FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Seasons of Discontent

by JEFF LEYS And BRIAN TERRELL

Hi Ho. Hi Ho. It’s off to Washington, D.C. we go. For another demonstration at the seat of power.

But hold on a minute. This fall and winter, the road to the seat of power goes through Iowa with its first in the nation presidential caucus.

Let’s journey to Iowa, together to bring nonviolent civil resistance and civil disobedience to the campaign offices and headquarters of Presidential candidates-both Republican and Democrat-who do not publicly pledge to take the necessary concrete steps to end the Iraq war, to rebuild Iraq, to forswear military attacks on other countries, and to fully fund the Common Good in the U.S.

Join this campaign: SODaPOP-Seasons of Discontent: A Presidential Occupation Project.

Iowa will be the first stage in this campaign. We invite you to join us in Iowa and then to bring the campaign home with you to your home states as the Presidential election season moves forward.

An Invitation to Iowa

Voices for Creative Nonviolence and our allies in Iowa are in the initial stages of organizing a campaign of nonviolent civil resistance focused upon those who would be President.

This fall and early winter, Republican and Democratic candidates are swarming in Iowa in preparation for the “First in the Nation!” 2008 caucuses. Campaign headquarters are established in cities and towns across the state and candidates are showing up at public events large and small, shaking hands, jockeying for photo ops kissing babies and pigs. The national and international press is there in force. Representatives of unions, industry and other interest groups from around the nation are gathering, not only to influence the results of the caucus but also to take advantage of the extraordinary access to the candidates the caucus provides, and to draw attention to their issues and causes as the world’s attention is focused on the state.

Seasons of Discontent: A Presidential Occupation Project (SODaPOP) will launch this October introducing nonviolent direct action against the war in Iraq into the presidential election process. Activists from around the nation are encouraged to journey to Iowa to “occupy” the Iowa campaign headquarters of presidential candidates who do not pledge to concrete plans for complete withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq. Such candidates might also be challenged as they make public appearances around the state without regard for arbitrary “free speech zone” restrictions that may be established by candidates, parties, police or the Secret Service.

While SODAPOP will launch in mid-October, we are organizing for two weeks of intensive and extensive actions in Iowa in the two weeks immediately preceding the Iowa caucus. The Iowa caucus is currently scheduled for January 14, though it is somewhat fluid as of now. (The date may change since South Carolina Republicans moved up the date of their caucus.) The Iowa Republican and Democratic Party state central committees will meet on September 8 to decide whether to change the date of the Iowa caucus.

Whether the caucuses are earlier or later, we are inviting “affinity groups” from around the country to start organizing a trip to Iowa in the coming months with special attention to the two weeks immediately prior to the caucuses.

SODaPOP Demands

While the demands of the campaign are still being finalized, the initial concept is to occupy the campaign headquarters and offices of Presidential candidates who do not commit to:

o Complete withdrawal of the U.S. military forces from Iraq and Afghanistan within 100 days of assuming the office of President of the United States.

o Complete halt to any and all military actions-including ground, air and naval–against Iraq and Iran.

o Full funding for the reconstruction of Iraq to repair the damage caused over these past 17 years of economic and military warfare that the U.S. and its allies waged against Iraq.

o Full funding for the Common Good in the U.S.-to rebuild our education and health care systems; to create jobs training programs for jobs that pay a living wage; to provide universal health care for all; to rebuild our country’s inner cities and rural communities; and to initiate a campaign on the scale of a new Tennessee Valley Authority and Rural Electrification Project of the Great Depression era to create affordable, safe and sustainable alternative forms of energy and energy consumption; and for other vital social programs.

o Full funding for the highest quality health care, education and jobs training benefits for veterans of our country’s Armed Services.

For those Presidential candidates who currently hold a seat in the House or Senate, we set forth the following additional demands:

o Vote against any additional funding for the Iraq war other than those funds that are essential to fund the complete and immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

o Publicly commit to oppose the use of U.S. military forces against Iran, Pakistan or any other opening front in the “war on terror.”

Join us in Iowa at this critical time for weekly, if not daily, acts of nonviolent civil resistance / civil disobedience to seek a redirection of our country’s policies and to bring about an end to the Iraq war. We travel to Washington, D.C. for national actions all the time. Now is the time to travel to Iowa, the heart of our country’s heartland, to seek an end to the Iraq war.

