You are invited to attend a Chicago/National Planning Meeting
Sunday, August 28,
9:00 AM – 6:00 PM,
Kent College of Law, Room C50
565 West Adams Street, Chicago, Illinois
At the invitation of the White House, military and civilian representatives of the 28-nation U.S.-commanded and largely U.S.-financed North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and heads of state and leaders of the G-8 world economic powers are convening to Chicago, May 15-22, 2012.
The U.S./NATO military behemoth enforces the interests of the global great power elites. $Trillions are expended for never-ending wars and occupations while $trillions in austerity programs are extracted from working people the world over.
The G-8 nations, the richest on earth, will assemble to plan ever new draconian measures seeking to resolve the problems created by their crisis-ridden and profit-driven social order at the expense of working people and the poor everywhere.
Theirs is the agenda of the heads of state of the world’s richest nations and their imperial military-industrial establishments – the agenda of the banks and corporations – the agenda for austerity, unprecedented social cutbacks, union-busting, environmental destruction, global warming/climate crisis, racism, sexism, homophobia, deepening attacks on civil liberties, democratic rights and never-ending war.
Ours is the agenda for humanity’s future. We will mobilize in the tens of thousands from cities across the U.S. and around the world. On Tuesday, May 15, the opening day of the NATO/G-8 deliberations, we will announce our agenda with a press conference, rally and peaceful march. On Saturday, May 19 we will mobilize for a massive march and rally – exercising our democratic rights to peaceful assembly to demand:
We will demand that our guaranteed civil liberties and democratic rights be respected – that our rights to peaceful assembly and political protest be honored – that the voices of the people not be stifled!
The following organizations are among the initial Chicago-area endorsers.
Hatem Abudayyeh, *US Palestinian Community Network, Chicago
Bill Chambers, Committee Against Political Repression
Sarah Chambers, Executive Board Member, Chicago Teachers Union
Mark Clements, Campaign to End the Death Penalty
Vince Emmanuelle, *Iraq Veterans Against the War
Randy Evans, Global Reach, Inc.
Chris Geovanis, Hammerhard Media Works
Pat Hunt, Chicago Area Code Pink, Chicago Area Peace Action
Joe Iosbaker, Committee to Stop FBI Repression
Dennis Kosuth, *National Nurses United, union steward
Kait McIntyre, Students for a Democratic Society, University of Illinois – Chicago
Jorge Mujica, March 10th Immigrant Rights Activist
Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Eric Ruder, *Chicago Network to Send US Boat to Gaza
Newland Smith, Episcopalian Peace Fellowship
Sarah Smith, Committee to Stop FBI Repression
Students for Justice in Palestine at School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, *Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign
Andy Thayer, Gay Liberation Network and Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism
*for identification purposes only
A national coordinating committee and its Chicago counterpart, open to and inclusive of the direct and democratic participation of all antiwar and social justice organizations is in formation. Join us!
Endorse the May 15 and May 19, 2012 Chicago mobilizations against the NATO-G-8 warmakers.
Contact: [Proposed name of new organization] No to NATO/G-8 Warmakers: A National Network Opposing War and Austerity
List 3-4 email addresses of Chicago and national network leaders: Establish a website and new national email address, etc.
The May 15 and 19, 2012 mobilizations were initiated by the United National Antiwar Committee (UNAC) in partnership with antiwar and social justice groups in Chicago, across the U.S. and internationally. At its June 18, NYC National Coordinating Committee meeting of UNAC the 47 groups present unanimously adopted a resolution to protest the NATO/G8 meetings. The groups that were present are listed below.
Action for a Progressive Pakistan
Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition – NY
Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace
Bail Out the People Movement
Black Agenda Report
Black is Back
Boston Stop the Wars
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
Ct. United for Peace
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Hampshire Students for Justice in Palestine
Honduras Resistencia – USA
International Action Center
International Support Haiti Network
International League of People’s Struggle
International Socialist Organization
Islamic Leadership Council of Metropolitan NY
Jersey City Peace Movement
May 1st Workers and Immigrant Rights Coalition
Mobilization Against War and Occupation – Canada
Metro West Peace Action
Middle East Crisis Committee
Muslim Peace Coalition
New England United
Nodutdol Korean Community Development
Pakistan Solidarity Network
Philly Against War
Rhode Island Mobilization Committee
Rochester Against War
SI – Solidarity with Iran
Socialist Party USA
Thomas MertonCenter Pittsburgh
Veterans for Peace
Voices for Creative Nonviolence
West Hartford Citizens for Peace
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
World Can’t Wait
As you have probably already heard, SOA Watch South Florida / SOUTHCOM Watch is planning and mobilizing for a protest at the new Headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Miami, Florida on October 9, 2011 ( http://www.SOAW.org/southcom ). SOUTHCOM is responsible for all U.S. military operations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean and I am excited about taking our protest to their doorsteps.
