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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Anti-War

"Occupation Project" at Congressman Sam Farr's Office in Santa Cruz
by ~Bradley ( bradley [at] riseup.net )
Friday Feb 16th, 2007 7:16 PM
On February 16th, 2007, a protest targeting Sam Farr, Representative for the 17th Congressional District, was held at the Santa Cruz County Building. In a comment posted on Santa Cruz Indymedia, Steven Argue explained the primary reason behind the protest, "While Sam Farr has voted against supplemental war appropriations, He has voted for well over a trillion dollars in “defense” (actually war funds) since the beginning of the Iraq war. Besides being used to put the world in terror of U.S. corporate interests through the massive military machine of the United States government, that money has also been used to directly occupy Iraq."
uproot_2-16-07.jpg
uproot_2-16-07.jpg

About twenty people attended the rally on the steps of County Building, however four people from the Womens International League for Peace and Freedom held signs in support of Sam Farr and his voting policies. After the rally on the steps, people then went up to Sam Farr's Office, except it was closed in anticipation of the demonstration. Farr was working in Washington DC since Congress was in session. Instead of occupying Farr's office, Alec Arago, District Director for Sam Farr, was waiting for us in the conference room next door. Plates of assorted cookies and bottles of water were in the conference room as kind gesture to Sam Farr's "Friends of Peace." There was large banner that read, "Welcome Friends of Peace" hung above the entrance of the conference room.

Steven Argue, an organizer of the demonstration, published a "Proposed Resolution To Be Adopted At Today’s Protest" as a comment on SC-IMC which states, "The fact that Sam Farr is one of the most leftwing members of the U.S. Congress does not deter us from this mission. It instead shows the extreme dangers of our current system of corporate run politics in the United States and points to the need for the people’s movement not to rely on the Democrats and Republicans for solutions. We must mobilize our own people’s power as the antidote."

Although it is upsetting to some people struggling for social justice, it should not come as a big surprise that a lot of activists in District 17 and around the nation support Sam Farr. A January 11th, 2007, press release on Sam Farr's website quotes Farr as saying, "The longer this war drags on, the clearer it becomes that it is the wrong war at the wrong time for the wrong reasons. Trying to make up for the fact that the Administration insisted on going into Iraq with too few troops more than three years ago by escalating our involvement now is not a ‘new strategy.’ There is a way forward, but that way is through withdrawing, not sending more troops," added Farr.

However, this statement from Sam Farr makes me wonder how many troops he wanted to into Iraq three years ago. When is it the correct time for a war and what are the correct reasons for war?

The protest was part of the growing national movement called The Occupation Project, a campaign of sustained nonviolent civil disobedience aimed at ending the U.S. war in and occupation of Iraq. The campaign began the first week of February 2007 with occupations at the offices of Representatives and Senators who refuse to pledge to vote against additional war funding.

Demonstrators made plans to return to Farr's office in one month.
§Vigil Against Two Wars
by ~Bradley Friday Feb 16th, 2007 7:16 PM
vigil_2-16-07.jpg
vigil_2-16-07.jpg

§Zero Funds for War
by ~Bradley Friday Feb 16th, 2007 7:16 PM
zero_2-16-07.jpg
zero_2-16-07.jpg

§WILPF Thanks Sam
by ~Bradley Friday Feb 16th, 2007 7:16 PM
support_2-16-07.jpg
support_2-16-07.jpg

§Cookies and Water
by ~Bradley Friday Feb 16th, 2007 7:16 PM
cookies_2-16-07.jpg
cookies_2-16-07.jpg

§HR413
by ~Bradley Friday Feb 16th, 2007 7:16 PM
hr413_2-16-07.jpg
hr413_2-16-07.jpg

H.R. 413: To repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h110-413
§Withdrawl of United States Armed Forces From Iraq
by ~Bradley Friday Feb 16th, 2007 7:16 PM
withdrawl_2-16-07.jpg
withdrawl_2-16-07.jpg

§Alec Arago
by ~Bradley Friday Feb 16th, 2007 7:16 PM
alec_2-16-07.jpg
alec_2-16-07.jpg

District Director for Sam Farr
§WILPF has no "argue"ment with Sam
by ~Bradley Friday Feb 16th, 2007 7:16 PM
arguement_2-16-07.jpg
arguement_2-16-07.jpg

A reference to Steven Argue, an organizer of the demonstration.

