SHUT DOWN THE WAR this September! Join the Encampment!
Posted by raleighfist on July 9, 2007
Stop the War at Home and Abroad!
Join the Encampment to Stop the War in Washington, D.C., from September 22-29!
September: The next big confrontation over the war
According to the Washington calendar, September will see the next big political confrontation on the war. This is when the House and Senate debate war funding for 2008. And it is when General David Petraeus reports to Congress on the status of Bush’s troop “surge.”
We must make sure that the antiwar movement is in Washington to make our voice heard and demand an end to the criminal war and occupation of Iraq.
This is a time of great opportunity for the antiwar movement. The Bush plans to colonize Iraq have clearly failed and the overwhelming majority of the people are against the war. Now is a time when the people can have a real impact, if we act decisively and in a spirit of unity.
In April of this year, the Troops Out Now Coalition proposed that September 22-29 be a week of resistance, with an Encampment to Stop the War and a mass March on the White House on Saturday, March 29.
We believe that this is the necessary next step to take the struggle against the war to a new level of resistance. The encampment has the potential to ensure that another war vote does not go unchallenged. The proposal opens an opportunity for an independent intervention representing the people, who are overwhelmingly against the war.
The call for a National March and Encampment in Washington DC has already received wide support. In the past few weeks, activists and organizers from across the U.S. have contacted TONC, demonstrating a groundswell of enthusiasm for the call to go from protest to resistance. Some of the proposals we have heard in the past few days include:
* Student organizations in several cities are discussing plans for a student strike that would include protests and direct action on their campuses, before joining the Encampment and March in DC.
* Organizers are already planning car caravans and “peace trains” to Washington DC for the Encampment.
* Local organizations are planning to set up their own tents at the Encampment, with displays, teach-ins, literature, and protests to highlight various issues, including: immigrant rights, counter-recruiting, Katrina, Palestine, and more.
* A Peoples’ Peace Congress to challenge to corporate war Congress in Washington. At such a gathering, different groups could put forth concrete proposals for desperately needed social, environmental and health programs that are gutted to pay for endless war. The Peoples Peace Congress can become a challenge to and an expose’ of the present corporate-ruled war congress.
Only the people will stop the war: The Democratic Party Bait & Switch
Despite being elected to bring the troops home and end the criminal occupation, the Democrats in Congress have completely capitulated to Bush on the issue of continuing to fund the war. Even a determined congressional minority of Democrats could have blocked the funding for the war—if they had really decided to end the occupation. Instead, while posing as the “anti-war” majority party, the Democrats have completely capitulated to Bush and the Pentagon.
Building an independent movement is more important than ever, as pressure grows to abandon struggle on the streets and surrender the antiwar movement to the Democratic Party, a party that now completely shares in complicity for the criminal war and occupation in Iraq. Wall Street and their mouthpieces always want to divert the mass movement into safe channels—into lobbying and voting and trusting in the bought-and-paid-for politicians. Our challenge is to develop clear demands that move the struggle into the streets.
Back to the streets:
Unite to shut down the war
As we move forward in a period of great opportunities and challenges, we are compelled to frankly address the lack of unity in the antiwar movement.
During the last struggle over the issue of war funding in March, the movement had a real opportunity to intervene if it acted decisively. Instead, organizations and coalitions called competing events in different venues, deliberately timed to undermine participation in other actions. This sort of cynical maneuvering for organizational advantage weakens the movement, demoralizes activists, and only plays into the hands of Bush and the warmongers in Washington.
In conversations with activists across the country, we find that everyone wants unity in the movement to stop the war. It is clear that the division doesn’t come from the grassroots activists who are actually building the movement, but from those who have other goals and agendas.
More than 600,000 Iraqi people and 3,500 U.S. soldiers have died in this brutal war — petty divisiveness and sectarianism can no longer be tolerated. Activists want unity. The times demand unity. Progressives in the U.S. have a special responsibility to stop this war — Now is the time for all coalitions and organizations, national and local, to find ways to work together in principled unity around the demand to stop the war immediately.
Building unity also means working to unite the struggle against the war abroad with the struggle against the war at home. Linking the fight against the war with the struggles against racism, LGBT oppresssion, immigrant bashing, and the struggles of working people will only strengthen our movement. Our movement becomes stronger as we widen the struggle against the war at home and abroad.
Together we can and must change the political agenda
The struggle to stop the war has made tremendous gains. The vast majority of the people are now opposed to the occupation. G.I. opposition is growing as soldiers increasingly oppose being sent to fight and die in this horrific war, in which they have no interest. The politicians in Washington are clearly on the defensive, as their dreams of Empire in the Middle East crumble, their lies about the war are exposed, and as the vast majority of people here and worldwide oppose their heinous war.
But we must do more. The war in Iraq is not a “failed policy;” it is a horrendous crime against the Iraqi people. It must be stopped. Every day the occupation brings more death and destruction to the Iraqi people. It brings more deaths and serious injuries to U.S. youth who are trapped in this war, and return home to find inadequate medical care and benefits.
It will take an independent movement to stop the war, a movement that takes an independent road geared to mobilizing people in this country to challenge all of the warmakers in Washington, that strongly demands the withdrawal of all U.S. troops NOW and calls for ending ALL war funding immediately.
This is a crucial time. What is needed now is an unprecedented outpouring of resistance. We must demonstrate to the politicians in Washington that we will not allow business as usual to continue.
The Troops Out Now Coalition encourages all of the antiwar coalitions on the local and national level to engage each other and where communication has broken down, to open new lines of communication so that our combined efforts will make us stronger.
Let us strengthen the anti-war movement and build unity by reaching out to and joining forces with movements struggling for:
– Stop the raids against immigrant workers — Full rights for undocumented workers
– No War against Iran
– End all occupations now – from Iraq to Palestine, the Philippines, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Afghanistan
– Impeach Bush & Cheney for War Crimes
– No to U.S. intervention – Hands off Cuba, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and the Sudan
– Justice for Katrina survivors
– End racist police terror
– Free Mumia Abu-Jamal and all political prisoners
– Money for health care, jobs and education, not endless war
We have less than 3 months until the Encampment, and we still have lots of work to do. Here are some ways you can help:
1) Help spread the word.
You can download a single page leaflet or the 4-page leaflet from the TONC website, and distribute them in your school, workplace, church or mosque, community center, union hall, and neighborhood.
2) Form a local organizing center.
Sign on at http://www.troopsoutnow.org/sept2207volunteer.shtml. We can help you organize buses or vans from your area – contact us for more information.
3) Donate to help with organizing expenses.
We urgently need your help – please consider making a financial contribution to help us cover all of the vast expenses involved in this massive mobilization. Your donation will help organize buses
You can donate online at http://troopsoutnow.org/donate.shtml
4) Organize your campus to participate in the Student Strike during the week of the Encampment.
Student organizations are already planning for actions during the week of Sept 2-29. If you would like to become a student organizer, contact us at http://www.troopsoutnow.org/sept2207volunteer.shtml.
5) Organize a tent for the Encampment.
If your organization would like to organize a tent during the Encampment to highlight an issue(s) that you are working on, contact us: http://www.troopsoutnow.org/sept2207volunteer.shtml
For more info, please visit:
Troops Out Now Coalition