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Farr Votes Against the War, Still Silent on Withdrawal

Under constituent and activist pressure, Rep. Sam Farr joined 11 other courageous Congressmembers to vote against the war appropriation. He now needs to come out for withdrawal of the troops, stopping the bombing, and a ceasefire. Call him at 429-1976 to commend, encourage, and demand the next step.
To the Farr Watchers:

Farr, to his credit and our credit, voted against the war appropriation on the House
floor yesterday. Details of that vote are in the e-mail that follows mine.

I just spoke with Farr's Washington office and the tight-lipped Rochelle. I commended her, her office, and Farr for the good vote against the war appropriation. She
said she was e-mailing me Farr's statement from last night. However, when I specifically asked her if Farr has come out for a ceasefire, an end to the bombing, or the withdrawal of troops, she stated "I have the same answer as before. Mr. Farr opposed the war initially and he is for peace." Rather than argue with her or repeat my question, I am assuming (in the absence of more information) that Farr has still not called for any stopping of the war.

I agree with Louis that we should congratulate Farr on his anti-appropriation vote and now demand he Support the Troops by Bringing Them Home Now. That could be done
on Wednesday the 9th at 3 PM as we'd planned. And/or a group of us could show up on Monday morning at 9 AM as we said we might do after the House appropriation vote (to
commend him for the vote and ask for a "withdraw the troops" statement).

Farr's good vote here should not alter the fact that he has not yet been willing to make the clear Kucinich call for a withdrawal of troops. I also believe that our pressure and that from other constituents has been a real factor (if not the real factor) in pressing him to this
more principled vote (after his earlier vote for the war appropriation in October). We should not stop now. He should be commended, but the pressure has to be kept up.

It could also be brought up as part of a stronger resolution at the Civic Auditorium Town Hall meeting on Monday at 7 PM. That resolution could talk about official City support to those refusing to obey orders for an unjust war. We actually need to put into it specific city actions that would give substance and not just symbolic force here.
Any suggestions?

The Republicratic machine has already decided that the conquest is completed and the only issue is the extent of UN participation. We must stand firm and clear that the issue is a murderous war of preemption that we and millions of Americans are continuing to resist.

I am also concerned about local domestic repercussions of repression against homeless activists. I will be covering this in more detail in a subsequent e-mail and indymedia posting--but the nub of it is that the SCPD harassed the Town Clock Peace Vigil into collapse and have people like African-American Jason Paschal (the card-reading
"Reverend Doctor") in jail on harassment charges like "possessing a milk crate" and being
held on a year-old New Hampshire warrant that N.H. has already refused to act on. All of this is being overseen by Sgt. Loran Baker, who, along with Chief Belcher and the City of Santa Cruz, is being sued in federal court, for removing a political table a year ago. Also the City Hall arson has provided a fertile ground for abusive police interrogation, detention, and harassment of "suspects" like Miguel Balderos.

I encourage those who represent organizations to request five minutes to speak at the Town Hall Meeting Monday night. Mayor Reilly has already promised HUFF five minutes (though she did so before in February and then reduced speaking time to 3 minutes, her husband, Robert Nahas, cutting me off before I had time to finish my prepared statement). Hopefully this time she
will keep her word. And other organizations will be allowed their five minutes as well.

How about the IRS building on Water St. near Ocean as the target of a 24-hour or a daytime vigil? It is a federal office. There is a clear and deliberate strategy which suggests withholding taxes with April 15th approaching. The location is visible and near Peace Friday's favored spot.

It is also close to the courthouse and the "center of power" in Santa Cruz, near Farr's office for occasional outings there, as well as near the Board of Supervisors, another timid government body that needs pushing.

I know very little about tax resistance and would appreciate any suggestions folks have. What do people think?


Robert Norse



>From: "LaFortune" <lafort (at) cruzio.com>
>To: "Amy Courtney" <aecourt (at) hotmail.com>
>CC: "Robert Norse" <rnorse (at) hotmail.com>, "becky johnson"
<Becky_Johnson (at) sbcglobal.net>
>Subject: Re: Hold Farr Accountable!
>Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2003 23:20:41 -0800
>
Sam voted against the supplemental when it came to the house
floor, though he did vote for it in the appropriations committee. It was HR 1559, and it passed 414 to 12 with 9 not voting. Farr joined Kucinich and Barbara Lee voting
against.
>Here's the link to the roll call result.
clerkweb.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.exe

....
Also check out:\ www.house.gov/appropriations/news/108_1/04warsuppsum.htm
 
 


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Comments

Peace IS withdrawl!

