Speech by Meredith Aby, Anti-War Committee member and former spokesperson for Coalition to March on the RNC (2008), given at a press conference concerning the DNC on Thursday, July 22, 2010
We are here today to announce that if the Democratic Party chooses Minneapolis to host the their 2012 national convention we are prepared to organize a significant march of thousands of people to demand an end to the wars and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. For the 2008 RNC we organized an impressive coalition of anti-war, econonmic rights, student, immigrant rights and labor groups to protest the war on Iraq and these forces are ready to come together again to give a loud and clear message of opposition to the Democrat’s support for the war in Afghanistan.
We recognize that the Twin Cities and Minnesota are very supportive of the Democratic Party in general and that Obama has a good chance of winning MN in the 2012 presidential election. However, the country and Minnesota in particular are not in favor of the Democratic Party and Obama’s escalation of the war in Afghanistan. Thousands of progressive people from around the country will come to a well organized anti-war protest during the convention if the DNC is here in Minneapolis.
We are frustrated by the rhetoric of change. We have been told that the wars and occupations are ending and that draw downs will occur. Meanwhile more and more troops are being sent. More and more people – both innocent civilians and U.S. troops – are dying. We want real change and we are ready to take our message directly to the Democratic Party!
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. We are not going to have a tea bagger affair. 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!
Join me in giving the Democrats a sense of what they’d hear at the Metrodome: Money for Human Needs Not for War!