Montgomery High School Students Organize Against War - Forming Youth Against Exploitation, War And Racism (YAEWAR)
Contact: Mark Rahman and Matt Laney 908-874-8461/
YAEWAR STATEMENT OF PURPOSE ADOPTED THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 2003:
Youth Against Exploitation, War And Racism was initiated by a group of high school students in response to the preparation of full scale warfare against the nation and people of Iraq by the U.S. Administration. We are dedicated to organizing youth at high schools and other schools locally and further into a force to escalate resistance to the ongoing war upon Iraq which we know is illegal, immoral and illegitimate. We aim to arm ourselves with the truth and unmask the lies of the US administration, like the phony documents the US CIA proffered of Iraq trying to get uranium from Niger, the false claims of an Iraqi link to the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the satellite photos that showed nothing more than trucks leaving a munitions plant, the plagiarized British intelligence document proffered by Secretary of State Powell and many other outright lies that have been utilized to sell a war of aggression, takeover and occupation to the US population and the rest of the world. Our goal is to educate ourselves and our classmates, those at our schools and at other schools as well, about the truth of the US war of aggression upon Iraq, the true motivations of the war and the cost of the war to the Iraqi people, to the American people and to the rest of the world. We view the US' war on Iraq as the single most important moral and political question of the day and urge all of our fellow young sisters and brothers into dialogue, action and resistance to the war in a collective way. Together we believe we have the power to choke off the blood source for this war and future US wars since it is we the youth who are being targeted for military recruitment in and through our high schools.
We salute the high school students at dozens of high schools around the state of New Jersey and hundreds, or perhaps thousands of high schools around the US that have stood up and organized demonstrations in front of their schools, walk outs, public forums and otherwise participated in the movement against this war. We hope that we can help facilitate greater coordination between the high school organized resistance to the war around the state and nation and believe in joint and coordinated action, sharing of resources and joint forums and conferences.
While we are currently focused upon the US illegal war of aggression and takeover on the nation and people of Iraq, we recognize that the US government is currently preparing for many more wars in years to come as it is or has already threatened such nations as Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, it is already deployed in a combat role in Afghanistan, Columbia and the Philippines and is building a permanent military presence in many places around the world. Meanwhile it is threatening the nation of Zimbabwe with economic sanctions. We will work to further educate ourselves about these other conflicts and the escalating US role in those. We will continue to oppose and resist US wars of aggression through educational events, anti-war demonstrations and other forms of resistance. We see the causes of war to be rooted in a profit driven economy that has been at an all time low for a lengthy period of time. We believe the US is using war as a means to boost the economy as it forces the massive consumption of weapons of mass destruction produced by the US weapons industry while in the case of Iraq, is aimed at seizing and gaining control over Iraqi oil production and distribution. Our goal is to build an understanding among the youth of our school, town, state and nation that our blood is more valuable than the profits of weapons manufacturers, the petrochemical industry and other war profiteers.
We are opposed to all forms of racism and discrimination. Particularly we oppose the racial profiling by police and other security agencies. We are also gravely concerned about the attack on the civil rights of the immigrant community, many of whom are being held without charge, forced into special registrations and routinely monitored, harassed and accused by FBI, INS and other government agencies. We are in solidarity with victims of these policies and will work in coalition with groups opposing these oppressive policies as well as repressive legislation like the Patriot Bills I (passed) and II (soon to be proposed) that greatly infringe upon out rights. We are opposed to racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia and discrimination against those with disabilities.
We are opposed to all exploitation including attacks upon and super exploitation of working people, women, child laborers and others in countries throughout the world where goods consumed in the US are produced as well as here in the US. We believe that the billions squandered on war should be utilized to make higher education free or at least affordable for all, to provide full employment at livable wages for all people living in America, to provide day care, adequate health care, adequate nourishment, adequate homes for all.
We believe in democratic decision making and a system of one person, one vote for YAEWAR members. In order to respond to the crises at hands, we are governed between meetings by 3 to 5 person steering committee – members of which to be elected by the full membership. In addition to deciding such between meeting issues, the steering committee shall serve to coordinate all members and other volunteers to assure that the decisions of the organization are implemented. Membership shall entail $10 dues payment – to be waived for those who can not afford it – and a requirement to work at least two hours per week on YAEWAR organizing efforts.
Our primary goals are to educate, organize and act to promote our agreed upon principals.
