Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Not One More! wrap up + M19

Not One More! is finished, and if you weren't able to come and see or participate i'd like to tell you how amazing it was to see a community come together to create something...the variety of energies and talents and perspectives that collaborated within a common experience was not only inspiring and made for a successful event; it was Peace at work.
Please enjoy this brief report-out + three more end-the-war actions tomorrow!


Not One More!: Wrap-Up

· Dialogue on the Ojai Post
· Event photos
As i said in the intro, this project was Peace and community-building at work. It was the OPC's biggest - and therefore my personal biggest - action yet, and i am VERY gratified by its success. To secure facilities, sponsors, and participant groups; to plan out the logistics; to invite and reinvite the media and local officials; to put together a program book; to solicit donations; to coordinate persons; and then to actually carry out the writing in three days of nearly 4,000 names was quite a feat, and it was accomplished only through an energetic community effort.
if i may make some huge THANK-YOU's (in no particular order, and you know what you did):
Coleen Ashly
Dennis Ashly
Jessie Austin
Cody Stephens & James
Frank Peterson
Tom Erickson
Sophie Whitney
Ruth & Celeste
Liz Tavis
Donna Stephens
Peggy La Cerra
Tom & Erin McNerney
Kris Young
Noel Douglas
Cheri Mason
Karen Kennedy
Grant Marcus
Teresa Meehan
All our Volunteers and Signers
All of our sponsors, particularly our three major ones:
The Ojai Post
Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions
The Ojai Valley Democratic Club
You can read my opening remarks from Saturday morning's flag ceremony and view the event photos on flickr

Petition to City: End the War!

As you know, half of our Not One More! action was a petition to the City of Ojai, urging them to adopt a resolution that i've drafted based on the successful resolutions passed in both Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, among other cities. i've customized it for our community using data compiled at my request by the National
Priorities Project.

We collectecd 189 signatures in support of our resolution to:
· End the war
· Withdraw our troops, contractors, and bases
· Redirect war funds to domestic needs
· Provide non-military aid to rebuild Iraq
If you didn't make it to the park this past weekend, you can READ THE RESOLUTION AND SIGN THE PETITION HERE!

M19: MoveOn's New Priorities Vigil

On March 19th, tens of thousands of people across the country will gather to observe the fifth anniversary of the war with candlelight vigils.We'll commemorate the sacrifices too many families have made, and the billions of dollars wasted in Iraq that could have been better invested at home.
Locally, three choices!
· Ojai, 7pm at the Y
· Ventura, 7pm at City Hall
· Ventura, 5pm at Ventura High School

M19: Protest Military Recruitment

From ANSWER VC and VC Stop the War:
Wednesday, March 19, 12 Noon - 2pm
Ventura Military Recruitment Center
4009 E Main St, Ventura (Main & Telephone)
Initiated by ANSWER Ventura County. For more info call 805-367-6481 or email answervc@riseup.net.
We will then carpool to Los Angeles to carry out the same action at the Hollywood Recruitment Center at 4pm!


M19: Winter Soldier fundraiser

Almost forty years ago, veterans of the Vietnam War gave public testimony to the war crimes and atrocities committed on behalf of the U.S. government. Now, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are repeating Winter Soldier for this war. In order to raise funds for this historic event, Ventura is joining with thousands of other communities to host a benefit event for soldiers against the war.

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008
6-9pm @ Sunset Cafe, 2069 E. Main St, Ventura (across from Ventura High)
Tickets: $20
Sponsored by Ventura County Committee to Stop the War.
[The Winter Soldier testimonies finished during the weekend, so complete audio archives are being compiled. If you missed any of the powerful voices, there is audio at
WarComesHome.org and IVAW.org]

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Not One More! is next week!

This has already been a tremendous learning and organizing experience for me, and by all accounts we're going to make quite the splash in our community with this action. If you haven't already pledged your support, there is still room for volunteers and of course you're encouraged to come and sign names. Thanks to so many of you for your generosity with your time, talent, and treasure!


You know what this is about by now. Help us humanize and personalize the real women and men whose lives have been taken in this war by bringing their names home to our community and calling for an end to the violence.

FRIDAY MARCH 14 from 9AM to 3PM
SUNDAY MARCH 15 from 1PM to 7PM

There is some very enthusiastic support for this project (including among some local youth!), and i appreciate the valuable volunteers that have already stepped forward. We continue to have three significant needs:

· WE NEED VOLUNTEERS to work two-hour shifts while the event is open, which entails
helping people sign names, looking out for the security of the area, answering visitors' questions, and facilitating signing of the resolution petition. It may also include talking to the press. If you can help, please call Coleen at 805-640-8478.
· WE NEED SIGNERS to help create the memorial. We're scheduling individuals and groups to sign because that helps us know whom to expect, and when, and how many people (as opposed to simply waiting for people to trickle in randomly). If you want to come as an individual, please let us know. If you want to come as a group, please let us know. If you know of a group who might be interested, please let us - and them - know!
· WE NEED SPONSORS to offset the costs of renting the park, event insurance, printing, etc...as well as to swell the OPC coffers for future peacebuilding! Donations will be accepted at the event, right now from the right-side column donation button, from our website, or from our Chipin page, and there are sponsorships available at the following levels:

$25 - Chalk
Includes a business-card size ad and message in the event program book.

$50 - Petition
Includes a quarter page (2.75" x 4.25") ad and
message in the event program book.

$125 - Resolution
Includes a half-page (5.5" x 4.25") ad and message in the event program book
a postcard-size logo decal displayed during the event, yours to keep after it's over!

$250 - Blue Ribbon
Includes a full-page (8.5" x 5.5") ad and message in the event program book
a 2' x 5' banner displayed during the event, yours to keep after it's over!

If you can support this community action with a gift of your time, talents, or treasure: please call Coleen at 640-8478to volunteer. You can also forward this message to friends and family!


Peace Pole Project

This project is stalled because i haven't had time to work on preparing the pole for painting, and there are apparently no artists among us and none in this Valley who look at posted flyers or answer personal emails.

Once i'm finished preparing it, our next step is still to paint it. To that end, WE NEED FOUR ARTISTS who would be willing to be responsible for creating one "panel" of the four-sided pole. If you are an artist or you know one who might be interested, please call me at 805.746.3750 so we can keep this project moving. i want this pole in the ground by June!


War Tax Resistance forum in April

will be presented by Joseph Maizlish of Southern California War Tax Resisters and Norman Bauer of the Ventura County Committee to Stop the War

on Saturday April 5th...but WHEN and WHERE?
· WE NEED A VENUE to accommodate...i dunno, 20 people? if you are connected to any such place and/or have a suggestion, please let me know: 805-746-3750

Come to explore our individual and collective connections to the war machine, strategies for resistance, history of action, and risks. Empowerment materials available, and donations will be accepted.


Praising you for being mindful and heartful toward the rest of us on this beautiful planet,
evan austin
Ojai Peace Coalition