New Haven calls for end to Iraq war

War spending is ‘theft’ from schools, jobs

As Congress reconvenes for the new year, the newly elected Board of Aldermen in New Haven joined cities across the country speaking out for peace.

At their first meeting, the 30-member board passed resolutions to end the war in Iraq and stop development of nuclear weapons in the U. S. After some opposition in committee, the resolutions had been sent to the full board without recommendation.

A resolution for “orderly and rapid withdrawal of U.S. military personnel from Iraq,” and calling for resources to be redirected to the needs of cities, passed overwhelmingly on voice vote. Newly elected Alderman Allan Brison told his colleagues that as a veteran he is opposed to this war “which is all about oil,” and should never have been fought. Ald. Robert Lee said he does not want any more young people coming home in body bags.

A second resolution urging Congress to pass U.S. House Resolution 69 for a comprehensive nuclear disarmament program was put forward to “get the Bush administration to follow the law,” said Alderwoman Erin Sturgis-Pascale. HR 69 requires that the administration abide by a non-proliferation treaty signed by the U.S. over 30years ago. “Every dollar spent is a theft of education and jobs,” she said of the $6 billion a year allocated to nuclear weapons development. The resolution passed with 17 yes votes.

Representatives of the Connecticut Federation of Black Democrats, the NAACP, the Greater New Haven Central Labor Council and the Greater New Haven Peace Council addressed a press conference convened by the City of New Haven Peace Commission at City Hall before the meeting.

“Over 300 cities and 17 states have voted favorably on similar resolutions,” said Peace Commission chair Al Marder.

Local resolutions and actions to end the war and extend funding for human needs will likely multiply in this presidential election year. Peace actions are being planned across the country on March 15 which will mark the fifth anniversary of the war and occupation of Iraq.

joelle.fishman @pobox.com