Contacts: Mark Rahman , Matt Laney , Jen Perrone , Shayna and Ryan
I am writing to tell you about the activities that I along with several other students from my high school are getting involved in and to invite you to join us. As you are aware, the United States is preparing to escalate a major war upon the nation and people of Iraq. The United Nations estimates a half million casualties from the war just as it starts. Many of us in the school have questions about whether this war is a good idea. Some of us have actually begun to join efforts to try to stop it.
The first thing that I and a few other of your school mates have done in our efforts to try to stop the war is that we joined the peace demonstration in Hillsborough a couple of Saturdays ago. Every Saturday, local community members from Montgomery, Hillsborough and several other towns hold a demonstration against the war on the SE corner of Route 206 and Amwell Road. We went there recently with a banner that I made that says, "End the imperialist war on Iraq." The demonstration, although small, received a lot of "thumbs up" and friendly honks. This is just an example of the fact that ANYONE's voice can be heard.
The next thing that we did is attended a slide show and discussion at Mary Jacobs Library that was put together by a group called SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE US WAR ON IRAQ! That group was started by a local Montgomery resident named Bob Witanek. He is a father of two children. There were about a half dozen students from our school there. The meeting was very inspirational and educational. It is one of the few places you can look to find the truth, and to have open discussion where you can get your questions answered. I believe everyone enjoyed the discussion and learned a lot from it. According to Bob Witanek and the person who gave the slide show, Bob Allen, they would love to do the slide show presentation again for us either in the school or at the library again.
The next thing that we did is we went to the demonstration in New York City on February 15. Honestly, there must have been a million people there! The rally was amazing, even though the NYPD coralled the protesters like pigs. There was not a single place I could look and not see someone supporting the anti-war movement.
The fourth thing we are doing is a "drum protest" in Palmer Square (Princeton), on Friday around 5 o' clock. We plan on marching throughout Palmer Square, up and down Nassau Street, and possibly in the University Campus.
I would like to start a group in the high school and I invite you to join. I am suggesting that we call ourselves Youth Against Exploitation, War And Racism (YAEWAR), but we can discuss the name. We need a list of students who want to join the list and a teacher advisor so that we can then have meetings in the school. One of the first things we would like to do is hold an educational activity so that we can all learn more about the war and have an open discussion.
We are also thinking about having a rally against the war in front of the high school - Bob Witanek of SPEAK OUT! has discussed a possible area to protest with the Montgomery Police, and we are allowed the first 12 feet off of the street in front of the school.
Please see me soon to add your name to the list of students who want to join the group.
This is a terrible war. Here are some facts:
1. In the first Gulf War against Iraq in 1991 - estimates range as high as a quarter million people were killed.
2. Since that war, the United States and United Nations have conducted economic warfare on Iraq and they have blocked Iraqi people from getting the equipment they need to fix the sewer systems and water purification plants, to refurbish the hospitals and even medicine to treat the ill.
3. Almost 100,000 children are dying every year from impure water in Iraq where only about 5000 died a year from that cause before 1991. Those children are dying as a result of the sanctions.
4. Estimates are that one and a half million Iraqi people have died from the economic sanctions war of the United States and United Nations.
5. The United States and the United Kingdom have been bombing Iraq almost once a week since 1991 and in recent weeks - the bombings are almost daily.
6. In all those years, Iraq has not been able to shoot down a single bomber plane.
7. Weapons inspectors are going through Iraq with a fine tooth comb yet they can find no evidence of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
8. The United States is planning to launch 800 cruise missiles targeting the heavily populated city of Baghdad where 5 million people live in the very first two days of the war it is planning to escalate. That is more cruise missiles than were fired at Iraq in all of the first war on Iraq in 1991. Meanwhile, thousands of bombs will be dropped in a total blitzkrieg attack throughout Iraq during those two days. The US has announced that it plans to target the water system, the electricity, the road (which will cut off food supplies) and the entire civilian infrastructure which will maximize civilian deaths. The U.S. is calling this it's "Shock and Awe" plan.
9. The United Nations in January estimated a half million casualties from the start of the war escalation - and that is before the U.S. announced "Shock and Awe." Many people believe that over a million will be killed.
