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A Timely Anti-War Effort-Support the Occupation Project

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Message Paul Rogat Loeb
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I rarely do on-line fundraising pitches, but there's a very timely project that I think can help make a significant difference in building pressure for withdrawal from Iraq. Stacy Bannerman is a long-time peace activist, wife of an Iraq War Veteran, and author of an excellent book on the impact on the war on the families of reservists, When the War Came Home. Together with other peace activists, Bannerman's been working on an effort called The Occupation Project, that will bring Iraqi vets and their families to Washington DC for a combination of civil disobedience and testimony at congressional hearings and public events. This could make a significant difference because no one carries more credibility with the general public than the returning vets and their families. But the project needs to quickly raise about $9,000 to rent a Washington DC house or apartment to coordinate their efforts and to provide a place for the vets and their families to stay while participating, without incurring the exorbitant prices of Washington DC hotels.

I think it's a valuable project and will be donating to it myself, and thought I'd invite others to join me. People can contribute through Paypal with details below. The International Humanities Center is acting as a tax deductible fiscal sponsor. Here's Bannerman's memo describing the project and its start-up budget, and explaining how to donate:


President Bush has declared that he's sending at least 21,500 more troops into Iraq, and there's nothing that Congress can do to stop him. Actually, there is something Congress can do, but it will require immense public pressure and a prolonged presence on Capitol Hill over the next several months.

Congress can cut off the funding for the war, which is what finally ended the Vietnam War. But many members of Congress say that they won't cut off funding for the war because they "don't want to abandon the troops." As the wife of an Iraq War Veteran, and three-year member of Military Families Speak Out (MFSO), I say that Congress has abandoned our troops for nearly four years.

3,100 plus members of MFSO agree, as do the nearly 1,100 military personnel - mostly active duty - who have signed the Appeal for Redress, along with the hundreds of Iraq War Veterans who have served in Iraq and are drawing from their first-hand experiences to protest this war. Rory Dunn is one of them. He lost part of his forehead, and an eye, when he was hit by an IED. The doctors didn't expect him to survive, but he did. His family has had to fight for his post-combat care and medical treatment every step of the way, in what they call the "battle after the battle." You can read more about it here:

The Occupation Project will begin on February 5th, when President Bush is expected to submit the supplemental appropriations request to continue the occupation of Iraq. This contradicts the intelligence of most military commanders, the findings and recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, the opinions of 70% of the soldiers on the ground (Zogby Poll, February 2006), and the demands of the overwhelming majority of the people of American and of Iraq.

The Occupation Project, a campaign of sustained nonviolent civil disobedience to end Iraq War funding, was initiated by Voices for Creative Nonviolence ( It is just one of a number of anti-war activities scheduled to take place in Washington D.C. over the next three months. In addition to the March 17-19 Peace Demonstration to mark four years of Iraq War, there are a number of upcoming hearings scheduled by the Senate and House Majority and Minority leaders, as well as the leaders and members of the following committees: Appropriations, Armed Services, Defense, Military Quality of Life & Veterans Affairs, International Relations, and more.

It is critical that military family members, active duty personnel, and Iraq war veterans are able to attend - and possibly testify at - these events, but housing costs are prohibitive.

Stacy Bannerman has been on the front lines of the anti-war movement since before it began. She will act as the project director, and has committed to being in Washington D.C. for the duration of the campaign. She is a past Advisory Board member of MFSO, and author of When the War Came Home (Continuum Publishing, 2006). While in D.C., she will be participating in all of the activities, writing reports, blogs, and articles (her previous work can be found at, conducting interviews and press conferences, speaking at events, and working to ensure that the voices of those most directly affected by the war - soldiers, families, and veterans - are heard.

Opinion leaders, elected officials and citizens take their objection to the war seriously, as it is the military personnel and their families that have so much at stake, and must bear the costs of war. It is their loved ones who have been, are, or will be in the war theater. It is their loved ones who are suffering injury and death, returning scarred from their experiences. Congress will listen to them, but they need to your help with housing.

Ms. Bannerman is in the process of securing a furnished home or apartment to sub-let for a minimum of three months, from February 1 through the end of April, possibly longer. The space will be near Capitol Hill, and have access to the Metro and other services. This will provide a stable base of operations and housing for her and other military families, personnel and veterans while they are engaging in coordinated efforts to get Congress to cut off the funds and end the war.

Housing - (Rent & utilities: $1,950 x 3 months) $ 5,850
Security Deposit-($1,500) 1,500
Ground Travel - ($250 x 3 months) 750
Sub-Total 8,100
Administrative Overhead (10%) $ 810
TOTAL: $ 8,910

To make a tax deductible donation to the project, you can contribute on-line to its 501 (c) 3 fiscal sponsor, International Humanities Center at

You can contribute by PayPal, or make a check to IHC/Occupation Project and send it to: International Humanities Center P.O. Box 923, Malibu, CA 90265.
Either way make sure to indicate that it's for The Occupation Project, as opposed to a general contribution.

By providing a free, secure place for military families and Iraq war veterans and active duty personnel, more of them will be able to participate in the Occupation Project, Congressional Hearings, and other events than could without available housing.

I thank you in advance for your consideration, and look forward to hearing from you soon. Your support will allow those most affected by the war in Iraq to make their voices heard at a critical time.


Stacy Bannerman 253-859-6465 West Coast Time
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Paul Rogat Loeb is the author of Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in a Cynical Time, and The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear,winner of the 2005 Nautilus Award for the best book on social change. See (more...)
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