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News ::
Building Anti-War Unity for Jan 18 & Beyond (english)
11 Jan 2003
Modified: 13 Jan 2003
BUILDING ANTI-WAR UNITY
FOR JANUARY 18, FEBRUARY 15 & BEYOND
BUILDING ANTI-WAR UNITY
FOR JANUARY 18, FEBRUARY 15 & BEYOND

There is growing momentum for solidarity in the anti-war
movement in the United States and around the world. There
have been two important calls for coordinated global mass
action: one on January 18 that is anchored in the U.S.
anti-war movement and another on February 15 that is
anchored in the European movement. Below is a statement
from Elias Rashmawi, a leading figure in the recently held
world anti-war conference in Cairo, Egypt and a member of
the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition Steering Committee.

The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, at a press conference on
Wednesday, January 8 in Washington DC, announced an Action
Plan to follow up the January 18 National Mobilizations in
Washington DC and San Francisco. As resistance builds in
the United States, it is manifesting itself through a
combination of grassroots anti-war actions of all types
and of national mass mobilizations.

To that end, the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition calls for a Week
of Anti-War Resistance promoting a whole variety of
activities between February 13 and February 21.

WEEK OF ANTI-WAR RESISTANCE
FEBRUARY 13 - 21

FEBRUARY 13: Teach-ins, forums, and youth and student
action on the 12th anniversary of the deliberate
destruction of the Amariyah Bomb Shelter. On this day in
1991, the U.S. unleashed an unprecedented massive assault,
a pinpoint attack by two precision missiles launched from
a stealth bomber against an air raid shelter. Hundreds and
hundreds of young people, mainly children, and some of
their mothers, were incinerated in this calculated effort
to terrorize the Iraqi people in the Gulf War.

FEBRUARY 14: New York City Teach-in from 9 am to 4 pm on
Building an anti-war movement that connects the struggle
against war on Iraq with the fight for social and economic
justice and civil rights at home, followed by an Indoor
Rally from 7 to 10 pm on Linking the struggle against
corporate globalization, war, militarism and racism.

FEBRUARY 15: The European movement, which initiated the
call for this day of actions, has sent requests to U.S.
peace groups, including A.N.S.W.E.R., to call for actions
in the United States. United for Peace has initiated a
mass mobilization in New York City, which we support, and
we also encourage and support regional and local actions
in solidarity with actions that day in Europe and around
the world.

FEBRUARY 16- 20: Local picket lines, rallies, teach-ins,
collection of signatures in the People's Anti-War
Referendum (www.VoteNoWar.org)

FEBRUARY 21: Take to the streets to fight war and racism
on the anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X.
Coordinated Day of Resistance, including student anti-war
walk-outs from hundreds of high schools and colleges, and
other acts of non-compliance. Youth and students have
marked this important anniversary with militant protests
on a range of issues for the last thirty-five years.
Malcolm X embodies the spirit of struggle against
militarism and the racist establishment. Honor his life
and legacy the right way: Resist! Youth and Student
A.N.S.W.E.R. will be providing leaflets, posters, stickers
and other resources for the February 21 actions.

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

ALL OUT ON JANUARY 18
Join the International Campaign Against US Aggression on
Iraq

By Elias A. Rashmawi
-Vice President, The International Campaign Against US
Aggression on Iraq
-Member, A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition Steering Committee
-Free Palestine Alliance - USA

The world has called for it. The movement in the US is
ALL for it. And thousands and thousands are on their way
... It is time to be part of history ... To take a stand!

This is an urgent call to ask for your active role in the
January 18 national/international mobilization in
Washington, DC and San Francisco. On that day, the eyes
of the world will be on the United States!

At the eve of the pending obliteration of Iraq, this is
the time to show our collective resolve, unity of action,
and rejection of war ...

On that day, people across the globe will send a clear
message for peace, and hope that the people of the United
States are equal to the monumental task of halting war.
This is a position we in the US cannot abrogate, a moral
duty we must undertake, and an historic responsibility
that is primarily ours.

To that end, and to expand the essential efforts of peace,
a crucial international conference with more than 400
delegates from around the world was held in Cairo, Egypt,
on December 18-19, 2002, to launch an international
movement to stop war and support self-determination for
the Iraqi and the Palestinian people. The conference
adopted the call of the ANSWER Coalition and called for
January 18, 2003, as the first international day of action
against the war to be anchored on that day in the United
States. It also adopted February 15 as the subsequent
international day of mobilization to be anchored then in
Europe.