10. We as young people are the ones that the government wants to use as the soldiers to carry out killing missions like the one I described. Our job is to do everything in our power to say NO!, not in our name, not with bullets, missiles and bombs paid for by our taxes. It is our job to do everything we can to stop the escalation of this killing mission before a million people, probably 90% of them civilians and probably half of them children just like us, are wiped off the earth!
If you agree, contact me at or see me before, during or after school and we can talk about how we can work together to stop the war!
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CALL FOR HIGH SCHOOL EMERGENCY RESPONSE PROTESTS!
High School Organizing Ideas
YAEWAR Statement on 3/5 Books Not Bombs
Montgomery / Piscataway in Courier News 3/5/2003
Princeton Packet, March 4, 2003
Hats Off to MHS Students (and some other HS students from the area) of Youth Against Exploitation War and Racism (YAEWAR) ! - Drum Protest
I was fortunate to have joined YAEWAR for a vigorous protest up and down Nassau Street today – a drum protest. About a dozen students were on hand with drums, two banners, and fliers. They marched up and down the sidewalk – beating the drums and chanting “No More War” and “No Blood for Oil.” They passed out hundreds of fliers – one announcing 10 facts about the US war on Iraq and the other announcing a whole schedule of events being sponsored by YAEWAR and SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE US WAR ON IRAQ! (see below).
Every time I became separated from the group because I was talking to people about the war – as I tried to rejoin them – almost everyone coming down the street was carrying our fliers! I was also reassured when I became separated to hear them re-approaching – chanting and beating the drums. It was exciting and fun.
There are MANY high school students from surrounding towns who ‘hang out’ on Nassau – this activity which was thought up by Mark Rahman of YAEWAR (I believe) is a brilliant one. There were 5 high school students from other high schools who shared their e-mail address with me. Many who were sympathetic with the anti-war position and with our march. There was much productive discussion with many – even some who were not sure about their position. At least 2 students of Princeton HS who were not with our group asked for some fliers and spent some time handing them out. Some of the high school students from the other schools expressed interest in joining the march next week and in the idea of demonstrating outside of their high schools. We also told students about the weekly demonstrations at Tiger Park.
YAEWAR plans to make this Friday event a weekly happening – each Friday from 5 to about 6:30 – The idea with the drums is “We’re not disturbing the peace – we’re keeping the peace!,” according to Mark Rahman.
Hopefully other high schools and other community members will start to join this expression of anti-war sentiment. The activity is a step away from many of the stationery and relatively quiet vigils that occur around the state. The activity is vibrant and I came away with a real feeling of having spent the time well. I just hope that we can keep enough fliers printed up to feed this new growth of our movement.
The next innovative action of YAEWAR is the protest in front of the MHS on Wednesday, March 5 at 2:30 pm (right after school). Some of the points of that location are:
||schools are centers of our community
||the schools are being used by military recruiters to scout out new blood (quite literally) for the war on Iraq and whatever other bloody campaigns the oil cartel has in store for the world
||the location is high visibility for the over 1000 students who are enrolled at the school, the over 100 teachers and staff, and administrators and whatever other parents and passerby motorists will be coming through there
||the venue gives a good opportunity to show community support for the official recognition of YAEWAR by the MHS administration
Another development today is that the Trenton Times has not run the story about the student group but they are very interested in the issue – particularly the angle of seeking recognition of the student group at MHS and the protest outside of the school. The Times called the principal and was trying to get the superintendent. The news interest in the story shines a spotlight on the effort that I think can help with the recognition effort. Nevertheless, official or unofficial as far as the school is concerned, YAEWAR is off to a kicking start as far as the anti-war effort is concerned. See below for the list of upcoming events and the 10 Facts About the US War on Iraq. [ Those students of MHS who plan to attend the demonstration on March 5, please be encouraged to get permission notes from your parents to leave school 15 minutes early so that you have enough time to get out there before the rush of students and buses leaving for the day. ]
Please be encouraged to support this effort by forwarding this note to high school students (or showing them if you are a parent of one or more). High school students can consider joining by sending a note to .
To stay updated on Somerset County anti-war events, send a message to: .
(For each subscription request – you have to also simply respond to the confirmation messages you get from topica and yahoogroups respectively.)
Sincerely, Bob Witanek
Just e-mail me if you want word versions of these:
STAND UP AND SPEAK OUT TO STOP THE US WAR ON IRAQ!
Lift the sanctions! Stop the Bombing! Withdraw the US Forces of Aggression!
