NEWS BRIEFS : War on Homeless? | It Ain't Over | Is War Necessary? | Council Hooky | Cops and Developers | $250 an Ounce | Corrections/Clarifications
Not in My Name Hundreds gather in Eugene to call for peace.
News: Join the Party Beer riots at other schools offer lessons.
News: Anticipating War Undercovered #25: more news frominternational sources.
People: Len Casanova
Confrontations between local homeless and law enforcement are heating up just as the night temperatures on the streets of Eugene are turning chilly. At issue is city of Eugene Ordinance 4.815, which makes it illegal for any person to "camp in or upon any sidewalk, street, alley, lane, public right-of-way, park or any other publicly owned property ..."
|HOMELESS PROTESTERS GATHER AT CITY HALL THIS WEEK.|
In early September, homeless activists say the Eugene Parks and Recreation Department, assisted by the Eugene Police Department, began rousting hundreds of people from makeshift camps along the Willamette River and in alleys and side streets downtown and in the Whiteaker neighborhood. "There's nowhere in Eugene you can legally sleep. You can be hidden away, tucked out of sight, and they'll come looking for you," said "Traveler," one of dozens of homeless people who been camping out on city and county property to draw attention to the lack of a legal place to sleep. They're demanding that the city lift the camping ban and establish a homeless camp in or near Eugene.
Early Tuesday morning, Lane County sheriff's deputies confiscated the blankets, clothes and sleeping bags of homeless people at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza and arrested one man for camping illegally. "They were trying to kill us. Taking away our blankets and clothes on nights like this is trying to kill us," said "Kia," who has been helping organize the protests for more than a month.
Later in the morning, Kia, age 25, and John Hubbird, 59, were arrested at the Lane County Courthouse where they and more than a dozen other homeless people and their supporters demanded the return of confiscated gear. Kia, who uses a wheelchair, and Hubbird are being charged with interfering with a police officer, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
According to Lane County officials and sheriff's deputies, arrests have been made after homeless campers left trash on county property, harassed maintenance workers who were trying to clean up and refused to leave county property when ordered.
"We support peaceful protests…. In a safe hygienic atmosphere where people are not interfering with maintenance workers, not leaving trash and not camping," said Melinda Kletzok, public information officer for Lane County.
"This is the annual roundup," said local civil rights attorney Lauren Regan, who witnessed part of Tuesday's protests. "Usually they harass the homeless until they go somewhere else. This time they're not going anywhere." — James Johnston
We've devoted a lot of space this issue to the Eugene area's response to President Bush's war initiative. The vote in Congress scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 10 has potentially disastrous international implications at a time when we face economic, social and environmental chaos on the home front. It's frustrating to see even progressives in Congress waffle on giving the White House unprecedented war powers. We know where DeFazio stands on the issues, along with Wyden, but where is Senate candidate Bill Bradbury?
What's happened to the Living Wage Ordinance proposal that passed the City Council back in August? It was supposed to go to the city manager's office to be drafted by November so the Budget Committee can plan the 2004 budget accordingly. But staff appears to be delaying living wage discussions until budget and council meetings in December, January and February. Such delays could set back implementation of the ordinance until 2005 or later. Is that the intent of the council? the staff? Who's calling the shots here? Let's get this important policy decision on the books and in the budget process ASAP.
This week we return to publishing our annual "Best of Eugene" issue, and at 76 pages it's the largest newspaper we've published in 20 years. Our readership is also booming. We will hit the streets this week with nearly 5,000 more papers than a year ago when an independent audit showed our total readership at 78,000. Our content is expanding — more news, more views, more photos, more arts and entertainment, a larger calendar of events, more jobs for Eugeneans. Thank you all, readers and advertisers, for your support!
SLANT includes short opinion pieces and rumor-chasing notes compiled by the EW staff. Heard any good rumors lately? Contact Ted Taylor at 484-0519, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Oct. 1 agreement on a contract proposal between Guard Publishing and the Eugene Newspapers Guild might imply that all's calm on the labor front for the R-G. But that contract resolves only part of the R-G's labor conflicts.