A steering committee for the international campaign was
established, headed by former president of Algeria, the
legendary Ahmed Ben Bella, and two vice presidents, Elias
Rashmawi of the ANSWER Coalition and the Free Palestine
Alliance in the United States and John Rees of the Stop
the War Coalition in Britain. Participants of the
conference included delegates from at least 20 countries,
many Egyptian parliamentarians and prominent political
leaders, activists, writers and artists from around the
world. British Member of Parliament George Galloway along
with Dr. Hans von Sponeck and Denis Halliday, the two
former United Nations ranking officials who resigned their
UN posts in protest of the Iraq sanctions, and former US
attorney general Ramsey Clark, were among hundreds of the
distinguished conveners.

In the words of President Ben Bella, "the people of the
United States hold the primary responsibility of halting
their own government's rapid advance to war, and in
securing peace in place of destruction." The 85-year old
historic leader of Algerian independence from France, and
one of the primary legends of the decolonization era,
emphasized that the world expects the people of the United
States to once more take a moral and courageous stand as
they have before against the devastation of Vietnam.

There is no doubt that January 18 will again enter
history. On that day and as we in the US commemorate the
legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Egyptians will
remember the very same day in 1977 as they took to the
streets across the country reclaiming their nation from
the devastation of austerity measures imposed by the IMF.
This is also the time when the first destruction on Iraq
was unleashed some 12 years ago, killing so far at least
1.5 million Iraqis between the bullets of missiles and the
bullets of imposed disease and starvation.

From Egypt to the United States and to every nation
around the world, we are resolved to make this coming
January 18 a historic day of solidarity and peace. As
thousands and thousands prepare to march on Washington and
San Francisco, we echo the call of the International
Campaign Against US Aggression on Iraq and urge all to
join hands so as to link with all those standing for
justice globally.

January 18 may well be our last national/international
unified stand before destruction is unleashed, since the
Bush Administration has indicated January 28 as the day of
decision.

Peace and justice are nonetheless viable, but only if we
take a stand!

This is a duty the rests squarely on the shoulders of the
people of the United States ... and history will certainly
record this stand for generations to come.

Even in the United States itself, war has significantly
escalated against the people of the Middle East. In a
prelude to prison camps that evoke the memory of the
internment of Japanese-Americans, and as a test case to
widespread wholesale arrests, the US has begun a hateful
and racist policy of selective "registration" and mass
detention of men based on their ethnic background alone.
This manifestation of the self-serving "war on terror" is
indeed terrorizing entire communities throughout. It is a
policy that is yanking away bothers, sons, fathers, and
husbands from their families for no other reason but their
national origin. Holding criminal an entire people is
well under way in the United States. It is being
normalized and set into law.

But there is more. The campaign of destruction on
Palestine has also escalated with active US diplomatic,
political, financial, and military support and
participation. With an attack on Iraq, Israel will
undoubtedly carry out its planned mass expulsion;
wholesale destruction of towns and refugee camps; and a
higher rate of individual and collective assassinations.
Unless challenged globally, Palestinian mass transfer is
imminent. Palestine, a primary hurdle to global
domination is indeed in the crosshairs of imperial
designs.

An Empire has emerged! It is waging a global war to
redefine the boundaries of nation-states, appropriate
wealth and resources, install governments, and re-shape
policies throughout. It was Afghanistan some months ago.
It is Iraq today. There are Korea, Columbia, the
Philippines, and Palestine. The examples are too many --
Yet, who is next and where?

With every step of imposed destruction, our world is
brought closer to a global disaster and the people of the
US are pitted against the international community.

A collective answer to the drumbeat of war is a must -- we
no longer have a choice, or the luxury of time!

Busses, carpools, and delegations in the thousands are
being organized for Washington and San Francisco at
hundreds of organizing centers nationwide from coast to
coast. The movement in its entirety is united. Join, as
we collectively make history and take a step for justice
and peace!

Information on how to help and be part of this historic
march can be found on the ANSWER website:
http://www.internationalanswer.org. Visit today and
organize!

Time is of the essence!

