Saturday, April 29, 2006

Iran, peace protests, stadium discussions, DFL endorsing conventions, etc.

Representative Dennis Kucinich has been busy doing his part to slow the march to war with Iran, but his efforts (e.g. this speech on the house floor) also show that we may have already crossed the threshhold, with the house passage of the Iran Freedom Support Act and some troops already deployed to areas in Iran dominated by Baluchi, Azeri and Kurdish minority groups. The Representatives for the Bemidji-area split, with Peterson voting for the Iran Freedom Support Act, and Oberstar against.

Peace protests occurred over the past few days, and will keep occurring over the weekend and on Monday. A protest on Friday at the U of MN - Twin Cities was reasonably well attended (considering the weather) by area high schoolers who staged a walkout to protest the war in Iraq. It was also marked by a couple of arrests of individuals who threw red paint on a Army Recruiting Station near campus. More pictures of the protesters at the U of MN accompany a Washington Post article about the large protest in New York City.

State Senator John Marty has written a piece about the stadium debacles and how the Pohlad family has bought politicians in both parties.

I attended the CD 1 DFL convention in Mankato, volunteering for 'Peace First!' I passed out a lot of stickers and a handful of brochures that explained the 'Peace First!' strategy. I heard Ford Bell make one of his better speeches (despite an unkind PA System) and and support for anti-war candidates and strategies like Peace First! seemed to be very strong. Klobuchar made the speech with the Zamboni machine. The Walz campaign is amazing. The number of Metro-based DFL insiders like J.P. Barone and Rick Stafford (employed by Hatch) was also striking. I can't wait to find out what happened with a resolution that introduced by petition that called for a pullout in Iraq within six months... it garned a lot of signatures. Gubenatorial candidates Hatch, Lourey and Kelley were all there, as were candidates for other races like Mark Ritchie and Rebecca Otto. I am more and more excited about the Lourey campaign and the events they are scheduling for the near future. Among the events they have planned include a screening of Why We Fight, and I encouraged them to also consider adding a screening of Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action to their plans.

Because I was busy today in Mankato, I missed the SD2 convention, but I did send out this e-mail to to the SD2 delegate list. While pressure is obviously increasing on the lonely legislator who blocks the Wild Rice legislation from being adopted, more support grows as evidenced by a news article and a letter circulating among luminaries and lawmakers in the Duluth area.

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