Wednesday, January 21, 2009


CHECK OUT THE PHOTOS! We’ve got loads of photos from the historic Inauguration of our 44th President. We want these HOPES to inspire you to GET INVOLVED with one of the organizations listed on this site.


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PASSWORD: peacecenter


Click the UPLOAD button located in the upper toolbar near the center of your screen.

CHOOSE Inauguration Action Center as the ALBUM you want to upload to. Click SELECT ALBUM.

SELECT INDIVIDUAL pictures from your computer

By clicking the BROWSE button and selecting individual photos


CONGRATULATIONS! Your photo will be added to the album and shared on

The tool bars in Picasa will help you to share photos, view slideshows, and look at other photos from the day. Other users may also appreciate some more advanced options.

You can edit and view your photos through the Picasa site and share links with you friends – even post a slide show into your own website.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Stop the War

Peace Action
is the nation's largest grassroots peace network, with chapters and affiliates in 30 states. It organizes a grassroots network to place pressure on Congress and the Administration through write-in campaigns, internet actions, citizen lobbying and direct action.

United for Peace and Justice is a coalition of more than 1400 local and national groups who have joined together to protest the Iraq War and oppose our government's policy of permanent warfare.

The Washington Peace Center is a non-profit, anti-racist, grassroots, multi-issue organization working for peace, justice and nonviolent social change in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area since 1963.

CODEPINK: Women for Peace is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities.

The U.S. Campaign the End the Israeli Occupation is a diverse coalition working for freedom from occupation and equal rights for all by challenging U.S. policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Support Our Troops

Iraq Veterans Against the War was founded by Iraq war veterans in July 2004 to give a voice to the large number of active duty service people and veterans who are against this war, but are under various pressures to remain silent. IVAW is leading the movement of veterans and GIs who are working to bring the troops home now.

Veterans for Peace is is dedicated to using personal experiences and perspectives as veterans to raise public awareness of the true costs and consequences of militarism and war - and to seek peaceful, effective alternatives.

Courage to Resist is a national organization primarily focused on supporting public GI resisters, and providing political, emotional, and material support to all military objectors critical of our government's current policies of empire.

Save our Planet

Greenpeace is the leading independent campaign organization that uses peaceful direct action and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

The Chesapeake Climate Action Network is dedicated exclusively to fighting global warming in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Our mission is to educate and mobilize citizens of this region in a way that fosters a rapid societal switch to clean energy and energy-efficient products, thus joining similar efforts worldwide to halt the dangerous trend of global warming.

Oil Change International is dedicated to identifying, overcoming, and dismantling the political barriers which prevent the global progression to clean energy. It campaigns to expose the true costs of oil and facilitate this coming transition towards clean energy.

Work for Justice

Jobs with Justice aims to improve working people’s standard of living, fights for job security, and protects workers’ rights to organize.

The National Lawyers Guild is made up of lawyers, law students, jailhouse lawyers and legal workers who work locally, nationally and internationally as an effective political and social force in the service of the people.

Progressive Democrats of America was founded in 2004 to transform the Democratic Party and our country. We seek to build a party and government controlled by citizens, not corporate elites -- with policies that serve the broad public interest, not just private interests.

Witness Against Torture is a non-profit, grassroots organization founded to resist the use of torture globally, and to challenge the governments and policies which sanction its use. .

The National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights works to defend and expand the rights of all immigrants and refugees, regardless of immigration status. We are committed to human rights as essential to securing healthy, safe and peaceful lives for all.

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee is committed to empowering Arab Americans, defending the civil rights of all people of Arab heritage in the US, promoting civic participation, encouraging a balanced U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, and supporting freedom and development in the Arab World.

Defend DC

Empower DC works to enhance, improve and promote the self-advocacy of low and moderate income DC residents in order to bring about sustained improvements in their quality of life.

ONE DC exercises political strength to create and preserve racial and economic equity in the Shaw district of Washington DC, and all throughout the rest of the city.

