Sunday, April 29, 2007

Local Mamas to participate in final senatorial visit as part of Occupation Project.

MAU will again have a presence at this final scheduled visit to Tennessee Senators Alexander and Corker as part of the Peaceable Assembly and Instruction Project, itself a part of the nationalOccupation Project. If you'd like to visit as a sister participant to represent your faith community or other group and want to bring your child, we welcome you to sit with us, or to holler for tips on how to put a visit together. If you are doing comparative visits in your home state OR would like to, I'd love to hear from you!

You may well have heard or read of members of organizations being arrested in other states as part of the Occupation Project. As that is NOT an option for those of raising small children, our presence is not that of taking over the office of elected officials at any cost, but in arranging scheduled visits to share our thoughts, feelings, and requests. To join with other parents in expressing our concerns around the war, armed with a few basic facts and speaking with spirit from the heart is an empowering experience.

On our last visit earlier this month in Nashville, we had 4 local MAU mamas and a passel of kids-- let me tell you: having the babies and children present is POWERFUL. My own toddler has nursed, played cars with other concerned citizens, and cuddled and talked with me as I have addressed our leaders on these MAU visits. Those of us with small children in tow speak first, and exit early, so's to make our points and have a good showing, without over-testing the limits of our children and without distracting from other folks who've come to speak.

On previous visits our children ran around tables, laughed, cried, snacked, poked each other and in general had a merry old time. Without exception, the children have been warmly welcome and seen as a most positive part of the process and not as a hindrance, so if you'd like to come (OR plan something similar in your own state capitol) but are concerned about a child's presence, please know that this is an OK place for them to be. Additionally, should there be concern, the way we do our visits is NOT a forum for debate or anything other than peaceful witness, testimony and sharing. For our elected officials-- our public *servants*-- to see their constituency in action as families is very important and wonderful thing.

If you do plan to come, and I'm hoping to DOUBLE the number of mothers with children present, bring snacks, water, small toys and arrange to carpool if possible. In Nashville, I encourage mothers to wear aprons (a symbol of taking the work from our home & hearth to the public) and bring cookies, muffins, or cake to share with everyone. The below missive from our friends at the Peaceable Assembly and Instruction Project gives details of our scheduled visit.

If you'd like to join us and have questions about talking points or any other practicalities, please feel free to give me a shout:

Dear Friends,
FRIDAY, MAY 4, we'll go for the last of eight scheduled visits to local Congressional offices. On April 10, forty people from twenty-two organizations attended a joint meeting with the State Directors for Senators Alexander and Corker. This time we'd like to have eighty. We've delivered about 460 support statements from Peaceable Assembly signers.
President Bush has promised to veto the current bill, because of partial troop withdrawal deadlines. We'll be asking the Senators to send him a bill mandating disengagement of all U.S. troops from combat in Iraq, and withwdrawal of all U.S. troops within a year. Neither the Senators, nor Congressman Cooper, have voted the way we asked them to, but most of us who participated in the earlier visits believe that we made them feel the heat of growing public opposition. Please join us for a mass turnout on Friday.
This is the last of the pre-scheduled visits, but as debate develops in Congress in future months on funding for the War, we may call on you again for ad hoc manifestations of public pressure.
Karl Meyer , Pam Beziat, Christina VanRegenmorter , for Peaceable Assembly project




May 4 Friday 11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m.

SENATORS CORKER and ALEXANDER 3322 West End Avenue – Building Conference Room #109

( we have cancelled the previously announced Alexander meeting for April 27 )

*Parking and assembly at 3322 West End Avenue for Alexander and Corker visits:

The building is set back from West End Avenue , at the corner of West End and Murphy Road . Heading west on West End, turn right onto Acklen Park Drive. Take immediate left onto Park Drive (inner drive).Continue to underground parking entrance of 3322 Building at corner. Free visitor parking for two hours is available near the entrance to the garage, but security desk tries to limit us to using six spaces, so you may help by finding on-the-street parking nearby, leaving these spaces for those with physical disabilities. Around the corner, to the northwest of the building entrances there are lots of open spaces in parking areas in front of several apartment buildings.

If you know in advance, please let us know which visits you will attend.

Organized by Nashville Greenlands/War Resisters League, 2407 Heiman St., Nashville 37208


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