Local group calls on Rogue Valley citizens to oppose US military surge in Afghanistan

peacenotwarsmalllogoIn solidarity with the Call for National Action for Peace in Afghanistan by United for Peace & Justice, three  rallies/vigils for peace in Afghanistan will be held next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in Medford, Ashland and Grants Pass.

Citizens for Peace & Justice of Medford is urging citizens to gather with signs of protest or peace at the following times and locations:

Tuesday, April 7th, 4:30 to 5:30 pm, Vogel Plaza, Main at Central, Medford

Wednesday, April 8th, 4:30 to 5:30 pm, Ashland Plaza, Ashland

Thursday, April 9th, 4:30 to 5:30 pm, Josephine County Courthouse, 500 NW Sixth St., Grants Pass

The following news release from United for Peace & Justice explains what these actions are about:

Call for National Action for Peace in Afghanistan

Recently, President Barack Obama announced his plans to send another 21,000 troops to Afghanistan:  he is girding the nation for a long and costly military occupation there.

While he also made some good statements on increasing diplomacy and economic aid to Afghanistan and Pakistan, the emphasis is clearly on military operations. Predictably, the Pakistan and Afghan factions of the Taliban are already uniting to oppose our escalation of troops. As the spring fighting season approaches, only one thing is certain — more death, destruction, and misery in a desperately poor country that has had little respite from war for decades.

Here in the U.S., Obama’s escalation in Afghanistan and the continuing occupation of Iraq threaten our nation’s urgent economic and domestic agenda. Now is the time for more diplomacy, not more war!

United For Peace and Justice calls for immediate action for peace in Afghanistan. Here are three things you can do:

1) Call the White House today – 202-456-1414 or toll-free 1-800-828-0498

Make sure President Obama knows that you disagree with his plans to send more troops to Afghanistan. Call the White House comment line at 202-456-1414 between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM ET. (Or call the activist Capitol switchboard toll-free at 1-800-828-0498 and ask for the White House.)

2) Help organize local actions April 6 – 9

Congress will be in recess so this is a perfect time to meet with your representatives while they are home. Actions can also be community or media-focused — vigils, rallies, public education forums with local speakers, film showings or
other events to educate and mobilize support in your community. This is an important time to educate people about Afghanistan and the urgent need to change U.S. policy.

UFPJ calls for the following:

a.. A halt to the planned escalation of 21,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. We need to bring all our troops home now, not to send more into a country where military solutions have never worked.

b.. A strong commitment to diplomacy as the only solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. The U.S. must support negotiations already underway among various actors in Afghanistan, and must also engage all countries in the region with a stake in a peaceful Afghanistan. The announcement that Iran will join negotiations over Afghanistan is a positive development. We need to share more cups of tea for negotiating rather than more weapons where military solutions have never worked.*

c.. A dramatic shift from military spending by the U.S. to funding for Afghan-led humanitarian community development and reconstruction projects to enable Afghan communities to improve daily life for their own people. Our goal is to put an end to U.S. war funding.

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