Sit In At Farr's Office to Demand Cut Off The War Funds! Feb. 16
http://indybay.org/newsitems/2007/02/09/18359894.php
§Crumbles
by ~Bradley Friday Feb 16th, 2007 7:16 PM
crumbles_2-16-07.jpg
crumbles_2-16-07.jpg

Not everyone was content to eat the cookies and drink the water offered by Farr's office.
§Crumbler
by ~Bradley Friday Feb 16th, 2007 7:16 PM
crumbler_2-16-07.jpg
crumbler_2-16-07.jpg

§Support Mumia
by ~Bradley Friday Feb 16th, 2007 7:16 PM
support-mumia_2-16-07.jpg
support-mumia_2-16-07.jpg

Sam Farr did not vote against a condemnation of France for naming a street after Mumia Abu-Jamal.

25 Years Later, Mumia Abu-Jamal's Best and Last Chance, as French Supporters Face Charges
http://www.indymedia.org/or/2006/12/876386.shtml
§Support the People of Iraq
by ~Bradley Friday Feb 16th, 2007 7:16 PM
support-iraq_2-16-07.jpg
support-iraq_2-16-07.jpg

§Alec and Steven
by ~Bradley Friday Feb 16th, 2007 7:16 PM
alec-steven_2-16-07.jpg
alec-steven_2-16-07.jpg

§Strategy
by ~Bradley Friday Feb 16th, 2007 7:16 PM
strategy_2-16-07.jpg
strategy_2-16-07.jpg

A member of WILPF spoke in favor of Sam Farr and suggested that people could be more effective by focusing their passion and energy on other activities to stop war.
§See you in in a month Sam!
by ~Bradley Friday Feb 16th, 2007 7:16 PM
sam_2-16-07.jpg
sam_2-16-07.jpg

"See you in a month Sam!" was left on the whiteboard giving Sam Farr and his office notice that people plan to return in one month.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Farr out
Friday Feb 16th, 2007 9:26 PM
"Plates of assorted cookies and bottles of water were in the conference room as kind gesture to Sam Farr's "Friends of Peace." There was large banner that read, "Welcome Friends of Peace" hung above the entrance of the conference room. "

The sign "WILPF has no 'argue' ment with Sam."


by from dc-imc
Friday Feb 16th, 2007 10:12 PM
Occupying Senator Mikulski's Office to Urge a No Vote on War Funding
http://dc.indymedia.org/newswire/display/137900/index.php

"The Occupation Project to cut off funding for the Iraq Quagmire came to Barbara Mikulski's office Thursday, as nearly 20 Maryland peace activists urge Mikulski to go beyond lip service and non-binding resolutions."
by Robert Norse
Friday Feb 16th, 2007 11:41 PM
The main object of the protest--Farr's continual vote for the huge military budget (which includes many items for Iraq)--can be found at the following websites, according to Farr's staff.

http://www.dod.mil/comptroller/defbudget/fy2007/fy2007_summary_tables_whole.pdf

http://www.dod.mil/comptroller/defbudget/fy2008/fy2008_summary_tables_whole.pdf

Thanks to Bandito Bradley for the great photos and coverage and to everyone who attended.

While there may be some straws in the wind with Pelosi and Clinton now publicly stating that use of force in Iran isn't covered by the 2002 force authorization Clinton voted for, it's still vital to raise the roof to stop what seems to be a juggernaut war machine ramping up for air war with Iran.

The Reilly-Coonerty Council (and all its predecessors) has declined to research which items in its financial porfolio are war-related. The outgoing Fitzmaurice used to comment "that's a good idea" before moving on to the next agenda item.

The Vigil Against Two Wars, captured in a photo above, refers to Santa Cruz opposition to the U.S. backed wars in the Middle East and the Santa Cruz War on the Poor--ramped up intensely in the last week after secret meetings between Councilmembers Robinson, Coonerty, and Mathews [see http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2007/February/13/local/stories/01local.htm].

