Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category

Video from the August 1 Forum on the Crisis in Iran

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Oil and social gains: WHY U.S. IS TARGETING IRAN

By Sara Flounders

StopWarOnIran.org

“The forces opposing Washington’s policy of endless war–whether waged through sanctions, coups, invasions, bombings or sabotage–should stand with Iran, recognize its accomplishments, defend its gains and oppose imperialism’s efforts to

re-colonize the country.”

Why is Iran increasingly a target of U.S. threats? Who in Iran will be affected if the Pentagon implements plans, already drawn up, to strike more than 10,000 targets in the first hours of a U.S. air barrage on Iran?

What changes in policy is Washington demanding of the Iranian government?

In the face of the debacle U.S. imperialism is facing in Iraq, U.S. threats against Iran are discussed daily. This is not a secret operation. They can’t be considered idle threats.

Two aircraft carriers–USS Eisenhower and USS Stennis–are still off the coast of Iran, each one accompanied by a carrier strike group containing Hornet and Superhornet fighter-bombers, electronic warfare aircraft, anti-submarine and refueler planes, and airborne command-and-control planes. Six guided-missile destroyers are also part of the armada.

Besides this vast array of firepower, the Pentagon has bases throughout the Middle East able to attack Iran with cruise missiles and hundreds of warplanes.

In fact, the U.S. is already engaged in a war on Iran. Ever-tightening sanctions, from both the U.S. and U.N., restrict trade and the ordering of equipment, spare parts and supplies.

Seymour Hersh reported in the New Yorker magazine a year ago that U.S. special operations forces were already operating inside Iran in preparation for a possible attack. U.S.-backed covert operatives had entered Iran to organize sabotage, car bombings, kidnappings and attacks on civilians, to collect targeting data and to foment anti-government ethnic-minority groups.

News articles have reported in recent months that the Pentagon has drawn up plans for a military blitz that would strike 10,000 targets in the first day of attacks. The aim is to destroy not just military targets but also airports, rail lines, highways, bridges, ports, communication centers, power grids, industrial centers, hospitals and public buildings.

It is important to understand internal developments in Iran today in order to understand why this country is the focus of such continued hatred by U.S. corporate power.

Every leading U.S. political figure has weighed in on the issue, from George W. Bush, who has the power to order strikes, to Hillary Clinton, who has made her support for an attack on Iran clear, to John McCain, who answered a reporter’s question on policy toward Iran by chanting “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” to the tune of the Beach Boys’ song, “Barbara Ann.” The media–from the New York Times to the Washington Post to banner headlines in the tabloid press to right-wing radio talk shows–are playing a role in preparing the public for an attack.

The significance of oil production and oil reserves in Iran is well known. Every news article, analysis or politician’s threat makes mention of Iran’s oil. But the impact of Iran’s nationalization of its oil resources is not well known.

The corporate owners in the U.S. want to keep it a secret from the people here. They use all the power of their media to demonize the Iranian leadership and caricature and ridicule the entire population, their culture and religion.

What’s been achieved?

The focus of media coverage here is to describe Iran as medieval, backward and feudal while somehow becoming a nuclear power.

It is never mentioned that more than half the university students in Iran are women, or that more than a third of the doctors, 60 percent of civil servants and 80 percent of all teachers in Iran are women. At the time of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, 90 percent of rural women were illiterate; in towns the figure was over 45 percent.

Also ignored is the stunning achievement of full literacy for Iranian youth.

Even the World Bank, now headed by Bush’s neocon appointee Paul Wolfowitz, in its development report on countries admits that Iran has exceeded the social gains of other countries in the Middle East.

According to that report, Iran has made the most progress in eliminating gender disparities in education. Large numbers of increasingly well-educated women have entered the work force.

Iran’s comprehensive social protection system includes the highest level of pensions, disability insurance, job training programs, unemployment insurance and disaster-relief programs. National subsidies make basic food, housing and energy affordable to all.

An extensive national network going from primary health and preventive care to sophisticated hospital care covers the entire population, both urban and rural. More than 16,000 “health houses” are the cornerstone of the health care system. Using simple technology, they provide vaccines, preventive care, care for respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, family planning and contraceptive information, and pre-natal care. And they monitor children’s nutrition and general health.

Since 1990, Iran nearly halved the infant mortality rate and increased life expectancy by 10 years.

Iran sets record in family planning

A national family planning program, delivered through the primary health care facilities and accompanied by a dramatic increase in contraceptive use, which is approved by Islamic law, has led to a world record demographic change in family size and maternal and child health. All forms of contraception are now available for free.

In addition promoting women’s education and employment, while extending social security and retirement benefits, has alleviated the pressure to have many children to protect security as parents grow older. The fertility rate between 1976 and 2000 declined from 8.1 births per woman to 2.4 births in rural areas and 1.8 births in urban areas.

These social programs, which cover the entire population of almost 70 million people, should be compared to conditions in countries in the region that remain under U.S. military and economic domination.

In Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, only a tiny part of the population has benefited from the vast profits generated by oil and gas resources. In each of these countries the bulk of the people are not even considered citizens. Millions are immigrant workers, usually the overwhelming majority of the population, who have no rights to any representation, participation or any social, health or educational programs or union protection.

Women in these countries face much more than religious restrictions on clothing. They are barred from jobs, equal education and the right to control their own bodies or their own funds. They cannot vote or even drive a car.

In Iraq, which before U.S. attacks began in 1991 had some of the best conditions in the region for women, plus a high level of education, health, nutrition and social services, the conditions of life have now deteriorated to the level of the very poorest countries in the world. Legislation passed by the U.S.-installed puppet government has stripped women of rights that were guaranteed earlier.

Revolution made it all possible

The social gains of millions of Iranians are based on the upsurge of the Iranian masses in the 1979 revolution. The overthrow of the U.S.-backed Shah and the Pahlavi dynasty broke the hold of U.S. corporate power in Iran.

The Iranian Revolution was not a socialist revolution. Bourgeois rights to own businesses, land, wealth and inheritance are still protected by law and by the state apparatus.

But the greatest source of wealth–Iran’s oil and gas–was nationalized. Nationalization means the transfer of privately owned assets and operations into public ownership. The exploration, drilling, maintenance, transport, refining and shipping of oil and gas became the national property of the Iranian people. Formerly this entire process was controlled at every step by Western imperialists, particularly U.S. and British corporations.

Most of the administrators, executives, technicians and engineers who controlled the process used to be from the West. Through hundreds of thousands of contracts and sub-contracts, U.S. and British firms extracted a profit not just through the sale of oil on the world markets but at every step of its extraction and refining. The small portion of profit the Shah’s government received, as in the Gulf States today, was spent on luxury items imported from Western corporations for the small ruling elite and on infrastructure and weapons systems purchased from U.S. military corporations, again at an enormous profit.

The 1979 Iranian revolution, even though it brought a religious group to power, was a profoundly radical and anti-imperialist revolution. Demonstrations of millions openly confronted the brutally repressive police apparatus called the Savak, who protected the small handful of corrupt U.S. collaborators. Religious fervor, demands for social justice and militant anti-imperialism were bound together in opposition to the U.S.-imposed Shah and the Pahlavi royal family, which was hated for its program of a glitzy modernization of the urban infrastructure alongside the growing impoverishment of both urban and rural workers, farmers and much of the middle class.

All classes of society were profoundly shaken as millions of revolutionary workers took to the streets. This was reflected not only in laws passed in Parliament but in the Iranian constitution itself. The constitution states that the government is required to provide every citizen with access to social security for retirement, unemployment, old age, disability, accidents, health and medical treatment–out of public revenue.

Prior to the revolution Iran had a shortage of medical staff and of trained personnel of every kind. During the upheaval of the revolution and the years of the Iran-Iraq war, many physicians, scientific and skilled personnel emigrated.

Having broken free of U.S. corporate domination and control of its resources, Iran was able to develop education, industry and infrastructure with unprecedented speed. By 2004 the number of university students had increased by six times over 1979. There are currently 2.2 million college students. The largest and most prestigious programs encompass 54 state universities and 42 state medical schools where tuition, room and board are totally free. In addition, 289 major private universities also receive substantial funding.

Millions of scientists, engineers, technicians, administrators, military officers, teachers, civil servants and doctors have been trained.

Today Iran boasts modern cities, a large auto industry, and miles of new roads, railroads and subways. Currently 55 Iranian pharmaceutical companies produce 96 percent of the medicines on the market in Iran. This allows a national insurance system to reimburse drug expenses.

Soon to become operational is the largest pharmaceutical complex in southwest Asia, which will produce compound drugs, making Iran a pioneer in biotechnology.

Years of U.S. sanctions and pressure on international financial institutions have had an unexpected result: Iran is free of the crippling debt that has strangled so many developing countries. According to World Bank figures, Iran’s external debt is one of the lowest for its size: $11.9 billion, or 8.8 percent of the GDP. From the point of view of the imperialist world bankers, this means the loss of many billions each year in interest payments to them.

