Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Detroit Demonstration Against the 6th Anniversary of the Occupation of Iraq, March 21, 1:00pm

March 21 Demonstration Commemorating the Sixth Anniversary of the Iraq Invasion and Occupation

U.S. Out of Iraq & Afghanistan NOW
Stop U.S. Aid to Israel
Stop Attacks on Pakistan & Iran

Saturday – March 21, 2009
Gather at Woodward and E. Jefferson, Detroit at 1:00pm
March to the Central United Methodist Church for an indoor rally at 2:30pm
Concludes at the Swords Into Plowshares Gallery, Cuba/Detroit Photographic Display
33 East Adams, next to Central United Methodist Church

Contact: 313.680.5508
E-mail: info@mecawi.org
URL: http://www.mecawi.org

MECAWI Statement on the Sixth Anniversary of the U.S. Invasion and Occupation of Iraq

End War, Racism and Economic Exploitation: Money for Cities, Not For War

On March 21, 2009, the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI) will be holding a march and rally in downtown Detroit commemorating the tragic sixth anniversary of the United States invasion and occupation of Iraq. MECAWI, which was formed in September of 2002, some six months prior to the invasion of this Middle-Eastern nation, has maintained over the years that the occupation of Iraq is illegal, immoral and must end immediately.

MECAWI has initiated and participated in all aspects of the opposition to the war in Iraq. We have sent delegations to the major national demonstrations as well as worked with other anti-war and peace organizations on a local level.

On the eve of the national demonstrations scheduled for March 21, we want to reaffirm our commitment to the ending of the Iraq war. We demand that all U.S. troops be withdrawn from Iraq with deliberate speed.

In addition, we are demanding that all U.S. contractors be pulled out of the country. Moreover, we want the U.S. to pay reparations to the people of Iraq for the death and destruction that has been carried out against this sovereign nation over the last six years as well as the period of the first Gulf War in 1990-91, and the years of sanctions between 1991-2003.

Even though the corporate media is not covering the war in Iraq on a regular basis, we know that Iraqis are dying every day. Over one million have met their deaths as a result of the occupation. Millions more have been displaced and forced to flee as refugees.

Also U.S. troops are dying every month as well. Over 5,000 U.S. troops have lost their lives and tens of thousands of others have been wounded, left psychologically and emotionally affected and therefore facing tremendous difficulties in re-entering society.

Just recently it was reported that over 100 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since the beginning of 2009. This killing must end immediately and the troops and contractors should be brought home now.

We believe that the occupation in Iraq is symptomatic of the imperialist character of the state and ruling class in this country. Prior to the invasion of Iraq, the nation of Afghanistan was invaded in October of 2001 and the country has been under occupation since then.

Recently the Obama administration has announced that it is going to draw down troops from Iraq and at the same time send between 17,000-30,000 more soldiers into Afghanistan. Obama's plan is to leave 50,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq to ostensibly engage in training of the puppet Iraqi military forces, to provide security for American economic interests and to respond to so-called "terrorist" threats.

As far as we are concerned, this is totally unacceptable. To leave even one U.S. troop or private contractor in Iraq still constitutes an occupation. To send more troops to Afghanistan will only bring about more deaths of Afghan civilians and American soldiers. We demand the immediate withdrawl of all U.S. military forces from Afghanistan and the compensation of the people there for the deaths of civilians.

Beyond Iraq and Afghanistan, MECAWI is demanding that the U.S. administration halt all military assistance to Colombia in Latin America. Colombia is the third largest recipient of aid from the U.S., only behind Israel and Egypt.

We are also demanding the immediate cessation of threats against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). Secretary of State Clinton's recent visit to occupied South Korea did nothing but aggravate tensions in the peninsula.

MECAWI also condemns the ongoing threats against the nation of Iran. We do not need another war in the Middle-East. The people of Iran have a right to determine their own future politically and economically.

We wish to reiterate our support for the self-determination and sovereignty of all peoples throughout the world. We condemn the founding of the Africa Command (AFRICOM) and stand in solidarity with the peoples of the continent who want to live in peace and to develop their own societies.

The Economic Crisis and Militarism: Money for Our Cities, Not War

One of the main slogans of MECAWI has been: "Money for Cities, Not War." We recognize that the $700 billion annual military budget in the United States is responsible in large part for the current economic crisis in the country and internationally.

