Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Occupation Project

Draft National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance
Working Proposal for NCNR's work with:
The Occupation Project –
Launch: February 5, 2007 and continuing for a minimum of eight weeks

Voices for Creative Nonviolence (VCNV) is organizing a campaign of
nonviolent civil resistance and civil disobedience to our government's
continued funding of war in and occupation of Iraq. The National
Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance has embraced this proposal, dubbed
"The Occupation Project," and look forward to working in coordination
with the campaign, The Declaration of Peace, Veterans for Peace, and
other endorsing coalitions.
The Occupation Project calls upon each Representative and Senator to
make a public pledge to vote against additional funds for the Iraq
war. The campaign calls for nonviolent direct action at the offices of
those legislators who do not make such a pledge. The campaign is
specifically focusing upon the supplemental funding bill for the war
and occupation, which President Bush will submit to Congress in early
February 2007. It is expected that this supplemental spending request
will be in excess of $120 billion.
The campaign to apply pressure on Congress during this supplemental
funding request will begin February 5th and continue for a minimum of
eight weeks.
All three of these coalitions (VCNV, DoP and NCNR) are committed to
nonviolent resistance during the last three years. Now it is clear
that, as with the Vietnam War three decades ago, cutting off funding
will become one of the primary causes for the cessation of
hostilities, the safe return of U.S. servicemen and women and the
restoration of the Iraq's right of self determination.
In the last Congress, Jim McGovern introduced the bill H.R. 4232 to
discontinue war funding. This bill stated that the only funding for
Iraq would be spent on removal of our military forces and basic
reconstruction of Iraq's infrastructure. He is expected to introduce a
similar bill in 2007. Rep. Lynn Woolsey (H.R. 5875) and Rep. Barbara
Lee (H.R. 4939) also introduced bills regarding the occupation of Iraq
and the need to bring the troops home, both of these bills have been
widely supported by the anti-war movement.
Unfortunately, Democrats have largely ignored the obvious
dissatisfaction with the Iraq War and Occupation, which lead to their
winning the majority in both houses of Congress. In their talking
points, during broadcasts and public appearances, they typically list
three issue areas they promise to tackle, but unfortunately bringing
our young men and women home from Iraq and assisting Iraqis with
rebuilding their nation is not one of them. Clearly they need to be
reminded that votes don't come for free!
Rep. Dennis Kucinich has stated that new legislation is not needed.
He is gathering quotes on the changing positions of his fellow
Democrats when it comes to the war. He will pressure his colleagues to
simply vote no to all spending on the continued war and occupation,
which has now cost our nation more than $350 Billion, killed
approximately 655,000 Iraqis (according to one well-respected study),
2,900 U.S. military personnel – and seriously wounded more than
another 45,000.
As part of the Occupation Project, NCNR will help organize
actions on Capitol Hill, both in February and March during the
appropriations process. NCNR will decide the exact timing and nature
of these two actions within the next month. It will also join forces
in helping facilitate the organizing of decentralized nonviolent
direct actions in every state across the nation during the project's
eight-week period. NCNR will help by facilitating conference calls and
providing a list of nonviolence trainers across the country available
for local affinity groups planning nonviolent direct action at their
elected representatives' offices. Dialogue with the office will be
pursued first, of course, but if a satisfactory pledge to vote no to
further funding is not agreed to – then direct action in the form of
nonviolent resistance will be taken.
The supplemental military spending request will be a record
high one, reportedly in excess of $120 billion. Participants in this
action will discuss the legislation and strategy mentioned above with
their elected officials. We realize this campaign is non-partisan in
nature, and that the pledge to vote against funding will be the focus.
If the elected officials do not make this pledge then participants
occupy nonviolently Senators' and Representatives' offices in acts of
nonviolent resistance.

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