PROTEST THE TWIN PARTIES OF THE WAR MACHINE
MASS MARCH & RALLY -at the Democratic National Convention on July 25, 2004 in Boston -at the Republican National Convention on August 29 in New York City
To endorse the Call to Action for Mass Marches and Rallies at the Democratic National Convention in Boston and the Republican National Convention in New York City, fill out the form at http://www.ANSWERcoalition.org/campaigns/dncrnc/endorse.html
STATEMENT FROM THE A.N.S.W.E.R. COALITION
The twin parties of the war machine are gathering this summer in Boston and New York City to anoint their candidates for the upcoming presidential election. It is urgent that the progressive movement be in the streets in Boston and New York City.
This is a critical time for all progressives and targeted communities to take a clear stand against the political framework that is championed by the Republican and Democratic parties alike. The Bush administration has engaged in a lawless war of aggression and occupation against the people of Iraq. It is attempting to abrogate civil rights and liberties of all while simultaneously falsely positioning Arab-Americans and Muslims as "enemies within." It has been engaged in multiple projects to destabilize nations and rob people of their sovereignty and freedom. From imprisoning the Palestinian people within an Apartheid Wall, to occupying Haiti through death-squad proxies and the deployment of U.S. troops, to turning Afghanistan and Central Asia into a U.S. sphere of influence, the U.S. government is using its military power to carry out the corporate looting of the world's natural and human resources.
THE TWIN PARTIES OF THE WAR MACHINE
The war on Iraq did not just begin a year ago, nor is it Bush's alone. The Democratic Party leadership and the solid majority of Democrats in Congress voted in October 2002 to fully support the threatened aggression against Iraq even though their offices were being overwhelmed with calls demanding that they vote no to the war. In July 2003, the Senate voted unanimously in support of continuing the occupation of Iraq - there was not one opposition vote.
Bush insists that U.S. troops continue to occupy Iraq for the foreseeable future. John Kerry, who voted to authorize the war, is not supporting the removal of U.S. troops. In fact, he is calling for adding 40,000 troops to the Army on a temporary basis to ease the personnel shortage created by the Iraq deployment. The Bush administration and Kerry joined together in condemning the new Spanish government when it announced the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq. The Bush administration pursued its strategy of "regime change" to its logical - and illegal - conclusion with the March 20, 2003, invasion. But "regime change" in Iraq became the official policy of the U.S. government in October 1998 during the Clinton administration. It was in December 1998 that the Clinton administration insisted that weapons inspectors be removed from Iraq and the near-daily bombing of that country began. Both the Democratic and Republican administrations maintained genocidal sanctions on Iraq that killed nearly 1.5 million people according to the United Nation's own statistics.
As the Bush administration gave the green light to Ariel Sharon to wage terror against the Palestinian people, John Kerry issued a paper in February titled, "The Cause of Israel is the Cause of America." Both oppose the legitimate right of Palestinian people to self-determination and return. The U.S. government - with the support of both parties - funds the war against the Palestinian people at the cost of $15 million a day.
JOINT ASSAULT AGAINST PEOPLE'S RIGHTS AND NEEDS AT HOME
The Bush-Ashcroft regime has carried out a full assault against civil rights and civil liberties, exemplified with the passage on October 26, 2001, of the USA Patriot Act. Kerry and the Democratic Party supported the passage of the Patriot Act. In the House, the vote was 357 to 66. Only one U.S. Senator (Russell Feingold) voted in opposition, and he had previously cast the deciding committee vote that ultimately allowed John Ashcroft to become Attorney General.
George W. Bush and John Kerry represent extreme wealth and privilege. Bush and his family have accrued tens of millions in personal wealth from oil and other corporate holdings. John Kerry is the richest person in the U.S. Senate, whose wealth is estimated by Forbes to be at least $525 million. Bush has been slashing vitally needed social programs. Kerry, in spite of his fabulous wealth, decided that welfare recipients were receiving excess benefits when he voted in 1996 for the Welfare Reform Act that stripped millions of poor people, 70 percent of whom were children, of their right to food and housing. The Bush administration's tax cuts for the rich, enacted with support from the Democrats, will provide over $181,000 a year to each millionaire if made permanent. At the same time, the administration has proposed cutting funds for housing which will deprive more than 100,000 families with children from receiving Section 8 vouchers that ensure affordable housing.
George Bush is proposing a constitutional amendment to ban marriage rights for all. Instead of a constitutional amendment, John Kerry proposes that each state enact a similar ban.