I'm way surprised by Farr's vote last night, and very pleased that he was one of the small minority that DIDN'T go with the crowd! But I have to raise a point: Peace IS a ceasfire. Peace IS troop withdrawl. Don't you see that? So maybe he hasn't specifically issued a "statement" that would sit in the press rooms around here unnoticed. But what good would that do?
 

Way to go!

Yeah Robert, you really convinced a congressman who represents more than you... yeah, I'm sure you and your cronies really forced him to make the decision he made... oh, wait, the world doesn't revolve around you. That's right. Maybe there were 8,299 other people (per the Sentinel article) who have called in, and I can't imagine that they all read this web page or think you are legitimate.
 

Response to Jerry

Indymedia is not the only place that those 13 of us who visited Farr put out the word on this issue and got people to call him. In addition those of us present were far from being Robert Norse cronies and were instead a coalition of forces. Most of us were activists representing various groups who, after the meeting, put out the word to call Sam Farr on this issue. Farr's staff, claimed at the time of the meeting, that nobody had called them on the issue of war appropriations. That was clarified as being one after Robert pointed out that he had called. In addition the fact that we had made clear that representatives of the anti-war movement were watching Farr on this issue and would not let him live down a bad vote was also probably an important factor in swaying Sam Farr.
 

good cop, bad cop, no cop

Yup, Steve's right, many influences from many directions and who knows what got him to vote the way he did. Could have been the constant haranguing, could have been the apologies from me for the constant haranguing, could have been the phone calls we all made after Robert pointed out we hadn't made them, could have been our local politicians visits to D.C. to visit him at his office, who knows, but we did manage to put aside our hostilities and get this thing done...or maybe he just changed his mind. Just the same, it's a victory for all of us.
 

Cutting Off

Robert, I have volunteered to be a mike holder again at this town hall meeting and again I have promised to cut people off if they talk past their alloted time. I will do so, if you are not happy with me being a volunteer monitor, I will gladly ask Emily to find someone else who will cut people off when their time has expired.
 

Farr

Bobby:

The point was that Reilly promised last time (as she has promised this time) that each organization, specifically HUFF, would get five minutes. And I wrote my speech with that in mind. It's true you also cut off others at the shortened time limit (3 minutes) that Reilly concocted at the meeting.
The fact is however that Reilly broke her agreement and you enforced that violation of contract. Perhaps you didn't know about the agreement, but you were acting as enforcer.
It's also telling to me that the time stolen from the public was given to Farr--standard practice with this Council (and previous ones) in allowing them unbridled babbling time, but muzzling and then ignoring the public.
Reilly and Council ignored all the strong suggestions made at the last Town Hall meeting in their subsequent supposed follow-up meeting.
Public hostility towards politicians who muzzle the public, who misrepresent their constituents, or who champion repressive laws is a positive passion which is a necessary component of change; its absence is a form of sickness. Apologizing for them or to them, I believe, is even worse.
I understand your dilemma in that you have a personal relationship with Mayor Reilly and apparently have taken personally criticism of her which is not personally intended. You are angry at me because I call out Reilly for violating the expectations of those who originally backed her for Mayor (ending the Sleeping Ban) and getting deeper and deeper into police and staff rubberstamping, as well as backing anti-homeless laws (such as the new city-wide Permit Parking night-time homeless parkingban).
What's relevant to this post is her past unwillingness to challenge Farr. He finally came up with a good vote against the military establishment. This is commendable, but Farr also wrote the following letter, which does not mention a withdrawal of troops, ceasefire, or ending the bombing. This silence is shameful as is the silence of our City officials.
Condemning how we got into the war is not enough. We must demand that we support our troops by withdrawing them now and taking real rather than symbolic action to achieve this end.
Farr expresses legitimate concerns about U.S. unilateralism, but he does not give voice to what is the primary concern of most of us: to get U.S. troops out of there now. Hoping this will happen "soon" is not enough.

