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by Anna Kunkin - IMC Collective
Tuesday, Jul. 16, 2002 at 1:48 AM
"Not In Our Name," the umbrella group under which all individuals, activists and political groups can unite against the massive world war called by the Bush government, held a conference to begin the organizing of a National Day of Mass Resistance against the war.
Forty five to fifty people gathered today at the Japanese American Cultural Center in Downtown Los Angeles to begin organizing for the "Not In Our Name" national day of mass resistance planned for October 6th and 7th, one year from the beginning of the bombing of Afghanistan.
The Day began with a panel moderated by Kyle Finch of "Not In Our Name." Kyle, a Special Ed teacher at North Hills Prep School, is new to the anti-war movement, and spoke eloquently of his experience traveling in Thai Land on 9-11, where the people expressed sorrow to him about the event, while at the same time letting him know that they were not surprised by what had happened.
The panel speakers included Jamie Lee of "Refuse and Resist," who read a statement explaining the sentiments involved with creating an umbrella movement called "Not In Our Name," which will and has already attracted people from all aspects of life; including mainstream people and members of the progressive left who all have in common the belief that the unending war waged by the American Government, does not represent the wishes of the majority of the people. She spoke of the need to outreach to everyone we come into contact with to mobilize people for the day of protests.
Sonali Kolhatkar, host of KPFK's morning show, and member of "Revolutionary Women of Afghanistan," stressed the need for everyone to become educated about the victims of war and oppression that the United States has unleashed on the planet, and to become familiar with the puppet government made up essentially of competing warlords that has been installed in Afghanistan since 9-11. According to Sonali, the Afghani women, whose oppression was one of the main reasons used to convince the American people of the need to "liberate" Afghanistan from the clutches of the Taliban regime, are suffering just as badly under the new regimes; this time without the benefit of the American media to publicize their situation. She also stressed the need to organize and mobilize to demonstrate mass outrage at what is transpiring.
James Simmons of the "National Conference of Black Lawyers," talked about the erosion of our civil liberties under the U.S.A. Patriot Act, and some of the traps people of the movement need to work to avoid, such as allowing Co-intel-pro type government programs to create dissent and divisiveness amongst the movement organizers. He strongly urged people to strive to always communicate before leaping to negative conclusions about other people in the movement.
Jim Smith of The Venice Peace Movement talked about the need to create regular weekly anti-war marches throughout the city such as the one held every Sunday at 2 pm in Venice. The march starts at the corner of Rose Ave. on the Promenade and is united around three issues: Against the Bush war on the world, Against Racial Pprofiling, and Against the Attacks on Civil Liberties.
After lunch the group broke into workshops on: Organizing 101, Creative Resistance, and Creative Youth Organizing.
Individuals and representatives of all political groups are invited to a day of planning on July 21st. from 11 to 12 noon at the Peace Center at 8124 W. 3rd. Street. Not In Our Name meets every Wednesday night at 6:30 pm at the Peace Center.
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