Monthly Archives: March 2005

Challenging Bush’s Empire: The Right to Resist Saturday,

**new speaker added!**

Challenging Bush’s Empire: The Right to Resist Saturday,
March 26, 7pm

Broadway Presbyterian Church
114th St. & Broadway (1/9 trains to 116th St.)

New speaker: Ewa Jasiewicz, organizer with Iraqi oil workers in occupied Basra, member of Iraq Occupation Focus, UK

Brenda Stokely, NYC Labor Against War, recently reinstated President of AFSCME DC 1707*

Kim Rosario, mother of GI stationed in Iraq

Hadas Thier, International Socialist Organization, CCNY student arrested for protesting military recruiters

Lubna Hammad, Columbia University graduate student, member of Stop McCarthyism At Columbia

*for identification purposes only

As the Bush Administration pushes ahead with its self-declared mandate for world domination – under the cover of “spreading democracy” – the Right has simultaneously
launched a concerted campaign to discredit efforts at dissent. A new McCarthyite campaign has begun against professors, especially those of Middle Eastern descent, who
speak out against US foreign policy.  Soldiers who refuse to deploy to Iraq have been branded as cowards and traitors. Inside Iraq, any resistance to the occupation is painted as
fanatical terrorism.

Yet opposition to the war is spreading both inside the US armed forces and among military families, as well as among students who are fighting to keep military recruiters out of
their schools. Despite the lies and intimidation of the Right, polls show that more people oppose the war than ever before. Join us to discuss strategies for how to fight the US drive for empire at home and abroad. For more info, please email nyciso@hotmail.com or call 212-502-0707

Sponsored by the International Socialist Organization
www.socialistworker.org

More information on the speakers:

Ewa Jasiewicz is a Polish-English journalist, writer and activist.  After the US invasion of Iraq, she worked with Iraq Occupation Watch in Baghdad documenting and protesting
the horrors of the US war.  In the following months, she worked with Iraqi trade unionists organizing oil workers in occupied Basra.  In 2004, she was part of a group of activists who traveled to Palestine to take part in solidarity actions to prevent the destruction of Palestinian homes.  She was detained and expelled by Israeli authorities for her solidarity activities.  She currently lives in England and is an activist with Iraq Occupation Focus.

For interviews with and articles by Ewa, please visit:

http://vitw.org/cat/voices-from-iraq/ewa-jasiewicz/

http://www.socialistworker.org/2005-1/534/534_06_EwaJasiewicz.shtml

http://www.streetnewsservice.org/storyPrint.html?StoryID=18995

http://www.progressivetrail.org/articles/040114Jasiewicz.shtml

Brenda Stokely is a long-time labor and social justice activist. She is co-convenor of NYC Labor Against War and the president of NYC public sector union AFSCME, DC 1707. Targeted for her vocal support for and participation in antiwar and other social justice movements, Ms. Stokely was briefly removed as president of her union without a membership election. After going public and gaining widespread support both inside and outside the union, she was recently reinstated as president. For more information on Ms. Stokely’s fight for union democracy, please visit:
http://nyc.indymedia.org/newswire/display/143663/index.php
http://www.socialistworker.org/2005-1/532/532_11_DC1707.shtml
For more information on NYC Labor Against War, please
visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LaborAgainstWar/

Kim Rosario is from the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn and has a 19-year-old son in the US armed forces who has been stationed in Iraq since September, 2004. She has been
speaking out against the war in Iraq as part of the movement to end the occupation. At a recent press conference, she told reporters,  “If you truly support our troops, you want them to come home and be safe, you would speak out and write to politicians, march, you’d protest, because they don’t belong there. Bring the troops home now.”

Hadas Thier is a socialist, a social justice activist and a student at City College. After students twice successfully, and peacefully, forced military recruiters to leave campus,
campus security struck back at the school’s career fair. Student protesters were arrested and brutalized by security guards, slapped with multiple charges and Hadas was suspended from school and barred from the campus. A defense  campaign has been launched to get justice for the students and to make it known that the counter-military recruitment
activity will not stop.  In addition to her recent activites, Hadas has been an anti-war and pro-Palestine activist for a number of years.  Below are some of her articles.
http://www.isreview.org/issues/38/zionism_antisemitism.shtml
http://www.isreview.org/issues/17/Ariel_Sharon.shtml Lubna Hammad is a graduate student at Columbia University and is part of a new campus group, Stop McCarthyism At Columbia (SMAC). SMAC was formed in response to the right-wing attacks on several of Columbia’s professors who were targeted for being critical of US and Israeli military policies. For more information about SMAC’s campaigns, please visit:

http://lists.econ.utah.edu/pipermail/rad-green/2005-March/017657.html
http://www.counterpunch.org/junaid03022005.html
http://www.socialistworker.org/2005-1/533/533_16_RashidKhalidi.shtml

Advertisements

MARCH 19/20 ANTIWAR ACTION REPORTS FROM HUNDREDS OF CITIES (International ANSWER)

MARCH 19/20 ANTIWAR ACTION REPORTS
FROM HUNDREDS OF CITIES

For Immediate Release: March 25, 2005

PRESS CONTACT: Brian Becker, Sarah Sloan
(202) 544-3389, (202) 904-7949

Over 800 cities and towns across the United States held demonstrations
on March 19/20 as part of the Global Day of Action on the second
anniversary of the “shock and awe” invasion of Iraq. More
than 200 of those cities have sent in reports and
photographs on their actions.

