From Sara Flounders
I have just returned from a delegation led by Ramsey Clark to blockaded and besieged Gaza. During our short visit Israel again bombed Gaza. This is now almost a daily crime.
The steadfast determination that we saw in Gaza reinforces the importance of the major national antiwar coalition that is taking shape for April 9, organized by the United National Antiwar Committee – UNAC.
What makes the April 9th bi-coastal rallies, in New York City and San Francisco truly historic is this coalitions very strong solidarity with the Palestinian people as well as the strong opposition to racism and the wave of anti-Islamic hysteria that has been sweeping the country. The International Action Center has made these issues a cornerstone of our work for many years.
This is an especially important time to respond with the greatest possible unity around the most difficult struggles. The Grand Jury subpoenas in Chicago and Minneapolis have especially targeted Palestinian solidarity activists, along with other international solidarity activists. The wave of anti-Muslim attacks, FBI sting operations and preventive prosecutions and racist frame-up must be challenged, along with the growing attacks and raids on all immigrant workers.
We must recognize that the targeted assassinations in Palestine, financed by U.S. military and political aid to Israel and the continuing drone assassination attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan have come home to the U.S. in terrible ways – in the shooting of Arizona Congressperson Gabrielle Giffords last Saturday, January 8th. Six people died, including an 9-year-old child.
In order to divert people’s attention from the economic crisis and endless war the ruling elite is increasingly fanning the flames of division, racism, and reactionary thinking.
But something of great hope also took place on Saturday, January 8. The Muslim Peace Coalition, USA organized a powerful meeting of Muslim leaders and youth at the Long Island Islamic Center. It involved training sessions on how to organize and build for a massive, united April 9th demonstration.
The Muslim Peace Summit was especially timely because The Long Island Islamic Center is located within the congressional district of Peter King, the Republican congressman who heads the Homeland Security Committee. King has announced a planned witch-hunt of congressional hearings targeting Muslim communities as terrorists.
The Muslim Peace Summit’s program included a special panel, with representatives from religious, antiwar, and solidarity organizations including representatives from UNAC, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the International Action Center, Al-Awda NY, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, immigrant rights organizations and activists, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Pax Christi, along with Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish religious leaders. The meeting concluded with a talk by George Gresham, president of SEIU 1199, the powerful healthcare workers union. This meeting was a tremendous step forward for building a far more inclusive antiwar mobilization on April 9th that can help change the prevailing climate of racism and war.
On Thursday, January 13th at the Manhattan Theatre Club at 311 West 43 St at 7:30 PM, the United National Antiwar Committee will launch the mobilizing for the April 9th antiwar rally in the New York City area. If you live in the New York City area please be sure to attend.
Your participation all across the country and your input are essential. Our unity and solidarity can send a powerful message.
Sara Flounders for the International Action Center
For more information on the exciting plans for April 9 and to endorse April 9 see:www.UNACpeace.org
Or send a message to: UNACpeace@gmail.com
ENDORSE the April 9 Antiwar Rallies at http://www.unacpeace.org