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Knocking On the Door of an Empty House

mo2.gifLast week six antiwar activists were arrested for refusing to leave Representative Loretta Sanchez’s office overnight (read Andrew’s post here). The group Military Families Speak Out and Code Pink sought to ask Loretta Sanchez to sign a pledge to stop funding the Iraq Occupation.

This blog was buzzing with debate after the arrests—with most commenters falling into one of two categories. Some thought that Sanchez (a member of the majority party) should sign a pledge to stop funding the occupation. Others thought that activists should focus on a congressperson that has voted in favor of this war (unlike Sanchez).

Again this afternoon, local activists were focusing on the 47th Congressional District. Members from released a report called “War at Home” that highlights the cost of the Iraq War to residents in every congressional district, and they held a protest in the 47th and gathered signatures on the report.

I stopped by the MoveOn protest to snap a few photos and I ran into a friend of mine that was arrested last week at Sanchez’s office. I asked her why there is so much attention on the 47th…especially considering that Rohrabacher and Royce are our neighbors. Her response was that protesting at Rohrabacher’s and Royce’s office was like “knocking on the door of an empty house.”

The empty house analogy is one of the better arguments I’ve heard from the protester that have been focusing so much energy on a congress person that has been pretty supportive of the local antiwar activists.

According to the MoveOn report that they published today, the Iraq war has cost residents of the 47th Congressional district $935 million. “Every day the war goes on means more of our hard earned tax dollars are wasted on an endless religious civil war that can’t be won,” said Karen Malley, a local MoveOn member that was at the protest on Euclid and Garden Grove Boulevard this afternoon.

Today or tomorrow the MoveOn members will deliver the report to Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s Garden Grove office.

Read the report here.
There are a couple more photos after the break.




  1. Flowerszzz Flowerszzz August 16, 2007

    Mike – dont get me wrong I am no Loretta fan…but isn’t it kinda silly to protest someone who is on your side? Does that not seem backwards to anyone else but me? I mean they would get mor accomplished (maybe) protesting at South Coast Plaza or something. Please someone splain the logic?

  2. Stanley Mosk Stanley Mosk August 16, 2007

    Perhaps you misheard the metaphor, Mike.
    Seems to me MFSO is knocking DOWN the door of the house where someone who supports them resides, rather than bothering to try the door of someone who might not be as friendly.

  3. Andrew Davey Andrew Davey August 17, 2007


    Good point. Again, as much as I usually support groups like MFSO and Code Pink in all they do, I don’t see why they’d ignore their adversaries to harass their allies. So they feel like they’re “knocking on an empty door” with all the Reeps? OK then, WORK TO DEFEAT THEM NEXT YEAR! Recruit candidates to run against Rohrabacher and Royce and all the other Reeps, and help these challengers defeat the Reeps.

    I don’t know why we should leave the Reeps alone while we give Loretta hell. She’s on our side, but the Reeps are NOT. So why don’t we try to defeat the Reeps instead of defeating Loretta?

  4. Claudio Gallegos Claudio Gallegos August 17, 2007

    Flowerszzz, stop it, we are agreeing too much.

    There is no logic to these misguided protests. As I have said, all this does is piss off potential allies, and leaves you with no allies in the end. These styles of protest only alientates them from Sanchez more and more and they will have no chance to influence the process. Of course many of them are the very reason we have this war, they voted for Nader and thus helped elect Bush.


  5. Mike Lawson Mike Lawson Post author | August 17, 2007


    I agree with most of what you said…but you know that Nader votes in California had nothing to do with electing Bush.

  6. grouchomarxist grouchomarxist August 17, 2007

    Most ppl driving by simply saw this as anti-Bush and honked accordingly. The event was organized by Move-on, not MFSO. Finally, Sanchez may look like a Democrat to those raised behind the Orange Curtain, but she must still take responsibility for her latest vote. She is an elected official, her constituents have a right to try to change her vote. Finally,the protesters did a little more than sit and type. Tho they also serve who only sit and type.

