International Action Center: 29 Years of Activism

International Action Center

29 Years of Activism

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December 2020

Organizing during a pandemic

This has been a complicated year for political protest in that people worldwide are confronted by the coronavirus pandemic. This crisis has caused the International Action Center and its affiliated organizations to adapt and find creative ways to organize protests against government policies at home and abroad. The IAC has done that through car caravans, online webinars, mass emails, and publication of a new book and other political and educational materials. Moreover, younger members have joined marches, rallies and bicycle caravans.

Stop bombings and sanctions!

In January, the U.S. directed a fatal missile attack, which killed an Iranian general visiting Iraq on a diplomatic mission. The IAC joined like-minded organizations in countrywide protests on Jan. 4 against this overt U.S. attack. Concerned with the potential for a new U.S.-led war, the IAC opposes the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear arms agreement with Iran. The IAC decries Washington’s military threats and aggression against other countries in the Middle East and in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The truth is no matter who is the president, further nuclear weapons development, military deployments and occupations, drone attacks and new U.S.-led or -backed wars are ever-present. So, the anti-war movement must always be ready to act, even now, with tactics adapted to the pandemic.


Last year, the IAC and many like-minded organizations formed the “Sanctions Kill” campaign to oppose these acts of economic warfare imposed by the U.S. and its allies, which devastate one-third of the world’s population in 39 countries. The coalition planned coordinated global days of action in mid-March.

Then the pandemic hit! The coalition then held a series of educational webinars with representatives of countries under sanctions. The IAC extends solidarity to Venezuela, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Palestine and other countries targeted by these horrific policies.

Currently, the IAC is working collectively with these groups to produce a tool kit with graphics, charts and other educational materials to help social justice activists explain how sanctions are an act of war against defenseless populations.

Black Lives Matter! No police terror!

The world watched with horror the police killing of 46-year-old, unarmed George Floyd, an African-American man, in Minneapolis on May 25. That heinous act set off a movement involving millions of outraged people demonstrating in over 2,500 U.S. cities and towns. Led by Black Lives Matter organizers, people of all nationalities, ages and genders marched and rallied in solidarity. Protests occurred all over the globe, too.

At the time, it was revealed that police also killed Breonna Taylor, a young African American EMT worker. Due to the demonstrations, reports came to media and public attention of other victims of fatal, racist police violence.

Youth who work with the IAC, Fight for Immigrants and Refugees Everywhere (FIRE), People’s Power Assemblies/NYC (PPA/NYC) and Workers Assemblies Against Racism (WAAR) joined these protests from Boston to Houston to Portland Ore. Car caravans were also held in New York, Philadelphia and elsewhere.

Essential workers are heroes

Our activists organized and joined car caravans on or around May 1 to hospitals and big retail stores to show solidarity with health care and other essential workers at their workplaces during the pandemic. We call for full federal funding to all workers made jobless by the pandemic, cancellation of student debts, moratoriums on all evictions and foreclosures, sufficient food programs, and health care with free testing and treatment for all workers, documented or undocumented, and their family members.

Fund disaster relief, not the Pentagon!

Since its founding in 1992, the IAC has demanded: “Fund human needs, not the Pentagon!” The federal government’s lack of response to the pandemic has led to thousands of needless deaths, with numbers increasing. Millions of people are out of work. Food lines are everywhere. Many businesses and jobs are not coming back. Disaster relief is needed NOW!

Instead of allocating $740 billion to the Pentagon each year (and billions more privately), the IAC insists that federal funds instead be diverted to meet essential human needs. This is urgently needed!

Abolish ICE! Close the camps!

FIRE is active around the country, especially in Houston, San Antonio and the southern border in Texas. Activists have demonstrated frequently against deportations and detentions of migrants, separation of families and the caging of children. Car caravans have gone to Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers and the border.

FIRE demonstrations helped to end Greyhound’s practice of allowing ICE and border agents to board buses and arrest migrants. And FIRE issued a statement and joined protests condemning abuse of women on military bases, and demanded justice for Vanessa Guillen, who was murdered by a soldier at Fort Hood.

Free political prisoners!

The IAC supports the calls to free Mumia Abu-Jamal, African American journalist and activist, and Native leader Leonard Peltier, who is in ill health, imprisoned thousands of miles from his people. Free all political prisoners! We call for incarcerated people to be released during the pandemic, as prisons are petri dishes for the viral spread.

The IAC denounces the Trump administration’s fast-track federal executions. Our members are active in anti-death penalty organizations, including the Death Penalty Abolition Project in Texas, and elsewhere.

Oppose Amazon’s censorship!

The IAC and the China-U.S. Solidarity Network published articles by international activist-writers in a unique anthology entitled, “Capitalism on a Ventilator: The Impact of COVID-19 in China and the U.S.” The book compares China’s effective campaign that has contained the virus with Washington’s disastrous, disorganized and unscientific response, which has caused the U.S. to have the highest number of cases and deaths of any country. This outcome starkly shows Washington’s low priority for the health of the majority of the U.S. population.

This book refutes the racist anti-China rhetoric propagated by the Trump administration and many other U.S. officials, politicians and media. And it denounces slanders against Asian Americans, which emanate from the White House and the ultra-right.

Amazon, the corporate colossus owned by Jeff Bezos, the world’s wealthiest billionaire, censored the book, by refusing to publish and sell it, claiming that “Amazon publishes only official sources” on the coronavirus, and that “your book does not comply with our guidelines.” But the mega-monopoly has no problem publishing books that promote conspiracy theories and quack cures. We ask that you help to publicize this book and expose Amazon’s censorship! For more information, see (Indicate on the coupon if you would like to receive a copy.)

Solidarity Center

This is a significant meeting and work session space in New York City for groups affiliated with and/or supported by the IAC, such as FIRE, PPA/NYC, WAAR, the People’s MTA, the International Working Women’s Day Coalition, People’s MTA and the Laundry Workers Center. The Center welcomes organizations and coalitions which are anti-war, anti-racist, against all bigotry, and which promote international solidarity, workers’, women’s, immigrants’, disabled people’s and LGBTQ2S+ rights. The annual bus to bring people to join the National Day of Mourning in Plymouth, Mass., normally organized by the IAC from this office, was canceled this year due to health protocols. Boston IAC and United Steelworkers Local 8751 members attended and helped with logistics, sound and video-streaming.

We need your help!

The IAC assists in funding the Solidarity Center. Even now expenses must be paid for the email and Zoom system needed for webinars, Internet and phone bills, printing, office supplies and more. Since March, young people have used the Center for work sessions to make banners, signs and leaflets to bring to demonstrations.

The IAC’s organizing and activism could not happen without the assistance of our committed friends and donors. Everyone who works with the IAC is a volunteer. However, the organization has to meet essential expenses. Our determination is strong. But your continued backing and financial support aid our work and inspire us to do more.

Given the pandemic crisis, continuing U.S. militarism and sanctions, racist violence and the overturning of legal rights and reductions in government programs, the IAC has to be alert and ready to respond quickly, using whatever method is possible now. Of course, when the health emergency lifts, we will be out organizing and protesting. The Center is poised to reopen. Organizers and activists are eager to get moving again and be outside marching with other groups, and making our voices heard.

We hope you give generously. Click here to see how you can donate.

International Action Center

c/o Solidarity Center

147 W. 24th St., 2nd floor

New York, NY 10011

Phone: 212.633.6646