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DELAWARE VALLEY ANTI-WAR OBSERVANCES OF 1,000 U.S. WAR DEAD MILESTONE SET AS MAJOR OFFENSIVE IN AFGHANISTAN BEGINS

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At least nine events in the Delaware Valley region are planned in response to the tragic milestone of the death of the 1000th US soldier in Afghanistan, which is expected to be reached within the next week or so (it is 990 as of February 14, 11AM). The events will mourn the deaths of US soldiers, as well as of Afghan and Pakistani civilians, killed in the near daily US drone strikes. U.S. forces just launched a major offensive on the city of Marja in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan and troop deaths are mounting quickly.

February 14, 2010, 10:45A.M. MAJOR OFFENSIVE IN AFGHAN WAR UNDERWAY ANTI-WAR OBSERVANCES PLANNED THROUGHOUT THE DELAWARE VALLEY IN RESPONSE TO IMPENDING DEATH OF 1000TH US SOLDIER IN AFGHANISTAN Vigils to Mourn the Dead and Call for End to U.S. Policy of War and Occupation

At least nine events in the Delaware Valley region are planned in response to the tragic milestone of the death of the 1000th US soldier in Afghanistan, which is expected to be reached within the next week or so (it is 990 as of the date of this release). The events will mourn the deaths of US soldiers, as well as of Afghan and Pakistani civilians, killed in the near daily US drone strikes.

U.S. forces just launched a major offensive on the city of Marja in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan and troop deaths are mounting quickly. Most of the events will include specially designed postcards by the American Friends Service Committee(AFSC) addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging her to take leadership in bringing the war to an end. Attendees will be encouraged to sign the postcards. Most of the observances will also include a reading of the names of soldiers from NJ and/or PA who have died.

The decades old Brandywine Peace Community will have a Solemn Vigil and bell tolling the next working day after the 1000th death at 5:00 p.m. at Philadelphia City Hall (west side) 15th & Market emphasizing the message: Eight Years of War - No More; Jobs not Wars. For further information, contact Brandywine Peace Community at www.brandywinepeace.com or (610)544-1818.

Mainline Peace Action and Bryn Mawr Peace Coalition will hold a Vigil the next working day after the 1000th death from 5:00-6:00 PM at the corner of Lancaster Ave. and Bryn Mawr Ave. by the Ludington Library in Bryn Mawr, PA. Contact Jane Dugdale at tjdugdale@verizon.net or (610) 574-3293 cell.

In Delaware County, PA, there will be Candlelight Vigils the next working day after the 1000th death from 6:00-7:00 PM at two intersections: Baltimore and Providence Rd. (Route 252) in Media (Park in Acme Parking lot); and Baltimore Pike and Lansdowne Ave. in Lansdowne (Park in shopping center lot on Baltimore Pike just south of intersection). Sponsored by Delaware County Wage Peace and Justice, an affiliate of CFPA. Contact Sue Edwards at sueedwards79@gmail.com or (610) 717-7202 cell.

Bucks and Eastern Montgomery County, PA Chapters of the Coalition for Peace Action will hold Vigils from 5:00-6:00 PM the day after the 1000th death in front of Rep. Patrick Murphy’s District Offices: 72 North Main Street, Doylestown, PA; and 414 Mill Street in Bristol, PA. Murphy opposed the Iraq War but has supported the US military escalations in Afghanistan. Contact Bill Deckhart at billdeckhart@verizon.net or (215) 380-6804 cell.

The Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA) in Princeton, NJ will hold a Vigil concluding with Candle-lighting the day after the 1000th death from 5:00-6:00 PM at Palmer Square in Princeton, NJ. The names of New Jersey soldiers killed will be read at that event as well. The public is invited to attend, and is encouraged to wear black armbands or clothing to symbolize our mourning. Attendees are also encouraged to bring posters. For further information on either event, contact CFPA at (609) 924-5022 or visit their web site, www.peacecoalition.org.

The Coalition for Peace and Justice’s South Jersey affiliate will hold a Vigil the day after the death of the 1000th American soldier from 6:00-7:00 PM at the little park in Absecon, NJ intersection of routes 9 and 30, across from Burger King. Please bring signs and candles/flashlights. Contact Norm Cohen at 609-601-8583 or 601-8537 or visit www.coalitionforpeaceandjustice.org.

In Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, a Vigil from 4:00-5:00 PM the day after the 1000th death outside the Pennsylvania National Guard Armory, 15th and Allen Streets in Allentown. The Vigil is sponsored by Lehigh Valley Peace Coalition. Contact LEPOCO Peace Center at lepoco@fast.net or (610) 691-8730. The war memorial events will mourn the human and economic cost of war, call for the troops to come home, and support funding an Afghan-led reconstruction of the war-torn country.

“Not one more U.S. or Afghan citizen, military or civilian, should be killed; not one more U.S. dollar should be spent sustaining war and endless occupation in Afghanistan. We are likely to end up just being the latest in a graveyard of empires that have tried to exert control there. Instead of escalating troops in Afghanistan, the U.S. should focus on diplomatic efforts across the region, close monitoring and intelligence to ensure Al Qaida can’t re-establish a base there, and Afghan-led reconstruction of their country,” said the Rev. Robert Moore, CFPA’s Executive Director and Facilitator of United for Peace and Justice, a network of more than 90 groups in the Delaware Valley Region.