The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition is bundling these reports so that they can
receive massive circulation on the internet and elsewhere. Because of
the large number of reports, it is not possible to include them all in
one email. All of the reports, listed in alphabetical order by state,
can be found on the March 19 reports section of the A.N.S.W.E.R.
Coalition website, which also includes a photo album:
http://www.pephost.org/site/R?i=Brk1GGZbbQS72suC2Mm5YQ..

Below is a sampling of the March 19/20 reports and photographs:

San Francisco, California

Trent Willis, President of ILWU Local 10:
“When I looked back from near the front of the march, I
couldn’t see the end. It looked like 30,000 people or more from
the stage in Civic Center. I was very pleased with the march,
especially with the rain and other obstacles.”

In San Francisco, more than 25,000 people marched and rallied. The
crowd in San Francisco swelled as the rain subsided in the late
morning. It took more than 45 minutes for the entire demonstration,
marching on wide streets, to enter the Civic Center Plaza.

The S.F. march included contingents from the labor movement, Glide
Memorial Church, the Palestinian and Arab American community,
students, immigrant rights movement and many other organizations and
communities.

ILWU Local 10, the dockworkers of the International Longshore and
Warehouse Union in the Bay Area, voted to hold their stop-work meeting
on March 19, shutting down Bay Area ports for the day. Lo. 10 also
voted to participate fully in the March 19 demonstration in San
Francisco, and the local’s famed Drill Team led a large labor
contingent in the march.

3-19-05 Global Day of Action – San Francisco-

Photo by A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition

“Our International union voted at the 2003 convention to oppose
the war and occupation on the motion of Local142 Hawaii,” said
Local 10 President Trent Willis, “in keeping with our union’s
ten guiding principles and the ILWU’s tradition which includes
opposing wars like those in Korea, Vietnam and now the Iraq war. Local
10 was also one of the first to come out against the war in
2002.” Willis, who was one of the featured speakers at the Civic
Center rally, said that the number of people who turned out exceeded
his expectations. “When I looked back from near the front of the
march, I couldn’t see the end. It looked like 30,000 people or
more from the stage in Civic Center. I was very pleased with the
march, especially with the rain and other obstacles.”

Among the other speakers were: Rev. Cecil Williams, Glide Memorial
Church; Elias Rashmawi, National Council of Arab Americans; Zeina
Zaatari & Eyad Kishawi, Free Palestine Alliance; Nazila Bargshady,
Silvia Tello & Richard Becker, ANSWER Coalition; S.F. Supervisors
Tom Ammiano and Ross Mirkarimi; Janine Antoine, Bay Area Natives for
Peace & Vanguard Foundation; Tim Paulson-Executive Director and
Walter Johnson-Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus, San Francisco Labor
Council; Barbara Lubin, Middle East Children’s Alliance; Mario Santos,
Alliance for Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines; Maurice
Campbell, Community First Coalition; Kawal Ulanday, BAYAN-USA; Alicia
Jrapko, National Committee to Free the Cuban Five; State
Assemblyperson Mark Leno; Gulf War conscientious objector Aimee
Allison; and Pierre Labossiere, Haiti Action Committee.

Los Angeles, California

Arturo Garcia, director of the Alliance for a Just and Lasting Peace
in the Philippines:
“We were wet because it rained, but it did not dampen the spirit and
militancy of the protesters. The Filipino presence at March 19 was
very large because it is the second front of the so-called ‘war on
terror.’ As part of the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, we were happy to
participate in and build the demonstration because we understand the
importance of uniting to struggle against U.S. imperialism.”

In Los Angeles, 20,000 protesters marched through Hollywood despite
the morning rain, chanting “End the Occupation – Bring the Troops Home
Now!” and holding anti-war signs and banners high. The march included
contingents from the labor movement, youth and students, the
Palestinian and Arab American community, the Filipino community, Cuba
and the Cuban Five, the immigrant rights movement, the women’s
equality movement, the movement to Save King Drew hospital, and many
other organizations and communities.

Many speakers from all sectors of Los Angeles spoke, including Vietnam
veteran Ron Kovic, California State Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg,
Margaret Prescod of Global Women’s Strike, same-sex marriage rights
activist Robin Tyler, Richard Moreno of Global Resistance Network,
Michael Shahin of Free Palestine Alliance, and more.

New York City, New York

Brenda Stokely, President of AFSCME District Council 1707 and
Co-Convener of New York City Labor Against the War:
“It is very important that the demonstration began in Harlem. Not only
because the people of Harlem, and especially its young people, have
had rain on them the costs of militarism, war and racism. Harlem is
also important as a symbol of resistance. Every nationality in New
York was represented in the march from Marcus Garvey Park to Central
Park.”

