United for Peace of Pierce County

Effective February 6, 2003, the official website of United for Peace of Pierce County is www.ufppc.org. This webpage, maintained on the website of People for Peace, Justice, and Healing for two months at the beginning of the UFPPC's existence, is no longer up to date and will no longer be updated. It will be left on-line for the time being, however, to direct people to the new website.

United for Peace of Pierce County
Responds to Colin Powell

Note: The following statement was unanimously adopted
by United for Peace of Pierce County on February 6, 2003.

Statement on Colin Powell's Presentation to the UN Security Council

February 6, 2003

We have studied carefully the declarations of US Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN Security Council on Feb. 5, and acknowledge that they present further evidence of serious and troubling behavior on the part of the Iraqi regime. We have also studied the responses of the other members of the UN Security Council to this evidence. We remain committed to our opposition to a war on Iraq. As a justification for a war against Iraq, Secretary Powell's presentation was unconvincing for the following reasons, each of which has been expressed by more than one member of the UN Security Council:

1) The weapons inspections in Iraq are, in fact, working. More than 100 weapons inspectors have been deployed, on average 300 inspections a month have been taking place, and inspections are continuing.

2) Secretary Powell does not explain why this information has not already been communicated to the inspectors, as called for by paragraph 10 of UN Security Council Resolution 1441. We call on our government to provide without delay all relevant information in its possession to the UN inspectors, as other nations have done.

3) The UN, not the White House, should be the center of decision-making with regard to any military action against Iraq. Secretary Powell did not demonstrate the existence of a situation that would justify an attack by the United States without UN Security Council approval.

4) A proposal to strengthen the weapons inspection process has been advanced which includes doubling or tripling the number of inspectors, setting up an international surveillance body, deploying observation aircraft, establishing a collective information processing center, ranking unresolved disarmament questions by common accord, and laying down a strict and realistic time frame. We endorse this proposal as preferable to a war against the Iraqi regime.

5) Because of its horrific costs and incalculable consequences, nations and their leaders have a moral duty to avoid this war if possible, and a real possibility of avoiding a war on Iraq still exists.

6) Given the danger posed by international terrorists, maintaining international unity in the world's response to this challenge is a high priority that would be undermined by a war waged by a US-led coalition in the absence of a UN Security Council resolution supporting it.

7) The official position of the government of Iraq is that it accepts the international community's right to demand verification that Iraq is free of weapons of mass destruction, and Iraqi cooperation to date, while not total, has been sufficiently extensive to justify the continuation of the inspections process.

8) TIME IS NOT RUNNING OUT. Only the US and Britain say that time is short. In fact, UN Security Council Resolution 1441 imposes no time limits, and under paragraph 11 of the resolution it is up to the Executive Chairman of UN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission (Hans Blix) and the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (Mohamed ElBaradei) to report Iraq's failure to comply with its disarmament obligations to the UN Security Council. This they have not yet done in terms that would justify a war.

THEREFORE, WE DEPLORE statements from US government officials saying that the present crisis must be resolved within a matter of weeks;

AND WE CALL ON OUR LEADERS to work to maintain the unity of the international community on the matter of Iraq.

Saturday, February 15, 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Tacoma says loud and clear:

The World Says No to War!

On this national and international day of action --

-- United for Peace of Pierce County urges you to participate in a nonviolent call for a peaceful resolution of the Iraq crisis. Join us in marching from McKinley Park to the Federal Courthouse. Show your opposition to the unnecessary war in Iraq! Bring your signs and banners!

Tacoma's voice
be heard loud and clear,
along with millions of others
in countless cities around the world.
Together these voices and these marchers
will form the largest demonstration against war
that the world has ever seen in all the history of humanity:
Bangkok, Oslo, Skopje, London, Antwerp, Belfast, Stockholm, Rome,
Ramallah, Cairo, Paris, Glasgow, Berlin, Manila, Barcelona, Athens, Amsterdam,
New York (up to a million people are expected there alone), San Franciso, Seattle, and Olympia

are only a few of the cities that will join us in saying with one voice:

War is not the answer!


Print and distribute copies of the Feb. 15 rally and march flyer!

