GRASSROOTS ADVOCACY TRAINING and LOBBY DAY
February 1 - 2, 2009 · Washington, DC
One Month after the Grassroots Advocacy Training
IFPB Keeps the Pressure on Congress!
A week and a half ago, I participated in a meeting with California Senator Dianne Feinstein's office. The meeting was a direct follow-up to the conversation myself and others had with her office on February 2 during IFPB's first Grassroots Advocacy Training and Lobby Day. On this second meeting, I was joined by representatives of Amnesty International and the National Lawyers Guild Fact-Finding Mission to Gaza. We spoke candidly about the need to restrict US arms shipments to the conflict zone.
My recent meetings were only the beginning. At home in the San Francisco Bay Area, participants in the training and lobby day are organizing meetings at our representatives' local offices. And we are not alone; training participants from other states continue to plan similar actions.
If you participated in the Grassroots Advocacy Training, or if you weren't able to attend this year, you can still take action. One month after the event, we need to keep the pressure on.
What can we ask our representatives to do?
Action 1: Place conditions on military aid
Following the lead of our partners at the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, IFPB suggests that you ask your representatives to restrict military aid to Israel in the FY2010 budget. In doing so, we would like to call your attention to the following resources:
Amnesty International's recent report calls for a UN-enforced international arms embargo on Israel and Palestinian armed groups and includes detailed information about US weapons used in Gaza. Print a copy to take to your meetings. Download it here.
Action 2: Demand access for aid and an end to the siege of Gaza
Even as we focus on military aid shipments, it is important for us to continue to demand that Israel and the US government allow free and unfettered access to humanitarian aid and reconstruction materials to Gaza.
Recently, a US State department spokesperson insinuated that pasta could be used as a weapon by Palestinians in Gaza! As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues her trip through the Middle East and Europe, we can take action by demanding she open Gaza's borders immediately. Click here for the latest US Campaign action alert on humanitarian aid to Gaza.
Follow Up: Keep IFPB in the loop
Please keep us posted on your meetings and further action. We have limited capacity, but can help in many small ways if needed. After your meetings, you can download fill out a Congressional Meeting Evaluation Form. Send it to IFPB or send a simple email with a short report to media[at]ifpb.org.
Other follow-up actions are posted online at ifpb.org. Click here to read them.
Join an Interfaith Peace-Builders delegation:
The transformative experience of an IFPB delegation will enrich your understanding of the conflict as you meet courageous Israelis and Palestinians working for peace and justice and witness the current realities of life in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Delegations are scheduled for May, July and November 2009. Click here for more information and an application.
Plan for the next Grassroots Advocacy Training and Lobby Day:
IFPB will be organizing a second Grassroots Advocacy Training and Lobby Day in early 2010. We'll keep you posted, but it's never to early to start thinking about your attendance. Your continued activism this year will prepare you for an even more beneficial experience in 2010!
Donate to Interfaith Peace-Builders:
Programs like the Grassroots Advocacy Training and Lobby Day take a great deal of time and resources. There is nothing we would like to do more than to continue to provide this type of programming. Nothing is possible, however, without the support of people like you. Please consider donating today.
Thank you for all your work and support!