No War With Iran: An Urgent Week of Action to Prevent a War January 10, 2020

The week of January 6 saw several important events and developments in both congressional and grassroots efforts to convince American decision-makers to deescalate tensions with Iran and prevent an all-out war. The situation, already tense  due to the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran Deal, escalated in the wake of the United States’ assassination of Iranian top military commander Qassem Suleimani on January 2. You can read PSR’s official statement here.

click to enlarge Demonstrators in Washington, DC

click to enlarge Leah Greenberg of Indivisible speaks at the DC demonstration

War between the United States and Iran would likely be a humanitarian catastrophe—and it’s a preventable nightmare scenario. The majority of Americans strongly oppose war with Iran, but if Congress doesn’t act, that nightmare could become a reality.

click to enlarge Demonstrators in Portland, Oregon

click to enlarge Oregon PSR joined the Portland, Oregon demonstration

Rallies around the country over the weekend on January 4 demonstrated clear opposition to such a war. Maureen McCue of PSR Iowa was a speaker at a rally in Des Moines, IA (see photos of the rally from the Des Moines Register here).

PSR and several PSR chapters sent out a series of action alerts. Thank you to PSR members who sent over 1,000 messages to their Members of Congress in support of War Powers legislation.

click to enlarge PSR Florida joined the demonstration in St. Petersburg, Florida

Demonstrators in St. Petersburg, Florida

On Capitol Hill, on January 9, Representative Elissa Slotkin’s War Powers Resolution, H.Con.Res.83, which seeks to limit U.S. military action regarding Iran, passed in the House, 224 to 194. The resolution specifically calls on the President “to terminate the use of United States Armed Forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran” unless Congress declares war or enacts “specific statutory authorization” for the use of military force. In her statement on the resolution, Speaker Nancy Pelosi noted, “Members of Congress have serious, urgent concerns about the Administration’s decision to engage in hostilities against Iran and about its lack of strategy moving forward.”

click to enlarge PSR Arizona joined the demonstration in Tucson, Arizona

click to enlarge Demonstrators in Tucson, Arizona

During the week of January 21, the Senate is expected to vote on and approve Senator Tim Kaine’s War Powers Resolution, S.J. Res 68, which has been cosponsored by Senator Dick Durbin and 14 other Senators, including Republicans and Independents. (You can send a message now urging support for its passage here.)

Additional legislation proposed in the House includes Representative Barbara Lee’s resolution to repeal the 2002 Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and Representative Ro Khanna’s legislation to prohibit funding for military action against Iran not authorized by Congress.

click to enlarge Chesapeake PSR and Peace Action Baltimore displayed this banner in Baltimore, Maryland.

click to enlarge Gwen Dubois of Chesapeake PSR (right) joins demonstrators in Baltimore, Maryland

On January 9, dozens of groups led by MoveOn, Win Without War, Indivisible, CODEPINK and other grassroots organizations held a No War With Iran Day of Action, with 377 events in towns and cities around the country.

International No War With Iran Day of Action will take place on Saturday, January 25, led by a coalition of groups including CODEPINK, National Iranian-American Council, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, Jewish Voice for Peace, DSA Anti-Imperialism Network, Dominican Sisters/ICAN, American Muslims for Palestine, Veterans for Peace, Pastors for Peace/Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, Black Alliance for Peace, Nonviolence International, US Labor Against the War, Peace Action, United For Peace and Justice, ANSWER Coalition, Popular Resistance, United National Antiwar Coalition-UNAC, NuclearBan.US, World Beyond War, US Labor Against the War, Roots Action, and MADRE. Events will take place in cities around the United States, as well as in various cities in Canada, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, and Uganda. Read more details and RSVP to attend a protest near you.

PSR has spoken out in clear opposition to a potential war with Iran. But right now, the stakes could not be higher. The United States can and must show strength, courage and global leadership by pursuing diplomacy over aggression and deescalation over war.

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