Statement by UNAC on the occasion of the August 13, 2011 “Millions March in Harlem” mobilization, the many meetings with strong African American endorsement featuring Libyan bombing eyewitness Cynthia McKinney, and the August 20 Black is Back Coalition mobilization for an “International Day of Action Against the Wars on Africa and the African People.”
UNAC welcomes the July and August actions protesting the wars on African people abroad and at home. We will be marching on August 13 in Harlem to demand an end to the U.S./NATO bombing of Libya, an end to the U.S.-backed sanctions against Zimbabwe, and an end to the racist attacks of the Bloomberg administration on New York’s Black community. We urge all UNAC affiliates outside of NYC to mark August 20 with events educating the antiwar movement about the wars on African people worldwide.
The U.S.-led NATO assault on Libya, an assault that has created over 1000 civilian casualties in a few short months, is not only a means for the US to try to halt the Arab Spring. It is also part of an ominous escalation of US military intervention on the African continent. Nation reporter Jeremy Scahill recently documented the Special Operations strikes, drone attacks, and expanded surveillance operations in famine-wracked Somalia, a nation in which the CIA operates an illegal torture compound and which is still reeling from the 2006 US-inspired and supported Ethiopian invasion. The U.S. goal in Somalia is control of the strategically important Horn of Africa. In the Congo, a decade and a half-long U.S. proxy war over control of coltan and other precious minerals, has resulted in the death of over six million.
U.S. military activity in Africa is directed by AFRICOM (United States Africa Command), the latest U.S. imperial military training, secret war, death squad-promoting interventionist institution aimed at asserting U.S. interests in Africa and denying the people there of the fundamental right to self-determination. In the Americas, the U.S. backs a UN occupation of the Black nation of Haiti and promotes policies in Colombia that displace masses of Afro-Colombians.
There is no community more antiwar in sentiment than African Americans in the U.S. The historic militancy of the Black community has been met with a set of punitive government policies, dubbed the New Jim Crow, that have led to the mass incarceration of its youth and their entrapment in a new prison-industrial complex. As Black Agenda Report editor Glen Ford, recently asked, “If there is not a war against the Black community, where did all the prisoners come from?”
The United National Antiwar Coalition urges all antiwar activists to use the month of August to deepen their involvement in the fight against the “other” wars on the African continent and at home.