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International Greetings To UCSC Anti-War Movement

Dear friends, dear students of University of California at Santa Cruz, dear members of Standing United for Peace:
First of all, we would like to greet all U.S. citizens, student anti-war coalitions, and U.S. labor organizations fighting against war in Iraq for your actions of resistance from inside the United States against the bloody war.
International Youth Bulletin Against War

Issue One - February 2003
(U.S. Version)

[This bulletin is being published in over 20 countries simultaneously. The U.S. version is being distributed by Revolution Youth, the U.S. Section of the Revolutionary Youth International.]

---

IN THIS ISSUE:

* Introduction, by Dominique (France)

* Statement to all high-school and college students of France (adopted by 2,000 youth at end of anti-war demo in Montpellier, south of France)

* Letter of Invitation to Youth, Youth Organizations and Student Entities of São Paulo (Brazil) -- issued by seven student and youth organizations

* Excerpts from a flyer of the Student Committee for a Real Union (France)

* Books Not Bombs! - National Student Strike - March 5th, 2003 -- Strike Goes International!

* Ukrainians Say "No to War on Iraq!" (report on anti-war
demonstration in Kiev on Feb. 1)

* Stop the war on the Palestinian people! Conscience Objectors in Israel -- by Ben Eckstein

* Free the Imprisoned Conscience Objectors! (petition to be circulated and endorsed widely)

* February 15th was the biggest demonstration in the history of humanity!

* Coming in Issue No. 2!

**********


INTRODUCTION

Dear friends, dear students of University of California at Santa Cruz, dear members of Standing United for Peace:

First of all, we would like to greet all U.S. citizens, student anti-war coalitions, and U.S. labor organizations fighting against war in Iraq for your actions of resistance from inside the United States against the bloody war.

We met one of your fellow American students, Eric, in Paris, in an International Emergency Anti-War Conference on Jan. 23-24 which gathered labor and youth activists from more than 30 countries of Asia, America, Africa and Europe. Some of the youth who attended the conference decided to set up an International Committee of "Youth
Against War" to help the worldwide youth anti-war movement by informing young people of the initiatives taken worldwide against the war, as well as the strategies and tactics for building the movement. In the following issues we're hoping to include info on how to throw
student strikes against the war with report-backs from campuses that are going on strike on March 5th.

Some of us are members of the Revolutionary Youth International; others, like in Spain, are members of the Socialist Youth (youth organization of the Socialist Party); some of us are only involved in the anti-war movement. We want to make this clear: This bulletin is
open to everybody who wants to struggle against this war!

When we discussed in Paris, we said that what was going on in the U.S. was extremely important, and was really at the heart of the anti-war struggle. We know by the anti-Vietnam War movement that it is because of the mass demonstrations of youth in the U.S. that the
U.S. government had to stop its imperialist war against the Vietnamese people.

That's why we decided to address you in a particular way: we need you! We need your help, we need to explain worldwide, in Ukrainian, French, Chinese, Arabic, Portuguese, and in all the languages that hundreds of thousands young Americans oppose Bush's war. We need to make known your fight, your initiatives -- and first of all, your feelings against this war.

That's why we invite all of you to participate in this bulletin, to contribute your articles and ideas, and to help us circulate it widely. It's your bulletin. We need you for peace! On behalf of the International Committee of Youth Against War, please receive our greetings warmly, and see you very soon in our common fight!

Dominique, Jeunesse Revolution (France)

[In the United States: Please send all submissions to
ricoblanc (at) hotmail.com]

**********


Statement to all high-school and college students of France

We -- high-school and college students, and young workers of Montpellier -- were more than 2,000-strong on the streets today, Feb. 15, against the war that Bush and his allies are preparing in order to plunder the Iraqi oil.

We know that neither Chirac nor the UN are on our side. We have to trust only our own forces. That's why we call every one to immediately get out off the classrooms and mobilize the day the war will start against Iraq (if we are not able to stop it before) to show that it won't be business as usual if the war machine decides to invade. We have to unite and stand up together to say:

NO WAR !

