Stand with the Youth of America: Anti-war Protesters Take to the Streets

September 30th, 2007 - by admin

Encampment to Stop the War – 2007-09-30 19:59:40

=It’s 1973 all over again! The Encampment to Stop the War Has Moved to Streets! Yipee!!

• Photos of Mass Action Available Online at:

BOLINAS, California (September 30, 2007) — Dear Friends and Colleagues, evidently we are seeing the first major US youth awakening in forty years. I urge you to go to this link so you can see many inspiring photos of great-looking young people starting to take history into their own hands. I’ll include two of them.

I’m so turned on by this that I’m still weeping a bit as I type. I hope you’ll relay this to more folks than you’ve ever relayed anything before. I hope you’ll find ways of being inspiringly supportive–wherever you are. Take a student to lunch.

These gallant exemplars are providing us with our best opportunity in a long time. For this reason US pimp/whore corporate media are blacking them out. (Please post me exceptions, if any.) Within the past half-hour I’ve found nothing at ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC.

The good news is that these total blackouts (e.g., the huge US demos during the bombings of Baghdad in ’91) happen only when those controlling the media become quite frightened by massive peoples’ energy. Thus far, the infamous BBC is aiding and abetting this conspiracy of silence.

Please notice also that the police yesterday prevented buses of protesters from reaching downtown DC. This also implies that the vicious US Backroom Boys are as frightened now as their counterparts in Burma.

An admirable coming-of-age is occurring now among our dear young people–without whom no significant victories are possible.

Yours for solution energies,
Keith Lampe, Ro-Non-So-Te,
Ponderosa Pine

The Sept. 15 March on Washington:
A New Movement is Emerging

Brian Becker / ANSWER Coalition

The Sept. 15 March on Washington was unique. The energy, the youth, the multitude of new people who were joining a protest for the first time; the large number of Iraq war veterans as well as active duty service members; the determination of Gold Star family members to unite together in the streets against the war that stole the lives of their children and the inspired willingness of thousands to die-in and risk arrest — these were the features that made Sept. 15 somewhat more akin to the militant marches and actions that became a characteristic feature of the movement that helped end the Vietnam War.

The people who attended knew this to be true. This was not the same crowd strolling down the street. What the people saw and felt and experienced and knew to be true could not be easily erased by the typically bad, cynical and misleading corporate media coverage.

Tens of thousands of people, led by Iraq war veterans, Gold Star families whose loved ones were killed and other veterans, marched shoulder to shoulder across eight lanes of Pennsylvania Avenue. The police suddenly locked together barricades which were taken down just as quickly as the Iraq veterans led the march straight up the broad sidewalk leading to the Congress where they were again violently blocked by platoons of riot clad police.

People marched forward towards the steps of the Capitol determined to carry their anti-war message as the heavily armed police attacked and blocked peaceful protestors. Thousands joined a Die-In and symbolic funeral for the US Servicemembers and the legions of Iraqis who have perished in this criminal endeavor. Police reinforcements with shields and helmets marched down the steps of the U.S. Capitol building with guns and sticks in hand.

Iraq war veterans and the family members of soldiers and marines, joined by thousands upon thousands of high school and college students, stood face to face with a line of armed force that prevented their forward march to redress grievances for an illegal war and occupation.

Police forced Iraq War veterans and elderly veterans of other wars to face into the ground and tied their hands behind their backs. Men and women in fatigues, students, mothers of soldiers and members of the American Muslim community were taken away in handcuffs and marched or dragged up the long Capitol steps.

More than 190 were arrested in all and when they were brought to jail together it was obvious that their spirit and solidarity was a testament to their determination to resist the war machine. Throughout the demonstration, and among those who were detained too, a collective spirit was crystallizing. Almost everyone could sense that something was new.

People were held on busses, many in tight cutting handcuffs, until the early morning hours. When finally processed at the police vehicle garage where everyone was held, people were directed to a door leading to an alley uncertain where they were, what they were to do or what would happen next as the door closed behind them. But as each person stepped outside a few yards and was seen a great cheer went up and across the street they saw people on the grassy embankment waiting for them.

ANSWER organized hundreds of supporters and a legal team that stayed outside the jail all night long and greeted each newly released person with coffee, food, rides to the bus station or home if they lived in the DC area.

