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From Coast to Coast - and around the Globe, The People Say "Stop War on Iran!"

Actions in more than 100 cities

As the threat of war and sanctions against Iran grows, “No War on Iran” was a slogan and chant that resonated across the U.S. on the weekend of Aug. 1-2 as emergency marches, rallies, vigils, teach-ins, honk for peace picket lines and leaflet distributions were held to protest U.S.-Israeli war threats against Iran. 

In response to the Emergency Call to Action issued by the Stop War on Iran Campaign in mid-June, anti-war activists in more than 100 cities voiced their opposition boldly in the streets despite the short notice in which the initial call was made and the difficulty of organizing during the summer. 

Besides bringing attention to the real threat of a military strike against the sovereign country of Iran, activists also raised the new round of economic sanctions against Iran, which is another form of war.  Activists also connected Iran to the wars and occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine which have cost hundreds of billions of dollars and maimed and killed an untold number of civilians and soldiers.  Many events connected the staggering financial cost of the war with the lack of health care, housing, and other human needs, as well as the foreclosure crisis and the skyrocketing cost of gas.

Below we have included reports from a handful of the many actions that took place over the weekend.  Reports are still coming in, and more will be posted on the Stop War on Iran blog - http://stopwaroniran.wordpress.com in the coming days.

This weekend's actions were an enormous display of opposition to Washington's plans for an attack on Iran.  But we must do more - we have to continue to organize to stop another criminal war.  The Stop War on Iran campaign is mobilizing to stay in the streets - over the next few weeks, we are preparing placards, banners, and literature to take to St. Paul, Minnesota and Denver, Colorado, for the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.  If you're planning to be there, look for our banners and organizing tables and find out how you can help get the word out.

We also need your help to keep the message on the streets and to continue to help build a peoples movement to Stop War on Iran.  Please consider making an emergency donation to Stop War on Iran at http://stopwaroniran.org/donate.shtml to help with the costs of printing literature, preparing placards, and transportation to St. Paul and Denver.



New York City

An estimated 700 to 1,000 activists refused to allow two torrential thunderstorms dampen their spirits and determination to rally at Times Square and then take to the streets.  Thousands more who were shopping or just passing by stopped to listen to speeches, chants and songs that connected the wars abroad with the wars at home against the workers, the poor and the oppressed.  Joyce Chediac, a Lebanese activist and journalist and LeiLani Dowell, a Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST) organizer chaired the rally.  Chants from the stage were led by activists from Nodutdol for Korean Community Development and CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities.

Larry Holmes, a leader of Troops Out Now Coalition, spoke on the imperialist nature of U.S. wars and why it is in the interest of the people in the U.S. to support self-determination, not the U.S. government.  Kazem Azin, an Iranian activist, told the crowd that the Iranian people will continue to defend their homeland against U.S. and Israeli aggression.  Former U.S. Attorney General, Ramsey Clark, urged the crowd to keep organizing and resisting.  Other rally participants represented the American Iranian Friendship Committee, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Million Workers March Movement, New York Katrina/Rita Solidarity Coalition, World Can’t Wait, Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition, Justice Committee, Peoples Justice, BAYAN-USA, New York Free Mumia Coalition, International Action Center, Veterans for Peace, Raging Grannies, World Can't Wait and many more.  Activists read solidarity statements from Prof. Jose Maria Sison, Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee International League of Peoples Struggles (ILPS); and from the IAPSCC - International Anti-Imperialist  and People's Solidarity Coordinating Committee in Kolkata, India; and from the Mobilization Against War and Occupation in Vancouver.

Following the rally, a youth-dominated, multinational and militant march took to the streets.  When the police tried to force the marchers on the sidewalk, they stood their ground and stayed in the streets until the march ended at Union Square, 25 blocks later.  There was a large youth contingent from Nodutdol for Korean Community Development along with organizers from the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), FIST, International Action Center and many others. 

Washington, DC

On Aug. 2 a protest took place in front of the White House. One hundred and fifty protesters carried signs that included:  "Iran Didn't Foreclose on My House" and "U.S. Out of the Middle East". At a rally in a park, Rostam Pourzal from Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Invention in Iran spoke along with a representative from the D.C. Stop War on Iran Campaign.

The protest was multinational with a large number of people from the Iranian community along with Black activists, particularly youth, as well as Code Pink members and other anti-war activists. Media coverage of this protest included Al Jazeera, CNN and Youth and Politics Beat.  The Baltimore All Peoples-Congress members also participated.  Activists are meeting on August 12 to plan future actions.

