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Jump Back! It's Time for UNAC! See you there!
Build the Movement to Stop Sanctions and Intervention Against Iran! Defend the Egyptian Spring from the U.S.-backed Military Regime!
Attend the United National Antiwar Coalition Conference, March 23-25, 2012, Stamford, CT
(Click the link at the bottom of the email to register for the conference)
On Saturday, February 4th, at the urging of United National Antiwar Coalition and other key forces, activists took to the street in 80 U.S. cities and towns and in six countries to say No Sanctions! No Intervention! No Assassinations! No War on Iran. On February 11, activists worldwide demonstrated solidarity with the Egyptian youth standing up to the U.S.-backed military regime.
It is becoming increasingly clear to antiwar activists that Leon Panetta’s promise to shift from combat troops to drones and special ops in Afghanistan, along with the combat troop drawdown in Iraq, is only the prelude to intensified U.S. efforts to defeat the Arab Spring and to maintain, by other means, dominance in the region. The drawdown has been accompanied by increased belligerency against Iran and Syria, as well as new boots on the ground in the Asian Pacific and Africa.
While the mainstream media plays up the falsehood of the U.S. government’s fear that Israel will bomb Iranian targets prematurely and without U.S. support, antiwar activists know that the immediate withdrawal of the $30 billion in weapons pledged for delivery to Israel between 2009 and 2018 is the only move that would indicate that the U.S. was truly trying to avoid war with Iran.
We need to remind the public that shortly after he took office in 2009, President Obama delivered 55 GBU-28 Hard Target Penetrators, or bunker buster bombs to Israel, weapons whose target could only be Iranian nuclear facilities. If Israel attacks Iran, it will be acting as a proxy for the U.S. with full U.S. backing. Rather than working to avoid a hugely destructive war, the White House is playing with fire, ratcheting pro-war hysteria, carrying out war by means of crippling sanctions and covert ops, and all the while maximizing the possibility of a volatile military encounter by crowding U.S. naval forces in the narrow seas off Iran’s coast.
The February 4thactions against war on Iran must be only the first step of a campaign to expose the government’s deceptions and to educate the majority about the real politics behind the U.S./NATO/UN sanctions and saber rattling. The February 11 actions in solidarity with the Egyptian people must be only the first of many such activities.
Come to the United National Antiwar Coalition Conference from March 23-25, 2012 to continue to develop such campaigns. There will be several major plenary panels on US-NATO strategy shifts and at least five of the nearly 50 in-depth educational workshops will deal with Iran and Egypt. There will be plenary sessions to discuss and vote on strategy and action plans and how best to mobilize the 99% to end the current wars and prevent the new wars being planned at the NATO/ G8 summit in May.
UNAC Conference Highlights Related to Stopping a War on Iran and Demonstrating Solidarity with the Egyptian Youth & Trade Unionists
Friday, March 23:8 pm--OpeningPanel: Shifting Strategies of Empire: Analyzing the Military and Economic Plans of the 1%.
Presenters: Mrs. Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, recently elected by the FNRP (Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular) as the presidential candidate of thenew Libertad y refundación party, Honduras; Andrew Murray, UK Trade Unions Congress General Council and head of UK Stop the Wars Coalition thru 2011; Kazem Azim, Solidarity Iran; Col. Ann Wright, Dissent: Voices of Conscience; Ahmed Shawki, Egypt Solidarity Campaign; David Swanson, War is a Crime.org; Adaner Usmani, Labor Party of Pakistan; Abayomi Azikiwe, Pan Africa Newswire; Bernadette Ellorin, BAYAN (Philippines); and Fignole St. Cyr, Autonomous Confederation of Haitian Workers
Saturday, March 24, 2012, 9:00 am:The NATO/G8 Summit: The Intersection of Austerity and War in the Plans of the 1% and Our Response--a Plenary Panel with leaders of the Coalition Against NATO/G8 War and Austerity (CANG8), the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), and the No War on Iran network.
Sunday, March 23, 2012, Noon:Global War, Warming, and the Economic Meltdown: Bill McKibben, architect of the XL Pipeline campaign; Richard Wolff, author of Capitalism Hits the Fan; and Vijay Prashad, author of a The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World.
Workshops on Egypt include:
Egypt: One Year After Revolution: Where is the Struggle Headed?
Description: One year ago, a revolution began in Egypt that ultimately brought down the U.S.-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak after 30 years in power. Following on the heels of the Tunisian revolution, Egypt's struggle provided a ray of hope for millions of people around the world. But a year later, many of the aspirations of the masses of Egyptians have yet to be realized. While Mubarak is gone, the generals who served him still run the country, and in recent months, they have stepped up the level of repression against all those--youth, women and workers--who want the revolution to deliver real change. Hear analyses and reports from the barricades in Egypt and from the solidarity movement worldwide.
Ayman El-Sawa is an Egyptian American who has played a leading role with the Ad Hoc Coalition to Defend the Egyptian Revolution, the group that sponsored the January Egypt solidarity actions in NYC.