  7. Mike Lawson Mike Lawson Post author | August 17, 2007


    If you read the article a little more closely you’ll see that I was talking about 2 events. One organized by Code Pink and MFSO and another event organized by MoveOn.

  8. Stanley Mosk Stanley Mosk August 17, 2007

    “HER CONSTITUENTS” certainly do have that right, GM.
    But it appears that only one of the protesters who were arrested resides in the district.

  9. grouchomarxist grouchomarxist August 17, 2007

    Mike -ya smeared em both with the same brush. Stanley- oops, I guess I’m wrong. Just one , that fool shoulda stayed home. Anyhoo, the Greens certainly deserve some Bronx cheers for their enabling of the New Red Menace, tho vote-rigging fraud helped a wee bit as well. My criticism of armchair activists stands. As a long-term participant of the Orange Circle Wed. nite demos, I have seen the tide reverse as far as the Shrub’s approval goes.. 3 yrs ago, student participants were attacked, we faced an overwhelmingly hostile car-bound population, and counter-demonstrators swelled the ranks of the demos. Now it’s about 10 to 1 for us to judge by thumbs up , honks, and peace signs flashed by grannies to truckers.
    Oh- and the kids in the back seat have always flashed us the peace sign. Ah
    the wisdom of youth. Let’s hope they aren’t crushed by Mickey,the malls, and television.

  10. Karen Malley Karen Malley August 17, 2007

    Although I worked to elect Loretta and haven’t completely given up on her yet >>> this rally was an event which released a report which showed the cost of the war to each congressional district. Move-On coordinated them across the country. Is it my fault that not one other person in the OC would host an event???? And I live in Loretta’s district, so our report was geared to the 47th district. But after I heard that she insisted she would not pass by the chance to bring money to California by voting against the war funding in Sept, I didn’t mind throwing these facts around. Yes, she had been one of the better people in OC, but that’s blood money, and I’m hoping to turn her head on this one. Now get these reports for your Rohrbachers and whoever represents you, and get moving showing their constituents what services they are missing out on because of the COST of WAR.

  11. FLowerszzz FLowerszzz August 17, 2007

    Claudio – WOW….it’s gettng a bit scary…lol 😉

    Karen – I personally could are less if you protest Ms. Sanchez….I just think it is a poor choice to promote your cause. It just makes no sense to anyone and everyone is sitting back scratching their heads. But hey…protest away….I love that it shows poor organization on your part.

  12. grouchomarxist grouchomarxist August 17, 2007

    Everyone scratching equals th 20-30 dorks who follow the OC blogosphere. About 2000 cars passed by the demo. It’s general anti-shrubbism, into the OC it has crept. And God Bless Mickey!

  13. t for tell it like it is t for tell it like it is August 17, 2007

    Most of you DO just sit and type, just talking back and forth, up and down, while the occupation you might not explicitly support rages on, mostly because none of your family members have perished in it (and Art, I really doubt you’re going to blame a group of protesters in Garden Grove if your cousin dies 13,000 miles away). And you don’t have any Iraqi friends, so you don’t care if their family members and friends in Iraq are going through hell on earth, what with internal displacement and panic-stricken firespray from US troops for lack of rigid rules of engagement.

    And the troops? They’ve been coralled into a country where they can’t go home unless “the umphteenth mission’s complete” and they search and destroy and suppression-fire just to survive. Most of them want to come home. Should we ignore them, those brave men & women, because politicians are afraid other people will be out of a job? How many 47th CD constituents work in the defense industry anyway?

    Please! Knock some sense into one another.

    The employment issue and ubiquitous campaign promise to bring more jobs to [insert state] is a perrenial one. We will forever and ever have to confront that issue for as long as capitalism exists and evolves, and industries and corporations rise and fall. But Iraq is a more urgent issue and the golden opportunity to change course is in September. Why would you pass that opp up for something we could rehash in a stand-alone legislation or amendment C-17 buliding?