M19inNYC2

Photo by Troops Out Now Coalition

M19inNYC1

Photo by A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition

The Troops Out Now Coalition reports that more than 15,000 marched
from Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem to Central Park, where thousands
were already gathered.

Excerpted from report:

“As they marched through Harlem, they were greeted by cheers and
applause from the community. People came out of stores and apartments
to join the march. Others hung out of their windows and flashed the
peace sign or raised their fist.

“Speakers at the Central Park Rally included Representative Charles
Rangel, New York City Council Members Margarita Lopez and Charles
Barron, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, and attorney Lynne
Stewart.

“After the Central Park Rally, thousands marched to the Upper East
Side mansion of billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg with the slogan,
‘Fund Cities, Not War!'”

Organizers with the Troops Out Now Coalition announced a May 1 rally
in New York City to demand “Jobs, Not War! Bring the Troops Home Now!”

Fayetteville, North Carolina

David Cline, President of Veterans for Peace and a National
Coordinator of Vietnam Veterans Against the War:
“The Fayetteville demonstration represented veterans taking the
lead in that community. We have to build a broad united front of
all the oppressed peoples in this country, the people who are effected
by the war. Veterans are stepping up to the plate – the veterans from
the past have been steeping up for awhile and now we have the younger
brothers and sisters coming home and stepping up.”

M19inFayetteville1

M19inFayetteville2

North Carolina Peace & Justice Coalition

Photo by Sam Hummel

Excerpted from the North Carolina Peace and Justice Coalition:

“On the Second Anniversary of the War and Occupation of Iraq, over
4,000 people marched and rallied in Fayetteville, NC [home of Fort
Bragg, 82nd Airborne, Special Forces], to Show Real Support for the
Troops: Bring Them Home Now! This was the largest anti-war
demonstration in Fayetteville’s history, and signifies a historic
turning point for the anti-war movement, when military families,
veterans and soldiers take the lead in calling for an end to the
Occupation in Iraq.

“People came from all over: Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina,
Minnesota, DC, Hawaii, New York. At least 20 active duty GIs defied
orders from Ft Bragg to come to listen.

“The NC Peace & Justice Coalition joined with Military Families
Speak Out, Veterans For Peace, Fayetteville Peace with Justice, Quaker
House, Bring Them Home Now, North Carolina Council of Churches, and
United for Peace and Justice as the core sponsors for the March 19
mobilization to Fayetteville. Busloads of people from across the South
poured into Fayetteville. We delivered a compelling and powerful
message against the continuation of the war – That’s REAL support for
the troops.”

Chicago, Illinois

From a speech by Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney of Georgia at the
March 19 rally in Chicago:
“They tell us that this is a war for democracy, but that is a joke
because George Bush came to power by stopping democracy at home,
denying the opportunity to vote to Blacks and Latinos in Florida. In
countries like Haiti they arrested President Aristide and forced him
at gunpoint to leave his own country. While they purport to cherish
democracy, they really have a disdain for it.”

Downtown Chicago from Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile to the heart
of the Loop was an armed camp filled with State, County and City cops
in full riot gear. There were 1,600 to 2,000 police to prevent a
peaceful protest from being seen on the streets where people shopped
on a Saturday afternoon. Instead the armed thugs of the Democratic
Governor and the Democratic Mayor tried to silence protests against
the Bush war machine. Permits had been denied by the city for a
peaceful march and a federal judge backed the denial. Defying threats
of arrests and worse, thousands of protesters turned out to march. It
was hard to get an accurate picture of the size of the crowd due to
the disorganizing tactics of the police, but estimates ranged from
3-5,000. It was a very young crowd.

A permitted rally at Chicago’s Federal Plaza was surrounded on all
sides by the riot geared cops preventing access from several
directions and making everything very difficult. The speakers list was
headed up by Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. Fred Hampton Jr.,
whose father was murdered by the federal and local police, spoke on
behalf of Aaron Patterson, a political prisoner. Juan Torres, whose
son was killed in Afghanistan, spoke out against the U. S. war, as did
Leila Lipscomb who lost her son in Iraq. Maria Salgado, a student at
Senn High School, told of the struggle the students, teachers and
community have waged to keep the federal and city governments from
turning part of their school in to a U.S. Navy training academy.
Aiyinde and Aisa Jean Baptise spoke of the role of the U.S. in Haiti
and Africa; and Gustavo Vasquez of the Bolivarian Circle spoke of U.S.
imperialism’s attacks on the people of Venezuela, Cuba, Colombia
and Latin America. Speakers from Iraq, Iran and elsewhere joined
veterans and community activists in a program chaired by a Palestinian
woman and man.

The event was organized by the Chicago March 19 Action Coalition.

New Paltz, New York

Excerpted from the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter:

“A crowd of 1,700 people – a large proportion of them youth – took
part in an antiwar demonstration in the upstate village of New Paltz
March 19 to commemorate the second anniversary of the unjust, illegal
invasion and occupation of Iraq.

