Sacramento says, Bring the troops home!

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento City Council, by an 8-1 vote on Nov. 1, called for “a humane, orderly, rapid and comprehensive withdrawal of United States military personnel and bases from Iraq.” The council also asked Congress and President Bush to deliver “promised veterans’ health, education, disability, and rehabilitation benefits, and otherwise meet the needs of returning veterans.”

Sacramento joins a growing list of cities, including Chicago and San Francisco, which have called for a rapid U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

According to Mayor Heather Fargo, 109 people filled out speaker cards supporting the resolution while only one person, Dave Jenest of “Patriot Watch,” opposed the resolution. Over the past few weeks, Fargo said she had received 527 letters or phone calls in support of the resolution and only 19 against.

Hundreds of people from labor and community groups packed the City Council chambers in support of the resolution. They rose and gave a standing ovation at the vote, and let the 30-second speech by George Main of Veterans for Peace speak for most of them: “While we do support all the many sacrifices the troops have made, we do not support sacrificing any more of our troops.”

Since the passage of the resolution, however, the council members who voted for the resolution have received hate mail from right-wingers around the country. The hate mail campaign is being orchestrated by Move America Forward and right-wing talk show hosts Mark Williams (KFBK Sacramento) and Melanie Morgan (KSFO San Francisco). Williams and Morgan also plan to launch a radio ad campaign condemning the resolution and asking the City Council to rescind it, according to reports.

Supporters of the antiwar resolution have urged that messages of support be sent to Mayor Fargo and the City Council at hfargo@cityofsacramento.org.

The author wishes to acknowledge the reportage of Daniel Bacher and Leisa Faulkner Barnes in preparing this story.