Letters to the Editor
... input from forum participants

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

Nov. 30

Hi, Bill,

Just as there are many U.S. military veterans who are opposed to a war against Iraq and actively demonstrating against it, we believe that there are likely to be participants in the Los Angeles Community Policing effort who feel similarly and may wish to join our efforts.

We are a group of concerned residents of Mt. Washington, Eagle Rock, Highland Park, and Glassell Park who joined together with a single goal: to oppose a war against Iraq. We did not have a name for our organization. Some of us had attended demonstrations in Silverlake. They were the first group in Los Angeles to assume the name "Neighbors for Peace and Justice." (I believe that the name originated in New York City.)

Because we have the same goal and are similarly without political affiliation, we have decided to use the same name. There are several other groups in the city who also use the name "Neighbors for Peace and Justice" (e.g., Studio City, Alhambra, Venice). Some of them are branches of the Silverlake group; others operate completely independently.

There are 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:

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

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

"Neighbors for Peace and Justice" is a grassroots organization comprised of residents of Mt. Washington, Eagle Rock, Glassell Park, and Highland Park who are opposed to war in Iraq. We have no political affiliation.

We begin protesting on Saturday, November 30th, from 1:00pm-3:00pm and will continue our weekly protests at the same time and place until they are no longer deemed necessary.

We believe that a pre-emptive war in Iraq will result in the following:

- An increase in the risk of terrorism, both domestically and internationally.

- Media distraction from Bush Administration scandals.

- Seizure of Iraq's rich oilfields. (Guess who gets Saddam's oil?)

- Needless deaths of innocent Iraqi citizens and Americans.

- A disproportionate percentage of People of Color risking their lives while serving in U.S. Armed Forces.

Our peaceful protests will be situated at Eagle Rock Blvd. and El Paso Ave. We will hold them every Saturday from November 30 until there is no longer a need, from 1:00pm-3:00pm. Please join us!

Please help us to get the word out. Invite friends and family who may be interested and available. Please bring a sign large enough for car passengers to read (we will have several available if you cannot get a sign together in time).

We look forward to protesting together with you!


Robert J. Squires
Mt Washington

P.S. Regular antiwar events in the Los Angeles area are as follows:

- Monday through Friday, 2:00pm-4:00pm:
..... Post Office, So. Pasadena

- Friday, 11:30am-1:30pm:
..... Lake Street at Cordoba, Pasadena

- Friday, 5:00pm-6:30pm:
..... Peace Vigil - 220 E. Colorado St., Glendale

- Friday, 5:00pm-7:00pm:
..... No War in Iraq Protest - Vista theater in Silverlake

- Friday, 5:00pm-7:00pm:
..... Echo Park Peace Vigil - Alvarado and Glendale Blvd, Echo Park

- Friday, 5:00pm-7:00pm:
..... Studio City Peace Vigil - Laurel Canyon Bl and Ventura Blvd, Studio City

- Friday, 5:30pm-6:30pm:
..... Main and Garfield, Alhambra

- Friday, 6:00pm-7:00pm:
..... Peace Walk and Vigil - Anton and Bristol, South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa

- Friday, 6:00pm-7:00pm:
..... Riverside Peace Rally - Shoe City - Tyler Mall, 3535 Tyler St, Riverside

- Friday, 6:00pm-8:00pm:
..... Peace Demonstration - 3rd Street and Santa Monica, Santa Monica

- Friday, 6:00pm-9:00pm:
..... Peace Vigil - 5200 E. 2nd St, Long Beach

- Saturday, 12:00pm-1:30pm:
..... Young Koreans United Anti-War Rally - Wilshire & Western, Los Angeles

- Saturday, 1:00pm-3:00pm:
..... No War in Iraq Protest, Eagle Rock Blvd. at El Paso Ave., Glassell Park

- Saturday, 6:00pm-7:30pm:
..... Interfaith Peace Vigil - Third and Fairfax, Los Angeles

- Sunday, 2:00pm:
..... Venice Peace March - Rose Avenue and the Boardwalk, Venice Beach

10 Reasons to Oppose the War with Iraq (from the American Friends Service Committee)

1. War with Iraq won't make us safer.

A unilateral attack by the United States will inflame anti-U.S. sentiment and may stimulate more attacks by extremists.

2. There is no imminent threat.

There is no hard evidence that Iraq has nuclear weapons. Iraq has little means to deliver chemical and biological weapons to threaten countries in the Middle East, let alone the U.S.

3. A preemptive attack violates the U.N. charter.

The U.N. Charter forbids member countries from attacking another country except in self defense. If the U.S. puts itself above international law it will further encourage other nations to do the same.

4. Our allies don't support us in this war.

U.S. allies in the Middle East oppose a U.S. attack on Iraq. Our European allies have urged the U.S. to work through the U.N. An invasion of Iraq would isolate the U.S. from the rest of the world and shatter the principles of international cooperation and mutual defense that are key to U.S. and global security.

5. Thousands of innocent people may die.

Pentagon estimates say that an invasion of Iraq could lead to the deaths of 10,000 innocent civilians.

6. Young American men and women will fight and die.

U.S. military action and possible occupation is likely to produce far more casualties than the previous Gulf War or the war in Afghanistan. Many combatants will suffer physical and psychological repercussions for years after the war ends.

7. Funding for education, environment and health care is already being cut in order to pay for the "war on terror."

Estimates put the cost of a war with Iraq at $60-$100 billion with ongoing billions for occupation and rebuilding Iraq.

8. Things may not be better after a war.

We have no guarantee that a new regime in Iraq will make life any better for the Iraqi people or be any friendlier to the U.S. than the current one. The Taliban were once our allies in Afghanistan. Will the new regime in Iraq become our enemy after a few years?

9. There are other options.

The U.S. can work through the U.N. using mechanisms such as the resumption of weapons inspections, negotiation, mediation, regional arrangements, and other peaceful means.

10. The American people have deep misgivings about this war.

Many people know deep down that this war makes no sense. They are starting to speak up and make themselves heard. You can add your voice to activities in your community.