Why oppose war in Iraq? There are many reasons; here are a few. (1) Despite the propaganda campaign of assertions to the contrary, Iraq poses no imminent threat to the security of the United States. The CIA itself reported to the Senate in October that Iraq is NOT a threat to the U.S. (2) There is no evidence connecting Iraq to the Al Qaeda terrorist network. (3) There is, however, much evidence that the Bush administration's true motives in Iraq concern something administration officials are instructed never to mention: OIL. (4) The lives of our troops and the lives of innocent civilians should not be sacrificed for such a cause. (5)This war would also destabilize the Middle East, (6) wreak havoc on the U.S. economy and the world economy, (7) fuel anti-American resentment among both friend and foe, and (8) violate principles of international law and the U.N. Charter. (9) Here at home, the war would subvert our basic values: adopting the National Security Strategy of the Bush administration goes against the core values of this nation: liberty and justice for all.... Need more reasons? Click here for more information on the war on Iraq and what is at stake in this crisis.

The Importance of Public Opinion Now

As this point, nothing can stop the war on Iraq except public opinion in the United States. The Bush administration has overcome every other legal or political obstacle. Forces are now arrayed around Iraq, poised to strike. More are arriving daily. As one foreign commentator remarked, "Whatever one thinks about its mission, the deployment of the American military eagle around its prey, six thousand miles away from its nest, is an impressive sight." But what do you think of its mission, you in the name of whose security it is being carried out? If you have convictions, now is the time the time to express them. If you have doubts, now is the time to voice them.

Where you should write? Click on the following links to send messages to:

  • The News Tribune (Tacoma)
  • The Seattle Times
  • The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  • 710 KIRO
  • KPLU (NPR, Tacoma)
  • Talk Radio is also important: nearly 22 percent of Americans over age 18 listen to the news/talk format. The Seattle-Tacoma area is one of the most important news/talk markets in the nation. So be like UFPPC member Bob Rudolph! Call in and express your views to:

  • KVI Talk Radio 570, 206-421-5757 or 888-312-5757 (toll-free)
  • KRKO 1380, 206-355-5289
  • But perhaps the most influential communications you can make are to the owners! Increasingly, major media are owned by enormous corporate owners who feel little responsibility to local and national communities and owe their true allegiance to the balance-sheet interests of their shareholders or private owners. Such media owners need to hear from listeners that they want independent perspectives presented, including anti-war/pro-peace views! Drop a line to:

  • The Belo Corporation, owner of Northwest Cable News, KING-TV Seattle, and KONG-TV Seattle
  • Cox Enterprises, Inc., owner of KIRO-TV
  • You can also call the owner of the News Tribune (Tacoma), the McClatchy Company, in Sacramento, California: 916-321-1855; you can call the owner of 49.5% of the voting stock of the Seattle Times Co., Knight-Ridder of San Jose, CA, at 408-938-7700; you can call the owner of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Hearst Coroporation, in New York, NY at 212-649-2000.

    For more information on who owns what in the world of journalism, check out Who Owns What, a webpage maintained by the Columbia Journalism Review. If you know other media contacts that should be added to this list, write the webmaster.

    The World Says No to War:

    A Celebration of Peace

    On Saturday, Feb. 15, United for Peace of Pierce County
    will also be organizing a celebration of peace in Tacoma, which will take place
    from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Washington State History Museum
    (1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma). There will be no charge for admission.

    Join the residents of Tacoma and Pierce County in a celebration of our communities' common longing for peace, expressed joyfully through music, dance, art, and the spoken word. Let us lay aside our feelings of powerlessness in the face of the weaponry of mass destruction and the terrorism and injustice that accompanies it. Instead, let us feel the creative power of the human spirit and nourish our wounded spirits during these unquiet times! After all, peace is also an act of the imagination. One of the greatest obstacles to peace is the belief that war is inevitable.

    Help make Tacoma's participation in this world event something to remember!

    Print and distribute copies of the Celebration of Peace flyer!

    Contact Joan Robertson (253-572-0394) or Beth Maslow (253-627-3356 or 253-381-4494) for more information about the event at the History Museum.


    We gather together to oppose nonviolently
    a war on Iraq!

    People of Pierce County! Join with us to oppose the unnecessary war on Iraq now being planned! Together we hope to become:

  • So audible in the cause of peace that those who hesitate to speak out will speak out;
  • So visible in the cause of peace that those who hesitate to be seen will come forward;
  • So persuasive in the cause of peace that those who are still unsure of their view of this grave matter will see that the unnecessary killing, maiming, ecocide, domination, and exploitation this war will involve can only endanger the world and poison grievously our body politic, taking us still further from the paths we must follow if we are to remain true to our fundamental values;
  • So influential in the cause of peace that the leaders who hold in their hands the weapons of war will know in their hearts: War is not the answer.
  • Some will say:
    Can we achieve all this?
    We say: Can we do otherwise?
    Together we can and together we must --
    together we can be a force more powerful than war.