Before the action the government undertook significant efforts to try to suppress and repress the organizing efforts. The ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) was slapped with $38,000 in fines for putting up 194 posters that were legally wheat-pasted announcing the Sept. 15 action. ANSWER was told they had to be taken down immediately, and refused. Instead, we filed a suit with the Partnership for Civil Justice challenging the constitutionality of the government’s actions.

When ANSWER held a press conference in front of the White House to protest the fines, the police from the National Park Service arrested the speakers and organizers — and horse-mounted police charged into the assembled media.

Ironically, this police attack in front of the White House came hours after Laura Bush gathered the media together inside the White House to condemn the police crackdown of “pro-democracy activists” in Myanmar.

If anything, the government’s attempts to suppress these efforts not only failed but also drew additional thousands, and perhaps tens of thousands, of angry people to the streets.

A True United Front
When the large crowd, with so many high school and college students in attendance, poured into the streets around 1:00pm on Sept. 15 the excitement and buzz was palpable. People knew they were part of something very special, something different from the earlier anti-war marches. It wasn’t just the large crowd, which was marching 120 abreast, and filling up all eight lanes of Pennsylvania Ave. for many blocks. The march was impressive and new at other levels as well.

ANSWER initiated the action and provided hundreds of organizers and volunteers. These people were the organizational and administrative anchor of the protest. But this was not an action of one group or entity.

Sept. 15 was a genuine and broad coalition of diverse organizations. Iraq Veterans Against the War, D.C. Chapter; Grassroots America, Veterans for Peace, Camp Casey Peace Institute, Hip Hop Caucus, CodePink, National Council of Arab Americans and the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation worked together in joint planning.

The groups achieved an admirable level of cooperation and comradely working relations based on mutual respect and shared responsibility. Many other organizations also contributed. Ramsey Clark and thousands in the ImpeachBush movement mobilized as well.

As a response to the fascist mobilization of the so-called Gathering of Eagles, numerous local and national organizations joined together to offer a united security team.

Sept. 15 may be a harbinger of an even greater unity in the anti-war movement among Iraq war veterans and military families, the Arab American and Muslim communities, students and youth, the immigrant rights movement and other oppressed working-class communities — both those who are already unionized and the millions who need to be.

In our ongoing evaluation of the action, we will have to assess not only its strengths but any of its defects, weaknesses and mistakes. It is not possible to have such an energized action with many tens of thousands of people without there being a fair share of mistakes to learn from. None of the defects, however, can take away from the broader significance of the action.

At the Barricades
ANSWER leaders were among the first people arrested when riot police tried to barricade the path to the Capitol building. Some also were among the first of the 197 people released from custody.

The rest of the night those released earlier and other solidarity activists had the great privilege of welcoming people as they got out of jail and shuttling individuals to the bus and train stations between 1:00am and 8:00 am the next morning.

We got a chance to meet and learn the stories of these brave souls. Many were Iraq war veterans and young students for whom this was their very first demonstration and their first arrest. They were inspired, pumped up and eager to keep mobilizing. They were proud of what they had done.

Many people told us in person, and in emails and phone calls, that Sept. 15 was an event of great importance in their life and outlook.

There is no scientific method to assess how many people fit into this broad category, but by the anecdotal feedback we believe this was a large group.

People come into the streets, risk arrest, join a movement and become activists because they have certain hopefulness that their actions can make a difference.

We have been through a period of pessimism and political apathy — hallmarks of generalized mood where the mass of people do not have the confidence that change is possible. But on September 15 it felt that this may be changing.

Building a New People’s Movement for Change
On Sept. 20, just five days after Sept. 15, tens of thousands people traveled to Jena, La. to stand with the Jena 6 and the African American community.

These two events coming within one week’s time are the first signs that we are waking to a new morning of action, resistance and militant struggle. New movements are not born in the minds of social critics and Ivory Tower observers. They are forged in the streets. Real people, volunteering their time and ignoring the armies of naysayers, are the ones who ignite new historical processes. This movement is coming together because it is needed. Its time has come.

By acting together against war and racism, and linking this movement to all the needs of society that are being sacrificed and destroyed by the power of corporate domination, we can fill the void and vacuum left by the earlier collapse of the progressive movement.

Sept. 15 in Washington, DC was a meaningful day and for some a life-altering day. It will be remembered as significant in a broad historical sense if it emerges as a step toward an even greater development. That is the goal and task of all those who are committed to waging a broad struggle for the radical transformation of this country.

