Friday, February 22, 2008

MECAWI Conference: What's Behind Bush's Africa Trip?; The True Role of the United States on the Continent, Saturday, Feb. 23

For Immediate Release

Media Advisory
African-American History Month Program

Event: Conference on US Intervention in Africa
Date: Saturday, Feb. 23, 2008, 9:30am-3:00pm
Venue: 5922 Second Ave. at Antoinette, Detroit
Admission: Free and Open to the Public
Sponsors: Michigan Emergency Committee Against War &
Injustice (MECAWI)
Contact: 313.671.3715

MECAWI to Host Conference on the Growing Threat of United States Intervention in Africa

Despite the claims of the Bush administration that it does not wish to establish military bases in Africa, the history of United States involvement on the continent has been in support of the forces of colonialism, neo-colonialism and non-democratic forms of government. Come out to a conference on Saturday, Feb. 25, to learn the true history of America's centuries-old relations with the African continent and its peoples.

Bush is currently touring several African states in order to promote an image quite contrary to the actual foreign policy aims of the administration. Yet the peoples of the continent have rejected the militarism and globalization policies advanced by the American government after experiencing the brunt of successive regimes that have failed to address the systematic problems of poverty, underdevelopment, the lack of health care facilities and the refusal to write-off crippling debts based on predatory lending by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI) is an anti-war and anti-imperialist coalition that opposes United States military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan. Moreover, MECAWI has responded to further interventionist maneuvers by the Bush administration in Somalia, Haiti, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela and other geo-political regions of the world.

Based upon recent political events on the African continent such as:
-the US-backed invasion of Somalia in 2006;
-the escalation of destabilization efforts against Sudan, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Chad;
-as well as the much publicized American plans to establish military bases on the continent through the Africa Command (AFRICOM) that is directly administered from the Pentagon,
many of us in the anti-imperialist and anti-war movements see the mounting danger of greater United States military intervention in Africa.

Recent Bush administration plans to implement AFRICOM has been met with rejection among various African countries. Two of the largest nations in Africa, Nigeria and South Africa, have refused to allow the American military to set up AFRICOM bases in their respective territories and have come out solidly against any other country allowing such intervention.

Consequently, MECAWI is holding a conference to address the political and historical context in which these events are occuring in Africa and to discuss action proposals to ensure that these concerns are fully addressed by the anti-war and peace movements here in the United States. In addition, we wish to advance activities that will express solidarity with the peoples of Africa and other regions that are subjected to imperialist intervention and manipulation.

This event will feature presentations on various nation-states on the continent as well as a panel on the need to defeat AFRICOM. A presentation from the National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL) will discuss the legal and political implications of American governmental efforts to build permanent bases on the continent of Africa.

In addition, a new BBC documentary film entitled: "Cuba, Africa, Revolution!" will be premiered in the city of Detroit. This film reviews the history of Cuban solidarity efforts on the continent and how they played an instrumental role in the defeat of colonialism and apartheid in Africa.

For more information please contact the numbers listed above.

Abayomi Azikiwe,
Media Liason, MECAWI

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