March 9: Join "Safeguard the Guard" at the Capitol

Want to attend the March 9 hearing? register here...
March 9 quarter-sheet flyers here...

hearings bannerSupporters of Assembly Bill 203, a bill to enact legal safeguards to protect Wisconsin's National Guard from unlawful overseas deloyments, will be turning out at the State Capitol in Madison on March 9 for a public hearing before the Assembly's Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. "This hearing will give us an opportunity to make the case that Guard deployments to Iraq are illegal, and to bring forth testimony about the impact of those deployments on Wisconsin's Guard and their families," said Jim Draeger, WNPJ chair and statewide coordinator of the "Bring the Guard Home - It's the Law!" campaign.

Here's how you can help stand up for the Guard and the rule of law:

1. Attend the hearing:
Hundreds of new bills get introduced in the legislature every year, and our ability to demonstrate public interest determines whether our bill survives or falls by the wayside. On March 9, we will have the opportunity to put a display of public interest right in front of the ten legislators who will be deciding the fate of "Safeguard the Guard." Opportunities will be provided for public comment and to register in support of the bill for those not wishing to speak, but most importantly: Your presence on March 9 shows you care about the members of the Guard, respect the sacrifices they have made, and want us to honor their commitment to our state with a commitment of our own: that they will never again be used in an illegal war.

 

Here's the schedule:

12:30 Rally and press conference in the Capitol rotunda,

1:00 pm hearing in room 415 NW.

5:00 pm Post-hearing celebration at Brocach, 7 West Main Street, on the Capitol Square. Suggested donation of $10 goes to to VFP Milwaukee's homeless vets initiative and Madison Porchlight's vets house (no one will be turned away for lack of funds.)

2. Reach out to the constituents of a committee member:
Do you have good friends in Rice Lake? An antiwar uncle in Dodgeville? An old high-school history teacher in Racine? (You know, the one who taught you the importance of following the Constitution.) The members of the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee are listed below, and we need "yes" votes from six of the ten committee members for the bill to make it out of committee and on to the floor of the Assembly. Can you help us get to six? A call or email to friends and family in these key districts can make a critical difference. You can direct your friends to the State Assembly's "Who Are my Legislators?" page if they need to check which legislative district they reside in.

2. Nominate a speaker:
One of the most effective ways to make the case for protecting Wisconsin’s Guard from illegal deployments is to bring home to the Veteran’s Affairs committee the high cost our Guard members and communities have paid for the current unlawful deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Some voices we seek to include are:

•    Members of the Guard and their family members, along with social-service workers who have worked with Guard members and their families, who can testify to the stresses placed on the Guard by repeated and lengthy overseas deployments.
•    Employers and first-responders (like police and fire) who can testify to the stresses placed on our communities and economy when important members of the community are taken to fight in unlawful wars.

Do you know someone who can speak effectively on this issue? Please forward your nominations for speakers to Steve Burns, Program Director at Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice at (608) 250-9240, outreach@wnpj.org

3. Make a donation:
We're optimistic about our chances with the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, but we also know that the effort to "democratize defense" and give citizens meaningful tools to restrain a federal government bent on endless war won't be won or lost with one vote in the state assembly. Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice has been hard at work for twenty years, and your donation helps make sure we'll be here for the long run, working on "Safeguard the Guard" and many other issues you care about. Please join or donate here...

Wisconsin State Assembly Veterans and Military Affairs Committee:

(Click on Representative's name for contact information)
Chair: Steve Hilgenberg, Dodgeville
Vice-Chair: Marlin Schneider, Wisconsin Rapids/Adams/Friendship/Westfield
Robert Turner, Racine
Mary Hubler, Spooner/Rice Lake
Christine Sinicki, St. Francis/Cudahy
Nick Milroy, Superior
Kevin Petersen, Waupaca/New London/Clintonville
Jerry Petrowski, Marathon City/Tigerton/Mosinee/Schofield/Rothschild
John Townsend, Fon du Lac
Dan Meyer, Eagle River/Rhinelander

Calls and letters from constituents of the legislators above are especially critical to the success of "Guard Home" legislation.