In reaction to President Bush’s veto the Democrats are reportedly caving in to give him a Iraq War funding without any obligation to end the war. They are making Bush “the decider” once again. It seems that rather than having a lame duck president we have a lame Congress. The only thing that will end the war is constant, organized and focused pressure from Americans who oppose the war.
Two peace moms have called on anti-war activists to come to Washington, DC after Mother’s Day. Cindy Sheehan is organizing a “Mother of a March” on May 14, 2007. She is inviting “all mothers and all people who have mothers” to join her. This will be the kick-off to a “Summer of Action,” being spearheaded by Marine Mom Tina Richards. This summer peace activists will swarm Congress from May 14 to July 31 to urge an end to the war. You can see an interview of Tina Richards about the “Summer of Action” here.
The last few months have shown that we can move Congress toward the view that the war must end. When the Democrats came to power they said “we will not use the power of the purse to end the war.” Now, they have moved from that position to passing a bill that opposes Bush enough for him to veto it. They did not include ending the war on their first 100 hours agenda–now it is an issue they cannot avoid.
More work is needed peace advocated need to consistently stiffen the spine of Congress so they have the courage to do what the people want–end the war. As the 2008 election approaches the power of the anti-war voter becomes greater, especially if it is organized and focused.
Cindy Sheehan says “The Camp Casey Peace Institute is calling for a march on Congress on Monday, May 14th to demand an end to the war and an end to the Bush Regime.” The marchers will meet at the Ellipse at noon in front of the White House. For more information see http://www.thecampcaseypeaceinstitute.org.
Tina Richards has been working in Washington, DC for the past several months and she has seen the power that one committed person can have on the nation’s capitol. You can see more about Tina on her website, www.GrassRootsAmericaForUs.org and you can register to join us in the “Summer of Action” in Washington, DC.
We want peace advocates to come and join us not only in traditional lobbying but in “extraordinary lobbying.” The “Summer of Action” will build on the successful efforts of activists in DC and around the country who have been engaging in “extraordinary lobbying” by occupying offices, protesting in the Halls of Congress and sending a consistent message to end the war. It will build on the Occupation Project, Voices for Creative Non-Violence, and the Declaration of Peace. Already, key anti-war groups are supporting this effort including United For Peace and Justice and Voters For Peace.
Bring people from your local peace group and plan an office occupation or a demonstration inside one of the congressional office buildings as part of the “Summer of Action.” Or, come alone and join our ongoing efforts to pressure Congress. To get some ideas of the types of events you can organize visit www.WHYNotNews.org. They have been documenting many of the DC events and will be doing so throughout the “Summer of Action.”
Republicans saw the power of the peace vote in 2006 when they lost majority power and some of their leading incumbents — senators like George Allen and Rick Santorum who thought they had an easy re-election and were considering running for president — were defeated. And Democrats saw anti-war candidates win primary and general elections that were unexpected. Democrats know they were elected to end the war. If they fail to fulfill that mandate they will find themselves facing angry voters. In 2008 incumbents will be held accountable for the war if they vote to fund the war.
The summer of 2007 will be a historical one that will be noted as the turning point in efforts to end the war. The very visible and dramatic activities of organized citizens swarming on Washington in the “Summer of Action” will be seen as one of the key steps taken by the peace movement to end the war. Come to the Capitol and be a part of history.