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by Joan Wile, Founder, Grandmothers Against the War and author, Grandmothers Against the War: Getting Off Our Fannies and Standing Up for Peace" (Citadel Press)

The massive protest in Wisconsin got me thinking. Why can't we do the same to end the war in Afghanistan and the occupation of Iraq? There are millions of people in the U.S. who urgently want these wasteful, tragic and unjustified conflicts concluded immediately and all troops and armaments brought home. Imagine how quickly we could begin to fill our desperate domestic needs -- schools could be built and teachers hired to staff them; affordable or free health care could be made available to all citizens; people could be put back to work; highways and bridges could be repaired, and hundreds of other economic-induced problems could be solved.

So, why don't we anti-war proponents DO it? Why aren't the streets filled with protesters demanding that our hopeless military ventures based on greed for power and oil cease right now? We Grandmothers Against the War, the Granny Peace Brigade, and others have been on the streets with our vigils, demonstrations, rallies, marches, and theatre for seven plus years. But, we are so few.

It occurred to me that I might try to spark a grass roots movement that could have some impact by circulating a petition around the U.S., a petition urging President Obama to reverse his policies and stop the killing. If I could get even 100,000 signatures, would it have any effect, I wondered?

It may be naive, a total failure, an exercise in futility, but perhaps it's worth a try. Maybe, combined with the March 19-21 demonstrations planned by the Veterans for Peace in Washington DC and other actions and activists' efforts ongoing and in the works, it could help the cause a little.

Now, don't be put off by the fact that it tags itself as a Grandmothers petition. That's just a way to snag attention. Everybody is signing, non-grannies, daddies, bachelors, young girls.

Consequently, here it is -- my petition. What have we got to lose? Please add your name and let's see what will happen.

It'll just take a minute! And, it would be wonderful if you could post it on your web site, if you have one, or post it in Facebook.

Once you're done, please ask your friends to sign the petition as well. Grassroots movements succeed because people like you are willing to spread the word!

We've gotta keep trying, right?


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