    Next Meeting

    The next meeting of United for Peace of Pierce County will be held from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2003 at First United Methodist Church in Tacoma (423 Martin Luther King Jr. Way). All who share our goal are welcome!

    Upcoming Activities

    United for Peace of Pierce County is currently busy planning activities on Feb. 15, when a national coalition, United for Peace and Justice, has called for nation-wide activities around the theme "The World Says No to War." Following its principle of decision by two-thirds vote, the group decided at its Jan. 23 meeting to organize two events, one a large anti-war event with broad appeal to the public and the media, and the second A CELEBRATION OF PEACE at the Washington State History Museum emphasizing the international arts taking place from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., as described above. -- The two events are being organized separately and publicized separately. In this way United for Peace of Pierce County hopes to harness the powerful yang and yin energies that are presently churning in the American soul, turning both to good purpose and appealing, perhaps, to the various stages of personal, social, and spiritual development at which people find themselves.

    Preliminary planning for both events is almost complete, but much more help is needed!

    To continue work the logistics, publicity, and programming of the anti-war rally and march, come to Marty Webb's home, 1215 N. "K" St. (253-274-9667), on Sunday, Feb. 9, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    IN ADDITION, some peacekeepers will be needed at the Feb. 15 events. Mark Nelson (253-884-2434 home evenings, or leave office phone message at 253-208-0686) has agreed to coordinate peacekeepers. Peacekeepers for these events are people who volunteer to help pay attention to any potentially heated verbal interchanges that may occur -- among demonstrators or participants, for example, or between members of the public and counterdemonstrators who disagree with the event's purpose. Disagreements create arguments, and sometimes name-calling, verbal abuse and threats. Such behavior poses risks of escalation to violent confrontations, and the role of volunteer peacekeepers is to attempt to help "keep the peace" and deescalate such conflict verbally as much as possible. This is not always as easy as it sounds, and peacekeepers should receive or have received some training in how to be helpful in these situations. About 10 people received this training for the Dec. 8 march around the Tacoma Mall, and several others previously trained were helpful also. Training specific to such demonstrations is most helpful, but individuals who have received training in verbal deescalation of violent individuals (e.g. mental health workers) can apply those skills to the need here. Mark Nelson will be doing additional training for the Feb. 15 events NEXT SUNDAY, FEB. 9, FROM 1 TO 5 PM, at the First United Methodist Church (423 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma). Most of the peacekeepers will be needed for the march and rally 2/15, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Peacekeepers should arrive about 12:00 noon so that they can get organized and be aware of last-minute planning. A few will probably also be needed to help with the museum event. If you can do one event but not the other that's fine, too. IMPORTANT REQUEST! Please volunteer to be a peacekeeper and extend your commitment to peace even further. To attend this coming Sunday's training, pleace contact Mark Nelson by e-mail, call him at home (253-884-2434 evenings), or leave a message on his cell/office phone (253-208-0686). Mark is also happy to answer any questions you may want to have answered before you volunteer.

    United for Peace of Pierce County continues to acquire and disburse red, white, and blue *NO IRAQ WAR* buttons and signs with this very popular design:

    These can be acquired at our regular meetings.

    Tacoma City Council opposes pre-emptive attack on Iraq

    On Tuesday, Jan. 28, at the very moment the president of the United States was turning the State of the Union address into an exercise in warmongering, the Tacoma City Council was passing a resolution opposing a pre-emptive U.S. military attack on Iraq and proposing that the U.S. government give U.N. weapons inspectors in Iraq sufficient time to complete their task by a 6-3 vote. (Click here to read the text of the resolution.) This was front-page news in the News Tribune, as well it should be: Tacoma was only the third municipality in the state of Washington (after Olympia and Seattle) to join more than fifty other cities and counties around the nation in passing similar resolutions. Special kudos to the mayor and the five other courageous council members who supported this measure, especially to Bill Evans for his leadership!