“Some 65 organizations from seven counties participated in the ad hoc
March 19 coalition that sponsored a march and rally in Hasbrouck Park.
The coalition was initiated by the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter
(where a full account of the events will be carried in its next
issue.)

“The rally was followed by a colorful march of 1,200 demonstrators
through village streets, lead by a marching band. Chants such as
“Racist, Sexist, Anti-Gay, Bush and Cheney Go Away!” and the old
favorite, “What do we want? PEACE. When do we want it? NOW,” provided
the sound when the band rested.

“Local news coverage of the event was unusually robust.

“The press accounts estimated the crowd as “hundreds and hundreds,”
but the 1,700 estimate by the organizers is correct. One veteran of
many such events climbed to the top of playground monkey bars nears
the stage and she calculated the size sector by sector to arrive at
this figure. Meanwhile, another activist slowly walked through the
crowd from end to end and independently arrived at the same
conclusion.”

M19inNewPaltz1

Photo by Students Against Empire

Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham had two peace actions: an outdoor rally sponsored by the
Birmingham Peace Project and Pax Christi in Five Points South
featuring poetry from community poets, actors, special ed students and
activists structured around the subject: “You Can’t Win a War Against
Yourself.” The keynote speaker was Priscilla Andrews, state chair of
Military Families Speak Out. Around 125 people attended.

A follow-up event took place at Highland Coffee Company where
actor/singers from The Politically Incorrect Cabaret presented “Brecht
on War,” an hour of antiwar poetry and song with texts by
playwright/poet Bertolt Brecht and composers Hanns Eisler and Kurt
Weill.

Mobile, Alabama

From Citizens for Peace in Mobile, Alabama:

At the announced time for the start of Mobile’s demo at a midtown park
on Saturday about half a dozen deflated folks had gathered. We
speculated that this meager band reflected the decision by many
leading liberals to quietly go AWOL from the anti-war camp. But
gradually more came. The sign-up sheet contains many new names,
several of them young, perhaps indicating the arrival of the early
breezes of a following draft. And a couple of Protestant clergy
appeared for probably the first time since Citizens for Peace began
holding rallies at this site over two years ago. (Some Catholic nuns
have routinely come, though rarely–if ever–any priests.)

The most present at any one time during the two-hour vigil was about
30, who held posters up to the traffic on two major streets that pass
the park. About 40 or 50 different people participated at some time
during the afternoon. This was comparable to the turn out on
inauguration day in January, when more people with an explicitly
Democratic Party allegiance came to mourn or protest W’s second term.
On Saturday one new participant requested a sign saying Republicans
Against the War, and we dashed one off on the spot for him.

As usual, the majority of drivers in passing cars pretended we were
invisible and concentrated on staring straight ahead as they passed
(and even while trapped right in front of us by red lights) But among
those who acknowledged our existence far more were supportive than
opposed, as before. And the proportion among all passing vehicles
willing to honk or wave their support was highest ever. Everybody
present who had attended previous demonstrations at the park agreed
about this.

Phoenix, Arizona

Our group was small in comparison to many around the country but it
was the largest we have ever had. We represent Grandmothers for Peace
International in Phoenix AZ. On Saturday we had a great group of
grandmothers, grandfathers, children and grandchildren. It was rainy
and chilly but that did not deter our group from coming out to show
their support for ending the war. We also had great support from
people driving by who honked and waved and gave us thumbs up and the
peace sign. Of course we also had the disgruntled who wanted us to
leave the country. But their numbers were small compared to the
support. It was amazing!

Tucson, Arizona

About 350 people gathered at 10AM in Catalina Park in the drizzle
(after a huge thunderstorm the hour before) to hear the Raging
Grannies, several speakers, and a folksinger Then the weather cleared
and the crowd continued the anti-war protest in a colorful and loud
Peace March down the street from near downtown/4th Ave., through the
University of Arizona Campus, past the ROTC Building, and finally down
Speedway where heavy Saturday morning traffic honked and cheered us on
for about a mile until we reached the Recruiters’ Center where we held
signs and chanted up and down both sides of the street for another
hour or so until 1PM.

The response from the public was tremendous for the most part with the
inevitable few uglies thrown in for spice.

700 people protested when Bush was in Tucson on Monday, March 21 at
10AM at the Tucson Community Center to fearmonger about Social
Security. The protest was held by all local progressives and
Democrats.

Chico, California

The Chico Enterprise Record, the main newspaper in Chico, carried a
front page article on Sunday covering the March 19 protest. Chico and
Redding, CA peace vigils/demonstrations were also covered by several
local TV news networks.

Cloverdale, California

We had 50 wonderful souls who braved the inclement weather and stood
outside in the rain, cold, and wind. We marched with banners and signs
calling for the end of the war, and for peace, and called out the
names of our fallen soldiers from 1-3 pm in the afternoon. Many, many
passers-by, in their cars, honked in approval of support.

Eureka, California

Over 2,000 people marched in pouring rain and gale winds in Eureka
this Saturday. It was dangerous to use a microphone so speakers had to
raise their voices above the storm. People sang, chanted and danced as
they progressed through Eureka to the beat of drums and a marching
band. Flags of many countries which had spoken out against the war
were on display.

