Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Press Conference announces Encampment and Mass March

A press conference was held Sept. 24 to announce the Encampment and the mass march on Sept. 29. Larry Holmes of the Troops Out Now Coalition opened the conference, saying, "The Democrats say they want to cut war funding but they can't get past a veto. We know this isn't true. They could simply make sure the funding question doesn't get to the floor. Meanwhile, Bush is prepared to veto $30 to $35 billion for health care for children."

Holmes also discussed the serious threat of a new war on Iran: "Iranian President Ahmadinejad is being demonized in the media, and we're not naive. We know that they are preparing the population for an expansion of the war in Iraq to war in Iran. But the biggest terrorists are in the world sit in the White House."

Rev. Lennox Yearwood spoke about unity in the people's struggle against multiple wars: "I'm so pleased to see support here at the Encampment for the struggle in Jena; I was pleased to hear, in Jena, people talking about how the bombs in Baghdad are affecting people in the United States. ... If it calls for getting arrested, getting in the way, then we'll get arrested and get in the way. Our struggles will continue, but we will win." Yearwood was recently beaten by D.C. police at an anti-war press conference.

Adam Kokesh, Co-Chair of the board of directors for Iraq Veterans Against the War described his organization's demands, including immediate withdrawal of all forces from Iraq, "and when we say all forces, we mean Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Blackwater, Halliburton"; and full payment of reparations to the people of Iraq.

Nana Soul of Artists and Activists United for Peace, a TONC member organization, described the weeklong concert that is being held as part of the Encampment. "The movement needs cultural inspiration, talent and creativity. Iraq may be the issue today, but we know that this isn't the first time that the United States has invaded a sovereign nation. They use tools at home like not funding health care and education. We have a chance to translate these actions."

Rick Clemens, Ann Wilcox and Joyce Robinson-Paul represented the Green Party. Clemens, a Vietnam War veteran, stressed: "This war is about imperialism, about the exploitation of labor power and markets of other peoples. There is no thing as ending the war without ending the economic system that perpetuates war--capitalism." Wilcox discussed the effects of the war at home in Washington, D.C., where neighborhood libraries are being closed and thousands of affordable housing units have been lost.

Toby Blomé of Code Pink Women for Peace described the two encampments their group has undertaken at Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's house, after she refused to meet with them to discuss war funding for three months. They plan on going to her office regularly during the Encampment and will be fasting for the week as "another way to show commitment to ending the occupation and bringing the troops home."

Vernon Hoffman, who biked 4,500 miles with his family from Portland, Oregon to join the Encampment, said he'd "rather bike for peace than kill for oil." He described how throughout the country, people took opened up their homes for the family and their anti-war message.

Lastly, a young war resister described how he enlisted in the military in 2005 because of limited career opportunities in his hometown. However, he says, "I happened to join at the same time as Hurricane Katrina, and I saw on TV the bodies floating in the streets. It really hit home to me. I got out of training 25 weeks later and nothing had changed. Despite all the rhetoric about homeland security and national security, this government's priorities are not for the people."

Other actions at the Encampment today included an event on Pelosi hosted by Code Pink, and an outreach sound truck caravan through the streets of D.C. to mobilize for the march on the 29th.

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posted by Stop War @ 12:45 PM  
If you can't join us at the Encampment - you can still be a part of this mobilzation to Stop the War at Home and Abroad. Please consider making a generous donation to help cover the costs of transportation, food, tents, sound equipment, and much more. You can donate online donate online at http://troopsoutnow.org/donate.shtml.

Troops Out Now Website

Encampment to Stop the War blog

Youth and Students

The Troops Out Now Coalition

Previous Post
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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