Los Angeles, California

Two hundred anti-war protesters gathered and marched in Downtown Los Angeles Aug. 2 despite 20 violent pro-shah and pro-U.S. war counter protecters that tried to stop it. The counter protecters were violating a permit obtained by the Stop the War On Iran Coalition. In fact, the only action the police took was to attempt to arrest one of the coalition monitors defending the Stop War On Iran protest.

About 15 demonstration monitors were able to isolate and force the counter protecters out of the park to allow the program to resume. Speakers and initiators of the march represented BAYAN-USA, World Can't Wait, FMLN, FIST, IAC. Other speakers represented South Asian Network, USLAW-Los Angeles, SEIU Local 721, Al-Awda, Anti-Racist Action, Union of Progressive Iranians and more. The march was very visible along Broadway's mostly Latino and working class population. Some observers joined the militant march. Press included Fox news, the local Pacifica station - KPFK and Tehran News.  For updates and to find out how to get involved, see http://www.iacenterla.org.


Raleigh, N.C.

The protest convened at the State Capitol building.  Rima L’Amir from FIST made opening remarks.  Twenty pro-war men with U.S. flags tried to provoke the anti-war activists but were unsuccessful.  The march stopped at U.S. Congressman's Bob Ethridge's office downtown where Larkin Coffey from FIST and a speaker from the Durham Bill of Rights Defense Committee spoke. The march went to Barack Obama's local campaign headquarters where Rev. David Foy from Black Workers for Justice spoke. Many of the Obama volunteers came outside and began registering people to vote.  Another FIST speaker talked about the role of the Democratic Party. While marching past the bus station many riders joined in on the anti-war chants and started dancing and took Stop War on Iran literature.  Ben Carroll from FIST was interviewed on National Public Radio. For more information and updates, see http://raleighfist.wordpress.com.


Houston, Texas

TONC organized an open mic protest to denounce plans to make war on Iran Aug. 1 in 100-degree heat for two hours at the Mickey Leland Federal Building.  “We have so many issues to fight right here at home.  We don’t need to make war on Iran,” said Alma Diaz, co-host of KPFT Pacifica’s “Protecto Latino Americano”. “Tomorrow morning we are going to confront the racist Border Watch at a job site and we urge you to join us.”  
 
Signs that read, "Honk to Stop War" evoked continuous honking by drivers, waving and making peace signs from car windows.  People signed petitions for "No War on Iran".  Council on American-Islamic Relations representative, Ali Khalili, stated, "Enough is enough.  In our name, with our money, they are killing people across the world. We waged war in Iraq. More than a million innocent men, women and children have died.”
 
Other activists represented there were from the Harris County Green Party, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Houston Peace Forum, Houston Peace and Justice Center, Code Pink, and Houston Coalition for Justice. Njeri Shakur from the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, stated, "People’s lives are in a crisis with the rising gas prices, rising rents and food costs…people are sick of war and want our tax money to be spent on the real needs of the people.”

Boston, Massachusetts

Over 200 activists picketed the Army Recruitment Center Aug. 2 in downtown Boston in an action jointly organized as a Counter Recruitment Day called by the UMass/Boston Antiwar Coalition and Boston Stop War on Iran Campaign.

Shouting “We support war resisters, they’re our brothers. They’re our sisters”, the picket line stretched an entire block and was joined by activists from TONC, IVAW, Greater Boston Stop the Wars Coalition, Workers World Party, International Socialist Organization, Vets for Peace, Smedley Butler Brigade, Women’s Fightback Network, Stonewall Warriors and Boston School Bus Drivers Union Local 8751 USW.

Mike Spinnato from IVAW told WW that, “Reading Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States opened my eyes to the reality of what armed forces recruitment was really about”.

FIST organizer, Miya, spoke on the connection between the military recruiting oppressed youth to fight and die abroad and the need for jobs for youth, not jails and war.  To get involved with the Boston Stop War on Iran Campaign, see http://www.iacboston.org.


Springfield, Massachusetts

50 people attended an Aug. 2 noontime news conference in Court Square, across from City Hall, followed by a public speak-out.  The speakers included State Representative Benjamin Swan, a civil rights activist who marched with Dr. King, and award-winning Latino poet Martin Espada.  Iranian born Behzad Samimi, now a U.S. citizen, made a strong case against a U.S.-Israeli attack on Iran.

They were joined by Don James, President of Arise, a poor people’s rights group; Dr. "Marty" Nathan of Physicians for Social Responsibility; student John Collura of the S.T.C.C. Mobilization Against Poverty, Racism and War, along with representatives from Out Now, Wally Nelson Veterans for Peace and the American Friends Service Committee. 

All three Springfield T.V. stations covered the news conference, as well as The Springfield Republican newspaper.  Nick Camerota of the Western Mass. IAC was interviewed prior to Aug. 2 on two African American radio programs about the protest.  Other protests in the state were held in Pittsfield, Orange and Tisbury.

