New Jersey Coalition Against War on Iraq

 

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SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE U.S. WAR ON IRAQ!
PO Box 1214, Belle Mead, NJ 08502 * 908/874-5891
mailto:[email protected]
Statement of Purpose - Draft

As the U.S. administration continues to deploy hundreds of thousands of troops to the Persian Gulf region, as it continues to expose 500,000 troops to the smallpox vaccine, as thousands of tons of heavy artillery are deployed, as air craft carriers and other gunboats circle, as huge bomber squadrons are deployed, as military arrangements are made with nearly a dozen area nations, as the invasion of Iraq by U.S. and Turkish troops has already begun, as special forces, CIA and Turkish troops are working in Northern Iraq to prepare for the pending total escalation - it is clear that the U.S. has every intention of escalating to full scale warfare on Iraq, an escalation that the U.N. reports will cause 500,000 casualties just at the onset. Nobody can predict just how many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and how many U.S. GI's will perish, have their bodies broken and their minds blown, and how many more Iraqi will freeze and starve to death or die from unnecessary disease due to the tremendous humanitarian crisis caused by this planned escalation of the genocidal war on Iraq.

As supporters of a clear anti-war position, we need to first and foremost recognize that the U.S. and U.N. imposed sanctions have already killed million Iraqi people, at least of those children according to U.N reports and many hundred thousand more than that according to published reports of other organizations. We need to recognize that the U.S. war on Iraq is not about to start but has been executed for a dozen years, since sanctions were imposed in August of 1990. We need to make this clear with this demand of the U.S. and U.N.:

Unconditional and immediate lifting of the genocidal U.S. / U.N. sanctions upon Iraq

The next point is that throughout the last dozen years, in addition to the sanctions, the U.S., the U.K. and sometimes Turkey have been carrying out bombing missions in Northern and Southern Iraq. In the north, the air operations have provided cover for ground missions of Turkish troops and now the U.S. special forces operating there. Hundreds of Iraqi civilians and military personnel have been killed by these aerial bombardments. We must recognize this ongoing aspect of the war on Iraq with the demand:

Stop the U.S., U.K. and Turkish Bombing of Iraq - NOW!

Finally, given the tremendous U.S. military build up in the region highlighted in this statement, it is clear that as long as the U.S. has
amassed such weapons of mass destruction in the proximity of Iraq, the war escalation is quite probable. It is not enough to say "No Invasion" as the build up continues relentlessly. It is only by withdrawing those forces will the people of Iraq and indeed perhaps the entire Middle East region be safe from eventual annihilation. Thus our third demand must be:

Complete and immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from the Persian Gulf region.

SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE U.S. WAR ON IRAQ also believes that our tax dollars being squandered on this war plan need to be redirected to fund human needs at home.

We are also opposed to the special registration of foreign residents and call for the release of the detainees.

We believe that vigorous debate and massive self education needs to occur within the ranks of the anti-war movement. Much of the movement has adopted a position that is in support of the U.N. which is guilty of the genocidal sanctions and justifying the current U.S. military build up and currently in support of the inspections, which are backed up by the U.S. military presence and provide a mechanism for triggering the pending U.S. onslaught. These positions say nothing about the sanctions, the bombing and the current military build up.

We believe a debate and dialogue is not in any way divisive but instead is indeed unifying behind a clear and straightforward position that opposes every aspect of the U.S. war on Iraq. As the U.S. prepares to enter its next stage of its war on the Iraqi people, we need to prepare  for a vigorous and intensified struggle including massive public mobilization in the streets throughout the U.S. and intense education of ourselves and of the public as to how the U.S. has indeed been executing a genocidal war upon the Iraqi people for the last dozen years.

SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE U.S. WAR ON IRAQ! by its very name makes the demand of the U.S. to cease its war on Iraq but also makes a demand of the people that they need to speak out publicly on this issue. Polls show a shift of U.S. public opinion against the waging of war on Iraq - those opinions will not do much to stop the war unless the opinion holders educate themselves and speak and act effectively upon their anti-war views.

We invite all to join our efforts and our organization by agreeing to sign on to this statement and by agreeing to work toward the principles outlined herein. We encourage you to continue to work with and within the organizations you do now - and to build unity and coalitions with anti-war forces whether or not they agree with this statement. However, in your education and your coalition building, continue to openly and straightforwardly advocate a clear anti-war position.

Most importantly, we encourage you to organize in your communities among the millions of people who are opposed to this war and who are indeed not as of yet part of the traditional anti-war movement. It is only when we make a genuine connection with the masses of people who are in opposition to the war that we can tap into the resources that we need to put a stop to it.

Through such efforts, we can prepare ourselves to build a movement that is clear in its unconditional opposition to the U.S. war on the Iraqi people and every aspect of that war. Such a movement is what is needed today at this precipice of slaughter.

List in formation
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SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE US WAR ON IRAQ! in the news:

http://www.thnt.com/thnt/story/0,21282,677298,00.html
http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/somerset/index.ssf?/base/news-1/1043738215295700.xml
Courier News. January 28, 2003

http://newjersey.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=4099&group=webcast

SPEAK OUT AGAINST US WAR ON IRAQ! - The Fight for Free Speech:

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=6794587&BRD=1091&PAG=461&dept_id=425742

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=6869133&BRD=1091&PAG=461&dept_id=426906&rfi=6

In the January 23, 2003 Hillsborough Beacon, the lead article is about the efforts of SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE US WAR ON IRAQ! and NJ Peace Action to overcome overly restrictive usage requirements for the Multi-Purpose Room at the Hillsborough Municipal Complex. We had intended to utilize the room this Saturday for a showing of Hidden Wars of Desert Storm and a discussion.

Special thanks to NJ Peace Action and Bennett Zurofsky Esq. for all of their efforts to help us overcome this overly restrictive room usage policy.  Thanks also to Bennett for providing the news interview that made our case in the strongest possible way.

Hillsborough residents are needed to:
1. Call, e-mail and fax letters and messages to Mayor Tony Gwiazdowski urging him to relax the requirements of the Hold Harmless to limit it to bodily injury and property damage: Phone (908) 369-4313 / FAX (908) 369-6034 /

2. A few Hillsborough residents are needed to sign affidavits and attend court so that we can get an injunction, hold our program and open up the room to the whole community. Please contact me at   if you are willing to be a witness and help us open up the room to our organizing efforts.

3. SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE US WAR ON IRAQ hereby invites all local organizations and individuals to help organize the community to extend our voices into the multi-purpose room. We need to demonstrate that we are indeed part of this community and not back down from this challenge. This is an opportunity for us to work together with other groups who do not necessarily hold our views, like the Girl Scouts who also do not use the room because of the Hold Harmless requirement, to open up community space for everyone.

 If we intend to oppose the war, we will encounter many obstacles - we will encounter brick walls. We need to view each challenge not as a show stopper but as an opportunity for successful struggle - we can overcome those obstacles and go through those brick walls - as long as we make a decision that we will take the necessary steps to figure out what needs to be done and then follow through and do it.

The struggle against the war will take on many dimensions and will include the struggle for free speech and the struggle for access to community resources. The decisions we make as we encounter each challenge will greatly effect the outcome of our struggle.

- Bob Witanek