Protesters from Individuals for Justice and the Oregon Progressive Party demonstrated outside the office of Congressman Earl Blumenauer and delivered a petition to pressure him to sign on to bills H.R. 2404 and 3699. Portland, OR, USA, 21/07/2010.
One protester, Joe Roe held and wore a diaper with Earl and 4899 referring to the bill H.R. 4899. The bill, which was passed by the Senate in May, if signed by Obama would provide, "$34.7 billion to support US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq in addition to providing non-military assistance and building up State Department Operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. It would also provide $24 billion to help keep teachers, police, and firefighters employed during the recession, $13 billion to Vietnam War veterans that have been exposed to Agent Orange, $2.8 billion for Haiti relief, $5.7 billion for PELL grants, $677 million to strengthen the border, $275 million for the Gulf oil spill, and $725 million to offset other needs."
Joe explained that as BP have managed to cap the oil spill, the diaper represents the device that will soak up the crap coming out of Congress and stop bills that continue to fund wars.
The demonstrators would also like to see bills H.R. 2404 and 3699 passed which would, "require the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to Congress outlining the United States exit strategy for United States military forces in Afghanistan participating in Operation Enduring Freedom," and "to prohibit any increase in the number of members of the United States Armed Forces serving in Afghanistan." Whilst both have been introduced, they were referred to the House Committee on Armed Services in 2009.
Mr. Roe told me that, "when we all knew Bush was lying, [Congressman] Earl missed out on keeping the President in check. Now Obama is still funding the war and we want to see an end to it."
Congressman Earl Blumenauer who represents Oregon's 3rd congressional district has it in his power to act in a way that Oregon Senator Wayne Morse did back in 1964. He was one of only two U.S. Senators to vote against the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which authorised the U.S. to expand their operations in the Vietnam War. He saw the motion as a violation of Article One of the Constitution
granting the President the ability to take military action in the absence of a formal declaration of war.
Amongst the protesters was the "Lone Vet" Joe Walsh, who originally started protests here to hold Bush and Cheney accountable for violations of U.S. Laws and the Constitution back in 2008. Like others, he is frustrated that Blumenauer continues to ignore the majority of his constituents who support impeachment.