For your immediate reference, I have also attached below a
copy of the Cairo Declaration for your review and
consideration. I urge your immediate support. To
indicate your endorsement of the Declaration, please write
to: rashmawi (at) sbcglobal.net

In solidarity,
Elias A. Rashmawi

------------------- Appendix -------------------

THE CAIRO DECLARATION
Against U.S. Hegemony and War on Iraq
and In Solidarity with Palestine

The international meeting organized by the Egyptian
Popular Campaign to Confront U.S Aggression was convened
in Cairo on December 18 and 19 to launch the International
Campaign.

We, the participants reaffirm our resolve to stand in
solidarity with the people of Iraq and Palestine,
recognizing that war and aggression against them is but
part of a U.S. project of global domination and
subjugation. Solidarity with Iraq and Palestine is
integral to the internationalist struggle against
neo-liberal globalization. The Cairo meeting is not an
isolated event, but an extension of a protracted
international struggle against imperialism, from Seattle
and Genoa to Lisbon and Florence, to Cordoba and Cairo.

The U.S. provides unlimited support, and even
justification, to the Zionist perpetrators of genocidal
crimes against the Palestinian people. The suffering of
the Iraqi people under a regime of genocidal sanctions
lasting over a decade, and the aggressive militarism which
they face today is but a logical outcome of the structures
of power asymmetry of the existing world order:

* The U.S. monopolizes political, economic and military
power within the framework of capitalist globalization, to
the detriment of the lives of the majority of the world's
people

* The U.S. imposes control through naked aggression and
militarized globalization in pursuit of its rulers'
interests, all while reinstating the characteristic direct
occupation of classical colonialism

* The U.S. global strategy, which was formulated prior to
September 11 2001, aims to maintain the existing uni-polar
world order, and to prevent the emergence of forces that
would shift the balance of power towards multi-polarity.
The U.S. administration has exploited the tragic events of
September 11, under the pretext of fighting terrorism, to
implement the pre-existing strategy.

Attention to this global context helps explain current
world developments:

FIRST: Capitalist Globalization and U.S. Hegemony

* prioritize the interest of monopolistic capitalist
circles above those of the people, including Europeans and
U.S. citizens.

* integrate the economies of different countries into a
single global capitalist economic system under conditions
which undermine social development and adversely affect
the situation of women, child health, education, and
social services for the elderly. In addition, unemployment
and poverty increase.

* generalize the culture of consumerism and individualism,
to the detriment of a sense of collective responsibility,
whether towards the thousands of infant and child deaths
in Iraq resulting from polluted water, malnutrition and
deficiencies in medical supplies, or towards the victims
of AIDS, malnutrition and famines around the world. Among
millions of people standards of living have deteriorated
while unemployment and poverty have become widespread.
Globalization has resulted in the marginalization of
entire peoples who could no longer acquire the basic
necessities to sustain life.

SECOND: In the absence of democracy, and with widespread
corruption and oppression constituting significant
obstacles along the path of the Arab peoples' movement
towards economic, social, and intellectual progress,
adverse consequences are further aggravated within the
framework of the existing world order of neo-liberal
globalization.

* Admission to restrictions on democratic development in
Iraq in no way constitutes acceptance of U.S.
justifications for continuation of sanctions, and now
preparations for war. Without disregarding long-standing
restrictions on democratic development in Iraqi society -
as is the case in all Arab societies - it is evident that
the U.S.-imposed sanctions have had a devastating effect
on Iraq's development. Whereas Iraq had once enjoyed a
relatively positive profile according to certain human
development indicators, its people now suffer severely as
a result of the sanctions regime. Iraq has witnessed a
significant rise in child mortality rates, the spread of
several diseases, reduction of opportunities in education,
and a marked deterioration of the standard of living. As
human suffering increases it generates a sense of
defeatism.

* The Palestinian people are suffering as a result of the
loss of their land and continued Zionist aggression, which
the U.S. supports militarily, economically, and
politically, making its administration a de facto
accomplice in the crimes committed against the Palestinian
people. The U.S. protects Israel from condemnation in
international forums under the pretext of combating
terrorism, and it asserts additional false claims, such as
when it equates the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian
people to resist occupation, liberate their land, and
return to their homes, on the one hand, with terrorism
that we all abhor, on the other.

* The policies of Structural Adjustment associated with
neo-liberal globalization have precipitated global crises
manifest in a widening wealth gap, increase in poverty and
unemployment, and general deterioration of standards of
living.