Robert Norse


> -----Original Message-----
> > From: Rosen, Sarah
> > Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2003 8:36 PM
> > Subject: RELEASE: Farr on Emergency Wartime Funds
> >
> > FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Sarah Rosen
> > April 3, 2003 202-225-2861
> > or 202-225-4688
> > www.house.gov/farr/
> > sarah.rosen (at) mail.house.gov
> >

REP. FARR ON EMERGENCY WARTIME FUNDS
(Washington, DC) B As the U.S. House of Representatives debates the Emergency Wartime Supplemental, U.S. Rep. Sam Farr (D-Carmel) today declared his intention to vote "no" on the final bill. Rep. Farr issued the following statement on his decision:

"It is never easy to make spending decisions in Congress, especially on something as critical as war. As legislators, we deal with competing interests every day and, often, we
are able to arrive at a decision that does the most good, or at least the least harm. But tonight, I am making the only decision that my conscious could allow. Although this bill will be passed by an overwhelming majority, I plan to vote 'no' on this supplemental.

"I have two major reasons for voting against this bill. First, because it leaves our first responders at home, our 'troops' on the homefront, without complete protection.

Second, because I do not believe this bill addresses another emergency - repairing U.S. relations with the international community and its representative organizations, such as the United Nations and NATO.

"This war is the result of failed diplomacy. This war cost us valuable allies, and now it is costing us our lives. It will also cost us - the American taxpayer - billions of dollars. In the last Persian Gulf War, we relied on our allies. The war cost the U.S. about $61 billion, but
almost all of it was reimbursed. The amount of money in this one Supplemental - larger than the entire cost of the first Persian Gulf War - is the largest Supplemental in history. At about $75 billion, it is larger than the entire budget of the State of California.

"The emergency this bill supposedly addresses is the security of the American people. First and foremost, American security begins at home. Our attention in the Congress, must therefore be focused on protecting the territory of the United States from attack. That is
the apparent reason we intervened in Afghanistan and now Iraq, and in other countries across the globe.

"This bill inadequately addresses the security needs of the United States. We are spending $62.5 billion for military activities in this bill, and only $4.25 billion for 'Homeland Security.' Our troops overseas should be secure in the knowledge that their loved ones here are safe from any form of domestic terrorism.

"An amendment offered by Representative David Obey of Wisconsin, ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, would have addressed the need for increased homeland security, but the Republican leadership did not allow the amendment to be debated on the floor of the House.

"This bill also purportedly addresses the future of rebuilding Iraq. It provides just $2.4 billion for 'Relief and Reconstruction.' The sum is woefully inadequate to meet the needs of the Iraqi people. We are in the process of bombing their country, destroying their infrastructure. And when the war is over, which I hope will be soon, we will ask them to rebuild and a new democracy.

"This bill provides more money for another airline bailout than it provides for the foundation of an Iraqi democracy.

"Moreover, the money for reconstruction in Iraq - which is supposed to cover a huge range of activities including health, education, transportation, rule of law, agriculture, and more - comes with no apparent structure or oversight. The post-conflict reconstruction of Iraq can provide the U.S. an opportunity to rebuild its frayed alliances with the international community, an opportunity to work with the United Nations and NATO and to strengthen their credibility, which was undermined by the unilateralist approach the Administration has taken previously towards Iraq. This bill shows no vision of an
international civilian administration in post-conflict Iraq, one that will be crucial to winning the peace. This task, as has been demonstrated in Afghanistan, could be far more difficult than mounting a successful war campaign.

"My vote today is in no way a vote against American troops in the field. Their safety is foremost in my thoughts; I hope that they will return quickly to safety of their homes. My vote, rather, is a vote against the priorities of this Administration and the Republican majority, priorities that place an offensive war abroad above defensive protection at home; priorities that place short-term, unilateral quick fixes over international solutions that are
sustainable in the longer term.

"This vote is about current U.S. foreign policy and about what direction we are heading in. I think that we are supporting the wrong priorities and are heading in the wrong
direction, and that is why I am voting against this bill."

###
Sarah J. Rosen
Press Secretary
Office of U.S. Rep. Sam Farr
1221 Longworth H.O.B.
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-2861













 

Re Robert

Enforcer? yikes, I suppose that's valid, but my enforcement technique is to merely pull the mic away from those gabbing on past their time.
Regarding what you say was promised, my understanding is that you assumed you would have 5 minutes because of previous meetings of this type and that in fact were never told you had 5 minutes, but I could be wrong. Maybe the 3 minutes for each group was because the turnout was expected to be huge, nevertheless all groups got the same amount of time. I won't quibble with you over your objection to giving Farr plenty of time to talk, but when you consider that I brought the mic to Becky, HUFF wound up getting more time than many other people. I missed a lot of people who wanted to speak including regulars like Nancy LaFortune and Bernice Belton. Your portrayal that the public was muzzled or time was stolen just isn't fair nor is it accurate.

