“Vermont has a rich history of using town meetings as a venue to make its people’s views known to the nation. In 1974, five towns voted to urge congressional leaders to seek the impeachment of President Nixon. Recent years have seen efforts to stamp out nuclear weapons, abortion restrictions, and the USA Patriot Act,” says Sarah Schweitzer.
Ben Scotch, of Montpelier, VT was among a handful of Vermonters who mounted a statewide effort to obtain the signatures necessary to place a resolution on Vermont’s annual town meeting ballots that calls upon President Bush to withdraw troops from Iraq and urges the state’s elected leaders to reconsider the use of Vermont’s National Guard in the war. They succeeded in 52 towns. Yesterday’s vote saw 49 towns endorse that resolution.
Sara B. Miller, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor reports In Vermont, a Town-Meeting revolt over Iraq war.
The Vermont Network on Iraq War Resolutions Web site was originally designed to provide all of the documents and information needed to bring a resolution on the war in Iraq to Vermont towns or cities – but everything is still relevant to mobilizing similar campaigns in all 50 states.
United for Peace and Justice agrees that states should refuse to fund that portion of their National Guard that is deployed to fight the war in Iraq, when they should be at home protecting the Nation. They plan to campaign on a state-by-state local level organizing to oppose the deployment of the National Guard to Iraq.
Cities for Peace began a nationwide pre-Iraq War movement that enlisted scores of municipalities in over 30 states to pass resolutions to oppose a preemptive/unilateral War in Iraq. Now they are working to encouraging towns, cities, and county councils and related groups to pass a new resolution to Bring the Troops Home by demanding that the U.S. end the occupation of Iraq and internationalize the peace process. “As States and municipalities face the worst fiscal crisis in over half a century, citizens and local elected officials are deeply skeptical of an emerging “perpetual-war economy” and its devastating effects on state and local budgets, on America’s role in the international community and on a sustainable future for our children.”
They encourage and seek to empower, “Cities and towns (to) call for a reordering of national priorities such that diplomacy and international law will sustain peace and foster prosperity in the world, in our nation and in our struggling states and localities.”
Municipalities that have passed resolutions and examples of those resolutions can be found at www.citiesforpeace.org.