Aug. 12: The country’s largest protests against U.S.-Israeli assault

The following report was filed by the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), co-initator of the Aug. 12 protests against the U.S.-Israeli war on the people of Lebanon and Palestine. The Party for Socialism and Liberation is a member of ANSWER.

More then 30,000 demonstrators filled the streets around the White House on Aug. 12 chanting, “Stop the US-Israeli war against Lebanon and Palestine.”

The New York Times reported today that the demonstration’s “diverse crowd included many Arab-Americans and


Washington, D.C.

Muslims, college students and families, as well as veterans of prior demonstrations against the war in Iraq.” The NY Times goes on, “thousands of people rallied near the White House on Saturday to protest what they described as Israeli aggression in Lebanon and the United States’ unwavering support for Israel. … At the rally on Saturday, the prevailing sentiments were expressed in signs held aloft by marchers: “Occupation is a crime—Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine,” “Stop Israeli terrorism,” and “No justice, no peace!”

This was the largest demonstration in the United States since the commencement of the Israeli bombing campaign of Lebanon and Gaza in mid-July.

The demonstration was initiated by the ANSWER Coalition, Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation and the National Council of Arab Americans. More then 150 buses brought demonstrators from, MI, IL, NY, MD, FL, VA, MA, NJ and 25 other states.

The New York Times quoted Brian Becker, National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition, when he “asserted that President Bush had given Israel a green light to crush Hezbollah in Lebanon, then ‘sent cluster bombs to the Israeli Defense Forces to kill Lebanese children.'” Click here to read the full NY Times story about Aug. 12.

Mounzer Sleiman of the National Council of Arab Americans said from the rally stage, “We want to know why our tax money is going to support war crimes.”

Carl Messineo stated, “The Israelis assert that the slaughter of Lebanon is in the self defense of Zionism. As a progressive Jew, I want nothing to do with that brutal and unjust ideology.” Click here to read the full text of Messineo’s Aug. 12 speech.

Click here for more Aug. 12 photos from Washington, D.C.

In San Francisco 10,000 people marched in one of several other August 12 actions timed to coincide with the Emergency March on Washington. In Los Angeles 5,000 demonstrated. Smaller actions of about 600 people in Seattle and 300 people in Orlando, Florida were also held. In total, more than 45,000 people hit the streets in this country yesterday to speak out against the U.S.-Israeli war on Lebanon and Palestine.

Aug. 12 a Global Day of Action

Aug. 12 emerged as a day of coordinated worldwide protests. Street demonstrations were held in Mombasa and

San Francisco

Nairobi, Kenya; Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, Canada; Madrid, Spain; Paraguay; Damascus, Syria; Santiago, Chile; Mumbai, India; Istanbul, Turkey; Mogadishu, Somalia; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Karachi, Pakistan; Jakarta, Indonesia; Sydney, Australia; Nablus, Palestine; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and many others.

Speakers at the Washington, D.C. demonstration included, former Attorney General Ramsey Clark; Mahdi Bray, Executive Director of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation; Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, an attorney and co-founder of the Partnership for Civil Justice; Brian Becker, National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition; Dr. Mounzer Sleiman of the National Council of Arab Americans; Osama Siblani, Publisher at Arab American News; Peta Lindsay, Howard University student and Coordinator of Youth & Student ANSWER; and Dr. Clovis Maksoud, the Former ambassador from the Arab League to the U.N, Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, and others.

Crimes against Lebanon and Palestine Continue

The U.S.-Israeli war against Lebanon and Palestine has created immense suffering for the people but it has also created widespread resistance. The Bush administration and the Israeli government believed that this massive bombing campaign would force all of Lebanon into a new U.S. sphere of influence. Just the opposite has happened. This same fantasy has backfired in Iraq as well.

Overwhelming military power has inflicted unimaginable human suffering but failed in achieving its political objectives

Los Angeles
Photo: Bethany Malmgren

of transforming the entire oil rich region into a virtual colony. The effort to achieve the “new” colonialism by brute force has and will inspire continued resistance by the Lebanese, Palestinian, Iraqi, Syrian and Iranian people and all the peoples of the area.

The Aug. 12 Emergency Demonstrations were an important step in forging the kind of U.S. anti-war movement in the United States that embraces the just cause of the peoples’ in the Middle East who are rejecting domination by the new imperial Empire. Instead of having the people of the United States pitted against the Arab people our message is one of solidarity.

People in the United States must struggle for jobs, justice, education, and in opposition to racism at home rather than be dragged along by the war makers in Washington, D.C. Their chauvinistic campaign against those in the Middle East who are seeking to freely determine their own destiny is a calculated propaganda effort by the Bush administration—and all those Republicans and Democrats alike—who support its program of endless war. It is not the people of the United States but the big transnational corporations and banks, and especially the largest oil monopolies, who are the real beneficiaries of the Bush program.

Help take the next steps and stay involved as an activist or supporter of the anti-war movement. Congratulations to all the thousands of volunteers and supporters who made the August 12 demonstrations such an important step in continuing to build this movement.

Click here to read the New York Times coverage of the Washington, D.C. protest.
Click here to read the Washington Post coverage of the D.C. protest.

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