By Brian Garvey
As part of a nationwide day of protests, backed by dozens of U.S. antiwar, youth, women’s, religious, Libertarian, progressive, and other groups, MAPA rallied in two locations on Wednesday March 1st, the Quincy office of Congressman Stephen Lynch and the Newton office of Congressman Jake Auchincloss. Activists called for public support for a Yemen War Powers Resolution to end illegal US facilitation of Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen. March 25th marks the sad, eighth anniversary of the Saudi led intervention and blockade of its southern neighbor. Click here to register for a webinar on that day organized by National Peace Action.
Long considered the world’s worst humanitarian crisis by the United Nations, the war has killed an estimated 377,000 people. Intentional airstrikes on food production sites, water treatment facilities, and other civilian infrastructure, as well as a strict land, air, and sea blockade, created a man-made famine (leaving some 17 million people food insecure) and the worst cholera epidemic of modern times. In spite of President Biden’s 2021 promise to end the war, the crisis has worsened during the last two years and the U.S. continues to service the Air Forces of Saudi Arabia and their allies the United Arab Emirates. The Yemen War Powers Resolution would end that essential logistical and mechanical support.
The offices of Representatives Auchincloss and Lynch were chosen for their unwillingness to support a Yemen War Powers Resolution introduced in the last Congress by Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon. That resolution garnered 120 cosponsors, including a majority of the Massachusetts delegation. Its Senate companion, introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders, received early support from both Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey. For the last 11 months airstrikes from the Saudi coalition have been paused, likely influenced by the threat of a resolution that would effectively ground the air forces of the coalition. Although the ruthless blockade continues the abatement of airstrikes has been a godsend to the people of Yemen.
But Congress has yet to reintroduce a Yemen War Powers Resolution in the House of Representatives or the US Senate. Without the threat hanging over them the Saudi government may resume their disastrous air campaign. That cannot be allowed to happen. That’s why groups across the country continue to publicly call for the reintroduction and passage of a Yemen War Powers Resolution. Congressmen Lynch and Auchincloss, and all members of Congress, must take a stand publicly on the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Tell your members of Congress to do their duty and end the war in Yemen.
Brian Garvey is Massachusetts Peace Action’s Assistant Director and a active member of the Raytheon Antiwar Campaign.