At present the city of Detroit and other municipalities around the state and country, are suffering immensely from budget cuts, layoffs, the theft of pension funds and the elimination of health care benefits for working families. MECAWI is demanding that the military budget be slashed and that the funds utilized for warmongering and global intrigue be utilized to rebuild the infrastructure of the United States to put people back to work at decent wages, with pensions and quality health care for all.

We believe that the current policy of taking the money of working people and turning it over to the financial institutions and multi-national corporations is immoral and unjust. The people of the U.S. have been robbed of trillions of dollars in tax revenue, savings, pension funds, home equity, educational opportunities and health care services.

MECAWI demands that a people's bailout program be initiated from the ground up. We want a stimulus package that puts money and resources directly into the households of working people. We believe that the current programs related to the economic rejuvenation of the country are grossly inadequate.

The banks and corporations which have created the current crisis must not be allowed to continue with their theft and mismanagement of our lives and communities. We are calling for the immediate halt to all funding to the financial institutions and the re-allocation of these resources to people all over the United States.

We need an economic program that will put everyone back to work at decent wages. MECAWI wants an immediate moratorium on all foreclosures and evictions. We want national health care insurance for everyone inside the country. If financial institutions are to be "nationalized", then we want this to take place under the control and supervision of working people who have the most to gain in an economic recovery.

Fight Racism: Self-Determination For All Oppressed People

Despite the election of the first African American president of the United States, racism and national oppression are still dominant forces within this society. The economic crisis has disproportionately affected people of color and women. Therefore, we are demanding an end to racist, sexist and all discriminatory practices in the United States.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was recently quoted in the corporate media as saying that the United States was cowardly in regard to addressing and tackling issues of race relations. We concur and think that there should be a national dialogue on race, gender and the legacy of institutional discrimination in the United States.

At the same time, MECAWI is extremely disturbed that the Obama administration will not be a participant in the upcoming World Conference Against Racism Durban II Summit in Geneva. We are demanding that the U.S. reverse this decision and not only participate in the Summit but to also encourage the broad involvement of all interested mass organizations based in this country.

We feel strongly that world criticism of the State of Israel is not sufficient grounds for U.S. non-participation in the Durban II Summit. MECAWI, along with the majority of people in the world, stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine. We uphold the right of Palestinians to self-determination and statehood.

Furthermore, we demand that all U.S. aid to Israel cease immediately. MECAWI calls on the people of the world to support the growing movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel, known as the BDS movement.


Therefore, MECAWI is appealing to all organizations throughout metropolitan Detroit, the state of Michigan, the United States and the world to come out and protest the ongoing occupation of Iraq and imperialist intervention throughout the globe.

It is only the masses of people that can end the war and create societies that are devoid of the exploitation of working people, the oppressed and the poor.

March With US on March 21 in Detroit!
End the Occupation!
Self-Determination for All Oppressed People!
Money For Cities, Not War!
End Racism and National Oppression!
Peace and Social Justice for All People!





The Detroit Public School Warehouse (Roosevelt Park)

Melina Hammer and Frank, her dad, have partnered in numerous photographic explorations of Detroit's urban ruins. In August, 2003 they stumbled upon the Roosevelt Park Warehouse in Southwest Detroit. Floor after floor, they explored a tragic wasteland inside the Albert Kahn-designed structure occupying an entire city block.

The building and its contents were abandoned in the wake of a fire in the late 80s, left intact except to be defaced by intruders or altered by the elements. Shot on 35 mm film, the images reveal the wanton abandonment of resources and supplies that were the stuff of education in Detroit public school classrooms. Their photos capture unexpected beauty in the midst of chaos.

Havana to Guantanamo, Cuba: An Autoworker’s’ View (2003)

Frank, a GM autoworker and UAW member for 32 years, was part of a labor delegation of steel- and auto-workers hosted by Cuba ’s light industry union, the Sindicato Nacional De Trabajadores De La Industria Ligera (SNTIL) in March, 2003. In a week’s time Frank captured a natural portrait of urban and rural Cuban life.

Despite a decades-long debilitating US blockade, socialist Cuba reveals through the expressions and ingenuity of its ordinary citizens an indomitable “can-do” spirit. Featured too is the Detroit steel that cruises the island’s roads and streets, harking back to the Heyday of the Big 3.

33 East Adams, Detroit
Part of Central United Methodist Church
Free parking in the rear off Woodward adjacent to Comerica Park

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