    And the new argument that arose out of this discussion thread that voting for C-17 building and thereby protecting defense jobs is pro-working families and not pro-war is oh-so-convenient. If she’s really pro-working families, then consider the big picture, the long term. Troops that are returning from combat with PTSD and TBI are going to need so much care, tax money from hardworking families and their kids’ families will go to pay for that while not having sufficient health care themselves, money for a higher education, what have we.

    Also, there’s a recent report stating that veterans from other campaigns are (re-)experiencing PTSD upon seeing images of combat in Iraq. C’mon, people, get with it! Our current Iraq policy is bankrupting us, dollars and sanity! Blue collar families ARE going to suffer if we let this occupation continue. What’s more, to allow Loretta to vote yes in order to maintain defense jobs is to give a nod to the military-industrial-prison-complex, at which so many of you scrunch your faces but don’t really care what devastation lies in its wake so long as all four limbs are intact.

    Walk the talk and stop making excuses! It’s killing someone you don’t know.

    Her default vote for further funding combat ops in Iraq and Afghanistan would do more damage than voting yes to “better” equip our troops and provide defense jobs. No matter how you slice it, our troops in Iraq will almost certainly still be underequipped, because they’ve been since 2003. Hello, it’s 2007! If you think it’s all right for servicemembers to have to buy scrap metal from an Iraqi junkyard to armor their vehicles, then see if Loretta’s YEA vote will do anything to change that. Yeah, right?

    Light Bulb, do you work for Loretta? You said it’s impossible for anything “to change your simple little minds as you only see the world in black and white”… hmm, and YOU don’t? Just because you prize Loretta over Dornan and her leadership abilities, does that mean you should sit back and give her carte blanche? I wish I could get a full-time job that I could keep without periodic reviews for pay raises, even with customer complaints. Just because you have a crush on her, Light Bulb, doesn’t mean others have to take the blue pill.

    Light Bulb, you further elucidate, “Oh and the reason you were finally arrested was to make way for the constituents coming into the office the following morning. In case you forgot, it’s not all about you and your cause. Does the hard-working, blue-collar constituent that is going through a separate crises suffer less because you say so?” The only people who’d know “why” we got arrested would have to either work there or know someone who works there.

    In response to same, I love how people who don’t agree with us peace activists just put words in our mouths. Many of you here, you’re folks OK with the status quo. You might wish things were different, e.g. the war never started, but you sure as hell don’t do anything to effectively make things different. You’re badmouthing Reeps as you call them (what a cultish term by the way) has already been recorded and entered into the annals of hate-for-Other history. What’s left on the to-do list is to defend, deny, and defend–the likes of Loretta no matter how much shit’s hit the fan.

    Politics is like sports entertainment. And there’s a pathology that characterizes any hard-core fan. Once you’ve chosen your favorite player, you wear their jersey, use their name in some account password, and say you’re rooting for the underdog when the player fares poorly. Loretta is faring poorly, and we peace activists see that.

    But at the same time, we recognize she has potential that other OC reps don’t. She’s a Congresswoman whose votes affect all of OC and the entire country for that matter. So if I’m going to protest something that’s affecting everybody resulting from or that might result from her vote, she’s fair game. Accept it and get over it, you 47th CD elitists.

  14. Publius Publius August 17, 2007

    “but you sure as hell don’t do anything to effectively make things different.”

    It is my heartfelt, well-considered opinion that protesting at the office of an elected representative who votes against the war MOST of the time is not an EFFECTIVE way to change things either.
    You certainly are welcome to disagree.

    The protesters were arrested at 8:15 am at an office that opens to serve the public at 8:30 am. I believe someone used some deductive reasoning on that one.

  15. Northcountystorm Northcountystorm August 18, 2007

    Publius- If you could get through the tell it like it isn’t rant without dozing off you’re a better man then I. Lack of clarity, lack of analysis, heavy on polemics, and, as always, light on taking on the Republicans who vote for the war every time. Its rants like these that remind me why this gang that can’t shoot straight can’t find people who actually live in the 47th Congressional District to jump off the intellectual and ideological cliff with them.

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