SAN FRANCISCO - November 9 - Elated that voters have wrested control from the architects of the Iraq war, peace groups are planning a rally outside the office of the new Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to tell her: now that you’re Speaker, we need you to speak for the anti-war majority! The rally, Thursday, Nov. 9th at 12 Noon, is the kick-off event of a new post-election campaign called Mandate for Peace, designed to hold Congress accountable to the will of the anti-war majority.
“All of the pre-election polls showed that going into the midterm election, Iraq was the number one issue on voters’ minds and the number one issue they want the new Congress to concentrate on first. Now we need to make sure that the Democrats, and especially the new Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, carry out the voters’ mandate for peace,” said Medea Benjamin of the human rights group Global Exchange, one of the initiators of the new campaign.
The Mandate for Peace campaign kicked off right after the mid-term election, and is led by veterans, faith groups and peace activists including United for Peace and Justice, Iraq Veterans Against War, True Majority, Progressive Democrats of America, Peace Action, Goldstar Families for Peace, Network of Spiritual Progressives, CODEPINK, Iraqi Voices for Peace, Global Exchange, Pax Christi USA, Jewish Voice for Peace, and others. Through a petition, to be housed at www.mandateforpeace.org, press events outside the offices of newly elected Representatives, lobbying, and protests, the groups will hold Congress members responsible to the majority of Americans, who are saying the Iraq war was a mistake and needs to be ended.
The Mandate for Peace campaign calls on Congress to restore the bonds of trust between the people, who want a swift end to the Iraq war, and our elected representatives, who have not represented the will of the majority with regards to Iraq. It reads, in part, “We insist that the newly elected Congress act immediately to pass legislation that requires the prompt withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq.” The Mandate also calls on Congress to commit to no permanent military bases in Iraq; support an Iraqi-led reconciliation process to shape a peaceful post-occupation transition; investigate and penalize illegal war profiteering; provide full funding of benefits for returning Iraq war veterans; and prevent future wars with Iran or North Korea.
For the full text of the Mandate for Peace petition and additional information, see www.mandateforpeace.org. The Pelosi rally will be held outside her San Francisco office at 450 Golden Gate Avenue.