On Oct. 9, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the R-G's appeal on an injunction to negotiate terms for a first contract with its Distribution Center employees — those workers who package, load and distribute copies of the newspaper.
The distribution employees are represented by Teamsters Union Local 206. According to union representative Stefan Ostrach, they hope to establish a basic contract defining wages and benefits, regulating work hours, and essentially assuring that no employee will suffer unfair treatment within the workplace.
Ostrach says there are "core employees" who work 30 hours a week and are compensated with benefits, and then there are "additional employees" who work 20 hours a week without benefits. As it stands, distribution of hours sometimes causes employees without benefits to work more than their designated 20 hours a week. A contract would clearly define hours and distribution, helping to eliminate such situations of unfair treatment. "It's really just the basics of a first contract," Ostrach says.
Given the Guild's recent approval of Guard Publishing's contract proposal and this Supreme Court ruling in favor of the distribution center employees, is there hope for a speedy contract for these workeres? Ostrach is a bit skeptical. The ruling simply makes for "one less legal pillar [for R-G] to hide behind." But he is also determined. He says, "Labor struggles at the Guard are not over."
R-G Editor and Publisher Tony Baker did not respond by press time to a request for comment. — Bobbie Willis
A forum titled "Is War Necessary?" has been scheduled at 7 pm Tuesday, Oct. 15 at the Erb Memorial Union Ballroom on campus. The forum is sponsored by ASUO and Concerned Faculty for Peace and Justice and is free and open to the public.
Presenters will include Jane Cramer, political science, on "Assessing the Strategic Threat from Iraq"; Gregory Bothun, physics, on "Oil Resources and Foreign Policy"; and Alec Murphy, geography, on "The Geopolitical Consequences of a War in Iraq." Two law professors, Margie Paris and Ibrahim Gassama, will address national and international legal issues. ASUO President Rachel Pilliod will open the plenary.
Following the talks, the audience will be invited to participate in discussion groups.
The Eugene City Council recently voted to cut short evening meetings and make it more difficult for council members to add agenda items to their meetings. Council conservatives complained they were spending too much time in their twice-weekly meetings.
But a look at the proposed council calendar for 2003 shows that elected officials already plan to take off a total of 61 days during the year. The schedule of 12 weeks of council break days may not have been what voters had in mind when they passed a measure last year to pay councilors and the mayor a salary. — Alan Pittman
Developers pay systems development charges (SDCs) for streets and sewers so why not cops?
SDCs are supposed to recoup the costs of extending city services to new construction so current residents don't have to subsidize developer profits. But state law doesn't allow SDCs for new police stations to serve urban sprawl.
The Eugene Police Commission wants to change that. The commission has proposed contacting other cities and organizations to gauge support for a lobbying effort for police SDCs in the Legislature. If there's broad enough support, the commission plans to help build a coalition. — AP
The city of Eugene is moving to more than double its maximum fine for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.
Municipal Court Judge Wayne Allen wrote to the Eugene City Council this month calling for the fine to increase from the current $100 to $250. Allen says the increase is needed to provide an incentive for people to enter a new educational diversion program. The diversion program would cost $90 and the fine would be suspended if a person completes the anti-drug program.
The $90 class would be a cheaper alternative than the $1,000 to $1,300 diversion program now available to offenders. Last year the city court handled 560 cases of possession of less than an ounce. Only 13 defendants requested the current expensive diversion program, according to Allen.
Allen says the new program provides an affordable way for students to avoid marijuana convictions that may hamper their ability to receive financial aid. — AP
Last week we printed an incorrect e-mail address to send comments on the Draft City of Eugene Salmon Protection and Recovery Strategies. A more direct e-mail address for Neil Bjorklund, Eugene senior planner, is email@example.com and the website is www.ci.eugene.or.us/Salmon
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in My Name
Hundreds gather in Eugene to call for peace.