Different approaches

Since 1979 there have been deep struggles inside Iran over how to deal with the unrelenting pressure of the imperialist powers. There are differing approaches on developments plans and who is favored or benefits most from these plans. But all of the present forces are committed to maintaining Iran’s control of its resources.

Iran is not a monolithic state. No state is or could be. There are contending groups even within the Muslim clergy that reflect different economic interests and class forces. This is true also in the Iranian Parliament and among various political parties and leaders.

Under President Mohammed Khatami, from 1997 to 2005, a “Reform Movement” eased religious and social restrictions. But it also allowed the introduction of neo-liberal economic policies, structural reforms and the de-nationalizing or privatizing of some social programs along with the cutting of subsidies. More joint ventures were initiated with European and Japanese capital. Programs that benefited the “private sector” or the wealthy and the middle class grew. This was the core of Khatami’s base.

The current leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s first non-cleric president in 24 years, was elected in 2005 in a landslide victory after promising to extend social security and pensions, improve the subsidies for food and housing, deal with rising unemployment and guarantee a monthly stipend.

The Iranian people are determined to protect the substantial gains they have made since the revolution. They are not interested in any effort that turns the clock back.

A Wall Street Journal Commentary by Francis Fukuyama on Feb. 1 was unusually frank in explaining the growing problem faced by U.S. corporate power on a global scale:

“What is it that leaders like Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez have in common that vastly increases their local appeal? A foreign policy built around anti-Americanism is, of course, a core component. But what has allowed them to win elections and build support in their societies is less their foreign-policy stances than their ability to promise, and to a certain extent deliver on, social policy–things like education, health and other social services, particularly for the poor….

“The U.S. and the political groups that it tends to support around the world, by contrast, have relatively little to offer in this regard.”

Past and new threats

Iran’s program for nuclear power was actually initiated by the U.S. when the Shah held dictatorial power. Nuclear energy is an important part of modern industrial development. It is important in science, medicine and research. Only after the overthrow of the Shah was Iran’s continued development of the same program branded a threat by Washington.

The U.S. government has made every effort to sabotage all Iranian infrastructure and industrial development, not only nuclear energy. Modern technology–from elevators to cars, ships, jet aircraft and oil refineries–needs constant upkeep. Parts for the re-supply and maintenance of equipment the Iranians had purchased over decades from U.S. corporations were halted.

The most onerous sanctions were imposed in 1995 during the Clinton administration.

The Iranian people, despite many different political currents, are united in their determination not to lose their national sovereignty again. Washington’s past use of sanctions, economic sabotage, political destabilization and regime change is well remembered in Iran today.

Sanctions, the freezing of assets and an embargo on the export of Iranian oil and all trade with Iran were first imposed in March 1951, after Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. Iran was the first country in the Middle East to take the bold step of reclaiming its national wealth in the post-colonial era.

In 1953 using internal destabilization and massive external pressure, the CIA orchestrated the overthrow of Mossadegh’s popularly elected government and placed the Shah on the Peacock Throne. Oil was back under the control of the U.S. and Britain, and 26 years of brutal repression followed.

Ever since the 1979 revolution and the decisive overthrow of the U.S.-supported military dictatorship, Iran has had not a moment of peace from the Pentagon or Wall Street.

As Iran continues to grow and develop, U.S. imperialism is becoming increasingly desperate to reverse this revolutionary process, whether through sanctions, sabotage or bombing. But today it faces a population that is stronger, more conscious and more skilled. On a world scale U.S. imperialism is more isolated. Its hated occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan has left it overextended.

But the Pentagon is still capable of massive destruction. Its bases surround Iran and it has sent an armada of ships to the Gulf. U.S. government threats against Iran today must be taken as seriously as their devastating occupation of Iraq.

The forces opposing Washington’s policy of endless war–whether waged through sanctions, coups, invasions, bombings or sabotage–should stand with Iran, recognize its accomplishments, defend its gains and oppose imperialism’s efforts to re-colonize the country.

Sources of information about Iran’s social development include: “Iran’s Family Planning Program: Responding to a Nation’s Needs,” by Farzaneh Roudi-Fahimi, Population Reference Bureau, Washington, D.C., June 2002; “Tehran University Official Describes Iran Health Care System to Harvard School of Public Health,” HSPH NOW, Jan. 24, 2003; World Bank.org–Iran–Country Brief; UNICEF–Info by Country; Food & Agriculture Organization of UN–Nutrition–Country Profiles; “Biggest Pharmaceutical Plant to Open Soon,” Iran Daily, Feb. 4, 2007.

* Sign the Petition – http://stopwaroniran.org/petition.shtml

* Donate to help with organizing expenses – http://stopwaroniran.org/donate.shtml

* Sign up for updates – http://stopwaroniran.org/contact.shtml

Does a Bush ‘October surprise’ await Iran?

from the Independent:

Bill Kristol, editor of the Murdoch owned neocon house journal the Weekly Standard says Bush is more likely to attack Iran if he believes Barack Obama is going to be elected.

Speaking on Sunday to Fox News’ Chris Wallace he said, “If the president thought John McCain was going to be the next president, he would think it more appropriate to let the next president make that decision than do it on his way out,” before suggesting Bush might move more quickly if he thought Obama was going to win. Wallace then asked if Kristol was suggesting that Bush might “launch a military strike” before or after the election. Watch it

full article

Israel’s October Surprise?

from the Huffington Post:

Not according to many Israeli analysts who believe that an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites looks “unavoidable.” This statement was also shared by Iranian-born former defense minister Shaul Mofaz, who said in an interview to Israel’s largest newspaper Yedioth Ahranot, “If Iran continues with its program for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The sanctions are ineffective.” He also said that Israel has the means and capabilities to succeed in such a mission.

full article

Money for Jobs, HealthCare, and Education, Not War and Occupation!

The Bush administration is using the election as a cover, as it increases threats against Iran.  It has quietly assembled the largest naval armada in one place since World War II – in the Persian Gulf, with guns aimed at Iran.

They have now deployed 18 NATO ships to the Black Sea and raised threats against Russia, while opening a new front of bombing attacks.  Meanwhile, no troops have been withdrawn from the disastrous wars in Iraq & Afghanistan.

There are always billions of dollars for war and billions more to bail out the big banks and mortgage companies, but no assistance for the 600,000 working people laid off this year, or the 2 million small homeowners being foreclosed in record numbers, or the more the 50 million people without health care.

We need money for jobs and housing –
not for another war!

While the situation is growing dire for many, Washington’s cutbacks in domestic programs continue.  The fiscal year beginning on October 1 will bring drastic cuts. A new U.S. war will bring only more suffering here as well as massive destruction abroad.

The recent Hurricane Gustav highlighted the failure of Washington to do anything to rebuild the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Three years after the disaster, thousands of people are still homeless, as the money that could have been spent on meeting human needs has gone to fund the Pentagon and the agenda of endless war.  Every social program and every aspect of the economy has been impacted by the billions of dollars wasted on war.

We must take action now!  Here are some ways you can help:

Organize a local September 27 action to Stop War On Iran, whether it is a march or rally, speak-out, picket line, walk-out, or teach-in–in cities large or small.   What you do can  make a difference.  List your action at http://www.stopwaroniran.org/sept272008volorgcent.shtml, so activists in your area can contact you and get involved.

Make a donation to help with vital mobilizing expenses for September 27 protests and to help this movement grow. Or contribute to campaigns to get the truth out about the war danger by literature production, international emails and holding meetings. You can donation online at http://stopwaroniran.org/donate.shtml.

This campaign is truly dependent on grass-roots donations from all over the country;  this is how every leaflet, sign, mailing and newsletter—every expense—is funded.    We can only do what our supporters enable us to do.

Donate online at  www.StopWarOnIran.org

All of our volunteer staff and organizers thank you for your continued support and dedication to the campaign to prevent a new war in Iran or anywhere else.

In solidarity and with our appreciation,
Stop War on Iran staff and national organizers

Stop the War on Iran before it starts!

Stop the War on Iran before it starts!
Money for Jobs, Healthcare, and Education, Not War and Occupation!

  • Stop War on Iran!
  • U.S. Out of Iraq & Afghanistan
  • No U.S. attack on Iran through Israel
  • No to all U.S./NATO war threats
  • Money for human needs, not war!

Dear Friends:

As many of you know, the Bush Administration, with the support of politicians of both parties in Congress, has repeatedly threatened Iran with military action, and many now believe that an attack may be imminent.  The Stop War on Iran campaign has issued an international call for actions on September 27.

We’re writing to ask for your help; the only force that can stop another brutal U.S. war is a massive outpouring of grassroots opposition.

We must act now !  As more U.S. warships are deploying to the Persian Gulf, we have to mobilize to stop an “October Surprise” attack on Iran, or any other country. Politicians don’t stop wars; they create them. The only force that will stop endless war in the Middle East is a massive grassroots peoples’ movement.

