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WHY WE ARE MARCHING ON WASHINGTON OCTOBER 25, 2003

Bring the troops home now! End the occupation of Iraq! Money for human needs, not war! Repeal the Patriot Act!
In This Posting:

1) WHY WE ARE MARCHING ON WASHINGTON OCTOBER 25, 2003

2) San Francisco Labor Council resolution endorsing the march on Washington under the slogans: Bring the Troops Home Now...End the Occupation of Iraq...Repeal the Patriot Act...Money for Human Needs, not for War and Empire.

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WHY WE ARE MARCHING ON WASHINGTON OCTOBER 25, 2003

There are times when a progressive demonstration, even a large activity, is little more than a symbolic protest. There are other times when a mass demonstration can function as a catalyst, a trigger unleashing new political energy; or serve as a vivid expression of a new genuine grassroots movementcapable of stirring the country and changing the political landscape.

When the A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition one year ago initiated the October 26, 2002, mass demonstrations in Washington DC and San Francisco there was no way to know that hundreds of thousands would participate that day in the largest anti-war actions since the Vietnam War. Scores of other countries held simultaneous
actions on October 26, and it suddenly became apparent that a new global peace movement had emerged as the single biggest political obstacle in the path of the warmongerers in the White House. Mass actions at the local and national level grew in the months that followed and demonstrations became ever larger - on January 18, February 15/16, March 15 and March 22nd. These were truly global days of action with coordinated activities in almost every country in the world.

Bush was hoping that the antiwar movement, no matter how strong it became before the war, would become merely a blip on the political radar screen. That it would be vanquished by the exercise of overwhelming U.S. military superiority on the battlefield against an infinitely weakened foe. Once the Iraqi army was crushed, the U.S. Occupation Forces would be able to coerce or bribe any potential resistance. Iraq's oil reserves would be quickly privatized and the Administration could get on with its next war (Syria, North Korea, Iran, etc.). At home, the anti-war movement would be vanquished
too. At least that was the conventional wisdom of the Bush White House two months ago. Like all the other thoughts that pass for "wisdom" in the White House, the presumed death of the global peace movement will soon be remembered as just one more "intelligence failure."

On Saturday October 25, hundreds of thousands of people will be back in the streets in Washington DC and in capital cities of other countries to demand "End the occupation of Iraq." The shout "Bring the Troops Home Now!" will echo throughout Washington that day. No politician or the mass media will be able to deny that the anti-war sentiment in this country is not only "not dead" but is instead growing with each passing day. Coming as it does on the second anniversary of the passage so-called Patriot Act, the demonstration will be part of the massive fight-back campaign growing throughout the country
against the administration's assault on civil rights and civil liberties.

When the A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition announced two months ago that it was planning another massive anti-war March on Washington DC for October 25, 2003, the projected action was dismissed by some cynics as "not realistic." After all, Bush, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were sitting tall in the saddle. With the mainstream media serving as their duplicitous cheerleaders, the Administration's poll ratings were soaring after the rapid fall of Baghdad. We were told, "this is no time to project a mass antiwar action." But
"conventional wisdom" is not driving events.

The occupation is not liberation. The Iraqi people want the U.S. troops to leave and the soldiers want to go home. Bush's approval rating is dropping precipitously. According to a recent Pew Research Poll, 69% of the people surveyed said they were "very concerned that the U.S. will be bogged down in Iraq for years." The latest Newsweek poll indicates that 49% do not favor the
"re-election" of Bush, now outnumbering those who do -- a huge drop from two months ago. The bloody and costly war and occupation of Iraq, justified to the public by the White House in a series of poorly bundled lies, is being reviled by a growing part of the population. Iraq may not yet be "Vietnam" but it is quickly moving in that direction. And as during Vietnam, the anti-war movement can be the decisive political factor in forcing a U.S. withdrawal.

Each passing day brings needless death and agony in Iraq. We cannot wait until 2004 to act.

The October 25, 2003, demonstration has the potential to go well beyond a symbolic protest. By its size and breadth it can help ignite a firestorm of grassroots opposition. More than 2,000 organizations and individuals have already endorsed the March on Washington, including Veterans for Peace, NION, San Francisco Labor Council (AFL-CIO), NYCLAW, National Lawyers Guild, Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation and many others. More than 100,000 leaflets, stickers, and posters have been distributed. Local groups are forming transportation centers to bring buses and car caravans. (See below
for links to a list of endorsers and cities organizing transportation.)

At the front ranks of the October 25 demonstration will be veterans, military
resisters, family members and friends of soldiers in Iraq. They will be joined, hand-in-hand, with the Arab-American and Muslim community and people from every walk of life who insist on the immediate and unconditional end to the criminal occupation of Iraq.

The demonstration will also expose that Bush's war in Iraq is really a rich man's war. A central goal of the war is to privatize (i.e. steal) Iraq's vast oil fields for the benefit of U.S. corporate and banking elites who in turn are plowing hundreds of millions of dollars into George W. Bush's campaign coffers. At the cost of $6 billion per month (that is $1.5 billion each week) the price tag for the U.S. occupation of Iraq is being paid for by dramatic budget cuts in
primary education and at the college level, as well as in health care, housing, veterans benefits, and other programs that assist working and poor people.

