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actions & protests | imperialism & war m19 2006

19 Oregonians Deliver Anti-War Petitions to Senator Wyden's Office: Delegates Arrested, Me

On March 20th, a delegation of 19 Oregonians took the call for peace to U.S. Senator Ron Wyden's office where they engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience to urge the Senator to introduce legislation ending the occupation of Iraq. Members of the media were turned away when they attempted to enter the federal building where delegates were eventually arrested and charged with failure to comply with a federal officer.
For Immediate Release
March 21st, 2006
Contact: Joy Ellison, Media contact
(503) 327-8250
 jubilus@gmail.com


"Senator Wyden: Lead U.S. Out of Iraq"
19 Oregonians Deliver Anti-War Petitions to Senator Wyden's Office:
Delegates Arrested, Media Refused Entry

(Portland, Oregon) On March 20th, a delegation of 19 Oregonians took the call for peace to U.S. Senator Ron Wyden's office where they engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience to urge the Senator to introduce legislation ending the occupation of Iraq. Members of the media were turned away when they attempted to enter the federal building where delegates were eventually arrested and charged with failure to comply with a federal officer. They delivered a petition with 1,800 signatures to Senator Wyden's Portland office. After attempting to negotiate with the Senator and his senior aids, the delegation announced their intention to stay in the office until the Senator agreed to negotiate. Senator Wyden's staff refused to speak with the delegates and threatened them with arrest.
At a rally in support of the delegates, 10 community leaders held a press conference. They included community leaders, veterans, Jewish, Quaker, Pagan, and Christian leaders, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, and Eman Ahmed Khamas, an Iraqi woman journalist. They explained why Oregon residents demand that Senator Wyden take the lead in ending an overwhelmingly unpopular and illegal war.

On Sunday, March 19th, over 15 thousand Oregonians marked the third anniversary of the war in Iraq by holding a peace rally and march. The Portland event was one of the largest in the nation.
Senator Ron Wyden voted against authorizing the war following citizen pressure in 2003. Delegates hope that the Senior Senator will take this opportunity to show leadership. Citizens began a new lobbying campaign in January 2006. After calls, visits, and letters, the Senator was unresponsive and a delegation announced their intention to offer nonviolent civil disobedience.

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Funding 21.Mar.2006 16:06

Lynn Porter

I suggest we focus on funding for the war, and trying to get Congress to cut it off. Senator Wyden did vote against the original resolution authorizing the war. Since then he has voted FOR funding to continue the war. (As have Reps. DeFazio, Hooley and Walden.) We should try to pressure Wyden to vote against funding. This is the only real power Congress has to stop the war.

Keep Calling Wyden 24.Mar.2006 09:00

Damnit Janet

Ron Wyden's offices:
Portland, OR
(503) 326-7525

I called to follow up on the arrests and to ask Wyden's office to take a stand on stopping the war. The receptionist, I think, has had a bad week. She's a bit on the RUDE & SNOTTY side of life. She angrily announced that, "Yeah, that's why Wyden voted against the war", when I asked why Wyden is acting more like a Bush Wannabe with stock in oil.

She said Wyden didn't have the 19 arrested. They "allowed" them to sit there all day but they had to close and Homeland Security had them arrested. Wyden is clean as a the new driven snow... right.

Wyden may have voted againt the war. But he continues to fund it and Halliburton and he's acting more and more like Bush. Now we know it's "W"yden.

Follow up and call them.

speaking truth to power 24.Mar.2006 16:54

Tom H Hastings

Thank you, Joy Ellison, for the fine media release describing the sit-in at Senator Ron Wyden's office on March 20.

Two quick and relatively minor clarifications:

1. The senator's chief of staff, Josh Kardon, did speak with us. He REFUSED to get us an audience with the Senator, either in person or on the phone, even when we offered to wait indefinitely.

2. None of the senator's staff threatened us with arrest. We had already told them we would be coming at some point to offer nonviolent resistance and expected arrest. Indeed, Mr. Kardon himself said he assumed we'd like to stay until the office closed. We did, and only then were arrested by Homeland Security. I've been arrested from coast to coast and never in this friendly a fashion.

I guess we shut down the office for the remainder of the day while other resisters did the same in Eugene.

