Monday, June 7, 2010

Do you want to sign on to this letter



The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore has been participating in the Brown Bag Vigils, held the third Wednesday of the month.  The aim of the vigils is to pressure members of the House of Representatives to call for an exit strategy from Afghanistan and to vote against further funding of the war.  We are concentrating our efforts on Representative Elijah Cummings, and have composed a letter to the Congressperson seeking a meeting with him.


If you would like to sign on to the letter, let me know.  We prefer representatives of groups, but individuals can sign on.  Interested parties are welcome to use the letter to craft a similar one to your member of Congress.  Our next visit to Rep. Cummings office will be on Wednesday, June 16.  Thanks.






June 6, 2010


Via Email, Fax (202.225.3178) and Regular Mail


The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings

2235 Rayburn HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515


            Re:       Request for Meeting


Dear Congressman Cummings:


The Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore has long spoken out against U.S. wars, most recently those in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Over the years, we have urged your staff, including Michael Christianson, and more recently Paul Childress, to convey our message to you that these wars are the wrong direction for our foreign and military policies, a misguided use of our human and material resources and a tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars. This comes at a time when the State of Maryland and the City of Baltimore are furloughing employees and eliminating social programs, including closing recreation centers in Baltimore.


It is our understanding that Mr. Christianson has made you aware of our lengthy meetings which have focused on in-depth, substantive discussions centered on the Obama administration’s policies regarding Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq and your votes for funding the wars through supplemental appropriations requests.  


We have also spent many hours and entreated you on many occasions at meetings, on phone calls, via emails and letters urging you to vote against further supplemental appropriations and to support a defined exit strategy as outlined in HB 5015, sponsored by Rep. Jim McGovern. Additionally, we urged you to call for an end to U.S. covert and overt actions in these countries.   

Not only have our contacts with your staff yielded no change in your position, we were told you will support the funding of the war in Afghanistan at least until October when a report will be published. This will only mean more death and destruction, and despite the fact that credible sources, including the U.S. ambassador in Afghanistan, recognize the war cannot be “won.”


We need you to join Representative Donna Edwards as an outspoken voice for reason in ending these wars and using the funding instead to rebuild the infrastructure in this country, to move towards a renewable energy system and to create jobs for the 10% of our citizens who are desperately trying to survive without employment.  And we want some of the tax dollars now wasted on war to be used to assist the poor of Afghanistan and Pakistan by providing humanitarian relief through nongovernmental organizations.


You were gracious to meet with us in the past and even accepted our suggestion for you to host a Town Hall Meeting on the war.  Several of us did attend that Town Hall at the Enoch Pratt and noted the great majority of those present opposed the war.  


Some of us were also at the Enoch Pratt when you introduced Congressperson Barbara Lee on the publication of her autobiography.  You were effusive in your praise of her courage in voting against the war, just after 9/11. 


We are aware of your concerns for better health, alleviating poverty, closing the SOA/WHINSEC and your concern about the contamination of the Gulf by BP as expressed in bills you've sponsored or cosponsored and your visits. The values you've supported and courage we admire are a part of what we want to discuss in a meeting with you.


We, especially several members who are constituents, strongly feel that the time has come again for you to meet with us face to face. While we have very much appreciated the time your staff has spent with us, we urge you to hear and discuss our informed and cogent reasons why a change in policy is needed and why we ask you to do the courageous thing, the right thing, in championing this change. 


Prior to the meeting, we will provide more substantive information from various sources. For example, the drone attacks are being questioned by legal sources because so many civilians are being killed.  We have no idea who authorizes drone attacks.  Is it the president?  


We are available to meet with you at your convenience in your D.C. or Baltimore offices.  Please suggest at least two dates and times and contact either Maria Allwine at 443.762.0892 or Max Obuszewski at 410.366.1637 to schedule this meeting.  Please note that many other individuals and groups support the call to vote no against any further war funding.




Maria Allwine

on behalf of the Pledge of Resistance


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