Please take a minute to endorse the SOUTHCOM protest:
The target fits well with SOA Watch’s broadened anti-militarization focus that came out of last year’s SOA Watch Encuentro in Venezuela.
A group of SOA Watch activists is traveling to Haiti from October 1-8, 2011 and will fly from Haiti to Miami, to join the SOUTHCOM mobilization. If you are interested in joining the Haiti delegation prior to the protest, contact Lisa Sullivan at LSullivan@soaw.org and visit
Contact the SOA Watch South Florida / SOUTHCOM Watch organizers for more information and to get involved:
Linda Belgrave, cell 305-801-8245, email email@example.com,
Ray Del Papa, cell 754-423-0051, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please ad your group as an endorsing organization of the SOUTHCOM mobilization:
Hope to see you at the gates of the U.S. Southern Command in October, and if not there, a month later in Georgia for the November Vigil to Close the SOA and to Resist U.S. Militarization (November 18-20, 2011 - http://soaw.org/take-action/
peace and struggle,
Contact: Athens: Donna Nevel(30) 694-266-3852 | Medea Benjamin(30) 698-404-7912
NY: Leslie Cagan 845- 688-5646
For Immediate Release
Demand that U..S government pressure Greece to free their boat and captain, and allow boat to sail to Gaza
Members of the U.S. Boat to Gaza have begun an open-ended fast calling on the U.S. government to defend our right to sail out of Greece. The fast has begun in front of the U.S. Embassy at 91 Vasilisis Sophias Avenue in Athens. Fasters delivered an urgent letter to the Embassy and plan to sleep overnight outside the Embassy gates.
Passengers and U.S. boat organizers participating in the fast are: Medea Benjamin, Ken Mayers, Paki Wieland, Kathy Kelly, Ray McGovern, Helaine Meisler, Nic Abramson, and Carol Murry.
Passenger Kathy Kelly said, “We call on officials at the U.S. Embassy in Athens to publicly acknowledge our right to sail and to call on the Greek government to free our ship and its captain immediately.”
There will also be a march in support of the flotilla beginning at 7 pm organized by Greek activists who have been protesting the government’s austerity measures in Syntagma Square. The march will include a demand on the Greek government to let all of the boats in the Freedom Flotilla 2 sail to Gaza and to free the captain of the U.S. ship, who has been held in jail.
The departure of the U.S. Boat to Gaza – The Audacity of Hope – was first delayed by a complaint filed by the Israel Law Center and shown to be frivolous. Greek authorities then inspected the boat but, until the boat set sail five days later, the results of that inspection has not been shared with the captain and his crew.
The Greek Coast Guard stopped The Audacity of Hope some 20 minutes after it had left the dock on Friday, July 1. The Coast Guard ordered the captain to stop the ship, which he did. Commandos with drawn rifles ordered the ship to return. It is now impounded at a military dock in Athens and the captain has ben arrested.
Over the past two weeks, two boats of the international flotilla to Gaza have been sabotaged while docked at Greek ports. The potential danger to the U.S. boat was obvious to the captain, the crew and the passengers: there was a clear possibility that the U.S. boat would be sabotaged next.
Greek consular officials in the United States, when besieged with calls by angry Americans, told callers that they should direct their protest to U.S. officials because they were ultimately responsible. “We know that the U.S. government has been supporting Israel’s underhanded efforts to thwart the flotilla, and has been pressuring the Greek government to stop us. This is a disgrace,” said passenger/faster Medea Benjamin. “On July 4, it’s time for our government to declare independence from Israel and start supporting its own citizens.”
We note that on June 24, passengers on the U.S. Boat to Gaza visited the Consul General in Athens, Deputy Consul General Kate Brandeis agreed that the U.S. Boat “had a right to sail to Gaza.”
Ms. Brandeis assured the passengers that the consulate was there to assist U.S. citizens that run into difficulty while in Greece. To date, we have received no assistance from the U.S. Embassy and the captain of our boat, a U.S. citizen, remains in jail and has yet to be visited by anyone from the U.S. Embassy.
Last May we joined our voices with people from around the world in outrage after Israeli commandos killed 9 activists on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. We demanded an end to the U.S. aid to Israel because we know that Israel’s deadly attack on the Flotilla and its illegal blockade of Gaza would not be possible without the military and diplomatic support of the United States. Israel carried out a horrendous military assault on this aid convoy carrying wheelchairs, cement, water purification systems, children’s toys and notebook paper to Gaza because they politicized humanitarian aid.
