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Camp Hope Holds Obama to "Change" Pledge

By       Message mike ferner       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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opednews.com Headlined to H3 12/30/08

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From the people who put you in office

Determined to keep President-elect Barack Obama true to his promise of change, peace and economic justice activists kick off an 18-day outdoor vigil January 1, four blocks from the Illinois Senator’s home in Chicago.

Camp Hope, headquartered in the Windy City’s Drexel Square Park, seeks to have Obama swiftly enact eight initiatives on issues he supported during his campaign.

A Thursday, 1:00 pm news conference will feature ministers, a Chicago City Alderman, a 25 year-old father facing deportation after living in the U.S. for 17 years and the mother of Tomas Young, a paraplegic Iraq war veteran featured in the movie, "Body of War."

Kathy Kelly, co-director of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, the Chicago group organizing Camp Hope, said, "We feel responsible to give visibility to needed, progressive change at a time when the powerful seek to maintain the status quo of warfare and unbridled greed. The reckless abandon they exhibit is a sad reminder of the Bush Regime."

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The Chicago native said the camp is simply saying to President-elect Obama, "Don’t leave these ideas out in the cold. They are from the people who put you in office."

The ideas are in eight policy areas, including:

War in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan

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Global Climate Change

Nuclear Weapons

Guantanamo and Torture

Immigrant Rights

Unemployment and the Prison-Industrial Complex

Housing Foreclosures

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Universal Health Care

To date groups in California, Missouri and Maine plan local activities in conjunction with Chicago’s Camp Hope. Initial press inquiries have come from French and Japanese journalists but to date, none from U.S. corporate news outlets.

A St. Louis activist, Bill Ramsey, in an op ed titled, "Charting a Course Toward Change," said, "The helm is in transition and those who row can change the course. Setting down our oars and speculating how the new captain will steer is not an option."

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Mike Ferner is a writer from Ohio, former president of Veterans For Peace and author of "Inside the Red Zone: A Veteran For Peace Reports from Iraq." (Praeger)

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