Is this a good thing? Well, not for a constituent who needs a helping hand from the Senator's staff. We offered, actually, to make way for anyone in need (the senator's staff were on hand the entire time), but Homeland Security actually decided for us that no one would be getting up there. No corporate suits got through to lobby either, then, though they are much more able to meet the Senator's staff for drinks somewhere than is a disabled vet. We certainly did not decide to close it down, but someone else made that one for us. I disagree with that decision and call it unnecessary, as do most or all of us who were arrested.

It is time to keep up the civil but insistent pressure on Wyden and his staff. We are taking the approach that his constituency is a state of Democrats who voted for him and many of us who sat in his office were in that constitutency (though I believe it's nonviolent resistance open season on all politicians who continue to vote for these supplementals that have gone straight to war profiteers and which have paid for so much bloodshed). We deeply appreciate all your phone calls, faxes, letters and emails to Wyden and his staff. They need to hear from those who either did vote for him or would like to if he would suddenly develop into a national leader on this question.

His staff is saying that the senator won't engage in a "phony exercise" of writing and introducing legislation that has no chance of passing. Republicans control the world, evidently. Was William Proxmire wrong to introduce the Genocide Act every year for 25 years in the Senate, eventually wearing them down until they passed it? It's WORK, getting something passed, and THIS IS WHY WE HIRED HIM AND HIS STAFF. DO YOUR WORK! WE WILL HELP AND WE WILL CHEER YOU!

What we say is that we wish we could point to some US Senator and say, "THIS is our peace leader. Let's get some support for him (or her)." Why couldn't that be Wyden? We believe it could be or we would have a different attitude toward him and his staff. Our attitude toward Wyden is friendly and in the spirit of dialog. That is the advantage of nonviolent conflict management; we can easily go into direct dialog with the Senator or his staff about what we need and what we offer.

We went to Wyden first instead of Smith because we believe Wyden might actually get something done. Goddess knows the country is ready for it, the Democrats are ready for it, and in fact the majority of the citizens in the US voted for Democratic Senators. Huh? Yes, they did. But two of them per state skews it and the Republicans are in the majority in the undemocratic Senate. In any event, we are waiting...but we aren't waiting for Smith to do the right thing. When we visit him the metaphorical gloves are off. We INTEND to shut down his office. We MEAN to interfere with his business. Ron Wyden--with some glaring exceptions--does the business of the people. Smith does the business of the war profiteers.

We propose a campaign of nonviolent resistance to federal elected officials in Oregon (except Earl B, who actually is trying hard to stop this bloody mayhem in Iraq). If you are interested in getting nonviolence training and interested in joining a nonviolent action group process that will either make excellent use of your support skills or put you in the front lines of this campaign, call Whitefeather House, Portland Catholic Worker, 503 327 8250 or email  pcwtom@gmail.com

wyden is not that good 24.Mar.2006 17:56

/

I once saw a list of who he accepted donations from, and it was all the bad guys. It was just SICKENING. The oil companies, the logging companies, the list goes on--he is getting money from practically every contingency that is ruining the planet and our freedoms. I don't have the list right now, but if someone could post it, it would open up his records a bit and show him for who he really is.
His receptionist IS rude all the time. I once called there for help with the family law system that acts like a machine to financially rape women and children, and they couldn't even help with that. I have money that a court captured for no reason--the courts didn't even give a reason, they just said they were holding it until they decide what to do with it, and that was the last they said----------and Wyden's receptionist who very mockingly said that if the government has your money without reason, it is a very serious matter (I think it actually is by both the government's as well as the people's standards) and that I should be able to get some help right away with it. Then they refused to help.
They seem hell bent on not helping with even the most basic and outrageous things!!! It's as if the world could be blown up and they would just hide in their bomb shelter or something. I don't feel they should get paid. We make government so that we don't have people like them...

We Signed The Petition 07.Apr.2006 06:17

Sixpack wabc@mutualaid.org

We, my friend and I, signed the petition at the CLDC's "Grand Juries, Snitches And Spies" on Feb 22nd. It appears we were followed home from there, and on Mar 02, our house was raided. A Federal Marshal was involved. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

Please contact me at wabc.mutualaid.org

Sixpack

http://www.wabc.mahost.org
441 SE 37th Ave. Portland, OR 97214