Anger over unjust laws I agree is appropriate as is holding people to their word.
I also appreciate the passion and frustration behind the pursuit of justice.
But there is a huge difference between anger and abuse. Fabricating intentions
is not in line with the pursuit of justice. I will continue to apologize for people who are on my side of an issue who act abusively including myself, I do not want that abuse to drive away any chance of success.
I'm not angry with you about any of the positions you stated including your expectations that she would end the sleeping ban. And as a matter of fact, I'm very happy that you've stated it as expectations which IS accurate. I've heard at other times people say she lied and didn't live up to her word, which is not true, she didn't promise to end the sleeping ban nor did she promise to bring forth any changes in the camping law. But it is completely reasonable to have had the expectation that she would do something given her feelings about it. I've been bugging her about it for as long as she's been in office, but you're not helping.
I think that if you were to form a coalition with the homeless providers and come up with a positive solution, there would be a better chance of success. Either that or put it to the people of Santa Cruz to vote on, but I'm afraid that would fail.
If you could get people like Sherry Conable, Paul Brindell, Brian Koepke into a think tank, I'd bet a creative solution could be found.
Was that one of those 'Freudian slip' things when you said it was a positive thing to 'champion repressive laws'? Certainly you meant champion the abolishment of repressive laws.

As far as Emily's unwillingness to 'challenge' Farr, what can I say, she is a Democrat after all. I really don't see how anybody can remain a Democrat, then again Kucinich and Pelosi look pretty good to me.

Last thing, let's not forget that we promised Rachel from Farr's office that we would give thanks and praise for Farr's vote.
 

Take Strong Action at the

Reilly did indeed break her promise (made February 6th) to give HUFF 5 minutes to speak at the February Town Hall meeting at the Del Mar. She did so without apology of explanation. She has done this on other occasions as well.
Would that she would take a principled position, apologizing for her past errors and declaring a clear future policy.
The real point is that City Council is not really interested in community input--that's why they killed the CPRB and are reportedly considering killing half the other commissions. That's why important legal changes like the city-wide permit parking that acknowledges as a goal criminalizing homeless vehicles at night will be coming up at afternoon session--when laws have traditionally been considered in the evening. That's why she holds secret closed meetings of the Ad-Hoc Financial Committee instead of opening to them to the public. That's why we don't have any meaningful questioning of staff. That's why Oral Communications is never expanded. That's why important legal changes that eviscerate the First Amendment (the Porter-Reilly Deadly Downtown Ordinances) get rammed through with superspeed and public opinion ignored.
Neither she nor other members of the Council are accountable for the broken promises--indeed, the Council and past Mayor's have repeatedly violated the Brown (open meetings) act without apology, acknowledgement, or redress for a number of years. Since few have the time to spend months in court seeking redress (which in many cases is simply a revote), the Council's illegal behavior continues unchecked. What the staff and the police want, the Council gives them.
In February at the previuous Town Hall meeting, you did indeed remove the microphone from me before I had concluded the final two sentences I wanted to say and so I had to speak them "unamplified". I guess I should be glad that Fitzmaurice didn't move to recess the meeting to have me arrested--as he did in March 2002--a moment when Vice-Mayor Reilly made no objection. What's really disturbing, however, is the general cutting back of the public's right to speak--and the way Reilly and her Council ignored the public input a week later.
We have a demoralized anti-war movement coming to the Monday Night Town Hall meeting--or it seems so to me.
The strong sharp message to stop the illegal war of aggression in Iraq must be reflected not just by symbolic City Council action (even the call for withdrawing troops and stopping the bombing does not go far enough).
We need specific substantive action such as the City's withdrawing invested funds from corporations that are involved with the military or benefit from the Iraqi invasion and occupation-to-come. We need specific direction from the police not to cooperate with federal and state authorities if they try to arrest war resistors.
We need to stop police from using a patchwork of petty anti-homeless laws to harass and disperse peace vigils.
A new round-the-clock Peace Vigil is forming on campus at Porter College up at UCSC starting tonight or tomorrow. Call Shelsea at 239-2078 for more info.
 

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