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Writings by Jeff Leys

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Walk for Justice Concludes: 3 Arrested at U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command

Diane Hughes, Ceylon Mooney and Jeff Leys entering the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command Diane Hughes, Ceylon Mooney and Jeff Leys entering the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command (MEPCOM) in North Chicago on July 5th (Photo: Mike Ferner)

By Jeff Leys, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
July 5, 2006

On July 5, three of us entered the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command (MEPCOM) to nonviolently resist the war in and occupation of Iraq. We sought to read the names of U.S. soldiers and Iraq citizens who have died in the war. Immediately upon entering MEPCOM’s property, we were met by base security. We began to read the names of the dead and were quickly arrested. Charged with trespass and facing up to six months in prison, our first court appearance is scheduled for July 20th.

"Oh America" -- Walk for Justice

By Jeff Leys
June 20, 2006

“Oh America, I now can say your name, Without feeling bitter, without feeling ashamed. I’ve traveled ‘cross your countryside, your cities and your towns. And I’ve come to see the people come to turn the war around.” —Holly Near, 1973 song

On June 7th, social justice advocates set off on a walk across Illinois. Our numbers range from 5 to 10 people walking on any given day. We’ll end up in North Chicago on July 5th, at the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command. Each day we’ll walk between 10 to 15 miles, covering nearly 320 miles on foot over 30 days.

Senate to Vote on Iraq War Funds -- Take Action Now

Jeff Leys
April 7, 2006

The U.S. Senate is set to vote to approve the supplemental spending package for the current fiscal year. This includes an additional $67.5 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Click here for an analysis of the funds contained in the supplemental spending bill)

This vote is scheduled to take place the week of April 24th. Between now and then, the Senate is in recess and U.S. Senators are back in their home states.

You are urged to take one or more of the following actions to halt funding of the Iraq war:

  • Visit your Senators’ offices to tell them to vote against all war funding. Bring as many people with you as possible. Don’t let their staff tell you that you need an appointment and don’t call ahead to try to schedule an appointment between now and April 24. It normally takes weeks to schedule an appointment with a staff member (let alone a Senator)—there is no time to wait this long. It is infinitely more important that Senators know that there is a steady stream of constituents coming to their offices to demand an end to the war than it is to follow proper protocol.

Never Ending Funding for the Never Ending Iraq War:

March 26, 2006

A Discussion of the Pending Supplemental Spending Bill

By Jeff Leys, Voices for Creative Nonviolence (www.vcnv.org)
March 26, 2006

Once again, Congress is poised to approve “emergency” funding to prosecute the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The House already approved $67.5 billion on March 16, 2006-rushing the bill through the Appropriations Committee and the House floor in order to get home in time for St. Patrick’s Day. The Senate Appropriations Committee held hearings on the Bush Administration’s supplemental spending request on March 8, though it is yet to vote to send it to the full Senate. The full Senate is expected to vote by the end of April, and quite probably much sooner. Now is the time to call your Senators to tell them in no uncertain terms to vote against the pending supplemental spending bill (call the Congressional switchboard at 1-866-340-9281; they will connect you to your Senators’ offices).

Speaker of House Not Responsible for War Funding

March 20, 2006

By Mike Ferner and Scott Blackburn

Washington D.C. — By a vote of 348-71, the U.S. House of Representatives voted March 16 to spend 67,000,000,000 dollars more for open-ended wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite the fact that a growing majority of the people they represent believe the war is wrong.

In an eleventh hour effort on March 15 to appeal to the conscience of the Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, six peace activists took their case to his office on Capitol Hill where they read the names of U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians killed in the war, and negotiated with Hastert’s staff for a meeting with the Illinois congressman.

Why We Fast

March 15, 2006

By Jeff Leys

On February 15, four of us began a liquids only fast at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Two of us are consuming only water; two of us are consuming juice. We intend to fast through March 20, as the U.S. enters its fourth year of occupying Iraq.

We began our fast on February 15 to recall the massive global mobilization against the impending U.S. led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Three years ago, millions of people took to the streets around the world in the largest mobilization ever to try to prevent a war from starting. At that time, talk was that a new global superpower had emerged to challenge the growing U.S. military empire.

The Legislative Quandry

By Jeff Leys
March 15, 2006

Vigiling and fasting in front of the Capitol these past 3 weeks, it is apparent that a noxious disease has overtaken the U.S. public and those professing to be opposed to the war. It’s a disease of disdain for one’s own rights and responsibilities which come from living within a democracy. With the few exceptions of those who refuse to give up the legislative struggle, the refrain is: “I’ve marched. I’ve vigiled. I’ve voted. I’ve written letters to Congress. And still the war goes on. There is no reason to lobby or act anymore.”

A Challenge to Care for Iraq

June 29, 2005

For the past 15 years, our country has waged war against the Iraqi people. Over 15 years of bombs and sanctions, our country deliberately and with malice destroyed Iraq’s water treatment and distribution system, health care system, and educational system. Over 15 years, our country created the conditions under which Iraqis are forced to seek subsistence on a meagre food distribution system, now under threat of being monetized. Over 15 years, our country destroyed Iraq’s economy, creating a current condition of unknowingly high rates of unemployment.