Nationwide Protests Against the War Scheduled for March 2009
The following are three important calls to action marking the sixth year of U.S. war and occupation against the people of Iraq. The first is from the recently formed National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations (National Assembly) which first met in June of this year. The second is a call to action from the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (A.N.S.W.E.R.) coalition. The third is from United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ).
The National Assembly call is an attempt to unify the other two calls from A.N.S.W.E.R. and UFPJ.
A.N.S.W.E.R. calls for mass demonstrations in D.C. and cities across the country on Saturday, March 21, 2009.
UFPJ calls for a national mobilization in D.C. the whole week of March 19, 2009 (actual dates unspecified).
We support the National Assembly call for unity and urge all those opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to come together to make these actions as large as possible. We applaud the possibility these three calls represent for unified mass protest demonstrations to demand the U.S. get out of Iraq and Afghanistan now! —The Editors
National Assembly Statement urging Unity of the Antiwar Movement for the March 2009 Actions
Statement issued October 23, 2008
The National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations welcomes the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition’s call for united mass mobilizations in Washington, D.C. and other cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Miami, on March 21, 2009 to mark six years of war and occupation and to Bring the Troops Home Now! We also welcome UFPJ’s call for a week of Washington, D.C. mobilizations during the same period to demand an end to the war in Iraq now.
These actions are necessary and need not be contradictory as long as there is unity in supporting them. However, a divided movement is a weakened movement. At this time, more than ever, the movements for peace and social justice must work in concert to bring the full force of opposition to the government’s criminal and destructive policies into the streets. It would be a tragic setback if all organizations and constituencies do not come together to act in a unified show of strength and determination in March.
The National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations was formed to promote a united, democratic, independent and mass action antiwar movement to bring the troops home now. Our objective was to do all in our power to achieve this by the Spring of 2009. It now appears that this critical objective is within reach.
We strongly urge and will participate in the formation of an ad hoc national coalition to make the March 21 actions a true expression of the opposition of this country’s majority to U.S. wars and occupations. The National Assembly will make every effort to bring such a coalition into fruition and to urge all Assembly supporters to actively participate in the process.
For more information please contact:
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A.N.S.W.E.R. Call for
Mass Actions on the 6th Anniversary of the Iraq War—March 21, 2009
Bring All the Troops Home Now—End All Colonial Occupations!
Fund People’s Needs, Not Militarism & Bank Bailouts!
Marking the sixth anniversary of the criminal invasion of Iraq, thousands will take to the streets of Washington D.C. and other cities across the U.S. and around the world in March 2009 to say, “Bring the Troops Home NOW!” We will also demand “End Colonial Occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Everywhere,” and “Fund Peoples’ Needs Not Militarism and Bank Bailouts.” We also insist on an end to the war threats and economic sanctions against Iran.
The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) is organizing for unified mass marches and rallies in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami and other cities on Saturday, March 21, 2009. Months ago we obtained permits for sixth anniversary demonstrations. A.N.S.W.E.R. has been actively involved with other coalitions, organizations, and networks to organize unified anti-war demonstrations in the spring of 2009. A.N.S.W.E.R. participated in the National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations that was held in Cleveland, Ohio on June 28th-29th and attended by 450 people, including many national and local anti-war coalitions. The National Assembly gathering agreed to promote national, unified anti-war demonstrations in the Spring of 2009.
The war in Iraq has killed, wounded or displaced nearly a third of Iraq’s 26 million people. Thousands of U.S. soldiers have been killed and hundreds of thousands more have suffered severe physical and psychological wounds. The cost of the war is now running at $700 million dollars per day, over $7,000 per second. The U.S. leaders who have initiated and conducted this criminal war should be tried and jailed for war crimes.
The war in Afghanistan is expanding, and both the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates and Congressional leaders have promised to send in more troops. Both have promised to increase the size of the U. S. military. Both have promised to increase military aid to Israel to continue its oppression of the Palestinian people, including the denial of the right of return.
While millions of families are losing their homes, jobs and healthcare, the real military budget next year will top one trillion dollars, $1,000,000,000,000. If used to meet people’s needs, that amount could create 10 million new jobs at $60,000 per year, provide healthcare for everyone who does not have it now, rebuild New Orleans and repair much of the damage done in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Federal bailouts of the biggest banks and investors many of whom have also made billions in profits from militarism, are already up to an astounding $2.5 trillion this year. None of that money is earmarked for keeping millions of foreclosed and evicted families in their homes.
Coming just two months after the inauguration of the next president, March 21, 2009 will be a critical opportunity to let the new administration in Washington hear the voice of the people demanding justice.
National Office in Washington D.C.: 202-544-3389
New York City: 212-694-8720
Los Angeles: 213-251-1025
San Francisco: 415-821-6545
UFPJ Call for 6th Anniversary National Mobilization in Washington, D.C.
March 19, 2009 will mark the 6th anniversary of the “Shock and Awe” campaign that launched the U.S. war and occupation in Iraq. Six long years of a war based on lies, a war that never should have happened. Six long years of death and destruction, of human suffering and economic waste.
United For Peace and Justice calls on people throughout this nation to join us in a national mobilization against this war. On the occasion of this horrendous anniversary next March, we will gather in massive numbers in Washington, D.C. to say enough is enough, this war must end, it must end now and completely!
We issue this call now, before the critically important election in just a few weeks, because it is vital that the antiwar movement make it clear that our work is far from over and we are not going away. We issue this call now as a way to send a strong message to all those who seek to represent us in Washington: the people of this nation want our troops to come home now—not in 16 months and not in 100 years!
The war in Iraq has taken too many lives—Iraqi and U.S.—and has taken a tremendous toll on our economy. While we are glad to see some candidates saying they want the war to end, we know this will only happen because the people of this country keep raising their voices, keep taking action, keep pressuring their government to end this nightmare.
Between now and next March much will happen here at home and around the world. We will have elected a new President and a new Congress and the political landscape the antiwar movement works in will have been altered. No one knows where our economic crisis is headed or how exactly it will affect the lives of millions of people in our communities. At the same time, there is danger of escalation of military action in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and other places—and the possibility of a dangerous new arms race with Russia.
As we plan for the March mobilization we will take these critically important issues into account. We know that all of the issues our nation needs to address are impacted by the continued war and occupation in Iraq, and that no real progress will be made on anything else until we end this war.
In the coming weeks and months, United For Peace and Justice will be discussing the plans for the 6th anniversary national mobilization with our partners and allies in the peace and justice movements around the country. As the details of our activities in Washington, D.C. come together we will get word out far and wide. Now, we ask you to take note of this call, mark your calendars for the whole week, and start making plans for your community’s participation in what will surely be a timely and necessary mobilization.
From the UFPJ National Steering Committee
Issued on October 18, 2008