November 13, 2016
This year we have played a critical role in organizing for a free Palestine, an end to U.S. wars in Colombia, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and the struggle against anti-Muslim bigotry and political repression. We want to update you on our work and to thank you for helping us accomplish so much.
We are currently organizing to bring Iyad Burnat, a Palestinian peace activist from the West Bank village of Bil’in, to talk about the popular resistance in Palestine on Saturday, November 19th at 1pm in Rm 1-108 on the West Bank of the University of Minnesota in Hanson Hall at 1925 S 4th Street (at 4th & Riverside) in Minneapolis. Iyad is the head of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall and has led non-violent weekly demonstrations since 2005 against the Israeli West Bank wall. Iyad and the Bil’in movement were featured in the Academy Award nominated film Five Broken Cameras. We hope you will be able to come to this inspiring event! This will be the culminating event to a year of Palestinian work including protests, bannerings, movie showings, and print and social media articles.
Fighting Anti-Muslim Bigotry
In July we sent seven committee members to protest Trump’s racist Islamophobia and xenophobia at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. We have worked with Minnesotans Against Islamophobia to coordinate large protests in January and September against the US Department of Justice’s targeting of the Somali community as terrorists and against the Republican Party’s message of anti-Muslim bigotry. The Anti-War Committee is committed to fighting anti-Muslim bigotry, which is the domestic consequence of a decade and a half of the “war on terror.”
Supporting Peace in Colombia
The Anti-War Committee has organized against of US aid to Colombia since 1999. During our 17 years of solidarity work we have sent 5 delegations of Anti-War Committee activists and have toured numerous Colombian social movement leaders. We have not sent someone from the Anti-War Committee to Colombia since the AWC was targeted by the FBI in 2010 for our solidarity work with Colombia. This year we had the opportunity to send Jennie Eisert on a Peace Accords delegation which was our first chance to re-establish some important relationships the AWC and MN has with movements in Colombia. While the peace process itself is in limbo, our solidarity with trade unionists and social movement leaders is not. We will continue our solidarity with Colombia!
End U.S. War in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan
October marked 15 years since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Today, the U.S. is still at war in Afghanistan, and is simultaneously carrying out ongoing military interventions in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. News reports say that the U.S. military is building a new drone base to expand drone strike operations across Africa, and this fall the Pentagon has announced that 600 more U.S. troops are being sent to Iraq. The U.S. wars must stop! People need jobs, housing and education, not more U.S. war. We are committed to continue to organize protests with the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition and to organize call-in days to pressure lawmakers to stop supporting the war on terror.
Fighting Political Repression
The issue of fighting political repression is one that is very close to the heart of the Anti-War Committee. We know from our own experience that the FBI and other federal and local law enforcement agencies use intimidation to discourage people from organizing for social change. It as our responsibility to stand with those attacked for speaking out. This year we continued our support of Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian activist from Chicago, who was found guilty of trumped-up immigration charges in an effort to punish her for working to support the Palestinian immigrant community. We are currently organizing to send members to her next court date on November 29 where we hope she will win a new trial. The Anti-War Committee will stand with Rasmea in court to fight to keep her out of jail and to send a message of solidarity to Palestinian and Palestine solidarity activists across the globe.
Closer to home, we have been active in the court support for the young Somali-Americans who were entrapped and were eventually convicted of ridiculous charges of “conspiracy to commit murder abroad.” We continue to stand by these Minneapolis families and all the Somali, East African and Muslim community being targeted by law enforcement and the judicial system. We encourage supporters to come to the sentencing hearings on November 14, 15, and 16 to show support for these young men and their families. In particular, there will be a press conference and demonstration on Wednesday, November 16 at 3:30 p.m. at the Federal Courthouse.
Meanwhile the Anti-War Committee as an organization and as individuals have made the connections to other issues and come out in support of Black Lives Matter, striking nurses, and immigrant rights. We could not have done our work in solidarity with our local movements and the people of Palestine, Colombia, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and against anti-Muslim bigotry and political repression without you! Thank you for coming to demonstrations, making phone calls, and being a voice for peace and justice in your community!
The Anti-War Committee is a grassroots, all volunteer organization. We hope you can support our work by contributing financially to this important activism. Your tax-deductible donation will be spent locally funding peace organizing. Please donate online please at antiwarcommittee.org or participate in Give to the Max this week. Thank you for your support.