May 13, 2008

Thursday: Iraq Veterans Against the War Testify Before Congress

This Thursday, May 15th, members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) will testify about the realities of the illegal occupation in Iraq in a hearing convened by the Congressional Progressive Caucus from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm EST.

Members of Congress will have the opportunity to hear the testimony first offered publicly this past March at Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan, when over 45 members of IVAW shared eyewitness accounts of the occupations before their peers, their families and the public.

Many UFPJ member groups across the country organized events to watch those hearings as a part of the activities to mark the 5th anniversary of the war. The Winter Solidier hearings are available in broadcast-quality video on the IVAW website.

By bringing Winter Soldier inside the Capitol, IVAW hopes to further encourage veterans to tell their stories to Congress and the public at l
arge. Our representatives have heard from their fellow politicians, from the pundits and the generals, but not until now have they heard from the average "boots-on-the-ground" soldier!

Click here for more information, including the biographies of the veterans testifying, press releases and other information.

The May 1
5th hearing highlighting the voices of the veterans of this immoral war is taking place while Congress is debating additional funding for the occupation of Iraq.

IVAW is asking that Progressive Caucus members be called and urged to listen carefully on Thursday and show their support for the troops by bringing them home now. Check to see if your representative is a member of the Progressive Caucus. If so, call yours today.

Please also take this opportunity while IVAW is on Capitol Hill to call your representative at 202-224-3121 and tell him or her to vote NO on the bill funding the war into 2009! And, urge that they too attend the IVAW hearing! (If you don't know who your representative is, click here.)

Congressional staff has told us that they are getting a lot of phone calls urging a NO vote on the funding. UFPJ, along with other antiwar coalitions such as Win Without War and the Iraq Campaign 2008, is organizing ongoing call-ins to Congress for a NO vote.

Remember, this will likely be the last binding vote on Iraq until after the January 2009 inauguration of the next president -- now is the time to pull out all the

If you've already made a call to your representative, please urge your friends and family to call!

If your representative signed the letter promising not to vote for more funds unless it is for the safe withdrawal of the troops, call and remind them of that pledge (find the letter and a list of signers here).

Attending the Hearing:
If you are in the Washington, DC, area, you may attend the hearing on Thursday, May 15, at 2261 Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill. Please arrive early, since seating is limited and a large crowd is expected.

Viewing the Hearing Live:
IVAW is still in negotiations with CSPAN to cover the hearing live. Check for the schedule. IVAW will also post the video of the hearing shortly after its conclusion.

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