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News ::
29 Sep 2003

By Sarah Sloan
Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the Oct. 2, 2003
issue of Workers World newspaper


By Sarah Sloan

President George W. Bush addressed the United Nations on Sept. 23 for
the first time since launching the war on Iraq. A deepening mass
resistance to colonial occupation on the part of the Iraqis has caused
Bush's "popularity" to sink dramatically in U.S. polls.

"Bush is now asking the countries of the UN, most of whom opposed the
war in the first place, to take responsibility for funding and supplying troops for an illegal occupation. Not only that, but he is asking them to make this contribution while the U.S. retains sole control of the operation," commented Richard Becker, a spokesperson for the International ANSWER coalition. "Involving the UN, if it is successful, may provide the Bush administration with a multi-lateral cover, but it will not change the fact that this is a colonial occupation."

On Saturday, Oct. 25, huge numbers of people will travel to Washington
to join a National March demanding "End the occupation of Iraq and
Palestine" and "Bring the troops home now." Protesters will also demand money for jobs, education, housing, healthcare and to meet human needs--not for war.

"When Bush talked about a regime that spent money on armies and weapons rather than infrastructure, schools and hospitals, was he talking about Iraq or the U.S.? He wants to spend $87 billion more of tax-payers' dollars on this colonial occupation while our schools are desperate for funding, our power grids need fixing, and millions have no health coverage," said LeiLani Dowell, San Francisco State student organizer.

The Oct. 25 demonstration was initiated by the Act Now to Stop War & End Racism coalition early in the summer. At the end of August, United for Peace and Justice became a co-sponsor of the event along with ANSWER.

"Organizing is moving full speed ahead," explained Sarah Friedman,
ANSWER's National Outreach Coordinator for the mobilization. "There are now Organizing Centers sending buses from over 75 cities in 32 states. We expect over the next few weeks, based on our past experience, to hear from upwards of 300 cities. People are coming to D.C. from as far south as Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas, as far north as Minnesota and Vermont, and from every state on the East Coast. Every day, we hear about groups of hundreds more people coming to D.C.

"All across the country the Organizing Centers are receiving hundreds of phone calls and email requests from people wanting to go to October 25. In D.C., we are receiving a high volume of emails from people organizing buses from their area. Many of them have already reserved anywhere from three buses, like in the Kensington, N.Y., area, to 100 buses from New York City. Activists around the country are hitting the streets to hand out leaflets, put up posters and stickers to help spread the word."

Among those marching on Oct. 25 will be thousands who demonstrated last year against the bombing and invasion of Iraq, long-time peace and anti-war activists, family members of U.S. soldiers and veterans, students, labor activists, religious communities and many more.

Student groups mobilizing include Northland Anti-War Coalition and
Students Against War in Duluth, Minn.; Students for Justice in Palestine at Indiana University; the Muslim Student Association; Students for Social Justice in Chicago; Students Movement for Justice at Wayne State University; and chapters of the ANSWER Youth & Student National Coalition from around the country.

Mobilizations are taking place from mosques, churches, synagogues and
other religious communities. The Muslim American Society Freedom
Foundation is organizing a feeder march. Ministers for Racial, Social
and Economic Justice-United Church of Christ is organizing buses from
several states.

1199/SEIU--New York's Health and Human Services Union, representing
200,000 workers--has voted to support the mobilization. The union is
providing free bus transportation from New York City to the Washington
protest for its members and their families. New York City Labor Against the War and the San Francisco Labor Council (AFL-CIO) are among many labor endorsers.

So far, there are over 2,000 endorsements of the demonstration.

People interested in getting on a bus or organizing transportation from their area, or who want to volunteer to spread the word, should go to or call (202) 544-3389.

- END -

(Copyright Workers World Service: Everyone is permitted to copy and
distribute verbatim copies of this document, but changing it is not
allowed. For more information contact Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY,
NY 10011; via e-mail: ww (at) Subscribe wwnews-
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