* U.S. military presence in the Arab region, and its
dictates to governments of sovereign nations of the region
has compounded the suffering of the Arab people.
Interference in the internal affairs of these nations now
extends to demands of educational reform, and insistence
on "democratization". Ironically this is occurring at a
time when civil liberties in the U.S. are clearly under
siege, especially with regard to Arab and Muslim
Americans, along with other minorities. The U.S.
administration also violates international law by its
inhumane treatment of the POWs in Guantanamo. Also evident
is the wealth gap in the U.S., which is the widest among
the industrial nations of the world.

* Far from secretly, the US intends to partition Arab
countries into smaller entities on ethnic or religious
basis. This would enable Israel to become the dominant
regional power within the framework of the Middle East
Project, to the peril of an Arab project of equitable
development and regional unity.

The suffering of the Arab people and U.S. unwavering
support of the system of apartheid imposed on the
Palestinian people, will undoubtedly fuel conflict and
lead to the escalation of violence in one of the most
sensitive areas of the world. Such danger can easily
extend to neighboring Europe, Asia and Africa. Continued
preparation for war on Iraq in spite of its acceptance of
a UN resolution of aggressive inspection of its armament,
as well as civilian industries, signals a predetermined
intent to control the Arab region, its oil and indeed the
entire world supply of oil.

THIRD: For all these reasons we declare our total
opposition to war on Iraq and our resolve to continue the
struggle against U.S. policies of global domination. We
strongly believe in the urgency of mobilizing against
these policies. All democratic forces in the world that
are for genuine Peace and Justice must join together
within the framework of an international campaign against
neo-liberal, US-centric globalization and promote an
alternate globalism based on Equity and Justice. This
would mean better utilization of the world's resources and
protection of the environment. Together the people of the
world are quite able to combat aggression and all forms of
injustice, prejudice and racism, and make a better world
possible.

The Cairo conference against war on Iraq and in solidarity
with Palestine represents the launching of an
international popular movement that creates effective
mechanisms for confronting policies of aggression. The
participation of international activists who are prominent
for their struggles for Human Dignity, Rights and Justice,
as well as intellectuals, authors, unionists, human rights
workers, journalists and artists- from Egypt and the rest
of the Arab World, Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe,
and the United States- will no doubt accelerate this noble
endeavor in spite of the numerous obstacles that we have
to confront.

FOURTH: It is important that this international popular
initiative of solidarity with Iraq and Palestine proceed
according to an Action Plan which includes clearly defined
priorities:

1. Condemnation of U.S. military presence on Arab land
along with pressuring the Arab governments that allow U.S
military bases on their territory to close them down, and
not to provide air, naval, or land facilities

2. Develop cooperation among popular organizations of the
South to reinforce solidarity in confronting the policies
and practices of neo-liberal globalization and U.S.
hegemony

3. Work towards cooperation with the international
anti-globalization movement of the North and South, and
participation in activities and meetings organized by this
movement

4. Promote the unity of democratic forces and popular
organizations in different parts of the world, and form
solidarity committees which oppose war on Iraq, and the
genocidal crimes faced by Palestinians, supporting their
right to resistance and struggle for liberation

5. Under the banner "Together against globalization and
U.S Hegemony" add Iraq and Palestine to the agendas of
international progressive meetings, particularly the next
Social Forum at Porte Allegre

6. Invite Arab and international human rights
organizations to evaluate humanitarian conditions in Iraq
and disseminate their findings worldwide

7. Prepare to send human shields to Iraq

8. Introduce the boycott of U.S. and Israeli commodities
in solidarity campaigns in support of Iraq and Palestine,
with emphasis on the right of return for Palestinians

9. Elect a Steering Committee to follow up on the
implementation of the Cairo Declaration, and coordination
among organizations which commit to its principles, and
enhance awareness through appropriate actions ranging from
the preparation of posters to organizing marches and
demonstrations in solidarity with Iraq and Palestine

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

Email circulated by:
A.N.S.W.E.R.
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism

For more information about the January 18 National March
on Washington DC & joint action in San Francisco, go to
http://www.internationalanswer.org

Sign up to receive updates (low volume):
http://www.internationalanswer.org/subscribelist.html

------------------
See also:
www.iacboston.org
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Comments

Fuck ANSWER (english)
13 Jan 2003
"Unity" does not equal blindly following a bunch of authoritarian apologists for genocidal dictators.

War is not the answer ... and neither is ANSWER!

For a world without bosses!