Declaring 'Power In Numbers', People Rally Nationwide for Peace with Iran
200 demonstrations sweep country in national day of action to support nuclear deal and say no to war
People across the United States are taking to the streets, rallying at their local representatives' offices, and submitting open letters on Wednesday calling on Congress to choose a path to peace, not war, by saying yes to the nuclear deal between world powers and Iran.
The national day of action was organized by a coalition that includes MoveOn, National Iranian American Council (NIAC), WinWithoutWar, and United for Peace and Justice, with over 200 actions from coast to coast. Brian Stewart, media relations director for MoveOn, told Common Dreams that tens of thousands of people nationwide also signed petitions, slated for delivery to lawmakers on Wednesday.
The coordinated mobilizations come as Congress nears the end of the August recess, after which lawmakers will vote on the pact—potentially as soon as September 9. As per recently-passed legislation, the U.S. House and Senate were given a total of 60 days to review the final deal.
If lawmakers were to vote against the deal, and amass the votes to override a presidential veto, Obama's hands would be tied on sanctions relief and the deal would sink. However, European Union nations are already showing more enthusiasm to engage, in what some say is a sign of the growing isolation of anti-diplomacy forces, from the United States to Israel.
Elham Khatami, national outreach director for NIAC, told Common Dreams that Wednesday's nationwide actions are the culmination of a month of mobilizing: "All of our organizations have been working through August to raise support, holding meetings and attending town halls. We've come together as a group of peace organizations today to try and make a really strong showing outside of congressional offices, because there's power in numbers."
Updates and commentary on the actions, still ongoing at the time of publication, are being posted to Twitter:
The coordinated mobilizations are aimed at countering a well-funded campaign against the agreement. They come on the heels of numerous rallies and messages organized from within Iran, and the global diaspora, urging Congress to embrace the agreement—and cultivate peace with Iran.
Dozens of Iranian civil society leaders and dissidents launched a social media campaign this week backing the deal, including those who have faced direct repression from the Iranian government, arguing that it will ease devastating sanctions and military escalation, and ultimately open up more space for social movements.
"Those who have paid the highest price for the cause of democracy and human rights in Iran support the nuclear deal, not despite their pro-democracy and human rights activism, but precisely because of it," said Mohamadreza Jalaeipour, a former political prisoner, of the project.