It is time to turn up the heat!

Threats against Iran are growing daily.  The Bush Administration has mobilized a massive naval presence which will place hundreds of nuclear-armed aircraft within striking range of Iran.

The London Daily Telegraph of Sept. 2 reported that “the Dutch intelligence service has pulled an agent out of an ‘ultra-secret operation’ spying on Iran’s military industry because spymasters in the Netherlands believe a United States air attack was imminent.”  The Jerusalem Post reported that the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf said the attack was to be carried out “within weeks.”

And there are increasing signs that the Pentagon is growing more reckless and dangerous on several fronts.  During the first week of September, U.S. special forces attacked the village of Angor Adda in Pakistan, killing as many as 20 people, including women and children, according to Pakistani officials.  This follows the August 22 killings by U.S.-led forces of 90 Afghan civilians, including 60 children.  Meanwhile, the U.S. is deploying naval forces to Georgia, increasing tensions throughout the region and directly threatening Russia.

These war moves must be protested.  On September 27 we must loudly voice our opposition and say:  “Not Another War:  No ‘October Surprise’!

A Summer of Mobilizing to Stop War On Iran

The Stop War on Iran Campaign has been mobilizing non-stop this summer to help build a movement to stop Washington’s drive to war.  On August 2, in response to an emergency call for international actions issued by the Stop War On Iran campaign, anti-war activists in more than 100 cities– from Bangladesh to Boston, and from Vancouver to Hawaii, in cities large and small-voiced their opposition boldly in the streets.

In the past few weeks, Stop War on Iran activists have been in the streets of Denver and St. Paul, at the many protests at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.  Despite the menacing and often violent police presence, we carried Stop War on Iran placards and banners, and distributed tens of thousands of Stop War On Iran newsletters, reaching out to the many activists in both cities, to help build grassroots opposition to Washington’s bipartisan agenda of endless war.

We need money for jobs and housing –
not for another war!

While billions of dollars go to war, at home the unemployment rate has seen the biggest spike in 23 years. Home foreclosures and evictions are increasing; fuel and food prices are through the roof. While the situation is growing dire for many, Washington’s cutbacks in domestic programs continue.  The fiscal year beginning on October 1 will bring drastic cuts. A new U.S. war will bring only more suffering here as well as massive destruction abroad.

The recent Hurricane Gustav highlighted the failure of Washington to do anything to rebuild the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Three years after the disaster, thousands of people are still homeless, as the money that could have been spent on meeting human needs has gone to fund the Pentagon and the agenda of endless war.  Every social program and every aspect of the economy has been impacted by the billions of dollars wasted on war.

But we must do more! As the threat of a U.S. attack on Iran grows, we must do everything we can to build a grassroots movement to oppose this aggression, while continuing to protest the  occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

We must take action now!  Here are some ways you can help:

Organize a local September 27 action to Stop War On Iran, whether it is a march or rally, speak-out, picket line, walk-out, or teach-in–in cities large or small.   What you do can  make a difference.  List your action at http://www.stopwaroniran.org/sept272008volorgcent.shtml, so activists in your area can contact you and get involved.  .

Make a donation to help with vital mobilizing expenses for September 27 protests and to help this movement grow. Or contribute to campaigns to get the truth out about the war danger by literature production, international emails and holding meetings. You can donation online at http://stopwaroniran.org/donate.shtml.

This campaign is truly dependent on grass-roots donations from all over the country;  this is how every leaflet, sign, mailing and newsletter—every expense—is funded.    We can only do what our supporters enable us to do.

Donate online at  www.StopWarOnIran.org

All of our volunteer staff and organizers thank you for your continued support and dedication to the campaign to prevent a new war in Iran or anywhere else.

In solidarity and with our appreciation,

Stop War on Iran staff and national organizers

Stop the War on Iran before it starts!

Stop the War on Iran before it starts!
Money for Jobs, Healthcare, and Education, Not War and Occupation!

  • Stop War on Iran!
  • U.S. Out of Iraq & Afghanistan
  • No U.S. attack on Iran through Israel
  • No to all U.S./NATO war threats
  • Money for human needs, not war!

Emergency- Billions $$  needed for New Orleans NOT another War

It is a crime against humanity that billions are spent for war in Iraq, war in Afghanistan and billions more to threaten and mobilize for another war, while the racist and criminal neglect of the Gulf Coast continues.

Across the country we must mobilize and demand all those billions and more be spent for the emergency in New Orleans, the rebuilding of the  levees, for education, health care and jobs.

Join the emergency mobilization, help organize actions in over 100 cities on September 27:

Endorse the Call to Action for September 27 at
http://www.stopwaroniran.org/sept272008endorse.shtml

List your local action at
http://www.stopwaroniran.org/sept272008volorgcent.shtml

Sign the Petition at http://stopwaroniran.org/petition.shtml

Make an Emergency Donation at http://stopwaroniran.org/donate.shtml

Tell a Friend
http://stopwaroniran.org/friend.shtml

Sign up for updates
http://stopwaroniran.org/updates.shtml


What we do now can make a difference

Activists with the Stop War on Iran campaign have been gearing up for a summer and fall of non-stop mobilizing to stop another brutal U.S. war.

We were in Denver all of last week, at the many protests, marches, and rallies at the Democratic National Convention.  In the face of overwhelming police intimidation and violence, we carried Stop War on Iran banners and placards and distributed thousands of copies of our Stop War On Iran newsletter featuring the call to action for the  September 27 Day of Action – with protests in more than one hundred cities.

Now, we’re in Minneapolis-St. Paul, site of the Republican National Convention (September 1-4) . Tens of thousands of activists, organizers, trade unionists, veterans, and community leaders are there to protest – and we are working to get the word out –  handing out literature, carrying the Stop War on Iran banner, and helping to build a grassroots movement to stop a U.S. attack.  Despite police raids and intimidations, our activists are determined to speak out against another illegal U.S. war (see the DNC-RNC blog for details and updates from the street – http://dncrnc.wordpress.com).

A crew of  Stop War on Iran activists have committed to be at both conventions, because we know that, whoever wins the election, the most important factor in stopping another brutal war is a peoples movement in the streets. We encourage you to join us in Minneapolis-St. Paul – look for our signs and banners to see how you can get involved.  You can also help by making a donation online at http://stopwaroniran.org/donate.shtml to cover the costs of printing tens of thousands of newsletters, preparing banners, transportation and housing for Stop War on Iran Campaign activists.

Stop War on Iran!

Stop War on Iran is an international grassroots campaign of activists, scholars, clergy, veterans and other concerned individuals, launched in February of 2006 to oppose Washington’s campaign of threats, sanctions, and demonization against the people of Iran.

Since the launch of the campaign we have generated more than 1 million messages sent to President Bush, Vice President Cheney, members of the House and Senate (from both parties), members of the press, and oil company executives.

We have also organized teach-ins and organizing meetings across the U.S.,  and taken Stop War on Iran literature, placards, and banners to every major national antiwar demonstration as well as numerous local actions.

But it is clearly time to turn up the heat.
Threats against Iran are growing daily, and the Bush Administration has mobilized a massive naval presence within striking range of Iran.

The Stop War on Iran campaign has been mobilizing all summer against the threat of a new U.S. war –  on August 2, when there were protests from coast to coast, at the DNC, and now on the the RNC. But we must do more – as the threat of a U.S. attack on Iran grows, we must do everything we can to build a grassroots movement to Stop War On Iran.

Next Step:  September 27

In the next few days, please consider if you can organize a local September 27 action to Stop War On Iran, whether it is a march or rally, speak out, picket, teach-in – in cities large or small – what you do can make a difference.   You can list your action at http://www.stopwaroniran.org/sept272008volorgcent.shtml, so other activists in your area can contact you and get involved.

October 1 marks the beginning of a new fiscal year, with draconian budget cuts at the Federal and state level . We need money for education, health care, housing, and other human needs, not endless war for empire!

While billions of dollars go to war, at home the unemployment rate has the biggest spike in 23 years. Home foreclosures and evictions are increasing; fuel and food prices are through the roof. While the situation is growing dire for many, Washington ’s cuts to domestic programs continue – the coming fiscal year, beginning on October 1, will bring drastic cuts.   A new U.S. war will bring only more suffering.

Peoples Video of DNC Protest

More videos from PVN available at http://www.youtube.com/user/PeoplesVideo

‘US pursuing double standards on Iran’

from Press TV:

A recent poll suggests Washington pursues a double standard policy by reacting differently toward Iran and India’s nuclear programs.

Seventy two percent of some 4067 respondents to an online Press TV poll said US insistence on a nuclear deal with India, and its opposition to Iran’s nuclear program indicate Washington’s double standard approach.

read full article

From Coast to Coast – and around the Globe – The People Say “Stop War on Iran!”