Money for schools and universities, not for war !

[This statement was voted unanimously by 2,000 youth at the end of the Feb. 15 demo in Montpellier (south of France). It is being endorsed everywhere now in universities and high-schools.]

For more information contact: irj (at) wanadoo.fr

**********


Letter of Invitation to Youth, Youth Organizations and Student Entities of São Paulo (Brazil)

No to War in Iraq!
No Blood for Oil!

The forecasts speak of preparations for genocide if a war is unleashed against Iraq. Some predictions talk about 500,000 dead; 900,000 refugees; plus 4 to 6 million people who could find themselves without food. They speak of the division of Iraq into various sectors under the "administration" of the major powers. These
are the expectations of the United Nations for the imminent conflict in Iraq.

Bush, with the support of the British and French governments, has already mobilized 250,000 soldiers to impose a war that will allow the U.S. multinationals to enjoy access to the enormous deposits of Iraqi oil. It is worth noting that since the 1970s, American companies have been absent from Iraq.

We cannot accept the massacre and the destruction of an entire people. We cannot accept that the government and the multinationals in the USA impose their order on the basis of war and terror. More than demonstrating solidarity for the Iraqi people, the struggle against the war is the struggle for the right to peace and democracy
of all peoples of the world, including us Brazilians!

We call on all youth, all youth organizations and groups, all student entities, student unions , academic centers, and the student union federations to organize a mass activity together in São Paulo of youth against the war.

Contact:

Juventudecontraguerra (at) yahoo.com.br

Signed:

JUVENTUDE DO PT (São Paulo/Capital) (Workers Party Youth)

JUVENTUDE REVOLUÇÃO (Revolutionary Youth)

MOVIMENTO DOS SEM-EDUCAÇÃO (Movement of Youth without Education)

JUVENTUDE DO PCML (Youth of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party)

UNIÃO DA JUVENTUDE SOCIALISTA (Union of Socialist Youth)

UNIÃO DA JUVENTUDE REBELIÃO (Union of Youth in Rebellion)

JUVENTUDE DE COMBATE SOCIALISTA (São Paulo) (Youth of Socialist Struggle)

**********


Excerpts from a flyer of the Student Committee for a Real Union (France)


NO WAR! Money for schools, universities, grants !

One month of wage of a university teacher: about 4200 euros [Ed. Note- roughly the same in dollars.]

One month of grant for a student at the maximum level: about 300 euros.

French Military spending:

6 military nuclear submarines =10 billions euros.

This could pay for:

2,380,952 months' worth of pay for a high school teacher.

33,333,333 months of tuition for a university student.

[USA Ed. Note- Bush's 2003 Military Budget will be US$396.1 billion. Even a fraction of this would be enough to provide a decent education for every single American youth.]

**********


BOOKS NOT BOMBS! - National Student Strike - March 5th, 2003 STRIKE GOES INTERNATIONAL!

NYSPC (National Youth and Student Peace Coalition) has been in contact with student and youth movements from across the globe and is excited to announce that participation in the March 5th National Student Strike for Books Not Bombs is going to be much larger than we thought.

So far, we have received confirmation from the Spanish Students Union and the national organization Students Against Sanctions and War in Canada that the strike will be taking place nationally in those countries.

We have also been in contact with students in the UK, Australia, Brazil, Mexico and the EU about interest in the March 5th strike.

NYSPC welcomes the solidarity and participation of our brothers and sisters outside U.S. borders and we call on other nations' youth and students to take up the call as well. Feel free to rewrite the call to action so it reflects your own national and local demands.

If you are involved in a student or youth movement outside the US, contact us to register your participation in the strike at.

CONTACT: clearinghouse (at) tao.ca

INFO: www.nyspc.net/

**********


UKRAINIANS SAY: "NO WAR ON IRAQ!"

More than 2,000 people marched through the streets of Kiev to say: "No War on Iraq" on February 1. It was the first-ever national demonstration for peace in Ukraine.

