Sunday, October 21, 2007

Standing up for impeachment and ending the occupation in Iraq

Yesterday my friend Phil and I hopped on the county transit bus* and an hour later joined several hundred people who had gathered at the "Stand Up Sonoma County: Impeach Now & End the Occupation of Iraq" rally at Santa Rosa’s Courthouse Square.

There were many inspiring speakers, including Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey; Peter Phillips of Project Censored; Linus Lancaster (who teaches at the high school in my town) on behalf of Veterans for Peace; Norman Solomon, founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, a national consortium of policy researchers and analysts, on behalf of Progressive Democrats of America; and my kayaking buddy, Miles Everett, of The Alliance for Democracy.

This morning, our county’s newspaper of record, the Press Democrat, reported "Hundreds protest war at SR rally". Excerpts: “Speakers included Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, who blasted Bush's priorities by contrasting his war spending with his recent veto of a popular children's health care bill….

”Norman Solomon, a nationally syndicated columnist and author, spoke at the rally on behalf of the Progressive Democrats of America. Solomon, who recently completed a film called ‘War Made Easy,’ echoed Woolsey's comments.

”Solomon, a West Marin County resident, said later that North Coast residents are ‘paying for war in terms of a lack of health care, education, housing and rapid transit.’”

Here’s a short clip from Miles Everett’s heartfelt speech:

Today I talked with Anna Givens, one of the organizers of the event. I asked her if she was happy with the rally. She responded that she was and that there were actually many more people there than the 200 reported by the Press Democrat if we add those that flowed through the square, stopping at the tables where they, too, wrote letters and signed petitions before moving on. This was an "action rally," according to Anna, where those who attended did more than listen to speeches; they got involved.

All of us can make our voices heard on impeachment and ending the occupation in Iraq by going to and entering your zip code. You'll be directed to how to contact your representatives by phone, fax, mail, or e-mail.

*Sidebar: We rode the bus because we don’t want to contribute to global warming. It was fun, and we were joined by Anna Lisa Wiley, who doesn’t own a car. She's involved with Car Free Sonoma County. Check out the website: It’s great!

(photo of the rally)

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