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Peace Tax Fund Joins
Throngs in Call to "Make
Levees, Not War"


By Daniela Baur

Does it take a natural catastrophe to draw a nation together? Of course last weekend's antiwar protest in Washington D.C. was planned and organized long before the catastrophic events in the Gulf States. However, the government's lack of adequate response to the cries for help both before and after Hurricane Katrina's and Rita's paths of devastation seemed to draw a common thread through the ranks of well over one-hundred thousand protesters gathered around the White House and Washington Monument on September 24. In the face of  devastation (whose effects were especially catastrophic for the thousands of New Orleans' citizens living well below the poverty line) the justification for this war seems even more questionable.

We chose "Make Levees Not War" as the slogan on the flyers that we prepared for the march, attempting to contrast the astronomic sums spent on military funds with the severe cuts in the funding of wetland restoration, levee maintenance, poverty reduction and natural disaster response. We distributed about two thousand of our flyers with information about the Peace Tax Fund.

Apparently, though, we were not the only organization turning this connection into our campaign slogan. Crowned as "best slogan of the huge, spirited, good-old-days antiwar demonstration" by Washington Post's Eugene Robinson in Tuesday's edition, the outcry "Make Levees Not War", was heard all over the mass of protesters.

In addition to our flyer campaign, Outreach Director Tim Godshall sported a self-made Uncle Sam hat, the red stripes arranged as a bar graph with an enormous stripe of military spending, towering over the tiny red lines of "K-19 Education", "Foreign Aid", etc, and bobbing about two feet above the hat itself. It has to be added that the hat was a special favorite among the marchers on the White House. We also had a table in the Clergy and Laity Concerned about Iraq tent and were able to sign people up for our mailing list and sell some of our material, bumper stickers and buttons among others.

On Sunday, Executive Director Marian Franz and Rhode Island Campaign Manager Natalie Merrill joined the organized Lobbying activities, training State delegations in Lobbying and accompanied the Rhode Island Delegation to Capitol Hill on Monday.

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