News Coverage:

As the threat of war and sanctions against Iran grows, “No War on Iran” was a slogan and chant that resonated across the U.S. on the weekend of Aug. 1-2 as emergency marches, rallies, vigils, teach-ins, honk for peace picket lines and leaflet distributions were held to protest U.S.-Israeli war threats against Iran.

In response to the Emergency Call to Action issued by the Stop War on Iran Campaign in mid-June, anti-war activists in more than 100 cities voiced their opposition boldly in the streets despite the short notice in which the initial call was made and the difficulty of organizing during the summer.

Besides bringing attention to the real threat of a military strike against the sovereign country of Iran, activists also raised the new round of economic sanctions against Iran, which is another form of war.  Activists also connected Iran to the wars and occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine which have cost hundreds of billions of dollars and maimed and killed an untold number of civilians and soldiers.  Many events connected the staggering financial cost of the war with the lack of health care, housing, and other human needs, as well as the foreclosure crisis and the skyrocketing cost of gas.

Below we have included reports from a handful of the many actions that took place over the weekend.  Reports are still coming in, and more will be posted on the Stop War on Iran blog – https://stopwaroniran.wordpress.com in the coming days.

This weekend’s actions were an enormous display of opposition to Washington’s plans for an attack on Iran.  But we must do more – we have to continue to organize to stop another criminal war.  The Stop War on Iran campaign is mobilizing to stay in the streets – over the next few weeks, we are preparing placards, banners, and literature to take to St. Paul, Minnesota and Denver, Colorado, for the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.  If you’re planning to be there, look for our banners and organizing tables and find out how you can help get the word out.

We also need your help to keep the message on the streets and to continue to help build a peoples movement to Stop War on Iran.  Please consider making an emergency donation to Stop War on Iran at http://stopwaroniran.org/donate.shtml to help with the costs of printing literature, preparing placards, and transportation to St. Paul and Denver.



New York City

An estimated 700 to 1,000 activists refused to allow two torrential thunderstorms dampen their spirits and determination to rally at Times Square and then take to the streets.  Thousands more who were shopping or just passing by stopped to listen to speeches, chants and songs that connected the wars abroad with the wars at home against the workers, the poor and the oppressed.  Joyce Chediac, a Lebanese activist and journalist and LeiLani Dowell, a Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST) organizer chaired the rally.  Chants from the stage were led by activists from Nodutdol for Korean Community Development and CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities.

Larry Holmes, a leader of Troops Out Now Coalition, spoke on the imperialist nature of U.S. wars and why it is in the interest of the people in the U.S. to support self-determination, not the U.S. government.  Kazem Azin, an Iranian activist, told the crowd that the Iranian people will continue to defend their homeland against U.S. and Israeli aggression.  Former U.S. Attorney General, Ramsey Clark, urged the crowd to keep organizing and resisting.  Other rally participants represented the American Iranian Friendship Committee, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Million Workers March Movement, New York Katrina/Rita Solidarity Coalition, World Can’t Wait, Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition, Justice Committee, Peoples Justice, BAYAN-USA, New York Free Mumia Coalition, International Action Center, Veterans for Peace, Raging Grannies, World Can’t Wait and many more.  Activists read solidarity statements from Prof. Jose Maria Sison, Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee International League of Peoples Struggles (ILPS); and from the IAPSCC – International Anti-Imperialist  and People’s Solidarity Coordinating Committee in Kolkata, India; and from the Mobilization Against War and Occupation in Vancouver.

Following the rally, a youth-dominated, multinational and militant march took to the streets.  When the police tried to force the marchers on the sidewalk, they stood their ground and stayed in the streets until the march ended at Union Square, 25 blocks later.  There was a large youth contingent from Nodutdol for Korean Community Development along with organizers from the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), FIST, International Action Center and many others.

Washington, DC

On Aug. 2 a protest took place in front of the White House. One hundred and fifty protesters carried signs that included:  “Iran Didn’t Foreclose on My House” and “U.S. Out of the Middle East”. At a rally in a park, Rostam Pourzal from Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Invention in Iran spoke along with a representative from the D.C. Stop War on Iran Campaign.

The protest was multinational with a large number of people from the Iranian community along with Black activists, particularly youth, as well as Code Pink members and other anti-war activists. Media coverage of this protest included Al Jazeera, CNN and Youth and Politics Beat.  The Baltimore All Peoples-Congress members also participated.  Activists are meeting on August 12 to plan future actions.

Los Angeles, California

Two hundred anti-war protesters gathered and marched in Downtown Los Angeles Aug. 2 despite 20 violent pro-shah and pro-U.S. war counter protecters that tried to stop it. The counter protecters were violating a permit obtained by the Stop the War On Iran Coalition. In fact, the only action the police took was to attempt to arrest one of the coalition monitors defending the Stop War On Iran protest.

About 15 demonstration monitors were able to isolate and force the counter protecters out of the park to allow the program to resume. Speakers and initiators of the march represented BAYAN-USA, World Can’t Wait, FMLN, FIST, IAC. Other speakers represented South Asian Network, USLAW-Los Angeles, SEIU Local 721, Al-Awda, Anti-Racist Action, Union of Progressive Iranians and more. The march was very visible along Broadway’s mostly Latino and working class population. Some observers joined the militant march. Press included Fox news, the local Pacifica station – KPFK and Tehran News.  For updates and to find out how to get involved, see http://www.iacenterla.org.

Raleigh, N.C.

The protest convened at the State Capitol building.  Rima L’Amir from FIST made opening remarks.  Twenty pro-war men with U.S. flags tried to provoke the anti-war activists but were unsuccessful.  The march stopped at U.S. Congressman’s Bob Ethridge’s office downtown where Larkin Coffey from FIST and a speaker from the Durham Bill of Rights Defense Committee spoke. The march went to Barack Obama’s local campaign headquarters where Rev. David Foy from Black Workers for Justice spoke. Many of the Obama volunteers came outside and began registering people to vote.  Another FIST speaker talked about the role of the Democratic Party. While marching past the bus station many riders joined in on the anti-war chants and started dancing and took Stop War on Iran literature.  Ben Carroll from FIST was interviewed on National Public Radio. For more information and updates, see http://raleighfist.wordpress.com.

Houston, Texas

TONC organized an open mic protest to denounce plans to make war on Iran Aug. 1 in 100-degree heat for two hours at the Mickey Leland Federal Building.  “We have so many issues to fight right here at home.  We don’t need to make war on Iran,” said Alma Diaz, co-host of KPFT Pacifica’s “Protecto Latino Americano”. “Tomorrow morning we are going to confront the racist Border Watch at a job site and we urge you to join us.”

Signs that read, “Honk to Stop War” evoked continuous honking by drivers, waving and making peace signs from car windows.  People signed petitions for “No War on Iran”.  Council on American-Islamic Relations representative, Ali Khalili, stated, “Enough is enough.  In our name, with our money, they are killing people across the world. We waged war in Iraq. More than a million innocent men, women and children have died.”

Other activists represented there were from the Harris County Green Party, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Houston Peace Forum, Houston Peace and Justice Center, Code Pink, and Houston Coalition for Justice. Njeri Shakur from the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, stated, “People’s lives are in a crisis with the rising gas prices, rising rents and food costs…people are sick of war and want our tax money to be spent on the real needs of the people.”

Boston, Massachusetts

Over 200 activists picketed the Army Recruitment Center Aug. 2 in downtown Boston in an action jointly organized as a Counter Recruitment Day called by the UMass/Boston Antiwar Coalition and Boston Stop War on Iran Campaign.

Shouting “We support war resisters, they’re our brothers. They’re our sisters”, the picket line stretched an entire block and was joined by activists from TONC, IVAW, Greater Boston Stop the Wars Coalition, Workers World Party, International Socialist Organization, Vets for Peace, Smedley Butler Brigade, Women’s Fightback Network, Stonewall Warriors and Boston School Bus Drivers Union Local 8751 USW.

Mike Spinnato from IVAW told WW that, “Reading Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States opened my eyes to the reality of what armed forces recruitment was really about”.

FIST organizer, Miya, spoke on the connection between the military recruiting oppressed youth to fight and die abroad and the need for jobs for youth, not jails and war. To get involved with the Boston Stop War on Iran Campaign, see http://www.iacboston.org.

Springfield, Massachusetts

50 people attended an Aug. 2 noontime news conference in Court Square, across from City Hall, followed by a public speak-out.  The speakers included State Representative Benjamin Swan, a civil rights activist who marched with Dr. King, and award-winning Latino poet Martin Espada.  Iranian born Behzad Samimi, now a U.S. citizen, made a strong case against a U.S.-Israeli attack on Iran.

They were joined by Don James, President of Arise, a poor people’s rights group; Dr. “Marty” Nathan of Physicians for Social Responsibility; student John Collura of the S.T.C.C. Mobilization Against Poverty, Racism and War, along with representatives from Out Now, Wally Nelson Veterans for Peace and the American Friends Service Committee.

