Home Search Cases Editors' Choices Ideas Resources
Editor Login

Case #1027

Confronting Politics to Prevent Conflict


This article details the work of CODEPINK and global exchange, which aim to pressure government officials in the US to prevent war with Iran.

The organizations were triggered into working together by events in 2007, when Senator Joe Lieberman said on CBS Face the Nation that he had seen incontrovertible evidence that Iran was training and equipping Iraqi extremists to kill American soldiers and that we should prepare for military strikes against these training bases in Iran. He also decried Iran’s nuclear weapons program, insisting that if we hope to stop their nuclear weapons development, “We can’t just talk to them. If they don’t play by the rules, we’ve got to use our force, and to me that would include taking military action.”

Leslie Angeline, a member of the peace group CODEPINK who had just returned from a citizen diplomacy delegation to Iran, was appalled by the Senator’s remarks. The next day, she began a sit-in at his DC office and decided to fast until the Senator agreed to meet with her and other activists. We also alerted our CODEPINK supporters to call Lieberman’s office, and the phones were ringing off the hook. By the afternoon, the Senator had agreed to a meeting on Thursday, June 14.

Our visit to Lieberman’s office with both emotional and well-reasoned arguments, combined with a powerful show of community support and calls from his constituents, seemed to have made an impact and the Senator might think twice in the future before publicly promoting a military attack on Iran. Just to be sure, we assured his aides we represented a much larger constituency and we would be back in greater numbers if the Senator repeats the threat of military force instead of actively supporting dialogue. We also repeated our request to meet directly with the Senator, and we have asked local peace groups and individuals in Connecticut to continue to pressure the Senator in his home state.


WHAT WORKED: It demonstrates that direction action by civilians can impact government, and that raising concerns and showing your voice does matter.

APPLICABILITY: Would only work in countries where democratically elected officials are open to public discourse and make themselves or their staff available.
Location: USA
Action: Organizing, Political
Setting: Developed World
Extent of Action: Regional (within a country)
Issues: Peace/Conflict Resolution, Political
Year(s): 2007
Outcome successful for now
Source: http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/06/18/1949/


Prepared By: JG
Rating: 0
    Comment On This Case

Database of Successful Strategies and Tactics
Copyright © 2001-2007 DBSST.org. All Rights Reserved.
Disclaimer and Notices