Wednesday, June 22nd, 5-6 pm @ Lake Street/Marshall Avenue Bridge (over the Mississippi River between Minneapolis and St. Paul)
President Obama will announce his plans for the war in Afghanistan in a speech to the nation on Wednesday evening. Early reports indicate that he will announce a withdrawal of 5,000 to 10,000 troops this year, followed by the additional withdrawal of 30,000 troops starting in 2012. This plan will leave 70,000 U.S. troops and a 110,000 private contractors in Afghanistan, in addition to 50,000 NATO troops.
The Minnesota Peace Action Coalition endorses the call for a special statement at the Wednesday vigil. The coalition of Twin Cities-area peace and anti-war groups have issued a statement that says in part, “There can be no withdrawal gesture; the U.S. war in Afghanistan must end and all U.S. troops must be brought home now. Gestures are transient. Unless the President makes a clear commitment to bring the troops home, the U.S. war in Afghanistan will continue with all the tragedy that war brings and billions of dollars wasted. Any token withdrawal will not bring an end to the war. A war-weary U.S. population, the majority of whom want an end to the war in Afghanistan, will not be satisfied with insignificant troop withdrawals,” said the statement.
The recent US Conference of Mayors overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for an end to the war and for funds to be transferred to domestic needs. The financial cost of the war in Afghanistan is $122 billion for 2011 alone, an average of $10.17 billion per month. “Billions are spent on the war in Afghanistan while millions who have lost their jobs and homes and needed social services are facing massive budget cuts,” says the statement. Twin Cities-area anti-war activists will be joining with activists across the country starting Wednesday to call for a real end to the war in Afghanistan. Sponsored by Twin Cities Peace Campaign and Women Against Military Madness. Endorsed by the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition.