The 5th anniversary of the beginning of the U.S. war and occupation in Iraq is just a few weeks away. Groups around the country are working on activities that will both mark this day and project the widespread, deeply felt opposition to this horrendous, ongoing crime. In every corner of the nation, our voices will be heard as we demand an end to the death and destruction.
Most likely in April, Congress will be discussing and voting on whether to give the Bush administration yet another $105 billion for this war! Our activities around the 5th anniversary on March 19th are a perfect opportunity to say NO! No more money for this war!
United for Peace and Justice has been working on three major sets of activities on and around the 5th anniversary:
1) Support for the March 13-16 Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan hearings, organized by UFPJ member group Iraq Veterans Against the War, which will feature testimony from U.S. veterans who have served in those occupations, giving an accurate account of what is really happening day in and day out, on the ground.
You can help exponentially increase the power of these hearings: Organize or promote a gathering in your community where people can witness them via video broadcast. Now is the time to start planning an event and spreading the word. Gatherings can range in size and be public or private -- here are some ideas:
invite friends over to your house;
schedule a viewing at your local religious institution;
find a space at your school or workplace;
ask your local community center for space.
This will be an incredible opportunity to reach out and engage with people who have not yet become active in bringing the war to an end. Click on the following links for more info and resources:
Detailed information on how to access video and audio broadcasts of the hearings.
Be sure to post the details of your event on www.5yearstoomany.org and on the IVAW website.
More info on how to support Winter Soldier.
2) On Wednesday, March 19th, local activities will take place in communities around the nation, and hopefully in all 435 congressional districts. Congress will not be in session, and so our representatives and senators will be in their home districts/states, giving us the opportunity to bring our opposition to the war and any more funding for it right to their front doors. Not all of the local actions will focus on members of Congress, but the wide range of activities will all be sending the same message: It is time to bring all of the troops home!
Click here to find out what's already planned in your area.
And there is still time to plan an event, even if you've never done anything like this before:
organize a candlelight vigil in a busy part of your community;
hand out leaflets in shopping areas, in front of military recruiting centers, or at the offices of a company making money from the war;
put together a delegation to meet with your senator or representative;
stand with signs explaining why you want the war to end in front of an elected official's office;
hang a banner from the overpass on a busy roadway;
For more ideas visit www.5yearstoomany.org/march19local. And please be sure to post any activity you plan on our calendar. This will help you get the word out.
3) A day of Nonviolent Civil Disobedience and Direct Action in Washington, DC, on March 19th. For more information about this exciting day of protest and resistance in the nation's capital, click here.
Yours, for peace and justice,
National Coordinator, UFPJ
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