Friday, June 15, 2007

Senator Lieberman & Peaceful Conflict Resolution

By Marcia Jansen

To see a slideshow of photos of CODEPINK's action at Senator Lieberman's office, click here.

To see a slideshow of Leslie's photos from Iran, click here.

What resulted from Senator Joseph Lieberman's cancellation yesterday of
a scheduled meeting with Leslie Angeline, and other members of CODEPINK,
to discuss his recent remarks on CBS' "Face the Nation", that "…we've
got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the
Iranians…", was a microcosm of the very dynamic we had come to protest,
the belief that ultimately you must use force to resolve conflict, and
our call for a diplomatic resolution of the conflict with Iran.

Senator Lieberman's cancellation of yesterday's scheduled meeting was an
acting out of the very U.S. policy which leads to war, death and
destruction – the refusal to talk to those with whom you disagree,
refusal to talk to your opponents, your enemy.

What followed Senator Lieberman's refusal to talk with us, demonstrates
the power of a willingness to be open – a willingness to talk to one

Sixty people, from around the country, including leaders from the
Iranian community, came to Senator Lieberman's office at the original
meeting time of 4:30 p.m., yesterday afternoon. After all sixty of us
completely filled the reception area of Senator Lieberman's office,
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK, again asked that Senator
Lieberman meet with us, as originally scheduled, and recounted the
series of events that led up to the cancellation of the meeting.

The receptionist in Senator Lieberman's office kept insisting that we
leave and we kept insisting on meeting with Senator Lieberman. Finally,
we were given a warning by a member of the Capitol police to leave or
face arrest.

Then the phone rang. The receptionist answered the phone, left her desk
and went into another room. She returned with Senator Lieberman's chief
of staff who again told us the meeting had been cancelled and said we
must leave.

Leslie Angeline began to talk about her recent travels in Iran and the
beautiful people she met, and in a very emotional plea begged the United
States not bomb the people of Iran, 70% who are under the age of 30.

Senator Lieberman's chief of staff was visibly touched by Leslie's plea.
When Leslie was finished speaking, Medea Benjamin asked the chief of
staff if there was a high ranking staff member who would meet with a
delegation from the group. What resulted from that request was a
meeting which lasted over an hour with three members from our group and
Senator Lieberman's chief of staff, legislative director, and an aide on
the Middle East.

Yesterday we came to Senator Lieberman's office to advocate for a
resolution of the conflict with Iran, through diplomacy not war. What
subsequently played out in Senator Lieberman's office was a powerful
example that conflicts can be resolved peacefully.

The conflict yesterday, in Senator Lieberman's office, was resolved
through the power of persistence, words, good will, the power of
humanity and a willingness, on the part of everyone involved, to be open
and respectful of one another, a willingness to come face to face, a
willingness to negotiate and compromise and come to some agreement, some

The principles and values that brought about the peaceful resolution to
the conflict yesterday in Senator Lieberman's office are the same
principles and values that can bring about a diplomatic resolution to
the conflict with Iran.

1 comment:

JimPreston said...

Thanks for the post. I particularly like your discussion at the end about "the principles and values" that led to a resolution of the conflict. We hear so much talk about all kinds of crap, with very little discussion about what the "principles" are, what problem people are actually trying to solve, and what people actually value.
As for me, I value women and peace. I can't wait to come back to the Pink House.