Stand Up! For Democracy in DC is a grassroots organization that works to obtain full democracy for all residents of the District of Columbia with equal rights under the Constitution and human rights consistent with international law, and to promote good governance for the welfare of the people.

Coordinate Your Campus: student and parent organizing

Student Peace Action Network is a grassroots peace and justice organization working from schools across the United States. SPAN organizes for an end to the physical, social and economic violence caused by U.S. militarism, and opposes the complex webs of corporate and military power that perpetuate racism, damage the environment, deprive people of basic needs, and violate human rights.

Students for a Democratic Society is a grassroots organization working to create a movement of youth who struggle to build and sustain a society of justice-making, solidarity, equality, peace and freedom.

The Campus Anti-War Network is currently the largest campus-based anti-war organization in the U.S. C.A.N. is an independent, democratic, grassroots network of students opposing the occupation of Iraq, and military recruitment activities occurring in high schools, colleges, and universities across the country.

Our Spring Break is a student led, student initiated mobilization of youth that urges students nationwide to mobilize during their spring breaks to bring an end to war and occupation, and instead fund health care, clean energy, and social justice.

The National Network Opposing Militarization of Youth is a proactive organization involved in opposing war through counter-recruitment strategies.

Get the Facts

Independent Media Center is a collective of independent media organizations and hundreds of journalists offering grassroots, non-corporate coverage. Indymedia is a democratic media outlet for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of truth.

Democracy Now! is a daily TV/radio news program that provides access to people and perspectives rarely heard in the U.S.corporate-sponsored media. Hosted by Amy Goodman. is the leading news and community Web site for the progressive base of the Democratic Party, in order to lead the fight against the radical right and the Republican Party.

After Downing Street serves as a source of news about the war and the crimes of the Bush Administration, and information on upcoming events and ways to take action.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Offical Press Release

Contacts: Sonia Silbert, Washington Peace Center, (917) 747-0047 mobile
Barbra Bearden, Peace Action, (617) 240-7253 mobile

Progressives Convene in Washington to Hope for Change on Inauguration Day
Groups Rally to Support President Obama's Progressive Agenda

WASHINGTON DC – As Americans celebrate Barack Obama's groundbreaking Inauguration next week, progressives with the Activist Coalition of DC will be rallying in downtown Washington in order to support President Obama in fulfilling the forward-thinking agenda outlined in his campaign promises.

As mentioned in the Washington Post on Wednesday, progressive groups will be distributing placards in McPherson Square all day on Inauguration Day that read "President Obama I hope for _______." They will invite parade-goers to fill in the blank and provide resources to get them involved in progressive causes. As discussed in McClatchy Newspapers on Monday, organizers are not calling this a protest, but a progressive presence at the Inauguration to send a clear message of support for Obama's progressive platform.

"Our country is ready to undergo true change, but we know it won't happen without a strong, organized movement of the people," states Sonia Silbert, co-coordinator of the Washington Peace Center. "That's why this is the time to get involved on a local level and organize now when there's a chance that we can actually make a difference. We know this is a country of people who make change, not leaders who make change."

The event in McPherson Square will include speakers, music, artist expos, and inspiring visuals. It is likely to be one of the largest of many events occurring around the Inauguration.

"Peace Action is proud to be part of this exciting day," says Barbra Bearden, spokesperson for Peace Action. "President Obama inspired our Nation to elect him hoping for real change. Now our work begins. As peace activists, citizens, and community organizers we are dedicated to holding Obama to his campaign promises to withdraw from Iraq, end torture, and promote diplomatic solutions to global conflicts."

The Activist Coalition of DC is a progressive group dedicated to building capacity in DC through working together for more effective non-violent political actions that are both locally and nationally catalyzed. While the specific missions of each member organization may differ, we are committed to working together for progressive change.

Members of the Activist Coalition of DC include U.S. Coalition Against the Israeli Occupation, CodePink,, Greenpeace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Oil Change International, Our Spring Break, Peace Action, Students for a Democratic Society, Washington Peace Center, and Veterans for Peace.