Following the Iowa caucus, let us bring SODaPOP to the campaign headquarters of candidates in our respective home states, with the next critical days of nonviolent resistance to be as we approach February 5 (Super Duper Tuesday, when 20 states hold presidential primaries and caucuses).

Please be in contact with us about joining this very critical campaign of nonviolent direct action, civil resistance and civil disobedience. To participate in SODaPOP, you may reach us via Voices for Creative Nonviolence at 773-878-3815 or via email at info@vcnv.org. Additional information and resources will also be available on the Voices website: www.vcnv.org.

Jeff Leys is Co-Coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence and national organizer with the Occupation Project campaign.

Brian Terrell is active in the Catholic Worker movement and a member of Strangers & Guests Catholic Worker Community in Malloy

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
May 26, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Swamp Politics, Trump Style: “Russiagate” Diverts From the Real White House Scandals
Paul Street
It’s Not Gonna Be Okay: the Nauseating Nothingness of Neoliberal Capitalist and Professional Class Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
The ICEmen Cometh
Ron Jacobs
The Deep State is the State
Pete Dolack
Why Pence Might be Even Worse Than Trump
Patrick Cockburn
We Know What Inspired the Manchester Attack, We Just Won’t Admit It
Thomas Powell
The Dirty Secret of the Korean War
Mark Ashwill
The Fat Lady Finally Sings: Bob Kerrey Quietly Resigns from Fulbright University Vietnam Leadership Position
John Davis
Beyond Hope
Uri Avnery
The Visitation: Trump in Israel
Ralph Nader
The Left/Right Challenge to the Failed “War on Drugs”
Traci Yoder
Free Speech on Campus: a Critical Analysis
Dave Lindorff
Beware the Supporter Scorned: Upstate New York Trump Voters Hit Hard in President’s Proposed 2018 Budget
Daniel Read
“Sickening Cowardice”: Now More Than Ever, Britain’s Theresa May Must be Held to Account on the Plight of Yemen’s Children
Ana Portnoy
Before the Gates: Puerto Rico’s First Bankruptcy Trial
M. Reza Behnam
Rethinking Iran’s Terrorism Designation
Brian Cloughley
Ukraine and the NATO Military Alliance
Josh Hoxie
Pain as a Policy Choice
David Macaray
Stephen Hawking Needs to Keep His Mouth Shut
Ramzy Baroud
Fear as an Obstacle to Peace: Why Are Israelis So Afraid?
Kathleen Wallace
The Bilious Incongruity of Trump’s Toilet
Seth Sandronsky
Temping Now
Alan Barber – Dean Baker
Blue Collar Blues: Manufacturing Falls in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania in April
Jill Richardson
Saving America’s Great Places
Richard Lawless
Are Credit Rating Agencies America’s Secret Fifth Column?
Louis Proyect
Venezuela Reconsidered
Murray Dobbin
The NDP’s Singh and Ashton: Flash Versus Vision
Ron Leighton
Endarkenment: Postmodernism, Identity Politics, and the Attack on Free Speech
Anthony Papa
Drug War Victim: Oklahoma’s Larry Yarbrough to be Freed after 23 Years in Prison
Rev. John Dear
A Call to Mobilize the Nation Over the Next 18 Months
Yves Engler
Why Anti-Zionism and Anti-Jewish Prejudice Have to Do With Each Other
Ish Mishra
Political Underworld and Adventure Journalism
Binoy Kampmark
Roger Moore in Bondage
Rob Seimetz
Measuring Manhoods
Edward Curtin
Sorry, You’re Not Invited
Vern Loomis
Winning the Lottery is a State of Mind
Charles R. Larson
Review: Mary V. Dearborn’s “Ernest Hemingway”
David Yearsley
The Ethos of Mayfest
May 25, 2017
Jennifer Matsui
The Rise of the Alt-Center
Michael Hudson
Another Housing Bubble?
Robert Fisk
Trump Meets the New Leader of the Secular World, Pope Francis
John Laforge
Draft Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Unveiled
Benjamin Dangl
Trump’s Budget Expands War on the Backs of America’s Poor
Alice Donovan
US-Led Air Strikes Killed Record Number of Civilians in Syria
Andrew Moss
The Meaning of Trump’s Wall
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail