Preface: Pinochet and Bush - the troubles facing war criminals
Learning a lesson from the trials and tribulations of the dictator Augusto Pinochet, who was indicted for crimes against humanity when he traveled outside of Chile, George W. Bush arranged for his being granted "diplomatic immunity" by Chilean president Lagos as a precondition for Bush's trip to Chile for the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference.
The Los Angeles Times of Nov. 18 reports, "President Richard Lagos's government took the unusual step yesterday of announcing that Bush would have diplomatic immunity during his visit. The declaration was made after some activists filed a criminal complaint against Bush in court, claiming that he and other U.S. officials were guilty of war crimes in Iraq."
"Diplomatic immunity" didn't stop thousands of people taking to the streets in Chile in massive demonstrations against Bush. All around the world people are in the streets protesting the criminal conduct of the Bush administration. January 20 will be another big step in building this movement.
4,000+ endorsers for the counter-inaugural protest
Over 4,000 have already endorsed A.N.S.W.E.R.'s call for a mass demonstration on January 20, 2005, at the site of the Bush inauguration. This is a legally permitted demonstration. The Bush administration, fully exposed for its destruction of Fallujah and fearing the embarrassment of a mass demonstration at the Inaugural route, is now following the usual script to intimidate the people: publicly announcing that there is an unprecedented security threat on January 20 and that the government is mobilizing 4,000 army combat soldiers to be in the streets of DC that today.
There has never been a more important time for the people of the United States to take a clear and powerful stand. The events of the past two weeks again unmasked the criminal nature of the administration. The government asserts that more than 1,200 "insurgents" have been killed in the last week alone. How many are really civilians? Donald Rumsfeld insists at his press conferences that civilians in Fallujah had only themselves to blame for not fleeing their homes but the truth is that Bush and Rumsfeld blocked people from leaving.
According to Robert Reid's AP dispatch of November 12, "Troops have cut off all roads and bridges leading out of Fallujah and have turned back hundreds of men trying to flee the city during the assault. Only women, children and the elderly can leave. The military says keeping men aged 15 to 55 from leaving is key to the mission's success. " Family after family had to decide whether they would all return together to the city or to separate from the boys and their fathers.
The International Red Cross estimates that more than 800 civilians were killed in Fallujah in just one horrifying week. That is likely to be a conservative estimate. But just imagine 800 civilians - in just one week in one city of 250,000.
The U.S. military strategy and its rules of engagement in Fallujah constitute a crime against humanity and war crimes as recognized by the Nuremberg Trial and the Geneva Convention. Targeting hospitals, clinics and ambulances, the U.S. forces tried to destroy everything. A report collated by the UN testifies to the U.S. air strike on one clinic where 20 doctors were killed.
The western part of Fallujah was declared a "weapons free zone" - meaning that U.S. troops could fire at anything that moved in that area.
War at Home - War Abroad
While Bush and Congress are spending nearly $300 million each day to kill poor people in Iraq, working class and poor communities are taking a beating at home. Last week the press announced that Detroit was laying off 4,000 teachers and other school workers and closing as many as 40 schools because of a deficit of $198 million. That amount equals less than what is spent every 16 hours for the occupation and war in Iraq. Of course, Halliburton and the other corporate and banking entities don't make super-profits from public education in Detroit.
We cannot pause for a moment in building a mass movement opposed to war at home and in support of social, civil and workers rights at home. People are coming together once again.
Help support the January 20 Counter-Inaugural Demonstration
On January 20, 2005, thousands will be lining the inaugural route in mass protest. There will be simultaneous protests in San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities on January 20. At an international conference in solidarity with the people of Cuba held in Luxembourg last weekend, a resolution was adopted calling for coordinated demonstrations to take place on January 20 throughout Europe.
Our demonstrations will be a powerful statement in solidarity with all those who are under attack by the Bush administration - from Cuba to Palestine to Haiti to the Philippines to Iran and elsewhere.
Pledge now to support the January 20 demonstration against the war. Click here to endorse and say Bring the Troops Home Now!
If you are planning to organize buses, vans or car caravans to be in Washington DC, San Francisco or Los Angeles on January 20, fill out the Transportation Form to help spread the word.
Help spread the word about January 20. Click here for downloadable flyers.
We hope you will join us in Washington DC on January 20 or if you can't come help us cover the many expenses for this huge undertaking including transportation to bring people to DC. Funds are urgently needed for this effort. You can make a donation online through a secure server by clicking here. Credit card donations made online are not tax deductible. To make a tax deductible credit card donation, call 202-544-3389. You can also make a tax deductible donation by writing a check to A.N.S.W.E.R./AGJ and sending it to A.N.S.W.E.R., 1247 E St. SE, Washington DC 20003.
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
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