Skip to main content

Press release: Protesters demand Obama end Afghanistan War

Anti-war groups demand end to Afghan War,
demonstrate at the White House

For Immediate Release Sept. 27, 2009
Contact: Pete Perry, 202-631-0974; Gael Murphy, 202-412-6700

Washington – Disappointed with President Obama’s unwillingness to significantly change course from the Bush administration in Afghanistan, and alarmed by the recent troop build-up there, national anti-war groups will be joining together October 5th in a day of nonviolent direct action, during the week the Afghanistan War begins its ninth year. The coalition includes the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, Code Pink, Peace Action, the Black is Back Coalition, Progressive Democrats of America, the War Resisters League, the Washington Peace Center, World Can’t Wait, Veterans for Peace, and Voices for Creative Nonviolence. Joining them will be Cindy Sheehan, the mother of Casey Sheehan, a soldier killed in Iraq in 2004.

The White House action — the first such protest aimed specifically at the war in Afghanistan — comes at a time when domestic support for the war is slipping badly and members of Congress are asking that the Obama administration rethink the entire approach to the conflict. The war increasingly appears unwinnable, unnecessary, and misguided, draining American lives and resources, causing immense suffering among Afghan civilians, and rallying a broad-based insurgency whose main goal is to end the US occupation — not to engage in long-range terrorist attacks against the United States. By destabilizing nuclear-armed Pakistan and stoking greater hatred of the United States, the war further weakens American security.

The coalition will deliver a letter to the president and request a meeting with him at 11:45 a.m. on Monday, October 5th. If the meeting is refused, dozens of peace and justice activists are prepared to risk arrest, in the tradition of Gandhi, Dr. King, and Dorothy Day, in order to persuade the commander-in-chief to meet their demands. The October 5 coalition demands:

1) That the U.S. cease its combat operations and military occupation of Afghanistan as well as its military operations in Pakistan, withdrawing all troops as soon as possible.
2) That the U.S. engages in vigorous international aid efforts, particularly medical assistance and infrastructure reconstruction, in Afghanistan.
3) That the U.S. closes the prison at Bagram Air Base, releasing those who have been held with no charges, and prosecuting suspected terrorists in civilian courts. The same should happen immediately at Guantanamo.
4) That money appropriated for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq be used for life-affirming programs in the U.S. and abroad, such as health care and housing for the poor.

“We are coming to the White House to insist that the government confront the realities of the war in Afghanistan and change course,” says Jeff Leys, co-director of Voices for Creative Nonviolence based in Chicago. “How long will the American people be asked to pay for death and destruction there, when we face so many urgent problems at home?”

The action at the White House will be preceded by a rally starting at 10:30 a.m. in McPherson Square. Lifelong war resister Liz McAlister of Jonah House will be the featured speaker.



###

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Gays and Lesbians Opposed to Violence (GLOV) Reforms

As appeared in Metro Weekly...

Stirred to Action
Viciousness of recent anti-gay attacks spurs community reaction
by Will O'Bryan
Published on September 18, 2008

Perhaps a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to motivating a community, a picture -- far more than flow charts of crime statistics or bullet points in a report -- may actually be invaluable. Add to that picture a compelling online essay, and you have the start of a community movement.

With a number of publicized attacks against local gay people in recent months, from Nathaniel Salerno's attack on a Metro train in December to Michael Roike and Chris Burrell being beaten to the ground near the 14th and P Streets NW intersection in August, the viciousness Todd Metrokin suffered in Adams Morgan in July -- written about on The New Gay blog by his friend Chris Farris in late August -- may have been a tipping point.

''There are the anecdotal stories you hear from your friends,'' says Pete Perry, a loca…

A Proposal for We The People to Institute Positive Change

Hello sisters and brothers, subjects of the United States Empire, it has become clear the elected representatives on Capitol Hill no longer truly represent us and our best interests, but rather are serving their elite major campaign contributors. They serve the interests of the extreme rich and large corporations, certainly not the average American worker, student, or retired individual.

In order to improve our government, we, a collective of dedicated social justice activists, propose three demands to those who have power to legislate within the Federal Government. We list those demands here, and will then discuss how to make sure they pass into the law of the land:

1) Universal single payer health care, something that nearly all other developed nations of the world already possess for their citizens. We, as human beings, have a right to good health and to never be financially crippled in this pursuit of our own well-being. We demand that Congress pass House Resolution 676 and a Sen…

What Does Democracy Look Like?/Revolution of the Heart, Pt. 1

"You know that this broken world, with its rising seas and hungry mouths and bodies riddled by police bullets, can be so much better. We can end the toxic corruption that gives us militarized police, and oil-slicked pipeline deals, and hopeless shoeless migrant children like the ones I went to school with in Texas. We can get to the other side together. One road, many lanes."  ~Justin Jacoby Smith, American activist
"How can an organization trying to fix our democracy operate undemocratically? How can an organization tell us that real change happens from the bottom-up. when they themselves operate top-down?" ~Kobi Azoulay, American activist
"In the end, the most important thing is not to do things for people who are poor and in distress, but to enter into relationship with them, to be with them and help them find confidence in themselves and discover their own gifts." ~Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche

"The greatest challenge of the day is: how to brin…