Pause for peace

By Joe Piasecki 09/20/2007

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Friday marks the first Iraq Moratorium, a national effort by peace activists to engage the millions of Americans who are against the war but have not yet stood publicly to say so.

The idea is for everyone who opposes the continued occupation to do something — anything — on this day to express their views, explained Paul Krehbiel, a member of the national Iraq Moratorium Organizing Committee and a Pasadena resident.

That could be as simple as wearing a peace button or a black ribbon or armband, writing to your congressman or local newspaper (email kevinu@pasadenaweekly.com), or  organizing your own small gathering and announcing it at www.iraqmoratorium.org.

“We don't see what we're doing as an alternative to other antiwar activities; we see it as adding to them. A lot of people don't feel comfortable marching in the street, so we needed to do more things to include more people,” said Krehbiel. “Really, our goal is to reach out to the mainstream of society and encourage people to express their opposition to the war however they feel comfortable.”

In Pasadena, a collective of activists calling themselves Environmentalists Against the War will be holding signs with messages like “less oil = less war = less global warming” from 5 to 7 p.m. near the intersection of Lake Avenue and the Foothill (210) Freeway. All are welcome to attend this inaugural gathering of the group.

The next moratorium day is Oct. 19, and Krehbiel is asking Pasadena residents to start planning church services, art shows, concerts, film screenings, teach-ins or other kinds of gatherings for that day.

“Based on polls, we estimate 170 million Americans are against the war. We want to create a safe space for them to step forward,” he said.

For help with organizing events or posting them to the Web site, call (626) 398-5101 or email paulkrehbiel@earthlink.net.

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