from PROTEST to RESISTANCE
to Stop the War at Home and Abroad
in New York City on Saturday, June 16
1 to 5 pm at the Solidarity Center
55 W. 17th St., 5th Fl.
btw. 5th & 6th Ave. in Manhattan
This is a very critical moment in the struggle against the war in Iraq -- a phase of tremendous opportunities and challenges. On one hand, opposition to the war is growing. Every poll shows that over 70%, the overwhelming majority, of the people in the U.S. want the war to end now. President Bush's approval ratings are the lowest of any president since Richard Nixon at the time of his impeachment.
However, this opposition has not yet become the tidal wave of resistance necessary to stop the war, and the Democratic leadership in Congress, which was elected with a clear mandate to stop the war, has once again betrayed the people and completely capitulated to President Bush.
Our responsibility now is to build an independent, grassroots movement that is actually capable of putting an end to this war which has cost the lives of more than 650,000 Iraqi civilians and 3,500 U.S. troops.
On June 16, activists from across the U.S. are gathering in New York to discuss the next phase of united struggle against the war. Organizers are coming from Los Angeles, Raleigh, Cleveland, Boston, Denver, and more. Representatives from local and national antiwar and progressive organizations have been invited to take part in the discussion. Student activists are coming to present plans for a national Student Strike. Labor activists, immigrant rights organizers, and community leaders will present ideas on linking the struggle against the war to struggles facing working people here. Veterans and active-duty members of the military will discuss the prospects of organizing antiwar resistance inside the military.
We know that only an independent grassroots struggle in the streets will stop the war. We certainly cannot wait for politicians from either corporate party to end the war -- if the Congress had any intention of stopping the occupation, they could have already done so. Even a determined congressional minority of Democrats could block the funding for the war. They could disrupt and filibuster. Instead, while posing as the “anti-war” majority party, the Democrats have capitulated to Bush and the Pentagon.
Only the people will stop the war - and we need united, militant action to do that.
Please join us for the discussion on June 16.
Some of the proposed topics for discussion include:
- Assessing the state of the antiwar movement: where do we go from here?
- Congress, Bush and the war funding issue: what's really going on?
- From antiwar to anti-imperialism: making the connections - Iran, Palestine, the Philippines, Cuba, Venezuela, Africa etc.
- The war at home: Immigrant Rights, Katrina, Anti-racist organizing
- Update on the student movement
- The growing GI antiwar movement
This meeting will be an important opportunity to discuss perspectives and plans for the next phase of the antiwar struggle, including the draft call from the Troops Out Now Coalition (see http://troopsoutnow.org/sept2207cal l.html) for a National March on Washington on September 29 and an Encampment to Stop the War, beginning the week of September 22 - 29.
The call for a National March and Encampment in Washington DC has already received wide support. In the past few weeks, activists and organizers from across the U.S. have contacted TONC, demonstrating a groundswell of enthusiasm for the call to go from protest to resistance. Some of the proposals we have heard in the past few days include:
-Student organizations in several cities are discussing plans for a student strike that would include protests and direct action on their campuses, before joining the Encampment and March in DC.
-Organizers are already planning car caravans and "peace trains" to DC for the Encampment.
-Local organizations are planning to set up their own tents at the Encampment, with displays, teach-ins, literature, and protests to highlight various issues, including: immigrant rights, counter-recruiting, Katrina, Palestine, and more.
We urge you to read the proposal from the Troops Out Now Coalition - located online at http://troopsoutnow.org/sept2207call.html. Please consider endorsing the call, and email us with your ideas.
Then, join us on June 16 to continue this discussion and plan for the next phase of resistance to the war at home and the war abroad.