March on Joe Sestak's office
5 Jan 08
On Saturday, 5 January, Delaware County Wage Peace & Justice
conducted a march to Congressman Joe Sestak's (D-PA) office in Media
WP&J were disappointed that a candidate who promised
to work against the Iraq War appears to have instead gotten cold feet
and has taken what they've seen as an unduly cautious approach that has
produced very disappointing results.
So it was a surprise to see the Congressman appear 20 minutes before
the march, where he conducted a quickie seminar to try and explain his
viewpoint to us.
Essentially, he wants to pass bills that allow American troops to leave
Iraq in an orderly manner. He wants to see to it that there's
enough time and money allocated to see to it that a withdrawal is an
organized, safe and deliberate one.
The citizens there (Including myself) see President Bush as wanting to
stay in Iraq essentially forever and pretty much, as the saying goes
"At all costs." Our priority then, is to force the issue and
demand a withdrawal. Once that's done and the withdrawal is
clearly going to happen, then we can sit down and
figure out what we need to do to make it orderly, safe and deliberate.
The blogger Swopa
explains, in advance of any votes being in, why Barack Obama
made the most favorable impression on Iowa voters and how Hillary
Clinton and John Edwards could have done better.
good news from Iowa was that "our
3rd place candidate [Hillary Clinton] beat their first place candidate [Mike Huckabee] by almost a factor
of two." Which seems to indicate lots and lots of enthusiasm for Democrats.
Mike Huckabee makes a statement that the NY Times considers a joke. It's not a good idea to pass off statements like this as a joke.
“A big tent revival out on the grounds of the Concord State Capitol?”
he said, in his deadpan style. “We’ll get them all converted to the
evangelical faith, and then we’ll win. How’s that? That would work.”
Delco WP&J contributed a piece on the march to Progressive Network of SW PA.
The second surprise was to hear that counter-protesters would meet us
at the office. We stopped and coordinated and then continued
on. I and several others were fully prepared to dialogue with
them so that we peaceniks could calmly and gently show our pro-war
brothers and sisters the error of their ways. Alas, it was
clear upon first contact that a dialogue was not on their agenda.
From the first moment, it was clear that their intent was to
shout us down and drown us out. They were so loud and their
accusations were so extreme, we all decided it was best to stick with
the original plan to just be quiet and ignore them as far as we
practically could. A video camera caught me shouting out a
few rounds of "Support the troops, end the war!" and a few of us
decided that a song they played (Proud
to be an American by Lee Greenwood) was one we could
wholeheartedly sing as well.
But we generally held to the
plan and when the conversation with Representative Sestak's staff
person was complete (Sestak himself went off to another event directly
after speaking with us), we moved off back to Media's Plum St Mall,
where we relaxed and hobnobbed for a bit before breaking up and heading