No Endless War and Excessive Militarism (NEWEM) will be rallying in front of Senator Jack Reed’s Providence office, 1 Exchange Terrace, across from Kennedy Plaza from 5:30-7:00 Pm on Wednesday, August 28th.
We will gather to urge United States Senator Jack Reed (Democrat, Rhode Island)use his position as ranking minority member on the Senate Armed Services Committee to insist that some amendments in the House version of the defense bill are added to the Senate bill in the reconciliation process. The measures we are asking the Senator to include, regarding Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Iran, are measures he has voted for this year. The measures regarding Yemen and Saudi Arabia actually passed the Senate with 56 votes (which means it had bi-partisan support) but President Donald Trump vetoed them.
There is an amendment in the House bill cutting off logistical aid to the Saudi coalition’s war on Yemen and another restricting weapons sales to the Saudis. Senator Reed has supported measures to hold the Saudis responsible for their actions including cutting off arms sales and has given speeches in support of limiting United States support to most of what the United States is doing in support of the coalition war effort over the last nine months …. Now he needs to show that he seriously means what he says when this could go into law if the Senate includes similar amendments in the reconciliation with the House bill process.
Senator Reed already voted for the measure limiting Trump from going to war with Iran without Congressional assent. That amendment was voted on after the original National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was voted on so it needed 60 votes to pass. It received a majority but not 60 votes, with four Republicans voting for it along with all Democrats. (One was absent but is for it.)
The Senate Armed Services Committee is packed with particularly right wing Republicans and Trump loyalists so getting the bill out of committee (and it would take only two Republican votes or one vote and an abstention to get this through) will not be easy. Senator Reed needs to stand up to Trump and his puppet Senator James Inhofe (Republican, Oklahoma) and fight to include these measures in the bill. Rolling over out of some misguided need for courtesy within the committee is giving up and essentially showing that Senator Reed prefers comity with a Republican majority that has used every technicality and slightest advantage to throttle Democratic goals in the Senate to stopping the United States role in the genocidal Yemen War. He needs to insist of a vote in the committee and if the votes in committee aren’t there, he needs to go in front of the American people and explain that 14 Senators blocking the will of a majority of the Senate is intolerable partisan minority rule and abets a genocide.
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As always, NEWEM will work on focusing toward a world not driven by war, hate, xenophobia, violence, and militarism. We envision and look to a world more driven by common values of people’s lives and rights, lifting up those most in need, a more just and peaceful world.
This is a simple demonstration – people gathered peacefully with signs – bring your own, or we will have some, plus extra materials.
Key for successful demonstration – Respect Ourselves, Others, and Community. Positive interactions to publicly challenge our elected officials, and work to change how they conduct our business and when they don’t serve our interests.