I began writing this column the intent was to focus on action. There’s
been enough complaining. Action speaks loud and clear to the Pigs
of the Power Structure (POPs).
Here’s how you can support or join a vigil for
healthcare and oppose war funding.
Democrats of America (PDA) has begun organizing "brownbag"
lunch vigils against war funding at the district offices of a number
of members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
On February 17th, PDA will be joined by CODEPINK,
AfterDowningStreet, Democrats.com, the California Nurses Assn./National
Nurses United, and United for Peace and Justice in holding brownbag
vigils outside (or inside) at least 36 congress members' offices.
Brownbaggers are demanding commitments to vote against more money
for war. Slogans on their posters include: "Healthcare
not Warfare," "Corporations out of Politics,"
"Bailout Main Street not Wall Street,"
and "Brownbaggers not Teabaggers".
Vigils have been planned in the following districts: AZ-5, CA-6,
CA-9, CA-10, CA-18, CA-22, CA-23, CA-40, CA-42, CA-45, CA-46, CA-48,
CA-50, CA-53, FL-9, FL-10, FL-17, ID-01, IN-9, MA-1, MA-2, MA-3,
MA-10, MI-9, NY-18, NY-28, OH-13, OH-17, PA-02, PA-7, PA-15, WA-2,
WA-3, WA-6, WI-3, WI-7.
are almost all at noon on Wednesday the 17th,
but a few are at odd times, so check the details: http://tr.im/NsUa
involved here and start a vigil in a new district: http://tinyurl.com/brownbagvigil
Brownbaggers are asking members of the House to publicly commit
to voting No on any bills that fund wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan,
or Yemen, and to publicly urge their colleagues and the House leadership
to make the same commitment. As lesser steps in the same direction,
PDA is encouraging congress members to cosponsor HR 2454, calling
for an exit strategy from Afghanistan, and HR 3699, prohibiting
any increase in the number of U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan.
Congress members' commitments are tracked at http://defundwar.org.
"We have to choose between jobs and wars," said PDA's
national director Tim Carpenter. "The American people are on
one side, but our so-called representatives in Congress are on the
other. The Supreme Court is busy increasing corporate control of
our elected officials. We need to be busy enforcing the people's
control before it is too late."
"Without wasteful war and
military spending," said PDA's deputy director Laura Bonham,
"we could have healthcare, jobs, housing, education, retirement
security, environmental sustainability, diplomacy and foreign aid.
No longer will we take seriously anyone's claim to support these
things while voting to fund more war."
Learn more about Brown Bag Lunch Vigils here: http://tinyurl.com/brownbagvigil
Print useful information:
Print these posters:
#1 - Brownbaggers not Teabaggers
#2 - Corporations out of Politics
#3 - Bailout Main Street not Wall Street
As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observed over 40 years ago, “A nation
that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense
than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death,”
and “of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is
the most shocking and inhumane.”
And yet here we are, over four decades later, spending what
seems to be limitless money for endless wars. We can pay for
warfare but not healthcare, for bombs but not books, for weapons
but not windmills, for hellfire but not homes. As the wars in Afghanistan
and Iraq labor on, with no end in sight, it's become alarmingly
clear that they have exacted a staggering human and financial toll
on the Iraqi, Afghan, and American people. Something is terribly
In light of this sad state, Progressive Democrats of
America is extending and expanding the Healthcare NOT Warfare campaign to raise
awareness among the public and our elected officials that
the electorate is not being served by current U.S. policies.
and our allies call on the Obama administration and the United States
Congress to begin redirecting the money spent on war and death into
human needs here at home and abroad. We demand humanitarian and
reconstructive aid for the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, not money
for troop escalation and permanent bases. We demand that wasteful
and unnecessary military spending be directed toward healthcare,
jobs, and housing in America. We demand an end to the
unjust and illegitimate wars against, and occupations of, Afghanistan
Brown Bag Lunch Vigil Campaign is calling on our members, and like-minded
individuals and organizations, to gather on the third Wednesday
of every month in front of—and in—congressional offices
in districts across the country. We’re asking you to spend your
lunch hour exercising your First Amendment Rights by holding vigils,
rallies, meetings with aides and representatives, pickets, and demonstrations
that will serve to educate our elected officials, the public, and
the press about the human and financial costs of war and militarism.
Specifically, PDA and our allies call on President
Obama and Congress to support HR 2404, calling for an exit
strategy from Afghanistan; HR 3699, prohibiting
any increase in the number of U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan, and
to establish improved and expanded Medicare for All to
residents of the United States. We cannot let them forget that we
are watching and waiting for the next election.
how to get involved:
a vigil here. If
you don't see a vigil near you, look below to see how to create
the Healthcare NOT Warfare flyer and
the Why do we need Brown Bag Lunch Vigils? flyer. Customize
the BBLV flyer for your group, and make copies of both flyers. Get
your promotional Healthcare NOT Warfare materials here.
to the National Priorities Project to
find data on the actual cost of the wars and
on the social programs your community could have funded with
those tax dollars. Use these figures to make signs for your vigils.
the word! Write about your Brown Bag Lunch Vigil
on your blog, Facebook, and Twitter.
forget your brown bag lunch and Healthcare NOT Warfare stickers.
Take your lunch in PDA's Healthcare NOT Warfare canvas
create a BBLV event:
your vigil here. Your vigil will be promoted to our
calendar so others can find you. For more information, contact the
team at [email protected].
a personalized copy of this letter to your representative and this letter to your senators. Find your representative and senators here. Or
schedule an in-person meeting with your member of Congress
or the legislative aide on miltary issues to determine your
representative or senator's support.
on activities and developments pertaining to your
lobbying effort using the Brown Bag Lunch Vigil Google document.
Check coalition partner AfterDowningStreet.org's
DefundWar.org to see how your legislators
have voted on war funding.
articles for publication on the PDA web site detailing
your experiences to [email protected]a.org.
It is especially important to share what works and what doesn't
with other activists.
Visit the PDA End War and Occupations,
Redirect Funding IOT page:
For flyers and handouts, click on Fliers and
For information on HR 2404, HR 3699, and other legislation, click
on Legislation and Analysis.
For links to Websites with up-to-the-minute information and statistics
on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, click on Resources.
your representative in Congress must hear from you between elections.
If you can’t join a Brownbagger demonstration plan to contact your
lawmakers as an individual. A personal call, letter or email is
best. Here are links for you to use to find your representatives
in the House and Senate and White House.
the U.S. House of Representatives: http://www.house.gov/
(enter your zip code in the upper left corner of the page)
the U.S. Senate: http://senate.gov/
(choose your state using the drop down menu in the upper right corner)
House Comment Line - 202.456.1111
House Switchboard - 202.456.1414
House Website contact form: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
BlackCommentator.com Publisher and Chief Technical Officer
Peter Gamble, is the recipient of a national Sigma Delta Chi award
for public service in journalism and numerous other honors for excellence
in reporting and investigative reporting. The “beats” he covered
as a broadcast journalist ranged from activism in the streets to
the State Department and White House. The lure of a personal computer
on his desk inspired a career change in 1985 and an immersion into
what he sees as the future of communications. The acquisition of
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