People gathered in the noontime in spite of everything; even bitter frost, snowy and icy weather did not prevent representatives from more than 32 political and civil rights organizations to hold the mass actions against the war on Iraq.

Young students and elderly men and women, representatives of the left and "green" organizations, Ukrainians, Russians, and Arabs, Christians and Muslims, citizen of Ukraine and foreigners from different countries of the world came to the Bogdan Khemelnytsky monument and said: "No blood for oil", "Not war on Iraq!"

They did it in the different languages: Ukrainian, Russian, English, and Arabic were heard everywhere. After the meeting, the 2,000 people crowd went to the Embassy of the USA. The "Borotba Youth Organization" [Ed. Note- participants in the founding of the International Committee of Youth Against War] took their part in
leafleting and other activities. After the vigils at the American Embassy, the Anti-war Peace March of February 15 was announced.

For information in the Ukraine, contact: borotba (at) mail.ru

**********


Stop the war on the Palestinian people!
Conscience Objectors in Israel

By BEN ECKSTEIN

Growing up in Israel, I would often reflect on the future, on being a "grown-up." For me and others that meant turning 18, leaving home, and enlisting in the army. I would day dream of my days in service, the top unit I would join, the hero I would be, the model of courage,
strength and discipline, a leader of men loyal to the mission. Military exploits and war heroes were constantly celebrated and reminisced about in school by teachers and textbooks and on Memorial and Independence days. There were class trips to army educational centers where movies were shown "selling" the military branch represented, using such quotes as "Be at the cutting edge."
Lecturers would tell how fun and exciting it all really is. As a young teen I would watch with awe last year's graduates return for a visit dressed in shiny uniforms, carrying M-16s and bursting with pride as they told of hardships endured.

At the break of the first Intifada, new and difficult questions tormented my mind, seeing on television soldiers chasing and shooting rubber and live bullets at Palestinian rock throwers younger than me. I watched them get beaten up, engulfed in tear gas, and arrested in
truckloads. Not knowing Israel/Palestine history, I did not understand what the war was about and why Palestinian men with knives and bombs began to terrorize Jerusalem neighborhoods.

It was not until a later in life that I would learn the history of this conflict. For answers, I had to rely on my gut rejection to the violence and I would not let the hate into my heart. I could not accept or justify the role of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

At school we would have class discussions, titled "How the Army Works" or "What Can I Expect?" My teacher, an ex-army commander, asked if anyone thought of not joining the army. My hand went up; I was the only one. Soon the focus of the discussion was an effort to "put down" and debunk my position. A sense of general disappointment
filled the room. I felt I was letting them down, not being the nice guy they thought me to be. I would be called later to private meetings with my teacher and the school head master to sway me from thoughts of refusal. My family was heartbroken and confronted me with aggressive arguments as well as kind ones pleading me to
consider my future. At school I was labeled a traitor and abandoned by most friends.

As I turned 17, letters came calling me to my army exams. These are physical, intelligence, and emotional tests designed to determine how the army can utilize you best. Pressure drove me to take the army exams. At night I would dream I was in an Arabic village, a soldier
with a gun chasing after men in the streets, breaking into homes with women and children. The chase would narrow down and I would shoot and kill or sometimes be killed. I tried to picture myself in the army; losing my individuality, the confirmation of my mind, and the
shedding of my civilian-ness. I was scared, but it was explained to me that "everybody goes through this" and "you must do this for your country." Yet, through the noise and clutter of ample propaganda, I struggled to keep an open mind and stay in touch with my heart.

The most human part of me knew with no shade of doubt that violence is not a solution, that armies are unnatural and a lie, that all people know peace and love and that is our true connection in this world.

I went to the army enlistment office and told the secretary, "I refuse to join the army. What do I do now?" She sent me to see an army psychiatrist. After he heard my stance, I was scheduled to a hearing in front of a committee of six psychiatrists. For an hour, I was questioned as I continually told them, "I refuse to be a soldier and carry a weapon." I was officially declared mentally unfit disqualifying me from army service and also from a driver's license, government jobs, and stigmatizing me in Israeli society.

