Larger than Expected Protests at the DNC
Thousands more will work to steer the election on this issue after the conventions in one million homes across the country.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Democrats may have believed that most activists would concentrate their efforts at the Republican National Convention; but, public sentiment against the war in Iraq has equally marred the opinion of a Congress controlled by Democrats.
“There are lots of activists here with different issues but the one salient issue which we all can agree on is Iraq,” said Jonathan Williams, Student Peace Action Coordinator in an interview from Denver. He continued, “The Democrats are just as accountable as the Bush administration for keeping us in Iraq. People here know that – the American people know that.”
In response to the overwhelming public opinion condemning both Republicans and Democrats for compliance with Bush administration policies in Iraq a collation of peace groups working to end the war in Iraq announced plans for the year’s largest anti-war mobilization to follow-up on the conventions. Million Doors for Peace, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 20, will ask at least one million people throughout the country to sign petitions urging the next Congress to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq within one year.
The coalition launched its website, www.MillionDoorsForPeace.org/pa, last week and is encouraging activists protesting at the conventions to continue their activism in their neighborhoods at home. The action combines the best of grassroots activism and support from the netroots. The campaign will allow tens of thousands of volunteers to download a neighborhood “walk list” from the coalition website. Volunteers will use this public information to talk to and identify neighbors who oppose the Iraq war and will invite them to join the efforts to end the war.
Leslie Cagan, National Coordinator of United for Peace and Justice, said, “The antiwar sentiment throughout the country has never been stronger. To help bring greater visibility to the depth of opposition to the war in Iraq, on Sept. 20th the Million Doors for Peace project will put thousands of people out on the streets in communities in all 50 states. This massive, national mobilization will send a clear message: it is time to bring all the troops home! Cagan concluded, “Too many people have died, and precious resources have been squandered while the needs of our communities continue to go unmet.”
The coalition organizing Million Doors for Peace includes: Catholics United, Cities for Peace, CodePink, MoveOn.org, Pax Christi USA, Peace Action, Progressive Accountability, Progressive Democrats of America, United for Peace and Justice, USAction & TrueMajority.org, Voters for Peace and Win Without War.
Combined, the coalition boasts a membership in the millions and hundreds of state and local affiliates. The overarching goal of recruiting over one million war opponents is to broaden and expand the nation’s anti-war constituency so that when the next Congress convenes it will not be able to ignore the call for immediate action to end the war in Iraq.
Paul Kawika Martin, Organizing and Political Director of Peace Action; said, “Peace Action is proud to be part of this initiative. It is important to bring the issue of Iraq into people’s homes if we want to make an impact on the next Congress. The American people have had enough of this war and will not tolerate a complacent Congress.”
PEACE ACTION is the nation’s largest grassroots peace network, with chapters and affiliates in 30 states. It organizes its grassroots network to place pressure on Congress and the Administration through write-in campaigns, internet actions, citizen lobbying and direct action. http://www.peace-action.org