AVA SouthWest France

vendredi 19 août 2005

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American Voices Abroad of  SouthWest France

AVA demonstrators in Berlin; photo C Karen Axelrad
s US 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.

Of particular 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.

The response 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.

Cindy 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 http://www.truthout.org/cindy.shtml

We were 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.

Show 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:

Cindy Sheehan
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 needed.  See "GI Support" page for more details.

Links and Quotes
Quotes, publications and pertinent links which provide strong messages of support for an anti-war movement.  They will motivate you to action!

American Voices Abroad :
The Coalition

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.




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Site last updated : vendredi, 19. août 2005