Feb. 24, 2007
By Ken Krayeske • Hartford • 5:00 PM EST
The concept of non-binding resolutions opposing the war in Iraq anger Sen. Chris Dodd.
"We need to get away from the non-binding proposals. They are infuriating," Dodd said this afternoon during a short conference call with Ned Lamont and Congressman John Larson.
"The House did better than the Senate in this regard," Dodd said during his three minute call. The call between Dodd, Larson and Lamont was piped into about 30 organizing meetings attended by around 1,000 people.
CTNewsjunkie.com covered more of the meetings held simultaneously across the state to help plan the March 17 anti-war rally at the Old State House in Hartford sponsored by COW - Connecticut Opposes War.
At the Central Baptist Church on Main Street in downtown Hartford, John Murphy of the Connecticut Citizens Action Group led the Capitol City planning session. About 35 Hartfordites showed up, including state representative Minnie Gonzalez, former state representative Evelyn Mantilla, and politicos like Nick Carbone and Ramon Arroyo.
They heard Dodd discuss the possibility of passing resolutions to cut funding for the war. He said this is easier to accomplish when encourage citizens to take an active role in self- government.
"Direct citizen involvement has an impact," he said. "We strongly urge you to keep doing it. A handwritten note has tremendous weight."
He also pitched his website Restore-habeas.org, where more than 10,000 citizens have co-sponsored Dodd's efforts to repeal the worst sections of the Military Commissions Act of 2006.
At the same time, Dodd is organizing state legislators to sign a letter to oppose the war. In Connecticut, about 117 elected officials have signed, while in Arizona, another two dozen have lent their name to his cause.
Yet while Dodd opposes the war in Iraq, as a presidential candidate he remains heavily invested maintaining American's military domination the planet. On Feb. 16, he toured the Portsmouth shipyard in New Hampshire and called on the Department of Defense to keep pace with China and "increase the number of submarines being built each year from one to two."
Lamont spoke shortly after Dodd, and reiterated that Connecticut citizens need to keep the Bush administration's feet to the fire with binding resolutions. John Murphy, who worked for Lamont's campaign against Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, shut the phone off shortly thereafter and got down to the business of organizing the St. Patty's Day anti-war rally.
COW is hoping for at least 5,000 people to show up. The rally will begin at 3 pm behind the Old State House.
It will occur after the traditional Hartford St. Patty's Day Parade, where at least 50,000 people will show up, Murphy said.
"We were in talks with the organizers of the parade and they would prefer that we not march," Murphy said.
Murphy also made clear that COW's goal is not to suggest policy or draft plans for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.
"When we get involved in plans, we become a debating society," Murphy said." COW is about creating a demand where enough people are shouting loud enough and long enough to end the war. We want to keep war from starting in Iran," Murphy said. "This is about defeating a bad plan. We want to end the war now. That way, it keeps it broad and inclusive."
To be more inclusive, Ramon Arroyo suggested that flyers in the future should be printed in Spanish and English.
"The flyers you printed are in English only," Arroyo said. "If you want my community, you have to put them in Spanish. Puerto Ricans die almost every day in Iraq, and we have been fighting American wars for a long time."
Arroyo reported that the Puerto Rican community can be enthusiastic about ending the war, he just needs Spanish flyers.
COW's broad coalition already includes more than 40 groups.