Why did we do this act of civil disobedience? Because we want peace.
    If the state?s prosecutor had asked every single one of the Cedar
    Rapids 11 at trial this question: Why did you do this civil
    disobedience? I think she would have heard eleven times, the answer:
    Because I want peace, because I want peace, because I want peace.
    And she would hear a chorus of the same from all of you sitting here

    But is anyone else listening? I know I have the right and I believe I
    have a duty as a citizen of this country, to speak up when I see my
    government go so badly off course. But because the current president
    is not listening and hasneverlistened to the American people, I?m
    more determined than ever to be heard and faithfully represented at
    least by my elected Congresspeople.

    Congress has the power to end this unjust war and illegal occupation
    of Iraq. They can stop funding it. We?re asking Mr. Grassley as a
    ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, to do everything in
    his power to cease the funding of this war.

    I want to ask Senator Grassley, as someone who has spent years of
    service investigating fraud and waste in government spending, why he
    sees no waste in human life as this war goes on and on, year after
    year. Is not a life worth more than a dollar? It seems our Congress has
    lost its ability and courage to measure what matters, and has lost it?s
    moral compass to find us home. The American people want our troops
    HOME, to live, and we want the Iraqi people to live. It was a crime for
    the United States to invade Iraq and it?s a crime to continue waging a
    brutal war for oil. Congresss must stop it. They must end it now.

    Sen. Grassley has, I think, made a good effort to listen to and know
    the people of Iowa, so we hope that he will take seriously what we
    offer as our best qualities to help him do what is right. This is why we
    are all here today, why some of us were at his office on Monday,
    February 26 asking him to listen and to act. We refused to budge
    because we refuse to give up hope for a chance at peace. To Sen.
    Grassley we offer all our best qualities because we want and demand
    a participatory democracy. So to start, I suggest Mr. Grassley take
    some of Megan?s compassion and Tim?s energy and Ryan?s
    commitment. Let him have David?s determination and Joshua?s
    understanding. Let him know John Paul?s heritage. Let him learn some
    of Justin?s ideas, and ask Andrew?s questions, and use Conor?s words.
    Also, he can take Frank?s freedom if necessary. Because we want

    As a mother I have to speak out against this war and ALL wars. As a
    mother, I have the responsibility to teach my children to be
    understanding of other people and to find ways to solve problems and
    settle differences non-violently. Its hard to teach your kids these
    lessons when their culture is violent and when their government is
    provoking and waging war as a means to an end.

    Our children grip our hearts. They grip our hearts so tightly and so
    unexpectedly at times, that it transforms us somehow from citizens of
    our state into people of the world. It?s been said that when you bring a
    child into the world you agree to let your heart walk around outside
    your body. Mothers and fathers - everywhere - want the world to know
    their children, to know their dreams and their potential and their
    inherent goodness. Mothers want peace for everyone, not just their
    own children, and mothers believe peace is possible because we?ve
    learned that it?s through our hearts that we?re all connected in the

    Our children teach us this. So I refuse to offer my children or anyone
    else?s children as fodder for the war-machine. Instead I offer my
    children?s hope, and I offer some of my own time spent away from
    tending them to help tend our world as well. Because we want peace.
Rose Persaud's Statement

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Moral Courage