Detroit. Michigan

Over100 multinational protesters joined a spirited protest in downtown Detroit at Hart Plaza Aug. 1 declaring "US-Israel: Hands off Iran and "Money for Housing, Not for War!"

The emergency action, sponsored by the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice (MECAWI) (see http://www.mecawi.org) was joined by members of Peace Action, the AFT and UAW, the Moratorium NOW! coalition, Latinos Unidos, Pax Christi, the Green Party, the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights, the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, 11th Hour 4 Peace, Iranian community members and others.

A speak out took place were speakers linked the U.S.'s planned war on Iran to the domestic war most notably in relation to foreclosures, school closings, police brutality and the increasing costs of living. A similar action took place in Ann Arbor Aug. 2.

Woodstock, NY

Some three dozen people gathered on the Village Green in Woodstock, NY, to protest the potential invasion of Iraq. There was an overwhelming supportive response from passersby on foot and cars, despite the heavy rain. Rene Imperato, of the Woodstock Solidarity Committee, spoke on the plight of veterans and the horrible effects of exposure to depleted uranium by American and other occupying forces as well as the Iraqi people. Dale Wise of Veterans for Peace read poems from wounded Iraq veterans. Veterans for Peace,

Following the rally, protesters drove to Kingston to join a picketline of over two dozen people across a busy thoroughfare from the local army recruitment office at the Kingston Valley Plaza mall.

Woodstock Vietnam Veterans Against the War and www.mid-eastcrisisresponse.org. endorsed the Woodstock demonstration which was called by the Woodstock Solidarity Committee.

Atlanta, Georgia

More than 80 anti-war activists lined both sides of a busy midtown Atlanta street to oppose any economic sanctions or military attack on Iran. There were honks of approval from many passing cars and cheers from pedestrians. Leaflets urging people to contact their elected officials and voice their rejection of any blockade of Iran as contained in House Resolution 362 were distributed to shoppers.
 
The IAC and the Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition/Atlanta action drew a number of youth and students and members of the Iranian community, some of whom came in response to a half-page "No War on Iran" ad placed in a weekly newspaper.

Chicago, Ill.

Over 125 anti-war and progressive activists attended a rally at the State of Illinois Building organized by the Chicago Coalition against War and Racism to oppose the bipartisan war threats against Iran. 

The speakers’ list included public housing activist Beauty Turner; immigrant rights activist Jorge Mujica from the March 10th Coalition; Iranian activist Ali Akbari from Evanston Neighbors for Peace; Al Sutton of Chicago Labor against War; and Angie Haban of the “Holy Name 6”, activists who face charges for staging an anti-war protest during the 2008 Easter service at Holy Name Cathedral. The protesters marched to the Cook County Republican Headquarters, the Israeli consulate, and the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

(From http://www.worldwidewamm.org/home.html) At noon on Friday, August 1, the anniversary of the collapse Interstate-35 Bridge into the Mississippi River, exposing the condition of U.S. infrastructure, Women Against Military Madness, held a demonstration in Minneapolis outside of Senator Amy Klobuchar's office, one block from the site of the bridge. National and international organizations called for worldwide emergency actions on the next day, but we held ours one earlier to coincide with the bridge collapse. Senator Klobuchar was one of the sponsors of Senate Resolution 580. The protest called for "Bridges Not Bombs! Don't Bomb Iran!" and was attended by 40-50 activists. Many cars and bicyclists honked and gave thumbs up and thanks on the street at the edge of downtown Minneapolis. Although news crews from major TV stations fueled up at a gas station across the street as they cruised up and down Washington Ave. to take photos of the bridge, the stories in the media focused on healing and heroes after the tragedy and making the connection between the decaying U.S. infrastructure and the cost of war and the threat of war did not fit into their story line.

Vancouver, Canada


200 people, including many Iranians, rallied at the Vancouver Art Gallery to demand “No War On Iran!” In Canada, besides activists in Vancouver, British Columbia, there were also events organized in Calgary, Alberta and Sydney, Nova Scotia, in conjunction with this international call.

The rally in Vancouver was organized jointly by Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) and the Iranian Community Against War (ICAW). MCs Payvand and Arash from ICAW opened the rally with chants of “Don’t Attack Iran!” and “No to Sanctions on Iran!”.

