Giving voice to the majority of Americans who support the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, the antiwar coalition Bring Them Home Now! has created a thirty-nine cent postage stamp. Yes, they’re real. Apparently, pretty much anyone can create legal tender stamps with images of their choosing.
The new antiwar stamp features the symbol of the growing “Bring ‘Em Home Now!” movement – a yellow ribbon transposed over a peace sign – providing millions of Americans with a unique way to show support for a pullout. The response so far has been strong. The first run of 10,000 stamps sold out quickly and the second batch of 10,000 is selling briskly.
Bring ‘Em Home Now! suggests sending in antiwar-stamped tax returns in a symbolic protest against the $250 billion in taxpayer dollars spent on the war to date. At the same time you’ll be raising money for veterans’ groups. All proceeds from the sale of the stamps (as well as shirts, buttons and stickers featuring the popular “Bring ‘Em Home Now!” designs) benefit citizen groups working to end the war, including Military Families Speak Out, Gold Star Families for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and Veterans for Peace.
Finally, click here for info on antiwar protests planned for April 29. A major march is expected in New York City, kicking off in Manhattan at 12:00 noon, just north of Union Square, and proceeding south along Broadway to Foley Square, where a Peace and Justice Festival will hold sway all afternoon.
H.O.P.E. for Darfur
Nothing I can write can describe the trouble the Sudanese people have seen. Everyone knows it’s genocide but little gets done. And it’s not for lack of ideas. Human Rights First recently launched a H.O.P.E. (Help Organize a Peace Envoy) for Darfur Campaign. Many argue that Sudan needs not only the peacekeeping forces of the African Union and perhaps the UN, but also a peacemaker in the form of a high-level, visible Peace Envoy. Human Rights First’s campaign, in keeping with that idea, calls for a high-profile leader whose entry into the process could signal a new resolve by the international community to address the slaughter. Ideally, this new envoy would be appointed by the United Nations and strongly supported by the United States.
I try not to subscribe to the great-man theory of history, but one individual sometimes really can make a difference. The Bush Administration dispatched John Danforth to Sudan to help successfully negotiate a peace between the Khartoum government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement four years ago. The Clinton Administration turned to George Mitchell to negotiate the Good Friday agreement in Northern Ireland.
So click here to sign Human Rights First’s petition calling for a UN-appointed diplomat of the highest international stature to lead a peace process in Darfur and click here for background on the horrifying situation in Sudan.
This Wednesday, April 19, our friends at the New York Society for Ethical Culture are hosting a terrific event in conjunction with Human Rights First and Amnesty International USA. Click here for details on the free discussion on how to end the atrocities in Darfur featuring Nicholas Kristof, Mark Malloch Brown, Juan Mendez and Tragi Musfafa.
The Lonesome Death of Rachel Corrie
The New York Theatre Workshop’s cowardly decision to back off from a play based on Rachel Corrie’s life has been widely publicized. (The show is currently in its third staging in London–this time on the West End, where it’s playing to packed houses and good reviews.) The first musical take on Corrie that I’ve heard comes, appropriately, from Billy Bragg, who adapted Bob Dylan’s classic, the Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll, to tell the story of her life and death. Click here to listen to and download the Lonesome Death of Rachel Corrie.
Nation Event Note
The Nation is visiting Yale University on Wednesday, April 26, 2006. Click here for details on a free public event, sponsored by the Roosevelt Institute, featuring Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel.