Iraq Moratorium keeps growing in Wisconsin

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Wisconsin's Iraq Moratorium campaign, which asks people to act on the Third Friday of every month to end the war and occupation of Iraq, continues to grow.

A new organizing effort in western Wisconsin, with the theme of "Health care, not warfare," has sparked new Moratorium events on Friday, Nov. 21, in Rice Lake, Superior, and Eau Claire.

“People quickly see the connections and respond instantly to the ‘Health care Not Warfare’ theme and the coordinated public lobbying tactic,” organizer Steve Carlson says. More communities are expected to join in December.

The Iraq Moratorium asks people to interrupt their regular routines on the Third Friday of every month and take some action, individually or collectively, to call for an end to the war and occupation of Iraq .

Wisconsin has been a hotbed of Iraq Moratorium activity, with more actions scheduled every month than any other state except California , with six times the population.  The Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice (WNPJ), a statewide coalition of more than 160 groups, has helped spread the Moratorium among its members.

The Iraq Moratorium-Wisconsin project is aimed at communities where the Third Friday activity has not yet taken hold.  Among the additional targets are Hudson, Chippewa Falls, Ashland and Menomonie.

 Carlson is one of the organizers of Iraq Moratorium events in

Hayward , which has had the largest per capita turnout in the nation. The current organizing effort is funded by a grant from the Wisconsin Community Fund.

Carlson recently worked with Citizen Action of Wisconsin as part of a campaign that got health care referendum questions on the Nov. 4 ballot in 22 cities and counties.  The referendums won in a landslide, with 74% of the vote and over 413,000 total votes state-wide.

“This organizing effort in western Wisconsin will try to build on and connect the work done by Citizen Action, Progressive Democrats of America, and the Iraq Moratorium and put all of the pieces together,’ Carlson said. 

“We want to talk about the links between trillion dollar war spending and a failed health care system, and to engage citizens to demand a new set of national priorities,” Carlson said.

Friday's events:

DePere: The St. Norbert College Peace and Justice Center will host an EcumenicalPrayer Service for Peace in Iraq at 7 p.m. on Fri., Nov. 21, Old St. Joseph Church (on the campus of St. Norbert College, De Pere). For more information, please contact the Peace and Justice Center, 920-403-3881, or email [email protected]

Duluth/Superior: Northland Anti-War Coalition will be holding a peace vigil on Friday, Nov. 21 as part of our local contribution to the ongoing monthly Iraq Moratorium Project. From 4:30-5:30pm we'll be holding signs and handing out fliers at Pennel Park. Pennel Park is located on the corner of Central Entrance and Arlington Ave. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. We'll have extra signs on hand, but feel free to make and bring your own!

Eau Claire: Voices for Peace Institute. Stand for an end to the Iraq Occupation. Some signs will be provided but feel free to bring your own! Beginning this coming Fri., Nov. 21, we will be standing on the corner of Bracket Avenue and Business US Hwy 53 (right next to Jimmy Woo's) on the third Friday each month from 4 to 6 PM. Please come and stand with us when you can, between 4pm and 6pm, for as long as you can. If at all possible, bring a sign (small or large). Show Eau Claire that we want to bring an end to this war. Hope to see you there! An idea for you all to consider, whether you are able to come this Friday or not: On Friday, Nov. 21, consider calling your federal Wisconsin Senators and your Representative and letting them know you want them to bring our troops home from Iraq! E-mail.

Hayward: Peace North will hold a Vigil for Peace on Friday, November 21st, from 4-6 pm at the corner of Highways 27 and 63 in, what is likely to be, chilly downtown Hayward. We are determined to keep the Iraq Moratorium alive and growing so come on out and give us a hand. Dress warm, bring a thermos with a hot beverage, and stand with us for a couple of hours for the sake of peace. It's the least you/we can do! Bring a sign or use one of ours. Good parking. Great people. See you there! E-mail.

Janesville: Rock Valley Fellowship of Reconciliation continues to hold an Iraq Moratorium vigil which is held on the 3rd Friday of every month. The next event will be held on Nov. 21. Meet at 4 p.m. on the corner of Blackbridge Rd. and Milton Ave. in Janesville. We have signs. Email us for more info.

LaCrosse: Iraq Moratorium Vigil-- 3rd Friday of every month. Veterans for Peace, & other concerned patriots that support the US Constitution. Cass Street bridge, 5 to 6 p.m. Contact Duane Teschler or Cathy*

Manitowoc. Peace Vigil. Lakeshore Peacemakers hold a weekly vigil for peace, and on the Third Friday for the Iraq Moratorium, at 4:30 p.m., 8th Street & Maritime Drive. Contact: [email protected]

Milwaukee: Peace Action-Wisconsin and Milwaukee Coalition for a Just Peace sponsor a rush hour vigil in the heart of downtown, from 5 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 21, at Water Street and Wisconsin Avenue. There are signs, flags, banners, music, pets for peace, leafleting, and interaction with drivers and pedestrians. Join us. Peace Action 414/964-5158 or email [email protected]*

Rice Lake: The People for Peace will be standing at the corner of Knapp and Main St's on the north end of downtown Rice Lake on Friday, Nov. 21, from 4-6 pm. This is our fourth Iraq Moratorium event and we're looking forward to our largest turnout to date. Please make a small, or large, sign if you can, and BRING SOMEONE ELSE WITH YOU! NOW is the time to let the incoming adminstration know that we want an end to war and the beginning of healthcare for all! Healthcare Not Warfare! Join us! E-mail.

Ripon: Peace Vigil every third Friday on the square. 4:30-5:30pm. Bring yourself! E-mail.

Superior: The Superior Chapter of Grandmothers for Peace will be holding our first "Iraq Moratorium Picket for Peace" on Friday, Nov. 21, from 4-6 pm at the corner of Tower and Belknap Sts, in front of the Superior Public Library. We are excited at the promise that the Iraq Moratorium holds for bringing all peace loving people together to show our opposition to war, and our support for a more just and peaceful world. Please bring a sign as ours are limited, and bring a loved one as well. Together we can make a united anti-war voice heard all the way to Washington DC! E-mail.

Waupaca: Nov. 21, Friday 5-6 pm Monthly Vigil for Peace. Downtown, on the town square. 3rd Friday of each month, in support of the Iraq Moratorium. All welcome. For more information, email People for Peace at or see

Woodruff: A silent prayer vigil from noon to 1 pm will be held in the small chapel of Holy Family Church, Woodruff. All are welcome to join in this weekly Friday witness for peace. Email for more info.*