bechtel, the world's number-one nuclear profiteer, and at nuclear facilities everywhere.
August 7 - 11 -- Week of Emergency Action to Demand a Cease-Fire in the Middle EastIn response to the horrifying Israeli escalation of the crisis in the Middle East, and while Members of Congress are home on recess, local groups are pressuring their Representatives and Senators to demand an end to U.S. support for Israel's human rights violations, an immediate cease-fire, a just peace, and the end of U.S. weapons deliveries to Israel. Activities will range from lobbying visits, to picket lines and vigils, to nonviolent civil disobedience.
August 12 - September 2 -- Camp Casey: Cindy Sheehan and Gold Star Families for Peace will be back in Crawford, TX. As they say on their website, "President Bush has still not satisfactorily answered our question, ‘What Noble Cause did our loved ones die for?' One year later we are still in the quagmire that is Iraq. Join us at Camp Casey and show the President that we will not accept one more death be it American or Iraqi."
August 29 -- 1st Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and Disaster FEMA: One year ago, Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. In the days and weeks that followed, this natural disaster was made much worse by the failures of the federal, state and local governments. Now, almost a year later, the lives of hundreds of thousands of people are still in shambles. UFPJ encourages local groups to organize anniversary events that highlight the connections between the war in Iraq and the lack of resources for rebuilding the Gulf Coast and so many of our communities.
Sept. 5 - Sept. 21 -- Camp Democracy: Stop the Wars at Home and Abroad -- Bring Democracy to DCA non-partisan camp for peace, democracy, and the restoration of the rule of law. Camp Casey will move from Crawford, TX, to Washington, DC, to create a larger camp focused not only on ending the war in Iraq but also on righting injustices here at home and on holding accountable the Bush Administration and Congress. Tents will provide activities, trainings, workshops, and entertainment on a range of themes including: End War, Impeachment, Immigrant Rights, Voting Rights, Katrina, End Corporate Welfare, Media and Arts Training, and much more, including training for the Declaration of Peace activities.
5th Anniversary of Sept. 11th: In the week leading up to this year's 9/11 commemorations, Sept. 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, a member group of UFPJ, is convening a major international conference, bringing together 30 representatives from nations around the world who have been personally affected by terrorism and war and have responded by breaking the cycles of violence. Together, they will form an ongoing international network for sharing ideas and initiatives to demonstrate to Americans the existence of effective alternatives to war. This will be followed by public panel discussions at universities, places of worship and other venues in New York City.
Sept. 21 - 28 -- Declaration of Peace: A nationwide campaign to establish by Sept. 21, 2006, a concrete and rapid plan for peace in Iraq. If such a plan is not created and activated by Congress by that date, Declaration signers across the U.S. will engage in nonviolent civil disobedience and direct action -- as well as other events and activities -- in Washington DC and in communities throughout the nation. This is timed to take place just days before Congress adjourns for the fall elections and so will be yet another important tool to pressure those running for office to speak out and take action against the war in Iraq.
And that's just the beginning -- further plans are in the works to continue building pressure on the White House and Congress to end the war in Iraq and to bring all the troops home now, all the way up through the midterm elections and beyond. We hope you'll join us.
Help us continue to do this critical work: Make a donation to UFPJ today.
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