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News ::
April 27 - Why You Should Be In D.C.
19 Feb 2002
WHY WE ARE ORGANIZING THE
APRIL 27 NATIONAL MARCH ON WASHINGTON
- A message from the A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition -


APRIL 27 - WHY YOU SHOULD BE IN DC



WHY
WE ARE ORGANIZING THE APRIL 27 NATIONAL MARCH ON WASHINGTON



- A
message from the A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition -



(If this message is truncated, the full text can be found at http://www.internationalanswer.org/news/update/021802whya27.html .)



On January 2, the A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition's nationally-televised press conference sent a clear, bold message: It is only the movement of the people--manifesting itself in the streets--that can turn the reactionary tide of the Bush Administration and corporate ruling elites. That day, a broad representation of organizations and activists that have campaigned against U.S. intervention in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Asia, and organizations that have campaigned for social and economic justice for poor people and civil rights inside the United States, announced that on April 27, thousands of anti-war activists, workers, students, labor unionists and others would converge in Washington DC for a massive march on the White House to say:

MONEY
FOR JOBS AND EDUCATION NOT WAR!

STOP
THE RACIST ATTACKS!

DEFEND
CIVIL LIBERTIES AND CIVIL RIGHTS!



We
are happy to announce that the Washington DC-based organization Black Voices
for Peace has endorsed the April 27 demonstration and are making preparations
for a feeder march that will join the main assembly at the White House.



The
Bush administration has made a calculated effort to stimulate extreme
patriotism, national chauvinism, flag waving and "national unity" in
order to camouflage the true character of the war abroad and at home. They have
replaced the slogans of the Cold War, namely the "fight against
communism," with the new slogan of the "war against terrorism."
The promotion of "Americanism" has attained the status of a
semi-official religion.



Many
people of courage have seen through and rejected these efforts to silence or
co-opt them with the use of nationalistic fervor and labels like “un-American.”
This includes the tens of thousands of people of conscience who converged at
the September 29, 2001, A.N.S.W.E.R. demonstrations in Washington, D.C. and San
Francisco, and at other demonstrations that have been organized across the
country. They stood up not only to the government-generated hysteria, but
replied to sections of the progressive movement and even long-time friends and
allies who said it was inappropriate to demonstrate at that time and challenge
the policies of the U.S. government. Those tens of thousands of people stated
that they would not be silenced - Not in the face of militaristic expansion.
Not in the face of intensified U.S. threats against the people of Colombia,
Venezuela, Central American and Haiti. Not in the face of the threat of U.S.
attacks on civilian populations. Not in the face of global conquest for the
benefit of corporate profiteering, the creation of U.S. proxy governments and
further occupation of other lands. They said unequivocally that they rejected
the racist demonization of their Arab and Muslim brothers and sisters and
attempts to eviscerate the Bill of Rights. They honored those who died and were
injured in the horrible attacks on civilians on September 11th, and
vowed to fight the opportunistic use of that terrible event for pre-existing
right-wing political goals of the Bush Administration and Pentagon.



September
29 marked the launch of a new progressive anti-war and anti-racism movement in
the U.S., a movement of working people, students and progressive organizations
who, even at a time of great risk, are standing in solidarity with persons
under attack in the U.S. and those under attack by the U.S. government in other
countries. This new movement has grown with great momentum as, across the
country and internationally, many are choosing to fight along side one another
and actively challenge, oppose and stop this new season of exploitation,
war-mongering, racism and attempts to eliminate human freedoms and liberties.



By
announcing his “axis of evil” stratagem at the State of the Union message, Bush
revealed the imperialist nature of the “war against terrorism.” Iraq, Iran and
North Korea had nothing to do with September 11 and yet they have become the
new targets. The real goal is that the U.S. wants to install puppet regimes in
these countries that are located in oil-rich and strategic regions.



When
we march on April 27 against this new war we are not simply protesting a Bush
policy. It is noteworthy that Al Gore joined Bush in declaring that he wanted a
“final reckoning" for Iraq. Both political parties are loyal to the
corporate and banking establishment that is promoting and profiting from the
new war drive. Both parties are responsible for the economic sanctions of the
last decade on Iraq that have taken the lives of 1.5 million civilians--an act
of economic terrorism.



When
we march on April 27 we will do so to expose the rapid evolution of the
"Warfare State." Bush's Budget reveals a full scale fleecing of the
people. A $48 billion increase in military spending this year, amounting to a
staggering $378 billion, is only the beginning. By the year 2007 the annual war
budget will rise to $450 billion—nine times greater than the second largest
military spender. This fund for war is not merely a form of corporate welfare
and profiteering, looted from the taxes of working people. It represents a vast
restructuring of the national treasury away from education, job training and
job safety, housing, health care, food stamps and the things that people
actually need.