COMPILED BY TED TAYLOR
President Bush's new doctrine of aggression in foreign policy is stirring protests across Oregon, the nation and the world. An estimated 10,000 people marched in Portland Saturday, Oct. 5, and a peace rally in Eugene Oct. 5 drew a crowd of between 600 and 1,000. On hand were people of all ages and from a broad range of livelihoods.
"People all over Oregon are taking to the streets to say 'no' to war with Iraq," says Michael Carrigan, program director of Oregon PeaceWorks. "Small but spirited actions are taking place in communities like Florence and Roseburg. The energy and spirit in Portland was powerful and peaceful. We spoke with one voice and sent a clear message to the White House and the Oregon congressional delegation that Oregonians do not want war."
Here are excerpts from some of the speakers at Saturday's "Not in My Name" rally in Eugene. Transcripts were not available for all speakers at press time.
Eugene is a wonderful community and it's a community that reflects the values of Oregon and America in a way that we're not seeing in the national polls. As the rush to war accelerates in Washington under pressure from the Bush White House, it seems it would be prudent to slow down, ask a few questions, get some answers before Congress stamped into blank-check authorization for the president to wage war against Iraq.
What's changed in the two years since then-candidate Bush said the U.S. will not be the world's policeman, we will not be the 911 number of the world, we won't engage in nation building? Now certainly there were the horrendous attacks of Sept. 11th of last year, but neither the U.S. intelligence agencies nor the British intelligence agencies can find the slightest link between al-Qaeda and Iraq. They've found more substantial links between Syria, Iran, North Korea and other nations and the terrorists. So that can't be the reason behind the White House obsession with Iraq.
Then the president went to the U.N. three weeks ago with a long litany of charges against Iraq. Saddam Hussein is a brutal, psychopathic dictator. He has committed crimes against humanity. He has used chemical weapons against Iranian troops and against rebellious Kurds in his own country, killing tens of thousands, but that was during the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George Bush's father, and the U.S. turned a blind eye because Saddam was allied with the U.S. against Iran. So that can't be the reason. Saddam has violated a number of U.N. resolutions, but all long before the last presidential election. Something else has to be behind this push.
After the election, George Bush brought a number of officials from his father's administration into power … From day one of this administration, they've been determined to go to Baghdad, a goal that was denied to them by Colin Powell and George Bush after the last war with Iraq because of all the questions and the implications of extending that war into the urban center of that country, removing Saddam Hussein from power and the implications of the future of Iraq and the region.
Now these old men — these oil men — none of whom has ever fought in a war, most of whom have never served in the military, are deaf to the very substantial concerns of Colin Powell … General Clark and others who know war all too well. They're deaf to the concerns of the Middle East experts and the Arabists at the State Department, and our intelligence services. They're deaf to the very vocal concerns of our allies around the world, and they're deaf to the concerns of the American people….
Never has the U.S. launched a preemptive war. In the half century since World war II, since such wars have been prohibited under international law and U.N. charter. The prospects of the U.S. pursuing a unilateral, preemptive war with Iraq with little or no support from allies or the international community, in violation of the U.N. Charter and international laws is gravely disturbing. But even more disturbing would be the application of this doctrine by the U.S. or other nations in the future. The U.S. under this doctrine could launch wars against the threat or perceived threat by another nation. …
What does it mean for other nations? Think of India and Pakistan with nuclear weapons pointed at one another. China and Taiwan, Russia and Georgia, the list is long and the rid-list is frightening.
Now fortunately, the founders of our nation were wise and they anticipated that kings and maybe even presidents might be prone to war and they reserved the power to declare war or call forth the militia under Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution to the people's representatives in the House and the U.S. Senate.
