Action Program Adopted by the National Conference to Bring the Troops Home Now!
Albany, New York, July 23-25, 2010
Part 1: Preface
escalation of the war in Afghanistan
since the election of President Obama, the challenges facing the antiwar movement
are greater now than ever.
To end the
U.S. wars and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and re-orient the nation’s
priorities from empire building to solving the pressing needs at home, we need
to join and support the rising mass social movements embracing the broadest
popular sectors of society – which should be independent of, but welcome
support from, all political parties as well as those outside any party. A winning antiwar movement must be integrally
linked to the struggles for jobs, education, housing, health care, civil rights
and liberties, social justice, labor rights, immigration rights, the rights of
youth and children, environmental protection, gender rights, gay rights, and
fundamental human rights. It must join
those groups focused on those issues as well as the traditional peace movement.
demonstrated time and again that the combination of these qualities coupled
with an inclusive, collaborative and representative leadership can change the
course of history.
This was the
case with the massive social movements that were constructed to end the Vietnam
War, win formal civil rights for excluded races and peoples, advance the cause
of women’s equality, and challenge the prejudice and discrimination against
LGBT people. It was the same unity in action that brought into being a massive
trade union movement that challenged the previously dominant forces of the
corporate elite and wrested unprecedented victories in the quality of life and
culture for working people.
Today we face
the challenge of perpetual wars abroad becoming part of our national culture as
are unceasing attacks on the quality of life and the standard of living at
home. We are witness to multi-trillion dollar bailouts of the same institutions
that have brought grief and pain to countless millions and obliterated hard won
social and economic gains that were a century and longer in the making.
Our youth are
subject to an economic draft that places them in harm’s way around the world
where poor people fight for their right to self-determination and resist
interventions for profit and plunder. Women and children are the primary
civilian victims of war both abroad and here at home, where education and
social service budgets are slashed while pensions, health care, wages, union
rights and civil liberties are under siege.
expended to fund increasingly privatized wars fought in large part with
mercenary armies and to maintain 865 military bases around the world. Meanwhile
veterans -- first place in the statistics of the homeless and unemployed -- are
compelled to fight for denied benefits to treat horrific diseases caused by U.S.
biological and now radiation-emitting weapons of war while the people of
destroyed nations suffer the same, but magnified, and long-term horrors.
Moreover, they are subjected to successive incidents of grotesque and inhuman
confronted with imperial wars over control of markets and natural resources,
including the very fossil fuel resources whose continued use threatens the
future of all humankind.
The U.S. gives $3 billion a year in military aid as
well as economic and diplomatic support to Israel
to maintain U.S.
economic and strategic dominance in the region.
This support sustains an apartheid regime engaged in land theft,
discrimination, occupation and repression of Palestinians, including the
refugees outside of Palestine, within the
occupied territories, and within the borders of Israel proper. The U.S.
supports Israeli acts of aggression, such as the attacks on Lebanon in 2006, the attacks on Gaza in 2008-09, and the
murder of aid activists in the Free Gaza Flotilla.
Our love of
humanity, opposition to expanding wars and occupations unleashed by the
Pentagon, and respect for the right of self-determination for all peoples
require that we demand of the U.S.
The allocation of the trillions
spent on wars and corporate bailouts be directed to funding massive
programs for jobs at union wages, education, health care, child care,
housing and preserving the environment. Compensation to be paid to the
peoples whose countries the U.S. attacked and occupied for
the loss of lives and massive destruction they suffered.
The immediate, total and
unconditional withdrawal of all U.S.
troops, mercenaries and contractors from Afghanistan,
Iraq and Pakistan, and the immediate closing of all U.S.
bases in those countries. Bring all the Troops and War Dollars Home Now!
Reverse and end all foreclosures.
Stop the government attacks on trade unions, civil and democratic rights,
and immigrant communities.
aid to Israel – military, economic, and diplomatic. End U.S. support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the blockade of Gaza.
Part 2: Proposals for United Actions
The Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the United Auto
Workers (UAW) have invited peace organizations to endorse and participate
in a campaign for Jobs, Justice, and Peace. We endorse this
campaign and plan to be a part of it. On August 28, 2010, in
Detroit, we will march on the anniversary of that day in 1963 when Walter
Reuther, president of UAW, Martin Luther King, Jr., and other civil rights
leaders joined with hundreds of thousands of Americans for the March on
Washington. In Detroit, prior to the
March on Washington,
125,000 marchers participated in the Freedom Walk led by Dr. King. At the
march, King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech for the first
time before sharing it with the world in Washington. This year, a massive march
has been called for October 2 in Washington.
