WASHINGTON - October 2 - Several months ago a campaign called the Declaration of Peace was launched. The goal was to pressure Congress to put into place a plan for the end of the war in Iraq
and the withdrawal of U.S. troops by Sept. 21st. If that did not happen, then a new round of antiwar protests and events would unfold, including greater use of nonviolent civil resistance and civil disobedience around the nation. United for Peace and Justice endorsed the Declaration of Peace and played a role in promoting the week of action -- and hundreds of UFPJ member groups around the country organized local events.
From September 21-28, people in over 150 cities and towns across the country
organized and participated in a wide range of actions: vigils, peace concerts,
marches, parades, readings of the Iraqi and U.S.
war dead, interfaith services, and acts of nonviolent resistance.
- Over 375 individual events
took place all around the country.
- Over 500 organizations
endorsed these efforts, almost half of them faith-based.
- More than 275 people were
arrested in over 20 nonviolent civil resistance and civil disobedience
actions, at the White House, Congressional offices, military bases, and
military recruitment centers in D.C. and around the country.
- 10 current members of the
U.S. House of Representatives as well as seven candidates signed onto the
- The Declaration of Peace has
inspired the creation of poems, songs, and art of resistance.
- Religious leaders, Iraq
war veterans, peace workers, labor union organizers, schoolteachers,
students, and people like YOU joined together and made a statement for
Below are just a few examples of the reports that have come
in from around the country. (If you have not posted your event reports, please click here to do so.)
And be sure to check out the Declaration of Peace website for stories, photos,
video and media coverage of this powerful week of action.
The Declaration of Peace campaign has inspired new activists, re-energized
folks working against this war for years, and helped expand the tools our
movement is using. In the coming weeks organizers at both the local and
national level will be evaluating the campaign's work so far and planning for
the next steps. We'll be sure to keep you informed about what comes out of that
But for now, let us recognize and celebrate the powerful work
for peace that so many of you have been doing around the country:
From Port Townsend, WA:
"Thirty-seven people were arrested at Indian
Island, a naval base near Port Townsend,
Washington. The arrests were witnessed by
over 350 supporters who participated in a 4-mile peace march to the navy base,
which is the main weapons shipping depot on the west coast."
In Philadelphia, fourteen members of the Brandywine Peace Community were
arrested for refusing to leave the building where Sen. Rick Santorum's regional
office is located. The demonstrators demanded that Santorum sign the
Declaration of Peace Congressional Pledge, chanted, "Bush won't listen,
Congress must act," and read the names of Pennsylvanians killed in Iraq.
In Santa Fe, New Mexico,
nine people commandeered an elevator in a downtown federal building Tuesday in
an effort to persuade Republican U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici of New
Mexico to sign the Declaration of Peace Congressional
Pledge. While inside the elevator, the nine protesters took turns reading the
names of U.S.
soldiers who have died in Iraq,
as well as the names of Iraqis who have died.
More than 50 antiwar protesters held a candlelight vigil and unfurled a banner
reading, "We Mourn The Dead, We Call For Peace," in front of U.S.
House Speaker Dennis Hastert's district office in downtown Batavia,
California, activists began a
rolling fast on the steps of the Humboldt County Courthouse, in which
participants will take a 24-hour shift and maintain a constant presence for
peace. In Los Angeles, 50 activists shut down the Army Recruitment Center in Hollywood for an entire day.
Reports are still coming in; click here for more.
All of this energy and courage from across the country fueled the great success
of the events on September 26 and 27 in Washington,
DC. On Tuesday, Sept. 26, as Gordon Clark
of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance reports, "more than 100
activists took over the central lobby and atrium of the Hart
Senate Office Building,
and staged a protest of the war in Iraq
while dozens and dozens of Senate staffers looked on. For one hour, at least,
American opposition to the war in Iraq
became the central focus for these offices of the U.S. Senate, and 71
individuals were arrested for making this happen." On Wednesday, Sept. 27,
another 26 individuals were arrested after staging a die-in in front of the
entrance to the Rayburn House
where the House Appropriations Committee meets and approves funding for the
We will be carrying this momentum forward, through the
midterm elections and beyond, until we bring this war -- and all wars of
aggression -- to an end. Please keep checking our website to find announcements
about upcoming national actions and grassroots events in your area, and to find
more ways you can get involved in achieving peace.