Bush's reactionary "No Child Left Behind Act" passed with the support of the Democratic Party, including John Kerry. The bill punishes working class and poor communities by stripping funds from schools that fail to meet testing performance standards. This bill is inherently racist as it especially victimizes already underfunded schools in predominantly African-American and Latino communities. The bill is also known as "No Child Left Unrecruited," as it requires schools to turn over the name, address and phone number of every junior and senior to local military recruiters or face cuts in federal funding.
As the federal government rapidly shifts funds to the already bloated Pentagon budget, a move initiated by Bush and supported by Kerry, funds available for states and cities and especially needed social programs are being slashed. Devastating cuts in housing, education, job training, veterans benefits, and healthcare are imposing a new level of human suffering especially in working class and poor communities. Hardest hit are African-American and Latino communities.
Both parties are opposed to providing benefits and legal safeguards to undocumented workers and their families. Both parties have engaged in scapegoating and targeting of immigrant communities and their legal and social rights.
In the last three years, nearly three million jobs have been lost in the United States, as corporations engage in layoffs, outsourcing, and the moving of factories outside the country to exploit lower wage workers. While the Democrats assail Bush, this phenomena is the consequence of capitalist globalization that puts the maximizing of corporate profits first and the rights of workers last whether they are in the U.S. or other countries. The Democratic Party, like the Republican Party, are instruments of this economic and social order.
THE DANGER POSED BY THE BUSH WHITE HOUSE
The emergence of a mass global movement in the last three years has shown the depth of outrage against the Bush Administration's global agenda, its criminal actions and its propensity to limitless violence in the pursuit of word domination, empire and Pax Americana. The whole world is threatened by the Bush regime. Not only have there been wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan and the U.S. coup and occupation of Haiti, the first free Black republic in the western hemisphere, but all the people of the world realize that they too are in the cross-hairs. The establishment of new military bases in the former Soviet Republics in the Caspian region and the re-introduction of U.S. military forces in the Philippines indicates the new dangers posed by the Bush government. The administration is committed to the overthrow of the government of Cuba and the Chavez government in Venezuela. They are committed to the overthrow of the government of Zimbabwe and the semi-colonial reconquest of Africa with its vast untapped oil reserves and other natural resources. It is recklessly and rapidly building its so-called Missile Defense system which puts the U.S. on a collision course with the People's Republic of China and North Korea. The people of the Middle East recognize that the Iraq war was designed to set the stage for further threats, aggression and intervention in Syria, Lebanon, Iran and other countries in the region.
The administration has arrogantly announced through its preemptive war doctrine that it not only has the right to invade other countries but to carry out assassinations all over the world against individuals who are designated the "enemy" and marked for death by the Bush government. It has asserted the right to lock up anyone indefinitely, without charge of wrongdoing, trial, or access to counsel, at its concentration camp in Guantanamo, Cuba, and to do the same to U.S. citizens, in military prisons in the United States.
The Bush administration has also declared war against the environment, withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol, working to turn the Arctic wilds into drilling fields and the parklands of the U.S. into clear-cut forests. They lifted restrictions on the amount of mercury, arsenic and other poisons in the air and water children breath and drink. The administration is eviscerating social programs at home by causing an unprecedented transfer of wealth from poor and working people to the rich. The right wing ideologues in the White House seek to overturn all the civil, social and democratic rights achieved by the people in recent decades. Affirmative action and voting rights are under assault. A top priority has been the elimination of women's reproductive rights by criminalizing and eliminating a woman's access to needed healthcare, as well as the destruction of girls' equal education rights. The Bush administration poses a genuine peril to the people of the world. The people of the United States and the people of the world recognize that if reelected the Bush administration is likely to intensify its global assault against anything that stands in the way of its plans for U.S. hegemony and world domination along with its ultra right wing domestic program.
MASS MOVEMENTS NOT POLITICIANS BRING ABOUT PROGRESSIVE CHANGE
We also know that what has not stopped the Bush administration is the Democratic Party, because that Party is an _expression of the same corporate establishment and Military-Industrial Complex in whose interest the Bush administration functions. Although the Democratic Party leadership opposes some of the most right-wing elements of the Bush agenda, its record proves time and time again that it willingly capitulates to the Bush program and turns its back on the communities it claims to represent.
Both parties and both conventions represent the concentration of power in the hands of corporate and banking elites, the extension of militarism and war, and the assault carried out by the corporate establishment against workers' rights, civil rights and civil liberties. It was the massive and independent mobilization of the people that won union rights in the 1930s, civil rights in the 1960s, and the advance in women's and lesbian/gay/bi/trans rights. It was the people of the United States, combined with the resistance in Vietnam and around the world, which brought that criminal war in Southeast Asia to an end.
