May 24, 2009

Attend the July 10-12 National Assembly Conf. in Pittsburg

U.S. wars of intervention, mass murder and occupation are crimes against humanity. We must build a broad, united mass movement of the American people to end them.
U.S. wars of intervention, mass murder and occupation are crimes against humanity. We must build a broad, united mass movement of the American people to end them. How can this be accomplished? Share your ideas and proposals at the Second Open National Antiwar Conference sponsored by the National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations at La Roche College, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July 10-12, 2009.

We demand:

- Stop the U.S. Wars and Occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan! Bring All the Troops Home Now!
- No to War Against Iran!
- No to U.S. Aid and Support for Israel’s Occupation of Palestine!
- End the Siege of Gaza!
- Trillions for Jobs, Pensions, Health Care, Homes, Education and the Environment! Not a Cent for the War Machine or for Bailouts to Wall Street and the Banks!
The purpose of the July conference is to plan actions to advance these demands. The warmakers never rest in prosecuting their wars and interventions and they accord no respite for the victims of such aggression. So there must be no “time out” or drift for the U.S. antiwar movement. We must stay out in the streets, mounting ever larger protests and bringing to heel those who are committed to expanding the U.S. empire, whatever the cost to humanity. That is what we will be talking about on July 10-12.

Our focus is Iraq and Afghanistan -- where hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops, and contractors/mercenaries are at war – and Palestine, the victim of the U.S.- financed Israeli occupation. At the same time, Iran is faced with sanctions, threats and preparations for murderous assault if Washington and its partner, Israel, choose to play the “military card.” Meanwhile, Pakistan, bombed by the Bush regime, suffers the same acts of war under Obama’s lead.

We say NO to all these acts of aggression and occupation! For the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops, bases, and weapons. Out Now! Washington’s unprecedented military spending and corporate malfeasance – trillions for death, destruction and vast riches for the few – have lowered living standards and curtailed rights. All of this has contributed to a massive global economic crisis. Working people face depression-like conditions as millions lose jobs, homes, pensions and health care. The nation’s infrastructure, including schools, inner cities, hospitals, public transportation, and more, is in rapid decline. Misery, deprivation and poverty rise as social programs are cut, yet the U.S. government appropriates unlimited funds for wars and occupations.

The National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations is a growing network of local, state and national organizations. Endorsed by 600 groups and prominent individuals, it was founded in June, 2008 at a national conference attended by over 400 activists in Cleveland, Ohio.

Our central objective remains to unify the diverse forces that make up today’s antiwar movement in periodic, independent, broad and massive demonstrations that challenge the warmakers and demand an end to their policies of aggression, intervention and occupation.

During the past year we participated in antiwar protests at the Democratic and Republican Party conventions, supported coordinated antiwar actions in scores of cities in October and December 2008, collaborated with national and local organizations in building the March 21, 2009 mobilizations marking the sixth year of the invasion of Iraq and participated in organizing the April 4, 2009 New York antiwar protests.

Our conferences are conducted democratically, with all groups and individuals having the right to submit action proposals for discussion, debate and vote. Decisions are made by majority rule based on one person, one vote. These are invaluable tools for the antiwar movement to be the inclusive, independent mass force we must become to stop the warmakers.

We have learned from the struggles for civil, women’s, trade union, and LGBT rights and against the Vietnam War that successful challenges to the status quo are the product of collective, united, mass social movements. In the face of escalating wars and global economic crisis, we will convene again in July in Pittsburgh to strive for the unity required to end the bloodshed and occupations and replace current U.S. foreign policy with one that promotes peace and respect for the right of self-determination.


Friday Night, July 10

7 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Roundtable Discussion on the question: "What Can Be Done to Broaden and Unite the Antiwar Movement?" with Speakers from Local Antiwar Coalitions and Key Constituency Groups – students, trade unionists, communities of color, veterans and military families, faith groups, immigrants. Questions to be discussed: How can we build the antiwar movement among the named groups? What can be done to overcome the divisions in the antiwar movement?

