Local residents will have the chance to tell one congresswoman, two senators and the entire audience of Santa Barbara’s public access television station how they feel about the United States’ policy on Iran this week, as part of the “Speak Out on Iran” project.

“Speak Out on Iran” Coordinators Mary Jones and Lauren Hanson will videotape local residents discussing their opinions on the relationship between America and Iran, as well as the possibility of an American declaration of war against the Iranian government. Jones said video recording sessions will take place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on April 29 at the Santa Barbara Public Library, on May 2 at Davidson Library and on May 3 at the Santa Barbara City College Library.

The interviews will then be compiled into a video called “Speak Out on Iran.” The video will air on local public access television and be sent to Congresswoman Lois Capps, Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Barbara Boxer. The People to People program on Public Access channel 17 will air the interviews May 10 at 9 p.m.

Jones said the organizers of “Speak Out on Iran” are not affiliated with any political party or group and are more concerned with giving citizens a chance to engage in participatory democracy.

“Lauren and I truly want anyone to come out and say what is on their minds,” Jones said. “Nothing will be edited.”

Hanson said she and Jones organized a similar project, titled “Speak Out on Iraq”, in August 2002.

“I’m really interested to see what the citizens of Santa Barbara have to say,” Hanson said. “Last time, in 2002, we had over 80 people come to speak out and we’re hoping for the same kind of turnout this time.”

Jones said she and Hanson think the public should voice their opinions on Iran now, while they still have the opportunity to influence the government’s policy toward Iran.

“We must stop the Bush Administration from invading Iran, stop the lies.” Jones said. “Is it not madness to use nuclear weapons against a country that has none? Students last week stood up to protest this course of action and students here should do the same. We cannot have another catastrophic war, not again.”

Both Congresswoman Capps’s office and Santa Barbara Public Access TV declined to comment on the Speak Out on Iran project.