Momentum is building across the globe for the Global Day of Action against War and Occupation on March 20, the one-year anniversary of the U.S. bombing and invasion of Iraq.
On that day millions around the globe will take to the streets to say YES to peace and NO to pre-emptive war and occupation. Joining with growing numbers of military families and soldiers, we will call for an end to the occupation of Iraq and Bush's militaristic foreign policies. March 20th will be the first time the world's "other superpower," as the New York Times described us, will take center stage since February 15th, when more than ten million people across the globe expressed their opposition to Bush's looming war on Iraq.
The US protests will also take on the war at home. We will express the growing opposition to the so-called PATRIOT Act, authorizing political arrests, indefinite detentions, domestic spying, and religious and racial profiling. We will call for an end to the mass detentions and deportations of innocent immigrants in the name of fighting terrorism. We will say no to massive military spending amidst vast cuts in vital domestic social and economic programs.
In September representatives of United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) took a proposal for a global day of action on March 20th against pre-emptive war and the occupation of Iraq to the preparatory meeting of the European Social Forum (ESF), the body that put out the call for February 15th. UFPJ was critical in moving delegates from Italy, the UK, Greece, Turkey, and elsewhere to back global demonstrations on March 20th.
With strong support from much of the European anti-war movement, UFPJ's Steering Committee decided in October to formally call for a Global Day of Action on March 20th. We immediately promoted it on our website and in emails to our national listserves. At the October 25th protest in Washington, DC, UFPJ volunteers distributed thousands of leaflets that included a "Save the Date" notice for March 20th. Before thousands of demonstrators and on C-SPAN, UFPJ announced our call for actions on March 20th from the rally podium.
We anticipate the European Social Forum will formally approve this proposal later this week. UFPJ, the ESF, and other anti-war activists will then build support for March 20th at the January, 2004 meeting of the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India.
UFPJ is pleased to have played a vital role in initiating and building support for a broad-based, global day of action against war and occupation on March 20th. We envision regional demonstrations in key cities across the US and look forward to working with member groups and allies to build them.
Many member groups on UFPJ's Steering Committee are already actively building March 20th. Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace, US Labor Against the War, Racial Justice 911: People of Color Against the War, Not In Our Name, and other anti-war forces have expressed strong interest in joining this call. A.N.S.W.E.R. recently announced they will participate in March 20th activities.
For March 20th to be a success here in the US, the broadest range of forces for peace and justice must be at the decision-making table and actively involved in building this day. UFPJ looks forward to contributing to that process.
It's not too early to begin building March 20th. Below are ideas on what you can do.
GET OUT THE WORD
Circulate this email wide and far. UFPJ will soon have flyers, stickers, and other resources available to help you get out the word.
HAVE YOUR GROUP ENDORSE MARCH 20TH
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call UFPJ (212-868-5545) to let us know your group is on board.
BEGIN PLANNING LOCAL MARCH 20th ACTIONS
Bring together local groups to plan March 20th actions in your community.