Emergency campaign to defend Iraqi resistance conference
Communiquàƒ…© of the organising committee of the International Conference à¢…€…œLeave Iraq in Peace à¢…€" Support the Legitimate Popular Resistanceà¢…€…?
Italian government negates visas for Peace and Resistance conference
After having submitted an official request to the Italian embassy in Baghdad as well as to the Foreign Ministry in Rome in the morning of August 1 we received a message saying that à¢…€…œno problem for the visasà¢…€…? asking us even for details to proceed. Then the letter of the 44 US congress members became known. While the activities of the organising committee of the conference à¢…€…œLeave Iraq in Peace à¢…€" Support the Legitimate Popular Resistanceà¢…€…? were in full swing all of a sudden on August 8 the Italian representation in Iraq turned around signalling that à¢…€…œthe Foreign Ministry negated your visa requestà¢…€…?.
While our protest letter to the Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini (leader of Allianza Nazionale, the former Neo-Fascist Party), which was signed by influential personalities, remained silenced by the mainstream press, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconià¢…€…™s mouthpiece à¢…€…œLiberoà¢…€…? launched a campaign to criminalise the conference and its organisers as à¢…€…œfund raisers for terrorismà¢…€…? along the line given by the US congress. The witch hunt climaxed in the demand to ban the conference, as well as to arrest and indict Leonardo Mazzei, the secretary of the Italian Free Iraq Committees, trying to apply the anti-democratic and un-constitutional laws passed under the guise of the à¢…€…œwar on terrorà¢…€…?.
Meanwhile in the regional parliament of Tuscany, the province in which Chianciano is located, Forza Italia, the formation of Berlusconi, has launched the initiative to also formally ban the conference while the local press is just joining in. There are rumours that the police is already exerting pressure on the congress centre to cancel the contract for the conference.
US dictate against dialogue with Iraqi people
The reasons for the US drive against the conference under the motto à¢…€…œwith the Iraqi resistance for a just peaceà¢…€…? are obvious. Washington wants to impede at any cost that high ranking representatives of all major political, cultural and religious forces opposing the US occupation enter into dialogue with the European people. While a political front of the resistance is not yet constituted the conference intends to bring together all its possible components. Not pretending to formally represent the Iraqi resistance nor the Iraqi people it is, however, clear that a legitimate government will be formed based on the forces represented by the scheduled delegates.
The conference organisers and participants firmly hold that a just peace is only possible by ending the occupation, withdrawing the troops and respecting the right to self-determination. Possible peace talks therefore must be conducted with the real representatives of the Iraqi people, i.e. recognising the forces opposing and resisting the occupation as only legitimate interlocutors, and not with the puppet regime set up by the occupants.
The US hegemonic interests clash with this democratic procedure which is in full accordance to international law based on popular sovereignty. That is why they need to discredit us as à¢…€…œterror supportersà¢…€…? against which their à¢…€…œPatriot Actà¢…€…? should be unleashed by intermediary of their European allies.
Contradictions within European political class reflects popular pressure
The European oligarchies and especially those of the countries which continue to participate in the US occupation and their crimes are faced with the overwhelming opposition of the broad masses. The latter want to desist from the US war of aggression for the sole sake of the American empire and they urge to end the occupation leaving Iraq in peace. Only in this way counter-attacks in the asymmetric global US war can be avoided and Europeà¢…€…™s security safeguarded.
So some rulers -- like Zapatero of Spain -- have understood that they cannot permanently trample the will of the popular masses without paying the price. Therefore also in Italy the leader of the parliamentary opposition and former President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, has announced the withdrawal of the Italian troops in case he will win the forthcoming elections. He went even beyond this calling the foreign armies in Iraq occupation troops.
But even within the governmental coalition there are forces who want to end the subordination to the US and withdraw from Iraq. They signalled that they will not obstruct the conference thus trying to send a veiled signal to the Iraqi and Arab fighters.
The US dictate, having become manifest in the letter of the 44 congressmen, is indirectly also targeting all those tendencies in the European ruling classes which want to stop the confrontation with the Arab-Islamic world. The conference as the most consequent expression of the will of the European people is used by the US both as a scapegoat as well as a prove of strength over their imperial dictate.
Urgent mobilisation -- we will not give in as the Iraqi people is continuing its resistance
Every day we see that the legitimate opposition and resistance of the Iraqi people is increasing. We neither want nor will abandon the will of the European majority for a dialogue with the Iraqi and Arab people. But this presupposes to make their voice heard. Our conference is a necessary first step to a just peace from which we cannot cede. It will be held sooner or later à¢…€" in Italy or if necessary elsewhere.
We call upon the democratic and peace-loving public to protest against the negation of the visas for the Iraqi civil societyà¢…€…™s representatives and the attempts to ban the conference altogether.
The Italian Free Iraq Committees will stage a hunger strike from August 31 onwards in front of the Italian Foreign Ministry in Rome to make the conference possible as originally scheduled and to get an answer for what reasons the Ministry tries to impede it.
We urge the international movement against war and occupation to protest in front of the Italian representations throughout the world. We invite to demand from the respective EU governments, who claim to democratically represent its people, to allow the conference in their country.
The right of the supporters of the Iraqi resistance to raise their voice is today the acid test for democracy. Either we defend it or we will be eaten up by the European version of the à¢…€…œBlack Listà¢…€…?, the à¢…€…œPatriot Actà¢…€…? and the à¢…€…œHomeland Securityà¢…€…?. Our very freedom is at stake.
Furthermore we ask those forces within the system who speak of peace and withdrawal of the troops to let deeds follow words and not to back down before the US pressure. If the words of Prodi & Co are to be taken serious they have to intervene to make the conference possible and to open the dialogue with the real representatives of the Iraqi people. If we get a political guarantee we would be ready to move the conference to another country or postpone it to after the elections.
For Saturday, September 10, we call for an emergency meeting not only of the organising committee of the conference but the entire movement for peace, against occupation and in support of the resistance to take place in Florence. After weeks of the intensive struggle we will have to collectively decide how to proceed.
Full responsibility of Berlusconi and Co
Those who block the way to a just peace à¢…€" to which the conference intends to contribute à¢…€" will have to bear the full political responsibility in front of the Italian, European and international public. Subordinating to the US neocons they violate the will of the people, sell out national sovereignty and curb democratic rights. Furthermore they endanger our security as they align with the US war provoking asymmetric reactions from the aggressed.
The US imperial aspirations is dragging the world into a catastrophic war. Peace can only be established by stopping them aligning with the legitimate popular resistance which spearhead is today Iraq. They might be able to impede the conference now but their power is overstretched. They can be defeated and peace, democracy and self-determination established.
Defend the conference as a step to a just peace!
Repeal the attack on political freedom!
Safeguard national sovereignty as precondition of democracy!
Make the will of Europeà¢…€…™s people for friendship with the Arab world prevail!
Support the legitimate popular resistance against the US imperial drive!
The organising committee of the International Conference à¢…€…œLeave Iraq in Peace à¢…€" Support the Legitimate Popular Resistanceà¢…€…?