Demand Progress and Avaaz mobilize public to end United States role in ongoing calamity

Demand Progress and Avaaz – national online mobilization groups, each with more than one million members in the United States and thousands in Rhode Island – are demanding that Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed fight to end United States involvement in the disastrous war in Yemen and end arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Reed is the senior Democratic member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and as such has a controlling position over whether the National Defense Authorization Act, which is being finalized this month, will end United States support in the war in Yemen.

The organizations have been mobilizing on a variety of fronts, and both are announcing new Rhode Island digital ad buys to promote videos that urge constituents to contact Reed.

See new Demand Progress video: HERE

See new Avaaz video: HERE

More background on the war – and efforts to end it:

The United States has been supporting a Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s ongoing war against Yemen. As a result more 200,000 have died in the war. More than 14 million people are on the brink of starvation, including more than 85,000 children.

Earlier this year bipartisan majorities of the House and Senate voted for a War Powers Resolution (WPR) to demand an end to United States involvement in the war – but President Donald Trump vetoed the measure. Reed supported the WPR, but in 2018 he voted against a similar measure – so activists continue to question the zeal with which he will act on the matter.

In addition to the new digital ad campaigns, organizational efforts to date have included:

Demand Progress – led by former Rhode Island State Representative David Segal – has co-organized in-person protests in Rhode Island; organized hundreds of Rhode Islanders to call Reed in recent weeks; and led coalition efforts that have driven hundreds of thousands of constituent contacts to Congress over the last year.

“Senator Reed must decide whether he will do what’s right and side with his constituents by putting an end to the calamity in Yemen,” said Segal. “The alternative means siding with the Trump administration as it facilitates the murder of untold thousands of innocents – disproportionately children who are dying horrific deaths.”

Avaaz has been sending daily emails to its one million members in the United States urging them to call Congressional leadership to demand and end to the war. Last Friday it ran a full page advertisement in the Providence Journal urging Reed to use his influence to end the war. More than 700,000 people have signed Avaaz’s petition calling on the United States and other countries to stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia.

“United States bombs have been killing thousands of children in Yemen for over 4 years,” said Will Davies from Avaaz. “Senator Reed has one week to decide if he’ll put a stop to it. Thousands of his constituents and people around the country have been urging him to save the people of Yemen from this utterly disastrous war. He must heed those calls and use his position of power in preserving amendments in the defense budget to curb any more United States military support or child-killing arms from perpetuating this nightmare.”

[From a press release]

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