That, and nothing less, is the order of the day.

Brian Becker is the National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition.

The Encampment to Stop the War
Has Moved to the Streets!

Youth activists, veterans, and antiwar organizers have taken the street near Constitution Ave., Pennsylvania Ave., and 4th St. NW in the middle of Washington, DC.

Several hundred people have completely shut down the street, including people from as far away as Oregon and Florida. They intend to keep the street closed for as long as possible.

Hundreds of supporters have gathered on the sidewalks, as youth are erecting tents from the Encampment in the middle of the street.

They are asking for the progressive and antiwar community in the area to come out and support them. Bring food, water, signs, and join youth from across the U.S. who are moving from protest to resistance to shut down the war.

For more information, or to find out how you can help, call 202-821-3686. As of 8:40 pm, about 100 youth from the Encampment are still occupying Constitution Ave., which they have now blocked for more than 5 hours. Local activists have turned out with food and water to support this action.

Encampment Youth Take the Streets:
Demand Troops Out Now!

About 50 youth just returned to the Encampment from a militant march through the streets of Washington. They took the streets as they marched from the Department of Education to focus on the lack of money for education; to the Department of Justice to demand an end to police brutality and justice for the Jena 6; to a military recruiters office to protest the recruitment of youth to kill and die for wars of profit; and finally to the Capitol building to say “No Justice, No Peace! US Out of the Middle East.”

Although they were pursued by more than a dozen police vehicles, they managed to hold the street for about 20 blocks.

There were no arrests — in fact the march returned to the Encampment with more youth than they started with, as several groups of bypassers joined the march along the way.

Youth Have Shut Down Constitution Avenue


Youth activists, veterans, and antiwar organizers have taken the street near Constitution Ave., Pennsylvania Ave., and 4th St. NW in the middle of Washington, D.C.

Several hundred people have completely shut down the street, including people from as far away as Oregon and Florida. They intend to keep the street closed for as long as possible.

Hundreds of supporters have gathered on the sidewalks, as youth are erecting tents from the Encampment in the middle of the street.

They are asking for the progressive and antiwar community in the area to come out and support them. Bring food, water, signs, and join youth from across the U.S. who are moving from protest to resistance to shut down the war.

For more information, or to find out how you can help, call 202-821-3686.

Labels: Encampment to Stop the War, protest, september 29 posted by Encampment to Stop the War @ 6:18 PM Update from Rally at the Encampment Site

Thousands of people are joining us here at the Encampment, despite efforts by the police to block access to the rally.

We have been informed that police have blocked an entire highway into the city in order to stop the buses that are coming from dozens of organizing centers. We have been on the phone with organizers, planning alternate routes into the city tobypass. We are determined not to let the police block the outpour of resistance and opposition to Bush’s criminal war.

The mall in front of Congress is full of thousands of activists, some from as far away as Washington State and Hawaii.

The march is stepping off in just a few minutes, and we’ve just heard that a group of youth are planning civil disobedience at the end of the march. Details and updates to follow.

Speakers from Rally in Front of the Capitol

Partial list of speakers:

Pam Africa, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal

From the cast of Sicko — Donna Smith, Adrian Campbell,

Larry Smith, Julie Pierce, Tracy Pierce Jr., Dawnelle Keys, John Graham Larry Adams (NYCLAW)

Brenda Stokely (Million Worker March Movement)

Charles Jenkins, TWU

Mumia Abu-Jamal (by tape)

Malik Rahim, Common Ground Collective

Omowale Clay, December 12th Movement

Charlotte Kates, Al-Awda New York, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition

Medea Benjamin, Code Pink

Bernadette Ellorin, BAYAN USA

Larry Hamm, People’s Organization for Progress

David Swanson, After Downing Street

Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Hip Hop Caucus

Adam Kokesh, Iraq Veterans Against the War

Ann Wright

Victor Toro

Debra Sweet, World Can’t Wait

Ardeshir Ommani, Stop War on Iran Campaign

Ignacio Mendes, National Network on Cuba

Walter Sinche, May 1st Immigrant Rights Coalition

Rosita Romero, Domincan Women’s Development Center

Jared Ball, Green Party of the U.S.