All three Springfield T.V. stations covered the news conference, as well as The Springfield Republican newspaper.  Nick Camerota of the Western Mass. IAC was interviewed prior to Aug. 2 on two African American radio programs about the protest.  Other protests in the state were held in Pittsfield, Orange and Tisbury.

Detroit. Michigan

Over100 multinational protesters joined a spirited protest in downtown Detroit at Hart Plaza Aug. 1 declaring “US-Israel: Hands off Iran and “Money for Housing, Not for War!”

The emergency action, sponsored by the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice (MECAWI) (see http://www.mecawi.org) was joined by members of Peace Action, the AFT and UAW, the Moratorium NOW! coalition, Latinos Unidos, Pax Christi, the Green Party, the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights, the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, 11th Hour 4 Peace, Iranian community members and others.

A speak out took place were speakers linked the U.S.’s planned war on Iran to the domestic war most notably in relation to foreclosures, school closings, police brutality and the increasing costs of living. A similar action took place in Ann Arbor Aug. 2.

Woodstock, NY

Some three dozen people gathered on the Village Green in Woodstock, NY, to protest the potential invasion of Iraq. There was an overwhelming supportive response from passersby on foot and cars, despite the heavy rain. Rene Imperato, of the Woodstock Solidarity Committee, spoke on the plight of veterans and the horrible effects of exposure to depleted uranium by American and other occupying forces as well as the Iraqi people. Dale Wise of Veterans for Peace read poems from wounded Iraq veterans. Veterans for Peace,

Following the rally, protesters drove to Kingston to join a picketline of over two dozen people across a busy thoroughfare from the local army recruitment office at the Kingston Valley Plaza mall.

Woodstock Vietnam Veterans Against the War and www.mid-eastcrisisresponse.org. endorsed the Woodstock demonstration which was called by the Woodstock Solidarity Committee.

Atlanta, Georgia

More than 80 anti-war activists lined both sides of a busy midtown Atlanta street to oppose any economic sanctions or military attack on Iran. There were honks of approval from many passing cars and cheers from pedestrians. Leaflets urging people to contact their elected officials and voice their rejection of any blockade of Iran as contained in House Resolution 362 were distributed to shoppers.

The IAC and the Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition/Atlanta action drew a number of youth and students and members of the Iranian community, some of whom came in response to a half-page “No War on Iran” ad placed in a weekly newspaper.

Chicago, Ill.

Over 125 anti-war and progressive activists attended a rally at the State of Illinois Building organized by the Chicago Coalition against War and Racism to oppose the bipartisan war threats against Iran.

The speakers’ list included public housing activist Beauty Turner; immigrant rights activist Jorge Mujica from the March 10th Coalition; Iranian activist Ali Akbari from Evanston Neighbors for Peace; Al Sutton of Chicago Labor against War; and Angie Haban of the “Holy Name 6”, activists who face charges for staging an anti-war protest during the 2008 Easter service at Holy Name Cathedral. The protesters marched to the Cook County Republican Headquarters, the Israeli consulate, and the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

(From http://www.worldwidewamm.org/home.html) At noon on Friday, August 1, the anniversary of the collapse Interstate-35 Bridge into the Mississippi River, exposing the condition of U.S. infrastructure, Women Against Military Madness, held a demonstration in Minneapolis outside of Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office, one block from the site of the bridge. National and international organizations called for worldwide emergency actions on the next day, but we held ours one earlier to coincide with the bridge collapse. Senator Klobuchar was one of the sponsors of Senate Resolution 580. The protest called for “Bridges Not Bombs! Don’t Bomb Iran!” and was attended by 40-50 activists. Many cars and bicyclists honked and gave thumbs up and thanks on the street at the edge of downtown Minneapolis. Although news crews from major TV stations fueled up at a gas station across the street as they cruised up and down Washington Ave. to take photos of the bridge, the stories in the media focused on healing and heroes after the tragedy and making the connection between the decaying U.S. infrastructure and the cost of war and the threat of war did not fit into their story line.

Vancouver, Canada

200 people, including many Iranians, rallied at the Vancouver Art Gallery to demand “No War On Iran!” In Canada, besides activists in Vancouver, British Columbia, there were also events organized in Calgary, Alberta and Sydney, Nova Scotia, in conjunction with this international call.

The rally in Vancouver was organized jointly by Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) and the Iranian Community Against War (ICAW). MCs Payvand and Arash from ICAW opened the rally with chants of “Don’t Attack Iran!” and “No to Sanctions on Iran!”.

Many community activists from a variety of unions, grassroots organizations, and ethnic communities spoke at the rally, including: Alison Bodine, MAWO Co-chair (by phone from San Francisco), Phillipa Ryan, Coast Salish elder and social justice activist, Dustin Langley, a central organizer with Stop War on Iran (reading a solidarity statement via phone from New York), Ladan, an Iranian social justice activist and supporter of the Iranian Community Against War, Charles Boylan, radio host on Co-op Radio’s “Wake Up With Co-op” program and a member of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), Cesar, an organizer with the Solidarity Coalition for a United Latin America, Fred Muzin, President of the Hospital Employee’s Union of British Columbia, Ali Yerevani, ICAW organizer and political editor of the Fire This Time newspaper, Nita Palmer, executive committee member and Acting Co-chair of MAWO. The rally was closed with a resolution read by Meaghan Griffiths, high school student and MAWO organizer – for a full report from MAWO and text of resolution, see http://www.mawovancouver.org/reports/080802photos.html . Activists are planning a public forum on August 12 to continue to organize and mobize – for more information, see:
http://www.mawovancouver.org/materials/posters/080821-IRAN-FORUM-SURREY.pdf

Other Aug. 2 protests

In Cleveland antiwar groups demanded “Don’t Iraq Iran” as they marched past the federal building to a rally at a downtown park.  Congressperson Dennis Kucinich made opening remarks charging the Bush administration with using the same lie–weapons of mass destruction–to justify another war. Other speakers represented the Iranian community, Peace Action, World Can’t Wait, U.S. Labor Against the War, AFSC, WILPF, Vets for Peace, Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network, TONC, Middle East Peace Forum, and others. A protest was also held in Columbus.

In Buffalo, a demonstration was sponsored by Buffalo Forum, the Western New York Peace Center, IAC and WWP. The anti war coalition in Buffalo recently shouted John McCain out of Buffalo.

A rush hour protest in downtown Baltimore was held Aug. 1.  Hundreds of workers honked their horn and waved as activists held signs that read, “Foreclose the war, not our homes. Roll back gas prices, not war on Iran.”

In Hicksville, Long Island, 65 people rallied, joined in a lively action at the railroad station and then took a “peace” train to the NYC rally. Activists from Vets For Peace, Code Pink, LI TONC, Pax Christi, Hicksville SDS, as well as Hicksville Students Against War participated.

The IAC organized a Stop War on Iran picket line at the Federal Courthouse in Seattle and then marched to city center. This march joined forces with a vigil against the U.S.-Israeli war and occupation against Palestine called by Voices of Palestine. There was another demonstration organized by IVAW, GI Voice and Olympia SDS at the gates of Ft. Lewis which made an appeal to the soldiers not to fight Iran.

Nearly fifty people came out in 103 degree heat in Denver to protest war threats made against Iran from the Bush regime.  Banners and signs held up by the activists received many responses from passing motorists.

In Bozeman, Montana, a vigil to Stop Wars on Iraq and Iran was held at the Gallatin County Courthouse.  Overwhelmingly, passersby, many on their way to and from a local fair, supported the demands by honking their car horns, giving peace signs or raising their fists in support.

In Tucson, a discussion was held on how the local anti-war movement can educate people about the Bush administration’s lies regarding Iran. One speaker, who had visited Iran last summer, gave a firsthand account of the gains the Iranian people have made since overthrowing the Shah in 1978.

Other Stop War on Iran protests were held in Kennebunkport, ME; Salt Lake City, UT; Louisville, Ky., Fairbanks, AK; Hilo, HI; Gate 1 of the Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base in Norfolk, Va., Naples and Miami, FL, Madison, WI and many more.  Go to www.StopWarOnIran.org for full report backs on other actions and pictures — and to help organize for the next stage of the struggle to Stop War on Iran.

Many activists have posted videos of local actions on YouTube and elsewhere – check the Stop War on Iran blog for links to videos and news coverage.


Calcutta
Kolkata, India


Vancouver
Vancouver, B.C.


Naples
Naples, FL


Wayne, PA

Wayne, PA

Norfolk, VA
Outside of Little Creek Amphibious Naval Station, Norfolk, VA


‘2 US aircraft carriers headed for Gulf’

from the Jerusalem Post:

Two additional United States naval aircraft carriers are heading to the Gulf and the Red Sea, according to the Kuwaiti newspaper Kuwait Times.

Kuwait began finalizing its “emergency war plan” on being told the vessels were bound for the region.

The US Navy would neither confirm nor deny that carriers were en route. US Fifth Fleet Combined Maritime Command located in Bahrain said it could not comment due to what a spokesman termed “force-protection policy.”