While Farr has moved to urge reversal of the 2002 Congressional authorization of force in Iraq (and good for him for doing so), he needs to move on the broader more sweeping resolution passed in 2001, the September 18, 2001 Authorization of Force which opened the bogus "war on terror" and was passed by joint Congressional resolution (so its repeal can't be vetoed by Bush). That bill can be found at http://news.findlaw.com/wp/docs/terrorism/sjres23.es.html

Locally, how about calling City Council at 420-5020 and demanding (a) an immediate town hall meeting to demand immediate withdrawal from Iraq, (b) resolutionsd urging the impeachment of Chaney and Bush, (c) repeal of the War Commissions Act, and (d) declaration that Santa Cruz be a sanctuary for those trying to avoid committing war crimes (such as Lt. Watada).
by Tim Rumford
Saturday Feb 17th, 2007 8:32 AM
Here is a link to play a video of most of the protest as we gathered / occupied the... sub office of Sam Farr. It's in WMV format. You can download it or open it. I missed the very end and apologize to Bernard for loosing the very beginning and end of his impassioned speech. The most informative part is near the middle and end of the video after we get past the milk and cookies approach of Farr's office. Thanks Steve for organizing the protest.

Farr Protest
by IMCist@
Sunday Feb 18th, 2007 1:12 PM
Copy the following to embed the movie into another web page:
download video:

farr.wmv (34.2MB)

Great to see the video. Thank you for posting it. I'm reposting the video here on Indybay.org. The video about 13 minutes long.
by Augusto Pinochet @ SCIndymedia
Sunday Feb 18th, 2007 2:52 PM
"I just got home from talking to a new friend, another longtime activist. She told me of a campaign she participated in a few years ago to try to stop the government and transnational timber corporations from spraying Agent Orange, a potent defoliant and teratogen, in the forests of Oregon. Whenever activists learned a hillside was going to be sprayed,they assembled there, hoping their presence would stop the poisoning. But each time, like clockwork, helicopters appeared, and each time, like clockwork, helicopters dumped loads of Agent Orange onto the hillside and onto protesting activists. The campaign did not succeed.

“But, ”she said to me, “I’ll tell you what did. A bunch of Vietnam vets lived in those hills, and they sent messages to the Bureau of Land Management and to Weyerhaeuser, Boise Cascade, and the other timber companies saying, ‘We know the names of your helicopter pilots, and we know their addresses.’”

http://www.insurgentamerican.net/2007/02/18/derick-jensens-endgame/


I know where you'll be in four weeks, minus 2 days.

Think on that.

You, the censor, your role is 'helicopter pilot'

Get your act together instead of seeking to maintain your ego by deleting critiques of the action, everyone there knows what happened. Totally disorganized.

Mumia has his place, and I'd really seriously doubt if HE'D think Sam Farr's office WAS the place for honorable mention at that particular point in time... because he's not a narcisistic egotist.

I have friends who used to THUG people who cowboy-ed shit like crumbling cookies and disrupting actions for their little attention getting ploys at the expense of the group!


...or perhaps you're just.... another... bunch... of... opportunists that has no care whatsoever about the end results of your actions.

Is that it?

How to visit a congressperson:
(16) Visit a Congressperson. This may sound generic; and it is. Many people have never done this, so they have this vague imagination of governance and who performs it…. which intimidates people (as it is probably meant to). Keep track of local organizing efforts on issues (now, the war), and join the next group of people who are going to visit this elected official in her/his office. They do this all the time. Going with them will be a real education, we assure you. You will not only see the actual office (generally unimpressive) and the actual person (often just as unimpressive), you will see how other interact with this rep as well as lose the feeling of being intimidated. Little known fact: Actual visits by groups of five or more people create real concern for elected officials. The American Mathematical Society (?) has a good guide for these visits. Do not use these visits to show how revolutionary you are. Others in your group may not be down for that, it doesn’t serve any purpose except to stroke one’s own ego, and it’s disrespectful of other members of your own group.

Of Sam Farr's legislative assistants were well-versed on his position in regard to our questioning why he continued to vote military appropriations, but were taken aback that I had noticed the webmail he had sent a day earlier in regard to the "Reconstruction and Stabilization Civilian Management Act.

