Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Declaration of Peace Press Release

The Declaration of Peace

Defund the War and Declare Peace
For Immediate Release

Contact:

Daniel Malec, 850-591-4009

Ken Butigan, 360-402-4761

http://declarationofpeace.org/



WASHINGTON – Today the American people learned of the 3,000th U.S. soldier's death in the war-torn and occupied nation of Iraq. Grassroots peace and justice activists throughout the nation are holding candlelight vigils and mourning the loss of life, both American and Iraqi, in a war they view as both tragically unnecessary and immoral.

"Today, U.S. foreign policy disregards the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis in pursuit of U.S. hegemonic interests," said Danny Malec, organizer with Declaration of Peace, an anti-war coalition, which held more than 350 protests and numerous acts of civil disobedience against the Iraq war and occupation in September. "There is no other way forward than ending the occupation of Iraq and supporting an Iraqi-led peace and reconciliation process."

The Declaration of Peace plans to target an expected $100 billion military supplemental for the continued occupation in February. The coalition incorporates more than 500 grassroots organizations. Its campaign in September demanded elected representatives in both houses of Congress sign its declaration.

The Declaration of Peace's phase two for early 2007 aims to seek peace in Iraq, safely remove U.S. soldiers and provide funding for reconstruction efforts. The cornerstone of this effort has become a plea to stop funding the war and occupation.

"The prompt withdrawal of US troops and the closure of US bases will help quench the fire fanned by the occupation and will pave the way for a comprehensive Iraqi-led peace process," said Ken Butigan, organizer with Declaration of Peace and staff member of Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service. "Now is the time for the US occupation to end, for a peace process to begin, and for the US to shift funding from permanent war to reconstructing Iraq and meeting human needs at home."

Exit polls from November's election clearly revealed the public's disapproval of the Bush administration's handling of the war led to Democrats winning the majority in both houses of Congress. However, leading Democrats have since not emphasized the crucial role this anti-war sentiment played in their victory.

According to CNN exit poll data of more than 13,000 voters across the country, Iraq was seen as the most important issue (60% said extremely important). [1]

Declaration of Peace is being joined by Voices for Creative Nonviolence and the National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance in appealing to legislators to vote against the supplemental request. Rather funds should be used to safely withdraw troops, start reconciliation talks and assist with rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure, organizers say.

The $100 billion military supplemental, if passed, is believed to be the highest in U.S . history. More than $354 billion has already been spent on the war and occupation of Iraq.

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