On September 24th last year, FBI agents raided the homes of peace and anti-war activists in Minneapolis and Chicago as well as our office, and issued subpoenas to 14 activists to appear before a federal grand jury in an investigation of alleged material support for terrorism. The number of activists subpoenaed to date has grown to 23, and one of the common threads that has emerged in this “investigation” is related to the activists’ solidarity work with the people of occupied Palestine.
We are outraged that history is repeating itself. Not only is the second Gaza Flotilla being prevented from delivering humanitarian aid to Palestine, this act of solidarity is being demonized as material support for terrorism by the U.S. State Department. Reuters reported the State Department as saying that the attempt to deliver aid to Gaza amounts to “conspiring to deliver material support to Hamas and could lead to lengthy prison sentences.” It is outlandish that rather than using their influence with the Israeli government to help the American citizens on the Flotilla that the U.S. State Department is threatening prosecution. The Flotilla is an incredibly brave act of international solidarity, not a criminal act punishable by the United States. The real criminals are the people working to keep badly needed supplies out of Gaza!
The Anti-War Committee knows that now more than ever it is essential that we stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine and that we truly change U.S. foreign policy. We urge our supporters to take action in solidarity with the Flotilla and to keep sending humanitarian aid to the people affected by U.S. sponsored warfare – including Palestinians.
What you can do:
For updates: Follow @USBOATTOGAZA on Twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/usboattogaza) for breaking news and info on emergency actions).
Map & Parking: http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/maps/WilleyH/
From Egypt to Wisconsin, ordinary people are rising up against injustice. Massive strikes and demonstrations against cuts rocked Europe’s ruling elites last year. Popular uprisings have toppled and challenged dictators and “free-market” policies across the Arab world. Now workers and youth in Wisconsin and across the U.S. have begun to fight back against budget cuts in education and healthcare enacted by both Republicans and Democrats. Come hear an inspiring speaker and join this important discussion about how we can challenge the corporate agenda and fight for a better world.
*** $5 – $10 sliding scale donation requested – No one turned away for lack of funds.
Organized by Socialist Alternative. Co-Sponsored by Minnesota Peace Action Coalition, Twin Cities Peace Campaign, Military Families Speak Out, and Veterans for Peace Chapter 27, Women Against Military Madness.
Saturday, June 4 @ 10:30 a.m. RAIN or SHINE, Walk starts @ Baker’s Square Restaurant, 928 Prairie Center Drive, Eden Prairie
Participate in the WAMM Walk Against Weapons, a highly visible, three-mile walk encircling Eden Prairie Center and ending at Alliant Techsystems. Sign up as many sponsors as you can — ask family, friends and co-workers to sponsor your walk for peace and justice. Request pledge payment by check to Women Against Military Madness (WAMM). Walk Against Weapons Registration Forms and more info – click here . T-Shirts will be awarded for most spirit; most money raised; oldest, youngest, and general drawing. FFI: worldwidewamm.org
Banner and vigil to end the U.S./NATO military intervention in Libya. Make no mistake about it. This is not for humanitarian reasons. It is for Libya’s oil and its strategic location in the Middle East and North Africa which has been rocked with popular uprisings. It is urgent to demonstrate against this costly and deadly intervention which is escalating. English and French troops will soon enter Libya. The call by Obama, Sarkozy and Cameron for regime change moves far beyond the ill conceived “no fly zone” resolution passed by the U.N. and can only lead to more death and destruction for the Libyan people. Hands Off Libya! End the Bombing! Troops Out Now!
Endorsed by the Twin Cities Peace Campaign, the Anti-War Committee and WAMM.
9:30 a.m. refreshments, 10 a.m. Program & Discussion
Sarah Smith (Chicago) and Sarah Martin will talk about why they wanted to go to Palestine, their experiences, what our government doesn’t want the public to know, an update on their case, and how their lives have changed after being targeted by the FBI.
As a Jewish student, Sarah Smith became involved in an interfaith Palestine Solidarity group. Last summer she went to Israel and the Occupied West Bank with some friends. In December, all were subpoenaed by the FBI to appear before a grand jury about their delegation.
Sarah Martin a retired nurse and great-grandmother, is a member of WAMM’s Middle East Committee and former co-chair of WAMM’s Board. Sarah attempted to travel to Palestine in 2009 but was arrested at Ben Gurion Airport, thrown in an Israeli jail, and deported back to the U.S. (Sarah later learned that one of her fellow travelers was an FBI informant). In September, Sarah was subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury and was later re-subpoenaed by the FBI.
Sponsored by Middle East Peace Now and The Middle East Committee of WAMM.
Join us outside the FBI building in downtown Minneapolis for a picket and bannering to show your support for local activists under attack. Let’s remind the FBI that free speech is our right and that their scare tactics won’t stop us our voices from being heard!
Organized by the Committee to Stop FBI Repression and endorsed by the AWC. FFI: mnstopfbi.wordpress.com