Thursday, August 30, 2007
Despite gov’t roadblocks: Activists prepare for anti-war surge
By LeiLani Dowell
Published Aug 30, 2007 10:23 PM

As momentum builds for a number of anti-war activities occurring in September and October, organizers are appealing for support to overcome roadblocks put in their way by a number of government agencies.

In an action alert sent on Aug. 24, the Troops Out Now Coalition reported that the state was attempting to deny it a permit for an Encampment to Stop the War at Home and Abroad. The Encampment will begin on Sept. 22 and will culminate with a mass march on Sept. 29.

The alert stated: “Three months ago, the Troops Out Now Coalition applied to the National Parks Service for permits to erect an anti-war tent city on the Mall across from the Capitol in Washington, D.C. ... On Thursday, Aug. 23, we were informed for the first time that we would not be allowed to erect the tents because suddenly it had been decided that all of the areas of the Mall where tents could be erected would be fenced off and would undergo ‘re-sodding’ at the very time that we planned to use the Mall.

“We don’t believe that it’s a coincidence. ... Everyone knows that September is going to be a crucial month for the struggle to end this criminal war. The anti-war movement has been mobilizing all summer for the fall. ... Apparently, the government has also been preparing for the fall, preparing to silence mass resistance to the war.”

TONC asks people to sign its online petition (troopsoutnow.org) to “tell Congress and Bush: Grant the anti-war encampment permit now!”

Sharon Black, who has been in the negotiations with various government agencies, told WW, “The anti-war Encampment will definitely take place. We have the right to be there, the people want to be there, and we’re going to be there. For all those planning to come, it’s full steam ahead.”

Larry Holmes, a spokesperson for the anti-war coalition, added, “It’s not the growing grass on the Capitol Mall that the government is worried about, it’s the growing mass outrage over imperialist war crimes, from New Orleans to Baghdad. One way or the other, the anti-war movement will camp in front of the Capitol during the last week of September.”

Recently, the government in Washington, D.C., also slapped the ANSWER Coalition with $10,000 fines for putting up posters for an anti-war march to be held Sept. 15. TONC has called for unity in fighting the state against these attempts to dampen the movement.

Can’t stop the momentum

Despite this government interference, excitement about an ongoing “surge” of protests is growing throughout the country—at a time when anti-war sentiment is at an all-time high; when students are returning to campuses for the fall semester, where they will face military recruiters, impossible student loans and the possible reintroduction of a draft; when the 2008 elections loom with no real anti-war candidate; and when Congress will again be voting to spend billions on war and occupation.

This surge began on Aug. 25 in Newark, N.J., in an action organized by the grassroots Peoples Organization for Progress. Other events include a tribunal on hurricanes Katrina and Rita, to be held in New Orleans; a women’s speakout in several states; a “Day of Outrage” against police brutality in New York; a day of mass action for immigrant rights; and a number of protests against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In addition, activists are preparing to spend a week in front of the halls of Congress as well as the Federal Building in Los Angeles.

TONC describes the D.C. action thusly: “The Encampment is a square of land directly in front of the Capitol, where we will maintain a determined, visible 24-hour anti-war presence as a direct challenge to the politicians—both Republican and Democrat—who voted for the war and vote to continue to fund the war. Activists, military families, veterans, trade unionists and community organizers from across the U.S. are planning to erect a tent city in Washington, D.C., which will be a center of organizing, resistance and action for the week.”

The month will culminate with a massive national demonstration on Sept. 29 to stop all wars at home and abroad, which will march from the Capitol to the White House.

TONC reports that more than 70 organizing centers in 32 states will be sending buses to Washington, D.C., for the Sept. 29 demonstration. More than 1,600 individuals and organizations have endorsed.

For more information on all these activities, visit troopsoutnow.org.
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posted by Stop War @ 11:27 AM  
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SEPT 22 - 29

It's time to move from Protest to Resistance:

SEPT 22- 29: Encampment in Washington DC & March on the White House

SEPT 29: National March on from the Capitol to the White House

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