# # #

For more info on progressive Inaugural events and activities, please visit the Inauguration Action Center website at

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Washington Post Inauguration Central

Just follow this link to info on road closings, a calendar, weather, and logistics. By the should be cold and sunny. Come with a warm jacket and a smile - you'll have a great day!

At Rallies, Giving 'Please' a Chance

By Lori Aratani - Washington Post
Updated: Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Code Pink, Arrest Bush, the Coalition for Peace and other liberal activist groups plan to jam the Mall and line the parade route on Inauguration Day. They will hoist banners, wave signs and call for action. It might look a lot like a protest rally. But don't call it that.

"It's not a protest; it's a celebratory event," said Jose Rodriguez, a longtime activist who is coordinating an Arrest Bush demonstration in front of the FBI building Tuesday.

Their guy might have won, but after almost a decade of being on the opposite side of presidential decisions on the Iraq war, Supreme Court appointments and a host of other issues, progressive activists have a new problem: how to make demands without appearing adversarial.

"We don't want to be seen as protesting against [Obama] so much as pushing him to fulfill his promises," said Medea Benjamin, founder of Code Pink. "It's totally, totally different."

"In years past, we organized and organized and didn't see any direct result because we were up against an administration that wasn't listening," Rodriguez said. "Now, we know there's an opportunity for change to happen."

Even those who disagree with the president-elect's stands on such issues as abortion say they are planning "educational gatherings," not disruptive demonstrations. That's not to say there won't be any angry words come Inauguration Day, but it appears that Obama isn't the only one who wants to set a new tone in Washington.

Presidential inaugurations are traditional backdrops for demonstrations of all types.

The National Parks Service has issued more than a half-dozen permits for groups that want to "express their First Amendment rights" Tuesday, spokesman Bill Line said.

Among the groups that disagree with Obama's politics there was debate as to whether it was appropriate to protest on what many consider a historic day.

"For us, it was really a difficult thing to even [decide] to demonstrate," said the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, which has had a presence at the past three inaugurations. "We don't want to detract from the enormity of the celebration of the nation's first African American president. We do respect that. So that's why we've chosen more of a display than a demonstration. We won't have signs chiding President Obama or saying negative things."

Line said that in addition to the 100 or so members of Mahoney's antiabortion group, who will be stationed in front of the Canadian Embassy, about 15 people will come from Westboro Baptist Church, based in Topeka, Kan. The group is known for its opposition to gay rights and has made headlines for staging protests at military funerals. Members will be at a spot at the northeast corner of John Marshall Memorial Park.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier and other law enforcement officials said they don't foresee any trouble but will deploy additional security to manage a crowd that many expect might number in the millions. Sal Lauro, chief of the U.S. Park Police, said that for the first time, 1,300 D.C. National Guard troops will be brought in to supplement other personnel.

Still, Lanier, speaking to a group of businessmen in the District last week, said the gatherings will be "nothing on the scale we had the last inauguration."

"We don't expect any kind of conflict [like] the protests we've had in the past," she said.

Progressive groups say their shoe-throwing and anti-Bush banners will be replaced by more "positive" slogans. Sonia Silbert, co-coordinator of the Washington Peace Center, said several groups are collaborating on a "Hope" project in which people will be invited to share their visions for the future. They'll be able to fill in the blanks on signs and postcards that read, "President Obama I wish for _______."

"We want to have them think: 'What do you want? What are you hopeful for?' " Silbert said.

Even groups that oppose any form of government, including some anarchists, are taking a different approach to the new administration, Silbert said, coming to Washington to educate people rather than disrupt the day's festivities.

Silbert said the goal is to create momentum but to be realistic: People are impatient for change, but they have to realize it might not come as quickly as they want.

"There are folks that remember when Clinton was elected," she said. "There was a lot of hope, but people became disillusioned. If Obama doesn't follow through or isn't able to follow through, that's not a reason to give up hope."

At Obama's inauguration, activists will walk a fine line

Barbara Barrett | McClatchy Newspapers

last updated: January 12, 2009 04:07:51 PM

WASHINGTON — Peace activists in the nation's capital met for weeks last fall, brainstorming how they'd demonstrate their opposition at the inauguration of John McCain as president.

Then Barack Obama won the election.

What's a liberal protester to do?

"It was a happy dilemma," said Barbra Bearden, spokeswoman for Peace Action, which is affiliated with the Activist Coalition of D.C.

Washington is a town of protests, and not a week goes by, it seems, that a group isn't in front of the U.S. Capitol with bullhorns and signs calling for better education, or cheaper health care, or the beginning of peace, or an end to abortion.

With Obama's election, however, liberal organizations that have spent eight years blocking streets now find themselves working to change their message for this inauguration.

"We're not doing a protest," Bearden said. "We're working on having a progressive presence."

That means no chanting and no blocking the city streets as she and others did last year at an event marking the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq.

Instead, the coalition plans on having a community teach-in at Meridian Hill Park, which is some distance from Pennsylvania Avenue. A few blocks from the White House at McPherson Square, they'll ask visitors to sign a "No Soldier Left Behind" petition.

"Eight years ago and four years ago . . . the message was clear and easy to deliver," said Jodie Evans, a co-founder of the antiwar organization CodePink. "As antiwar activists, to be effective, the bar has been lifted. You have to create a tone that reflects the tone Obama has taken."

So instead of expressing outrage, some 150 CodePink activists plan more festive demonstrations. They will dance the can-can outside inaugural balls, Evans said. They will pass out thousands of pink ribbons reading, "Obama keep your promises."

And though many members of CodePink might've voted for Obama, Evans said the group still has concerns about some of his policies. They don't like his plans to increase troop levels in Afghanistan, for example.

At PeaceAction's organizing meetings, participants discuss almost daily how to walk the fine line between sending a message without protesting Obama's election, Bearden said.

She said the Activist Coalition of D.C. plans to bring 3,000 signs reading, "I have hope for . . . " Demonstrators can fill in the blanks themselves. The idea, she said, is to capitalize on Obama's themes of inclusion.

"We're going to answer your call and hold you accountable to our message," Bearden said of the group's message to the new president.

Another demonstrating non-protester is James Cook, a stay-at-home dad and writer in Columbus, Ohio.

Cook, a civil libertarian, said he was curious to see whether the National Park Service would issue a protest permit to any everyday American. The agency did, and he sought space for 50 to 250 people to stand outside the Justice Department on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Cook plans to drive to Washington with a sign asking Obama to honor his pledge to uphold the Constitution. He isn't sure how many others will join him.

"It's not really a protest," Cook said. "Do you protest a president who just took office 20 minutes ago? And I voted for him!"

Then again, some demonstrations planned around the inauguration really are protests.

Consider the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. The church, which pickets U.S. military funerals with anti-gay and anti-U.S. signs, is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

On Monday, Jan. 19, members plan pickets outside the Canadian, English, Swiss, Israeli, French, Australian, Kenyan, Irish and Vatican embassies. Then on Inauguration Day, the church has a permit to demonstrate along the parade route.

Also protesting, with a permit in front of the Canadian Embassy, is the Christian Defense Coalition, an anti-abortion group based in Washington.

In all, five organizations so far have received permits from the National Park Service to hold protests at the inauguration and along the parade route.

The space was expanded from four years ago after a lawsuit filed by the ANSWER Coalition, a collection of leftist groups fighting war and racism.

In 2005, the coalition complained that the park service didn't allow enough space along the parade route for protesters and members of the public. Last spring, a judge in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia agreed.

The activists who've organized massive antiwar marches and filed the lawsuit to open the parade route, however, plan no protest on Inauguration Day.

Instead, the coalition is inviting local residents — especially those hit hard by the economy — to come join the parade viewing, but not in any organized way, said Brian Becker, the coalition's national organizer.

"It's not a protest. It's not an action," Becker said.

Some might bring signs, he said.

Some might not.

McClatchy Newspapers 2008

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