We will begin to build momentum again in Detroit on August 28th. We also
endorse the August 28, 2010 Reclaim the Dream Rally and March called by Rev. Al Sharpton and the
National Action Network to begin at 11 a.m.. at Dunbar High School,
1301 New Jersey Avenue Northwest.
Endorse, promote and mobilize for the Saturday,
October 2nd "One Nation" march on Washington, DC initiated by
1199SEIU and the NAACP, now being promoted by a growing coalition, which
includes the AFL-CIO and U.S. Labor Against the War, and civil rights,
peace and other social justice forces in support of the demand for jobs,
redirection of national resources from militarism and war to meeting human
needs, fully funding vital social programs, and addressing the fiscal
crisis of state and local governments. Organize and build an antiwar
contingent to participate in the march. Launch a full-scale campaign to
get endorsements for the October 2 march on Washington commencing with the final
plenary session of this conference.
Endorse the call issued by a range of student groups
for Thursday, October 7, as a national day of action to defend education
from the horrendous budget cuts that are laying off teachers, closing
schools, raising tuition and limiting access to education, especially for
working and low income people. Demand “Money for Education, not U.S.
Occupations” and otherwise link the cuts in spending for education to the
astronomical costs of U.S.
wars and occupations.
Devote October 7-16 to organizing local and regional
protests to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the invasion and
occupation of Afghanistan through demonstrations, marches, rallies,
vigils, teach-ins, cultural events and other actions to demand an
immediate end to the wars and occupations in both Iraq and Afghanistan and
complete withdrawal of all military forces and private security
contractors and other mercenaries. The nature and scheduling of
these events will reflect the needs of local sponsors and should be
designed to attract broad co-sponsorship and diverse participation of
antiwar forces with other social justice organizations and progressive
Support and build Remember Fallujah Week November
Join the new and existing broad-based campaigns to
fund human needs and cut the military budget. Join with organizations representing the
fight against cutbacks (especially labor and community groups) to build
coalitions at the city/town, state and national level. Draft resolutions for city councils,
town and village meetings and voter referendum ballot questions linking
astronomical war spending to denial of essential public services at
home. (Model resolutions and ballot
questions will be circulated for consideration of local groups.) Obtain
endorsements of elected officials, town and city councils, state parties
and legislatures, and labor bodies. Work the legislative process to make
military spending an issue. Oppose specific military funding programs and
bills, and couple them with human needs funding issues. Use lobbying and
other forms of protest, including civil disobedience campaigns, to focus
attention on the issue.
Mid-March, 2011 nationally coordinated teach-ins to
mark the eighth year of the Iraq War and to prepare for bi-coastal spring
demonstrations the following month.
Bi-Coastal mass spring mobilizations in New York City, San FranciscoLos Angeles
on April 9, 2011. These will be accompanied by distinct and separate
non-violent direct actions on the same day. A prime component of these
mobilizations will be major efforts to include broad new forces from youth
to veterans to trade unionists to civil and human rights groups to the
Arab, Muslim and other oppressed communities, to environmental
organizations, social justice and faith-based groups. Veterans and
military families will be key to these mobilizations with special efforts
to organize this community to be the lead contingent. Launch a full-scale
campaign to get endorsements for these actions commencing with the final
plenary session of this conference.
Select a week prior to or after the April actions
for local lobbying of elected officials at a time when Congress is not in
session. Lobbying to take multiple forms from meeting with local officials
to protests at their offices and homes.
Recalling that the West Coast Longshore Workers
Union shut down the ports for May Day 2008, and noting the recent
successful actions in Oakland to block the unloading of an Israeli ship in
solidarity with Palestine, the National Peace Conference will join with
immigrant rights and union organizers to plan for May Day actions that
include picket lines at the ports in San Francisco and Los Angeles. A large portion of war materiel is
shipped from West Coast ports.
These areas are home to large number of immigrants, many of whom
work as truck drivers. A picket
line, with veterans in the forefront, provides an opportunity to unite
broader sections of the people in action.
It also generates the possibility of impacting the war by blocking
shipments of war materiel, and provides further consideration for
continuing direct actions of this kind.
National tours. Organize over a series of months
nationally-coordinated tours of prominent speakers and local activists
that link the demands for immediate withdrawal to the demands for funding
social programs, as outlined above.
