An international call from the Troops Out Now Coalition:
No Matter Who Wins The Elections -- The War Will Go On
Bring The Struggle Back In To The Streets
The 4th Anniversary of the U.S. Invasion and Occupation of Iraq
Troops Out Now!
Forge alliances with movements against the war at home
An anti-racist, anti-imperialist movement is a united movement
Stop the war at home and abroad
End all occupations -- from Iraq to Palestine to Haiti
NO Sanctions & War against North Korea and Iran
Full rights for immigrants
Right to return and recosntruction for Katrina survivors
Money for Jobs, Healthcare, Schools and Pensions - Not War
November 18 in NYC: Troops Out Now Coalition National Planning Meeting
(Location to be announced)
January 15th: Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday -- National Day Of ACTION
The Troops Out Now Coalition calls on antiwar forces in the U.S. to rise up and take over Washington, D.C., and antiwar forces across the world to march as well on Saturday, March 17, the weekend of the fourth anniversary of the criminal war and occupation of Iraq. TONC proposes that the period between now and March 17th be viewed critically and strategically as a time to re-energize, transform and strengthen the anti-war movement.
As part of TONC's preparations for this period, we will be convening a National Strategy Meeting in NYC on Saturday, Nov.18. We are also targeting, along with other forces, the Monday, January 15, 2007 holiday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., as a day of nationwide actions against the war at abroad and at home.
The overwhelming majority of the people in the U.S. hate the war and occupation; yet it goes on with no end in sight. According to the latest reports the occupation has killed a minimum of 655,000 Iraqis, along with nearly 3,000 U.S. soldiers with more than 20,000 more soldiers maimed since the invasion of March 2003.
No matter what the outcome of the November elections in the U.S., the occupation of Iraq along with more sanctions and war threats against North Korea and Iran will continue. No doubt many will vote next month hoping that somehow their vote will be interpreted as a vote against the war.
_We cannot vote against the war on Nov. 7 because there is no such referendum on the ballot._ Even if the Democratic Party wins a majority in both houses of Congress, the war will go on because both the Republican and Democratic parties are dedicated to the interests of U.S. imperialism and not the people of the U.S.
The Democratic and Republican Party politicians may differ both between and within themselves over methods and tactics; however, apart from the mass struggle from below, the politicians of either party are incapable of really stopping Bush's endless war for world domination because of their fundamental purpose which is to defend U.S. imperialist interests.
The two inter-related processes that will end this criminal war and occupation are its defeat by the resistance of the Iraqi people on one hand, and on the other, the mass struggle of the people right here in the streets of this country that refuse to tolerate the war any longer.
The resistance of the Iraqi people has virtually accomplished its part. The weakness in this equation is the U.S. antiwar movement. The people of Iraq, the Middle East and the entire world are waiting for the people of the U.S. to act on their anger and rise up and stop the war.
At this juncture, our challenge as an antiwar movement has never been clearer.
The political system wants to dissipate, demoralize and channel the mass anger of the people over the war into "safe" outlets that do not threaten the status quo. As a movement, we will be of little use unless we deliberately counter the schemes to pacify mass antiwar anger and help to unify and liberate that anger through political consciousness raising, alliance building, and most importantly, mass struggle. The antiwar movement can draw inspiration, as well as a lesson about boldness, courage and the necessity to take the struggle to a higher level from the example of the millions of immigrant workers who left work across the country on May 1, 2006 to rally and march for their rights. _ Some of the essential needs that we must address as a movement include_:
Forging an alliance with the movements against the war at home means:
- Establishing real alliances with the movements against racism and national oppression here at home.
- Building serious working relationships with the struggles of Black, Latin@, Asian, Arab, Native, and all peoples of color. In particular, forging a new and qualitative alliance with the struggle of the survivors of Hurricane Katrina for justice, the right of return, self-determination and reconstruction, and with undocumented immigrants and workers in their struggle for full rights is crucial.
- The more the system attacks the living standards of working people, the more the political servants of the system are going to intensify racism and repression with the aim of scapegoating, dividing and conquering all of us. Solidarity amongst peoples and movements and forward motion in the struggle will depend upon our movements understanding of this, and whether or not we consciously fight against racism and national oppression in our day to day work and around all issues local, national and international.
