The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Phone: (212) 868-5545

Tax Day Actions For Peace!

Defund the Afghanistan Escalation! National Call-in Days April 13-15


Spring is here, but the endless, pointless wars grind on. U.S. troops are preparing for an offensive in Afghanistan 's Helmand province. As
people lose their homes, their jobs, and struggle to make ends meet; as
teachers are laid off and libraries are closed across America ; money
gushes into the war and military budgets.

Make the Cost of War Clear

On April 15, it will be Tax Day once again. 28 cents out of every tax dollar goes to war, plus another 23 cents for past wars. Tax Day is a great opportunity for peace groups to reach out
to our neighbors and remind them that our economy and public services
are being starved to feed the Pentagon and military contractors.

Get a few friends and set up a table outside your Post Office after work on April 15, while people are rushing in to file their tax returns.

  • UFPJ member groups have created some great educational materials on where our tax money goes - download these flyers and hand them out.
  • Another great idea is the "Penny Poll". Use four jars labeled Housing, Education, Health, and Military, to represent a simplified view of the federal budget. Hand passers-by ten pennies and tell them to pretend they are a member of Congress and to vote to allocate their resources. Then show them how our money is really spent.
  • If
    you can get a wireless connection at your tabling location, bring a
    laptop and ask passers by to type their federal tax amount into
    National Priorities Project's interactive tax chart. It will instantly show them how the government is going to spend their money.
  • Hand antiwar passersby a cell phone and ask them to call their Congressperson (202-224-3121) then and there (see below).

Defund the Afghanistan Escalation! National Call-in Days April 13-15

of us call members of Congress more often than we call our closest
friends. And this week, UFPJ, along with other national organizations,
are asking you to call your Representatives and Senators yet again. We cannot be passive as President Obama breaks his promise that he would seek "No More Emergency War Funding."

to Congress: We urge you to vote against the $33 billion Supplementary
spending bill to pay for the escalation of troops in Afghanistan and to
require that the White House present a rapid, real and complete "exit
plan" for ending the war.

Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121

5 Reasons why this is worth doing:

1) There are no signs that left to its own devices the Obama Administration is ending the war in Afghanistan any time soon.

The McChrystal counter-insurgency strategy is already not working,
but Afghan civilians and US soldiers are paying the price.

3) As of now, any brake on the war must come from Congress.

Our calls make a difference. Before we did call-ins last month for the
Kucinich resolution, only a handful of Representatives were prepared to
vote in favor. Pressure from the grassroots brought that number to 65.

Even if we lose, a substantial "No" vote on the Supplemental and future
budget requests will serve notice to the White House that they need
to wind down the war, not escalate.

Focus Attention on Congress - Jobs Not War!

On April 21, UFPJ continues our monthly Brown Bag Lunch Vigils
at congressional offices, cosponsored with Progressive Democrats of
America, CODEPINK: Women for Peace, After Downing Street, and others. This month, our focus will be on stopping the Afghanistan supplemental appropriation. We'll point out the Miller jobs bill, HR.4812, as a practical plan to create or save 1 million public sector and nonprofit jobs for $100 billion. Find a vigil near you or organize one.

We need our voices to be louder, not weaker. Please make the call this week, and forward this message to your lists. And take this as an opportunity to contact good friends and urge them to call the Congress as well.

United for Peace and Justice was founded, in 2003, to build a coalition of local and national peace and justice organizations to prevent the War on Iraq. The conflicts raging around the world today make it clear that the need to work for peace remains more important than ever. That is why UFPJ reorganized, in 2008, as a network and now operates with an all-volunteer Coordinating Committee, supported by one part-time staff member who assists with UFPJ action alerts, campaigns, and organizing. They meet weekly to manage the ongoing communication and administrative requirements of the network.