Please read the following email for important updates about the scenario for the January 18 National March in Washington DC to say "No War on Iraq" and for an alert on Bush's moves toward first strike nuclear war.
The world is being menaced by Weapons of Mass Destruction by a government that is openly threatening and planning to use nuclear weapons in preemptive wars of aggression against others, including non-nuclear countries. While all eyes are focused on the purported threat coming from Iraq, the Bush Administration has sharply reorganized U.S. military doctrine and strategy as it prepares to actually use Weapons of Mass Destruction in coming conflicts as a matter of declared policy.
It is for this reason that on January 18, people across the United States will converge at the West side of the Capitol Building in Washington DC and march in a mass demonstration to the Washington Navy Yard -- a massive military installation located in a working class neighborhood in Southeast Washington DC that parks warships on the Anacostia River. We will demand the immediate elimination of US weapons of mass destruction and a people's inspection team will call for unfettered access and a full declaration of U.S. non-conventional weapons systems.
Bush seeks to have world attention focused on the disarmament of Iraq as the preeminent threat to world peace, while the real threat of nuclear war and the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction arises within the U.S. Administration. This is the politics of diversion and should give pause to those who are thinking of joining in Bush's sleight-of-hand anti-Iraq chorus believing it to be a path to peace. The nuclear threat posed by the United States is neither rhetoric nor speculation, it is the now announced doctrine and strategy of the Bush White House. It represents the ushering in of a new era of unrestrained and unprovoked catastrophic violence.
"Preemptive Strikes are Part of US Strategic Doctrine," reads the headline of the front page of the Washington Post of December 11, 2002. A classified version of the new Bush Doctrine "breaks with the fifty years of counter-proliferation efforts" by planning for the use of nuclear weapons against countries that not only have not attacked the US but that do not themselves possess nuclear capability.
A.N.S.W.E.R. believes that all Weapons of Mass Destruction should be banished from the planet. But this is impossible until the biggest arsenal of Weapons of Mass Destruction -- the one at the disposal of trigger-happy George W. Bush and Co. -- is eliminated. Any other call for disarmament will not be viewed as legitimate by the rest of the world.
These war hawks are determined to breach the "taboo" against the use of nuclear weapons that grew after the world experienced the horror of the incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
It would be cowardly and foolish to turn our attention away from the open threats and plans to use Weapons of Mass Destruction that are issuing from the White House, not Iraq, and are embodied in the new Bush military doctrine.
We must stop the Bush Administration from threatening and killing the people of the world who are not our enemy.
Perspective on the January 18 demonstration
On October 26th hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated in Washington, DC and San Francisco in demonstrations called by A.N.S.W.E.R. (http://www.InternationalANSWER.org) and in coinciding actions in 220 cities around the world. On December 10th thousands took part in anti-war actions called by United for Peace (http://www.unitedforpeace.org) in dozens of cities around the country marking International Human Rights Day. On December 14, there will be an important demonstration in New York City starting at 125th St. in Harlem that will also oppose a war in Iraq called by Uptown Youth for Peace and Justice (http://www.uptownpj.org). Every day, there are protests, rallies and teach-ins called by local organizations in cities and towns around the United States in opposition to a new war against Iraq.
On January 18, there will be a massive protest in Washington DC initiated by A.N.S.W.E.R. and endorsed by thousands of organizations and individuals (for an endorsers list, see http://www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/j18/endorsers.html).
This timely demonstration is gaining momentum everydaywith support coming from community, labor, student, religious, women's, civil rights, LGBT, and peace groups around the country. On January 20, Black Voices for Peace will be organizing an important activity in Washington DC.
We are marching in Washington DC on January 18 to embrace
the true legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King birthday. The
U.S. possesses 6,000 nuclear weapons. It has spent
trillion on their development in the last half-century.
Instead of spending
$400 billion every year for weapons of
mass destruction and to promote militarism, we the people
of the United States will demand on January 18 that our
money be spent to provide free education, healthcare and
childcare, jobs and job training, expanded support for the
elderly and other things that human beings need.
The scenario for January 18th includes a brief rally on the West side of the Capitol starting at 11 am followed by a massive march to the Washington DC Navy Yard, a huge military complex located in the heart of one of Washington's working class communities, walking distance from the Capitol.
On Saturday, January 18, tens of thousands will travel by bus, van and car caravan from all over the East Coast, South and Midwest to be in Washington DC for the National March against war on Iraq. We encourage people to bring banners and puppets, to dress as weapons inspectors, to find as many creative methods to dramatize our demands in opposition to a war of aggression and in support of a reorganization of society's priorities that would put people's needs ahead of the Pentagon and the war profiteers in Corporate America.
Dr. Martin Luther King said that "The greatest purveyor of violence on the planet is my own government." That statement is as true today as it was during the Vietnam War. We will honor Dr. King's legacy by marching against the terror that these weapons of mass destruction wreak on the world.
We also join with people all over the world who mourn the loss of Phillip Berrigan who devoted his life to courageous opposition to militarism and war. Phil Berrigan put his body on the line in the struggle to call attention to the inherently evil nature of weapons of mass destruction produced by and for the US military industrial complex. In addition to honoring Dr. King, we intend to make the January 18 march a living tribute to Phil Berrigan's life and legacy.
Given the feedback that we have received, we have decided that there will be more effective organization and participation in the People's Peace Congress if it takes place after the January 18-19-20 weekend. Many local areas indicated that they wanted to participate in the People's Peace Congress, but reserving buses for the entire weekend was logistically difficult and extremely expensive. Given the response from different communities that are excited about participation in the People's Peace Congress, we are suggesting the rescheduling of the Congress in the spring. The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition is consulting with different member organizations and supporters, and will announce further plans for the People's Peace Congress in the coming weeks. Everyone agrees that the most important and urgent task -- given the imminent war danger -- is for a massive street mobilization on the Martin Luther King birthday weekend in Washington DC.
If you're planning to stay in Washington DC, there will be a lot to do, including student and youth gatherings following the demonstration. Further details will be announced soon.
HELP SPREAD THE WORD!
A new flyer is now available to help spread the word about the upcoming actions. It can be downloaded at http://www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/resources/index.html . If you are unable to open or print the flyer, call us at 202-544-3389and we can mail you an original copy or a stack of flyers.
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