Cindy Sheehan will be in Washington this Mother's Day following in the
legacy of Julia Ward Howe, who "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 Proclamation in 1870."
A Perfect Mother's Day Gift
Create a Peace Movement That Ends the Iraq Occupation and Prevents
Future Wars of Aggression
By Cindy Sheehan
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
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
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