Ahmed Shawki is an Egyptian American who was in Cairo during the 2011 revolution and who today heads the Egypt Solidarity Campaign.
2. From Egypt to New York City: “Anti-Radicalization” Laws, Surveillance, the War on Terror Industrial Complex, & the
NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act.).
Description: As President Obam signed into law the NDAA creating legal military tribunals without
trial for people accused of “terrorism,” how we challenge the War on Terror and military/prison
complexes aimed to destabilize anti-neoliberalization movements of workers, youth, and people of the Global South? A panel of family members of victims of FBI entrapments of Muslims, antiwar activists, Egyptian solidarity activists, Black power activist targets of COINTELPRO, South Asian/Muslim
low-wage immigrant workers from NYC, and community organizers will speak on how/why informants
and surveillance are targeting Muslims and activists worldwide. We will make links beyond the narrow U.S.-centered and Muslim framework to Co-Intel Pro, global resistance to neoliberal capitalism, and migrant workers struggle. We will hold a group discussion on strategies and campaign action
challenging the criminalization of dissent, the use of Muslims as justification for a national security
regime and wars, and how movements in Egypt and globally have resisted U.S. War on Terror
Monami Maulik, Executive Director of DRUM-Desis Rising Up & Moving;
Fahd Ahmed, Legal Director of DRUM;
Shasheena Parveen, Mother of Sirah Martin, entrapped and serving 30 years in prison;
Shahid Buttar,Director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee;
Osman Chowdhury, DRUM member and NYC taxi driver; and
Egyptian solidarity activistsrecently returned from Cairo.
1. Targeting Iran: The Truth Behind the Hype:
Description. Few U.S. activists have visited the Islamic Republic of Iran or know much about this ancient and complex society. With Iran clearly the next target of U.S. aggression, the government and media campaigns of misinformation and demonization are in full swing. The goal of this workshop is to provide activists with a historical overview of U.S.-Iranian relations; facts about the supposedly central issue of Iran's “nuclear ambitions”; an examination of how the U.S. uses Iran's internal issues to present a false and threatening picture of Iran and its government; and a look at how anti-war movements in other countries are reacting to the growing threat of war.
· Ana Edwards, Board of Directors, Campaign Against Sanctions & Military Intervention in Iran (CASMI), participant, 2ndGrand Congress of Iranians Living Abroad, Tehran, 2010
· Kazem Azim, a native of Iran, participated in the 1979 Revolution. Active with the Confederation of Iranian Students; former editor of theoretical journals of the Toilers Party; founding member of Solidarity Iran.
· Mansoureh Tajik, a native of Iran and assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. A peace and community activist, works collaboratively in the U.S. and Iran with local community-based organizations on environmental health and sustainability issues.
· Sara Flounders, Co-Director of the International Action Center and coordinator ot the StopWarOnIran.orgCampaign; editor and co-author of 10 books published by the IAC; visited Iran in 2011.
· Ken Stone, Steering Committee, Canadian Peace Alliance; co-founder, Coalition Against Racism, Hamilton, Ontario; Jewish participant in conference in support of the Palestinian Intifada held in Tehran, 2011
· Phil Wilayto, Board Member, CASMII; author, In Defense of Iran: Notes from a U.S. Peace Delegation's Journey through the Islamic Republic; speaker, 2ndGrand Congress of Iranians Living Abroad, Tehran, 2010.
2. Iran: Solidarity, Not Intervention.
Description. As threats of a US/Israeli military attack and multiple rounds of sanctions continue to destabilize Iranian society, it has never been more urgent for the anti-war movement here to act in solidarity with the Iranian people. But what exactly does this mean? Is our role simply to oppose outside intervention? Or does an anti-war movement that is also committed to social justice need to have some accountability/responsibility to our counterparts in Iran? This workshop will consider these questions by looking not only at the conflict between governments, but also at what is happening on the ground in Iran. We will propose new strategies based on rethinking international solidarity from the bottom up.
· Presenters: Manijeh Nasrabadi and the Raha Iranian Feminist Collective. Manijeh Nasrabadi is a prolific Iranian-American writer and the co-director of the Association of Iranian-American Writers
3. The West's Politico-Economic Warfare on Iran.
Description. Presentation of Economic Data and updates on Sanctions, Privatization and Prospects of the Iranian Economy 2) Impact on Iranian working class -discuss the perspectives of working class Iranians toward U.S./Israeli threats and the economic conditions worsened by the harsh sanctions, and their impact on families.
· Presenters: Eleanor & Ardeshir Ommani, Co-Founders of American Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC); recently returned from a 50-day visit to Iran with family, community activists.
To Register, Get Transportation Information, Book a Room, Submit an Amendment or Resolution, or Contribute, visit www.unacpeace.orgor call 518-227-6947. Funds badly needed for scholarships. All funds collected over costs will be used for NATO/G8 summit May 19 protest expenses.