Leonard Peltier Statement, read by Sara Flounders

Sonia Umanzon, FMLN

Ivey Parker, Katrina survivor from New Orleans

Pam Parker, singer

Luci Murphy, singer

Usavior, Black Waxx Records, Artists and Activists United for Peace

Nana Soul, Black Waxx Records, Artists and Activists United for Peace

Mohammed Awdallah, U.S. Popular Palestine Conference Network

Ricardo Prado, Democratic Pole, Colombian political party

Kali Akuno, People’s Hurricane Relief Fund

LeiLani Dowell, FIST — Fight Imperialism Stand Together

Larry Holmes, Troops Out Now Coalition

Teresa Gutierrez, May 1st Coalition for Immigrant Rights

Sara Flounders, International Action Center

Tyneisha Bowens, FIST — Fight Imperialism Stand Together

Sara “Echo” Steiner, Florida Green Party

Christine Gavin-Lathan, Katrina survivor from Gulfport,Mississippi

Labels: encampment schedule, september 29 posted by Encampment to Stop the War @ 1:00 PM

Thousands to march to demand: “Stop the War at Home & Abroad!”

o Culmination of Week-Long Encampment in Front of Congress
o Opening Rally: 12 noon
o March Begins: 2 pm
o Media Check in: Sign in at Media sign-in

(Washington, D.C.) Activists from across the US, some from as far away as Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and Portland, Oregon, have been encamped in front of the Capitol Building for almost a week to demand that Congress cut off all funding for the war in Iraq.

Today, they will be joined by thousands of antiwar protesters from across the US, coming from more than 75 organizing centers, for a massive march to demand, “Stop the War at Home and Abroad!” Buses, cars, and vans are coming from as far away as Florida and Detroit.

Students have been mobilizing from the University of Florida, Rutgers University in New Jersey, as well as many local campuses, including Howard University, George Washington University, Catholic University of America, the University of Maryland, the Univeristy of the District of Columbia, and Gallaudet University.

Today’s events will begin with a 12 Noon opening rally at the Encampment site, located on the west side of the Capitol at 3rd & Constitution.

Speakers will include former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Adam Kokesh of Iraq Veterans Against the War, several members of the cast of SiCKO, Rev. Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus, as well as military family members, antiwar activists, labor activists and community organizers.

The march will step off at 2 pm and will pass by FEMA, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Education. The purpose of this route is to draw attention to the resources that should be invested in health care instead of being spent on war; the ongoing injustices in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita; and the scapegoating of immigrants.

March Route

March out on Maryland Avenue
Left on 3rd St.
Go to Department of Health and Human Services
Right on Independence Avenue
Left on 4th St.
Go to Department of Education
Right on C Street
Right on Maryland
Right on Independence
Left on 3rd St.
Left on Massachusetts
Right on I Street
Stop at ICE
Right on 4th St.
Left on Massachusetts
Right on 3rd St.

o Note: Some activists not associated with march organizers are planning to engage in acts of peaceful civil disobedience.

Friday DC Encampment Update
Ann Wilcox

GPAX Blog from Troops Out Now Encampment ( On FRIDAY, 9/28 folks at the encampment prepared for a major March Against War at Home and Abroad, to be held Sat., 9/29 beginning with a noon rally.

Friday was Student Activism day, with teach-ins and a contingent of about 50 students marching through the streets of Washington, DC, demanding an end to war, justice for Katrina survivors and end to police repression. They made stops at the US Dept. of Education, Dept. of (In)Justice, and the Armed Forces Recruiting Station at 14th and L St, NW.

As they “took the streets back,” the students gained a considerable escort of MPD police vehicles, however there were no arrests. Marchers continued along Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues, ending on the Capitol Lawn.

At dusk, TONC campers joined victims of the health-care insurance system and policy-makers at the Lincoln Memorial for the first “Tracy Pierce Memorial Vigil” sponsored by the cast members of the Michael Moore film “Sicko.”

Donna Edwards and others featured in the film spoke to the group about their family members who died after being denied health care by the insurance industry; they were also joined by members of the California Nurses Assn who are loyal allies in this struggle. Over 75 people attended this moving vigil — the first of many.

Finally, the TONC Encampment rocked out to the sounds of the Philippine music group BAYAN Philippine Alliance. Their music and poetry opposed repressive policies in the Philippines.

Saturday at 11:00 am, all will gather at the Encampment for a rally and March to End the War at Home and Abroad.

Join us!!