The US is planning to launch 800 cruise missiles against the city of Baghdad where 5 million civilians reside in the very first two days of the pending attack on Iraq. The United Nations estimates a half million Iraqi casualties at the outset of the US war on Iraq. There are many opportunities for you to stand up against the war on Iraq that some people are predicting will kill OVER 1 MILLION IRAQI PEOPLE! These activities are co-sponsored by Youth Against Exploitation, War and Racism (YAEWAR) and SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE US WAR ON IRAQ!
March 5, 2:30 pm, in front of Montgomery High School (near road), 2:30 pm (right after school). Demonstrate Against US War on Iraq. SPEAK OUT! has cleared with the Montgomery Police Department our right to use about 12’ of the grass along the road. We are in communication with them and plan a legal and permitted demonstration. This is part of the nationwide “Books Not Bombs Student Strike for Peace” http://www.nyspc.net/actions.html .
Fridays at 5 pm, “drum protest” and leafleting along Nassau Street (Palmer Square Area). This is an opportunity to outreach to youth who congregate there from cities throughout the area. We will bring drums to say that “We are not disturbing the Peace – We are keeping the Peace!” We will talk to whoever will listen, share information and have fun! If you plan to join in, contact Mark at .
Every Saturday (March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29), 2 – 3 pm at the SE Corner of Amwell Road and Route 206 in Hillsborough – Demonstrate Against War! This activity is also co-sponsored by Somerset Voices for Peace and Justice.
Saturday, March 15, Travel to Washington DC for Emergency Convergence Against War on Iraq. Bus(es) leave from RIDE SHARE lot on Amwell Road in Hillsborough (across from Post Office) at 7 am and returns around 9 pm. Seats are $30 – parental permission needed for anyone under 18. Checks can be made payable to SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE US WAR ON IRAQ! and mailed to PO Box 1214, Belle Mead, NJ 08502 (mail before March 8, call 908-281-7873 or e-mail to let us know that you mailed the check).
Thursday, March 20, 7pm, at Mary Jacobs Library in Rocky Hill on Rt. 518, Educational slide show discussion on Iraq.
In the event of escalation to full scale warfare on Iraq: Emergency Demonstration Against the War in front of Montgomery High School (near road), 2:30 pm (right after school).
We say – not in our name – not with guns, bullets, missiles and bombs paid for by our tax dollars – we will not be soldiers in this war of aggression and annihilation – we will resist!
For more information, contact / 908-281-7873
SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE US WAR ON IRAQ! PO Box 1214, Belle Mead, NJ 08502
Youth Against Exploitation, War and Racism – YAEWAR - reachable at same address and phone
Join for updates and to help figure out how to STOP THE US WAR ON THE NATION AND PEOPLE OF IRAQ!
http://NoWarNJ.org * http://NoWarNJ.org/YAEWAR.htm
10 Facts About the U.S. War on Iraq
1. During the first Gulf War against Iraq in 1991 – estimates are that as many as a quarter million people were killed by the U.S. attack.
2. Since that war, the United States and United Nations have conducted economic sanctions warfare upon Iraq. They have blocked Iraqi people from getting the equipment they need to fix the water purification plants and to refurbish the hospitals (that were blown up by the U.S.) and even medicine to treat the ill.
3. Almost 100,000 children are dying every year from impure water in Iraq where only about 5000 died a year from that cause before 1991. Those children are dying as a result of the U.S. / U.N. imposed sanctions.
4. Estimates are that one and a half million Iraqi people have died from the economic sanctions war of the United States and United Nations.
5. The United States and the United Kingdom have been bombing Iraq almost once a week since 1991 and in recent weeks – the bombings are almost daily.
6. In all those years, Iraq has not been able to shoot down a single bomber plane.
7. Weapons inspectors are going through Iraq with a fine tooth comb yet they can find no evidence of still existing Weapons of Mass Destruction.
8. The United States is planning to launch 800 cruise missiles targeting the heavily populated city of Baghdad where 5 million people live in the very first two days of the war it is planning to escalate. That is more cruise missiles than were fired at Iraq in all of the first war on Iraq in 1991. Meanwhile, thousands of bombs will be dropped in a total blitzkrieg attack throughout Iraq during those two days. The US has announced that it plans to target the water system, the electricity, the roads (which will cut off food supplies) and the entire civilian infrastructure which will maximize civilian deaths. The U.S. is calling this it’s “Shock and Awe” plan.
9. The United Nations in January estimated a half million casualties from the start of the war escalation – and that is before the U.S. announced “Shock and Awe.” Many people believe that over a million will be killed.
10. We as young people are the ones that the government wants to use as the soldiers to carry out killing missions like the one we describe here. Our job is to do everything in our power to say NO!, not in our name, not with bullets, missiles and bombs paid for by our taxes. It is our job to do everything we can to stop the escalation of this killing mission before a million more people, probably 90% of them civilians and probably half of them children just like us, are wiped off the earth!
If you agree, contact us at and at .
SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE US WAR ON IRAQ!
Member of NJ Coalition Against War on Iraq: http://NoWarNJ.org
PO Box 1214, Belle Mead, NJ 08502 (908) 281-7873 (Voice / Fax)
Youth Against Exploitation, War and Racism (YAEWAR) (also reachable at the above address and phone)
YAEWAR WANTS YOU
To Join the Anti-War Forces
Recruiters are in the halls of our schools and they have your phone numbers and addresses. They are calling you at home and trying to recruit you. They are even considering bringing back the draft! Uncle Sam wants you. He wants your blood to fuel the engines of his war machine.
Today, the US government is poised for an attack on the nation and people of Iraq. It has a plan to launch 800 cruise missiles in two days, targeting the heavily populated city of Baghdad - a city where 5 million civilians, about as many as in Los Angeles, reside. That is approximately one cruise missile every 3 minutes, targeting electric facilities, water facilities, sewerage facilities, roads and we can only imagine what else. Ponder the carnage, the number of children, the number of innocent civilians who will be burned and obliterated once these cruise missiles start raining their hell down upon the civilian population of Baghdad!
We are told many reasons for this war:
9-11? There is absolutely no evidence at all that Iraq had anything to do with that.
Weapons of Mass Destruction? The UN has been through Iraq with a fine tooth comb and can not find any evidence of existing stockpiles, aside from what is being dug up from the dumping grounds where Iraq unilaterally dismantled them in 1991.
Disarmament? Iraq is indeed dismantling the missiles that UN has proscribed.
For the freedom of Iraqi people? The US and UN sanctions policy has resulted in the deaths of perhaps as many as 1.5 million Iraqi people. This war promises to kill another half million or more according to UN reports. After the war, the US has prepared a lengthy occupation by hundreds of thousands of US and other foreign troops and to rebuild the remnants of the Iraqi armed forces. How many millions must die and for what – foreign occupation and putting a new dictator in place?
The real reason?
Iraq has a 1 trillion dollar reserve of oil. The first order of business of the US ground forces is to seize Iraq’s oil operations. US and British based oil companies will take over the oil supplies and control the flow of Iraqi oil to the rest of the world. They will use that control to further manipulate other countries.
Furthermore, US has many other countries in the region in its sites. After taking over and occupying Iraq – the US presence there will be a convenient springboard to intimidate and manipulate all of the countries in the region and to launch other invasions against any country that does not follow along. The US Administration has promised a permanent state of war and it is on the march.
But we are not having it. As NJ Governor McGreevey guts funding for the state colleges by several hundred million – hundreds of billions are being wasted on the blood for oil war on Iraq. Youth Against Exploitation, War and Racism is making news today – tomorrow we will make history when together with forces all over the world – we rise up in unity to stop the U.S. war of genocide on the nation and people of Iraq. We do have the power to stop this war but only by organizing and uniting ourselves into a powerful force.
||By educating ourselves about the truth and becoming teachers to our friends, families and classmates.
||By becoming active participants.
||By joining the march on Washington DC on March 15.
||By joining the YAEWAR drum protests on Nassau in Princeton at 5 pm on Fridays and the demonstrations on Amwell and 206 in Hillsborough at 2pm on Saturdays.
||By attending the YAEWAR and SPEAK OUT! meeting 7pm on March 20 in the Mary Jacobs library.
For information about or to join YAEWAR, contact Mark Rahman at or Matt Laney at or Bob Witanek of SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE US WAR ON IRAQ! at , (908) 281-7873, PO Box 1214, Belle Mead, NJ 08502. http://nowarnj.org http://nowarnj.org/YAEWAR.htm http://nowarnj.org/speak_out_against_the_us_war_on_iraq.htm