Ending 'The Long War': Vigils Against War Funding Spread Across the Nation

Brownbaggers Not Teabaggers

On January 20th, Progressive Democrats of America organized "brownbag" lunch vigils against war funding at noon at the district offices of 22 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

On February 17th -- next Wednesday -- Progressive Democrats will be joined by CODEPINK, Democrats.com, AfterDowningStreet, the California Nurses Assn/National Nurses United, and United for Peace and Justice in holding brown bag lunch vigils outside (or, better yet, inside) at least 36 congressmembers' offices.

What Needs To Be Done:
Brownbaggers are asking members of the House to publicly commit to voting No on any bills that fund wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan or Yemen, and to publicly urge their colleagues and the House leadership to make the same commitment. As lesser steps in the same direction, representatives are being asked to cosponsor HR 2454, calling for an exit strategy from Afghanistan, and HR 3699, prohibiting any increase in the number of U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan. Congressmembers' commitments are tracked at DefundWar.org.
"We have to choose between jobs and wars," said Tim Carpenter, national director of Progressive Democrats. "The American people are on one side, but our so-called representatives in Congress are on the other. The Supreme Court is busy increasing corporate control of our elected officials. We need to be busy enforcing the people's control before it is too late."

"Without wasteful war and military spending," said deputy director Laura Bonham, "we could have healthcare, jobs, housing, education, retirement security, environmental sustainability, diplomacy and foreign aid. No longer will we take seriously anyone's claim to support these things while voting to fund more war."
Learn more about brown bag lunch vigils.

Brownbaggers are demanding commitments to vote against more money for war. Slogans on their posters include: "Healthcare not Warfare," "Corporations out of Politics," "Bailout Main Street not Wall Street" and "Brownbaggers not Teabaggers."

Vigils have been planned in the following districts: AZ-5, CA-6, CA-9, CA-10, CA-18, CA-22, CA-23, CA-40, CA-42, CA-45, CA-46, CA-48, CA-50, CA-53, FL-9, FL-10, FL-17, ID-01, IN-9, MA-1, MA-2, MA-3, MA-10, MI-9, NY-18, NY-28, OH-13, OH-17, PA-02, PA-7, PA-15, WA-2, WA-3, WA-6, WI-3, WI-7. These are almost all at noon on Wednesday the 17th, but a few are at odd times, so check the brown bag lunch vigils schedule for details.

Here's how to get involved:
1. Find a brown bag lunch vigil near you. If you don't see a vigil near you, look below to see how to create one.
2. Download the Healthcare NOT Warfare flyer and the Why do we need brown bag lunch vigils? flyer. Customize the BBLV flyer for your group, and make copies of both flyers. Grab your promotional Healthcare NOT Warfare materials.
3.Go to the National Priorities Project to find data on the actual cost of the wars and on the social programs your community could have funded with those tax dollars. Use these figures to make signs for your vigils.
4. Spread the word! Write about your brown bag lunch vigil on your blog, Facebook, and Twitter.
5.Don't forget your brown bag lunch and Healthcare NOT Warfare stickers. Take your lunch in PDA's Healthcare NOT Warfare canvas tote!
To create a BBLV event:
1. Schedule your brown bag lunch vigil here. Your vigil will be promoted to our calendar so others can find you. For more information, contact the team at bbv@pdamerica.org.
2. Send a personalized copy of this letter on defunding our wars to your representative and this letter on war defunding to your senators. Find your representative and senators here. Or schedule an in-person meeting with your member of Congress or the legislative aide on miltary issues to determine your representative's or senator's support.
3. Report on activities and developments pertaining to your lobbying effort using the brown bag lunch vigil Google document. Check coalition partner AfterDowningStreet.org's DefundWar.org to see how your legislators have voted on war funding.
4. Submit articles for publication on the Progressive Democrats website detailing your experiences to Laura@pdamerica.org. It is especially important to share what works and what doesn't with other activists.
Print useful anti war information from DefundWar.org.
Print these posters:
Brownbaggers Poster 9
Brownbaggers Poster 10
Brownbaggers Poster 11

Thanks to AfterDowningStreet and Progressive Democrats of America for their leadership.

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