FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Localizing the Anti-War Movement

by SETH SANDRONSKY

Absent a national antiwar political formation on the near horizon, local politics can point to a trend of note. Consider the activism underway to make peace a political policy for Doris Matsui. She was elected for the first time last November to the House of Representatives for California’s 5th congressional district, based in Sacramento.

Antiwar activists have been sitting peacefully in her downtown office for three weeks. A recent appearance by Cindy Sheehan, the Vallejo mother whose son Casey lost his life in Iraq, gave this Sacramento “peace in” a boost. These protesters want a face-to-face meeting with Matsui to urge the Democratic congresswoman to vote for a binding resolution to end more funding of the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

Recently, she spoke with the antiwar activists by phone for just under an hour. On one hand, Matsui opposes the war and President George W. Bush’s troop escalation. On the other hand, she won’t put pen to paper to sign off on cutting tens of billions of dollars to fund the future occupation of Iraq. This phone conversation did not change her mind.

Why? Money for war talks powerfully in a national economy that for decades has relied on public subsidies to the military-industrial complex. And the war costs are the highest for Americans with the lowest incomes.

Consider this. In 2004, “the poorest 60 million Americans reported average incomes of less than $7 a day each,” according to the NY Times last Nov. 28, in an article based on IRS data. The tax dollars spent on U.S. military actions in Iraq in 2004 could have been”but were not”spent to help these low-income citizens struggling to get by in the richest nation ever, at least in terms of over-all size, or gross domestic product.

The Sacramento Coalition to End the War is talking back to the current U.S. policy of allocating more tax dollars to wage war in Iraq for peace to emerge there eventually. The site of this struggle for one lawmaker’s policy preference is Matsui’s office in the Robert T. Matsui Federal Courthouse, named after her late husband who represented the 5th congressional district for over two decades.

After the Jan. 27 antiwar rallies and speeches in Washington DC and across the country, the local politics of peace will for the near future likely be a lively part of the nascent national movement to end the Iraq war, and prevent a U.S. attack on Iran. Recently, a chapter of Peace in the Precincts announced the launch of antiwar protests in the offices of Rep. Dan Lungren, a Republican who represents Gold River, an eastern Sacramento suburb.

SETH SANDRONSKY is a member of Sacramento Area Peace Action and a co-editor of Because People Matter, Sacramento’s progressive paper www.bpmnews.org/. He can be reached at: bpmnews@nicetechnology.com.

 

Seth Sandronsky is a Sacramento journalist and member of the freelancers unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild. Emailsethsandronsky@gmail.com

Weekend Edition
April 29-31, 2016
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Richard Falk
If Obama Visits Hiroshima
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Eva Golinger
My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Vijay Prashad
Political Violence in Honduras
Paul Krane
Where Gun Control Ought to Start: Disarming the Police
David Anderson
Al Jazeera America: Goodbye to All That Jazz
Rob Hager
Platform Perversity: More From the Campaign That Can’t Strategize
Pat Williams
FDR in Montana
Dave Marsh
Every Day I Read the Book (the Best Music Books of the Last Year)
David Rosen
Job Satisfaction Under Perpetual Stagnation
John Feffer
Big Oil isn’t Going Down Without a Fight
Murray Dobbin
The Canadian / Saudi Arms Deal: More Than Meets the Eye?
Gary Engler
The Devil Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Is Washington Preparing for War Against Russia?
Manuel E. Yepe
The Big Lies and the Small Lies
Robert Fantina
Vice Presidents, Candidates and History
Mel Gurtov
Sanctions and Defiance in North Korea
Howard Lisnoff
Still the Litmus Test of Worth
Dean Baker
Big Business and the Overtime Rule: Irrational Complaints
Ulrich Heyden
Crimea as a Paradise for High-Class Tourism?
Ramzy Baroud
Did the Arabs Betray Palestine? – A Schism between the Ruling Classes and the Wider Society
Halyna Mokrushyna
The War on Ukrainian Scientists
Joseph Natoli
Who’s the Better Neoliberal?
Ron Jacobs
The Battle at Big Brown: Joe Allen’s The Package King
Wahid Azal
Class Struggle and Westoxication in Pahlavi Iran: a Review of the Iranian Series ‘Shahrzad’
David Crisp
After All These Years, Newspapers Still Needed
Graham Peebles
Hungry and Frightened: Famine in Ethiopia 2016
Robert Koehler
Opening the Closed Political Culture
Missy Comley Beattie
Waves of Nostalgia
Thomas Knapp
The Problem with Donald Trump’s Version of “America First”
Georgina Downs
Hillsborough and Beyond: Establishment Cover Ups, Lies & Corruption
Jeffrey St. Clair
Groove on the Tracks: the Magic Left Hand of Red Garland
Ben Debney
Kush Zombies: QELD’s Hat Tip to Old School Hip Hop
Charles R. Larson
Moby Dick on Steroids?
David Yearsley
Miles Davis: Ace of Baseness
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail