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A Day of Peace and Solidarity United Americans Against All Wars
Nearly a thousand of Americans were by the Herald Square in New York City on March 13, 2016, where an anti-war demonstration took place, gathering activists from New York, New Jersey, Illinois and other states. People came together to speak out, opposing the foreign policies of the United States and an American Imperialism as the cause of foreign proxy wars.
Protesters came to speak against the rise of discrimination in this country and to protest against President Obama and the presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, whose foundation is believed to have a backing of major Transnational Corporations and financial institutions. Some expressed the fears that if Clinton were to become the President of the United States, she might essentially work on policies for the benefit of those corporations that donated money for her campaign and will disregard the needs of an average American that wants to live in peace, have access to affordable medical care, have a job and earn fair wages for his work. Some of the banners stated “Hillary Clinton – WALL st Candidate!”, hinting that Hillary Clinton is the candidate of the “Fat Cats of Wall Street” that correspond to the 1% of “rich and powerful” who don’t listen to the needs of 99% of US population. Since one of the main benefactors of Clinton’s presidential campaign is the Military Industrial Complex, activists expressed no hopes for the World Peace in case she gets elected. It was clear that some activists would like to “Stop Hillary! Save Democracy!”
Protestors also expressed strong feelings against current U.S. President Barack Obama’s latest foreign policies and killer drones by raising the banners stating: “Stop Obama and U.S. Imperialism”, “Obama: From Nobel Peace Prize to Hague Tribunal”, “White House, Congress: Stop Funding Right-Wing Terror Worldwide”, “Obama, Erdogan, Saudi Royals – Sponsors of Global Terrorism”, “Time for Regime Change in U.S. & Turkey!”, “Obama, Shubin, when will you take care of our National Debt???”, “U.S. Aggression – Greatest Source of World Problems”, “NO to U.S. Meddling in the Internal Affairs of Foreign Nations”, “War Crimes Must Be Stopped No Matter Who Does Them”, “Stop Bombing Donetsk & U.S.-NATO: Out of Ukraine!”, and many others.
Domestic issues, such as the lack of decent jobs, discrimination, police militarization and men-made environmental disasters, were also brought up by various community speakers, with the following banners being raised: “Money for Jobs and People’s Needs, not War!”, “Money for Jobs, Schools & Healthcare, Not War in Syria”, “From Mindanao to NYC, Stop the Militarization of Our Communities!”, “Rebuild Flint! Rebuild our Cities! End the wars!”, “Defend the Black Lives Matter movement”,
The rally was organized by the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) and the International Action Committee (IAC). Manhattan Greens have also participated on behalf of their presidential candidate from the Green Party Jill Stein – the only presidential candidate who promised to end infinite wars and US military expeditions all over the world. Speakers have talked against US military operations all over the world and have called for reducing the number of military bases and made demands to US Government to stop interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. The event was supported by a generous donor who sponsored pizza for everyone who came out to Herald Square to listen to the speakers. At the end of the event protestors marched together to the U.N. Headquarters to demand for attention for before-mentioned issues from the international community.
The following speakers participated in the event: Albert Marder (US Peace Council), Lynne Stewart (People’s Lawyer, former Political Prisoner), Lawrence Hamm, Les Jamieson (“Truth about September 11” organization), Kathy Kelly (Voices for Creative Nonviolence), Margaret Kimberly (from Black Agenda Report), Khaldoun Makhoul (SAWA Syrian American Will Association), Imam Abdul Rashid Talib (Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood), and many others. The crowd was entertained by the Peace Poets at Herald Square and Raging Grannies after the march to U.N. plaza.
The Day of Peace and Solidarity was supported by David Swanson (WarIsACrime.org) and endorsed by the following organizations: Action 21, AlAwda Palestine Right to Return Coalition, BAYAN USA, Haiti Support Network, International League of People Struggle, Islamic Leadership Council of NY, Jersey City Peace Movement, Pakistan/USA Freedom Forum, Party of Communists USA, Peoples Organization for Progress, Peoples Power Assembly, RootsAction.org, Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Socialist Action, Solidarity with Iran, South Asian Fund for Education and Training, Syrian American Forum, US Peace Council, Veterans for Peace, Chapter 21-NJ, Workers World party, World Beyond War, World Can’t Wait.
This event followed another successful event organized by UNAC members in New York City on December 20, 2015 called “No to Racism, No to Trump”, which was attended by over 500 people demanding for respect and protection of minorities and people of color. Just this last Friday, on March 11, 2016, over 5000 people gathered outside of UIC Pavilion in Chicago, IL to protest against Donald Trump’s rally in Chicago. As a result, Trump’s appearance in Chicago was cancelled, showing just how much power American people still have over politicians, no matter how rich and powerful they are! Activists cheered Chicagoans today for standing up for their beliefs and asked New Yorkers to do the same.