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News ::
A.N.S.W.E.R Emergency National Anti-War Conference in NYC
04 Jun 2002

Report on the June 1 conference:
- Plans announced for mass June 29 demonstration at
FBI's Washington D.C. headquarters to tell Ashcroft
"Hell No, We Don't Want Your Cointelpro"
- This summer, Commission of Inquiry hearings on
U.S.-backed Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian
people will take place around the country
- Great press coverage of the conference
- List of speakers and topics of the conference.


on June 1 Emergency National Anti-War Conference

(June 2, 2002 - NYC) Over 600 activists with
International A.N.S.W.E.R. met yesterday in New York
City and announced plans for a mass June 29
demonstration at the FBI's Washington D.C.
headquarters to protest John Ashcroft's domestic
espionage program that targets political
organizations, mosques and community groups.

A.N.S.W.E.R. which stands for Act Now to Stop War &
End Racism was one of the central forces behind the
100,000-strong March for Palestine April 20th in
Washington, D.C. The activists who planned this
demonstration came from around the country Saturday
for an all-day, anti-war conference opposing Bush's
war policies that threaten Iraq, Colombia, and the
Philippines, back genocide against Palestinians, and
take money from people's needs and funnel it to the

A special section on the conference's Opening Plenary
entitled "Emergency action plan to fight back against
the FBI and Ashcroft" featured Mara Verheyden-Hilliard
and Carl Messineo, attorneys and co-founders of the
Partnership for Civil Justice. "Today we have
launched a national fightback movement to stop John
Ashcroft and the FBI from bringing back the very worst
features from J. Edgar Hoover's reign over domestic
intelligence," stated Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, also a
member of the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition steering

"Ashcroft's changes have been presented as an
innocuous update of FBI procedures," said
Verheyden-Hilliard. "This has become the preferred
method of presentation by Ashcroft as the Justice
Department shreds the First Amendment and the Bill of

"These changes, however, are much more insidious than
simply allowing the FBI to surf the web,"
Verheyden-Hilliard continued. "They are a full-scale
revival of Cointelpro, the notorious government
infiltration program which reached its peak in the 60s
and was aimed at Martin Luther King and the civil
rights movement."

"Ashcroft is facing a growing and powerful anti-war,
anti-racist movement that won't be easily
intimidated," said Larry Holmes, co-director of the
International Action Center, also with A.N.S.W.E.R.
"We're not going to let Ashcroft, the FBI, Bush and
his right-wing gang with the complicity of the
Democratic Party and Congress tear up the
constitution, open up a war on political dissent, and
stop the very necessary movement against his
war-mongering, pro-rich madness."

Later in the day -- after a reportback from
A.N.S.W.E.R.'s medical and legal delegation that just
returned from the West Bank and Gaza -- conveners
announced plans this summer for mass public inquiries
entitled Commission of Inquiry hearings on U.S.-backed
Israeli war crimes against the people of Palestine.

Details of the A.N.S.W.E.R. Action Plan will be
released in the coming days.


The June 1 Emergency National Anti-War Conference was
one of the top stories on NY1. That story follows:

Anti-War Activists Hold Conference On War Against
June 1, 2002

To view the 60 second clip that was shown many times
on NY1, go to:

Anti-war activists gathered at a conference in
Manhattan Saturday to rally against what they call the
Bush administration's "war machine."

The demonstrators were part of the group ANSWER, which
stands for "Act Now to Stop War and End Racism." The
conference was held at the Fashion Institute of

ANSWER members say they want to challenge efforts by
Attorney General John Ashcroft and the FBI to give
investigators new authority to keep tabs on Americans.
They also say they plan to start a movement to stop
any plans for a war in Iraq.

"It is taking everything that we need for schools and
hospitals and food and everything that people need and
robbing it from us and pouring it into a military
budget," Larry Holmes of the International Action
Center said Saturday.

ANSWER also wants to put an end to any racial
profiling of Arabs or Muslims in the United States.

The group is planning to hold a massive rally in front
of FBI headquarters in Washington D.C. later this


The conference included a wide array of speakers on
many topics, including:

- Elias Rashmawi, Free Palestine Alliance
- Larry Adams, President, Mailhandlers Local 300; New
York City Labor Against the War
- Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, attorney and co-founder,
Partnership for Civil Justice
- Larry Holmes, Co-Director, International Action
- Yoomi Jeong, Korea Truth Commission
- Chuck Kaufman, Nicaragua Network
- Jennifer Wager, IFCO/Pastors for Peace
- Arturo Garcia, Bayan International
- Carl Messineo, attorney and co-founder, Partnership
for Civil Justice; member of A.N.S.W.E.R. delegation
to Palestine
- Dr. Hillel Cohen, public health doctor and
epidemiologist; delegate for 1199 Health and Hospital
Workers Union; member of A.N.S.W.E.R. delegation to
- Randa Jamal, Al-Awda NY-NJ, Free Palestine Alliance
- Sara Flounders, International Action Center; member
of A.N.S.W.E.R. delegation to Palestine
- Brenda Stokely, President, AFSCME District Council
1707; New York City Labor Against the War
- Williams Camacaro, member, Venezuela Civic Center,
- Teresa Gutierrez, Committee to Stop the U.S. War in
- Ben Dupuy, Co-Director, Haiti Progres; Secretary
General, National Popular Party in Haiti
- Mahmoud Ahmed, Free Palestine Alliance-Chicago
- Richard Becker, Western Regional Coordinator,
International Action Center; member of A.N.S.W.E.R.
delegation to Palestine
- Gloria La Riva, President, Typographical Sector of
the Northern Calif. Media Workers Union; National
Committee to Free the Five Cuban Political Prisoners
Held in the U.S.
- Leslie Feinberg, author and lesbian/gay/bi/trans
rights activist
- Brian Becker, International Action Center
- Renee Washington, volunteer organizer, All People's
- Doreathea Peacock, coordinator, Boston Women's
Fightback Network
- Sharon Ceci, Baltimore A.N.S.W.E.R.
- William Guerrero, IAC
- David Sole, Pres., Auto Workers Local 2334, Detroit
- Ed Childs, chief shop steward, Local 26 HERE (Hotel
Employees and Restaurant Employees), Boston
- Lyn Meza, Vice-President, IUE-CWA Local 201
- Mike Gimball, NYC AFSCME progressive caucus, local
375, delegate to NYC Central Labor Council
- Trudy Rudnick, organizer, AFT (American Federation
of Teachers) Local 3882 in NY
- Andre Powell, trustee, AFSCME Local 119, Baltimore
- Dave Welsch, retired Vice-President, National
Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)
- Andy Thayer, Chicago Coalition Against War & Racism
- Roger Wareham, Aug. 17 Millions for Reparations
- Subash Kateel, DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving)
- Khadouri Al-Kaysi, Committee in Support of the Iraqi
- Ismael Kamal, Sudanese American Society
- Deirdre Griswold, Workers World newspaper
- Peta Lindsay, youth and student coordinator,
- Daniel Keesler, student, School Without Walls high
- Ayman El-Sawa, IAC
- Deirdre Sinnott, A.N.S.W.E.R. organizer
- Alicia Jrapko, Int'l Action Center-SF
- Cherrene Horavuk, CISPES (Committee in Support of
the People of El Salvador)
- Bob Marsh, Iraq Sanctions Challenge
- SOA Watch representative
- Dan Wilson, Philippine Forum, Network in Solidarity
with the People of the Philippines
- Tom Burke, Colombia Action Network
- Rebeca Toledo, Committe to Stop the U.S. War in
- John Parker, International Action Center-LA


International A.N.S.W.E.R.
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism

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