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Upper Midwest Walk for Peace

Voices for Creative Non-Violence
What's happening: 

As we read about more and more atrocities committed in Afghanistan and Iraq under the Obama Administration, it is clear that we still have a lot of work to do in resisting the immoral and illegal actions of our government.

There is an opportunity coming up this summer that you can get involved in to speak out against the horrors of war and call for peace.

End the U.S. Army's prosecution of Lt. Watada

Veterans For Peace and United for Peace and Justice
What's happening: 


April 29, 2009


In June 2006, U.S. Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada refused orders to go to Iraq on the grounds that the war was illegal and immoral. His court martial in February 2007 ended in an Army-contrived mistrial. In October 2007, the Army attempted a second court martial against Watada, but they were stopped by a Federal judge who ruled that a second court martial would be double jeopardy.

Despite all this, the Army still has not allowed Lt. Watada to leave military service; instead, the Army is looking to appeal the double jeopardy ruling. The U.S. Solicitor General's office in the Department of Justice will soon decide whether the Army can go ahead with its plans to appeal the Federal Court rulings in Lt. Watada's favor.

That's where we all step in. An ad hoc campaign has been started - by Veterans For Peace affiliates in San Francisco and Seattle - to make sure that the U.S. Solicitor General's office rejects the Army's dire to appeal and moves to release Lt. Watada from this prolonged prosecution.

Please Attend Oregon's Legislative Hearings ~ March 11, 2009

Portland Peace and Justice Works
What's happening: 

Exciting news, Guard Home Campaign supporters

The hearing for the measures to keep Oregon's Guard in Oregon, HB 2556 and HR 4 will be held this coming Wednesday, March 11 at 3 PM in the State Capitol. The tentative hearing room that's scheduled holds 50 people--let's see if we can make them get a larger room! Please RSVP if you plan to attend the hearing so we can relay the information to the administrator of the Rules Committee on how many people are expected to attend.

Please note that the hearing will likely be limited in time, and so not everyone will be able to testify; visible support (via Guard Home Buttons) is just as important!

Bring the Guard Home!

Liberty Tree
What's happening: 

The debate over the Iraq War changed last week in a simple, but profound way. A bill introduced on Tuesday in the Vermont State Legislature declares that the 2002 federal authorization to call up the State National Guard has expired, and would set in motion steps to recall members of the Vermont Guard. Rep. Michael Fisher, lead sponsor of the Vermont bill says that:

It is clear that the mission that Congress authorized no longer exists. The President has no current or permanent legal authority to keep Guard members in Iraq. The Governor as Commander-in-Chief of the Vermont National Guard should take necessary steps to bring them home.

In addition to the Vermont legislation, sponsored by Rep. Michael Fisher and Senate President Pro-Tempore Peter Shumlin, legislators in Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island plan to sponsor similar National Guard legislation in the current legislative session.Legislators in six other states, notably Maryland, Maine, and Wisconsin are working on the issue and considering following suit.

In recent years, twelve state legislatures and over 300 communities have passed resolutions protesting the Iraq War and calling withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. This new legislation is something very different. This legislation actually ends the deployment of the Guard from Iraq.

News media from public radio, to CBS News, to Pacifica and AlterNet have already picked up the story. This new campaign to inject some democracy into our system of national defense is building.

  • Intrigued?

Please take a moment to read more. We've provided you with a copy of the Vermont legislation itself, an FAQ, media reports, and several articles by Liberty Tree's Ben Manski and IPS' Karen Dolan. Just go to our resources page at: http://www.LibertyTreeFDR.org/guard.php

  • Compelled?

Once you are done reading, it's time for action. Please see below for what you should do.

Take the Voters Pledge for Peace

What's happening: 

It is important for elected officials to know that a large number of Americans are no longer willing to vote for candidates who support wars of aggression and who fail to take active leadership to end the occupation of Iraq. Across the political spectrum, independents, Democrats, Greens, Republicans, and Libertarians, are increasingly saying, 'Bring the Troops Home Now!'

The Voters Peace Pledge is an effort to count, organize and make visible this emerging anti-war voting block and to speak with a united voice of conviction which candidates and incumbent politicians CANNOT AFFORD TO IGNORE. Imagine headlines saying 2 million have pledged to vote for peace candidates in 2006! A March, 2006 poll showed that tens of millions of Americans agree with the Peace Pledge. Voters For Peace is committed to get the word out to legislators, the media and the general public that peace voters will not be taken for granted in future elections. Voters For Peace urges you to take a clear stand and let politicians know they cannot take your vote for granted but instead have to earn your vote. Please sign the following 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."

Urge on Vermont: Bring the Guard home!

Democratizing Defense Network
What's happening: 

The movement to bring home the National Guard is growing.  State representatives and senators in Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island have joined Vermonters in drafting and introducing legislation to keep their state Guard units where they belong.  With the latest news out of Iraq and Washington D.C. -- that the troop escalation has failed to end the violence and that the Bush administration will attempt to issue additional call up orders for Guard units this summer and fall -- the time is ripe for state action to keep the Guard in the United States.

This campaign began earliest in Vermont, and it is in Vermont that the effort has made the most progress.  The Vermont Senate held hearings on the legislation last month.  The Vermont public is debating the issue.  Media outlets from the Topeka Capital Journal to CBS national news to the Houston Chronicle have covered the debate.  For the first time, Americans are becoming aware of the illegality of National Guard deployments to Iraq.  The Vermont debate is educating all of us; we are learning that:

  • The President may only call the Guard into National Service after Congress has granted him/her that authority; otherwise, the Guard remain under the command of state officials.
  • The 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force in Iraq (2002 AUMF) was the act of Congress under which National Guard call ups for deployment to Iraq have occurred until now.
  • The 2002 AUMF set a clear mission for the invasion of Iraq, and that mission is over.  Saddam Hussein and Iraq are no long a threat to the United States or the region (if they ever were), and the UN Security Council resolutions on which the 2002 AUMF was based are no longer relevant.
  • Some state elected officials are willing to stand up and defend the constitutional guarantee of a federal government of limited and enumerated powers, a military designed for national defense and not empire, and a government of laws and not of men!

All of this is already coming to light with a simple legislative push that doesn't even challenge the unconstitutionality of the war itself, or challenge the deployment of the Guard for purposes other than those spelled out in the Constitution.  All this legislation says is, "Federal government, we're not even telling you that your laws are unconstitutional, we're just insisting that you to obey your own laws."  Is that such a radical thing to ask?  Let's find out.

Voters For Peace 'Cancelled Check' Campaign

Voters for Peace
What's happening: 

The purpose of the Cancelled Check Campaign is to divert votes and dollars from pro-war candidates. We want to send a message to candidates and incumbents that peace voters will not be taken for granted. At the same time, we want those dollars that could have gone to a pro-war candidate to instead go to a person or organization that is working for peace.

April 29th March for Peace, Justice & Democracy

April 29th Organizing Committee
What's happening: 

Too much is too wrong in this country. We have a foreign policy that is foreign to our core values, and domestic policies wreaking havoc at home. It's time for a change:

  • No more never-ending oil wars!
  • Protect our civil liberties & immigrant rights.
  • End illegal spying, government corruption and the subversion of our democracy.
  • Rebuild our communities, starting with the Gulf Coast.
  • Stop corporate subsidies and tax cuts for the wealthy while ignoring our basic needs.
  • Act quickly to address the climate crisis and the accelerating destruction of our environment.