Crunch time for peace movement by Bruce Gagnon + Chicago Afghan Wedding Party Protest

End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars!

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

by Bruce Gagnon
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Organizing Notes
November 29, 2009

Protests have begun across the country to take a stand against Obama’s coming announcement to surge in Afghanistan.

Here in the midcoast of Maine ten of us signed a letter to the editor of our local paper outlining our opposition and informing the community about our planned protest in Brunswick next Wednesday right after Obama’s announcement.

This announcement will be “do” or “die” time for the peace movement in America. If we simply take it without significant push-back then Obama and the rest of the war hawks will feel empowered to continue their expansion of the Afghanistan-Pakistan war. Instead, if they see significant and growing opposition that could translate into the House of Representatives finding the courage to cut funding for these wars then a whole new dynamic comes into play.

As soon as Obama makes his announcement, and we now generally have a good idea what he is going to say, then the ball moves to the court of the House. It is there that we must focus our energy and our protest in the coming months.

Yesterday we had a planning meeting of a committee here in Maine to develop a 3-month Afghanistan war campaign that would begin soon after the new year begins. Our committee came up with a good proposal and tomorrow we will be sending it out widely in Maine for local activists and peace groups to review and discuss. Our hope is that we will have strong support from folks statewide to target our two members of the House to get them to vote against the $50 billion Afghanistan war supplemental that is expected to come to the Congress in the early spring. We also want to push our two Congresspersons to become stronger leaders in the House as one belongs to the conservative Blue Dogs and the other to the Progressive Caucus. Both of them did vote against the last Afghanistan war supplemental bill – but they do it quietly, almost sheepishly.

All of us in the US must do more in the next few days to make a statement against this war. We need to call Congress, write a letter to a local paper, hold a sign in a street protest opposing Obama’s surge, and help build a wider and deeper movement to end this war. And I believe that we must connect the war to the growing fiscal crisis in America.

The public understands that we have a fiscal crisis here at home. They know school funding is being cut, they know real health care reform is not going to happen, and they daily see the crumbling infrastructure all around us as roads, bridges, public buildings, and social services are left to fall apart.

It’s all hands on deck time for us. The question for each of us to answer is, am I going to come alive at this crucial point in history, or am I going to be a spectator?


[DS added the video]

Chicago Afghan Wedding Party Protest

November 28, 2009

Wedding parties and other celebratory gatherings in Afghanistan are often bombed by US air-strikes and drones. This is intolerable and unacceptable – and must be halted, not escalated. The richest country on earth is destroying one of the poorest! Join us in protesting the surge of troops in Afghanistan and calling for an end to these wars of aggression.

Chicago Afghan Wedding Party Protest


Military use of Drones, how it will change our world by Bruce Gagnon

“Killing is right and proper” (What happened at Travis AFB, yesterday) by Cindy Sheehan + video

Uniformed old man shoves Cindy Sheehan at Antiwar Rally + video

Troop deployment to begin shortly after Obama’s war strategy speech By Greg Jaffe

You Get What you Vote For! by Cindy Sheehan

Amy Goodman calls the Afghan Peace Vigil