Pack the Courts, End the War
Posted by raleighfist on May 3, 2007
Three members of Raleigh FIST along with members of Chapel Hill SDS participated in a direct action to demand an immediate ending to the war in Iraq under the slogan ” CUT OFF THE FUNDING- there is a PRICE FOR WAR!” .
Dear Anti-War Friends and Allies—
Representative Price has failed to represent the will of the people and lead us out of Iraq. Instead, Price is trying to appease the growing anti-war movement which is sweeping through North Carolina and the rest of the country with empty rhetoric and failed promises of action. On February 16 2007, six students, as part of a larger coordinated national effort, visited Price’s Chapel Hill office to share our grave concerns about his supposed commitment to end the Iraq War. David Price’s political advisor, Rose Auman, would not allow us to speak to Price by phone. Instead, Auman called the Chapel Hill Police Department to intimidate and silence us. The David Price Six were arrested and charged with first degree trespassing for the ‘crime’ of exercising our first amendment rights to seek a redress of grievances from our Congressperson. When we invited Congressman Price to come to our trial to testify as to his position about our country’s invasion and occupation of Iraq, he wrote to District Attorney James Woodall and asked him to drop the charges against us. Woodall declined.
On Friday, March 23, Rep. David Price and the U.S. House of Representatives voted for war by funding an additional $100 billion dollars to continue the criminal Iraq Occupation. The Democratic leadership, which was elected on an anti-war mandate, framed this vote as a win—as ‘the first check on the president’s failed Iraq policy’. This supplemental was non-binding, calling for a withdrawal by March of 2008. This is a farce! The overwhelming majority of U.S. service people, Iraqi civilians, and American citizens want the troops out now!
Last week, President Bush’s veto of the Democratic Party’s war supplemental was extremely troubling. It was a weak bill, however; the next one the Democratic leadership puts forward will be even weaker. Iraq is in turmoil. Attacks against occupying forces are increasing and the U.S. surge has failed. Over 300 Iraqi civilians and 3 U.S. service people are dying every day bringing the death toll to over 655,000 Iraqi civilians and 3,358 U.S. service people. The Bush administration and mainstream media are using fear to keep us in Iraq—Both fear of letting down our soldiers in the field and fear of an Iraqi civil war. First, the best way to support the troops is to move them out of harms way. Second, there is no civil war. Just as the U.S. was born out of a strong resistance against the English invaders and occupiers, there is a strong Iraqi resistance movement against the U.S. invaders and occupiers. We stand in solidarity with the Iraqi Resistance and their struggle to throw the U.S. occupiers out!
Join us the Monday as we tell Price and the Bush Administration that we will not be silenced. We will continue to speak, continue to seek justice and continue to engage in civil disobedience until our collective voices drown out our politician’s shameful support for this crime against humanity, the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
Join us as we say—IRAQ FOR IRAQIS, TROOPS OUT NOW!
The David Price Six—
Laura Bickford, Ben Carroll, Alisan Fathalizadeh, Sara Joseph, Dante Strobino, Tamara Tal
What: Support the David Price Six!
When: Monday, May 7th– Rally at 1 PM—Pack the Court at 2 PM!
Where: Chapel Hill Courthouse (in the post office)—East Franklin Street
Warning: Don’t let the Democratic Party leadership and the ’08 Presidential Election veto the antiwar movement.
President Bush’s veto of the Democratic Party’s bill containing a non-binding timetable for withdrawal of troops from Iraq displayed once again the Administration’s absolute contempt for the will of the people, who are now overwhelmingly in favor of ending the occupation.
But more ominous than Bush’s inevitable veto of the war funding bill is the prospect of the leadership of the Democratic Party “vetoing” and derailing the anti-war movement by pretending to be against the war while continuing to support it with billions of dollars of more war funding.
The Democratic Party was elected to control of the House and Senate with a mandate to end the war. As pressure grew from the antiwar movement for the Democrats to cut off the funding and withdraw the troops immediately, they turned to a desperate act of political theater in a an attempt to change the subject, attaching their support for continued funding for the war to a non-binding timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.
The Democratic Party bill, even if not vetoed, would not have required the withdrawal of a single soldier from Iraq. The bill allowed Bush to exempt entire categories of troops at his discretion, including: troops “training the Iraqi military;” troops engaged in “special operations”; and troops “protecting diplomatic enclaves” including the U.S. Embassy and the Green Zone. This means that Bush could maintain current troop levels in Iraq and still be in compliance with the Democrats’ bill.
Furthermore, even if Bush agreed to observe withdrawal dates that the Democrats suggested, it would mean that this criminal, colonial war would go on for at least another year and a half. Another year of Iraqi civilians and U.S. soldiers dying; Another year of Abu-Ghraib style torture. Another year of a criminal occupation.
Actually the truth of this “antiwar” charade is even worse. Everybody knew all the time that Congress would put on an antiwar show, and after Bush vetoed the bill containing non-binding withdrawal timetables, they would then give Bush the war funding. Leading Democrats announced months ago that they had absolutely no intention of cutting off the funding for the war.
By pretending to fight Bush on the war, Congress is hoping to neutralize the growing movement demanding the immediate end to this criminal war and occupation. Democrats in Congress hope that by hiding behind non-binding resolutions, imaginary timetables, and other acts of political theater they will send the message to those of us who have marched and organized to end the war that we don’t need to march and mobilize anymore, because the real struggle against the war is now in Congress.
Part of this message is that, instead of taking to the streets to demand that Congress cut of all war funds and bring the troops home now, we should instead come in off the streets and sign up to support whoever the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate is in 2008. We must never again allow the antiwar movement to be co-opted, misled, and demobilized in the name of Presidential politics or the agenda of either major political Party.
Let’s make sure to stay in the streets, continue to demand that Congress cut of all war funding, stay focused on the demand for immediate withdrawal of all troops, and stay independent of both the Democrats and the Republicans who share responsibility for the war.
Only the people will stop this criminal war. Tomorrow, antiwar groups across the U.S. have called for demonstrations against Bush’s veto. We urge you to take part in these demonstrations and demand that the troops be brought home now — no phony timetables, no more political theater, no waiting for after the 2008 Presidential elections — now!