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Emergency Response to War on Iraq

City-wide response plan if U.S. launches full-scale war:
Protest -- 5 p.m. at the Federal Plaza, Adams & Dearborn Streets, Chicago, the day the attack begins and the day following.
The Bush administration is attempting to crassly manipulate our emotions over the 9/11 tragedy to justify a new war on Iraq. This is the height of cynicism – using the deaths of 3000 in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania to justify killing 100,000* or more in Iraq. The official justification for this next war -- Iraq’s alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction -- is a red herring. With U.S. military spending running greater than that of the next 16 largest nations combined, it’s a sick joke to claim that a new war would be about “defense” of the United States.

The real reason for a war on Iraq is to extend U.S. domination over more of the world’s peoples and resources. Most oil from the region fuels the economies of Europe and Japan, not the United States, and so most leaders in those countries are anxious over the U.S. gaining an even greater control over the region’s oil by taking over Iraq. The infighting among Washington power elites over the war revolves around whether or not the U.S. can pull off this power grab, not whether or not the United States has the right to impose its rule over other nations.

Most people in the U.S. have more intelligent reasons for opposing this war. Not only will working people suffer the deaths, “Gulf War Syndromes” and injuries of a new war, the billions of dollars will be stolen directly from social service programs already on the chopping block during this recession.

War abroad often means repression at home. As an administration with declining polling numbers sees the centerpiece of its foreign policy – war on Iraq – facing broad opposition, it will increasingly be tempted to use repression to quell dissent. The widespread opposition to the U.S. war against Vietnam prompted increasing repression against a broad range of social movements at home.

With their wholesale imprisonments of thousands of immigrants and proposals for secret military tribunals, Bush and Ashcroft already are using broad definitions of “domestic terrorism” to run roughshod over a host of freedoms, including the right to trial by jury, the ban on imprisonment without charges, and the right to appeal. By quelling dissent, the government can more easily impose unequal policies favoring the privileged at home, and increase its domination of other areas of the world, controlling oil and other valuable resources at the expense of poor people abroad.

All the various freedoms currently under assault were first won through protest and organizing. With this in mind, the Chicago Coalition Against War & Racism (CCAWR) has developed an emergency response plan to protest the spread of war abroad and further attacks at home:

1) If the U.S. starts bombing another country (or dramatically increases its current bombing of Iraq and Afghanistan), a protest will take place at 5 p.m. at the Federal Plaza the day the bombing begins, with a follow up protest at the same time and place the day after.

2) In the event of a provocative attack on community leaders or their organizations in the Chicago area, CCAWR has constructed a phone tree to mobilize the community to quickly protest the attack, whether at a police station, federal government office, or other appropriate place. To become part of the emergency response phone tree, please call CCAWR at 312.458.9559 and leave a message. To get updates on current actions, please call that same number and listen to the out-going message. Also, please subscribe to our emergency response e-mail list by writing to CCAWR (at) aol.com

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* According to the Defense Department, the U.S. killed over 100,000 Iraqis were in the last war on Iraq. Taking a new war into the streets of downtown Baghdad and other urban areas would likely kill many more than that.
 
 

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