May 23, 2008

No More Death, No More Murder, Don't Defend the Corporatocracy!

Our corporate masters have given us a day off to commemorate the men and women who have sacrificed their lives to protect their greed. But it’s up to us how we will use our “free” time. Here are a few suggestions of something positive to do, beyond the Barbie-Que and drinking to forget the crimes of our inheritance:

Apparently the Senate doesn't think there are enough fallen soldiers to honor this Memorial Day, so they have passed a funding bill to extend the Iraq war and occupation past Memorial Day 2009. And were they even thinking of the potentially thousands of Iraqis who will die? To add to the moral repugnance of the Senate's actions, they have tied important programs including GI and unemployment benefits to the Iraq funding bill. Vets can get college tuition, but they'll need to spend another year in Iraq first. See below for details on the Senate bill and to find out how your senators voted.
Are you as outraged as we are?
But we can't give up the fight just yet. The Senate bill will go back to the House of Representatives for a vote in the beginning of June. Before they vote though, members of Congress will be coming home for their week-long Memorial Day recess. That means they will be at parades, picnics, campaign events and in their offices. They must hear from you -- loud or silent, rude or polite, funny or solemn, in print, on the phone or in person. [my bold] There are many ways to convey one message: Stop funding the war, bring all our troops home now! Use as many of them as you can!
Please check the UFPJ calendar to see if there are any Memorial Day Peace events near you (and make sure your event is listed if you are organizing one).
Click here to find out who your representative is and the locations and phone numbers of their local offices.
Let us know how you contacted your representative -- phone, email, fax, in-person, etc. -- who you reached, what you said, and what the response was.
Additional Resources from UFPJ and UFPJ member groups:
CodePink Memorial Day Action Guide
"Why We're Against the War," from Iraq Veterans Against the War
Legislative information from UFPJ
Local cost of war info from the National Priorities Project
Talking points for grassroots lobbyists from Peace Action
Open letter to Congress from Military Families Speak Out
"Healing the Wounds of War" from AFSC
Background Details
The Senate voted today, May 22, on three separate amendments:
The first vote produced a surprise outcome. It was an amendment approving billions in funding for a broad array of domestic programs, including increases in GI education funding, extension of unemployment benefits, levee construction in New Orleans, and a plethora of other good works. The amendment passed by a vote of 75-22.
The second vote was on Iraq war policies, including a withdrawal timeline, troop readiness requirements, no permanent bases and no toture. This amendment failed on a vote of 34-63.
The final vote was on $165.4 billion to fund the wars/occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan through next summer. This amendment passed on a vote of 70-26.
The Senate version of the bill (including the war funding and the domestic funding) will go back to the House for a vote after the Memorial Day recess. Last week, the House voted on three amendments similar to the amendments in the Senate. It defeated the war funding amendment and passed only the war policies and domestic programs.
How did your representative vote?
On the Iraq war policies amendment
On the domestic programs amendment
On the $166 billion Iraq war funding amendment
Yours, for peace and justice,UFPJ Legislative Working Group

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PS--Check out UFPJ's very provocative and timely t-shirts on sale and let your people know. We Will NOT Be Silent! Bring them home, NOW!

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