Pressure on Iran
from the US, Israel and other quarters continues to rise and the threat of a
catastrophic military attack on Iran,
as well as the ratcheting up of punitive
sanctions that primarily impact the people of Iran, are of grave concern. In
the event of an imminent U.S.
government attack on Iran,
or such an attack, or a U.S.-backed Israeli attack against Iran, or any other major international crisis
triggered by U.S.
military action, a continuations committee approved by the conference
will mount rapid, broad and nationally coordinated protests by antiwar and social
In the event of U.S.-backed military action by
Israel against Palestinians, aid activists attempting to end the blockade
of Gaza, or attacks on other countries such as Lebanon, Syria, or Iran, a
continuations committee approved by the conference will condemn such
attacks and support widespread protest actions.
Support actions to end the Israeli occupation and
repression of Palestinians and the blockade of Gaza.
Support actions aimed at dismantling the Cold War
nuclear, biological, radiological and chemical weapons and delivery
systems. Support actions aimed at stopping the nuclear renaissance of this
Administration, which has proposed to spend $80 billion over the next 10
years to build three new nuclear bomb making factories and “well over”
$100 billion over the same period to modernize nuclear weapons delivery
systems. We must support actions
aimed at dismantling nuclear, biological, radiological and chemical
weapons and delivery systems. We
must oppose the re-opening of the Iranian mining industry, new nuclear
power plants, and extraction of other fossil fuels that the military
Work in solidarity with GIs, veterans, and military
families to support their campaigns and calls for action. Demand support for the troops when they
return home and support efforts to counter military recruitment.
Take actions against war profiteers, including oil
and energy companies, weapons manufacturers, and engineering firms, whose
contractors are working to insure U.S. economic control of Iraq’s and
Support actions, educational efforts and lobbying
campaigns to promote a transition to a sustainable peace economy.
Develop and implement a multi-pronged national media
campaign which includes the following: the honing of a message which will
capture our message: “End the Wars
and Occupations, Bring the Dollars Home”; a fundraising campaign which
would enable the creation and national placement and broadcast of
professionally developed print ads as public service radio and television
spots which communicate this imperative to the public as a whole (which
would involve coordinated outreach to some major funders); outreach to
sympathetic media artists to enable the creation of these pieces; an
intentional, aggressive, coordinated campaign to garner interviews on as
many targeted national news venues as possible which would feature
movement voices speaking to the honed our nationally coordinated message;
a plan to place on message op-ed pieces in papers around the country on a
nationally coordinated schedule.
We call for the equal participation of women in all
aspects of the antiwar movement. We
propose nonviolent direct actions either in Congressional offices or other
appropriate and strategic locations, possibly defense contractors, Federal
Buildings, or military bases in the U.S. These actions would be local and
coordinated nationally, i.e., the same day for everyone (times may
vary). The actions would probably
result in arrests for sitting in after offices close. Entering certain facilities could also
result in arrests. Participants
would be prepared for that possible outcome before joining the
action. Nonviolence training would
be offered locally, with lists of trainers being made available. The message/demand would be a vote, a
congressional action to end the wars: Iraq,
Afghanistan, Pakistan. Close U.S. bases. Costs of war and financial issues
related to social needs neglected because of war spending would need to be
studied and statements regarding same be prepared before the actions. Press release would encourage coverage because
of the actions being local and nationally coordinated.
We will convene one or more committees or
conferences for the purpose of identifying and arranging boycotts,
sit-ins, and other actions that directly interfere with the immoral
aspects of the violence and wars that we protest.
The United National Antiwar Conference calls for building and
expanding the movement for peace by consciously and continually linking it
with the urgent necessity to create jobs and fund social needs. We call
for support from the
antiwar movement to tie the wars and the funding for the wars to the
urgent domestic issues through leaflets, signs, banners and active
participation in the growing number of mass actions demanding jobs, health
care, housing, education and immigrant rights such as:
July 25 - March in Albany in Support of Muslims Targeted by
Preemptive Prosecution called by the Muslim Solidarity Committee and Project
July 29 & 30 Boycott Arizona Actions across the
country as racist Arizona law SB 1070 goes into effect, including the mass
march July 30 in NYC as the Arizona Diamondbacks play the Mets.
All the other mass actions listed above leading up
to the bi-coastal actions on April 9, 2011.
The continuations committee elected at this
conference shall reach out to other peace and social justice groups
holding protests in the fall of 2010 and the spring of 2011, where such
groups’ demands and tactics are not inconsistent with those adopted at the
UNAC conference, on behalf of exploring ways to maximize unity within the
peace and social justice movements this fall and next spring.