Many community activists from a variety of unions, grassroots organizations, and ethnic communities spoke at the rally, including: Alison Bodine, MAWO Co-chair (by phone from San Francisco), Phillipa Ryan, Coast Salish elder and social justice activist, Dustin Langley, a central organizer with Stop War on Iran (reading a solidarity statement via phone from New York), Ladan, an Iranian social justice activist and supporter of the Iranian Community Against War, Charles Boylan, radio host on Co-op Radio’s “Wake Up With Co-op” program and a member of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), Cesar, an organizer with the Solidarity Coalition for a United Latin America, Fred Muzin, President of the Hospital Employee’s Union of British Columbia, Ali Yerevani, ICAW organizer and political editor of the Fire This Time newspaper, Nita Palmer, executive committee member and Acting Co-chair of MAWO. The rally was closed with a resolution read by Meaghan Griffiths, high school student and MAWO organizer - for a full report from MAWO and text of resolution, see http://www.mawovancouver.org/reports/080802photos.html  . Activists are planning a public forum on August 12 to continue to organize and mobize - for more information, see:
http://www.mawovancouver.org/materials/posters/080821-IRAN-FORUM-SURREY.pdf


Other Aug. 2 protests

In Cleveland antiwar groups demanded “Don't Iraq Iran” as they marched past the federal building to a rally at a downtown park.  Congressperson Dennis Kucinich made opening remarks charging the Bush administration with using the same lie--weapons of mass destruction--to justify another war. Other speakers represented the Iranian community, Peace Action, World Can't Wait, U.S. Labor Against the War, AFSC, WILPF, Vets for Peace, Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network, TONC, Middle East Peace Forum, and others. A protest was also held in Columbus.

In Buffalo, a demonstration was sponsored by Buffalo Forum, the Western New York Peace Center, IAC and WWP. The anti war coalition in Buffalo recently shouted John McCain out of Buffalo.

A rush hour protest in downtown Baltimore was held Aug. 1.  Hundreds of workers honked their horn and waved as activists held signs that read, “Foreclose the war, not our homes. Roll back gas prices, not war on Iran.”  

In Hicksville, Long Island, 65 people rallied, joined in a lively action at the railroad station and then took a “peace” train to the NYC rally. Activists from Vets For Peace, Code Pink, LI TONC, Pax Christi, Hicksville SDS, as well as Hicksville Students Against War participated.

The IAC organized a Stop War on Iran picket line at the Federal Courthouse in Seattle and then marched to city center. This march joined forces with a vigil against the U.S.-Israeli war and occupation against Palestine called by Voices of Palestine. There was another demonstration organized by IVAW, GI Voice and Olympia SDS at the gates of Ft. Lewis which made an appeal to the soldiers not to fight Iran. 

Nearly fifty people came out in 103 degree heat in Denver to protest war threats made against Iran from the Bush regime.  Banners and signs held up by the activists received many responses from passing motorists.

In Bozeman, Montana, a vigil to Stop Wars on Iraq and Iran was held at the Gallatin County Courthouse.  Overwhelmingly, passersby, many on their way to and from a local fair, supported the demands by honking their car horns, giving peace signs or raising their fists in support.

In Tucson, a discussion was held on how the local anti-war movement can educate people about the Bush administration's lies regarding Iran. One speaker, who had visited Iran last summer, gave a firsthand account of the gains the Iranian people have made since overthrowing the Shah in 1978.

Other Stop War on Iran protests were held in Kennebunkport, ME; Salt Lake City, UT; Louisville, Ky., Fairbanks, AK; Hilo, HI; Gate 1 of the Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base in Norfolk, Va., Naples and Miami, FL, Madison, WI and many more.  Go to www.StopWarOnIran.org for full report backs on other actions and pictures -- and to help organize for the next stage of the struggle to Stop War on Iran.

Many activists have posted videos of local actions on YouTube and elsewhere - check the Stop War on Iran blog for links to videos and news coverage.

News Coverage:


HELP US STAY IN THE STREETS!
The Stop War on Iran Campaign will be at both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions with placards, banner, and literature.  Please consider making an emergency donation so we can stay in the streets to help build a movement to Stop War on Iran.
http://stopwaroniran.org/donate.shtml


What you can do:

Sign the Petition at http://stopwaroniran.org/petition.shtml



Make an Emergency Donation at http://stopwaroniran.org/donate.shtml



Tell a Friend
http://stopwaroniran.org/friend.shtml





Calcutta
Kolkata, India

Vancouver
Vancouver, B.C.

Naples
Naples, FL


Wayne, PA
Wayne, PA

Norfolk, VA
Outside of Little Creek Amphibious Naval Station, Norfolk, VA


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UPDATED Aug 6, 2008 8:07 PM
International Action Center • Solidarity Center • 147 W. 24th St., FL 2 • New York, NY 10011
Phone 212.633.6646 • E-mail: iacenter@iacenter.org • En Español: iac-cai@iacenter.org