FWD: AFSC/Yugoslavia Coalition Follow-up
brightcrow at InfoAve.Net
Sun Jun 13 23:04:23 JEST 1999
Here is the latest e-mail from Mike Yarrow of AFSC's Peace Education
Division, regarding next steps in talking with our Congresspeople about
rebuilding Yugoslavia and about non-violent alternatives to further "Cruise
Please share these thoughts with friends, neighbors and colleagues.
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 16:34:24 -0400
From: Mike Yarrow <MnYarrow at afsc.org>
Thank God the bombing and ethnic violence are at least temporarily over!
But in Washington and Europe there is a triumphalism about cruise missile
humanitarianism which leaves me with an ominous foreboding. Will the US and
NATO go on to future 23,000-bomb campaigns in the name of humanity? Will
the international community really search for constructive alternatives? We
have a chance now to raise our voices collectively for a turn away from
bomb and starve foreign policy. The National Campaign for Peace in
Yugoslavia, composed of 27 peace and human rights organizations and
religious peace fellowships, is organizing a nationwide effort to get 100
visits to local offices of congresspeople on June 24th or some time close
to that. So get together a few friends to join you and make an appointment
to see the congressperson or their staff. If they put you off, you might
consider going anyway and waiting to be heard by your representative. Here
are some talking points you might want to use:
1. The UN needs to be funded and organized to be the world peacekeeping
mechanism. Unilateral action by the US or with a compliant regional
military alliance leads to US as world policeman with its attendant costs
in blood, money and distortion of American democratic values.
2. The US and NATO have a moral obligation to finance the rebuilding of
Yugoslavia. It is not acceptable to leave thousands of children to die of
malnutrition and cholera as we have in Iraq because we oppose the leader.
3. "Cruise Missile Humanitarianism" has caused a horrible destruction of
life, infrastructure, the environment and the relations between groups in
Yugoslavia and beyond. We have to develop constructive ways for the
international community to intervene to head off or constrain cases of mass
4. We oppose shifting national budget priorities from human needs at home
and abroad to the military.
I hope you can find others to join you in a visit to the nearest office of
a congressperson on or around June 24th. E-mail me if you need more
information. If you do set up an appointment, contact Fran Teplitz or Jim
Bridgeman at Peace Action in Washington (202)862-9740 to report the fact.
They will be having a press conference and reporting on how many visits
will occur across the country. Fran's e-mail is fteplitz at peace-action.org.
PS We would like to know also if you can arrange a visit.
Some pointers on visits to the local offices of a congressperson distilled
from the Friends Committee on National Legislation Flyer.
1. A visit by a number of local constituents to a local congressional
office is often valuable. It demonstrates to the legislator that a number
of people from his or her home community share the concern.
2. Be as positive as possible. You might get further by suggesting
positive measures which need to be taken now rather than dwelling on the
horrors of the war and attacking the legislator for his/her support of it.
3. To maximize the effectiveness it needs to be carefully planned.
A. Try to meet before hand and select a theme. In this case maybe "We
would like to talk to the congressperson about what needs to be done in the
aftermath of the war in Yugoslavia."
B. Select a person to make the opening remarks.
C. If you want to explore the four issues listed above, you might select
someone to articulate each one.
D. Do some background reading on the issues and if you can research the
congressperson's voting record. (For background contact AFSC Kosovo Peace
Education Coordinator at (215) 523-5693 or e-mail mnyarrow at afsc.org. For
voting record, call Friends Committee on National Legislation at (202)
4. Write a follow-up letter to the legislator, especially if you talk to
the aid, thanking him for the opportunity to share your views and restating
Kosovo Peace Education Coordinator
American Friends Service Committee
1501 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
E-mail: mnyarrow at afsc.org
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