* * * * *

The Times-Standard newspaper reported over 1,000 marchers in our tiny
neck of the woods. March organizers estimated somewhere over 2,000
people in a furious downpour and winds which let up briefly while the
march itself was on the streets. The people who showed up on such a
stormy day were SERIOUS! Most pre- and post-march activities had to be
canceled due to weather.

Fort Bragg / Mendocino Coast, California

There were at least 55 people involved in support of the march in San
Francisco on March 19. The weather was not cooperative, but it didn’t
dampen anyone’s spirits.

Fresno, California

The Modesto Peace and Life Center joined the Rally in the Valley in
Fresno, CA on March 19th. Forty different organizations helped support
the rally. There were about 500 people there. Some of the speakers
were a mother of a slain soldier in Iraq from Tracy, CA and a
returning Marine. It was good to see so many groups and people from a
generally conservative area.

Gualala, California

A small group of 7 women stood outside the post office in the tiny
coastal town of Gualala, CA (pop. 585) with a sign that said, “Support
Our Troops, Bring Them Home”. They were harassed by one angry white
male in a pickup truck. They were supported by numerous drivers who
honked as they passed by the women and their sign.

Mount Shasta, California

Some 20 Mount Shasta Peace Activists showed up in a steady gentle rain
which eventually waned enough to participate without getting too wet
or cold. We gathered at Mount Shasta City Plaza at 12 Noon, carrying
signs and interacting with the public driving and walking by. Most
(about 70%) were supportive with thumbs up or peace signs extended and
there were a few other gestures of disagreement. Our united vigil
ended after about an hour and participants departed with a sense of
having made a statement against the war.

Placerville, California

About 20 kids protested along highway 50 in the rain on March 19,
2005. We got our picket signs and as many people as we could and
protested.

Sacramento, California

On the second anniversary of the invasion in Iraq, a group numbering
around 50 ignored rain and enjoyed the support of thousands of
passers-by at the busy intersection of Fulton and Marconi in
Sacramento to protest the war in Iraq.

Organized by Sacramento Peace Action as part of ongoing vigils and
protests throughout the city every week, the event was poorly covered
by news media. The only TV station was Channel 3 – a print media
person didn’t mention his affiliation and had no cameraman.

San Diego, California

The San Diego’s Union-Tribune on Sunday had a “pointer” to an article
covering the rally on Page One, and the story was on Page 14, with a
3-column photo accompanying it.

San Jose, California

Despite intermittent rain showers, 2,000 people joined a spirited
march from the CalTrain station to a rally in Cesar Chavaz Park in San
Jose on March 20. The march was led by a militant contingent of youth
from BAYAN-USA Northern California. Among the speakers at the rally
were Hatam Bazian, a professor from the University of California at
Berkeley, who has been targeted by right-wing Zionist forces; Richard
Becker, from the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition; George Johnson, a Vietnam vet
and member of Veterans for Peace; a mother of a soldier killed in
Iraq, and representatives from labor and student groups. The march was
sponsored by the Peninsula/South Bay Peace Council, a new coalition
made up of several dozen peace and social justice organizations.

* * * * *

On Sunday, March 20th, 2,000 people from the Peninsula and the South
Bay joined over 800 communities and cities across the nation this
weekend to protest this illegal, immoral war and demand peace and an
immediate end to the War on Iraq.

It was under the pouring rain in downtown San Jose that everyone
shouted, “It can rain, it can pour, but we want an end to this
bloody war.” Dennis Kyne, a veteran of Gulf War I, started off
the event by singing anti-war songs at the San Jose Diridon Train
Station. The march began after over 1,000 more people from all over
the Bay Area arrived via the Peace Train at the train station. As they
arrived, over 500 young people, organized by Bayan, shouted energetic
chants to get everyone fired up.

When we arrived at the War Memorial, more than 2,500 people listened
to Nadia McCaffrey speak, who lost her son in the war (her only
child). She said, “I am on a mission and I will not stop until we end
this war.”

At Cesar Chavez Plaza, Richard Becker from A.N.S.W.E.R., Hatem Bazian
from Univ. of California, Larry Siegle from Mountain View Voices for
Peace, Samina Faheem from American Muslim Voice, Troy from Silicon
Valley Debug, Roshan Pour Abdullah from Iranians for Human Rights, and
many others all gave powerful speeches. And we thank Paul George from
Peninsula Peace and Justice Center and Amie from San Jose State Univ
Greens who both did a fantastic job as MCs throughout the rally.

* * * * *

Sunday’s March for Peace & Justice started with very nasty
weather. The deluge did not dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd.
Instead, as spring rain does, it nourished and enriched the resolve of
those gathered. The March made a brief stop at the Veterans Memorial
on its way to Plaza de Cesar Chavez. Nadia McCaffrey (mother of a
soldier killed in Iraq) marched and spoke at the Peace rally. The
gathering was multilingual. The lively, younger (multi-ethnic)
generation was well represented. A new twist on “protest songs” really
livened-up the soggy gathering. More than 35 Peace Organizations
endorsed/participated in the event organized by the Peninsula/South
Bay Peace Coordinating Council.