    A word to those who believe that it was "ridiculous" (News Tribune, January 30, 2003) for the City Council to consider the resolution: You might have a point if the circumstances in which the nation finds itself were ordinary ones. In fact, however, we are living in extraordinary times, and it is ridiculous to pretend otherwise. Martin Luther King Jr. pointed out in 1967 that there are times when silence connotes complicity and betrayal, and we are living in such times today. If the Tacoma City Council was making itself ridiculous, one wonders why both the New York Times and the Washington Post took note of its action in February 1, 2003 articles. If it was making itself ridiculous, one wonders why 65 other cities in the United States are currently considering such resolutions. If it was making itself ridiculous, one wonders why in Washington State alone, campaigns to pass similar resolutions are currently underway in Bellingham, Clark County, Spokane, and Vancouver. (For more information, see the Cities for Peace website.) No, it is not the City Council that has made itself ridiculous...

    United for Peace of Pierce County joins many other Tacomans in applauding the courage of our City Council. Tell our councilmembers what you think about it! -- and let the media know too (see below).

    Other Updates

    At its Jan. 30 meeting, UFPPC considered the urgent Appeal to All Americans from the Iraq Peace Team, issued in Baghdad on Jan. 29, and endorsed its urgent appeal to the American people as the "one hope that a war can be prevented" that still remains. "We must not remain on the sidelines. Silence now is a tacit approval of war. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 'A time comes when silence is betrayal.' A U.S. war on Iraq is a betrayal of our American values for a rule of law, cooperation among nations, and reverence for the life and liberty of every human being." We urge you to read carefully all of this eloquent document, entitled We Have Little Time to Prevent a War, and to join us and millions of other Americans in taking a public stand against this unjust war.

    Members of United for Peace of Pierce County supported the resolution passed by the Tacoma City Council on Jan. 28 opposing a pre-emptive strike against Iraq. Several UFPPC members spoke before the council, whose action made front-page news in the News Tribune.

    More yard signs saying "No War Against Iraq" on both sides will be available at the Feb. 6 UFPPC meeting.

    At noon on Feb. 5, the heart of the Tacoma Community College campus will be the site of an anti-war educational event currently being organized by the TCC group STOP ("Students and Teachers Organized for Peace"). Kat Rampp reported to UFPPC on the event, which welcomes all forms of participation. The support of other organizations is also welcome, and groups may have tables to distribute literature (but active leafleting is not permitted on campus). This protest event has been authorized by TCC. United for Peace of Pierce County voted on Jan. 23 to support the event as a co-sponsoring organization. Contact Kat Rampp (253-756-2171 or rev_krampp@yahoo.com) for more information or to volunteer to help with this event!

    A documentary film on DU (depleted uranium) will be shown on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University on Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 7:00 p.m., in Ingram 100. -- Depleted uranium is an important subject you'll be hearing a lot more about in coming months, and it's a topic that brings home to many Americans the insanity of the bellicose policies of the current administration -- even Americans who might otherwise be inclined to offer gung-ho support for the military solutions favored by Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and Co. Those who say they "support our troops" are forced to think twice when asked: Do you really want to cause long-term harm to tens of thousands of our own soldiers while polluting the earth with radioactive dust having a half-life of 4.5 billion years? It's a question that gives people pause. Here's a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the depleted uranium issue. For more information on this issue, read A Treatise on Military Weapons Containing the Radioactive Material: Depleted Uranium", published in January 2003 by a team of three experts.

    Member Wanda DeGolier and her husband Scott Klauminzer continue to develop a recently created website: www.axisofoil.org! Check it out!

    Jim Harrison and three others, forming an Events Alerts Committee, have organized our members' names and contact information and will be alerting members of events about two weeks before they occur. Write to Jim to be sure you're on his list.

    People for Peace, Justice, and Healing have bumperstickers available that say "America's Problems Won't Be Solved in Iraq." To obtain some, write to Sallie Shawl.

    The main leaflet distributed by United for Peace of Pierce County over the Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday weekend is still available as a .pdf file: King of Peace; this document is also available upon request as an MSWord file: just ask for "King of Peace." Either version should be printed recto-verso and folded to create a four-page leaflet discussing the relevance of King's ideas on peace to the present moment.

    Advance planning has begun for anti-war activities on March 8. March 8 is International Women's Day, and the UFPPC plans to organize an anti-war event on that day that will focus on women and peace. This event will probably be held in the vicinity of the University of Puget Sound. Plan to attend the Feb. 6 meeting to contribute ideas!

    Your help and ideas for these and other activities are needed!

    Future events will be planned in coordination with national peace actions on Mar. 8, and Apr. 5, in conjunction with United for Peace.

