American Voices Abroad of SouthWest France
AVA demonstrators in Berlin; photo C Karen Axelrad
citizens we feel a duty to raise our voices to protest the Bush
administration's contempt for democratic principles and international law.
At home the Patriot Act has severely restricted civil liberties in the name
of security. Abroad the doctrine of preventive war has initiated an
unprecedented foreign policy.
AVA offers a
community for engaged US citizens living abroad and provides a forum for a
wide spectrum of views. As a nonpartisan, but political organization,
AVA serves to inform Americans abroad about their rights and duties as US
citizens. And, as residents in countries outside of the US, we serve
as a source of information to inform our hosting friends. We also
seek to foster open and constructive discussions on the sometimes
contentious issues most important to us, as Americans - and to carry the
result of these discussions to legislators at home.
concern are such issues as the reform of state and local voting systems and
the improvement of voter representation, current trends in the US foreign
policy and diplomacy, as well as questions concerning current federal
legislation. As Americans abroad, we are citizens of the United
States, but we are also members of the communities in our host countries.
AVA seeks to engage all members of these communities in dialogue on issues
of mutual concern, and to provide current and relevant information on the
people and government of the United States.
Support for Cindy Sheehan
Postcards Sent from Lautrec
At the annual "Festival du
Pain" (Bread Festival) on the 15th of August in Lautrec, France, four of
us, all members of Democrats Abroad and American Voices Abroad, ran a
stand amid the bread stalls and handicrafts, asking passerbys to write a
postcard to Cindy sending support from abroad.
was enthusiastic, especially among women. We collected 85 cards,
written by French, British, Irish, Italian tourists in many languages.
Some were as young as 12, some in wheelchairs, some village locals,
others tourists. One postcard was written by British actress
Lindsay Duncan, who won a Tony award on Broadway recently for Private
Lives. They all expressed admiration, support and solidarity with
Cindy on her vigil in many languages. (We hope Cindy or someone in
Crawford reads French!) Some messages will be comprehensible to anyone:
"Bravo" & "bon courage!" We felt it was important Cindy and those
supporting her in Texas realize that her story is being told overseas
and support for her action comes from far & wide.
Sheehan's son, Casey, was killed last year in Iraq, after which she
became an antiwar activist. She says that she and her family met with
the president two months later at Fort Lewis in Washington state. But
when she was blocked by the police a few miles from Bush's 1,600 acres,
or 650 hectares, in Texas on Saturday, the 48-year-old Cindy Sheehan, of
Vacaville, California, was transformed into a media phenomenon, the new
face of opposition to the Iraq conflict at a moment when public opinion
is in flux and the politics of the war have grown more complicated for
the president and the Republican Party.
Cindy has vowed to camp out on the spot until
Bush will see her, even if it means spending all of August under a
broiling sun by the dusty road. Early Sunday afternoon, 25 hours after
she was turned back as she approached Bush's Prairie Chapel Ranch,
Cindy Sheehan stood red-faced from the heat at the makeshift campsite that she
vowed would be her home until the president relented or left to go back
to Washington. Read more about Cindy's fight at
inspired to undertake our action by Democrats Abroad in Japan, who are
organizing a post-card writing campaign over there to support Cindy.
We also asked our Democrats Abroad in Southwestern France to sent cards
and have many responded.
Cindy Sheehan that you support her vigil by sending a postcard or letter
of support. In your postcard/letter, you might also let her know what
you would like her to tell Bush when she sees him.
Snail-mail your postcard or letter to:
c/o Crawford Peace House
9142 5th Street
Crawford, TX 76638-3037
Agustin Aguayo Update
The petition has been successfully filed in the federal court in
Washington DC on August 8th. The Clerk's Office draws a judge at random
to handle the
case, and we lucked out by drawing U.S. District Judge Emmet
G. Sullivan, a
58 year old African-American appointee of President Clinton
who has been
known to stand up to the military in previous cases.
So, after MANY MANY delays, our case was finally filed and we
have a great democratic judge--appointed by Bill Clinton-- who has
discharged previous soldiers before. Isn't that GREAT news? I will
keep you posted... Helga
Your help is still
page for more details.
Links and Quotes
publications and pertinent links which provide strong messages of
support for an anti-war movement. They will motivate you to
American Voices Abroad
Americans residing outside of the U.S.,
promoting peace and opposing wars of aggression by the United States.
They continue to oppose the occupation of Iraq, the doctrine of
preventive war, and the repressive policies of the Bush administration,
as embodied in the Patriot Act.