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Local Peace Groups Target Costa
Peace groups in Fresno unite in strategic effort to target Democratic Representative Jim Costa to stop funding the war & occupation in Iraq.
Local Peace Groups Target Costa
By Mike Rhodes
Peace groups in the Fresno area are targeting Democratic congressman Jim Costa this month. They want Costa to change his position on the war/occupation of Iraq and vote to cut off funding.
A September 7 email sent out by Peace Fresno president Bill Simon, stated that the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), MoveOn.org, Codepink, and Peace Fresno will be working together to “pressure Democratic Representative Jim Costa to vote NO on the September bill to continue funding the occupation of Iraq.” Simon wrote that “each group will take one day a week to picket in front of Costa's office and perhaps to go into the office to say ‘No more funding’. We will also encourage passers by to call their Congressman and Senators.”
Jean Hays, the chairperson of WILPF, said the demonstrations will start on September 11 at 12 Noon on the sidewalk outside Rep. Costa's office, 855 M Street, across from the Convention Center Exhibit Hall. Hays wrote that “at some point we may want to go sit in his office just to remind him of our wishes.” Hays continues “in the next few days, Congress will once again vote to either CEASE funding the occupation of Iraq or to INCREASE funding. We must NOT allow them to repeat their betrayal of the American people, our soldiers, Iraq people, and the people of the world by voting to continue funding this illegal, immoral occupation of Iraq. Some say Congress is not listening to us; we say maybe WE ARE NOT TALKING LOUD ENOUGH!!”
Nancy Griesser, one of the main coordinators of MoveOn.org in Fresno, wrote “for the next three weeks, until the next vote on war funding is cast, a coalition of local groups will be picketing Rep. Jim Costa's office downtown on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, during the noon hour (12:00 to 1:00 pm). WILPF is responsible for Tuesdays, Peace Fresno is doing Wednesdays, and a group of us from MoveOn.org have volunteered to be there on Thursdays. People are encouraged to come on any of those days that work for them. We'll carry signs and hand out Congressional contact information to passers by. The focus is on Costa because he is a Democrat who continues to support funding for the war. If you are interested in participating, please let me know either by calling (559) 325-1616 or emailing me at nancyg [at] csufresno.edu . It is especially important for us to enlist people who live in Costa's district for this action so please be sure to let us know if you are a Costa constituent or if you are a veteran.”
Simon said Peace Fresno is also working with a coalition of peace groups in all California Congressional Districts to call Congressional Representative and Senators. This coordinated effort, California Calling, is taking place Monday-Thursday, September 10-13. They are urging you to call your Congressional Representative and Senators to insist that they vote NO on the September funding bill.
CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE:
The number for the House switchboard in Washington is: 202-224-3121.
The direct phone numbers to your Representatives offices are:
Radanovich: Washington 202-225-4540; Fresno 559-449-2490
Costa: Washington 202-225-3341; Fresno 559-495-1620
Nunes: Washington 202-225-2523; Clovis 559-323-5265; Visalia 559-733-3861
Cardoza: Washington 202-225-6131; Merced 209-383-4455; Modesto 209-527-1914
Boxer: Washington 202-224-3553; Fresno 497-5109
Feinstein: Washington 202-224-3841; Fresno 485-7430
Their websites for email are:
Speaker Pelosi: http://speaker.house.gov/
Senate Majority Leader Reid: http://reid.senate.gov/
A demonstration is also being planned for Friday, September 21 - International Day of Peace. Peace Fresno is organizing a special Peace Day demonstration at the Peace Corner: Blackstone and Shaw from 4:30-6:30. Simon says “if we could get 200 people out for the last hour, 5:30-6:30, this would help convince our congressmen that we want peace, not more funding for the occupation.” More information is available at http://www.peacefresno.org .