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United for Peace & Justice and A.N.S.W.E.R. Sign Agreement for Joint Rally on September 24th


Statement about a joint rally and joint march for September 24.

The two major antiwar coalitions that have initiated and organized for a massive anti-war March on Washington for September 24 have agreed to organize a joint rally followed by a joint march. Both coalitions will organize under their own banners, slogans and with their own literature for the September 24 demonstration. The joint rally will begin at 11:30 am at the Ellipse in the front of the White House. We urge everyone around the country to unite and come out for the largest possible anti-war demonstration on September 24.

Signed by:

United for Peace and Justice

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
(on behalf of the September 24 National Coalition)
-----------------------------------------------------

Memorandum of Understanding between
United for Peace and Justice and the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition

Scope of agreement
The below constitutes an agreement between United for Peace and Justice and the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition on behalf of the September 24 National Coalition. This document covers agreements for a joint pre-march rally and a joint march on September 24, 2005, between United for Peace and Justice and the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition. It does not apply to activities either party is organizing or involved in separately from these two activities on the day of September 24 or any other day.

Announcement of agreement
No agreement exists, nor will any announcement of an agreement between the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism) and United for Peace and Justice for a joint rally and march on September 24 be made until the details below have been agreed to and this document is signed by authorized representatives of each coalition.

Joint rally and march
United for Peace and Justice and the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition have agreed to hold a joint pre-march rally and a joint march in Washington DC on Saturday, September 24. The rally will be held on the Ellipse and will begin at 11:30 am. The march will leave from that location at 12:30 pm on a route agreed upon by the coordinating team (see below) and will end at 15th Street and Constitution Ave. The rally will end at 1 pm.

Each party will have one banner of equal size on the stage during the portions of the rally they control. The language on the banners will be determined by the two parties independently.

Each coalition will decide what signage they would like on the podium during the portion of the rally they control. The language on the signage will be determined independently by the two parties.

Dividing the time of the rally
The 90 minutes of the pre-march rally will be evenly divided, with each coalition having complete and sole control of 45 minutes, which is one-half of the time. The coordinating team will decide if one coalition has its 45 minutes and then the other coalition takes the stage, or if the time is broken into smaller units. If the coordinating team is unable to agree who begins and ends, a coin flip will be used to determine this.

Lead banner and lead contingent
The front of the march will be configured with one handheld 20-30 foot banner. There will be 20 people literally holding the banner: 10 selected by UFPJ and 10 selected by A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition / September 24 National Coalition. The names of the people on the lead banner will be given to the media. The people holding the banner will hold only this banner. As part of the front of the march and directly behind the lead banner there will be 500 people, half of them selected by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition / September 24 National Coalition and half selected by UFPJ. Both coalitions will be free to carry the slogans chosen by their coalition on placards (it is understood that the size of placards is no larger than 3 feet by 3.5 feet).

Slogans for the demonstration
Each coalition will carry banners, signs and flags with their own slogans. Each coalition will have their own stage banner at the joint rally and there will be one unsigned banner slogan on the handheld banner in the front of the march. This lead banner will say: Stop the War on Iraq, Bring the Troops Home Now. The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition/Sept. 24th National Coalition stage banner and signs in the lead contingent will address the war in Iraq and issues connected to that war including the colonial occupation of Palestine and the Right of Return, the occupation of Haiti and other anti-imperialist positions. The United for Peace and Justice stage banner and signs in the lead contingent will address the war in Iraq and issues connected to that war.

Each coalition agrees that we will only refer to our own slogans and banners, and if there is any public referencing of any slogans used by the coalitions in the joint pre-march rally or the joint march, the slogans of both coalitions in both the rally and march will be explicitly stated.

Security
There will be a shared security team, led by two security coordinators from UFPJ and two from the
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition. The security coordinators shall develop a plan for security at the pre-march rally and march on September 24. For the security plan to be implemented, the security coordinators will have to agree. The areas they will develop a plan for will include:
-Security when lining up the lead banner and first contingent
-Security at the head of the march and throughout the whole march
-Security at the stage for the pre-march joint rally
-Security at any other sensitive location, such as money collection points
-How security people will be identified
-The training of the people working on security
-How the security teams will be organized and the chain of command
-The communication system the security operation will use

No member of the security team will carry signs, banners, flags or other materials not directly related to carrying out their security duties.

Media
There will be one joint press conference announcing the pre-march rally and march as soon as possible, preferably the last week in August. The next press conference that either coalition participates in announcing activities for the weekend of September 24 will be the joint press conference. Each coalition will determine who will represent them at the press conference, and there will be an equal number of people from each coalition.

Each coalition will be able to do its own press work, and in such press work both coalitions will clearly state that the rally and march are being jointly organized by A.N.S.W.E.R. / September 24 National Coalition and United for Peace and Justice.

The details of the joint press conference, as well as issues related to press work on and before September 24, will be worked out by the media coordinators for both coalitions.

If other joint press activities are organized, the same principles will apply.

Finances
The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition will pay for the stage, sound, press riser and backstage set up for the pre-march joint rally at the Ellipse.

The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition and UFPJ will divide evenly the costs related to the security operation (walkie talkies or other communication system, security vests, etc.) and any costs related to the money collection (buckets, barrels, etc.) and the cost of the lead banner. They will also divide evenly any costs related to the joint press conference.
There shall be a money pitch and collection at the rally and at least one collection along the march route. The money collection coordinators for each coalition shall jointly develop the plans for these operations, as well as the plans for the counting and dividing of the money after the march. Any plan will have to be agreed upon by both coordinators.

Coordinating team and dispute resolution
The whole effort will be coordinated by a team of three people from each of the two coalitions. These people shall have the authorization from their respective coalitions to carry out the items agreed upon above. Should new issues arise, these people will have the right to go back to their respective coalitions before final decisions are made. If the coordinating team is unable to resolve the dispute, the matter will be referred back to the same facilitation mechanism that was used in the weeks prior to the signing of the agreement to hold a joint rally and joint march on September 24, including the participation of Jos Williams and Nancy Wohlforth. If, in that process, the dispute is unresolved and is considered by either side to be an unremedied violation of the agreement then this agreement will no longer be binding on either coalition.

No attacks on each other
Between now and the end of the demonstration on September 24, each coalition agrees to not attack the other coalition.

Public announcement about the joint rally and joint march
The following language will be the announced statement from the two coalitions. This statement will be sent out simultaneously.

Statement about a joint rally and joint march for September 24

The two major antiwar coalitions that have initiated and organized for a massive anti-war March on Washington for September 24 have agreed to organize a joint rally followed by a joint march. Both coalitions will organize under their own banners, slogans and with their own literature for the September 24 demonstration. The joint rally will begin at 11:30 am at the Ellipse in the front of the White House. We urge everyone around the country to unite and come out for the largest possible anti-war demonstration on September 24.

Signed by:

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition (on behalf of the September 24 National Coalition)
United for Peace and Justice

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For those of us who can't make it to Washington, can we get marches and rallies organized in other cities on that day? I hope that moveon.org will help in that effort. As with the vigils, the local media would be there in force. It would be so effective to show nationwide support happening all over the U.S.

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