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First Day Out Collecting Signatures

After mostly focusing on emailing, Patty and I stopped by the Portland Farmers’ Market yesterday and collected names for the city council resolution there. We kept asking passersby, “Do you want to tell Portland City Council you’re against the war?” and plenty of folks stopped to sign. Within an hour we had 35 names. It was pretty easy work… most of the people who declined to sign did so because they live outside of Portland. Although some of them wanted to sign the petition, saying they very much wanted to tell the Portland City Council they’re against the war… but until we annex Lake Oswego, Gladstone, or Northern Idaho, they’ll just have to wait to sign any petition addressed to “Portland City Council.”
But, if for any reason you haven’t signed the petition, there’s absolutely no reason to wait! Go visit the AFSC website in support of the resolution: let’s put an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq!

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News We're Making Progress

An emailing record, and a great essay from an MFSO member

People have started sending out the short email I wrote encouraging people to support the City of Portland resolution to withdraw our occupation army from Iraq. Scot wins a special prize though, for finding 260 people in his email address book to send it to! Many of them aren’t in Portland, but have a connection to Portland, and more importantly, have people in their address books that I don’t have in mine. We have to keep up the emailing and getting people to sign onto the petition, which, if you want to go right to the signature page, is right here. Let me know if you manage to send it to more than 260 people… I need to get out more myself.

On another note, over dinner this evening, I got to talk with a dear friend about the whole “we broke it so we have to fix it” argument for occupying Iraq (seemingly indefinitely, since we’re not actually fixing it). A member of Military Families Speak Out has published a lengthy but on-point essay that lays out one argument for withdrawal very strongly: it’s not our country to fix, and if we believe in democracy than we need to defer to the will of Iraqi people, who in an emphatic majority, want occupation troops to leave. (One poll earlier this fall put the figure at about 70% of Iraqis want occupiers out within a year or less). A referendum would be clearer, but of course we don’t allow such things, so we have to settle for polls.
I wish he was briefer, but I think he makes a great point in “The Real Reason to Get Out of Iraq.

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We're Making Progress

I’ve begun: first email to my friends

Sure enough, my estimate about how many people I could start off emailing was about right: I sent it to 42 people. I had hardly any bounces, and had several exciting replies: from people who were already emailing other people, or were making lists of who to email, or had ideas (such as a t-shirt…). I talked with the lead organizer for the campaign and she told me that she had noticed a small burst of sign-ups online and she’s mailing me handbills. So, keep ’em coming!

In case you’re thinking, oh, how do I sign onto the resolution online? Go to:
http://www.afsc.org/pacificnw/portland/bring-troops-home.htm