A speech given by Meredith Aby, Anti-War Committee member, at the No DNC protest in Minneapolis on July 18, 2010
We are here today to say that we are ready to protest the Democratic Party in Minneapolis if they choose to have their convention here. In fact regardless of where the Democrats have their convention, they will be surrounded by protesters but if they choose Minneapolis we would have the largest protest because we have a large, vibrant anti-war movement. We understand that while the Twin Cities might be a Democratic stronghold that nevertheless doesn’t give them a free pass to massacre and occupy the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.
When the Democrats took the White House in 2008 they promised an end to the war in Iraq. Have we seen that? No! The U.S. occupation continues and the Iraqi people are just as far from having actual freedom from U.S. forces as they were under Bush. Similarly while the Obama administration escalates the war in Afghanistan they hold out the promise of a draw down starting next summer. In fact, the occupations are going quite poorly for the U.S. in both Iraq and Afghanistan and the Obama administration is not going to withdraw because the Democrats like the Republicans want the U.S. to control the Middle East and South Asia.
Meanwhile the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan is skyrocketed into an even bloodier mess than under Bush. This year marks a new record for the most U.S. wounded and the most U.S. deaths in the war on Afghanistan since its beginning in 2001. Obama has sent in larger numbers of troops in an effort to turn the tide, however, the U.S. forces have not been successful in securing the U.S. quest for empire.
The Afghanistan war is the Democrat’s war. They chose to escalate it. They chose to put the lives of millions of Afghans and tens of thousands of Americans at risk. They chose to stand by as video after video was released of massacre after massacre of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have blood on their hands and they can’t expect to come to our town, an anti-war town like Minneapolis, and get to party for four days without us telling them that this is criminal and immoral.
Our protest will be principled. It will not have racist attacks on the president. We will not incorrectly use terms like “socialist” or “fascist” but we will also not be silent. The people of Iraq and Afghanistan need us to raise our voices to the DNC. Similarly, this convention will be meeting during one of the worst recessions in American history and now more than ever we need to demand money for human needs and not for war!
So lets join our voices and say NO DNC, NO WAR! So the Democratic Convention visitors can get a sense for what they’d be signing up for! NO DNC, NO WAR!