SODaPOP: Nonviolent Civil Resistance During the Presidential Campaign

As my previous blog entry suggests, we need to go all-out during the coming election cycle. 9/11 truth activists might consider joining the SODaPOP folks in Iowa. (I got the article via Mike Palacek, an Iowa 9/11 truth supporter and novelist.)

I am not a hardcore nonviolence activist, but I do think direct action and nonviolent resistance has a place in the 9/11 truth movement and the larger movement of resistance to the 9/11 wars. I hope we'll see the 9/11 truth and antiwar movements dogging the sellout candidates, occupying their offices, ruining all their public appearances, and building up to a huge turnout for the Republican Convention in the Twin Cities next September--either a celebration if Ron Paul gets the nomination, or an angry mob shutting down the whole town if he doesn't.


Seasons of Discontent: A Presidential Occupation Project (SODaPOP)
Nonviolent Civil Resistance During the Presidential Campaign

An Invitation to Iowa

Voices for Creative Nonviolence and our allies in Iowa are in the initial stages of organizing a campaign of nonviolent civil resistance focused upon those who would be President.

This fall and early winter, Republican and Democratic candidates are swarming in Iowa in preparation for the “First in the Nation!” 2008 caucuses. Campaign headquarters are established in cities and towns across the state and candidates are showing up at public events large and small, shaking hands, jockeying for photo ops kissing babies and pigs. The national and international press is there in force. Representatives of unions, industry and other interest groups from around the nation are gathering, not only to influence the results of the caucus but also to take advantage of the extraordinary access to the candidates the caucus provides and to draw attention to their issues and causes as the world’s attention is focused on the state.

Seasons of Discontent: A Presidential Occupation Project (SODaPOP) will launch this fall, sometime in October, and will last through the Iowa caucus, introducing nonviolent direct action against the war in Iraq into this process. This project will invite activists from around the nation to “occupy” the Iowa campaign headquarters of presidential candidates who do not pledge to concrete plans for complete withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq. Such candidates might also be challenged as they make public appearances around the state without regard for arbitrary “free speech zone” restrictions that may be established by candidates, parties, police or the Secret Service.

As of this writing the date of the Iowa caucus on January 14 is in question with South Carolina Republicans moving up the date of their caucus. There is much speculation as to how this will effect Iowa’s caucus date, whether Iowa will retain its status as first in the nation by moving the date back to January 7 or before, as Iowa law apparently requires, or if the date will remain unchanged. The possibility of an Iowa caucus even as early as mid December has been mentioned. The Republican and Democratic Party state central committees will meet on September 8 to decide what to do.

Whether the caucuses are earlier or later, we are inviting “affinity groups” from around the country to start organizing a trip to Iowa in the coming months with special attention to the two weeks immediately prior to the caucuses, whenever that will be.

While the demands of the campaign are still being finalized, the initial concept is to occupy the campaign headquarters and offices of Presidential candidates who do not commit to:

• Complete withdrawal of the U.S. military forces from Iraq and Afghanistan within 100 days of assuming the office of President of the United States (or May 2009).
• Complete halt to any and all military actions—including ground, air and naval--against Iraq and Iran.
• Full funding for the reconstruction of Iraq to repair the damage caused over these past 17 years of economic and military warfare that the U.S. and its allies waged against Iraq.
• Full funding for the Common Good in the U.S.—to rebuild our education and health care systems; to create jobs training programs for jobs that pay a living wage; to provide universal health care for all; to rebuild our country’s inner cities and rural communities; and to initiate a campaign on the scale of a new Tennessee Valley Authority and Rural Electrification Project of the Great Depression era to create affordable, safe and sustainable alternative forms of energy and energy consumption; and for other vital social programs.
• Full funding for the highest quality health care, education and jobs training benefits for veterans of our country’s Armed Services.

For those Presidential candidates who currently hold a seat in the House or Senate, we set forth the following additional demands:

• Vote against any additional funding for the Iraq war other than those funds that are essential to fund the complete and immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
• Publicly commit to oppose the use of U.S. military forces against Iran, Pakistan or any other opening front in the “war on terror.”

Join us in Iowa at this critical time for weekly, if not daily, acts of nonviolent civil resistance / civil disobedience to seek a redirection of our country’s policies and to bring about an end to the Iraq war. We travel to Washington, D.C. for national actions all the time. Now is the time to travel to Iowa, the heart of our country’s heartland, to seek an end to the Iraq war. Following the Iowa caucus, let us bring SODaPOP to the campaign headquarters of candidates in our respective home states, with the next critical days of nonviolent resistance to be as we approach February 5 (Super Duper Tuesday, when 20 states hold presidential primaries and caucuses).

Please be in contact with us about joining this very critical campaign of nonviolent direct action, civil resistance and civil disobedience. To participate in SODaPOP, you may reach us via Voices for Creative Nonviolence at 773-878-3815 or via email at Additional information and resources will also be available on the Voices website: