Letters to the Editor
... input from forum participants

"Neighbors for Peace and Justice"
- grassroots residents opposed to war in Iraq

March 25th


Our Saturday Glassell Park protest numbers are down ... please join us!

The analysis which brought us to a pro-peace, anti-war position---an analysis which for some of us has been developing over most of our lives is not so superficial that we would abandon it when war actually breaks out.


Obviously, with the very big protests this past weekend and the one before that, the numbers at our Glassell Park protest have been down considerably. I'm concerned that we will have fewer protesters now that we are in the midst of war. Some will stopping with the belief that we dishonor the American soldiers by engaging in protest. They are incorrect.

A young person, possibly a young person of color, who listened to the recruiter ["You can learn computer skills in the military." "You can earn a college degree in the Army!"] now finds herself or himself in a situation where they may be called on to kill innocent civilian populations, including children, in a war which (1) violates the U.N. Charter, (2) defines a new unilateral "first strike, pre-emptive attack" policy for U.S. foreign policy, (3) has limited international support and (4) is part of a U.S. strategy to develop hegemony over oil and politics in areas of the Middle East.

If a war is wrong before it happens, those who oppose it must intensify opposition and escalate the movement against it after the killing starts. We do not want to further jeopardize our military while they are under attack....we want the hostilities to end! If the world is to finally end war as a resolution to conflict, those who hold those ideals must work harder to end war after it starts.

Some additional points:

1: The best support for our troops is get them out of harm's way.

2: We seek to shorten this war. We certainly are doing nothing that would prolong it.

3: We will support restoring the cuts to veteran's benefits that the Bush administration has made even as they were sending troops into harms way. Note that that this isn't just the Bush Administration. The veteran's administration spent ten years denying the gulf war syndrome, despite approximately 1/3 or the troops deployed being disabled, a rather high percentage for a war in which the only caualties were from friendly fire. The administration has abandoned its soldiers even as the war it send them into battle.

4: We do not blame the soldiers for this war. They did not seek it. They did not start it. The enlisted soldiers were largely lured into the military with promises of vocational training and educational opportunities. They gambled on peace. We would support these troops by getting them home and getting them in to generous educational programs.

5: The more our military is seen as carrying out Bush's unjust crusade (his word, not mine), the more likely there will be terrorist attacks against them, like the Cole (as well as against other US assets, like embassies.)

6: So long as this war continues, we do not ask that US soldiers be deprived of logistical support. We as that the war be discontinued.

7: So, today, just as with Viet Nam, and with Gulf War I, the peace movement supports the nation's troops to a far greater degree than the government.

Please join us whenever you can to protest against this unjust war.

Where: Eagle Rock Blvd. at Verdugo/Ave. 40
When: Saturdays, 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Thank you.

Bob Squires

P.S. Neighbors for Peace and Justice also has a group working with the help of the ACLU against the USA Patriot Act and its associated programs. If you're interested, please contact me.

To contact the Mt. Washington - Eagle Rock - Highland Park - Glassell Park branch of "Neighbors for Peace and Justice."

Phone: 323 / 550-1878 - Bob Squires
E-mail contact:

There are also bi-weekly meetings of the first "Neighbors for Peace and Justice" located in the Los Feliz/Silverlake area of Los Angeles. Meetings are held on the first and third Thursday of each month, 7pm-9pm at City Councilman Eric Garcetti's Field Office: Sunset Boulevard at Maltman Avenue in Silverlake.

Phone: 213 / 250-5500 days - 323 / 660-4799 eves
E-mail contact:

"Neighbors for Peace and Justice" is a grassroots organization comprised of residents who are opposed to war in Iraq. We have no political affiliation.

We began protesting on Saturday, November 30th, and will continue our weekly protests at the same time and place until they are no longer deemed necessary.