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U.S. think tanks hear protest of plans for war on Iran

<p><strong><small>photo: John Catalinotto </small></strong></p>

photo: John Catalinotto

By John Catalinotto
New York

Mar 9, 2012

With President Barack Obama set to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 4, the Council on Foreign Relations and Foreign Affairs Magazine, two imperialist think tanks where U.S. strategists express their opinions and analysis, scheduled a “debate” on March 1 in New York City. The question to debate was, is it “Time to Attack Iran?”

With just a few days to organize, the American-Iranian Friendship Committee called a protest, which quickly drew support from other groups. Demonstrators surrounded the corner of 68th Street and Park Avenue for over an hour. They shouted out a “No to sanctions!” and “No to war against Iran!” whether led by the U.S. or by Israel.

Sara Flounders of the International Action Center was able to get into the meeting and all the way to the front row, where she stood up and interrupted the discussion. Later, on the outside, Flounders told the demonstrators, “I stood up and called out to the audience that both sides of this debate are war makers. One side demands bombing now, while the other is asking for sanctions to soften up and starve out the Iranian people.” Flounders was ejected from the auditorium.

Among the other organizations supporting the demonstration were the Answer Coalition, the Baltimore-Washington Area Peace Council, the International Action Center, the PakistanUSA Freedom Forum, SI Solidarity with Iran, the StopWarOnIran.org Campaign, WarISACrime.org — David Swanson, WESPAC and World Can’t Wait.

Many of the same forces planned to protest on March 4 in Washington, D.C., at a meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, at which both Obama and Netanyahu are speaking.

The anti-war groups will also hold a public meeting on “U.S. Sanctions as a Tool of War — The Case of Iran and Syria” on Saturday, March 10, at 6 p.m. The meeting will be at Grace & St. Paul’s Church, 123 W. 71 St., New York, N.Y. For more information, see www.iranaifc.com or www.iacenter.org.

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UPDATED Mar 10, 2012 11:13 AM
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