Willits, California

Population 5,000. Greeting folks headed down the to SF rally on Hwy.
101.

Fort Collins, Colorado

Nearly 250 people marched against the war here Saturday.

Danbury, Connecticut

13 of us showed up in a cold rain yesterday in Danbury, CT. Colin
Cascia from the Danbury Independent Media Center and Chris Towne from
Youth For Justice were the organizers of this vigil.

Hartford, Connecticut

It was democracy at its finest on March 19. About 1,000 demonstrators
lined the poverty stricken streets of Hartford on the 2nd anniversary
of George W. Bush’s big mistake. A rally was held at the end of the
march where many great speakers voiced their opinions and concerns.
Also, some great folk music was played that was very touching to all
who listened.

————–

All of the reports from cities and towns across the country, as well as
the photo album, can be viewed at
http://www.pephost.org/site/R?i=Dm4sS_le0Gy72suC2Mm5YQ..

PRESS CONTACT: Brian Becker, Sarah Sloan
at (202) 544-3389, (202) 904-7949

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
http://www.ANSWERcoalition.org
info [at] internationalanswer.org
National Office in Washington DC: 202-544-3389
For media inquiries, call 202-544-3389.

March 19/20 AntiWar Action (ANSWER)

http://answer.pephost.org/site/News2?abbr=ANS_&page=NewsArticle&id=6037

March 19/20 AntiWar Action
Reports from hundreds of cities Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Help break through the media blockade of the March 19/20 demonstrations!

The big business mass media suppressed or downplayed coverage of the March 19 antiwar protests that took place in more than 800 cities and towns throughout the United States. Many of these demonstrations were the largest in that local area in some time. Every progressive movement is confronted with the problem that the mainstream media represents the political establishment of society. We have to count on ourselves to spread the word – and that’s just what the movement is doing. More than 150 cities have sent in reports and photographs so that they can be circulated by others. The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition is bundling these reports so that they can receive massive circulation on the internet and elsewhere.

Spread the word! Please forward this email to friends.

Because of the large number of reports, it is not possible to include them all in one email. All of the reports, listed in alphabetical order by state, can be found on the March 19 reports section of the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition website, which also includes a photo album.

Join the A.N.S.W.E.R. email list to receive updates such as these (low volume).

Below is a sampling of the March 19/20 reports and photographs:

New York City, New York

Brenda Stokely, President of AFSCME District Council 1707 and Co-Convener of New York City Labor Against the War:
“It is very important that the demonstration began in Harlem. Not only because the people of Harlem, and especially its young people, have had rain on them the costs of militarism, war and racism. Harlem is also important as a symbol of resistance. Every nationality in New York was represented in the march from Marcus Garvey Park to Central Park.”

M19inNYC2
Photo by Troops Out Now Coalition

M19inNYC1
Photo by A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition

The Troops Out Now Coalition reports that more than 15,000 marched from Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem to Central Park, where thousands were already gathered.

Excerpted from report:

“As they marched through Harlem, they were greeted by cheers and applause from the community. People came out of stores and apartments to join the march. Others hung out of their windows and flashed the peace sign or raised their fist.

“Speakers at the Central Park Rally included Representative Charles Rangel, New York City Council Members Margarita Lopez and Charles Barron, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, and attorney Lynne Stewart.

“After the Central Park Rally, thousands marched to the Upper East Side mansion of billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg with the slogan, ‘Fund Cities, Not War!'”

Organizers with the Troops Out Now Coalition announced a May 1 rally in New York City to demand “Jobs, Not War! Bring the Troops Home Now!”

Bring The Troops Home Now! (Workers World)

http://www.workers.org/2005/us/march-19-0331/

Bring the troops home now!’
By Deirdre Griswold
New York
Published Mar 20, 2005 12:02 AM

As the brutal occupation of Iraq grinds on after two years of death and destruction, its toll on working-class youth and the growing impoverishment of already oppressed communities is reshaping the anti-war movement in the United States. “Why Harlem?” asked emcee Nellie Bailey of the Harlem Tenants Council. “Because when other communities catch a cold, the Harlems of this country catch pneumonia.”

“Why Harlem?” asked emcee Nellie Bailey of the Harlem Tenants Council. “Because when other communities catch a cold, the Harlems of this country catch pneumonia.”

A demonstration here on March 19, the anniversary of the day two years ago when the Pentagon began its “shock and awe” campaign, reflected this change when it began in Harlem, the historic cultural center for African Americans.

“Why Harlem?” asked emcee Nellie Bailey of the Harlem Tenants Council. “Because when other communities catch a cold, the Harlems of this country catch pneumonia.” The march strectched for 15 blocks.

The march strectched for 15 blocks.

After a rally at Marcus Garvey Park opened by Brenda Stokely, leader of the daycare workers’ union and an organizer of the Million Worker Movement, some 15,000 people of all nationalities marched through streets where boarded-up brownstones face gentrified new housing too expensive for the average Harlem resident.

