[saymaListserv] Fwd: op-ed submission to the NY TIMES

Janet Minshall jhminshall at comcast.net
Fri Feb 20 12:11:35 JEST 2004

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>Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2004 08:38:54 -0500
>To: freepolazzo at comcast.net
>From: free polazzo <freepolazzo at comcast.net>
>Subject: op-ed submission to the NY TIMES
>Joe is a member of the Atlanta Friends Meeting.   Several others of 
>the five who were arrested are also from Atlanta.   I want to be 
>there for them if they go to court.   Can anyone else free up some 
>time next month to stand with them?   If you are considering it, let 
>me know and I can keep you informed of when the trail will be held.
>>                       DEMOCRACY IS IN TROUBLE                    
>>                                             by
>>                                                 Joe Parko
>>I was charged with criminal trespass on Feb. 17th in the State 
>>Court of Fulton County in Atlanta, Ga. My crime? Trying to get an 
>>appointment to see Senator Zell Miller. There is something deeply 
>>wrong with our democracy when our elected representatives would 
>>rather arrest us than meet with us. All of this began back in the 
>>spring of 2002 when the idea of invading Iraq was surfacing. On 
>>April 22, 2002, I met with Senator Miller's legislative aide in his 
>>office on Capitol Hill and raised many questions about war on Iraq. 
>>Despite my request for a response,  I never heard a word from the 
>>Senator.  On August 28 a large delegation from the MoveOn citizens 
>>group delivered a petition against war on Iraq signed by several 
>>thousand Georgians to Senator Miller's Atlanta office. This group 
>>also left a series of questions about the war which they wanted 
>>Senator Miller to get answers to. But rather than pressing the 
>>Administration for answers, Senator Miller stated that "As a 
>>Marine, I was taught to say 'Aye, aye, sir,' do an about-face and 
>>go do the job my commander-in-chief ordered me to do."  We found 
>>this statement outrageous because Zell Miller is no longer a 
>>Marine. He is a U.S. Senator who is supposed to represent the 
>>people of Georgia.  On Sept. 30, I led a delegation to Senator 
>>Miller's Atlanta office where we left a series of questions about 
>>war on Iraq with a junior staff member and requested that Senator 
>>Miller get answers to these questions from the President before he 
>>attacked Iraq. Among our questions were:
>>1. How reliable is the evidence for WMD?
>>2 .How many casualties can we expect if urban warfare breaks out in Iraq?
>>3. What is the plan for after the war? How long will we be there? 
>>What will war on Iraq cost the American taxpayers?
>>4. Won't a war on Iraq distract us from dealing with the real 
>>sources of terrorism?             
>>             Once again, there was no response from Senator Miller. 
>>I am deeply troubled that Senator Miller knew that these and many 
>>other serious questions demanded answers before war was even 
>>considered, and that he chose to ignore them. Instead, he declared, 
>>even before the debate began, that he would support war on Iraq 
>>regardless of the very profound concerns of many thousands of 
>>             Finally, after repeated failed attempts to get an 
>>appointment with our senator, a group of us went to his Colony 
>>Square office on Nov. 4, 2002, and told his staff that we would not 
>>leave until Senator Miller agreed to meet with us sometime during 
>>the next 30 days. Again, Miller refused and at 5:30PM the police 
>>were called in, and the five of us were arrested and taken off to 
>>jail. I am the first to be formally charged and my trial is 
>>scheduled next month.
>>It's ironic that I should be charged with criminal trespass for 
>>trying to see my senator when it is Zell Miller who should be on 
>>trial for abdicating his constitutional duty, which requires 
>>Congress to declare war. Even more to the point, he should be tried 
>>for impersonating a Democrat. If Zell Miller had demanded answers 
>>from President Bush before war was launched, we could have saved 
>>thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars on a totally 
>>unnecessary war. If Zell Miller had listened to the people, we 
>>could have avoided the mess we are in today.
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