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General News    H3'ed 1/17/12

Charlottesville, Va., City Council Passes Resolution Opposing War on Iran

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The resolution that came out of the conference and which is included in the book is almost identical to what is above. It does not, however, include mention of Iran.  The resolution presented to the new City Council at its first public meeting on January 3, 2012, is posted on the website of the longstanding peace organization in Charlottesville, the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice: http://www.charlottesvillepeace.org/node/2630

At that meeting, Norris proposed adding in the words about Iran.  A report on the meeting and video are posted here: http://www.charlottesvillepeace.org/node/2657

As you'll see at the link, we had several members of the public speak in support of the resolution and we presented a petition with hundreds of additional signatures.  At that time, our three reliable council members publicly expressed support, but one of them suggested changes should be made.  A fourth, Satyendra Huja, also expressed weak support, while the fifth, Kathy Galvin remained silent.

By January 12th, the City Council had made public its amended version, the only significant change being the addition of the language on Iran.

The council was scheduled to vote at its January 17th meeting, and on the morning of the 17th made public a proposal from Galvin to radically revise the resolution, omiting any reference to war on Iran or to the existence of both ground and drone wars, claiming the military is protecting our rights despite the erosion of our rights facilitated by war, inaccurately describing the powers the Constitution gives the President, expressing support for the office of the President less than a month after the power to imprison people without trial was made a part of that office, asking the President and Congress to "continue" working to redirect military spending to domestic priorities which falsely implied that such work was already underway, eliminating a paragraph pointing to the tradeoffs our wealthy nation makes in comparison with other countries by funding the military so heavily, and claiming that reducing military spending might endanger the safety of troops.

We immediately privately and publicly urged our three most reliable city council members to recognize this as unacceptable and to stand strong for the previous version of the resolution.  See these statements: http://www.charlottesvillepeace.org/node/2672 and http://www.charlottesvillepeace.org/node/2673

The three original supporters, Norris, Smith, and Szakos told us they agreed.

Come time for the meeting, we packed the room.  We also had enough people arrive early and sign up to speak that we dominated the public speaking period at the start of the meeting. And the people who spoke really outdid themselves.  We also presented the council with a peace lily.  The video will soon be posted here:
http://charlottesville.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2

We had so packed the room that some people had to stand.  To accomodate us, the council changed the agenda and addressed the resolution first.  Galvin made her proposals.  Norris spoke for the strong resolution.  Smith did the same.  And when Szakos did the same we'd won.  With three voting in favor of the stronger resolution, Huja joined them and Galvin abstained, while everyone else applauded.

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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online (more...)
 
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