It calls for the establishment of:

"...a 250 person Civilian Response Readiness Corps with both
Active-Duty and Reserve components. The corps would be rapidly
deployed with the military for both initial assessments and
operational purposes. They would be the first civilian team on the
ground in post-conflict situations."

They are suppose to get back to me about his rationale for that
stupidity (it includes embedding "... that would integrate Americans
with critical skills into stabilization and reconstruction efforts in
countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and Haiti.)

source: http://farr.house.gov/issues2.cfm?id=12446&feed=rss
by facts please
Wednesday Feb 21st, 2007 5:50 PM

I have to call Bradley to task for the misinformation in this article. He claims the "The protest was "part of the growing national movement called The Occupation Project..."
This protest was certainly NOT part of the Occupation Project. A quick visit to the web link provided would be enough to establish that fact. http://vcnv.org/project/the-occupation-project
First, at the site you will find a link to Local Campaign Descriptions, on which Santa Cruz is NOT listed.
Further, on the page 'Statement of Nonviolence for the Occupation Project', it states, "We will act with love, openness, compassion, and respect toward all who we encounter and their surroundings. We will not be violent in our actions, words, or otherwise –toward any person or property." & "We will seek dialogue with those who may disagree with us and maintain a spirit of openness, friendliness and respect towards all with whom we engage." The protest completely ignored these guidelines.
Additionally, all pre-event publicity materials did not mention The Occupation Project at all, not even to give them the nod as inspiration for the event. See Steve Argue's Liberation News press releases for confirmation.
Finally, The Occupation Project states that the "offices of Representatives and Senators who refuse to pledge to vote against additional war funding", are to be targeted. But guess what? The Occupation Project page has a link to 'Voting records concerning supplemental spending bills and the resolution to go to war', on which Sam Farr's record is included. And what is that record? He voted against the October 2002 resolution to go to war and ALL of the supplemental spending bills approved to continue to fund the war.
The Santa Cruz protest fails on all counts to even come close to being
"part of the growing national movement called The Occupation Project".
WILPF was right to counterprotest this extremely misguided action by sectarians trying to use a legitimate national campaign for their own agendas.
Bradley, you do awesome work on this site, but you dropped the ball on this one. A little fact checking certainly doesn't hurt.

Peace...
by Fact checker
Thursday Feb 22nd, 2007 11:50 AM
Facts Please, calls Bradley to task for writing, "The protest was "part of the growing national movement called The Occupation Project..."

While the protest may not have been a part of The Occupation Project, in Steven Argue's call to action he does write, "This protest is part of the growing national movement demanding that representatives, like Sam Farr, that claim to oppose the war stop funding it."

Farr's voting history is on the public record. He DID vote against the October 2002 resolution to go to war and ALL of the supplemental spending bills approved to continue to fund the **Iraq**war, but, as stated in Steven Argue's original call to action, "Farr still consistently supports and votes for massive general appropriations for the military budget. These are votes for war."

A minor oversight on Bradley's part? Yes. Big F'N deal.

Facts please, you don't like Bradley's reporting? Do your own story next time, instead of hiding behind a psuedonym, and critiqueing a hard-working VOLUNTEER, who consistently goes out to photograph events and get content on this site...

Bradley, I love your work. Don't let FP discourage you... Every reporter has made a mistake at one time or another... No big deal. Lesson learned....

by facts please
Friday Feb 23rd, 2007 9:16 PM
Jeez, lighten up and re-read my post. It certainly wasn't about trying to discourage Bradley. Did you miss my "awesome work" comment? The reason I called him to task on this FEATURED story wasn't primarily due to a minor mistake of fact. It's because the story's false inference of association with The Occupation Project gives undeserved legitimacy to an action that is in NO way part of that project. Would you like a statement from the Occupation Project distancing itself from the Argue protest? Perhaps they'd like to comment about Indymedia promoting falsehoods about who is actually involved in their campaign? Perhaps WILPF should be solicited as to their views and that story featured? Do you now understand what's at issue here? It is a "Big F'N deal". You claim "Lesson learned." Let's hope so.

