Thursday, May 31, 2007

Where is the peace movement going?


What a busy week for me, the Washington Peace Center and the peace movement in general. The week began with those of us regular readers of afterdowningstreet.org and the DailyKoz knowing a full 24-hours ahead of most folks that Cindy Sheehan was calling it quits on being everyone's official peace mom. I have met Cindy on a couple of occasions, and think she is smart, warm and funny. She's articulate, marches to her own drum and has a sharp sense of humor. It turns out she has been both worn down by the demands and competing egos within the movement, and also by the continuing personal slams and death threats against her. She needs time off, and so she originally wrote that she is quitting. She says she felt betrayed by the Democrats who recently took power, and she wanted to see more of us in the peace movement actually begin to make sacrifices in order to change the murderous path that the U.S. government has been on for the last few decades.

I share much of Cindy's frustration, but I do see us gaining ground. During last year's military supplemental process there were maybe half a dozen arrests at four nonviolent protests, and two senators voted against the war/occupation funding for Iraq and Afghanistan. This time there were more than 300 arrests across the country, and 14 senators voted against the giving away of $94 billion of our hard-earned tax dollars to the Bush-Cheney war quagmire which is Iraq and Afghanistan. So there has been some success, but not enough to quite turn the tide yet. The people are ahead of the politicians. Most polls are showing more than 75% of the American public wants the troops home by the end of the year. In many ways the peace movement is winning. However, the large egos and the sacrifices being taken by too small of a number continues. Hopefully these two critical issues will be addressed.

Also, there's renewed hope as military resistance continues to grow. The Washington Peace Center's event at Foundry UMC last night was fantastic -- "Iraq Vets Speak Out." One of the panelists Adam Kokesh (Iraq Veterans Against the War) is now making the news, and tomorrow he leaves for Kansas to face a military trial trying to revoke his honorable discharge for wearing his combat uniform in political street theater here in DC. This is extremely odd, as he already essentially retired but is subject to the dreaded back door draft because he is in the Individual Ready Reserves. Press Conference and Rally begins at 5 PM tomorrow in the front of Union Station. It's young new faces in the movement like Adam which are providing some hope, and in fact some new direction for the movement.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Results of The Occupation Project

On Thursday the Democrats failed the American people by writing Bush a blank check for more war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here's the results of the Occupation Project where there were more than 300 arrests across the nation.

Occupation Project
Voting Records Where Arrests Occured
YES this year
2005 2006 2007
Gordon Smith
Y Y Y
Richard Durbin
Y Y Y
John McCain
Y Y Y
Lisa Murkowski
Y Y Y
Ted Stevens
Y Y Y
Claire McCaskill
Y Y Y
Ken Salazar
Y Y Y
Virgil Goode
Y Y Y
Charles Grassley
Y Y Y
Barbara Mikulski
Y Y Y
George Voinovich
Y Y Y
Mark Udall
Y Y Y
Mark Kirk
Y Y Y
Susan Collins
Y Y Y
Rahm Emanuel
Y Y Y
Don Young
Y Y Y
Ron Kind
Y Y Y
Greg Walden
Y Y Y
Vito Fossella
Y Y Y
Frank Lautenberg
Y Y Y
Roberto Menendez
? ? Y
Richard Lugar
Y Y Y

*NO this year
Barack Obama
Y Y N
Russ Carnahan
Y Y N
Mike Honda
Y Y N
David Price
Y Y N
Marcy Kaptur
Y Y N
Tom Allen
Y Y N
David Obey
Y Y N
Peter DeFazio
Y Y N
Hillary Clinton
Y Y N
Peter Welch
N
Doris Matsui
Y N
Nancy Pelosi
Y Y N
Bernie Sanders
N Y N
Mike Thompson
N N N
Patrick Leahy
Y Y N

DID NOT VOTE in 2007:

Jerry Weller
Norm Coleman

2005
2006
2007
YES
35 2005
37 2006
22 2007
NO
2 2005
1 2006
15 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

My friend Eve Tetaz Arrested Again!

Last time, Eve was released at about midnight. This time she is being held overnight in Central Cell Block. She should be arraigned around 1 PM at c-10 at Indiana Avenue. However, we are unsure if she will be released as she violated a stay away order when she was arrested, and has three other pending cases!


For Immediate Release May 24, 2007

Contact:
Pete Perry, 571-271-1313
Tina Richards, 573-247-8059

WASHINGTON – A 75-year-old retired schoolteacher was arrested
Thursday when a group of peace activists descended on Capitol Hill to
demand an end to the war and occupation of Iraq.
Eve Tetaz of 17th Street, NW was part of a peace tour, which
started with a ride on the Yellow Rose of Texas Peace Bus. The pack of
activists are part of the "Swarm on Congress" planned to last until
Congress' summer break. The group had earlier joined a press
conference with Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH).
Tetaz was arrested when the group left the press conference and tried
to enter the Senate Hart office Building.
"I cannot allow my government to continue funding these actions
in my name," Tetaz said. "No human being is 'collateral damage' – all
life is sacred."
Although affiliated with the National Campaign of Nonviolent
Resistance and Code Pink. Tetaz said her decision to enter the Hart
Building and violate an earlier stay away order from a previous
peaceful demonstration was her own personal choice.
Within the last year, Tetaz has been arrested several times for
nonviolent protest. Monday she violated her probation resulting from
an arrest in Sen. John McCain's office, and may face a month in the
D.C. Jail.
The "Swarm on Congress" was initiated by GrassrootsAmerica4us.org, led
by military mom Tina Richards.
"We cannot allow Congress to continue funding this illegal and
endless war," said Richards. According to the Veteran Administration,
her son, Cloy Richards, is 80 percent disabled and suffers from
post-traumatic stress disorder.
The arrest occurred while most congressional Democrats seemed to be
caving into granting President Bush $120 billion more to continue the
war and occupation in Iraq.
"I will not stand idly by when so much innocent life is
destroyed," Tetaz said.
A retired D.C. public schoolteacher for 30 years, Tetaz is the
founder of Life Pathways, a non-profit organization helping single
parents become financially independent and trained in the field of
health care. A member of the Church of the Savior, Tetaz has been an
advocate for the poor on issues of economics and social justice.