We
are marching to stand in solidarity with the Arab-American and Muslim
communities in the United States who are the targets of a new law enforcement
form of apartheid. Under Ashcroft's reign, racial profiling has been legalized.
People are stopped, interrogated and imprisoned because of race and religion.
People of African descent, Latino, Asian and Native communities are directly
threatened by the incremental re-introduction of apartheid standards. We demand
the repeal of the USA Patriot Act. The evolution of the Warfare State
includes an unprecedented expansion of police power at home. The so-called USA
Patriot Act gives dangerous new authority to the FBI, Justice Department, CIA
and the military to abuse the people. Preventive detention, covert searches of
homes and offices, surveillance and disruption of political activity, all
without probable cause, is now authorized. Intrusion into the private lives of
people at home, on the telephone or Internet, has been granted to the FBI and
CIA. What J. Edgar Hoover had to do illegally has now been codified into law by
the Patriot Act. Only the organized power of the people can push back this
repressive apparatus.



We
are building the April 27 demonstration not in the naive belief that this
demonstration alone can stop the trend toward war, racism and repression. We
continue to build a new grassroots movement that is struggling for a profound
transformation of society. We are fighting for a society that puts people’s
needs before corporate profits. A society that globalizes solidarity between
peoples and promotes the right to self-determination rather than domination. A
society prioritizes employment, healthcare, education and housing rather than
the current corporate globalization that plunders the planet in the search of
maximizing profits. This is the only way to genuine peace. We support and stand
with all groups, coalitions and individuals that are a part of this movement.







**To read the APRIL 27 CALL TO ACTION, go to http://www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/a27/index.html .
To ENDORSE, go to http://www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/a27/a27-endorse.html **


-------------------------------------



HISTORY
OF THE APRIL 27 NATIONAL MARCH ON WASHINGTON



The
April 27 demonstration, which was called by the A.N.S.W.E.R. steering committee
in mid-November and announced in a Call to Action widely disseminated December
20, anticipated that the Bush administration would expand the war in
Afghanistan to other targets. After consultation with SOA Watch, we
specifically chose to call a demonstration on April 27--rather than the week
before--out of respect for the National Colombia Mobilization taking place
April 19-22.



On
January 2, A.N.S.W.E.R. held a press conference at the National Press Club in
Washington DC to announce the April 27 protest. This press conference was
covered live by C-Span and then repeated numerous times over the next week,
resulting in thousands of calls to our Washington DC, New York City, San
Francisco and Chicago offices from people around the country expressing
interest and excitement in the April 27 march. Speakers at the press conference
included former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark; Rev. Graylan Hagler, Senior
Minister at the Plymouth Congregational Church; Damu Smith, Black Voices for
Peace; Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Auxiliary Bishop, Catholic Archdiocese of
Detroit; Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, attorney and co-founder of the Partnership
for Civil Justice; Kadouri Al-Kaysi, Committee in Support of the Iraqi People;
Brian Becker and Teresa Gutierrez, co-directors of the International Action
Center; Sarah Sloan, National Youth and Student Coordinator, IAC; Macrina
Cardenas, Mexico Solidarity Network; and Peta Lindsay, National Student and
Youth Coordinator of A.N.S.W.E.R.



POLITICS
AND HISTORY OF A.N.S.W.E.R. COALITION ACTIVITIES



International A.N.S.W.E.R. -­ which stands for Act Now to Stop War & End Racism - is a national coalition that was formed in response to the rush to war and racist attacks following September 11. A.N.S.W.E.R. is a coalition including more than 500 organizations and prominent individuals and scores of organizing centers in cities and towns across the country. (A list of those organizations can be found at http://www.internationalanswer.org/endorsers.html .)



Its
national steering committee represents major national organizations that have
campaigned against U.S. intervention in Latin America, the Caribbean, the
Middle East and Asia, and organizations that have campaigned for social and
economic justice for poor people and civil rights inside the United States. The
steering committee includes Nicaragua Network, Mexico Solidarity Network,
IFCO/Pastors for Peace, International Action Center, Partnership for Civil
Justice LDEF, Kensington Welfare Rights Union, Middle East Children’s Alliance,
Committee for Justice to Defend Palestinian Rights, Bayan USA (Filipino
community) and the Korea Truth Commission.



Since
A.N.S.W.E.R. was formed on September 14, 2001, we have tried to alert people to
the real agenda of the Bush administration and the Pentagon. From the
beginning, we have challenged the Bush administration’s efforts to take
advantage of the tragic September 11 attacks, through military means, to pursue
pre-existing imperialist objectives while simultaneously ramming through
domestic policies that strengthen corporate rule, attack civil rights and
attempt to crush dissent, all at the expense of working people.



A.N.S.W.E.R.
is dedicated to stopping all U.S. wars of aggression in the Middle East, Asia,
Latin America, and Africa; fighting racism against Arab, Muslim, South Asian,
African American, Latino/a and other people of color; protecting civil
liberties and the right to protest; and to eradicating the causes of terrorism
and injustice that are rooted in U.S. military and economic imperialism.



On
September 29, over 45,000 people joined A.N.S.W.E.R.’s call for the first
national rally against war and racism. Buses, vans and car caravans traveled to
Washington DC from college campuses and communities all over the U.S. Some
drove more than 24 hours to attend this national anti-war demonstration and
march that drew 25,000 people. 15,000 more demonstrated in San Francisco, and
thousands more in other cities.



