ACTION ALERT: Oppose Escalating Crisis in Iraq --April 29 – May 1
April 27, 2004
United for Peace and Justice
A call for demonstrations at Congressional office buildings and town squares to express concern about the spiraling chaos stemming from the growing resistance to the US occupation of Iraq. Fact sheets about the occupation and petitions are available on-line.
Take action to express urgent concern about the repression and chaos inside Iraq.
During the first half of April, a spiral of violence has taken the lives of growing numbers of Iraqis and Americans.
Hundreds of Iraqis and more than 100 US troops have been killed so far this month.
The siege of Fallujah led to the deaths of nearly 1,000 people when the Pentagon responded to an atrocity against Americans with excessive force and collective punishment.
Throughout Iraq, occupation troops continue to violate the human rights of the Iraqi people by firing into civilian areas, detaining thousands of men and boys without charges, interfering with medical assistance, demolishing homes, and curtailing the rights of free press and freedom of assembly.
The crisis in Iraq demands our attention, and our action. If the mission was "accomplished" a year ago, then it's high time to end the occupation and bring home the troops.
The situation in Iraq is but one part of the deadly policies of the Bush Administration; now is the time for us to make the connections. Just last week Bush met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and lent unilateral US support to his plan to leave settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories in tact.
A few days later, another Palestinian leader was assassinated by the Israeli military, with no sanctions taken by the U.S. The Bush Administration's policies are aggravating an already intolerable crisis, one that could quickly engulf the whole region. Occupation: wrong in Iraq, wrong in Palestine.
UNITED FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE URGES YOU TO TAKE THE FOLLOWING STEPS:
• Organize and April 30 or May 1 action in front of the office of your Senators or Representatives and/or at other prominent locations.
• Hold a vigil, picket or rally in front of the office of your elected officials, or at some other high visibility location.
• Invite military families and veterans in your area to participate in the event.
• Bring posters with pictures or names of Americans and Iraqis who have been killed in the war and occupation.
Some groups might prefer to schedule a meeting with Senators or Congressional Representatives. Find out in advance if this legislator is among those calling for increased numbers of troops. It is important to convey your conviction that this does not represent your views and that to lower the level of American and Iraqi casualties, occupation troops should be removed from population centers now.
Be sure to emphasize that the continued presence of an American army of occupation is an impediment to the peace, self-determination and security of both the American and Iraqi people.
Remember, just a few people holding signs outside a Congressional office or in a busy area can send a strong message. Please list your event at http://unitedforpeace.org/calendar_gxinput.php
CIRCULATE UFPJ'S PETITION AND FACT SHEETS ON IRAQ.
UFPJ's new petition on the occupation is available on our web site at http://unitedforpeace.org/downloads/emergencypetition.pdf
and educational materials are available to download from
Start collecting signatures immediately, for delivery to your Senators and Representatives on May 1, or begin circulating the petition on May 1 for delivery on Memorial Day weekend. The petition campaign will continue in the coming weeks, but we hope to gather tens of thousands of signatures by May 1st.
Please make copies of the completed petitions before you mail them in: you will want to keep one copy for your group and we would love to get copies here at the UFPJ office. That will help us keep track of how the petition campaign is going all around the nation.
GET THE MEDIA'S ATTENTION ON APRIL 29
Letters to the Editor and Calls to Radio Talk Shows
We must get out the message that sending in more troops is NOT the answer to Iraq's problems. Use the anniversary of Bush's "mission accomplished" speech as an opportunity to write a letter to the editor explaining that the occupation is part of the problem, NOT the solution.
Then take this message to the airwaves: every city and town has dozens of radio talk shows that allow call-ins. Make a call on April 29 and explain why the occupation is actually increasing the level of chaos and violence in Iraq and needs to end. Use the calls to help promote the vigil or other activity you're organizing for April 30 or May 1. Information on how to do participate in this media campaign will be on our web site in a day or two: http://www.unitedforpeace.org
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