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Cindy Sheehan: A Perfect Mother's Day Gift

A Perfect Mother's Day Gift:

Create a Peace Movement That Ends the Iraq Occupation and Prevents Future Wars of Aggression
By Cindy Sheehan
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Friday 12 May 2006

Julia Ward Howe, the author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, became so horrified with the carnage of the Civil War that she began advocating for a Mother's Day of Peace. She published the Mother's Day Peace Proclamationin 1870. By 1873, 18 cities celebrated Mother's Day of Peace celebrations - some of these celebrations continued for 30 years. Still today, we have the enduring legacy of Mother's Day.

Now we are faced with the modern carnage of the occupation of Iraq, and still there are threats of another war of aggression in Iran. The Iraq policy is fatally flawed, especially for the nearly 2500 US dead, and for every one of these there have been 100 dead Iraqi civilians. We have to do something to build a peace movement that can stop this blood-bath foreign policy. We've demonstrated, written letters, sung songs, engaged in civil disobedience and traveled far and wide engaging our fellow Americans to demand that the troops come home.

Hundreds of thousands of us marched in the streets of New York City for Peace, Justice and Democracy on April 29th.

What's next? What can we do now? What tools do we have left in this democracy of ours?

Now is the time for the peace movement to get electoral. Americans opposed to pre-emptive war need to vote for what they believe in, and not vote for candidates who support war. Let's turn the majority of Americans into an electoral majority that can redirect the United States

The November elections are rapidly approaching, and the primary races come even sooner. Many are close elections where every vote is important. Candidates are jockeying for your support. We must tell them, "You don't get my vote unless you oppose the occupation of Iraq and will work to prevent future wars of aggression."

Peace voters are now a solid majority, and we must send a clear message to all candidates that no longer will we tolerate avoiding the issue of war - when it is spilling the blood of tens of thousands for oil, bankrupting our nation, and cravenly blocking real solutions to our energy crisis.

We must vote peace in the primaries. And, we must vote peace in the general elections. If there are no peace candidates for federal office in your area, send your contribution, or donate your volunteer time in some other area that does have a peace candidate in the race.

All we need is a FEW peace candidates to win for the hawkish powers-that-be to stand up and take notice.

There is another important way to register your support for peace candidates.

This May 14th on Mother's Day, I am going to sign a Voters Pledge committing myself to voting against any candidate who does not publicly vow to bring a rapid end to the Iraq occupation and to preventing future wars, like in Iran.


Cindy Sheehan is a co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace and the mother of Casey Sheehan, who was killed in Iraq.

Voters for Peace is a joint project of Gold Star Families for Peace, Democracy Rising, Peace Action, Code Pink, United For Peace and Justice, and more, working to bring the peace movement together to think and act as voters this election year. Please join me and sign the Voters Pledge and spread the word far and wide. Our goal is to get 2 million voters to sign the pledge - so we can go back to these legislators and candidates and say "We will no longer tolerate your wars!"

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