Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Writing your representatives about the Western Sahara

I hope that by now you recognize the need for something to be done about the Western Sahara. As the citizens of the most powerful nation in the world, as well as Morocco's greatest ally, we're in a unique position to end the invasion and help the Saharawis achieve self-determination.

The easiest way to help is to write an e-mail to your representative or senator. If you know who your representative and senator is, great--just google their names and go to their contact pages.

But what if you don't? You'll need your zip code, including the 4 digit extension (mine's 1509!). I think knowing the last 4 digits of your zip code is a predictor of future success.

To find your man or woman in the House, go here. The Senate doesn't like things that easy, so you have to go here and CTRL-F your state.

From there, click on their contact page and write them a short, polite, passionate letter about the Western Sahara. Issues you can talk about are:
  • US recognition of Polisario
  • Sanctions against Morocco until a referendum is held
  • Witholding arms shipments to Morocco
If you've got a taste for the stuff, and are disappointed that the United States's lack of proportional representation leaves you with fewer people to contact, you can always hassle other peoples' senators and representatives. Possible candidates for emails include the members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, especially chairmen Richard Lugar and Joe Biden.

Of course, letters alone won't put much pressure on Morocco. But by lobbying your congressmen, you'll lay the groundwork for larger campaigns.

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