By Rae Abileah
Today as I was walking to the metro with a guy who works at Walter Reed Hospital, he said, "We are not a nation at war; we are an army at war." It made me think about how in wars past we in the US have rationed, held scrap metal drives, women who were traditionally in the home took up jobs in factories, the feeling of war was everywhere. It is entirely possible to walk onto a college campus, through a downtown city, or down the halls of Congress, and be oblivious of the fact that our nation is in fact at war. Of course the local cost of war is immense--the human death toll, the financial cutbacks to social services, and many of us in the poorest communities, or those of us who have family in the military, feel the war immensely.
Today when I was at Congress for a meeting I stopped by the underground subway between the House buildings and the Capitol as many Congressmembers were walking through to vote on something. Though I didn't have a specific bill to ask them about, I did shake many of their hands, and to every one I asked the question, "Have you done something today to stop the war in Iraq?" "Help us bring our troops home!" Because it is possible to walk these halls of Congress and feel very distant from the mere idea of war, it felt very effective to be a constant voice about the conflict outside the passageway to the Capitol. Imagine if every time there was any vote in Congress, every member going from their office to the Capitol was confronted with the message that it is time to bring our troops home and get out of Iraq. Our Congresspeople are for the most part behind the times in terms of public opinion about the war. Not only do we have to "push" them to do the right thing, support key legislation, stop the war... we have to "pull" them, by leading them towards the right direction. I envision hundreds of people here on a daily basis helping to pull Congress away from the Bush Agenda and towards peace. To increase our numbers from a dozen to a hundred... we need YOU! Click on the links to the right to find out how to join us in DC! Or raise a ruckus at your Congressperson's nearest office!
Photos from actions in DC today, including CODEPINK at a rally with Kucinich and Clinton, in solidarity with a labor rally, and outside the White House on the bullhorn during a press conference with Bush and Blair. Photos taken by Liz Hourican: