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Demanding Farr Speak Out Against the War

A group of us met with Farr's staff on Friday afternoon and demanded Farr repudiate his war budget vote as well as explain other positions. His staff agreed to return with more information on Wednesday morning 9:30 AM at Farr's office on the 3rd floor of the County Building. Join us.
Half a dozen of us made our way to Rep. Farr’s office at 3 PM Friday. Staff member Rachel and Alec. They explained their office was closed early on Wednesday because
staff members were sick.

We presented a variety of concerns, including the seven listed on the flyer posted on the “Tell Representative Farr It’s Time to Stop the War” story below. [(1) No Further U.S. Against Iraq, (2) Repudiate the War Budget Vote, (3) Stop the Bombing of Iraq,
(4) Redirect Military Funds to Rebuild the U.S. Bombed Sanitation System, (5) Action to lift economic sanctions, (6) Spend on U.S. Gulf War casualties instead of more war, and (7) Support Ban on Cluster Bombs, Depleted Uranium Weapons, and Land Mines]

We focused on the War in Iraq and Farr’s vote for the $355 billion war bill (which Alec insisted was the “defense” budget). Alec and Rachael noted that Farr had held town meeting on the Iraqi question within the last two months. The staff members spent an hour listening to our concerns and defending Farr’s policies as well as taking questions from us for Farr, which included:
1. Would Farr support a specific appropriation to rebuild the sanitation facilities?
2. Document a change on Farr’s past silence or implicit support of cluster bombs and uranium depleted weapons (during the Yugoslavia war), if such a change has
happened? His position on land mines?
3. Other than one response to a reporter at the Monterey AIDS conference, Alec could remember no public statement from Farr opposing the war in response to ongoing
events and pro-war propaganda by the Bush regime. Alec insisted that Farr’s anti-war position had been amply cited in his speech supporting the Lee resolution about Iraq (the
same day Farr voted for the military appropriation, and Lee voted against it). We asked him for specific documentation on anything that Farr has said or done against the war in
the last month.
4. Will Farr publicly take leadership by writing and speaking publicly (as Ramsey Clark has apparently done in a letter to the UN) against U.S. unilateral action and the “no fly zones”?
5. Will Farr hold a public meeting in Santa Cruz to hear and mobilize public opinion regarding recent Bush provocations, by making timely and specific responses
inflammatory Bush threats and claims (such as the war on December 8th unless Hussein admits he has “weapons of mass destruction”)?
6. What is Farr’s specific policy on the new Bush “assasinate political leaders” policy? Please provide documentation.
7. Will Farr publicly repudiate his war budget vote? If he gets a similar 7000-30 phone call ratio as he got against the Iraqi war, will he do so?
8. Will Farr introduced a resolution in the House opposing any funding of the war effort and publicize that effort?

Alec and Rachel agreed to work on making ready some response from Rep. Farr by Wednesday November 27th 9:30 AM when we said we’d return (though they wanted more time).

A later meeting that day after Peace Friday’s “Honk for Peace” rally at Ocean and Pacific streets, took place up on Campus: at the Standing United for Peace group (meets Fridays 6:30 PM 3rd Floor of the Bay Tree Book Store building) Sandino brought our
concerns to SUP, which focused on a demand for public leadership against the War in Iraq, an explanation for his pro-military vote in October on the budget, and an agreement to hold give-and-take forums. SUP reportedly supported our efforts and some members said they’d join us next Wednesday to hear Farr’s response.

Farr’s local phone number is 424-2229. Please call his office and ask him to repudiate his vote against the biggest military appropriation in history and commit to
speaking out strongly against the War while there is still time.
We also asked Farr to support public protest and wondered where he was at the time of the massive October 26th anti-war rallies.

We commended him for his votes against the Patriot Act, the Iraqi Force Resolution, and the Homeland Security Act, and critized him for not voting against the Afghanistan War (he was not present for the vote, but his staff said he would have voted for it).

I shall be playing excerpts from the meeting, which I recorded, on Free Radio Santa Cruz (10:30 AM on Sunday November 24th 96.3 FM

We shall be returning to Farr’s office Wednesday morning at 9:30 AM (3rd floor of the County Building) to hear what he (through his staff presumably) has to say.


Robert Norse

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Isn't the HOUSE adjourned?

Isn't the HOUSE adjourned? If so, the war is likely to be started or over by the time he can act on the
demands. Time for another strategy, perhaps?

Focus on the Feds Through Farr

Merlyn has a good point.

Yet Farr's office remains open, and his staff suggested he may agree to an upcoming town hall meeting on Iraq.

Even if Congress were in session, with a Republican majority in place, I don't think lobbying it would necessarily be successful. But a focus on the federal war effort through Farr's office (and the office of every other representative), I think, is appropriate--and a good place to rally people at. After all, they're supposed to be our representatives.

I encourage people to show up at Farr's on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. to see what his response is, through the staff, to our demand that he speak out more strongly against the war, repudiate his war vote, declare against uranium-depleted weapons, etc. as proposed above.

We can then decide what we want to do next, with the knowledge that Congress is currently in Bush's pocket or waivering all over the place.

Why Farr's office, why not Feinstein?

Seeing as Farr voted against the USA PATRIOT Act, the Homeland Defense bill, and the resolution authorizing war in Iraq, don't you think our time is better spent at Senator Feinstein's office? She voted FOR these things, and even switched her vote on the war resolution at the last minute!

Why are we wasting time with Farr?

Farr's is the only federal office in Santa Cruz

Farr, though he did make all those good votes, has voted for the bottom-line war appropriation (that is, the biggest "defense" appropriation in history) on the same day that he voted for the Lee resolution against the Iraqi war. Lee, on the other hand, voted against that appropriation.

Feinstein has no local office, and Farr is supposed to be representing Santa Cruz County. Nor has Farr spoken out loudly and publicly in the last month.

Honda and Eshoo?

I looked it up on the internet, and neither Mike Honda, who currently represents northern Santa Cruz County, nor Anna Eshoo, who will represent northern and eastern Santa Cruz County in January, voted against the bill.

Honda's office is located in San Jose- will there be action there? I'm not sure if Eshoo will be setting up an office locally, but I'm sure we'll learn more in January.

Again, I still think it is best for us to target as many people as possible, and I do believe that authorizing the war is worse than funding the defense department, for matters as they stand now. I mean, Farr has always voted for the pentagon spending bill every year, and there's never been a call for mobilization in the past on this. So we should target as many representatives as possible, Senate, and all Congressional districts locally.


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