Stretching 15 blocks, the march passed an armed forces recruiting center on 125th Street, where the chant went up, “Bring the troops home now” and “Armed forces out of Harlem.” It then proceeded to the “Barrio” of largely Latin@ East Harlem before winding up in Central Park, where thousands more anti-war folks already attending the rally there cheered the arrival of the Harlem contingent. Later, protesters marched down to the Fifth Avenue mansion of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire supporter of the Bush administration, for a third and final rally.

The Troops Out Now coalition, which organized the protest, represents a coming together of anti-war and intervention groups like the International Action Center (IAC) with community groups fighting poverty, police brutality and homelessness, as well as the dynamic new Black-led organization of militant trade unionists, the Million Worker Movement.

A constant theme of speakers, placards and chants was how the price tag for the war and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and the funding of Israel’s occupation of Palestine are taking funds away from education, health care, housing and other social needs. Budget cuts in social services are drying up major sources of jobs, too, leaving young people in poor communities vulnerable to the false promises of military recruiters.

Now soldiers returning from these wars find that even veterans’ benefits have been cut. A number of veterans, as well as soldiers resisting deployment to Iraq, spoke of how no one should be forced to fight in a “rich man’s war.”

Embattled activists like attorney Lynne Stewart–who faces a 30-year sentence in a case widely seen as a government attempt to intimidate lawyers from defending those it calls “terrorists”–and a group from City College arrested for protesting military recruitment on campus all received impassioned applause. “Dying in Iraq is not a job opportunity!” said one of the students, promising that resistance to military recruitment on campuses will grow.

The crowd warmly greeted speakers representing other nationalities–Filipino, Korean, Iraqi, Palestinian, Iranian, Venezuelan and Haitian–who exposed U.S. imperialism’s crimes in their countries and called for international solidarity in the struggle for a world without racism or imperialist exploitation. There was broad support for resistance to intervention and occupation.

The poetry, music and rhythms of Harlem were felt throughout the day as young hip hop artists and singers translated the political yearnings of their communities into spoken word and song.

Long-time opponents of imperialist aggression like Professor Howard Zinn and IAC founder Ramsey Clark were interspersed with a rising generation of new activists.

This new coalition of forces is already planning its next move. Larry Holmes of the coalition and the IAC announced that Troops Out Now and the Million Worker Movement will jointly sponsor a May Day demonstration this year at Union Square, the historic gathering place for worker militants in New York. As the war in Iraq becomes ever more a war against the workers here, all eyes will be on this important revival of the class struggle in a form that corresponds to the multinational character of today’s working class.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4364305.stm

20 March, 2005, 00:22 GMT
Worldwide protests mark Iraq war

Protests have been taking place across the world marking two years since the start of the war in Iraq.

Thousands turned out in Japan and Australia to complain about their countries’ involvement in Iraq.

Protest marches took place around Europe and similar events occurred in cities across the US.

In a radio address, US President George W Bush defended the war, saying it took place “to disarm a brutal regime, free its people, and defend the world”.

More than 4,500 people marched in Tokyo during a visit by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

“The Self-Defence Force [Japan’s military] should withdraw from Iraq immediately… and the occupation of Iraq should be stopped,” said Ken Takada, a member of civic group World Peace Now.

I think it’s outrageous what Blair and Bush think they can get away with John Salway Protester, London

In pictures: Iraq protests

Japan has about 550 troops in southern Iraq in a non-combat role.

In Canberra and other Australian cities, protesters marched against what they called the “coalition of the killing”.

Australia recently announced the deployment of a further 450 soldiers to Iraq.

In Greece, unions and left-wing groups organised marches on the streets of Athens.

An organiser said 5,000 people took part, while police put the figure at 2,000.

“Bush, the number one terrorist,” said leaflets being passed out to marchers.

‘Mess’

One of the biggest marches of the day was in London.

Anti-war protester in Pakistan Protests also took place in Pakistan

Organisers say 100,000 people took part, while police put the figure at 45,000.

Two former British soldiers left a cardboard coffin outside the US embassy, inscribed with the words: “100,000 dead”.

“I think it’s outrageous what Blair and Bush think they can get away with,” said John Salway, 59.

While some said they wanted British and US forces to withdraw from Iraq, others disagreed.

“We got the Iraqis into this mess, we need to help them out of it,” said Kit MacLean, 29.

The UK has about 8,000 troops in Iraq.

In Istanbul, Turkey, an estimated 15,000 people marched against the war, while in Stockholm, Sweden, about 300 people turned out to display their anger.

Anti-war protesters in New York There are around 150,000 US troops in Iraq

Thousands also took to the streets in several US cities. Some of them bore coffins draped with the country’s flag.

But correspondents say the US demonstrations were far smaller than previous protests against the war.

“I think Bush’s re-election took the steam out of the anti-war movement,” said New York activist Michael Letwin.

Demonstrators also gathered in San Francisco, Chicago and other cities to hear anti-war speeches.