Beginning last December, at that time with only 13 other members of Congress, I began to push and say that the president does not have the authority to pursue a war in Iraq and that he would have to return to Congress for such authority. …
I've read the resolution, the so-called compromise bipartisan resolution that's been proposed. It is a total blank check of indefinite and unlimited authority to the president to wage war against Iraq. War should be the last of resorts, not the first of resorts. They say we have no alternative, it's about weapons of mass destruction. But if you read the report that Tony Blair actually submitted to the Parliament, it shows that in fact that even though they were harassed, UNSCOM totally destroyed the nuclear infrastructure of Iraq, and destroyed an estimated 95 percent of all of his weapons of mass destruction — chemical and biological — and the infrastructure that supported them, and most all of the missiles. It did work then and it can work now.
I will return to Washington tomorrow and prepare for this week and I can tell you unequivocally I will vote "no."
There's a small but growing minority in Congress who are raising questions, and I believe that with rallies like this across the country, grassroots activities by concerned Americans speaking out, perhaps some of my other colleagues who are on the fence will reconsider and join us. Thank you for your activism, your concern and your support. Hopefully, we can bring this to a peaceful resolution.
The president has stated that he has nothing but "hate in his heart" for Saddam Hussein. I do not know what church teaches that, but I know it is not mine. I do not know any religion that teaches that, but I know it is not mine. Jesus said, "You have heard it said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemies,' but I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." There is a sign in the back of this crowd that says "Trust Jesus." I believe that is precisely right. We can trust Jesus in this, that love is the stronger force than hate.
The president has called the war on terrorism a "war on evil." But is not evil a spiritual entity? How does one fight a spiritual matter with military means? Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it."
I do not know what God the president worships, but the God I worship calls us to "turn swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks" as declared by the prophet Isaiah. The God I worship calls us to turn bombs into bread and butter. The God I worship seeks to overcome hate with love, evil with good, war with peace.
Irwin H. Noparstak MD
The purpose of the U.S. military is to promote national security and peace. I served in Vietnam in 1968-69. What the U.S. military did there was stupid, destructive, senseless — a horror perpetrated on the Vietnamese, and on U.S. military personnel. It did not help U.S. security, and it destroyed peace.
As a psychiatrist here in Eugene I saw many Vietnam veterans — helping them to get on disability, or helping them get their lives together — sometimes helping them to just maintain their lives. The aftermath of the American War in Vietnam was horrific for the Vietnamese and for Americans, and this aftermath still goes on. We supposedly learned lessons from Vietnam. Do not engage in a war unless there is a clear cut goal that can be accomplished, the mission is accomplished in a limited period of time with a clear exit strategy, there is support from the U.S. populace, there is support from the world community, and once the goal is accomplished, the result is sustainable by the other country. None of these lessons can be applied to a war in Iraq. This is not a way to insure national security or promote peace.
Desert Storm and Desert Shield proved to be disasters for U.S. personnel in many ways.
In the Gulf War, U.S. tanks, helicopters and planes used solid depleted uranium bullets — ranging from 25 mm to 120 mm — to attack enemy tanks and armored personnel carriers. There are more than 300 tons of radioactive dust and shrapnel from the 1991 Gulf War still there, with more to come with a new invasion. U.S. personnel are not trained to cope with this.
According to the VA, of the nearly 700,000 veterans who served in the two desert actions, more than 300,000 have sought VA healthcare. More than 200,000 have filed disability claims. And in August 2002, President Bush slashed $275 million from the healthcare budget of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In the Gulf War we slaughtered the Iraqis needlessly. Our embargo has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children. That war was carried out in the desert but if we go in now, the Iraqi military will be placed in cities so that U.S. military personnel will have to be in the cities, killing even more civilians than before, and being considerably more open to being slaughtered themselves.
War in Iraq makes no sense. Current U.S. military policies are a disgrace to U.S. security, and world peace and protection. This is no way to bring about peace. I certainly don't feel protected or secure. As a citizen and veteran I will continue to speak out and struggle to resist any adventure that so gravely risks the suffering and death of American military personnel and citizenry of other countries — and that clearly promotes neither security nor peace. I invite you to speak out as well.
combat veteran Ed
I am not here today to tell you that there is never a time for war, because from time to time maniacs do come to power — Hitler and Idi Amin come to mind.