When Bush and the Republicans gather in New York City, hundreds of thousands of people will protest their crimes at home and abroad. The Democratic Party is expecting that it can cynically rely on our outrage over the Bush Administration's crimes such that the people will rubber stamp its agenda --- an agenda that largely supports the same violent and repressive policies and programs of corporate exploitation as Bush. They expect our anger at Bush will manifest into automatic support for the coronation of John Kerry. They expect that they need not do anything to address real human needs and demands for global justice; that being a false "alternative" is sufficient to take the reigns of government power and become the current beneficiaries and advocates of the corporate agenda in the U.S. We cannot afford to be silent. We cannot stand by. We must take action.
The plans to demonstrate mass opposition at both conventions on the eve of the presidential election should in no way be understood to mean that the organizers are unmindful of the potential significance of this or any election. Clearly, the recent election in Spain which repudiated the pro-Bush Aznar government, just days after the horrific Madrid bombings, could be seen as nothing other than a powerful referendum on that government's complicity with the Iraq war.
If Bush were to be defeated in November the world would have a similar joyous reaction as that which accompanied the defeat of Aznar. But if Bush is defeated and Kerry takes the presidency it is crystal clear that the occupation of Iraq and all the other associated projects of the Pentagon, CIA, and corporate establishment will continue unabated.
Many thought that the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the end of the cold war would result in a lessening of world tension and create a "peace dividend" whereby funds could be shifted from war production to programs serving human needs. Rather, it opened up a new opportunity for the United States as the unipolar power in the world to advance its long sought objectives of subjecting every region and every country to the dictates of U.S. political and corporate power and control. The U.S. is endeavoring to become the unchallenged world empire, acting with the tools of massive military power and deceit to carry out conquest and brutal exploitation. The war in Iraq was not merely the project of one man, or one group. This war is the product of decades of world capitalism, the natural outcome of a structure that demands ever greater profits for the tiny few be achieved by the subjugation of human and natural resources and by total domination over world markets. The entire pre-emptive war and global conquest doctrine, as detailed in the September 2002 National Security Strategy speaks to this goal.
The real hope for change, not cosmetic alterations but the urgently needed profound social change in the United States, will come about from an enlarged and politically conscious mass movement of the people. This movement is in an embryonic state, its potential dynamic evolution is the real source of optimism in global politics but its potential will rapidly evaporate if it settles for the meager role of tail to the kite of the Democratic Party establishment. As the ruling political and economic establishment has moved dramatically to the right since the end of the Vietnam war, with the objective of eviscerating all the social achievements of the 1960's and 70's, the Democratic Party has dutifully followed suit. The progressive movement must go in another direction - it must develop its own independent program, its own independent strategy and it must compete against both Republican and Democratic leaderships' for the hearts and minds of the people.
JOIN US IN BOSTON AND NEW YORK CITY
The demonstrations will have permits. The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition applied for permits for demonstrations in each of these cities more than a year in advance, and thousands of A.N.S.W.E.R. organizers and supporting groups are mobilizing across the country for this summer of protest and resistance. We believe that there should be unity between all progressive coalitions and organizations for these actions.
The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition joins affected communities in calling for justice and the protection of civil rights.
Join us in Boston on July 25 and in New York City on August 29. Scores of organizations are planning actions for the days before and during the conventions. We urge everyone to come and participate in as many activities as you can.
*Bring the troops home now *U.S. out of Iraq/All Foreign Troops Out of Iraq *End occupation: From Palestine to Haiti, Afghanistan, Korea, the Philippines & everywhere (the U.S. military has over 750 military bases and installations located in 130 countries) *Money for jobs, education, housing, healthcare - not for the Pentagon war machine *Defend civil rights and civil liberties
To ENDORSE the Call to Action for Mass Marches and Rallies at the Democratic National Convention in Boston and the Republican National Convention in New York City, fill out the form at http://www.ANSWERcoalition.org/campaigns/dncrnc/endorse.html
AUGUST 26, 2004
Independent International Tribunal on Iraq: Day-long hearing in New York City on the eve of the Republican National Convention to report on war-crimes charges brought against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and others for crimes committed in carrying out the war and occupation of Iraq. Ramsey Clark and other legal experts around the world have charged that the Bush administration has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. These proceedings are aimed to tell the truth and will include reports from committees in countries around the world that held hearings presenting evidence of crimes against Bush and Co.
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
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