The US has around 150,000 troops in Iraq.

NYCLAW Flyer: U.S. OUT OF IRAQ! BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW!

[Download formatted version: 31905-labor-flyer]

New labor endorsers:
Troy Area Labor Council
National Writers Union/UAW Local 1981

——————–

Sat., March 19, 2005 – Labor Says:

U.S. OUT OF IRAQ!
BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
End War & Occupation in Palestine, Afghanistan, Around the World!
Fund Jobs, Health Care & Schools – Not War!
Fight Racism – Defend Immigrant, Civil & Labor Rights!

NYC: LABOR CONTINGENT
Assemble 10 a.m. at Marcus Garvey Park, Madison Ave. & 122 St.
(directly across from North General Hospital – 2/3/4/5/6 &
Metro-North trains to 125 St.). March to Central Park’s East
Meadow (97 St. & 5 Ave. – 6 train to 96 St.) for 12 Noon rally.
Details: nyclaw@comcast.net, 917-282-0139, <http://www.troopsoutnow.org/>.

FAYETTEVILLE, NC: ANTIWAR MILITARY FAMILIES & VETS
Home of Fort Bragg, 82nd Airborne, Special Forces.
Bus tickets: 212-868-5545.
Additional info: <www.NCpeacejustice.org>

Labor endorsers of 3/19 NYC Demo (List in Formation):

AFSCME L. 205, DC 37
AFSCME L. 375, DC 37
AFSCME L. 1930, DC 37 (NY Public Library Guild)
AFSCME L. 2627, DC 37
AFM L. 1000
Assn. of Mexican American Workers
Black Telephone Workers for Justice
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists-NY
Guyanese-American Workers United
Million Worker March
National Writers Union/UAW Local 1981
National Writers Union, UAW L. 1981-NJ Chap.
NJ Labor Against the War
NYC Labor Against the War (NYCLAW)
Postal Workers Against the War
Transit Workers Against the War
UFTers to Stop the War
1199ers for Peace and Justice
NY Taxi Workers Alliance
Troy Area Labor Council
Brenda Stokely, Pres., AFSCME DC 1707*
Michael Letwin, Former Pres., UAW L. 2325*
Larry Adams, Former Pres., NPMHU L. 300*
Susan E. Davis, Pres, Ext. Org., UAW L. 1981*
(*Org. listed for ID only)

Issued by:
NYC Labor Against the War (NYCLAW)
nyclaw@comcast.net, 917-282-0139

NYCLAW Statement

3.19: NYCLAW Statement

Statement of Michael Letwin
Co-Convener, New York City Labor Against the War
Former President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325
Troops Out Now Coalition Rally Central Park, NYC — March 19, 2005

The U.S. war in Iraq has never had anything to do with finding weapons of mass destruction or Al-Qaeda; it has brought neither liberation nor democracy.

From day one, it has been a naked grab for oil and empire. It is part and parcel of the Bush administration’s shameless exploitation of 9/11 to promote unjust wars and occupation in Afghanistan, Palestine, Haiti and abroad, and to assault immigrants, workers, and civil liberties at home.

It has brought neither liberation nor democracy — only death, torture, devastation and oppression.

Like Vietnam, this war is thoroughly bipartisan — from Democratic support for the invasion of Afghanistan and the Patriotic Act, to John Kerry’s pro-war presidential candidacy, to this week’s overwhelming Congressional passage of $81 billion more for the war.

It has inflicted countless civilian casualties and bred vicious racism. It has killed more than 1500 G.I.s. and maimed thousands of others.

But there is hope. The U.S. government lost in Vietnam because that war inevitably bred anti-colonial resistance, mass protest at home, and a G.I. mutiny that crippled the most powerful war machine the world had ever seen.

Today, the United States is losing in Iraq because *this* unjust war also breeds resistance.

We see that resistance when ordinary Iraqis fight back the U.S. occupation and its collaborators. That’s why the U.S. hasn’t been able to invade Iran or Syria.

We have seen it reflected in the largest mass protests in world history; in Burlington, Vermont’s vote of a few weeks ago to bring the troops home now; in the growing counter-recruitment movement; and in Italy’s announced troop withdrawal.

We see it in the unions — including AFSCME, postal workers, communication workers, mail handlers, and SEIU — that have come out against this war.

We have seen it in the growing number of American G.I.s — workers in uniform — who are quitting at the end of their enlistments, refusing to fight, going AWOL or deserting, and in the rising number of teenagers who are refusing to join up in the first place.

And as we stand here in New York City, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out and other vets and military families are leading antiwar protests in Fayetteville, North Carolina, home of the huge Army base at Ft. Bragg. Let’s give them a strong shout-out.

So don’t lose heart. Together, we have:

*The power to end U.S. occupation in Iraq.

*The power to end imperial war and occupation in Afghanistan, in Palestine, in the Philippines, in Colombia, in Korea, in Haiti, in Puerto Rico — and across the globe.

*The power to fight against the war being waged at home against workers, immigrants, civil rights and civil liberties.

Bring the Troops Home Now!