###

Sunday, May 20, 2007

DAWN Moves Past Carol Moore

This past week, The DC Anti-War Network (DAWN) finally decided to move past the staunchly anti-zionist, libertarian Carol Moore. Over the last three years that I've been involved with DAWN, Carol has been involved with several highly notable and public interpersonal conflicts with other DAWN participants. She has in fact been the primary cause for several people leaving DAWN permanently, and these were good folks who were thoughtful anti-war activists and decent organizers.

Most recently she has decided to attack me, not only to myself and my friends, but to my employers. This is a form of stalking, and if it continues I will have to file for a stay away order with DC Superior Court. You can find more about Carol Moore on Wikipedia. Carol has also dug up a past joke of mine, which was politically incorrect and for which I have apologized in public at least four times. She has part of this incident on her Web page, and includes some incorrect analysis along with it. She is a troubled individual who has been involved with the local war tax resistance and protests against the annual AIPAC Conference. She is dedicated to her causes, but she is extremely difficult to work with. Whenever someone criticisizes her for the way she deals with others, they are labeled as anti-feminist or defending violent street tactics.

I for one am relieved that DAWN has permanently expelled her and severed all ties. I hope we will be able to rebuild DAWN now and move past this unfortunate chapter.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Worrying about my dear friend Eve Tetaz; arrests on Capitol Hill

Senior D.C. Woman Arrested While Demanding End to Iraq War

For Immediate Release May 14, 2007

Contact:
Pete Perry, 571-271-1313
Linda Schade, 202-422-5780

WASHINGTON – A 75-year-old retired schoolteacher was arrested Monday along with Cindy Sheehan and 31 others while protesting the war and occupation of Iraq.
Eve Tetaz of 17th Street, NW was part of yesterday’s march from Lafayette Park to Capitol Hill launching the “Swarm on Congress” planned to last until Congress’ summer break. The protestors were arrested in the middle of the intersection of Independence and New Jersey Avenues, SE when a group of the marchers stopped walking, raised an American flag to half-mast. The flag was upside down, a military sign of a ship in distress.
“I cannot allow my government to continue funding these actions in my name,” Tetaz said. “No human being is ‘collateral damage’ – all life is sacred.”
Although affiliated with the National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance and Code Pink. Tetaz said her decision to remain in Independence Avenue following police warnings was because of her Christian faith.
Within the last year, Tetaz has been arrested several times for nonviolent protest. Monday she violated her probation resulting from an arrest in Sen. John McCain’s office, and may face a month in the D.C. Jail.
“I will not stand idly by when so much innocent life is destroyed,” she said.
A retired D.C. public schoolteacher for 30 years, Tetaz is the founder of Life Pathways, a non-profit organization helping single parents become financially independent and trained in the field of health care. A member of the Church of the Savior, Tetaz has been an advocate for the poor on issues of economics and social justice.
Also arrested was Marine mom Tina Richards, one of the primary organizers of the “Swarm on Congress,” and whose son, Cloy Richards, has done two tours of duty in Iraq.
“We cannot allow Congress to continue funding this illegal and endless war,” said Richards. According to the Veteran Administration, her son is 80 percent disabled and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I am proud to know (Eve),” said Richards. “The ‘swarm’ is being built on the tremendous efforts of activists, such as Eve, in DC, and we hope to get many more into the halls of Congress during the next couple months.”
###

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Come to DC, End War and Occupation

Swarm on Congress:
This summer has the potential to be a significant moment in the history of the end of the Iraq War. We made lots of progress in the first part of the year putting pressure on the Democrats to use the power of the purse, but our power will increase as we get closer to elections -- if we use it. We need to let incumbents of both parties know they will lose votes if they vote for war funding. That is a message for Republicans and Democrats who continue to vote billions for the war.

While we are working to get people to come to DC to participate, activists in the DC area are going to play a key role in the summer of anti-war activities. Peace activists in DC, Maryland and Virginia will need to play a core role for the summer's efforts to build on.

Tina mentions the "SWARM on Congress." This will begin on May 14th with Cindy Sheehan's Mother of a March and extend through July 31. The “SWARM” will build on the successful efforts of activists in DC and around the country who have been
occupying offices, protesting in the Halls of Congress and sending a consistent message. It will build on the Occupation Project, Voices for Creative Non-Violence, and the Declaration of Peace as well as the work of Code Pink and our Maryland
peace coalition Already, key anti-war groups are supporting this effort including United For Peace and Justice and Voters For Peace, among others.

The summer of 2007 will be a historical one that will be noted as the turning point in efforts to end the war. The very visible and dramatic activities of the SWARM in the nation’s capitol will be one of the key steps taken by the peace movement to end the war.

www.grassrootsamerica4us.org