Crossposted from MY LEFT WING
This was previously posted by Damnit Janet -- reprinted with her permission.
I am full of awe and gratitude to Janet for her dedication and tenacity and compassion.
There is still time to get involved and sign the pledge.
Cindy Sheehan, Diane Wilson, Dick Gregory, and CODEPINK Co-Founders Medea Benjamin, Jodie Evans, and Gael Murphy are calling on people around the country to join the Troops Home Fast. This open-ended hunger strike aims to galvanize public attention, invigorate the peace movement, build pressure on elected officials, and get our troops back home FAST! The ongoing fast will generate a lot of attention in Washington, DC, but our fast will only be a success with your local participation. Through local legislative pressure, we hope that a major victory of this fast will be a significant increase in the number of Congresspeople who sign onto legislation calling for a troop withdrawal by the end of the year, and increased local visibility for the anti-war movement. Below are ideas and information to make your participation in the fast a success.
Please help us with publicity by adding a Troops Home Fast button to your local group website Click here to download the button.
Fast on the 4th of July
While many Americans will be expressing their patriotism via barbeques and fireworks, we'll be fasting in memory of the dead and wounded, and calling for the troops to come home from Iraq. If you are willing to commit to fasting for one day or more, please sign up by clicking here
Make your fast public by fasting with a group at a local Independence Day parade. Write on a t-shirt and/or make signs that say "I support the Troops Home Fast!"
Announce your group's fasting plans on July 3rd with a press event. Connect your local events with our fast launch in DC, where we'll march from the Gandhi statue to the White House and hold a "Fast Supper" press conference. We will have a sample press release for you to use soon.
Ignite the spark of peace! Take sparklers to the evening firework show and hand them out to people waiting to see the show. Give them a flyer with info about the ongoing war in Iraq and what they can do to make a difference and get involved in your local peace actions.
Support the Ongoing Fast
Solidarity Fasts and Sit-Ins at Congressional Offices
Historically, public fasts have taken place on the doorsteps of the person or institution that fasters are seeking to change. That's why Cindy Sheehan, Dick Gregory, and Diane Wilson are taking our fast to the White House gates. The Troops Home Fast aims to reach the doorsteps of elected officials around the country. In solidarity with the fasters in DC, you can organize your community to put pressure on your elected officials and demand an end to the war in Iraq.
Our goal is to get Congresspeople to sign onto the most forward-thinking bill to bring our troops home, which has been introduced in both the Senate and the House: Senate Congressional Resolution 93 and House Congressional Resolution 348. These bills demand no permanent bases in Iraq, no US control of the flow of Iraqi oil, and the troops out of Iraq by the end of the year. To read the text of the bills click here
Here's how you can effectively lobby for your Congresspeople to sign onto this bill:
Contact your Congresspeople
Call your Senators and/or Representative and find out if s/he has signed onto this bill. Call Congress at (202) 224-3121 or toll-free at (888) 355-3588 Click here to find out who your Senators or Representative are, or to get local contact information. If your Congressperson has already signed onto the bill, you can thank her or him (and even give a pink badge of courage!). If not, tell the legislative aide that you'd like to urge your Congressperson to sign onto this legislation calling for troop withdrawal. Schedule a meeting to talk about this bill with an aide. Find out where your rep stands on this bill. To find out if your Representative has supported any legislation to stop the war, and to learn more about legislative strategy from United for Peace and Justice, please click here. This site has talking points, tactics, and detailed info on lobbying elected officials.
(photo taken from CodePinkPortland actions)
Connect with other local peace groups, clergy members, and individuals who you think may be interested in doing a fast action with you. You can connect with other activists doing legislative work by clicking here to register with the United for Peace and Justice Legislative Action Network.When you register, United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) will share your e-mail with other UFPJ activists in your legislative district and/or state so that you can begin to work together For more outreach ideas, click here.
Meet with your local group and decide on a strategy to get your Congressperson to sign onto the bill. We recommend that local groups fast to pressure Congresspeople to sign onto legislation calling for troop withdrawal from Iraq. You may also decide to do a sit-in or other civil disobedience. If you have questions about your legislative strategy, please contact Sue Udry, legislative campaign coordinator for UFPJ, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Voters for Peace Pledge
In solidarity with the fasters, you can take action to build momentum for a powerful peace voting block in the upcoming midterm elections by signing onto the Voter's Pledge and collecting signatures for the pledge.
Groups that collect over 500 signatures will receive a special surprise from CODEPINK!
Thank you! From CodePinkPortland
I am fasting today with Code Pink and everyone else who has signed on. Yeah, it's the 4th of July. Fuck the barbecues -- this is the VERY least I can do. I'm still determined to start a worldwide hunger strike, but until I figure out how to do that (and any advice is welcome), this will have to do.
A single day without food in solidarity with all those who struggle to end this madness.
I just posted this on another thread at MLW, and thought it might have some pertinence here:
I cannot join in the festivities today.
In a way, I'm very grateful to be about to spend some 8 hours on the highway headed back home; it spares me the discomfort of avoiding 4th of July celebrations.
I can't celebrate this country right now. It depresses me to no end to be stuck in this wretched era and feeling so powerless to turn us around from this vile direction in which we're headed. I cannot say, "Yay, America!" I feel like the parent of a murderer might feel; still love the child, but recoil in horror from that child's deeds -- and feel no small measure of guilt and self-recrimination, knowing full well at least SOME of my actions or lack thereof must have contributed, in however small a way, to the child's dissolution.
I am seeing a not-unexpected number of responses dismissing the idea that joining a hunger strike for one day can possibly do any good. I totally get that, I do.
But it still seems to me that if this universe isn't set up to receive any action, however small, taken in honour of the good and the decent, in protest of the evil and the cruel -- then this universe is probably a horrible joke. And that, I cannot accept.
So today, I fast for peace. And soon, I may come to you and ask you to join in a longer hunger strike -- perhaps we can build it into a movement that will not be ignored by the corporate mouthpieces of the Bush Regime and the pathetically weakened and muted remaining elements of the Fourth Estate.
No fireworks or barbecues for me today. It would be like throwing a birthday party, complete with cake and ice cream and presents, for a child who has behaved very, very badly. And yes, it hurts me far more than it hurts the child -- hell, the recalcitrant child, as embodied by the Bush Regime and its remaining supporters, won't even notice I've denied them my participation in their vulgar celebration.
But I will.