Visiting the missing Senator from Oregon, Gordon Smith:
Troy and I arrived about 1300, (1 PM) and met with a staff member who listened to us and accepted our letter.
Defund the War Campaign
Dear Senator Smith, January 25, 2007
We have taken the time to come to your office to request you follow up on your words, which you delivered on the Senate Floor with great passion and nobility.
"I, for one, am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way being blown up by the same bombs day after day. That is absurd. It may even be criminal. I cannot support that any more. I believe we need to figure out not just how to leave Iraq but how to fight the War on Terror and to do it right." (Part of the speech you made on the Senate floor)
These are the very sentiments of the majority of Americans and Oregonians. We now come to your office to ask that you stop all support for this war. Americans want this madness to end and your words indicate that you share that vision. We want you to vote "No" on all future appropriations that come before the Senate concerning the continuation of this war/occupation of Iraq.
We further ask, as your constituents, you meet with and endorse the efforts of the groups who will visit your office during the coming weeks before the military authorization bill comes before the Congress in February.
You have the lives of present and future soldiers in your hands; we ask that you do everything in your power to rescue them from this ongoing insanity. There is no victory for President Bush; there is only more and more slaughter of the innocent.
Today we will stay until you or your representative answers our requests.
Joe Walsh Troy Horton
Apparently he did not read the letter because when 1700 (5PM) came around he told us we had to leave without answering our request in writing---we refused to leave. There was some confusion as what to do next. The staff wanted to go home and we wanted to stay to get an answer to our letter. Security was called and asked us to leave, we said no because we did not get an answer to our question. Security called the PD and we all waited. When the police arrived, they seemed upset that we had taken them away from arresting the bad guys---to deal with this sit in. We told the police that we would be willing to accept a written statement from a representative of Sen. Smith saying that he would not vote for any future funding of the war or occupation of Iraq. Stand off.
The police did not want to arrest us; the staff member did not want to arrest us but told us that he was generous to us allowing us to sit in the office for the afternoon. I was upset by this and said that was a condescending statement saying he allowed us to sit in "OUR" Senator's office. We were taken out of the office without being handcuffed or searched. We were led to a police car and told that we were going to be issued a citation and charged with criminal trespass and would have to appear in Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for Multnomah County on 26 February. We were released with a handshake and left custody in good stead. Troy and I went and enjoyed a cup of coffee and talked about what we did. Our position is that we want to be on record that Bush is not acting in our name. I truly believe that if the German people had done in 1936 what we did today World War 2 might not have happened. There comes a time that those who can must stand up, say "NO" loud, and clear.
Everyone involved acted with professionalism and we were grateful for that experience. There is some interesting news; Sen. Smith has now come out against the escalation of the war. Bush likes to say 20,000+ more troops is a surge---more BS.
My next personal protest will be in front of Sen. Wyden's office next Thursday during lunch time saying:
In peace and hope
Joe Walsh------Lone Vet