I am not here today to tell you that our military men and women are a bunch of mindless savages, though they are sometimes asked to do savage and mindless things (and sometimes they say no).
I am here to tell you that on a list of 1,000 things to do in human relations, war ought to be the thousandth. And war must be for a cause worth dying for. And ladies and gentlemen, oil isn't worth killing for or dying for, and oil is the core of our dysfunctional relationship with the Mideast.
There are two great addictive things that are at the root of most of our foreign relations problems — oil and drugs. In all of Latin America, and most South and Southeast Asia, dope is at the root of our foreign policy — it's that basic. And all of our foreign policy malfunctions in the Arab world are directly tied to oil and our addiction to it — it's that basic, too. Any politician — from either party — who says otherwise is lying or stupid. …
We could change our domestic policies and solve 99 percent of the problems that drugs cause. It just takes the political and social will to make the changes necessary. I pray that day will come sooner than later. And it will take that same sort of change in political and social will to pull the oil needles out of our collective arms. …
It is not "unpatriotic" to see the truth, and it is not unpatriotic to shout about it. What's unpatriotic is buying into the big lies the ultra right is marketing. This coming war is just one of their lies. …
Oil is what our Mideast policies are about, and until we wean ourselves from Mideast oil, our relations with that region will be directed by oil sultans who have sell-outs like Trent (Lott) and the Shrub by their scrawny little necks. It's that simple.
Labor expert Bob Bussel
I have been asked to speak about the implications the impending war in Iraq and the war on terrorism have for workers and the labor movement.
First I want to focus on debate over the formation of the Department of Homeland Security. The debate has serious implications not only for workers and unions, but for all citizens.
As you may know the proposed Department of Homeland Security will combine all federal departments involved in the war on terrorism into a new superagency. Currently, the impasse between Senate Democrats and the administration is holding up this legislation and the issue is workers' rights. President Bush is claiming that collective bargaining rights, union representation and civil service rules would interfere with his attempt to create a "culture of urgency" and thereby threaten our national security by denying him the "flexibility" he needs to fight the war on terrorism.
Bush wants complete power to hire and fire in his new agency; notably, the administration has been resisting a compromise that would give the president much of the flexibility and power he is seeking. …
We should be concerned for several reasons. Debate over workers' rights at Homeland Security is yet another example of this administration's unilateral approach and attempts to centralize power and thwart oversight or possible dissent. … Here, in an important new agency, we see another side of this go-it-alone approach. National security becomes the pretext for abrogating any protections for workers and makes it much harder for them to dissent from or criticize policies with which they disagree. Also, there is something profoundly insulting about suggesting that union affiliation would interfere with national security… So it is imperative that we speak out against this brazen attempt in the name of national security to weaken workers' rights.
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Beer riots at other schools offer lessons.
BY ALAN PITTMAN
The UO isn't the only university that's suffered from beer riots and is searching for solutions.
Student beer riots are a growing part of higher education, according to numerous reports in the Chronicle of Higher Education, campus newspapers and other media.
Here's a rundown of some recent entries to the collegiate hall of shame:
« Two thousand students at Michigan State University rioted in 1998 after administrators banned alcohol at a popular field for student tailgate parties. The next year, 5,000 students set fires, turned over cars and broke windows after a basketball loss.
« Hundreds of University of Connecticut students rioted in 1998, setting bonfires and burning a car.
« At Washington State University, hundreds of students rioted and threw beer cans and rocks at police after the university banned alcohol at fraternities.
« Students at Plymouth State College burned furniture and threw rocks and bottles at police in 1998 after police tried to stop an annual spring party.
« Students at Ohio State University threw bottles, rocks and coins at police after daylight savings time closed bars closing early in 1998.
« University of Colorado students rioted on Halloween 1999, setting bonfires and turning over police cars.
