WNPJ Blog: Broken Promises, Broken Laws, and Broken Lives

WNPJ member Joy First, of Madison Pledge of Resistance, took part in an action of nonviolent civil resistance organized by Witness Against Torture that resulted in the arrest of fourteen people in the gallery of the House of Representatives. The participants read from a statement calling for the closure of the U.S. prison at Guantanamo and an end to the government's use of indefinite detention. Joy writes: "There are still 170 men illegally detained in Guantanamo. Most of them are innocent of any wrong-doing and have been cleared for release by our government. Yet they have no hope of ever being charged with any crime, having a trial, and worst of all, no hope of ever being released and reunited with their loved ones." Read and comment here...

US mayors say: Bring the war money home

Wisconsin mayors John Dickert of Racine and Paul Soglin of Madison were among those speaking in favor of a resolution passed by the US Conference of Mayors Monday, calling for efforts to end our current wars and asking the President and Congress to "bring these war dollars home to meet vital human needs."

The last time the mayors did that was during the Vietnam war. David Swanson offers a detailed rundown on how it happened.

Mayor Soglin also described the resolution on CNN. You can view the video below.

Petri, Badwin vote yes on "Out of Libya" resolution

Wisconsin Representatives Tammy Baldwin and Tom Petri were among 148 members of Congress voting in favor of a Congressional resolution authored by Rep. Dennis Kucinich that would "Direct the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove the United States Armed Forces from Libya." Rep. Gwen Moore did not vote and all remaining members of the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation voted "no." Full roll call here... Petri's vote was the second instance in only a week in which he broke with the leadership of his party on a war-related issue, following his May 26th "yes" vote on a resolution calling for the President to present Congress with a timetable for an exit from Afghanistan. Take Action: Please call Rep. Baldwin (608-258-9800) and Rep. Petri (800-242-4883) to thank them for their votes to end U.S. involvement in the Libya war.  

More house support than ever for end to Afghan war

The House of Representatives narrowly defeated, 215-204, an amendment Thursday calling for a timeframe and completion date for the war in Afghanistan. A switch of six votes would have passed it.

Twenty-six Republicans, including Rep. Tom Petri of Wisconsin (pictured), joined 178 Democrats and voted in favor of the amendment by Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Walter Jones (R-NC).

The roll call showed six GOP freshmen voting yes, but neither Sean Duffy nor Reid Ribble, the two Wisconsin frosh, were among them. All Wisconsin Dems voted yes, and Paul Ryan, Jim Sensenbrenner, Duffy and Ribble voted no.

Send encouragement to a Wisconsin activist imprisoned in Georgia

Nukewatch activist Bonnie Urfer (left), a resident of Luck, Wisconsin, is one of eight "nuclear resisters" now being held in jail in Georgia awaiting sentencing on Federal charges. Urfer was one of twelve activists who crossed over on to the federal side of the fence at the Y-12 nuclear weapons complex in Oak Ridge, at the conclusion of Resistance for a Nuclear Free Future, a protest against the Y-12 facility's role in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. Take Action: Send your letters of support to: (note new address!)  Bonnie Urfer, ID 8957- Irwin County Detention Center-132 Cotton Dr, Ocilla, GA 31774.  (include your return address on the envelope) - Accounts have been set up to allow the defendants to make purchases from the prison commissary. Contributions for that purpose should be sent to Sue Ablao, Ground Zero Center For Nonviolent Action, 16159 Clear Creek Road NW, Poulsbo, WA 98370. Donations should be by check, made out to "Sue Ablao" with a note that the donation is for the use of the Y-12 protesters. 

Drones in Libya, drone opposition in Mauston

Kathy KellyLast week, the Obama administration began using drone aircraft to bomb Libya.  As Free Speech Radio News reported:

Opponents say the use of armed drones oversteps the U.S. role in Libya. Others point to the CIA’s drone program in Pakistan, which has led to many civilian deaths and has grown increasingly unpopular with both civilians and leaders in Pakistan.

At WNPJ's recent steering committee meeting in Mauston, near where the WI National Guard wants to build a drone aircraft training facility, international human rights activist Kathy Kelly shared stories of the tragic human cost of drone warfare.  You can listen to Kathy Kelly's talk via the WORT 89.9 FM website (link to play in browser, link to download).

Growing opposition to drone warfare is needed.  A new report -- from the British Defense Ministry, no less -- warns that drone aircraft may "lead future decision-makers to 'resort to war as a policy option far sooner than previously.'"

Please print out and collect signatures on our petition against the WI drone facility, and ask groups you're affiliated with to sign on to our organizational letter.

What's your share of the Afghanistan war?

Rethink Afghanistan has developed a handy "Cost of War Calculator" that can tell you how much of your federal taxes this year went to pay for the Afghanistan war and other military spending. Calculations are based on a budget analysis by the National Priorities Project. Rethink Afghanistan also offers an option to send an "IOU" certificate to your Congressional representative. Click on the image to launch the Cost of War Calculator.

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