Saturday Morning, July 11

9 a.m. -- 9:05 a.m.: Welcoming Remarks, Molly Rush, one of the Plowshares 8 (which included Phil and Daniel Berrigan) who protested against nuclear warheads at a General Electric plant in King of Prussia, Montgomery County, in September 1980; founder of Pittsburgh’s Thomas Merton Center in 1973 and leader of peace and justice movement
9:05 a.m. — 10:05 a.m.: Keynote Speakers
Subject: “Collapse of the U.S. Economy While the U.S. Government Wages Wars on Several Fronts” by Michael Zweig, professor of economics and Director of the Center for Study of Working Class Life at the State University of New York at Stony Brook; active in American Federation of Teachers Local 2190; National Steering Committee member, U.S. Labor Against the War; articles published in The American Economic Review, The American Economist, Labor Notes, Monthly Review, The Nation, New Labor Forum, Rethinking Marxism, Review of Black Political Economy, Review of Radical Political Economics, Tikkun, and UE News; author of “What’s Class Got to Do With It: American Society in the Twenty-First Century” and “The Working Class Majority: America’s Best Kept Secret”; executive producer of the film Meeting Face to Face: the Iraq–U.S. Labor Solidarity Tour; Appeared on Bill Moyers Journal, Democracy Now!, CNN Radio and Al Jazeera English
Steve Early, Labor Journalist; for 27 years was International Representative for the Communications Workers of America and prior to that a staff representative for the United Mine Workers; author of Embedded With Organized Labor: Journalistic Reflections on the Class War at Home
Subject: “Strengthening the Movement to End the Occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine” by Zaineb Alani, member of the National Assembly Administrative Body; Iraqi poet and activist; saw firsthand the impact of two successive wars and has 40 extended family members still living in Iraq; Fulbright Scholar; her anthology of poems, “The Words of an Iraqi War Survivor and More” was published by Xlibris Corporation; serves as liaison to the international peace movement.
10:05 a.m.—12 noon: Discussion and debate of action proposals submitted by conference attendees
12 noon –1:30 p.m.: Lunch
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: Workshops I
3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.: Continuation of discussion and debate; vote on action proposals (one person, one vote)
6:00 p.m. – 7 p.m.: Dinner
7 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Public Meeting – Speakers Include Gail Austin, Black Voices for Peace; Christian Parenti, correspondent for The Nation and author of The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq; Chris Gauvreau, National Assembly Continuations Body, CT United for Peace, Builder of New England United; Monadel Herzallah, President, Arab American Union Member Council; Brian Becker, National Coordinator, A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism); Jorge Mujica, one of the country’s most important leaders in the struggle to defend immigrant rights; Sara Flounders, Stop War on Iran Campaign, International Action Center; Ahmed Shawki, Steering Committee, National Council of Arab-Americans, Editor, Haymarket Books; Michael Schwartz, Professor of Sociology and Faculty Director of the Undergraduate College of Global Studies at Stony Brook University, author of War Without End: The Iraq War in Context, his writings on Iraq have appeared on numerous internet sites, including Tom Dispatch, Asia Times,, and ZNet, and in print in Contexts, Against the Current, The International Socialist Review, and Z Magazine. (entertainment to be announced)
9 p.m.: Informal Socializing; Caucuses

Sunday Morning, July 12

9 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.: Workshops II
10:35 a.m. – 10:55 a.m.: “New Challenges Facing the Antiwar Movement” by Michael T. McPhearson, Veterans For Peace Executive Director; Co-Chair, United for Peace and Justice
10:55 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.: “An Assessment of the First Year of the National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations” by Marilyn Levin, Member, National Assembly Administrative Body; Greater Boston United for Justice with Peace
11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.: Adoption of Structure Document
12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.: Lunch
1:15 p.m. -- 2:00 p.m.: Election of Administrative Body
2:00 p.m.: Conference Adjourns
2:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.: Administrative Body Meets to Elect Secretary, Treasurer and Subcommittee


1. Afghanistan and Pakistan: Washington’s Escalating War Policies
2. The Economy and the War Budget: Attacks on Workers and the Poor
3. The Future of the Earth: Climate Crisis, Global Warming and the Wars
4. The Palestinian Struggle After Gaza
5. What We Can Learn From the Movement to End the War in Vietnam
6. Mass Action: Central Strategy for Ending the Wars and Occupations
7. What It's Like To Be a Deployed Soldier, Vet, or Family Member Opposed to the Wars
8. Haiti is Ourselves: U.S. Role in 100 Years of Oppression & Similarity to Other Struggles
9. Defending Immigrant Rights Against ICE Raids and Unlawful and Indefinite Detentions
10. Torture, Renditions, Unlawful Detentions, Guantanamo, and Wrongful Prosecutions: Holding Those Who Give the Orders and CarriyThem Out Accountable
11. Campus Antiwar, Counter-Recruitment & Palestinian Rights Organizing
12. Iraq Today: A Land of Blood and Oil
13. Abuse and Discrimination Against Women, Gays and Lesbians in the Military
14. The Continued Threat of Nuclear Weapons: Washington’s Attempt to Disarm Other Nations While the U.S. Retains Its Stockpile
15. Racism: A Cornerstone of U.S. Foreign Policy
16. Why We March and Lobby
17. Is War a Force That Gives Us Meaning?
18. New Weapons of War: Crimes Against Humanity
19. Iran: The Key to Understanding U.S. Policy in the Middle East
20. Pirate Panic: What is the Truth Behind the U.S. War on Somalia?
21. Assault on Civil Liberties Since 9/11

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