The City of Sacramento may join 64 cities and counties and one state, Hawaii, in passing resolutions opposed to Bush’s planned war on Iraq if the City Council votes in favor of a one page resolution endorsed by Mayor Heather Fargo.
The resolution was brought before the council on February 6 by representatives from Veterans for Peace, Physicians for Social Responsibility and the United Nations Association. It was expected that the City Council would vote on the resolution in its meeting on February 13.
The Resolution states that “an attack by the U.S. and its allies against Iraq would violate principles of international law, including Article 51 of the United Nations charter, which lists use of war to a last resort in defense against an imminent threat to a member state or the world.”
It continues ... "the City of Sacramento calls upon the President of the United States, his administration and the Congress to act in accordance with the U.S. Constitution and international law in refraining from using military forces as a means of conflict resolution except as a last resort.”
Pat Driscoll of Veterans for Peace, Sacramento Chapter, told the council that 65 cities, counties and states have passed the resolution and 86 more were underway.
“It is my belief that war is not inevitable,” he stated. “Since our national government has decided upon war, we have been forced to go to the grassroots level to stop the proposed war on Iraq, since war is not the solution to the problem.”
Ed Rudin, the author of the resolution, emphasized, “This is an issue of cost effectiveness. War is not a cost effective way of stopping the conflict with Iraq. There are alternatives to war.”
Retired California National Guard tech sargent, Denise Christine, said, “we will push the issue at every level because I believe that a war of aggression is not in keeping with what our government should be about.”
Heather Fargo said that Council would take the resolution under advisement for the following council meeting, but since it wasn’t officially put on the agenda, it couldn’t be brought up that night.
Two Council members spoke regarding the resolution, one against the resolution and the other leaning towards it. Steve Cohn opposed this resolution because he felt that foreign policy was out of the jurisdiction of the city council.
“I respect the rights of citizens under the first amendment to express their views, but I don’t support bringing this resolution before the City Council,” said opponent Steve Cohn. “As a council member, I haven’t run my campaigns over my positions on foreign policy. If we support this resolution, we will be going down a very slippery slope.”
But Councilman Ray Ray Tretheway thought the resolution was quite appropriate, citing his experience as a student in Santa Cruz during the Vietnam War.
“I was a veteran going to school and attended the City Council meeting in which the City of Santa Cruz was the first one in the country to pass a resolution calling for an end to the Vietnam War. I’m very interested in using a resolution to send a message to stop the beginning of the war.”
Frustrated by the mad race for war by the Bush administration and the refusal of Congress to stand up to the president, citizens from all over the U.S. are urging their local city councils and boards of supervisors to pass anti-war resolutions.
Davis City Council Member Ruth Amundsen was planning to introduce a resolution opposing a "pre-emptive" war on Iraq at the Davis City Council meeting at 7 pm on Wednesday, February 12. California cities and counties that have already passed anti-war resolutions include Arcata, Berkeley, Mendocino County, Oakland, San Fernando, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz, Sebastopol, Topanga Canyon and West Hollywood.
Daniel Bacher is an outdoor writer/alternative journalist/satirical songwriter from Sacramento California. He is also a long-time peace, social justice and environmental activist. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org