November 8, 2004
George Bush didn’t waste time. He decided to quickly use his “political capital” to widen the war in Iraq by launching an all-out assault on Falluja. We know you are all exhausted from the election work, but we can’t let this attack happen without protesting the horrendous escalation of violence.
As we write, U.S. warplanes are dropping huge bombs on civilian neighborhoods, and ground troops are entering the city. One hospital, Nazzal Emergency Hospital, was destroyed in an air strike; another, Falluja General Hospital, has been seized by U.S. forces, making it unlikely that injured civilians will be able to go there for treatment. The estimated 50,000 civilians who remain in Falluja lack running water, electricity, and food.
There will undoubtedly be many civilian injuries and deaths: during the last siege of Falluja in April, at least 600 Iraqis were killed, most of them civilians. The death toll is expected to be high on the U.S. side as well: Marine commanders have warned that deaths among U.S. forces could reach levels not seen since the Vietnam War.
The U.S. assault on Falluja is a catastrophic action that will result in horrific and unnecessary bloodshed, fuel anger and resentment against the U.S., and swell the ranks of terrorist groups rather than eradicating terrorism. We need to raise our voices in opposition to this attack, insist that the U.S. return to peace negotiations, and call for our troops to be brought home now.
Please consider taking one of the following actions:
ORGANIZE ACTIONS THIS THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY
We need to be vocal and visible in our opposition to the assault on Falluja. Organize actions this week outside local Congressional offices, while Congress is in recess, or in a high-profile location in your community.
Be sure to list your actions on the United for Peace and Justice calendar ( http://www.unitedforpeace.org
) so we can publicize and amplify all of our voices.
Ideas for action include:
* candlelight vigils to mourn the deaths that will be caused by this attack
* creative/visual street protests that use coffins or enlarged images of Iraqi civilian casualties or people dressed as bloodied and bandaged civilians or soldiers
* sit-ins inside Congressional offices
* meetings with members of Congress
* collaborations with Veterans For Peace groups on Veterans Day events (Thursday, 11/11), emphasizing the message that in order to support our future veterans, we need to get them out of Falluja and out of Iraq
* holding banners (pink, of course) and/or distributing leaflets at busy intersections, shopping districts, or other high-traffic locations
CONTACT LOCAL MEDIA OUTLETS
Flood your local media outlets with messages of opposition to the assault on Falluja, and demand that they talk about the civilians who are being killed and injured. Millions of people listen to talk radio every day: organize people to call the shows in your area and speak out. Write letters to the editor and send in opinion pieces. Ask reporters if they would like to interview an anti-war activist.
TELL YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES YOU OPPOSE THE ASSAULT ON FALLUJA
Call the Congressional switchboard at (202) 225-3121 and ask to be transferred to your Representative or Senator.
Get up-to-date news from Iraq by subscribing to Occupation Watch’s email list at http://www.occupationwatch.org
Thank you for taking the time to show your horror at the escalating violence and call for an end to the US occupation of Iraq.
Andrea, Claire, Dana, Gael, Jodie, Medea, Nancy, Tiffany