Chances improve to block war funding

Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates made his formal request to Congress for $33 billion in "supplemental" money to fund the escalation of 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. Many Republicans have announced that they will vote against the war funding, because the bill is also expected to include a provision funding the transfer of Guantanamo prisoners to U.S. prisons. If all Republicans vote against the war funding, only 40 "no" votes from Democrats would be required to defeat the bill. Read more and see other WNPJ Action Alerts for this week below..

 

Action Alert 1: "Stop Outsourcing Security Act" would shut down Blackwater, other mercenaries
Action Alert 2: "72 Hours for Clean American Power" call-in next week
Action Alert 3: Chances improve to block war funding
Action Alert 4: Oppose nomination of former agribusiness lobbyist as U.S. Trade Representative
Action Alert 5: Condemn Honduran government's murder of regime opponents


Action Alert 1: "Stop Outsourcing Security Act" would shut down Blackwater, other mercenaries
Background: On Tuesday, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) introduced the Stop Outsourcing Security Act, requiring a phase-out of private security contractors in war zones. The U.S. is currently employing more than 22,000 armed contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. In a startling development that further underlines the need for the SOS Act, it was reported on Wednesday that the Senate Armed Services Committee has found that Blackwater seized hundreds of US-supplied weapons intended for the Afghan army. A Blackwater official allegedly signed for the weapons at a US weapons bunker by using the name of a cartoon character, and the weapons ended up in the hands of the four Blackwater employees who fired on an Afghan vehicle while under the influence of alcohol in May 2009. Two Afghan civilians were wounded in that attack.
Action Step: Please contact your Congressional Representative and Senator and urge them to sign on as a cosponsor of the Schakowsky-Sanders Stop Outsourcing Security Act.
Contact for more info: Dan Kenney, DeKalb Interfaith Network for Peace and Justice, 815-793-0950, dkenney@dekalbinterfaithnetwork.org


Action Alert 2: "72 Hours for Clean American Power" call-in next week

Background: On March 2-4, dozens of organizations representing millions of Americans - including climate and environmental, labor, business, faith, science, veterans' advocacy, and many more, will be holding a "72 Hours for Clean American Power" call-in to Congress to demand: 1) A stop to Senator Murkowski's effort to block the EPA from regulating CO2 emissions as pollution, and 2) New legislation to jumpstart our economy, create millions of new, green jobs, and tackle climate change.
Action Step: Register for the call-in here... Call your Senators and Representatives any time during business hours from Tuesday, March 2 to Thursday, March 4.
Contact for more info: Katy Walter, 1Sky Campaign, 608-251-7020 ext. 28, kwalter@cleanwisconsin.org


Action Alert 3: Chances improve to block war funding

Background: Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates made his formal request to Congress for $33 billion in "supplemental" money to fund the escalation of 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. Many Republicans have announced that they will vote against the war funding, because the bill is also expected to include a provision funding the transfer of Guantanamo prisoners to U.S. prisons. If all Republicans vote against the war funding, only 40 "no" votes from Democrats would be required to defeat the bill.
Action Step: Contact your Congressional Representatives and urge them to vote against the war funding bill. The records of Wisconsin Representatives on war-related bills and votes are here... Want to do more? The Voices for Creative Nonviolence Peaceable Assembly Campaign has ideas here... and Progressive Democrats of America are organizing "brown bag" vigils to pressure members of Congress to vote "no" on war funding.
Contact for more info: Jeff Leys, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, (773) 878-3815, jeff@vcnv.org, Steve Carlson, PDA Wisconsin, botmrung@centurytel.net


Action Alert 4: Oppose nomination of former agribusiness lobbyist as U.S. Trade Representative

Background: A coalition of 89 organizations, representing family farmers, farmworkers, fishers and sustainable agriculture, environmental, consumer, anti-hunger organizations, including Wisconsin-based Growing Power and Family Farm Defenders, have joined together to oppose the nomination of Dr. Islam Siddiqui as Chief Agriculture Negotiator at the office of the United States Trade Representative. Dr. Siddiqui is a former registered lobbyist for CropLife America (whose members include Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont and Dow), and his record at the Dept. of Agriculture shows that he has consistently favored high-input and energy-intensive industrial agriculture, toxic pesticides, and inappropriate seed biotechnologies over a resilient and restorative model of agriculture that adapts to and mitigates climate change and that moves us towards energy-efficient farming.
Action Step: Please call Senators Kohl (202-224-5653) and Feingold (202-224-5323) to urge them to vote against Dr. Siddiqi's nomination.
Contact for more info: John E. Peck, executive director, Family Farm Defenders, 608-260-0900, familyfarmdefenders@yahoo.com


Action Alert 5: Condemn Honduran government's murder of regime opponents

Background: On Wednesday, Honduran pro-democracy activist Claudia Larisa Brizuela Rodriguez was gunned down in her home in San Pedro Sula. Her two young children, ages 2 and 8, witnessed their mother’s murder. Claudia was the daughter of high-profile Resistance leader and Radio Uno host, Pedro Brizeula, and her murder is believed to be an attempt to intimidate regime opponents and the independent media. Honduran human-rights activists have documented more than 250 human rights violations, including murder, kidnappings and rape, since the military coup that deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, yet the U.S. government continues to send aid to the Honduran military.
Action Step: Call the State Department's Human Rights Desk at the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at 202-647-8298 and demand that the U.S. strongly condemn the Lobo administration for continued human rights violations and call for the protection of all human rights defenders and media workers in Honduras, while eliminating aid to the Honduran military.
Contact for more info: US Labor Education in the Americas Project, 773-262-6502, email here...

 


WNPJ is forwarding these weekly alerts from member organizations, individual members and national affiliates. If you are a WNPJ member and have an alert you would like posted in this weekly WNPJ Action Alert e-bulletin, please send it for review to Steve Burns, WNPJ Program Director at: outreach@wnpj.org.

Sent 2/26/2010,
Steve Burns
Program Director
Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice
122 State St. #402
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 250-9240