While the Kuwaiti daily did not name the ships it believed were heading for the Middle East, The Media Line’s defense analyst said they could be the USS Theodore Roosevelt and the USS Ronald Reagan.

Within the last month, the Roosevelt completed an exercise along the US east coast focusing on communication among navies of different countries. It has since been declared ready for operational duties. The Reagan, currently with the Seventh Fleet, had just set sail from Japan.

full article here

Kuwait Goes On “War Alert” As Massive US Armada Heads For Iran

from http://envirosagainstwar.org/know/read.php?itemid=7184
August 8, 2008
Sorcha Faal / What Does It Mean & Adam Gonn / The Jerusalem Post

Reports from the Middle East are stating today that Kuwait has activated its “Emergency War Plan” after being notified that two additional United States Navy Aircraft Carrier Groups are headed to the Gulf and Red Sea. The US Navy would neither confirm nor deny that carriers were en route. US Fifth Fleet Combined Maritime Command located in Bahrain said it could not comment due to what a spokesman termed “force-protection policy.”

http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index1123.htm

(August 8, 2008) — Reports from the Middle East are stating today that Kuwait has activated its “Emergency War Plan” after being notified that two additional United States Navy Aircraft Carrier Groups are headed to the Gulf and Red Sea.

The Arabic news agency Moheet is reported that “an unnamed American destroyer, accompanied by two Israeli naval vessels, traveled through the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean to join a US nuclear submarine accompanied by a destroyer and a supply ship that have also moved into the Mediterranean.”

The Jerusalem Post is also reporting that “there are two US naval battle groups operating in the Gulf: one is an aircraft carrier group, led by the USS Abraham Lincoln, which carries some 65 fighter aircraft. The other group is headed by the USS Peleliu which maintains a variety of planes and strike helicopters.”

Russian Military Analysts report that with the addition of these new US Naval Battle Groups the American Forces now have arrayed against the Iranian Nation one of the largest naval armadas assembled by the West since World War II.

The Associated Press News Service is reporting, too, that Israel is building up its strike capabilities against Iran and is “confident” of dealing a “crippling attack” against Iran’s nuclear programme as it becomes more concerned that the Western Nations will back off from their planned attack against the Iranians.

The United States, at least for the moment, appears to be attempting to thwart another major war by threatening Iran with more sanctions, and as we can read as reported by the Associated Press News Service:

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice threatened Iran with more sanctions Thursday after it failed to give an adequate response to the latest bid by Western powers to induce it to freeze uranium enrichment.

“Iran has a way out if they ever wish, but we will seriously pursue sanctions if they don’t,” Rice told Yahoo! News and the magazine Politico. “You have to hope that there are reasonable people in Iran who see this as not the way to run a country.”

Tehran’s latest response to a demand for the enrichment freeze in exchange for trade and technology incentives “is not a really serious answer,” she said in her first comments since six world powers discussed the matter in a Wednesday conference call.°®

The “wild card” in these latest moves by the United States, its Western Allies and Israel, say Russian Military Reports, remains the “hidden” Israeli threats against the US should it not attack Iran, and which many in the Russian Intelligence Community take to mean another September 11th-type assault upon the American Nation itself.

[Note: Following the attacks upon the US on September 11, 2001, American Intelligence services conducted one of their largest counterterror sweeps in their history which netted not Arab Terrorists, but one of the largest Israeli spy networks ever discovered. Fox News was the only US propaganda media outlet to report on this but after its first airing was “immediately pulled” from the American airwaves.]

The United States has further moved to counter Russian Military responses to an attack upon Iran’s nuclear facilities, and which have been built and financed by Russia, by igniting the flames of Total War on Russia’s very doorstep in the Caucuses by turning their loose their puppet ally Georgia to begin attacks upon South Ossetia.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a warning today that Georgia is preparing for war, and as South Ossetia’s capitol has come under fire, and with Russia reporting that Georgian tanks are headed for the border, Russia has warned the West that it “will not stand by” if the situation erupts into a full scale conflict.

What remains unknown at this time is how far the United States, and the West, is prepared to push our World towards Total War in its game of brinkmanship in the Middle East.

What is known, however, is that should the Americans push our World into the abyss of war, both Russia and China will retaliate as they are both determined not to ever again allow the Western Nations to have control over the World’s supply of oil.

© August 8, 2008 EU and US all rights reserved.

Raleigh NC Stop War on Iran protest

from http://www.wral.com/news/news_briefs/image/3321101/?ref_id=3321010

Aug 12 – forum – No War on Iran

Video and media coverage of August 2

From Coast to Coast – and around the Globe – The People Say “Stop War on Iran!” –

Actions in more than 100 cities

As the threat of war and sanctions against Iran grows, “No War on Iran” was a slogan and chant that resonated across the U.S. on the weekend of Aug. 1-2 as emergency marches, rallies, vigils, teach-ins, honk for peace picket lines and leaflet distributions were held to protest U.S.-Israeli war threats against Iran.

In response to the Emergency Call to Action issued by the Stop War on Iran Campaign in mid-June, anti-war activists in more than 100 cities voiced their opposition boldly in the streets despite the short notice in which the initial call was made and the difficulty of organizing during the summer.

Besides bringing attention to the real threat of a military strike against the sovereign country of Iran, activists also raised the new round of economic sanctions against Iran, which is another form of war.  Activists also connected Iran to the wars and occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine which have cost hundreds of billions of dollars and maimed and killed an untold number of civilians and soldiers.  Many events connected the staggering financial cost of the war with the lack of health care, housing, and other human needs, as well as the foreclosure crisis and the skyrocketing cost of gas.

Below we have included reports from a handful of the many actions that took place over the weekend.  Reports are still coming in, and more will be posted on the Stop War on Iran blog – https://stopwaroniran.wordpress.com in the coming days.

This weekend’s actions were an enormous display of opposition to Washington’s plans for an attack on Iran.  But we must do more – we have to continue to organize to stop another criminal war.  The Stop War on Iran campaign is mobilizing to stay in the streets – over the next few weeks, we are preparing placards, banners, and literature to take to St. Paul, Minnesota and Denver, Colorado, for the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.  If you’re planning to be there, look for our banners and organizing tables and find out how you can help get the word out.

We also need your help to keep the message on the streets and to continue to help build a peoples movement to Stop War on Iran.  Please consider making an emergency donation to Stop War on Iran at http://stopwaroniran.org/donate.shtml to help with the costs of printing literature, preparing placards, and transportation to St. Paul and Denver.



New York City

An estimated 700 to 1,000 activists refused to allow two torrential thunderstorms dampen their spirits and determination to rally at Times Square and then take to the streets.  Thousands more who were shopping or just passing by stopped to listen to speeches, chants and songs that connected the wars abroad with the wars at home against the workers, the poor and the oppressed.  Joyce Chediac, a Lebanese activist and journalist and LeiLani Dowell, a Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST) organizer chaired the rally.  Chants from the stage were led by activists from Nodutdol for Korean Community Development and CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities.

Larry Holmes, a leader of Troops Out Now Coalition, spoke on the imperialist nature of U.S. wars and why it is in the interest of the people in the U.S. to support self-determination, not the U.S. government.  Kazem Azin, an Iranian activist, told the crowd that the Iranian people will continue to defend their homeland against U.S. and Israeli aggression.  Former U.S. Attorney General, Ramsey Clark, urged the crowd to keep organizing and resisting.  Other rally participants represented the American Iranian Friendship Committee, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Million Workers March Movement, New York Katrina/Rita Solidarity Coalition, World Can’t Wait, Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition, Justice Committee, Peoples Justice, BAYAN-USA, New York Free Mumia Coalition, International Action Center, Veterans for Peace, Raging Grannies, World Can’t Wait and many more.  Activists read solidarity statements from Prof. Jose Maria Sison, Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee International League of Peoples Struggles (ILPS); and from the IAPSCC – International Anti-Imperialist  and People’s Solidarity Coordinating Committee in Kolkata, India; and from the Mobilization Against War and Occupation in Vancouver.

Following the rally, a youth-dominated, multinational and militant march took to the streets.  When the police tried to force the marchers on the sidewalk, they stood their ground and stayed in the streets until the march ended at Union Square, 25 blocks later.  There was a large youth contingent from Nodutdol for Korean Community Development along with organizers from the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), FIST, International Action Center and many others.

Washington, DC

On Aug. 2 a protest took place in front of the White House. One hundred and fifty protesters carried signs that included:  “Iran Didn’t Foreclose on My House” and “U.S. Out of the Middle East”. At a rally in a park, Rostam Pourzal from Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Invention in Iran spoke along with a representative from the D.C. Stop War on Iran Campaign.

The protest was multinational with a large number of people from the Iranian community along with Black activists, particularly youth, as well as Code Pink members and other anti-war activists. Media coverage of this protest included Al Jazeera, CNN and Youth and Politics Beat.  The Baltimore All Peoples-Congress members also participated.  Activists are meeting on August 12 to plan future actions.