The occupation of Iraq must end. While we demand that the obscene expenditure of $6 billion each month be used instead for jobs, education, housing and health care, we are clear that our opposition to the occupation is not simply that
working people in the U.S. have to bear the financial burden. The occupation is a violation of the Iraqi people's fundamental right to self-determination by the U.S. government which pursues Empire in the interests of the U.S.-based
corporate and banking elites. This was never a war to defend the United States from the supposed "grave and imminent danger" posed by Iraq. That claim was a bold-faced lie. Killing tens of thousands of Iraqis and sacrificing a growing number of U.S. soldiers - who are being killed or maimed in the interests of Halliburton, Bechtel, Exxon/Mobil, Citibank and Chase - is what reveals the criminal character of the whole endeavor.

The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition believes that only a true mass movement of the people can end the criminal occupation of Iraq and bring the troops home.

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GET INVOLVED!

To read the Oct. 25 CALL TO ACTION, go to:
www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/o25/index.html

To DOWNLOAD FLYERS & STICKERS, go to
www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/resources/index.html

IF YOU ARE ORGANIZING TRANSPORTATION from your area, fill out the form at www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/o25/index.html
so your information can be listed on the website

To find an initial LIST OF CITIES ORGANIZING
TRANSPORTATION, go to
www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/o25/oct25transp.html

For view a list of ENDORSERS, go to
www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/o25/endorsers.html

TO ENDORSE, fill out the easy-to-use form at
www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/o25/index.html


******************
RESOLUTION OF THE SAN FRANCISCO LABOR COUNCIL

Bring the troops home now!
End the occupation of Iraq!
Money for human needs, not war!
Repeal the Patriot Act!

Whereas, the people in Iraq want the US occupation to end, and the US soldiers in Iraq want to come home. We ask: Who is benefiting from this war, and who is paying the price?; and

Whereas, every day, people are dying as a consequence of this illegal occupation ... Every day human misery expands in the drive for world Empire and corporate globalization ... Every day, jobs are lost and vital social programs that serve and protect working people are being looted and destroyed, as the Bush administration cynically manipulates the so-called "war on terrorism" to carry out the social transfer of wealth from the bottom to the top; and

Whereas, the Bush administration lied to the people, to the Congress, and to the United Nations as it raced to wage war against Iraq. Now tens of thousands of Iraqis and many hundreds of GIs have been killed or maimed - by Rumsfeld's count over 1000 attacks on US forces since May 1st. As the anger of the Iraqi people inevitably grows, the body count on both sides will sharply increase; and

Whereas, as the anti-war movement predicted, the Iraqi people view US forces as colonial occupiers, not liberators. American soldiers are killing and being killed in a war that serves only the interests of U.S. oil monopolies
and corporate elites - George W. Bush's real constituents. Soldiers and their families are realizing that high government officials, mostly millionaires who shuttle between corporate boardrooms and government posts, are using U.S.
troops as a private security detachment for the multinational corporations' plunder of Iraq's oil riches; and

Whereas, the Pentagon now admits they will have 150,000 troops in Iraq for the "foreseeable future," at a cost of nearly $4 Billion a month -- on top of the cost of maintaining US troops and bases in 130 other countries - and this rapid rise in the power and reach of the military is closely linked to the unprecedented assault on the civil rights, union rights, benefits (including veterans' benefits), and living standards of working people going on right
now in the United States; and

Whereas, the Bush administration - which only came to power due to massive racist disenfranchisement and voting fraud -- has used the excuse of their "endless war" to sponsor a wholesale assault on the Bill of Rights,
institutionalize racial profiling, assume extraordinary powers for the Executive branch, and adopt new repressive laws like the Patriot Act; and

Whereas, on October 25, 2003 the anti-war, civil rights, social justice and labor movements - joined in ever increasing numbers by family members of military personnel and veterans and international delegations -- will march on Washington, D.C. to demand an immediate end to the US war and occupation in Iraq, repeal of the Patriot Act, and money for human needs, not for war; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the San Francisco Labor Council, AFL-CIO, demands: 1) an immediate end to the US/British war and occupation in Iraq - Bring the Troops Home Now; 2) repeal of the Patriot Act and other repressive laws; 3) reordering of national priorities toward the human needs of our people. We need jobs and real security, not militarism and empire-building; and be it further

RESOLVED: that the council endorse the October 25, 2003 International March on Washington, D.C. behind the banner: Bring the Troops Home Now...End the Occupation of Iraq...Repeal the Patriot Act...Money for Human Needs, not for
War and Empire - and will urge affiliated unions, other labor councils, state federation and AFL-CIO to do the same.

--Adopted unanimously, July 28, 2003.

The homepage for Liberation News can be found at
lists.riseup.net/www/info/liberation_news

People may subscribe to the list by sending email to
liberation_news-subscribe (at) lists.riseup.net
 
 


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