« At Indiana University, 3,000 students rioted to protest the firing of basketball coach Bobby Knight.
« University of Arizona students set fires and overturned cars following a basketball tournament loss last year.
« University of Maryland students burned mattresses and sofas, starting fires that caused $500,000 in damages and trashed several homes after a basketball loss last year.
« Purdue students rioted, tipping cars, setting fires and throwing rocks and bottles at police after their basketball team lost last year. A basketball win had resulted in similar rioting the year before.
« Four thousand Penn State students rioted after a basketball loss last year.
The beer riot experience of the other universities may offer some clues on the causes and solutions to the repeated riots at the UO. Based on reports in the Chronicle and elsewhere, there's no silver bullet for the growing problem, but possible lessons include:
« Many of the riots appear related to big time university sports. Michigan State campus police blame their top ranking in alcohol arrests on home games. "Football Saturdays alone can really spike our numbers," police told the Chronicle.
In the past the UO has justified athletic expenditures by claiming that a winning athletic team is a valuable student recruiting tool. The UO hasn't made any claims about the quality of the students athletics attracts.
Indiana University Prof. Murray Sperber has written three books criticizing big time university sports for creating a "beer and circus" culture at universities that repels serious students while attracting people focused on partying.
UO tailgate parties have been the scene of heavy public drinking, despite laws prohibiting open alcohol containers and underage drinking. The university indirectly profits from beer advertising on broadcasts of football games.
« As schools have cracked down on student drinking, there's a growing "right to party" movement at universities. "The way students see it, their 'right' to drink is being stripped away. When they are intoxicated and in large groups, the resulting anger can escalate into mob violence," the Chronicle reports. Students cling to beer as a symbol of adult freedom. Students have rioted in opposition to crackdowns on student drinking and parties.
« Many of the riots occurred at large crowded campuses where students can feel alienated. UO enrollment is at a record high.
« Alternative university concerts and other non-alcohol. events can help, but have mixed success. Iowa State used such tactics to quell a notorious party weekend, but at the University of Connecticut, a similar effort flopped. Only 100 students came to the U.C.-sponsored event while thousands drank and rioted off campus.
« Several universities such as Penn State, University of Connecticut and Michigan State have had years of repeated riots despite severe police and school discipline crackdowns.
«Many riots appear mindless. The Chronicle reported a student photojournalist description of the IU riot over firing Bob Knight, "I even have pictures of women flashing their breasts during a chant of 'Boobs for Bob,'" he said.
« Unlike the UO, most universities, 75 percent in one survey, punish students for off-campus conduct, the Chronicle reported. But suspending or otherwise punishing students for off campus riots hasn't stopped new students from rioting at many campuses. Some campuses have struggled with thorny questions of whether students not yet convicted of crimes or charged with minor, non-university related offenses should be expelled.
At the UO, a few star players have had off-campus legal problems in the past. « City police departments have posted photographs of rioting Michigan State and Washington State students on the internet and offered rewards for identifying rioters.
« Ohio State University surveyed students after repeated riots. Five percent said they were part of crowds during the riots. Almost two-thirds said large numbers of police created hostility that lead to violence. Half said police response was excessive.
« Repeated riots at Penn State have damaged the value of a degree from the school. Students interviewing for jobs have faced questions about the riots and feel that it's now harder to find employment, the student paper reported.
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Undercovered #25: more news frominternational sources.
BY KATE GESSERT
« On Sept. 20, the new U.S. National Security Strategy was released, stating that if the U.S. government decides a country is a future threat to America, or harbors people who are a potential threat, the U.S. will preemptively intervene to eliminate the threat, through "regime change" if necessary. This new doctrine contradicts centuries-old international understandings about sovereignty and equality of nations (William Pfaff, International Herald Tribune).