    At its Jan. 30 meeting, United for Peace of Pierce County voted to formally affiliate with Sound Nonviolent Opponents of War, known as SNOW, after considering and approving SNOW's points of agreement. UFPPC thus becomes the 72nd of SNOW's member organizations. SNOW is an anti-Iraq war coalition committed to non-violence. UFPPC members are encouraged to learn more about SNOW, to support and participate in SNOW activities, to join the SNOW listserv, and to attend SNOW meetings, which take place weekly in Seattle (see the SNOW website for more information).

    Anti-War Poetry

    Member Duane Niatum reflects on Auden's famous dictum that "Poetry makes nothing happen" in a poem dedicated to Elizabeth Bishop: Speaking with an Elder Poet on an Anti-War Poem.

    Unfortunately, W.H. Auden's September 1, 1939 has taken on new meaning in recent months.

    Robert Bly's recent poem on the Iraq war is entitled Call and Answer.

    A website of poetry against the war has been created: Poets Against the War.

    About the War on Iraq

    People for Peace, Justice, and Healing, a group that meets weekly in Tacoma, maintains a page of links to information about the war in Iraq on its Iraq page.

    To follow news about the war on Iraq and the anti-war movement, it's important to go beyond the corporate-controlled mainstream media. Here's a link to a guide to alternative news sources on the web. Check these frequently to stay current!


    "We gather together nonviolently to oppose a war on Iraq." On Nov. 21, 2002 a coalition of Washington State groups and individuals from Tacoma and Pierce County adopted this statement of purpose for an organization that had been formed exactly one week before, when about sixty people crammed into a small chapel at Christ Episcopal Church in Tacoma to discuss how to oppose a war on Iraq. The organization was known at first as the December 8th Coalition, because its first activity was the organization of an anti-war rally and march around the Tacoma Mall on December 8 (see below). At its sixth meeting, on December 26, at the Anna Lemon Wheelock branch of the Tacoma Public Library, members decided to adopt the name United for Peace of Pierce County, and to formally affiliate with the national coalition known as United for Peace, whose founding statement we have endorsed. On Jan. 30 UFPPC formally affiliated with Sound Nonviolent Opponents of War (SNOW). UFPPC has now met eleven times and continues to grow; it counts more than 200 members at present, and about forty members are present at any given meeting. Join us to work for peace!

    The March around the Mall

    On Sunday, December 8, 400 people from Tacoma and Pierce County took their opposition to the war on Iraq into the streets and marched all the way around the Tacoma Mall! The responses heard from passing motorists were extremely positive. Hundreds of people opposed to the war gathered before the march in the parking lot of the Tacoma Mall Office Building near the Pine St. entrance to the mall at 1:00 p.m. A popular local band, The Artichoke Project, performed before and after the march. Leafleters passed out educational material, and more than 100 people signed up to be notified of future activities. A brief rally featured two speakers: David Sparling of Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, who has visited Iraq, and Sara Glick of People for Peace, Justice, and Healing. Then, after reminders from peacekeepers about the importance of a peaceful and legal march, people headed up Pine St., right on S. 38th, right at Borders on Steele St. and Tacoma Mall Blvd., right on S. 48th, and then right on Pine St., back to the point of origin. At the end of the march demonstrators regrouped at the parking lot for some more music and a final send-off from Elaine Nevins, the m.c. for the event. -- Final details of the march were worked out by three committees of the December 8th Coalition, as United for Peace of Pierce County was formerly known. Their work was unanimously approved by the coalition meeting on Dec. 5 at the Anna Lemon Wheelock branch library of the Tacoma Public Library. The march was carefully planned with the cooperation of the Tacoma Police Department (who were superbly professional in helping with traffic control and patiently waiting for the last straggling marchers, some of whom had difficulty keeping up with the main body due to physical limitations) and the management of the Tacoma Mall. The peaceful and legal event was successful, and there were no significant problems; the march was well supplied with peacekeepers who had been organized by Mark Nelson. The mall's policy of no political activity in the mall itself was respected by all participants. -- The rally and march drew the attention of television, radio, and newspaper journalists, and was front-page news in Monday's Tacoma News Tribune, along with news of the activities of other peace and anti-war groups throughout the nation.

    Further Information

    For more information about United for Peace of Pierce County and how you can get involved, call 253-535-7219 or write the webmaster. (Please mention United for Peace of Pierce County in your message!) Suggestions for this website are also welcome.

    NOTE: While the website of United for Peace of Pierce County is maintained at the website of People for Peace, Justice, and Healing and many individuals in Pierce County belong to both organizations, each is autonomous. They are organizationally distinct and independent one from the other.

    Last updated: February 7, 2003