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ANSWER Emergency National Anti-War Conference in NYC



Report on the June 1 conference:

- Plans announced for mass June 29 demonstration at

FBI's Washington D.C. headquarters to tell Ashcroft

"Hell No, We Don't Want Your Cointelpro"

- This summer, Commission of Inquiry hearings on

U.S.-backed Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian

people will take place around the country

- Great press coverage of the conference

- List of speakers and topics of the conference.



on June 1 Emergency National Anti-War Conference

(June 2, 2002 - NYC) Over 600 activists with

International A.N.S.W.E.R. met yesterday in New York

City and announced plans for a mass June 29

demonstration at the FBI's Washington D.C.

headquarters to protest John Ashcroft's domestic

espionage program that targets political

organizations, mosques and community groups.

A.N.S.W.E.R. — which stands for Act Now to Stop War &

End Racism — was one of the central forces behind the

100,000-strong March for Palestine April 20th in

Washington, D.C. The activists who planned this

demonstration came from around the country Saturday

for an all-day, anti-war conference opposing Bush's

war policies that threaten Iraq, Colombia, and the

Philippines, back genocide against Palestinians, and

take money from people's needs and funnel it to the


A special section on the conference's Opening Plenary

entitled "Emergency action plan to fight back against

the FBI and Ashcroft" featured Mara Verheyden-Hilliard

and Carl Messineo, attorneys and co-founders of the

Partnership for Civil Justice. "Today we have

launched a national fightback movement to stop John

Ashcroft and the FBI from bringing back the very worst

features from J. Edgar Hoover's reign over domestic

intelligence," stated Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, also a

member of the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition steering


"Ashcroft's changes have been presented as an

innocuous update of FBI procedures," said

Verheyden-Hilliard. "This has become the preferred

method of presentation by Ashcroft as the Justice

Department shreds the First Amendment and the Bill of


"These changes, however, are much more insidious than

simply allowing the FBI to surf the web,"

Verheyden-Hilliard continued. "They are a full-scale

revival of Cointelpro, the notorious government

infiltration program which reached its peak in the 60s

and was aimed at Martin Luther King and the civil

rights movement."

"Ashcroft is facing a growing and powerful anti-war,

anti-racist movement that won't be easily

intimidated," said Larry Holmes, co-director of the

International Action Center, also with A.N.S.W.E.R.

"We're not going to let Ashcroft, the FBI, Bush and

his right-wing gang — with the complicity of the

Democratic Party and Congress — tear up the

constitution, open up a war on political dissent, and

stop the very necessary movement against his

war-mongering, pro-rich madness."

Later in the day -- after a reportback from

A.N.S.W.E.R.'s medical and legal delegation that just

returned from the West Bank and Gaza -- conveners

announced plans this summer for mass public inquiries

entitled Commission of Inquiry hearings on U.S.-backed

Israeli war crimes against the people of Palestine.

Details of the A.N.S.W.E.R. Action Plan will be

released in the coming days.


The June 1 Emergency National Anti-War Conference was

one of the top stories on NY1. That story follows:


Anti-War Activists Hold Conference On War Against


June 1, 2002

To view the 60 second clip that was shown many times

on NY1, go to:


Anti-war activists gathered at a conference in

Manhattan Saturday to rally against what they call the

Bush administration's "war machine."

The demonstrators were part of the group ANSWER, which

stands for "Act Now to Stop War and End Racism." The

conference was held at the Fashion Institute of


ANSWER members say they want to challenge efforts by

Attorney General John Ashcroft and the FBI to give

investigators new authority to keep tabs on Americans.

They also say they plan to start a movement to stop

any plans for a war in Iraq.

"It is taking everything that we need for schools and

hospitals and food and everything that people need and

robbing it from us and pouring it into a military

budget," Larry Holmes of the International Action

Center said Saturday.

ANSWER also wants to put an end to any racial

profiling of Arabs or Muslims in the United States.

The group is planning to hold a massive rally in front

of FBI headquarters in Washington D.C. later this



The conference included a wide array of speakers on

many topics, including:

- Elias Rashmawi, Free Palestine Alliance

- Larry Adams, President, Mailhandlers Local 300; New

York City Labor Against the War

- Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, attorney and co-founder,

Partnership for Civil Justice

- Larry Holmes, Co-Director, International Action


- Yoomi Jeong, Korea Truth Commission

- Chuck Kaufman, Nicaragua Network

- Jennifer Wager, IFCO/Pastors for Peace

- Arturo Garcia, Bayan International

- Carl Messineo, attorney and co-founder, Partnership

for Civil Justice; member of A.N.S.W.E.R. delegation

to Palestine

- Dr. Hillel Cohen, public health doctor and

epidemiologist; delegate for 1199 Health and Hospital

Workers Union; member of A.N.S.W.E.R. delegation to


- Randa Jamal, Al-Awda NY-NJ, Free Palestine Alliance

- Sara Flounders, International Action Center; member

of A.N.S.W.E.R. delegation to Palestine

- Brenda Stokely, President, AFSCME District Council

1707; New York City Labor Against the War

- Williams Camacaro, member, Venezuela Civic Center,


- Teresa Gutierrez, Committee to Stop the U.S. War in


- Ben Dupuy, Co-Director, Haiti Progres; Secretary

General, National Popular Party in Haiti

- Mahmoud Ahmed, Free Palestine Alliance-Chicago

- Richard Becker, Western Regional Coordinator,

International Action Center; member of A.N.S.W.E.R.

delegation to Palestine

- Gloria La Riva, President, Typographical Sector of

the Northern Calif. Media Workers Union; National

Committee to Free the Five Cuban Political Prisoners

Held in the U.S.

- Leslie Feinberg, author and lesbian/gay/bi/trans

rights activist

- Brian Becker, International Action Center

- Renee Washington, volunteer organizer, All People's


- Doreathea Peacock, coordinator, Boston Women's

Fightback Network

- Sharon Ceci, Baltimore A.N.S.W.E.R.

- William Guerrero, IAC

- David Sole, Pres., Auto Workers Local 2334, Detroit

- Ed Childs, chief shop steward, Local 26 HERE (Hotel

Employees and Restaurant Employees), Boston

- Lyn Meza, Vice-President, IUE-CWA Local 201

- Mike Gimball, NYC AFSCME progressive caucus, local

375, delegate to NYC Central Labor Council

- Trudy Rudnick, organizer, AFT (American Federation

of Teachers) Local 3882 in NY

- Andre Powell, trustee, AFSCME Local 119, Baltimore

- Dave Welsch, retired Vice-President, National

Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

- Andy Thayer, Chicago Coalition Against War & Racism

- Roger Wareham, Aug. 17 Millions for Reparations


- Subash Kateel, DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving)

- Khadouri Al-Kaysi, Committee in Support of the Iraqi


- Ismael Kamal, Sudanese American Society

- Deirdre Griswold, Workers World newspaper

- Peta Lindsay, youth and student coordinator,


- Daniel Keesler, student, School Without Walls high


- Ayman El-Sawa, IAC

- Deirdre Sinnott, A.N.S.W.E.R. organizer

- Alicia Jrapko, Int'l Action Center-SF

- Cherrene Horavuk, CISPES (Committee in Support of

the People of El Salvador)

- Bob Marsh, Iraq Sanctions Challenge

- SOA Watch representative

- Dan Wilson, Philippine Forum, Network in Solidarity

with the People of the Philippines

- Tom Burke, Colombia Action Network

- Rebeca Toledo, Committe to Stop the U.S. War in


- John Parker, International Action Center-LA


International A.N.S.W.E.R.

Act Now to Stop War & End Racism



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