Downing Street Minutes 3rd Anniversary Events: The Smoking Gun that Proves Bush Lied About Iraq
Mourn the Losses, Learn the Truth, and Investigate the Lies
Celebrate the 3-Year Anniversary of the Downing Street Meeting with Your Own Town Hall Meeting or House Party
Be part of a national day of action on Saturday, July 23, 2005.
You and your organization should work with other organizations to form a coalition and hold one large event in your area. Resources and tips for holding an effective town hall meeting are below. Be sure to invite your Congress Member and Senators, but there’s no reason to make the event dependent on their coming. You should certainly hold it, even without them. (But if they didn’t have a good reason not to come, make sure there’s an empty seat on stage with their name on it where cameras can see it well.)
Where you cannot organize a large event, organize some friends and hold a house party. In either case, post the event on this site so that people can sign up to come. Many of the resources below will come in handy.
Invite your Congress Member and/or Senators.
Here is a sample invitation letter that you can modify, put on your letterhead, and use. Be sure to telephone their district and/or DC office and get your request to the appropriate staff person ASAP. Then request a meeting to discuss it. If your Congress Member or Senator is reluctant to take part, you should progress by stages from polite request to creative action. Consult this Lobbying Kit.
Here is an account of citizens recently winning support from a Congress Member by staging a sit-in in their office. Demands for such an action could include:
1) Coming to your DSM Day meeting;
2) Signing onto Congressman John Conyers’ letter;
3) Co-sponsoring Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s forthcoming Resolution of Inquiry.
Invite the Media
Here is a sample press advisory that you can modify and use. As soon as you know the time and place for your event and have good spokespeople whom you can list as contacts, go ahead and get the word out to your local media. If your efforts to invite your Congress Member escalate to civil disobedience, you’ll certainly want to involve the media. And you may want to let the media know about other events between now and July 23 (see ideas below).
Here is a sample calendar announcement that you should submit to media outlets for publication.
Here is a sample public service announcement (PSA) that you can submit to radio stations. Be sure to contact progressive shows and ask them to air it.
Here is an audio file of a radio advertisement that you can ask friendly shows to play for free, buy time for on other shows, and generate free coverage about if stations refuse to sell you time for it.
Here are some general PR Tips.
Invite the Community
Here is a sample flyer/poster to modify and use to promote your event.
Play a DVD
For $13, Chris Belcher will sell you a DVD produced in cooperation with AfterDowningStreet.org. This 40-minute video is divided into chapters that can each be played separately. It contains highlights of the June 16, 2005, hearings, delivery of letter to the White House, and rally held in Washington. The testimony at the hearings has been selected with an eye to clearly explaining the facts to a newcomer. You might want to show all or part of this DVD at your event. We recommend showing all of it and purchasing a supply of these to sell or give to participants.
For $20, TakeBackTheMedia.com will sell you a 2-DVD set containing the complete hearings and rally in Washington, D.C., on June 16, 2005. Buy some to sell at your event!
We also hope to soon make available here DVDs of an excellent BBC documentary, which can be viewed online here. Check back here shortly!
You may want to plan for a period of discussion or questions and answers following the showing of the DVD.
Perform a Dramatic Reading of the Downing Street Minutes
The Downing Street Minutes, also known somewhat misleadingly as the Downing Street Memo, is one of several documents damaging to the claims of the Bush and Blair administrations that have been leaked to the media in Britain. Because these are the minutes of a meeting — which occured on July 23, 2002, at #10 Downing Street in London — they lend themselves to a dramatic recreation. Because Prime Minister Tony Blair was present but has no speaking role, we recommend bringing a well-behaved poodle to your event to stand in for him.
And here is a guide to performing a dramatic reading. We recommend rehearsing!
Hold a Panel Discussion
Set up a panel, with a good moderator and with panelists including your Congress Member and/or Senators (or more than one Congress Member if you create a large event for more than one district), local elected officials, and leaders on this issue. Try to include a speaker from one or more of these organizations:
Gold Star Families for Peace;
Veterans for Peace;
Iraq Veterans Against the War;
US Tour of Duty: Iraq Veterans and Military Families Demand the Truth;
Military Families Against the War (UK);
Progressive Democrats of America;
Justice Through Music; or
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
The aim of the discussion, which can be followed by questions and answers from the audience, is both to educate and energize the public, and to persuade your Congress Member(s) and/or Senator(s) to publicly commit to sign onto Congressman John Conyers’ letter, and co-sponsor Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s forthcoming Resolution of Inquiry.
Write Postcards to Congress Members or Senators not Present
One easy action your DSM Day Town Meeting or House Party can coordinate is a postcard campaign. AfterDowningStreet.org coalition member the Backbone Campaign has produced a special linoleum print Spine Postcard to urge your Congress members to stand up for a Resolution of Inquiry into the Downing Street Minutes.
Print the postcards on cardstock and hand them out to attendees. Collect them and mail them all together, or ask attendees to mail them from home.
You can look up addresses for your current members of Congress at Project Vote Smart: http://www.vote-smart.org. Make sure to instruct participants to send their postcards to Congress members’ local addresses. Sending postcards to their DC offices may result in long Post-Anthrax delays thanks to “Homeland Security.”
Train Participants in Effective Lobbying
Take a look at this Lobbying Kit, and consider printing it out and making copies.
You might want to organize a discussion of lobbying specific to your state and district.
Have your Congress Member and Senators signed Congressman Conyers’ Letter?
Is your Congress Member on the International Relations Committee? That makes them especially important for passing Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s Resolution of Inquiry.
Do you have a Senator on the Intelligence Committee? That makes them especially important for following through on an investigation of pre-war “intelligence.”
Be Sure to Collect Attendees’ Contact Information!
If you are going to be able to organize future events and activities, you will want to make sure to collect attendees contact info. Ask them more than once to write their Email addresses clearly. Feel free to use the this form or to make your own.
Hand Out Supplies of Flyers So People Can Spread the Word
Here are flyers and posters to print and hand out in large quantities.
Sell or Hand Out Shirts, Stickers, Mugs, Magnets, etc…
You can’t have a movement without singing. Here are our songs. If you have additional songs, please post them on that page.
Use Events Between Now and July 23 to Raise Profile
Here are some ideas:
July 23 Events: