WASHINGTON - February 5 - As President Bush submits his budget today, various peace groups are launching what they are calling the "Occupation Project," an eight-week-long campaign to end funding for the Iraq war. This will include citizens around the country nonviolently occupying their representatives' offices.
Among the organizers of this campaign available for interviews are:
Co-founder of CodePink, Murphy states: "We are starting this campaign of 'extralegal lobbying' -- nonviolent civil disobedience -- at the offices of our representatives and senators who refuse to publicly pledge their vote against Bush's request for an additional $100 billion for the war in Iraq."
Martin is executive director of Peace Action.
Co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Kelly has just returned from two months living and working with Iraqi refugees in Amman, Jordan. She said today: "The U.S. war in Iraq has created a humanitarian catastrophe, with Iraqis forced to flee for safety to Jordan -- only to be rejected and forgotten by the international community. We owe an obligation to Iraqis: to stop funding the war and to fully fund war reparations to Iraq so they might be able to rebuild their country after these past 16 years of economic and military warfare."
Also co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Leys said today: "Contrary to the argument that the money is needed to provide for troops in the field, much of the money Bush is requesting is for weapons systems and procurement for up to three years from now. We're seeing a near-doubling in the cost of operations in Iraq compared to 2004; the Congressional Research Service has reported that it's not possible to even track how the money is being spent."
The above groups, together with Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace, will hold a news conference launching the campaign at 1:00 p.m. Monday in the United Methodist Building, 100 Maryland Ave NE, Washington, D.C., followed by additional press availability at the first Congressional office occupation of the national campaign at Senator McCain's office, SR 241.
Local campaigns are being organized in over 20 states including: New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Maine, Oregon, Alabama, Arizona, California, Washington and Alaska.