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Antiwar campaign going electronic

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 20, 2003


WASHINGTON -- Their goal is to bring an antiwar message to the attention of political leaders in Washington. But instead of taking to the streets, these activists will try to overwhelm switchboards by telephone, computer and fax machine.

A coalition of groups opposed to a U.S.-led war in Iraq is asking supporters to call, fax and e-mail the White House and Congress next week in an effort to show the power of the antiwar effort.

"Last weekend, we marched in the streets," Tom Andrews, national director of Win Without War, said at a news conference Wednesday. "Next week, we're taking it to the suites of official Washington."

Organizers of the "virtual march" on Washington are calling on supporters to call, fax or e-mail senators and the White House during business hours Wednesday. Participants who register for the call-in campaign at the group's Web site, www.winwithoutwarus.org, will be directed to make their phone calls at specific times, said Andrews, a former Democratic congressman from Maine. The goal is to record one call per minute in every Senate office and at the White House.

Win Without War is a coalition of more than 30 organizations opposed to war with Iraq, including the National Council of Churches, National Organization for Women, NAACP and the Sierra Club.

PBS program tonight examines war motives

The PBS show Frontline, which airs at 10 tonight on DU, plans an episode titled The War Behind Closed Doors. Through interviews with sources in and outside of the administration, the documentary examines the story of what is driving the Bush administration to war with Iraq.

The investigation asks whether the publicly reported reasons -- fear of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction or a desire to ensure and protect America's access to oil -- are only masking the real reason for the war.

Italian lawmakers vote to support U.S. policy

ROME -- Italian lawmakers voted Wednesday to endorse Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's support for the United States in the Iraq crisis, while urging the standoff be resolved through the United Nations.

Berlusconi has been one of President Bush's staunchest supporters, and Italy has already promised logistical assistance such as use of military bases and ports by U.S. troops.

The Senate and the Chamber of Deputies both voted in favor of Berlusconi's policy. The prime minister's conservative coalition has a majority in both chambers.

Italy has said it would not contribute troops because its military is stretched thin with peacekeeping commitments in Afghanistan and the Balkans.

MEXICO OPPOSES WAR: Mexican President Vicente Fox is opposed to U.S. military action against Iraq and said he would view "with great sadness and displeasure" any U.S. attack without U.N. approval.

In an interview late Tuesday, Fox called his position on Iraq his first major disagreement with the Bush administration.

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