October 7 will mark the eighth anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan. As Obama considers whether to send additional troops into the conflict, activists across the United States are using the month to call for an end to the war. Here are some actions you can take to demand a sensible policy from the Obama administration and a swift and safe resolution to the war.
War Resisters League
(warresisters .org) is organizing protests on October 5 in Washington and October 7 in New York to “surge peace and development and justice, not war and troops.”
is helping activists nationwide organize “Out of Afghanistan” house parties, where hosts can screen Rethink Afghanistan, the new documentary by filmmaker
, and bring together concerned citizens from their area for a discussion of the future of US involvement.
is collecting signatures for a petition on the “Women Say No to War!” portion of its website, which calls for a speedy and humane end to military engagement in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. CodePink4Peace.org also features a calendar of upcoming antiwar events and lectures focusing on peace and international women’s rights.
is calling on its more than 5 million members to e-mail the president and demand a plan to get troops out of Afghanistan as soon as possible, to let Obama know “we need an exit strategy–not tens of thousands more troops stuck in a quagmire.”
And on the night of the anniversary, the
American Friends Service Committee
United for Peace and Justice
are organizing candlelight vigils across the country to demand dialogue and development in Afghanistan–instead of more foreign troops. ELISABETH GARBER-PAUL
LONE STAR LEGACY:
used to joke about writing a history of the civil rights movement in East Texas with the title “No One Famous Ever Came.” While the great struggles of the 1960s in other Southern states drew national attention, the more complex but no less bitter battles to end discrimination against African-Americans and Latinos in Texas tend to be forgotten. Perhaps that is why the September 23 death of Texas liberal
at 83 earned less attention than was deserved. In 1962, when most Southern liberals were preaching caution on civil rights, Yarborough’s campaign for the Texas Democratic gubernatorial nomination promised to end discrimination, respect the rule of law and break the rule of the oil-monied elites.
Yarborough’s coalition of minorities, union members and Austin liberals came within 27,000 votes of upsetting conservative Democrat
. And the prospect that Yarborough might beat Connally in the 1964 primary brought President
John F. Kennedy
to Dallas in November 1963 to heal rifts within the party. Yarborough lost in ’64 and again in ’68, but the broad appeal of his homegrown progressivism was sufficient to inspire the next generation of Texas liberals–
, among others–to wrestle the state Democratic Party from the right and eventually win the governorship and other key posts. That’s Yarborough’s legacy: when no one famous came, he and his fellow Texas liberals built a progressive populist coalition that lingers to this day. JOHN NICHOLS