The ANSWER Coalition received the following message from Tarak Kauff of the Veterans for Peace. The Veterans for Peace is the initiating organization for the March 19 veterans-led resistance at the White House in Washington, D.C. Click here to visit the website: stopthesewars.org.
"Any act of rebellion, no matter how few people show up or how heavily it is censored by a media that caters to the needs and profits of corporations, chips away at corporate power. Any act of rebellion keeps alive the embers for larger movements that follow us. It passes on another narrative. It will, as the rot of the state consumes itself, attract wider and wider numbers. Perhaps this will not happen in our lifetimes. But if we persist, we will keep this possibility alive. If we do not, it will die." - Chris Hedges
On March 19, the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, we will see the largest veteran-led civil resistance action in memory. This will build on the event of December 16, 2010, when 132 were arrested at the White House. Even more will risk arrest at this action to commemorate the illegal invasion of Iraq and the continuation of the war and occupation.
It is critically important that this protest be even larger than December 16 to show increasing anger at the ongoing U.S. wars. The corporate media has put out the story that the war in Iraq is over, that U.S. troops are no longer in combat and Americans no longer need to look at what is occurring in Iraq. We must lift the veil on these lies so Americans are aware that the United States continues to have tens of thousands of troops and tens of thousands of mercenaries in Iraq; that the troops are fighting in combat, even though they are no longer labeled combat troops; and that the United States is negotiating a long-term stay in Iraq in order to be positioned militarily as the supply of oil dwindles in the region.
The March 19 action at Lafayette Park and the White House will have a triple theme expressed in powerful banners and by the speakers on stage: Stop These Wars • Expose the Lies • Free Bradley Manning.
Americans are learning that their government lies to them more and more every day. On March 20, there will be a protest at the Quantico Marine Base in Virginia to support PFC Bradley Manning. Manning is suspected of leaking Iraq and Afghan war logs, as well as diplomatic cables that have been published by WikiLeaks. We expect that by the time of this demonstration, Manning will be facing charges that could result in more than 100 years incarceration for this 23-year-old man. For the last eight months he has been held in solitary confinement, pre-trial punishment, rather than pre-trial detention.
The WikiLeaks documents are one reason why more and more Americans are realizing the government lies to us about U.S. foreign policy. Rather than being a benevolent policeman of the world, keeping peace and spreading democracy, the United States is in fact a rogue superpower that spies on diplomats, threatens and blackmails other countries, plots wars with royalists and autocrats, wantonly kills civilians and supports coups against elected leaders. These truths are shown in the U.S. government documents Bradley Manning is accused of leaking. We need to stand with Brad and show widespread public support for him; this is especially needed from veterans.
To make these events successful, we all must increase our efforts to get people to turn out and participate. We are reaching out to all allied organizations and urging them to increase their efforts to ensure a massive turnout for both these events.
March 19 Organizers