Beyond Marches and Rallies: SODaPOP

A Green Party colleague of mine alerted me to this project.  I find it interesting and with the potential to have much more of an effect than the almost worn out march and rally event:

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Seasons of Discontent: A Presidential Occupation Project (SODaPOP)
By Jeff Leys and Brian Terrell

Nonviolent Civil Resistance During the Presidential Campaign Begins with Nonviolent Occupations of Candidates  Headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, on  November 8

Hi Ho. Hi Ho. It s off to Washington, D.C. we go. For another demonstration at the seat  of power.

But hold on a minute. This fall and winter, the road to the seat of power goes through  Iowa with its first in the nation presidential caucus. Let s journey to Iowa, together to bring nonviolent civil resistance and civil  disobedience to the campaign offices and headquarters of Presidential candidates both  Republican and Democrat who do not publicly pledge to take the necessary concrete steps  to end the Iraq war, to rebuild Iraq, to forswear military attacks on other countries,  and to fully fund the Common Good in the U.S.

 

Join this campaign: SODaPOP Seasons of Discontent: A Presidential Occupation Project.

Iowa will be the first stage in this campaign. We invite you to join us in Iowa and then  to bring the campaign home with you to your home states as the Presidential election  season moves forward.

An Invitation to Iowa
Voices for Creative Nonviolence and our allies in Iowa are in the initial stages of  organizing a campaign of nonviolent civil resistance focused upon those who would be  President.

This fall and early winter, Republican and Democratic candidates are swarming in Iowa in  preparation for the  First in the Nation!  2008 caucuses. Campaign headquarters are  established in cities and towns across the state and candidates are showing up at public  events large and small, shaking hands, jockeying for photo ops kissing babies and pigs.  The national and international press is there in force. Representatives of unions,  industry and other interest groups from around the nation are gathering, not only to  influence the results of the caucus but also to take advantage of the extraordinary  access to the candidates the caucus provides, and to draw attention to their issues and  causes as the world s attention is focused on the state.

Seasons of Discontent: A Presidential Occupation Project (SODaPOP) will launch on  November 7, introducing nonviolent direct action against the war in Iraq into the  presidential election process. Activists from around the nation are encouraged to journey
to Iowa to  occupy  the Iowa campaign headquarters of presidential candidates who do not  pledge to concrete plans for complete withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq. Such  candidates might also be challenged as they make public appearances around the state  without regard for arbitrary  free speech zone  restrictions that may be established by  candidates, parties, police or the Secret Service.

While SODAPOP will launch in early November, we are organizing for two weeks of intensive  and extensive actions in Iowa in the weeks immediately preceding the Iowa caucus. The  Iowa caucus is currently scheduled for January 14, though it is somewhat fluid as of now.  (The date may change since South Carolina Republicans moved up the date of their caucus.)

Whether the caucuses are earlier or later, we are inviting  affinity groups  from around  the country to start organizing a trip to Iowa in the coming months with special  attention to the two weeks immediately prior to the caucuses. If you can make it to Iowa
for the SODaPOP  kick off  in Des Moines on the evening of Wednesday, November 7 followed  by the first occupations of campaign headquarters on the next day, Thursday, November 8,  please do! We hope to make our witness for peace with nonviolent direct action at the  offices of several of the candidates who would prolong the war in Iraq on that day.   Otherwise, just let us know when you are coming and which candidate(s) whose pro-war  policies you and your community wish to expose and challenge.

SODaPOP Demands

While the demands of the campaign are still being finalized, the initial concept is to  occupy the campaign headquarters and offices of Presidential candidates who do not commit  to:

  • Complete withdrawal of the U.S. military forces from Iraq and Afghanistan within 100 days of assuming the office of President of the United States.
  •  Complete halt to any and all military actions including ground, air and naval against Iraq and Iran.
  •  Full funding for the reconstruction of Iraq to repair the damage caused over these past 17 years of economic and military warfare that the U.S. and its allies waged against Iraq.
  •  Full funding for the Common Good in the U.S. to rebuild our education and health care systems; to create jobs training programs for jobs that pay a living wage; to provide  universal health care for all; to rebuild our country s inner cities and rural communities; and to initiate a campaign on the scale of a new Tennessee Valley Authority and Rural Electrification Project of the Great Depression era to create affordable, safe and sustainable alternative forms of energy and energy consumption; and for other vital social programs.

  •  Full funding for the highest quality health care, education and jobs training benefitsfor veterans of our country s Armed Services.

For those Presidential candidates who currently hold a seat in the House or Senate, we
set forth the following additional demands:

  •  Vote against any additional funding for the Iraq war other than those funds that areessential to fund the complete and immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
  • Publicly commit to oppose the use of U.S. military forces against Iran, Pakistan or anyother opening front in the  war on terror.

These demands will be delivered to each of the candidates  headquarters in the weeks before the campaign and responses will be publicized.  Join us in Iowa at this critical time for weekly, if not daily, acts of nonviolent civil  resistance / civil disobedience to seek a redirection of our country s policies and to bring about an end to the Iraq war. We travel to Washington, D.C. for national actions
all the time. Now is the time to travel to Iowa, the heart of our country s heartland, to seek an end to the Iraq war. Arrangements are being made now for hospitality and some support in Des Moines and Iowa City and perhaps several other communities around the
state for the campaign.

Following the Iowa caucus, let us bring SODaPOP to the campaign headquarters of candidates in our respective home states, with the next critical days of nonviolent resistance to be as we approach February 5 (Super Duper Tuesday, when 20 states hold
presidential primaries and caucuses).Please be in contact with us about joining this very critical campaign of nonviolent
direct action, civil resistance and civil disobedience. To participate in SODaPOP, you may reach us via Voices for Creative Nonviolence at 773-878-3815 or via email at  info@vcnv.org.
Additional information and resources will also be available on the Voices website.

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