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News :: Globalization : Human Rights : International : Labor : Media : Organizing : Politics : Race
Global protests to demand: U.S. OUT NOW!
13 Mar 2006
TONC’s call for a weekend of anti-war resistance has resonated with activists and revolutionaries. Over 500 organizations and prominent individuals have endorsed the nationally coordinated local actions.
On 3rd anniversary of war on Iraq
Global protests to demand: U.S. OUT NOW!
By David Hoskins
Published Mar 9, 2006 12:18 AM

Anti-war activists in at least 25 countries and over 100 cities worldwide are calling for demonstrations on the weekend of March 18-19, the third anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, to demand an end to the war and occupation. Assemblies of social organizations at the European Social Forum in Vienna, Austria and the World Social Forum in Bamako, Mali, and Caracas, Venezuela, joined the call for the actions.

In the United States, the Troops Out Now Coalition (TONC) has called for large local demonstrations in cities throughout the country. Actions are set now in New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Baltimore, Detroit, San Francisco, Atlanta, Denver and others cities and towns in 32 states, according to the TONC website.

There will also be a five-day march from Mobile, Ala., to New Orleans from March 14-19, focusing on the war and on the Katrina disaster, and a march from Tijuana, Mexico, to San Francisco from March 12-27 raising demands regarding the rights of immigrants and especially those from Latin America.

TONC’s call for a weekend of anti-war resistance has resonated with activists and revolutionaries. Over 500 organizations and prominent individuals have endorsed the nationally coordinated local actions.

Larry Holmes, a Vietnam-era veteran, anti-war activist and now a TONC spokesperson, says that on March 18 and 19 the “central demand will be the immediate, complete, and unconditional withdrawal of all occupying forces from Iraq—no timetables and no redeployment, just immediate withdrawal.”

Other demands will include: end all colonial occupations including Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Haiti; build levees not bombs, support the struggle of Katrina survivors, overturn the “Patriot Act”; no war against Iran; and money for jobs, healthcare, housing and schools instead of war.

The largest East Coast actions are expected in New York and Boston. In Boston the anti-war movement and organized labor are working side by side to ensure that the voices calling for immediate withdrawal are heard. Boston TONC and United Steel Workers Local 8751 are working within the Rosa Parks Human Rights Day Coalition in preparation for the protests. Local religious and cultural leaders have also endorsed the protest program. Organizers say they are planning for protestors to march down Malcolm X Boulevard to the State House where activists will rally and speak out against the war (see article on Boston’s organizing).

Organizers in New York City are preparing for a day of coordinated protests at military recruiting centers in communities around the city, including Harlem. These actions will culminate with a mass convergence on the Times Square recruiting station. Protestors will then march from Times Square to the United Nations headquarters.

UN march to focus on threats to Iran

According to TONC organizers, the march to the UN will focus on Bush’s attempt to get UN Security Council support for action against Iran. The marchers will also demand that the UN inspect the gross human rights violations surrounding Hurricane Katrina and not the unfounded accusations leveled against Iran.

Many of the demonstrations around the country will target recruiting centers. Military recruiters cynically play on the struggles of working-class youth and young people of color in their attempt to maintain and expand the armed forces and get replacement troops for those occupying forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The anti-war movement can help expose the myths perpetuated by military recruiters who lie and try to persuade poor youth that joining the military can ensure a quality job, health care and educational opportunities. Fight Imperialism—Stand To gether (FIST), a multinational revolutionary youth group, will be helping to organize young people and students to fight back against the recruiters who target them in their homes, schools and communities.

As the U.S. government enters its third year of occupation in Iraq it also marks a third year of the intensification of exploitation and racism against the workers and nationally oppressed peoples living inside the United States.

The failure of the U.S. government to even try to mount an effective rescue operation in response to Hurricane Katrina laid bare the domestic racism and inequality of the U.S. imperialist system for the world to see. Its refusal to assist Katrina’s survivors who are struggling to reunite with their loved ones and find meaningful work and adequate housing has added to this exposure.

Meanwhile, inside occupied Iraq the resistance steadily grows and the inability or unwillingness of the U.S. occupation force to establish a stable society there has diminished what little support U.S. government policies had, even within the United States. Thousands of U.S. and British soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and resistance fighters have been killed in the three years since Bush ordered the invasion.

The upcoming protests will provide activists with an opportunity to advance the resistance to war and occupation in the U.S. itself. The most class-conscious elements of the movement will not only contribute to building the anniversary protests, they will intervene to educate working and oppressed people about the necessity of revolutionary change. They will demonstrate that the bloody war on Iraq grows out of capitalism and imperialism, and what is needed is to replace this system with a socialist system that is organized to meet people’s needs and not for war and profit.

More about the anniversary activities is on the TONC website at

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