Call of the Int`l Action Center for March 19-20 mobilisation
"Central Park Belongs to the People--March on Central Park on March 20 to End the Occupation!"
This call for a united effort of antiwar forces came from organizers and activists at the December 4 Emergency Antiwar Conference in New York City. It was greeted with thunderous applause and a renewed determination to be in the streets to fight the illegal occupation of Iraq. (see below for the text of the call)
The conference, called by the International Action Center, was supported by a wide variety of progressive organizations including: New York City Labor Against the War, the Haiti Support Network, the New York Million Worker March Committee, the Korea Truth Commission, New Jersey Solidarity - Activists for the Liberation of Palestine, New School Graduate Program in International Affairs Human Rights Group, International Concerned Family & Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, AMAT - the Association of Mexican American Workers, FIST - Fight Imperialism - Stand Together, Queers for Peace and Justice, Democratic Palestine, the No Draft No Way Campaign, PeopleJudgeBush.org, and more.
Panelists at the conference raised the need to organize against the draft and military recruiting, to support resistance inside the military, and to return to the streets in the continued struggle to stop the occupation. At the conclusion of the conference, participants broke into planning groups to begin organizing the next phase of resistance to occupation. Organizing groups included: Fighting Bush`s War Budget, Fighting the Draft and Military Recruiting, Solidarity with Resistance in the Military, and Action Plan: Counter-Inaugural and March 20.
MARCH TO CENTRAL PARK ON SUNDAY MARCH 20th, 2005
THE WHOLE WORLD WILL BE MARCHING AND WATCHING
The world-wide antiwar movement has called for massive demonstrations against the war on the weekend on March 19-20 -- the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. We have a responsibility to respond with renewed determination and commitment in the face of the Bush Administration`s launching of a new phase of the war against the Iraqi people.
A few months ago, Mayor Bloomberg, the NYPD, and Bush told us that we could not march to and rally in Central Park. We do not accept this decision and are determined to challenge it in the courts and by assembling tens of thousands of people to retake Central Park --our Park. The antiwar movement cannot afford, and must not allow, this infringement on our rights, especially in a city as important as NYC.
We call on all antiwar and progressive activists, organizations, and coalitions to work towards building a massive march on Sunday March 20th to Central Park under the slogan OUT NOW!
We propose to set up an OUT NOW coalition, open to all individuals and organizations willing to work together to stop the war. The reason why we are proposing that we call this movement "OUT NOW!" is because these two simple words convey the absolute zero tolerance for the occupation of Iraq that must drive our organizing hence forth. We need everyone to know that the mass movement is re-opening a full-scale campaign to stop the war and end the occupation and that the movement means business.
We encourage you to endorse this call.
International Action Center
THE CHALLENGES FACING THE ANTIWAR MOVEMENT
The following points are not submitted as the basis for unity that all must agree to before working together. They are points of discussion that merit movement-wide attention at this crucial juncture.
* WE need to demand the Immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. occupation troops from Iraq. The occupation´s sole purpose is to control the natural resources of Iraq and render the Iraqi people and its institutions subservient to US corporate interest by military force. The principal function of the occupation is the destruction of all who dare to resist it, no matter the cost in Iraqi lives, in the destruction of Iraq´s infrastructure, and the resulting devastation of Iraqi society.
* The most important thing to know about the January 30 "elections" that are being organized under the US-created Allyawi regime, is that their purpose is to legitimize the occupation and the objectives of the occupiers. In the days ahead it will become more important for us to reject and expose any excuses put forward to justify the continuation of the colonial occupation of Iraq for even one more day, or the sending of more troops which is already under way. There is only one issue and that is ending the criminal occupation - immediately.
* We must support politically, morally and organizationally members of the U.S. armed services who are resisting the war, moreover, we must encourage this resistance.
* We must organize to fight any attempt by the Bush Administration to re-instate the draft and prepare to support resistance if conscription returns.
*It is time for the antiwar movement to acknowledge the absolute and unconditional right of the Iraqi people to resist the occupation of their country without passing judgment on their methods of resistance. Even the founding charter of the United Nations clearly affirms the right of an occupied people to resist by force of arms.
* Bush´s doctrine of preemptive war, the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and the growing threats against Iran and North Korea make it incumbent upon us to reject that notion that smaller countries must disarm and leave themselves defenseless at the demand of Bush and the Pentagon. Such demands are not only hypocritical, irrational and unjust; they amount to little more than a pretext for more invasions and occupations.
* We must continue to draw the connections between and build solidarity all of the people in every part of the world that are resisting the empire - in Korea, the Philippines, Cuba, Venezuela, Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Haiti, where the people are actively resisting the "coupnapping" of President Aristide.
* There must no longer be any hesitation on the part of our movement regarding our support of the struggle of the Palestinian people to free themselves from occupation. As a movement we have made a huge step forward in this regard. There must be no turning back.
* We must work to facilitate the widest unity between all of the forces that are seriously organizing against the war and occupation. The world demands no less of us inside of the US. If there is a will to forge unity, then those with wide differences in political positions and even a history of poor working relations will find the basis to unite in the interest of the struggle to stop the war.
* Now that the election is over, it is clear more than ever that only a peoples´ mass movement can stop the war. The antiwar movement should never again sacrifice its independence and demobilize itself on behalf of a political party that supports the war. The first and most immediate task of the antiwar movement is to be back in the streets.
* It is up to us to revitalize the mass struggle against the war and to insure that it is serious, uncompromising, unrelenting and supportive of a wide array of tactics from the mass marches to the militant tactics of the youth, to the tactics that are most effective for the inclusion of workers, labor unions and people of color.
* One way of accomplishing greater fusion between the antiwar movement and the working class and the poor is through linking of the issues that affect the mass of the people with the struggle against the war in a much more strategic and substantive way. For example, very soon the Bush administration will ask congress to approve between $70 and $120 billion more for the war on top of the more than $200 billion that has already been allocated for it. Congress will be voting to fund the war and occupation at the same time that students, workers, single parents, the unemployed and retirees are being hit with the most sweeping budget cuts in the government programs that they depend on since the Reagan years. Our challenge: Can we help galvanize those who will be outraged by the specter of their money being stolen from critical needs to pay for more death and destruction into a struggle against the war budget vote? The time frame for this struggle will the period between the counter-inauguration protest in DC and around the country on Jan.20 - through the 2nd anniversary of the start of the war on the March 19/20 weekend.
* We propose to strategize and reach out to other forces with the goal of implementing this perspective. The Million Worker March Movement has issued a call for all of the various antiwar organizations and workers struggles to unite on the weekend of March 19-20 and we endorse this call for broad unity.