Peace...

by Leigh Meyers
Friday Mar 2nd, 2007 11:00 AM
This is a vote for continuing our incursion militarily and cuturally into Iraq, surreptisiously in the guise of 'support' for Iraq. It IS NOT support, reparations are support.

Too bad they didn't leave anyone in a position of power whose not too corrupt to deal with.

But that's NOT OUR PROBLEM!

Further, this sort of funding tactic is commonly employed around the world to destabilize governments. Read the list below for a sample of what is essentially a USAID spook program.


"Reconstruction and Stabilization Civilian Management Act.

It calls for the establishment of:

"...a 250 person Civilian Response Readiness Corps with both
Active-Duty and Reserve components. The corps would be rapidly
deployed with the military for both initial assessments and
operational purposes. They would be the first civilian team on the
ground in post-conflict situations."

They are suppose to get back to me about his rationale for that
stupidity (it includes embedding "... that would integrate Americans
with critical skills into stabilization and reconstruction efforts in
countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and Haiti.)

source: http://farr.house.gov/issues2.cfm?id=12446&feed=rss

lcm
PS: I saw house.gov lurking on my site & here this morning.

I hope you pay careful attention. NO MORE! NO WAR!

Take that $20 billion dollars the the congress will hopefully cut from the military appropriations budget and sink it IMMEDIATELY into a newly-minted Department of Peace.

...and war reparations... did I mention that?
by Robert Norse, Thomas Leavitt
Friday Apr 20th, 2007 1:10 PM
A few weeks ago, I asked one of Congressman Farr's staff members to tell me what level of funding cuts to the defense budget the Congressman would be willing to support.

It appears that, from the figures below, Congressman Farr thinks we should cut the "defense" budget (which doesn't include expenditures for the "wars" in Afghanistan and Iraq, and a host of other programs) by $60 billion, from $400 billion to $340 billion. 15% (less, in reality).
Leaving us still spending as much or more than the rest of the world, combined, far more than any of our "allies", and far far more than any of our "enemies" (China being the most prominent example).

Funding "cuts" of this level do nothing to dismantle the war machine, the military industrial complex, or even reverse the level of expenditures to that of the former Clinton administration, prior to the Bush buildup (not that Clinton/Gore were dedicated Defense budget busters themselves)..

Thomas

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Congressman Farr's Response
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 10:24:11 -0400
From: Representative Sam Farr <imaca17 [at] mail.house.gov>
To: <thomas [at] thomasleavitt.org>

April 20, 2007

Mr. Thomas Van Ness Leavitt

P.o. Box 7095

Santa Cruz, California 95061-7095

Dear Thomas:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Common Sense Budget Act (HR 1702). You will be pleased to know that I will cosponsor this important bill to shave $60 billion from the approximately $400 billion defense budget and uses the savings to fund important domestic priorities like education, health care, retraining workers, increase funding for homeland security etc.

Funding the Defense Department is important for our national security, but current funding for the DOD includes significant misallocation of resources. Approximately $60 billion still goes towards achieving military superiority over the Soviet Union. The Cold War is long over, and our defense budget should reflect new priorities to reflect the changing security challenges that we face in a post 9/11 world.

A budget document is a reflection of a nation's priorities. On Thursday, March 29th, the House passed the Democratic Budget Resolution (H Con Res 99) that adopts and implements funding priorities that reflect the core values of our nation and provides a responsible fiscal blueprint to lead our nation out of deficit spending. H Con Res 99 restores funding for Veterans' benefits, Education programs, and the Environmental Protection Agency among many other important programs.

Please be assured that I will continue to fight for budgets that support American families and communities and please always feel free to contact me again regarding the budget or any other federal matter.

Sincerely,

SAM FARR
Member of Congress
SF/av

Please be sure to visit my website at http://www.farr.house.gov <http://www.farr.house.gov/>.

This is an official correspondence from Congressman Sam Farr. If you have any questions please contact our office
<http://www.farr.house.gov/feedback.cfm?campaign=farr&type=Contact%20Me>.



NOTE FROM ROBERT NORSE: Farr, also has voted FOR the Supplementary Military Appropriation for Iraq this year (which in the past he's voted against).