- The struggle against the war needs to be connected to the struggles of women; lesbian, gay, bi and trans people; youth and students; prisoners; the disabled; the struggle against political repression; the struggles of all working and poor people for jobs; the right to organize, for a living wage, healthcare, education, housing and pensions, etc. We must the find the tactics that bring more workers, both organized and un-organized, into the center of the struggle against the war, bearing in mind that ordinary workers may understand more about imperialism than some full-time activists do.
- It's not enough for the antiwar movement to merely give lip service to these struggles and yet continue to function organizationally as a movement separate from the masses. Our challenge from here on is to help facilitate something that is as necessary as it is natural--the merging of the struggle against the wars at home with the wars abroad.
An Anti-Racist, Anti-Imperialism Movement will be a more united movement.
- U.S.-initiated sanctions and threats against North Korea and Iran along with the U.S./Israeli invasion of Lebanon in August are the latest reminders that as a movement based here in the U.S., we will hardly be relevant or taken seriously by anyone if we are not up to fighting the full scope of the U.S. war drive and that scope is worldwide.
- The truth is that we are not only fighting one president--although Venezuelan President was right in calling Bush "the devil"--we are also fighting a dangerous and criminal imperialist system. The magnitude of the world crises of this system today and the wars, oppression, misery, destabilization and social chaos that it is generating with greater destructive intensity each day demands that we fight them consciously.
- Our challenge as an antiwar movement based in the in U.S. is to be stronger, bolder and more consistent in our understanding of the issues and in our actions. In the coming weeks, there will be more Iraq exist strategies emanating from politicians, generals, and maybe even the White House. We must reject all face-saving, partial or phased withdrawal plans. The way for our movement to be at the center of the struggle, instead of falling to the rear is to advocate the complete, unconditional and immediate withdrawal of all occupation troops from Iraq.
- Other crises likely to take on more importance are the U.S. drives for sanctions and possibly military aggression against North Korea and Iran. Let the message from the U.S. antiwar movement to the world on this be united, loud and clear. That message is that the number one nuclear threat to the peoples of the Asia, the Middle East and the world comes from the U.S. Pentagon's war machine and nuclear arsenal. As long as U.S. rulers are plotting regime change, occupation or both for whatever countries dare to object to U.S. domination, those countries are quite predictably going to try and find the means to defend themselves. Mahmoud Ahmandinejad, the President of Iran, was right in his speech before the UN when he called upon the U.S. to get rid of its nuclear arsenal first. We must oppose sanctions and threats against North Korea and Iran and demand that nuclear disarmament begin at home.
- While ending the occupation of Iraq is strategic, we must also fight for an end to the occupations of Palestine, Afghanistan, Haiti and all U.S. occupations, interventions, plots, colonial machinations, direct or indirect as well as threats across the globe, whether against the peoples of the Philippines, Sudan, Cuba, Venezuela or Puerto Rico.
- The more anti-imperialist our movement is, the more connected it will be to the rest of the world; the more helpful it will be for all who are trying to understand what's really going on; the more it will be a force for lasting solidarity and the stronger, independent and more effective it will be.
- We must work for and fight for greater unity within the antiwar movement. It is not necessary that the various coalitions and forces organizing against the war have complete agreement on political outlook or tactics in the struggle. What's important is that we work together, when and where doing so maximizes our strength.
- How do we forge greater unity? All one need do is observe the social and racial character of most antiwar activities to realize that limiting the demands and dumbing down the politics of the movement serves to narrow the base instead of broadening it.
- The response to the call for mass protests throughout the U.S. to protest the U.S./Israeli war against Lebanon a few months ago came primarily from the Arab and Muslim communities. While it's a positive step forward when a targeted community is able to take to the streets and exercise its unity and power as the Arab and Muslim communities did last August in solidarity with Lebanon and Palestine, it was a problem that participation from protestors who are not from targeted communities at those demonstrations was relatively small.
- An important part of forging an anti-imperialist movement is fighting against the influence of racism; anti-Arab and anti-South Asian bigotry; anti-Islamism and the demonizing of resistance movements within the antiwar movement. The more that we are a consistently anti-imperialist movement, the more we will strengthen the foundations of genuine solidarity and unity in the struggle.
- The next five months is a time to transform our movement and make it what it needs to be in order to push forward and stop the madness. How you can help:
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