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imperialism & war

Organizational Help from Oregon PeaceWorks

Grassroots Outreach Project The staff of Oregon PeaceWorks have skills and knowledge to share with grassrots organizations around the state. This fall we are prepared to travel around Oregon, helping local groups in any way we can. If OPW staff are not available, we will connect folks with experienced activists from other organizations. Please let us know if you're interested in having us come to your town.

We are developing a "road show" available to existing groups and newly forming ones. The presentations will feature a morning of factual material about a peace topic ? chosen by the local group from a menu of possibilities ? and an afternoon of targeted organizing training, again chosen from a menu. Typical morning topic areas would be Stopping the Iraq War, The Military Budget, Star Wars, The New Nuclear Arsenal, The Bush Administration's Defense Program, Nuclear Testing or conflicts in such regions as Colombia, the Middle East. Typical afternoon topics would be: "Cutting" an Issue for Organizing, Using the Media, Planning and Facilitating Meetings, Nonviolence Training, Lobbying or Putting on a Demonstration. A road show presentation might also be coupled with a Dr. Atomic show and other fundraising entertainment in the evening (see 7 below)


Develop a statewide local house meeting program. OPW will work with local organizers to set up a series of house meetings with presentations by OPW staff on one of the topics mentioned above. Both groups will receive the attendance lists. Participants can then be plugged into local e-mail list serves and OPW's e-mail action network and/or recruited to OPW's letter writing team (see below).


Help local areas organize teach-ins on peace topics. Teach-ins have been used very successfully as organizing tools since 9/11 and back through the Vietnam and Gulf wars. They are similar to the road show described above except that they utilize more participants from a wider range of views and may treat a range of related topics. OPW staff will provide organizing tips and help local organizers with agendas, presenters and materials. Some of this work may be done in cooperation with the Physicians for Social Responsibility's Speakers' Bureau or through OPW's Speak Up for Peace Team, when it is established.


Congressional staff people repeatedly assure us that actual letters (not postcards or petitions) written to their bosses wield a lot of influence. OPW will recruit a team of letter writers, based in all 5 congressional districts, who will commit to writing 1 letter per month to an elected official or a publication. OPW will "service" this team by making regular information (facts, sample letters and addresses) available to them on carefully selected issues via email and the OPW web page.


Assist local activists with setting up meetings with Congressional representatives and senators in local communities or "bird-dog" town meetings. OPW will expand its program of setting up networked meetings in congressional districts at which peace activists can express their concerns to congressional representatives or their staff people.


Help organize demonstrations. They may be held and targeted locally, or they may be statewide in character.


Utilize humor. Often humor can make a point more effectively and powerfully than any other approach. Dr. Atomic's Medicine Show, a political satire group which has been entertaining Oregon audiences since 1974, is available for bookings in conjunction with the road show (see #1 above) to help round out a special day in a rural area. The group levels its skits at a wide variety of peace, justice and environmental targets. Because they are strongly supportive of OPW, this troupe of 8 volunteers is willing to travel and perform if OPW can cover expenses of about $300 per performance. Evening events combining Dr. Atomic and a local music group and benefiting both the local group and OPW have been well received in the past.


Oregon PeaceWorks
Oregon PeaceWorks Fund
104 Commercial St NE
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 585-2767
Fax (503) 588-0088

homepage: homepage: http://www.oregonpeaceworks.org
phone: phone: (503) 585-2767
address: address: 104 Commercial St NE, Salem, OR 97301