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Updated: Anti-War Leaders Must Stand Up Against Democratic Leadership Complicity

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It's fair to say that the peace movement in America is in disarray. This very thing happened during the last presidential election when Kerry ran as the Democratic nominee for president. Much talk is needed on what is really making the peace movement a disastrous wreck but I am choosing to have that discussion in the comments section of this article and instead, call on you to sign on to this so anti-war leaders will march in a massive anti-war march at the Democratic National Convention.

Below is a letter from accomplished activist and organizer Debra Sweet:


(*Note: Plans for a united, mass anti-war march on Sunday August 24, on the eve of the DNC (August 25-28) have come apart recently. Recreate 68 called the march, and the Alliance for Real Democracy has decided not to build for it. Leslie Cagan, writing on July 8 for the staff of United for Peace & Justice, to Alliance for Real Democracy activists said, “We don't think it makes sense to plan for a mass march that might not end up being all that mass!” indicating that the UFPJ does not plan to support a march, in favor of smaller actions aimed at delegates.

We wish to send a different message in Denver:

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16 July 2008

In six weeks, the Democrats meet in Denver.

As each day’s news makes clear, an attack on Iran could happen before the election, driving the Bush Agenda into the next administration, no matter who the president is.

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Who will stop an attack on Iran?

Not the Democrats who secretly authorized military operations George Bush already has underway inside Iran. Not the Democratic leaders – including Senator Obama – who insist, again and again, that “all options” remain on the table for military action against Iran, including the use of nuclear weapons!
Not the Democrats who, in their majority, including Obama, not only sanctioned retroactive immunity for the large telecom companies who went along with Bush and spied on people, but have given them prospective immunity in expanded government spying.

This war now belongs to the Democrats no less than the Republicans. If it is left to McCain and Obama, the occupation will continue for years. It was wrong to go into Iraq, it’s wrong to stay in Iraq, it’s wrong not to get out now!

If there is not a strong showing from the anti-war movement against this whole direction outside the convention, it will signal those who make war and the victims of these wars around the world that the people of this country will go along with continued occupation, with McCain or Obama sending many more troops to Afghanistan, and with threats to Iran. The Bush regime promised a war to last generations. Are we against this, or not?

The anti-war movement must set a standard of resistance, not accommodate what is intolerable. Only the people – not the politicians – can force open debate over why the U.S. occupation must end now. Only we can act on our convictions, letting others know that an end to the illegal, unjust and immoral wars and occupations will not happen without massive mobilization of the people, and that putting all your hopes and energies into the elections will not bring the change millions desire.

Some people say protest does not work. They are WRONG! What does not work is passivity in the face of a government being more widely exposed as committing war crimes and a public increasingly sickened by what is being done in their name. If the anti-war movement was so ineffectual why did the New York Times have to call it the “other superpower”?

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Whether one plans on voting for Obama or not, we all must be in the streets making our clear opposition to torture, bloody occupations and any new war against Iran vividly clear. People are traveling the country to campaign for Obama. With a strong call from the anti-war movement, some will be willing to bring an anti-war message to Denver.

Local Denver activists have gone to court for permits for political protest outside the convention, and have permits for nearby parks. Recreate68 plans a march against the war on Sunday August 24, the day before the convention starts. The Alliance for Real Democracy, another coalition, is currently not planning to join this march.

Whatever differences exist, they pale in comparison to the responsibility those of us who are not at peace with being at war have to stop the US occupation of the Middle East. The world needs to see us in the streets in Denver, marching together on the eve of the convention opening.

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for OpEdNews.com

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