Today, the laws for conscientious objectors are even worse. Many more shministim, high school seniors, are refusing to serve in the army. They are being sent to prison for up to 45 days and then retried and resentenced. Yonathan Ben-Artzi, the veteran refusnik at
over 200 days in jail, is awaiting an unprecedented trial in front of the Military court, not a military committee, with possible verdict of 3 years in prison.

At the San Francisco "Stop the War on Iraq" protest on February 16, we collected almost 400 signatures saying, "Free the Conscience Objectors in Israel!" Our pool of signatures is as diverse as the crowd, International and from many spectrums of ideology who
recognize this Israeli issue as a global issue. All believe that Israel should withdraw its forces from the occupied territories and stop its oppression of the Palestinian peoples. Some U.S. citizens compared it to their own experience of going to jail when they
refused to serve in the Vietnam War. Also, many realize that U.S. monies determine military policies in Israel and the U.S. responsibility for IDF atrocities.

There was great sympathy for these young men from Arab and
Palestinian Arabs, French, English, Latin Americans, and other global citizens, because they represent and are a struggle for a true democratic, anti-imperialist, just, and peaceful world.

**********

Free the Imprisoned Conscience Objectors!

The State of Israel has been consistently abusing a group of young men who have refused to be conscripted on grounds of conscience. While religion continues to be a reason for exempting young men from army or national service, conscientious objection is considered a serious crime.

It seems that there is no limit to the abuse: eleven young men have been sitting in jail for terms that just keep getting longer, and there is no end in sight.

These prisoners of conscience refuse to serve in an army that systematically violates the human rights of the Palestinian people. Yoni Ben-Artzi, the most veteran prisoner, has sat in jail for over 200 days. By contrast, the soldier who killed a 95-year-old Palestinian woman was sentenced to 35 days in prison.

Names of the prisoners and number of days in jail:

Yoni Ben-Artzi 200+ days, Dror Boymel 166+ days, Uri Ya'acobi 134+ days

Haggai Matar 112+ days, Yoni Yekhezkel 111+ days, Matan Kaminer 84+ days

Hillel Goral 70+ days, Noam Bahat 70+ days, Adam Maor 70+ days

Shimri Tzameret 38+ days, Avshalom Ben-Zvi 21+ days

Refuser Solidarity Network

_www.refusersolidarity.net

**********


February 15th was the biggest demonstration in the history of humanity!


An estimated 12 to 20 million people demonstrated. Here’s a list of the biggest demonstrations...

Rome: 2.5 million Madrid: 2 million London: 1.5 million Barcelona: 1 million Paris: 800,000 New York City: 500,000 Berlin: 500,000 Seville: 250,000

San Francisco: 200,000 Melbourne: 200,000 Athens: 200,000

Oviedo, Spain: 200,000 Montreal: 150,000 Baghdad: 100,000+ Dublin: 100,000+

Los Angeles: 100,000 Brussels: 100,000 Lisbon: 100,000

Las Palmas, Spain: 100,000 Cadiz, Spain: 100,000 Amsterdam: 80,000

Toronto: 80,000 Stockholm: 80,000 Los Angeles: 75-100,000

Alicante, Spain: 70.000 Glasgow: 60,000+ Oslo: 60,000 Seattle: 55,000

Mexico City: 50,000 Montevideo: 50,000 Stuttgart, Germany: 50,000

(Estimates from Indymedia.org)

****************

Here are two great links for worldwide photos:

www.hyperreal.org/~dana/

and

www.punchdown.org/rvb/F15/

**********


COMING IN ISSUE TWO:

- "How to throw a student strike"

- Reports from the March 5th International Student Strike

- "How to get an anti-war resolution passed in your school" (SPAIN)

- Planning a response if the U.S. government invades

(This is your bulletin. If you live in the U.S., please send reports for Issue Two to ricoblanc (at) hotmail.com)

 
 


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And this is local news, HOW???

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