Los Angeles, California

Two hundred anti-war protesters gathered and marched in Downtown Los Angeles Aug. 2 despite 20 violent pro-shah and pro-U.S. war counter protecters that tried to stop it. The counter protecters were violating a permit obtained by the Stop the War On Iran Coalition. In fact, the only action the police took was to attempt to arrest one of the coalition monitors defending the Stop War On Iran protest.

About 15 demonstration monitors were able to isolate and force the counter protecters out of the park to allow the program to resume. Speakers and initiators of the march represented BAYAN-USA, World Can’t Wait, FMLN, FIST, IAC. Other speakers represented South Asian Network, USLAW-Los Angeles, SEIU Local 721, Al-Awda, Anti-Racist Action, Union of Progressive Iranians and more. The march was very visible along Broadway’s mostly Latino and working class population. Some observers joined the militant march. Press included Fox news, the local Pacifica station – KPFK and Tehran News.  For updates and to find out how to get involved, see http://www.iacenterla.org.

Raleigh, N.C.

The protest convened at the State Capitol building.  Rima L’Amir from FIST made opening remarks.  Twenty pro-war men with U.S. flags tried to provoke the anti-war activists but were unsuccessful.  The march stopped at U.S. Congressman’s Bob Ethridge’s office downtown where Larkin Coffey from FIST and a speaker from the Durham Bill of Rights Defense Committee spoke. The march went to Barack Obama’s local campaign headquarters where Rev. David Foy from Black Workers for Justice spoke. Many of the Obama volunteers came outside and began registering people to vote.  Another FIST speaker talked about the role of the Democratic Party. While marching past the bus station many riders joined in on the anti-war chants and started dancing and took Stop War on Iran literature.  Ben Carroll from FIST was interviewed on National Public Radio. For more information and updates, see http://raleighfist.wordpress.com.

Houston, Texas

TONC organized an open mic protest to denounce plans to make war on Iran Aug. 1 in 100-degree heat for two hours at the Mickey Leland Federal Building.  “We have so many issues to fight right here at home.  We don’t need to make war on Iran,” said Alma Diaz, co-host of KPFT Pacifica’s “Protecto Latino Americano”. “Tomorrow morning we are going to confront the racist Border Watch at a job site and we urge you to join us.”

Signs that read, “Honk to Stop War” evoked continuous honking by drivers, waving and making peace signs from car windows.  People signed petitions for “No War on Iran”.  Council on American-Islamic Relations representative, Ali Khalili, stated, “Enough is enough.  In our name, with our money, they are killing people across the world. We waged war in Iraq. More than a million innocent men, women and children have died.”

Other activists represented there were from the Harris County Green Party, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Houston Peace Forum, Houston Peace and Justice Center, Code Pink, and Houston Coalition for Justice. Njeri Shakur from the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, stated, “People’s lives are in a crisis with the rising gas prices, rising rents and food costs…people are sick of war and want our tax money to be spent on the real needs of the people.”

Boston, Massachusetts

Over 200 activists picketed the Army Recruitment Center Aug. 2 in downtown Boston in an action jointly organized as a Counter Recruitment Day called by the UMass/Boston Antiwar Coalition and Boston Stop War on Iran Campaign.

Shouting “We support war resisters, they’re our brothers. They’re our sisters”, the picket line stretched an entire block and was joined by activists from TONC, IVAW, Greater Boston Stop the Wars Coalition, Workers World Party, International Socialist Organization, Vets for Peace, Smedley Butler Brigade, Women’s Fightback Network, Stonewall Warriors and Boston School Bus Drivers Union Local 8751 USW.

Mike Spinnato from IVAW told WW that, “Reading Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States opened my eyes to the reality of what armed forces recruitment was really about”.

FIST organizer, Miya, spoke on the connection between the military recruiting oppressed youth to fight and die abroad and the need for jobs for youth, not jails and war. To get involved with the Boston Stop War on Iran Campaign, see http://www.iacboston.org.

Springfield, Massachusetts

50 people attended an Aug. 2 noontime news conference in Court Square, across from City Hall, followed by a public speak-out.  The speakers included State Representative Benjamin Swan, a civil rights activist who marched with Dr. King, and award-winning Latino poet Martin Espada.  Iranian born Behzad Samimi, now a U.S. citizen, made a strong case against a U.S.-Israeli attack on Iran.

They were joined by Don James, President of Arise, a poor people’s rights group; Dr. “Marty” Nathan of Physicians for Social Responsibility; student John Collura of the S.T.C.C. Mobilization Against Poverty, Racism and War, along with representatives from Out Now, Wally Nelson Veterans for Peace and the American Friends Service Committee.

All three Springfield T.V. stations covered the news conference, as well as The Springfield Republican newspaper.  Nick Camerota of the Western Mass. IAC was interviewed prior to Aug. 2 on two African American radio programs about the protest.  Other protests in the state were held in Pittsfield, Orange and Tisbury.

Detroit. Michigan

Over100 multinational protesters joined a spirited protest in downtown Detroit at Hart Plaza Aug. 1 declaring “US-Israel: Hands off Iran and “Money for Housing, Not for War!”

The emergency action, sponsored by the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice (MECAWI) (see http://www.mecawi.org) was joined by members of Peace Action, the AFT and UAW, the Moratorium NOW! coalition, Latinos Unidos, Pax Christi, the Green Party, the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights, the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, 11th Hour 4 Peace, Iranian community members and others.

A speak out took place were speakers linked the U.S.’s planned war on Iran to the domestic war most notably in relation to foreclosures, school closings, police brutality and the increasing costs of living. A similar action took place in Ann Arbor Aug. 2.

Woodstock, NY

Some three dozen people gathered on the Village Green in Woodstock, NY, to protest the potential invasion of Iraq. There was an overwhelming supportive response from passersby on foot and cars, despite the heavy rain. Rene Imperato, of the Woodstock Solidarity Committee, spoke on the plight of veterans and the horrible effects of exposure to depleted uranium by American and other occupying forces as well as the Iraqi people. Dale Wise of Veterans for Peace read poems from wounded Iraq veterans. Veterans for Peace,

Following the rally, protesters drove to Kingston to join a picketline of over two dozen people across a busy thoroughfare from the local army recruitment office at the Kingston Valley Plaza mall.

Woodstock Vietnam Veterans Against the War and www.mid-eastcrisisresponse.org. endorsed the Woodstock demonstration which was called by the Woodstock Solidarity Committee.

Atlanta, Georgia

More than 80 anti-war activists lined both sides of a busy midtown Atlanta street to oppose any economic sanctions or military attack on Iran. There were honks of approval from many passing cars and cheers from pedestrians. Leaflets urging people to contact their elected officials and voice their rejection of any blockade of Iran as contained in House Resolution 362 were distributed to shoppers.

The IAC and the Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition/Atlanta action drew a number of youth and students and members of the Iranian community, some of whom came in response to a half-page “No War on Iran” ad placed in a weekly newspaper.

Chicago, Ill.

Over 125 anti-war and progressive activists attended a rally at the State of Illinois Building organized by the Chicago Coalition against War and Racism to oppose the bipartisan war threats against Iran.

The speakers’ list included public housing activist Beauty Turner; immigrant rights activist Jorge Mujica from the March 10th Coalition; Iranian activist Ali Akbari from Evanston Neighbors for Peace; Al Sutton of Chicago Labor against War; and Angie Haban of the “Holy Name 6”, activists who face charges for staging an anti-war protest during the 2008 Easter service at Holy Name Cathedral. The protesters marched to the Cook County Republican Headquarters, the Israeli consulate, and the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

(From http://www.worldwidewamm.org/home.html) At noon on Friday, August 1, the anniversary of the collapse Interstate-35 Bridge into the Mississippi River, exposing the condition of U.S. infrastructure, Women Against Military Madness, held a demonstration in Minneapolis outside of Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office, one block from the site of the bridge. National and international organizations called for worldwide emergency actions on the next day, but we held ours one earlier to coincide with the bridge collapse. Senator Klobuchar was one of the sponsors of Senate Resolution 580. The protest called for “Bridges Not Bombs! Don’t Bomb Iran!” and was attended by 40-50 activists. Many cars and bicyclists honked and gave thumbs up and thanks on the street at the edge of downtown Minneapolis. Although news crews from major TV stations fueled up at a gas station across the street as they cruised up and down Washington Ave. to take photos of the bridge, the stories in the media focused on healing and heroes after the tragedy and making the connection between the decaying U.S. infrastructure and the cost of war and the threat of war did not fit into their story line.

Vancouver, Canada

200 people, including many Iranians, rallied at the Vancouver Art Gallery to demand “No War On Iran!” In Canada, besides activists in Vancouver, British Columbia, there were also events organized in Calgary, Alberta and Sydney, Nova Scotia, in conjunction with this international call.

