Wednesday, January 24
Ann Wright and I started out the day by going to the discussion at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the Resolution to challenge Bush’s surge. Considering that it occurred just the day after Bush appealed in his State of the Union address for Congress to give his plan "a chance to work", it was a great example of Congress starting to get some spine.
The resolution passed by a 12-9 vote. Only one Republican, Chuck Hagel, voted for it. Many of the Republicans expressed their concern over Bush’s plan but succumbed to party pressure. The resolution will come before the full Senate next week. I hope plenty of peace activists stay in DC for the week to attend this critical vote.
In the afternoon we went to a discussion of veterans issues in the Veterans Committee Room of Congress. Hosted by Cong. McDermott and Cong. Filner, it included Ground Truth producer Patricia Foulkrod, five Iraq veterans, and Susan Sarandon who came to DC to help shine the light on the plight of the veterans.
The veterans spoke eloquently about how lonely vets feels then they return home, how difficult it is for them to get the support they need, how many are suffering from PDSD, how many are homeless. They talked about serving the country with honor and dignity, but then not being treated with dignity when they come home. It was clear that no matter how one feels about the war, we all have to get together to make sure solders are given all the help they need when they come home.
In the evening lots of CODEPINKers gathered at our “headquarters for the next few days, the Al Fishawy Café, to work on the Walk in Their Shoes display (labeling shoes with names of Iraqis who have been killed) and getting visuals ready for Saturday’s march. It was great to meet and greet the folks who are starting to stream in from around the country, and get a sense of excitement about the upcoming march….