- Hundreds of thousands of opponents of a U.S. war against Iraq called and faxed their senators and the White House on Wednesday in a “virtual march on Washington,” jamming many congressional telephone lines for several hours.
Coordinated by the Win Without War Coalition, an umbrella protest group, the action aimed to direct at least one telephone call and fax to every U.S. senator every minute throughout the day. Organizers said they were far exceeding that goal.
The White House switchboard was also flooded and most callers heard a message that “all circuits are busy.”
Tom Andrews, a former Democratic representative from Maine who is running the organization, said more than 500,000 people had signed up on the Internet to take part and a half a million more were also expected to participate without registering on the group’s web site (Moveon.org).
“We have hundreds of thousands of calls and faxes that we know are going in. It’s a first-of-its-kind protest and a tremendous success already,” he said. “People are making their voices heard loud and clear — don’t invade and don’t occupy Iraq.” [Reuters]
Without getting into the merits of their position – a topic much taken up elsewhere on this site – the campaign itself is ineffectual because the government has learned. If it is an organized campaign then the Senators, in this case, recognize it as such and discount the calls, faxes, AND ESPECIALLY EMAILS as just that, an organized campaign and they don’t give the input the same weight or creedence as they would if INDIVIDUALS MADE THE EFFORT ON THEIR OWN. This isn’t grass roots, it’s AstroTurf.