NYCLAW Remarks for UNAC Antiwar Rally, New York City (April 9, 2011)

Remarks by Michael Letwin
New York City Labor Against the War, and Labor for Palestine
For UNAC Antiwar Rally, New York City, April 9, 2011

Today’s protest is part of a badly needed rebirth of grassroots antiwar activism in the United States. Why are we here?

We are here because the Obama administration has continued to wage bipartisan wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Colombia — and beyond.

We are here because those wars have killed millions of people abroad; caused tens of thousands of G.I. casualties; generated racism and repression; and inflicted terrible economic suffering on poor and working people at home.

We are here because the U.S. government continues to provide $3 billion a year for F-15s, F-16s and Apache helicopters with which apartheid Israel murdered more than 1400 Palestinians in Gaza in 2008-2009, and which it has killed 14 more in just the past two days.

We are here because our government — while shedding crocodile tears — has equipped bloody dictatorships in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Bahrain to slaughter unarmed pro-democracy protesters.

We are here because — under the absurd pretext of “humanitarianism” — it has launched a new war that is hijacking, corrupting, poisoning and killing the Libyan revolution.

We are here because, just as during Vietnam, these wars are also paid for by economic crisis for poor and working people at home.

In response, we reaffirm Dr. Martin Luther King’s courageous 1967 condemnation of “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today, my own government.”

The Democratic Party wasn’t a solution then, and it isn’t now. Just as the Vietnam War was ended by mass movements from below, today, inspired by Cairo’s Tahrir Square, we rededicate ourselves to building an equally powerful grassroots antiwar movement here in the United States.

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