The rally in Vancouver was organized jointly by Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) and the Iranian Community Against War (ICAW). MCs Payvand and Arash from ICAW opened the rally with chants of “Don’t Attack Iran!” and “No to Sanctions on Iran!”.

Many community activists from a variety of unions, grassroots organizations, and ethnic communities spoke at the rally, including: Alison Bodine, MAWO Co-chair (by phone from San Francisco), Phillipa Ryan, Coast Salish elder and social justice activist, Dustin Langley, a central organizer with Stop War on Iran (reading a solidarity statement via phone from New York), Ladan, an Iranian social justice activist and supporter of the Iranian Community Against War, Charles Boylan, radio host on Co-op Radio’s “Wake Up With Co-op” program and a member of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), Cesar, an organizer with the Solidarity Coalition for a United Latin America, Fred Muzin, President of the Hospital Employee’s Union of British Columbia, Ali Yerevani, ICAW organizer and political editor of the Fire This Time newspaper, Nita Palmer, executive committee member and Acting Co-chair of MAWO. The rally was closed with a resolution read by Meaghan Griffiths, high school student and MAWO organizer – for a full report from MAWO and text of resolution, see http://www.mawovancouver.org/reports/080802photos.html . Activists are planning a public forum on August 12 to continue to organize and mobize – for more information, see:
http://www.mawovancouver.org/materials/posters/080821-IRAN-FORUM-SURREY.pdf

Other Aug. 2 protests

In Cleveland antiwar groups demanded “Don’t Iraq Iran” as they marched past the federal building to a rally at a downtown park.  Congressperson Dennis Kucinich made opening remarks charging the Bush administration with using the same lie–weapons of mass destruction–to justify another war. Other speakers represented the Iranian community, Peace Action, World Can’t Wait, U.S. Labor Against the War, AFSC, WILPF, Vets for Peace, Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network, TONC, Middle East Peace Forum, and others. A protest was also held in Columbus.

In Buffalo, a demonstration was sponsored by Buffalo Forum, the Western New York Peace Center, IAC and WWP. The anti war coalition in Buffalo recently shouted John McCain out of Buffalo.

A rush hour protest in downtown Baltimore was held Aug. 1.  Hundreds of workers honked their horn and waved as activists held signs that read, “Foreclose the war, not our homes. Roll back gas prices, not war on Iran.”

In Hicksville, Long Island, 65 people rallied, joined in a lively action at the railroad station and then took a “peace” train to the NYC rally. Activists from Vets For Peace, Code Pink, LI TONC, Pax Christi, Hicksville SDS, as well as Hicksville Students Against War participated.

The IAC organized a Stop War on Iran picket line at the Federal Courthouse in Seattle and then marched to city center. This march joined forces with a vigil against the U.S.-Israeli war and occupation against Palestine called by Voices of Palestine. There was another demonstration organized by IVAW, GI Voice and Olympia SDS at the gates of Ft. Lewis which made an appeal to the soldiers not to fight Iran.

Nearly fifty people came out in 103 degree heat in Denver to protest war threats made against Iran from the Bush regime.  Banners and signs held up by the activists received many responses from passing motorists.

In Bozeman, Montana, a vigil to Stop Wars on Iraq and Iran was held at the Gallatin County Courthouse.  Overwhelmingly, passersby, many on their way to and from a local fair, supported the demands by honking their car horns, giving peace signs or raising their fists in support.

In Tucson, a discussion was held on how the local anti-war movement can educate people about the Bush administration’s lies regarding Iran. One speaker, who had visited Iran last summer, gave a firsthand account of the gains the Iranian people have made since overthrowing the Shah in 1978.

Other Stop War on Iran protests were held in Kennebunkport, ME; Salt Lake City, UT; Louisville, Ky., Fairbanks, AK; Hilo, HI; Gate 1 of the Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base in Norfolk, Va., Naples and Miami, FL, Madison, WI and many more.  Go to www.StopWarOnIran.org for full report backs on other actions and pictures — and to help organize for the next stage of the struggle to Stop War on Iran.

Many activists have posted videos of local actions on YouTube and elsewhere – check the Stop War on Iran blog for links to videos and news coverage.

International League of Peoples’ Struggle Says: Stop War on Iran

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
July 31, 2008

We of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) hereby express our wholehearted endorsement and support for the campaign to stop the war on Iran before it starts. We are in full solidarity with the American people and organized forces that are set to demonstrate in more than 65 cities of the US on Saturday, August 2. We are happy to announce that the ILPS member organizations in the US are joining this historic event.

Once more as in the case of the war on Iraq the US is using as pretext for a war of aggression against Iran and the Iranian people the false charge that the Iranian government is engaged in a program of nuclear weapons development, despite negative results of very intrusive inspections by the UN nuclear inspection mission. Both US imperialism and Zionist Israel are beating the drums of war to threaten Iran and the Iranian people and prepare for a war in violation of the Iranian people’s national sovereignty and the territorial integrity of their country.

The American people need to be vigilant, resolute and militant against the aggressive imperialist character of the US government which is nothing but an instrument of the monopoly bourgeoisie for subjugating other peoples and seizing territory for economic exploitation. It is not only the power-crazed and overreaching neoconservative clique attached to the Republican Party but also most importantly the oil monopolies and entire military industrial complex that are always trying to use both the Republican and Democratic parties in devising a bipartisan policy for dominating the entire Middle East and controlling its oil resources and other economic aspects.

The threat of aggressive war against Iran and the Iranian people is immediate. At the least, it is calculated to bend the current Iranian government towards supporting the security and economic agreements being forged between the US and the Iraqi puppet government, which has Shia and Kurdish reactionary blocs lording over the Sunni bloc. The US message to the Iranian government is to bend fast or else. At the same time, the preparations for aggressive war are meant in the long term to tighten control over Iran and bind it in the strategic scheme that the US wants for the entire Middle East.

While the American people and the rest of the people of the world are rising to oppose the threat of US aggression against Iran, the Iranian people and their revolutionary forces must build their own independent strength in the struggle for national liberation, democracy and social justice and must maintain independence and initiative in building patriotic and progressive alliances against US imperialism and its lackeys.

We regard the August 2 nationwide demonstration in the US as a signal for a worldwide campaign to stop the war on Iran before it starts. We wish the American people and their organized forces to have resounding success in their mobilization efforts and thus deliver the strongest possible message to all anti-imperialist and democratic forces and people of the world to join the campaign. We of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle will exert all possible efforts to expand and intensify the campaign.

The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) is an anti-imperialist and democratic formation. It promotes, supports and develops the anti-imperialist and democratic struggles of the people of the world against imperialism and all reaction. It strives to realize the unity, cooperation and coordination of anti-imperialist and democratic struggles throughout the world.
www.ilps-web.com/

Cheney considered sacrificing Navy SEALs to provoke war with Iran?

from Think Progress:

EXCLUSIVE: To Provoke War, Cheney Considered Proposal To Dress Up Navy Seals As Iranians And Shoot At Them»

Speaking at the Campus Progress journalism conference earlier this month, Seymour Hersh — a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist for The New Yorker — revealed that Bush administration officials held a meeting recently in the Vice President’s office to discuss ways to provoke a war with Iran.

In Hersh’s most recent article, he reports that this meeting occurred in the wake of the overblown incident in the Strait of Hormuz, when a U.S. carrier almost shot at a few small Iranian speedboats. The “meeting took place in the Vice-President’s office. ‘The subject was how to create a casus belli between Tehran and Washington,’” according to one of Hersh’s sources.

During the journalism conference event, I asked Hersh specifically about this meeting and if he could elaborate on what occurred. Hersh explained that, during the meeting in Cheney’s office, an idea was considered to dress up Navy Seals as Iranians, put them on fake Iranian speedboats, and shoot at them. This idea, intended to provoke an Iran war, was ultimately rejected:

HERSH: There was a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war. The one that interested me the most was why don’t we build — we in our shipyard — build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up.

Might cost some lives. And it was rejected because you can’t have Americans killing Americans. That’s the kind of — that’s the level of stuff we’re talking about. Provocation. But that was rejected.

read full article here

America Is Already Committing Acts of War Against Iran

from Alternet:

The war between the United States and Iran is on. American taxpayer dollars are being used, with the permission of Congress, to fund activities that result in Iranians being killed and wounded, and Iranian property destroyed. This wanton violation of a nation’s sovereignty would not be tolerated if the tables were turned and Americans were being subjected to Iranian-funded covert actions that took the lives of Americans, on American soil, and destroyed American property and livelihood. Many Americans remain unaware of what is transpiring abroad in their name.

Many of those who are cognizant of these activities are supportive of them, an outgrowth of misguided sentiment which holds Iran accountable for a list of grievances used by the U.S. government to justify the ongoing global war on terror. Iran, we are told, is not just a nation pursuing nuclear weapons, but is the largest state sponsor of terror in the world today.

full article here