Thursday, May 24, 2012

WWP Active In 10 Days of Anti-NATO Protests

WWP active in 10 days of anti-NATO protests

By Frank Neisser
Published May 23, 2012 9:06 PM

For 10 days Workers World Party members and friends actively worked with the peoples’ mobilization against the NATO Summit of the war-makers in Chicago to build momentum toward the magnificent May 20 march.

The Coalition Against NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda (CANG8) sponsored the main march. WWP’s delegation, with people from Chicago, Detroit, New York, Boston and cities in Wisconsin and Utah, participated in meetings, marches, press conferences, pickets and rallies.

WWP activists got out thousands of copies of Workers World newspaper and thousands of a special supplement — headlined “Unite to fight racism and imperialism – Abolish NATO – Defend the right to protest – Peoples’ Power – Next step DNC and RNC” — at all the week’s events.

Those distributing WW had great discussions with veterans eager to expose NATO’s true role, students considering what Peoples’ Power might look like, and activists learning first-hand about the role of the cops as the domestic arm of NATO’s war machine.

Protest & solidarity

On May 12-13, CANG8 and Occupy Chicago held a People‘s Summit to discuss the issues.

Occupy Chicago called a week of daily anti-NATO actions for May 14-21. These included a Monday, May 14, education rally at a high school the Chicago Board of Education had listed for closure. A May 15 march for immigrant rights went through immigrant neighborhoods and concluded with a direct civil disobedience action: occupying the Chicago Immigration and Customs Enforcement office by sitting-in and blockading the doors. On May 16, a militant march in support of a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions targeted the Bank of America.

On May 17, Workers World Party held a public forum on “NATO, Tool of the 1%.” WWP First Secretary Larry Holmes, who is also coordinator of the Bail Out the People Movement and Occupy 4 Jobs, discussed the significance of the Occupy movement in the context of the world uprising against the NATO/G8 program of war, cutbacks and austerity.

Representatives of the local housing struggle and Final Call, the newspaper of the Nation of Islam, participated. A representative of the Committee against FBI Repression, who was herself one of the 24 anti-war and international solidarity activists whose homes were raided by the FBI in September 2010, spoke of the case of Carlos Montes, who goes on trial in Los Angeles in June.

Earlier that day, WW members and supporters participated in a rally in solidarity with Carlos Montes at the Dirksen Federal Building, where the investigation against the 24 and Montes is headquartered.

WWP members also attended a press conference and a march condemning the police invasion of the home of Occupy Chicago activists and protesting that three of them were held on bogus terrorism charges. Cops seized a home beer-making kit and spun a story that it was to be used for making molotov cocktails.

On May 19, WWP and International Action Center members participated in the founding conference of the U.S. Chapter of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle.
Later that day, WWP members were central organizers of a “NATO – EU – Hands Off Greece!” demonstration at the Greek Consulate. They expressed solidarity with the Greek workers, who have rejected all political parties that have agreed to the European Union’s and the banks’ super-austerity program.

At the huge May 20 antiwar demonstration, WWP staffed two literature tables and got out hundreds of Workers World newspapers. The WWP organizers, including a large delegation from Detroit, joined the ILPS contingent. WWP’s lead banner read, “Abolish NATO, Tool of Wall Street Rule, We Need Jobs Not War.”
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