This is somewhat surreal:

two weeks after an article highlighting peace movement leadership's retreat on war funding issues (www.politico.com/news/stories/0108/7949.html); and

almost a year after peace activists reminded the leadership - kevin martin -of peace action, sue udry of ufpj, eli of moveon etc - that the way to stop the war is to stop funding it ( http://www.democrats.com/moveon-explanation-1); and

a week after sue udry says she's up for trying to promote filibuster of funding, polling ufpj or peace organization members to see what WE would like to do and whether WE would like to demand that the Democratic majority stop introducing bills for vote that fund the occupation. . .

we get this rallying cry from Leslie Cagan ( lesliecagan@igc.org) which says "This Is Our Time to Respond. We Will Not Be Silent!"

WITHOUT SAYING OUT LOUD WHAT OUR DEMANDS ARE!

A particular strategy was designed by the National Steering Committee in December 2007 ( http://www.unitedforpeace.org/article.php?id=3817) which declared the ending funding for the war was one of two key goals of 2008 efforts. But nothing about this declared intent of UFPJ's goals is mentioned in the literature/email about the March actions: no demands, no accountability for Democratic leadership and legislators who continue to introduce funding bills for the war and who refuse to filibuster. Why not?

We - peace activists - demand the Democrats stop introducing bills to continue funding the war and that they filibuster spending bills. We demand that our peace movement institutions (UFPJ, Peace Action, Move On etc.) work to expose instead of to obscure the responsibility of the Democratic majority which is funding this occupation/war.

Without demands what does Leslie Cagan/UFPJ's action represent? A publicity stunt for UFPJ. It does our coalition a disservice to invest our members' time and energy in theater when we do not deign to clearly inform participants and the Democratic Legislature of our demands and of consequences for not delivering.

Note: by demands I obviously don't mean: "end the war now!" or "we want justice and peace". I mean demands that don't allow spinmeisters to say we are fighting for peace and continue to fund the war, allow bills to fund the war to come to a vote, or support those funding bills by not filibustering them in the senate.

Is there accountability for peace movement leadership which promotes such ineffective energy-sapping actions while effective actions are patently obvious to increasing numbers of peace activists? Please someone, with clear vision and deliberate purpose, take over UFPJ and make it an effective peace organization!

Robert Jereski

On Feb 1, 2008, at 12:26 PM,  ufpj-legislative-request@lists.mayfirst.org wrote:


Dear Friends,

Below is the call for the day of nonviolent civil disobedience and
direct action that will take place in Washington, DC on March 19th, the
5th anniversary of the war in Iraq. United for Peace and Justice is
coordinating this effort, along with several other projects around the
5th anniversary.

Please be sure to share this call as widely as possible. In addition to
whatever local actions your group is planning, we encourage you to plan
now to send at least a delegation of people from your area to be part of
this action in Washington. It is important that we organize the largest
turn out possible and we want to make sure the action is national in
that there are participants from every part of the country.

As always, call the UFPJ office (212-868-5545) if you have questions
about the plans for the action in Washington, DC on March 19th - or want
to discuss anything else!!

peace,

Leslie Cagan
National Coordinator, UFPJ

-------------------------------------------

5 Years Too Many!
Take Action in the Nation's Capitol

Wednesday, March 19



March 19th will mark the beginning of the 6th year of the U.S.
occupation of Iraq. Enough is enough! We are organizing creative,
nonviolent acts of civil disobedience in Washington, DC, to interrupt
business as usual for those promoting and profiting from war and empire
building. Focusing on the pillars of war, our actions will take place at
multiple sites, demonstrating the real costs of war and offering visions
for a more just and sustainable world, a world at peace.

Five years of war and occupation in Iraq ... at what cost?

* A country in shambles with 650,000 to 1 million Iraqis dead or
wounded, 4,000,000 displaced, families and communities ripped
apart. Nearly 4,000 U.S. service people killed and over 40,000
wounded, many then neglected by our government. All the while U.S.
corporations reap huge profits as they plan to control Iraq's oil.

* Over $1.2 trillion spent on death and destruction, while at home
millions of uninsured have no access to affordable healthcare,
public infrastructure is collapsing, the housing mortgage crisis
is growing, unemployment is rising and the Gulf Coast has yet to
be rebuilt.

* Continued abuses on our natural environment with corporate greed
protected. The Arctic and Greenland melting before our eyes,
Indigenous cultures and peoples being destroyed, extreme climate
events -- all tied to the addiction to oil.

* Torture, illegal surveillance, domestic spying, erosion of civil
liberties. A criminal administration with a Congress and judiciary
no longer offering adequate checks and balances. The Constitution,
with its articles of impeachment, rendered irrelevant and
disregarded.

* And now threats of an attack on Iran and escalation of the U.S.
military operation in Afghanistan. False claims of weapons of mass
destruction, while all along the WMDs have been right here in the
U.S.

These Are the Times in Which We Live.

This Is Our Time to Respond. We Will Not Be Silent!
Join the Nonviolent Action and Civil Disobedience in Washington DC

Wednesday, March 19



United by common demands and organizing principles, groups are
encouraged to participate in nonviolent mass actions and/or organize
their own actions in coordination with others. There could be sit-ins,
die-ins, blockades, pray-ins, bike blockades, street theater, poetry
readings, puppets, speak-outs and more at government agencies, war
profiteers, corporate media, military recruitment centers, or other
pillars of war and empire in DC. Unleash Your Imagination!

Start organizing affinity groups and local meetings now. For more
information about the DC actions on March 19th contact:
www.5yearstoomany.org

or email  dc@5yearstoomany.org .