« Iraq has the world's second largest oil reserves. The U.S. is offering Security Council members post regime-change access to Iraqi oil. However, Russia and France have already negotiated contracts for oil development in Iraq. Resolving inspections issues and lifting sanctions without war would be to their advantage — but not to U.S. advantage (Foreign Policy in Focus).
« Cost estimates for war with Iraq range from $50 billion to $200 billion, excluding post-war occupation expenses and humanitarian efforts (AlterNet). The U.S. economy's foreign debt, owed to governments and private investors in Europe and Asia, will reach $2.5 trillion this year, approaching 25 percent of gross domestic product. History suggests that creditor nations will pull the plug once U.S. debt grows so enormous that lending is dangerous, or creditors tire of reckless U.S. ventures (The Nation).
« Iraqi civilians are already weak and vulnerable because of sanctions and previous wars. Many depend on rations from the oil-for-food program (BBC). Only 84 percent of Iraqi children reach age 5; almost a million are malnourished (UNICEF, Iraq News Agency). Aid workers in Iraq warn of a "humanitarian disaster" if there is a new war: disrupted food distribution, further damage to bombed water and sanitation systems, ethnic strife. Looking at Afghanistan, aid workers fear there would be a similar lack of interest in post-war reconstruction for Iraq (BBC).
« Constituent mail about war with Iraq has flooded U.S. congressional offices in recent weeks, with most letters and phone calls opposed to war. Letters can easily be sent to Congress through www.progressiveportal.org/letters/global.iraq/
« This past weekend, a year after the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan, demonstrators across the U.S. spoke together in rallies called "Not in Our Name." Up to 1,000 people gathered in Eugene, 11,500 in Portland, 25,000 in New York City, 12,000 in San Francisco (www.notinourname.net).In Italy, 1.5 million people protested against war with Iraq (UPI).
« A recent Pew Research Center poll shows that among Democrats, only 42 percent support war, dropping to 13 percent if the U.S. acts unilaterally — figures that might interest Democratic congresspeople.
« According to Senator Graham, Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, intelligence briefings indicate an attack on Iraq could provoke international terrorist attacks within the U.S. If Iraq attacks Israel, and Israel responds with nuclear weapons, "the worst case is modern Armageddon" (St. Petersburg Times).
« In September 2000, before Bush's election, the neo-conservative Project for the New American Century produced a report for Cheney, Rumsfield, Wolfowitiz and others, Rebuilding America's Defenses. The document focuses on "maintaining global U.S. pre-eminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests." Ways of doing this include taking military control of the Gulf region with or without the "immediate justification" of removing Saddam Hussein. Another suggestion: "Advanced forms of biological warfare that can target specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool" (Sunday Herald).
« Israelis warn that an attack on Iraq could unleash "ethnic cleansing" of the Palestinians (Spectator, U.K.). Jordanian intelligence has leaked details of a Sharon plan to drive "hundreds of thousands" of Palestinians into Jordan on the day the U.S. attacks Iraq, when the Palestinians would become "a totally unacceptable threat to the safety of Israel" (Globe-Intel.)
« As olive harvesting began on the West Bank, Israeli settlers reportedly often came first and stole olives from Palestinian orchards. Settlers harassed, beat, shot and killed Palestinian farmers. Israeli peace activists arrived and picked olives quickly with Palestinian villagers near Kfar Yassuf. After armed settlers arrived, IDF soldiers ordered activists and Palestinians out, declaring the orchards a "closed military zone" (Coalition of Women for Peace).
« In Nablus, the largest West Bank city, which has been under 24-hour military curfew since June, Palestinians have reopened their schools. Some 90 percent of Nablus children are attending (Independent) in defiance of the curfew, in spite of soldiers in tanks reportedly chasing and shooting at the children and throwing tear gas cannisters. This week several children were shot. Suzan, an International Solidarity Movement volunteer working to protect schoolchildren, writes, "May we learn from the people of Nablus. They know that there is power in numbers, that there is great strength in organizing, that hope is a magical force, and that you can beat the world's fifth largest army with your head and your heart."
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