A.N.S.W.E.R.
called for October 27 to be an International Day of Action Against War &
Racism, and on that day protests and teach-ins took place in 125 cities around
the world, including over 80 U.S. cities and cities in over 20 other countries.



More
coordinated protests took place on November 14, as the world’s attention was
drawn to an even greater degree on the bombing as Ramadan approached. In
Washington DC, there was a major consciousness-raising effort, distributing
over 20,000 fact sheets in just one day to people as they got on to and off of
the subway before and after work and school.



The
evening of the announcement by the World Economic Forum that they would be
moving their meeting to New York City, A.N.S.W.E.R. called for a major protest
on February 2 to “Declare war on unemployment, poverty and layoffs ­ not the
people of Afghanistan!” and say “Money for Jobs, Education and Healthcare ­ Not
War!” On February 1, more than 500 people attended an A.N.S.W.E.R. teach-in at
Community Church in NYC, which had panels and workshops that covered a host of
issues combining the problem of corporate globalization, war, racism and the
struggle to defend civil rights and civil liberties. More than 1,000 people
joined an A.N.S.W.E.R. indoor rally on the evening of February 1 at Fashion
Institute of Technology. The speakers included Saikou Amadou, Amadou Diallo’s
father; Asha Samad-Matias, Muslims Against Racism and War; Rev. Lucius Walker,
IFCO/Pastors for Peace; Peta Lindsay, student at School Without Walls high
school; Larry Adams, Labor Against the War; Mara Verheyden-Hilliard,
Partnership for Civil Justice; Ron Daniels, Center for Constitutional Rights;
Brother Joel Magellan, Asociacion Tepayac; Rev. Curtis Gatewood, Durham, NC
NAACP; Macrina Cardenas and Tom Hansen, Mexico Solidarity Network; Yoomi Jeong,
Korea Truth Commission; Teresa Gutierrez and Gloria LaRiva, International
Action Center;  Rev. Graylan Hagler,
Plymouth Congregational Church; and Riya Ortiz, Inang Bayan Movement (Filipino
Community).



A.N.S.W.E.R.
has also initiated a campaign called the Pledge for Peace. Thousands have
signed this pledge “to take action to promote peace and stop racism, hate
crimes, and US-sponsored war, in the Middle East, Central Asia and throughout
the world.” The goal is to have 100,000 people sign this pledge to show the
growing anti-war and anti-racist sentiment that exists in the U.S.



In November, the A.N.S.W.E.R. student committee initiated a
Student Non-Compliance Campaign to mobilize university students to counter the
attacks against international students by university administrations under
pressure from the F.B.I. and Department of Justice. Since then, scores of
A.N.S.W.E.R. committees and organizing centers have been created on university
campuses across the country, which are currently organizing for the April 27
march on Washington.



In
the coming months, A.N.S.W.E.R. is dedicated to continuing its activity against
the continuing U.S. attacks against Afghanistan, any widening of the war to
Iraq or elsewhere, and a major campaign in solidarity with Arab, Muslim and
South Asian people who are the victims of the current racist attacks and government
infringements on civil liberties and civil rights.


-------------------------------------



BECOME
AN ORGANIZER FOR THE APRIL 27 NATIONAL MARCH ON WASHINGTON!



** To read the APRIL 27 CALL TO ACTION, go to http://www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/a27/index.html



** To ENDORSE, go to http://www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/a27/a27-endorse.html



** Organize BUSES, VANS & CAR CARAVANS from your area to come to Washington DC on April 27. Get in touch with A.N.S.W.E.R. for resources and logistical information.



** Download the FLYER at http://www.internationalanswer.org/download.html and get the word out in your area.



-------------------------------------


ADDITIONAL UPCOMING EVENT: On February 23, A.N.S.W.E.R. will hold a mass indoor meeting for Peace with Justice for the People of Palestine and Iraq at the Great Hall of Cooper Union in New York City; similar events will take place March 2 in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Speakers traveling to the U.S. for the program include Mohammed Kanana, General Secretary, Abna al-Balad (Palestinian organization inside 1948 Israel) and Omar Nazzal, Founder & Director, Al-Wattan TV, Ramallah, Palestine. Tickets are still available but going quickly. This event assumes additional significance because of the recent pronouncements of George W. Bush and other leading members of his administration that the U.S. is committed to expanding the so-called war on terrorism to Iraq under the broad rubric of “regime change.” If you want to become a volunteer or organizer for this event, email ANSWER (at) afgj.org. For more information about this event, including featured speakers and details about purchasing tickets, see http://www.InternationalANSWER.org .



-------------------------------------



SIGN UP FOR THE A.N.S.W.E.R. LISTSERVE TODAY (low volume, important updates and analysis). GO TO http://www.internationalanswer.org/subscribelist.html



FOR MORE INFORMATION or to get involved with the International A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition, see www.InternationalANSWER.org, email ANSWER (at) afgj.org,
or call New York - 212-633-6646
Washington - 202-543-2777
Chicago - 773-583-7728
San Francisco - 415-821-6545
Boston - 617-522-6626



See also:
www.InternationalANSWER.org
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