"No War on Iraq" campaign: How It Went

30 Aug 2002


Dear MoveOn Supporter,


Here's a quick report on the progress of our "No War on Iraq" campaign. As of today, just ten days into the campaign, more than 160,000 people around the country have signed the online petition.  And on Wednesday, thousands of us delivered the first batch of these petitions through meetings in Senate offices in each and every state.


I've been scrambling to stay on top of the reports as they come in from meetings across the country.  I'm receiving emails from Utah, from Hawaii, from New Hampshire, and from Georgia.  The experience each message describes is different, but on one point they're nearly all the same: the meetings that occurred yesterday with Senators' offices were an enormous success.


Local TV stations broadcast interviews with participants in close to a third of the meetings.  And newspapers from the Austin-American Statesman to the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times to the Indianapolis Star have printed or are writing stories.  Since Senators watch the media closely, this coverage has made the meetings even more impactful.


The following comment from a meeting participant in Florida has been echoed again and again in the letters in my inbox:


"As Senator Nelson's aide said at the end of our meeting, I came with no expectations today.  But I left amazed at the eloquence and passion expressed by so many of you today.  It gives me hope . . . I just wanted to thank you for your time, the mileage you put on your cars, but most of all for speaking out when so many people keep quiet under the false guise of patriotism.  Our actions display true patriotism and love of country."


As I read through these reports, as I look at (and listen to, and watch) the press coverage that we've generated, and as I hear descriptions of the reactions of Senators' staff, I know that through our meetings and our petition, we've made a lasting and positive impact.


But the reports speak for themselves:


>From David Keppel, Indianapolis, IN:


"The meeting with Leslie Reiser, [Senator Richard] Lugar's State Director, went extremely well. . . . We had an impressive group of delegates and an even more impressive portfolio of letters (including some prominent people we had invited who couldn't make it but were supportive).  Ms. Reiser was highly receptive. . . . I think we have a real chance with [Senator Lugar]. And he's as well positioned as anyone in Congress to put the brakes on Bush."


>From JoAnn Perry in Reno, NV:


"It was an excellent meeting, and everyone there was glad to attend. [Senator Ensign's aide Verita] Prothro said it was the largest and best organized that she had had in that office!"


>From our local leader in Boston, MA:


"We had about 150 people show up for support. We held a vigil outside.  Six of us went into the meeting.


We met with Tom Crohan (one of Sen. Kennedy's) aides) for about an hour.  It was very friendly, constructive conversation.  He didn't say it directly, but it sounded like Sen. Kennedy would definitely be against a war. Tom mentioned that when Sen. Kennedy mentions this topic, he remembers his brother and the Cuban missile crisis.  He said his brother was right to seek a diplomatic solution first before a military solution.  He feels that the Bush administration should do the same in this instance."


>From our leader in Madison, WI:


"Given the short notice, we were delighted that 72 people gathered, and 3/4 of them were eager to speak. The wonderful thing about the gathering was that people came from all walks of life, from University professors and graduate students, to blue-collar laborers and Vietnam vets -- all speaking in unison about their concerns regarding the war on Iraq and urging their Congressman to ask the questions that they were asking."


>From our leader in Boise, ID:


"We met with staff of Senator Crapo and Craig together. Very large, diverse group of participants including four Benedictine sisters and members of Lutheran Peace Fellowship as well as Idaho Peace Coalition and Snake River Alliance and independents.   Everyone was very articulate and heartfelt and respectful. . . . We were also asked exactly what questions we wanted answered and folks gave great and pretty comprehensive responses."


>From Sue Regan, Atlanta, GA:


"We were extremely fortunate to have, in our group, Democratic State Representative, Nan Grogan Orrock, Elizabeth Chestnut from WAND, and a few retired Armed forces personnel . . . who very eloquently told of the warnings given to her squad of going to war with Iraq. 'Too bloody,' they said, 'a big mistake. Do not go to war with Iraq.'  The entire Gluck family was present to admonish Zell Miller that if the US went to war with Iraq it would be the children who ultimately would suffer those consequences."


>From an attendee in Seattle, WA


"[Mr. Thompson, Senator Cantwell's aide, said] that combining the electronic with the personal, such as we have with MoveOn, was taking the right approach."


>From Joan Wile in New York, NY:


"Today I was part of a delegation of 10 people who met with Hillary Clinton's NYS Deputy Director, Basil Smikle, at her offices on Third Avenue to lobby against the war on Iraq.  . . . Among my delegation was our spokesperson, a Rabbi who heads a Jewish peace group; a minister who has been to Iraq several times distributing medical supplies; a young professor of Middle East studies who has spent a lot of time recently in Iraq and other Middle East countries and who speaks 8 languages in that area; a documentary film maker who was recently in Iraq making a documentary, and ordinary citizens like me who feel strongly that it would be a disaster if we launch a preemptive strike against Iraq. . . . My feeling was that [Mr. Simkle] took our views very seriously and will try to persuade [Senator Clinton] to attend to the issue."


There are many, many more reports.  We hope to have a full description of each meeting up on our website soon.  We'll let you know as soon as it's up.




Participating in the meetings and the petition has been a hugely energizing experience for many of us.  When I was interviewed for an article in the Los Angeles Times today, I told the reporter that this is just the beginning. It is -- we're just starting to gather momentum.  Our diversity, our organization, and the depth of our concern are the building blocks for a powerful and successful movement.


