The country's largest protest against the U.S.-Israeli assault
30,000 fill the streets around the White House
More then 30,000 demonstrators filled the streets around the White House today chanting, “Stop the US-Israeli war against Lebanon and Palestine.”
The New York Times reported today that the demonstration's “diverse crowd included many Arab-Americans and Muslims, college students and families, as well as veterans of prior demonstrations against the war in Iraq.” The NY Times goes on, “thousands of people rallied near the White House on Saturday to protest what they described as Israeli aggression in Lebanon and the United States’ unwavering support for Israel …At the rally on Saturday, the prevailing sentiments were expressed in signs held aloft by marchers: “Occupation is a crime — Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine.” “Stop Israeli terrorism.” “No justice, no peace.’’
This was the largest demonstration in the US since the commencement of the Israeli bombing campaign of Lebanon and Gaza in mid-July.
The demonstration was initiated by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation and the National Council of Arab Americans. More then 150 buses brought demonstrators from, MI, IL, NY, MD, FL, VA, MA, NJ and 25 other states.
In San Francisco 15,000 people marched in one of several other August 12 actions timed to coincide with the Emergency March on Washington. In Los Angeles 5,000 demonstrated. Smaller actions of about 600 people in Seattle and 300 people in Orlando Florida were also held.
August 12 a Global Day of Action
August 12 emerged as a day of coordinated worldwide protests. Street demonstrations were held in Mombasa and Nairobi, Kenya; Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, Canada; Madrid, Spain; Paraguay; Damascus, Syria; Santiago, Chile; Mumbai, India; Istanbul, Turkey; Mogadishu, Somalia; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Karachi, Pakistan; Jakarta, Indonesia; Sydney, Australia; Nablus, Palestine; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and many others.
Speakers at the Washington D.C. demonstration included, former Attorney General Ramsey Clark; Mahdi Bray the Executive Director of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation; Mara Verheyden-Hilliard an attorney and co-founder of the Partnership for Civil Justice; Brian Becker the National Coordinator of the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition; Dr. Mounzer Sleiman of the National Council of Arab Americans; Osama Siblani Publisher at Arab American News; Peta Lindsay Howard University student and Coordinator ANSWER Student and Youth; and Dr. Clovis Maksoud the Former ambassador from the Arab League to the U.N, Arab-American Anti Discrimination Committee (ADC), and others.
Crimes against Lebanon and Palestine Continue
The U.S.-Israeli war against Lebanon and Palestine has created immense suffering for the people but it has also created widespread resistance. The Bush administration and the Israeli government believed that this massive bombing campaign would force all of Lebanon into a new U.S. sphere of influence. Just the opposite has happened. This same fantasy has backfired in Iraq as well.
Overwhelming military power has inflicted unimaginable human suffering but failed in achieving its political objectives of transforming the entire oil rich region into a virtual colony. The effort to achieve the “new” colonialism by brute force has and will inspire continued resistance by the Lebanese, Palestinian, Iraqi, Syrian and Iranian people and all the peoples of the area.
The August 12 Emergency Demonstrations were an important step in forging the kind of U.S. anti-war movement in the United States that embraces the just cause of the peoples’ in the Middle East who are rejecting domination by the new imperial Empire. Instead of having the people of the United States pitted against the Arab people our message is one of solidarity.
People in the United States must struggle for jobs, justice, education, and in opposition to racism at home rather than be dragged along by the war makers in Washington D.C. Their chauvinistic campaign against those in the Middle East who are seeking to freely determine their own destiny is a calculated propaganda effort by the Bush administration -- and all those Republicans and Democrats alike -- who support its program of endless war. It is not the people of the United States but the big transnational corporations and banks, and especially the largest oil monopolies, who are the real beneficiaries of the Bush program.
Help take the next steps and stay involved as an activist or supporter of the anti-war movement. Congratulations to all the thousands of volunteers and supporters who made the August 12 demonstrations such an important step in continuing to build this movement. Contact one of the A.N.S.W.E.R. offices listed below and come out to the next volunteers and organizers meeting. If there is not a close A.N.S.W.E.R. office to your area but want to stay involved, contact the national office below.
Click here to see the New York Times coverage of the protest.
Click here to see the Washington Post coverage of the protest.