United Anti-War Movement Tells Obama: No Escalation!

For Immediate Release

Anti-War Groups
Contact: 

Mike Ferner, President, Veterans for Peace 419-360-3621
Michael McPhearson, Exec. Dir., Veterans for Peace 314-303-8874

United Anti-War Movement Tells Obama: No Escalation!

Letter ties economic pain at home to suffering in Afghanistan Urges widespread, massive protests day after announcement

WASHINGTON - On November 30th, representatives of 34 antiwar groups delivered an
open letter to President Obama strongly opposing his anticipated decision to
escalate the war in Afghanistan with the commitment of tens of
thousands of additional U.S. troops. 

The
document called increased war spending, in light of the ongoing U.S. economic
crisis, an "utter folly" and named the war "a war against ordinary
people, both here in the United States and in Afghanistan,"
which "if
continued, will result in the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of U.S. troops
and untold thousands of Afghans"
and "cause other people in other lands
to despise the U.S."
as "the world's richest nation making war on one of
the world's very poorest."

The
signatories pledged "to keep opposing this war in every nonviolent way
possible.  We will urge elected representatives to cut all funding for war.
Some of us will be led to withhold our taxes, practice civil resistance, and
promote slowdowns and strikes at schools and workplaces."

Signed
by veterans and peace activists and religious leaders the document represents
one of the most widespread antiwar coalitions in decades, including many of the
organizations which, in 2003, brought millions onto the streets to oppose the
U.S.-Iraq war.

Signers to the letter
are urging their colleagues to participate in local demonstrations the day after
an announcement of troop escalations is made.

The letter ends by warning
President Obama, "we will do everything in our power, as nonviolent peace
activists, to build the kind of massive movement -- which today represents the
sentiments of a majority of the American people - that will play a key role in
ending U.S. war in
Afghanistan.  Such is the folly
of your decision and such is the depth of our opposition to the death and
suffering it will cause."

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President
Barack Obama
The White
House
Washington, D.C.

November
30, 2009

 

Dear
President Obama,

With
millions of U.S. people feeling the fear and desperation of no longer having a
home; with millions feeling the terror and loss of dignity that comes with
unemployment; with millions of our children slipping further into poverty and
hunger, your decision to deploy thousands more troops and throw hundreds of
billions more dollars into prolonging the profoundly tragic war in Afghanistan
strikes us as utter folly. We believe this decision represents a war against
ordinary people, both here in the United
States and in Afghanistan.  The war in Afghanistan, if continued, will result in the
deaths of hundreds if not thousands of U.S. troops, and untold thousands of
Afghans.

Polls
indicate that a majority of those who labored with so much hope to elect you as
president now fear that you will make a wrong decision -- a tragic decision that
will destroy their dreams for America. More tragic is the price of
your decision. It will be paid with the blood, suffering and broken hearts of
our young troops, their loved ones and an even greater number of Afghan men,
women and children.

The
U.S. military claims that
this war must be fought to protect U.S. national security, but we believe it is
being waged to expand U.S. empire in the interests of oil
and pipeline companies.

Your
decision to escalate U.S.
troops and continue the occupation will cause other people in other lands to
despise the U.S. as a menacing military power
that violates international law. Keep in mind that to most of the peoples of the
world, widening the war in Afghanistan will look exactly like
what it is: the world's richest nation making war on one of the world's very
poorest.

The war
must be ended now. Humanitarian aid programs should address the deep poverty
that has always been a part of the life of Afghan people.

We will
keep opposing this war in every nonviolent way possible. We will urge elected
representatives to cut all funding for war. Some of us will be led to withhold
our taxes, practice civil resistance, and promote slowdowns and strikes at
schools and workplaces.

In short,
President Obama, we will do everything in our power, as nonviolent peace
activists, to build the kind of massive movement --which today represents the
sentiments of a majority of the American people--that will play a key role in
ending U.S. war in Afghanistan.

Such would
be the folly of a decision to escalate troop deployment and such is the depth of
our opposition to the death and suffering it would cause.

Sincerely,
(Signers names listed in alphabetical order)

Jack
Amoureux, Executive Committee

Military
Families Speak Out

 

Michael
Baxter

Catholic
Peace Fellowship

 

Medea
Benjamin, Co-founder

Global
Exchange

 

Frida
Berrigan

Witness
Against Torture

 

Elaine
Brower

World
Can't Wait

 

Leslie
Cagan, Co-Founder

United for
Peace and Justice

 

Tom
Cornell

Catholic
Peace Fellowship

 

Matt
Daloisio

War
Resisters League

 

Marie
Dennis, Director

Maryknoll
Office for Global Concerns

 

Robby
Diesu

Our
Spring Break

 

Pat
Elder, Co-coordinator

National
Network Opposing Militarization of Youth

 

Mike
Ferner, President

Veterans
For Peace

 

Joy
First, Convener

National
Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance

 

Sara
Flounders, Co-Director

International
Action Center

 

Sunil
Freeman

ANSWER
Coalition, Washington,
D.C.

 

Diana
Gibson, Coordinator

Multifaith
Voices for Peace and Justice

 

Jerry
Gordon, Co-Coordinator

National
Assembly To End Iraq and
Afghanistan Wars and
Occupation

 

Rabbi
Lynn Gottlieb

Shomer
Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence

 

David
Hartsough

Peaceworkers
San
Francisco

 

Mike
Hearington, Steering Committee

Georgia
Peace and Justice Coalition, Atlanta

 

Larry
Holmes, Coordinator

Troops
Out Now Coalition

 

Mark
C. Johnson, Ph.D., Executive Director

Fellowship
of Reconciliation

 

Hany
Khalil

War
Times

 

Kathy
Kelly, Co-Coordinator

Voices
for Creative Nonviolence

 

Leslie
Kielson , Co-Chair

United
for Peace and Justice

 

Malachy
Kilbride

National
Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance

 

Adele
Kubein, Executive Committee

Military
Families Speak Out

 

Jeff
Mackler, Co-Coordinator

National
Assembly to End Iraq and
Afghanistan Wars and
Occupations

 

Imam
Abdul Malik Mujahid, Chair-Elect

World
Parliament of Religion

 

Michael
T. McPhearson, Executive Director

Veterans
For Peace

 

Gael
Murphy, Co-founder

Code
Pink

 

Michael
Nagler, Founder

Metta
Center
for Nonviolence

 

Max
Obuszewski, Director

Baltimore
Nonviolence Center

 

Pete
Perry

Peace
of the Action

 

Dave
Robinson, Executive

Director
Pax Christi USA

 

Terry
Rockefeller

September
11th
Families
For Peaceful Tomorrows

 

Samina
Sundas, Founding Executive Director

American
Muslim Voice

 

David
Swanson

AfterDowningStreet.org

 

Carmen
Trotta

Catholic
Worker

 

Nancy
Tsou, Coordinator

Rockland
Coalition for Peace and Justice

 

Kevin
Zeese

Voters
for Peace

 

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