Category Archives: Announcement

Zero Troops in Afghanistan, Keep the Pressure On!!

Zero Troops in Afghanistan-Keep the Pressure On  

This is an urgent appeal to all peace and justice organizations:

Please unite with Military Families Speak Out to stop the Bilateral Security Agreement from getting signed by Pres. Obama and the new president of Afghanistan. If signed, our troops could remain for another 10 years.

You can help by working with groups in your community to plan a special event (s) in the coming weeks that calls attention to SR 347* and the Zero Troops campaign** http://www.mfso.org Here are some ideas:

 

  • Teaneck NJ Peace Vigil

    Teaneck NJ Peace Vigil

    Hold rallies and/or Special Vigils ( see mfso.org for signs, dimensions, logos etc.)

  • Organize a special march or picket at a popular location- outside a shopping center, major traffic area or congressional office.
  • Rent a bill board, bus stop sign or ask to leave a sign or flyer at friendly business, office or post a flyer where yard signs are in your neighborhood
  • Do a Banner drop ( legal if held), hold a banner over a freeway over pass during rush hour
  • Project an image on a wall in a high traffic area about Zero Troops in Afghanistan. A simple sign such as “Enough! Zero Troops in Afghanistan! mfso.org” says it all
  • Host a postcard party. (Postcards are online at mfso.org and are pre- addressed to the White House) Download Postcard
  • Do a special demonstration by making “Zero Troops in Afghanistan” letter signs and do the wave in a high traffic area. Each person holds up one letter. This project can usually be added to any local vigil and most are very happy to have more people there
  • Plan a car procession with signs on cars and drive through a neighborhood or along a major boulevard.
  • Host a speaker to talk about why we need to stop the Bilateral Security Agreement from being signed.
  • Create a calling list of people who are willing to call your senator about supporting SR 347 in succession one right after the other or the White House on “We want zero troops in Afghanistan”. ( Armchair organizing works too!)*
  • Host a ZTA Party. Show a film such as The Ground Truth or Thomas Young’s powerful movie “Body of War”. Pass out postcards
  • Organize a ZTA work party to send Zeros or other symbols to the White House. Be creative
  • Get someone from your group to interview people on the street and ask them, “So how many troops do you think should be left in Afghanistan?” You should get an overwhelming amount of answers like “Zero” or, “What? I thought that was over” etc.” All good. Post on youtube.

Whatever you do, make sure and post it on our website at mfso.org, YouTube, blog about it/ or send a press release. Hold a press conference before your event, facebook and freeway blog your action.(See press release at mfso.org). Draft Press Release at http://www.mfso.org   To make this action spread nationwide, please call a friend in another state and ask if they will do an action on this week in solidarity.

Need help call/email MFSO at mfso@mfso.org 562-597-3980 or 562-833-8035

*SR237 http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-resolution/347

** Zero petition http://org.salsalabs.com/o/161/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15316

Continuing the Work: Military Families Working Group

As you may have heard, in a few months MFSO, the non-profit organization, will officially close down. The bank account will be closed, the Board of Directors will disband, and the not-for-profit status will be ended – freeing MFSO of complicated tax, insurance, and other financial and other problems which have bogged down the Board over the last few years.

Fortunately, there is a group of MFSO members who have the energy and who are working to develop a plan so that we can continue as an all-volunteer organization, not as a non-profit. This newly restructured organization will allow military families to effectively move forward  with the mission statement MFSO has had since the build-up of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, “Support the troops, bring them home now, and take care of them when they get home.”

Under this plan, military families could continue to lobby members of congress locally and nationally, continue sharing our stories with the media, holding vigils, participating in protests against the war in Afghanistan, working to support families who are in crisis while their loved ones continue or consider joining the military, and working with other peace and justice groups locally and nationally.

At this point, we have a number of MFSO members who have unified with this goal in mind and plan to participate in a MilitaryFamilies working group. Because we are spread out across the country, our planning and coordination for now will be by conference phone calls and emails. If you would like to participate in this Military Families working group, please let us know right away. We would like to hear your suggestions regarding what work is the most essential work that needs to be done,  how you think we can do this work, how we can encourage the revitalization of local and national work, how we can bring in new members, and other things you think can help the Military Families working group move forward.

If you want to be part of this MilitaryFamilies working group, please send your name, e-mail, city and state, and phone number to mfso@mfso.org so that we can be in touch with you.

Thanks so much.

Pat Alviso, Jeff Merrick, Rossana Cambron, California
Military Families Speak Out, Orange County & South Bay Chapter
www.mfsooc.org
562-597-3980

mfso diverse group shot

Announcing the MFSO Oral History & Archiving Project

This summer MFSO will launch the Military Families Speak Out Oral History & Archiving Project, and we want you to be part of it!

The MFSO Oral History & Archiving Project will record and preserve the story of MFSO: the experiences of the families, allies, and staff that were a part of it and the lessons learned in the only organization in U.S. history in which military families spoke out against a war.

From July through September of 2013, we will collect stories, writings, pictures, and videos from as many current and former MFSO members as possible. We will interview members on their experience with and reflections on MFSO. We will collect physical memorabilia to store at the Swarthmore Peace Collection, an academic archive that chronicles movements for peace and justice. Stored artifacts from the movement can include everything from banners and buttons to photos, old paperwork, and meeting notes. MFSO’s oral histories will also be stored at the Swarthmore Peace Collection and on an easily accessible website.  Additionally, we are partnering with the StoryCorps Military Voices Initiative, a publicly-funded project which aims to tell the stories of the veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and their families.  Participants in the Oral History Project may have the option to participate in StoryCorps as well.

HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE:

Every military family holds an important piece of the history of MFSO, whether you were an active member, a spokesperson, attended an event, or felt connected through reading the emails.

There are a number of ways you can share your story:

We will also be reaching out to members individually for phone and in-person interviews, as well as arranging listening days in a number of cities.  If you’d like to arrange an interview or help organize a local listening day, please email us at mfsoarchives@gmail.com

The MFSO Oral History and Archiving Project is directed by former MFSO staff members Samantha Miller and Nikki Morse with help from co-founder Nancy Lessin and former board members Adele Kubein and Jack Amoureaux, and in collaboration with the current MFSO Board of Directors. We appreciate and look forward to your participation. If you have questions, please email us at mfsoarchives@gmail.com.