Over the next months, we'll offer you many other opportunities to get active and support a more sensible Iraq policy.  We're still working out the details of our strategy, but we want to hear from you.  What do you think we should do next?  Let us know at:






The national meetings project was made possible by the exceedingly hard work of hundreds of volunteers and scores of local and national organizations. We deeply appreciate the assistance that we have received -- we couldn't have pulled this off without help.  The list below is a partial list, and it's bound to be incomplete.  Let us know if we've omitted or misspelled your name; we want to credit everyone who worked to make the meetings happen.


Our thanks go to:  Ashley Addison, Laurette Alexander, Peter B. Anderson, Jan Arthur, Kirsten L. Aspengren, Timothy Baer, Kenneth M. Barnes, Danielle Babineau, Susan Bayley, Robert L. Belichick, Rabbi Philip J. Bentley, Peter Bergel, Carolyn Bniniski, Sherry Bohlen, Bill Boyd, Larry Boyd, Devon Brenner, Carol Brightman, Nathan Britton, Kate Brown, Jason S. Brown, Julie Brown, Rev. Tom Brown, Madelyn Bryson, Amy Bunting, Jill Taylor Bussiere, Elizabeth Chesnut, Curtis Chubb, Felice and Jack Cohen-Joppa, Christine Marian Coolick, Evan Coren, Sondra Cosgrove, Bette Courtney, John-Henry Dale, Charlotte Davenhill, Bill C. Davis, Wilandra S. Dean, Kenneth DeBacker, Christina Debowski, Jim Demmers, Rick Martin Duiker, Nicky Dunbar, Sherry Edwards, Robert S. Eichler, Lela Emmons, Randall Farmer, Julie Fielder, Shelagh Forman, Tom Fox, Candace Freeland, David Friel, John Patrick Gallagher, Shawn Gebhardt, Edward Gerjuoy, James Gerring, Robert Greenberg, Louise Grubbs, Jeff Grubler, Mark Gubrud, Jeff Gustafson, Bill Haff, Linda Hahner, Allan Hanson, Leslie Harris, Isaac Hassoun, Kristin Hedges, Donna Hemingson, Linda Henry, Susan Hills, Cynthia Hoffman, Rachael Holstine, Barbara Hughes, John Humphries, Janet C. Irwin, Fo Jammi, Dr. Joya Jennings, Diane Jones, Patrick Kane, Kathy Kelly, Michael Kelly, Pagan Kennedy, David Keppel, Dr. John G. Kepros, Randall Kern, Karen Kinsman, Shana Lieberman Klinger, Lee Koch, Keith Kohan, Jeanne Koster, Anthony Simon Laden, Martha Lee, Peter Lems, Judie Hllke Lundborg, David Lynch, Alex Markels, Nick Mather, Susan Mayer, Drusha L. Mayhue, Terry Maze, David McBurnett, Michael McBurnie, Kate McClellan, Adeline McConnell, Mary McGarry, Angela McIver, Susan McKay, Andy McKenna, James McKenzie, Christine Meisenheimer, Manfred Menking, Don Merit, Laura Merit, H. Bruce Miller, Steve Moon, Cey Mooney, Joy Morris, Terry Mulcahy, Monisha Mustapha, Berta K. Nelson, Kenneth J. Newman, Anne O'Keefe, Kristen Tegtmeier Oertel, Maryellen Oman, Severo Ornstein, Patricia A. Palmieri, Jonathan V. Pansacola, Emanuel Pariser, Joseph Parko, Gia Pascarelli, Liz Paul, Shannon Payne, JoAnn Perry, David Pickering, O. Gail Poole, Karen Price, Mary Proteau, Amy M. Puckett, Linda Quinton Burr, Mary Rave, Susan Regan, Amy Remensnyder, Jesse Rhodes, Mary Rickard, Chris Roehm, Mauricio Rosas, Patricia A. Rosas, David Rosenberg, Jody Ross, Denyce Rusch, Ingrid and John Russell, Kate Ryan, Burt Sacks, Daniel Samek, Renie Schapiro, Colin Schoder-Ehri, Laurel Severns, Robert O. Shaw, Elaine Shinbrot, Jacqueline Signori, Carole Skeen, Lisa Spicka, Fred Stewart, Zee Straight-Weiss, James R. Talbott, James B. Tate, Mary C. Thomas, Adam Throne, Zada True-Courage, Greg Tzeutschler, Karen van Hoek, Eric Wachter, Diane Wahto, Russell Washington, Myrna E. Watanabe, Virginia Welsch, Anke Wessels, Jan Arthur Weston, Brian Wheel, Lisa White-Turney, Matt Whitson, Mary Ann Williams, Miriam S. Willis, Kristina Zwick.


We're grateful for organizing support from the following organizations:

The American Friends Service Committee (www.afsc.org); EPIC (www.epic-usa.org); Peace Action (www.peace-action.org); California Peace Action (www.californiapeaceaction.org); WAND (www.wand.org); Women Against Military Madness (www.worldwidewamm.org).


Thank you all for being part of something big.



--Eli Pariser

International Campaigns Director


August 30, 2002


P.S. My work, and the work of Peter Schurman and Carrie Olson, is paid for by MoveOn members.  You've already given a lot by being part of this experience, but if you feel moved to donate, we'd welcome your financial support.  You can give online or by check at:






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