Protesters to demonstrate against the escalation of war, exploitation of resources in Afghanistan

Thursday, June 17th @ 4:30 pm
Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office
1200 Washington Ave S
Minneapolis, MN

This Thursday, anti-war activists will gather at Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office to demonstrate against the Obama administration’s escalation of war in Afghanistan.  Since the deployment of 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan last December, civilian casualties there have increased dramatically.  Rhetoric from the Obama administration expresses concern for civilian deaths, but the violence continues.  Last month, Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry reported that civilian casualties jumped by 33% in a recent month-long period.  Afghan officials reported 173 civilian deaths from March 21-April 21 of this year and stated that “an increasing number are at the hands of U.S. and foreign forces.” On May 10, the New York Times reported that shootings of Afghan civilians by U.S. and NATO convoys at military checkpoints have spiked sharply. At least 28 Afghans have been killed and 43 wounded in convoy and checkpoint shootings this year.  Despite widespread opposition from the people of Afghanistan, the U.S. has considered a large-scale military offensive in Kandahar, a city of half a million people.

Anti-War Committee member Katrina Plotz explains, “The presence of U.S. troops is an unjust foreign occupation that is actually causing, rather than solving problems of violence, displacement, and poverty in Afghanistan.  The Afghan people deserve the right to determine the future of their country for themselves.  The U.S. has no business attacking Kandahar or continuing to occupy Afghan soil for another day.”

On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that U.S. geologists have discovered $1 trillion in untapped mineral reserves in Afghanistan, including large deposits of gold, copper, cobalt, and lithium – a key mineral in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and cell phones.  American geologists have been studying the potential for mining in Afghanistan since at least 2004.  The Pentagon has already hired international accounting firms with mining expertise and is preparing to turn over technical data to multinational mining companies and American investors.

“The mere presence of American geologists in Afghanistan shows that this occupation is about power and the control of natural resources,” says Meredith Aby of the Anti-War Committee.  “Today, we will gather to oppose the continued attacks on the people of Afghanistan and the exploitation of their resources.  We demand that Senator Klobuchar and the rest of the MN Congressional delegation vote to stop funding the war and support legislation to bring the troops home now.”

Initiated by: Anti-War Committee

Endorsed by: Iraq Peace Action Coalition, Women Against Military Madness, MN Coalition for a People’s Bailout, Welfare Rights Committee