WASHINGTON - January 11 - March 19th will mark the third anniversary of a war that never should have happened -- a war based on lies that continues to devastate the lives of thousands, both in Iraq and the United States.
United for Peace and Justice joins our partners in the global antiwar movement in calling for a massive outpouring of opposition to the war in Iraq. We are urging opponents of the war to organize a wide array of events in their hometowns for the entire week surrounding this anniversary. As important as our periodic large national gatherings are, we believe it is vital that we bring antiwar sentiment out into the streets of every community around the country.
Last year, on the second anniversary of the war, more than 765 actions were organized in response to the call from UFPJ for local antiwar protests. This year we want to increase that number significantly, and expand participation at each event.
Our national coalition will help local groups organize a range of events and activities throughout the week of March 15-22, with the goals of increasing the visibility of grassroots antiwar sentiment and bringing new people into this movement. We encourage groups to plan educational events and protest actions, including vigils, marches, rallies, non-violent civil disobedience and other creative activities and to publicize them by listing them on the UFPJ website calendar.
In any given community, these activities might include:
- actions to expose the local costs of the war
- efforts to support the growing movement against military recruitment
- activities aimed at pressuring members of Congress and other elected officials to speak out against the war
- events to highlight the attacks on our civil liberties
- programs that address issues of corporate accountability
- protests demanding that all of our troops be brought home now!
In the coming weeks, UFPJ will provide resources and materials to support local groups in this organizing, including how-to guides, leaflets that can be modified for local use, and much more. We will update you with news about organizing efforts around the country and from around the world. (If this message was forwarded to you by a friend, make sure to receive our updates by signing up for our low-volume email list.)
Whether or not you belong to a local antiwar group, there are many things you can do right now -- today -- to start building momentum for the third-anniversary actions.
1) Forward this email to everyone you know who agrees that it's time for the war to end. We are the majority and we need to make our voices heard!
2) Post this call to action on your website or blog (and be sure to link to www.unitedforpeace.org)
3) Visit our online peace group directory to find an organization in your area that you can work with to plan March 15-22 events. Or, if there's no antiwar group in your community, start one!
4) Help ensure we have the financial resources we need to move this work forward and raise an unprecedented national outcry against the continued bloodshed in Iraq. You can donate to United for Peace and Justice by credit card online, by credit card over the phone (212-868-5545), or by sending a check or money order to UFPJ, P.O. Box 607, Times Square Station, NY NY 10108.
Three years of persistent anti-war organizing are having a significant political impact. A majority of people in the United States now agree with the peace movement that this war never should have happened, and calls for immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq are growing. More members of Congress, retired generals and state department officials, newspaper editorial boards and people from all walks of life are demanding the truth and calling for an end to the war.
But the horrors continue. Three years of war have resulted in the deaths of more than 2,000 U.S. service people, and thousands have come home with horrific wounds they will carry for the rest of their lives. Estimates of Iraqi deaths number in the tens of thousands, and more Iraqis are killed every day. The schools, hospitals and homes hard hit by the U.S. military have not been rebuilt. Foreign investors like Halliburton - not the Iraqi people - control the Iraqi economy while the IMF and World Bank "give" a $100 billion loan to Iraq, intent on locking the economic future of that country into the same policies that have punished people around the world.
The war has already cost well over $200 billion in U.S. taxpayer money, and there is no end in sight. At the same time, the people of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama have yet to receive the resources they need to recover from Hurricane Katrina and communities around the country are impacted every day by drastic cuts in social spending. And the war has brought new assaults on civil liberties and democratic rights.
The Bush administration is on the run as the foolhardiness and arrogance of their "stay the course" policy has been exposed. Let us work together to make this the last anniversary of this war. Join the week of local action in March and help build the movement to end the war in Iraq and bring all our troops home now!