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Build movement of mass resistance: WWP candidates

by John Parker & Teresa Gutierrez Saturday, Jun. 05, 2004 at 3:47 AM

Message to June 5 marchers against war & occupation




We salute everyone marching in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities June 5 to demand: "End the torture--End the killings--End the

occupation--Bring the troops home now!"

The ANSWER coalition and other groups should be commended for organizing these demonstrations. At a moment of political crisis for the capitalist political establishment over the occupation of Iraq, taking action is of paramount importance.

We also salute those who come out to bring attention to the heroic struggles against U.S. occupations in Haiti, Afghanistan, the Philippines and South Korea, the U.S.-backed Israeli occupation of Palestine, and the danger of U.S. military aggression against Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba and North Korea.

Every day, the world is learning more about the terrible crimes committed by U.S. occupation forces in Iraq: the siege of Falluja; the long-suppressed photos of dead soldiers returning to the United States; the torture and murder of prisoners at Abu Ghraib; the deliberate bombing of a wedding party; and much more. Each has helped to expose the brutal, racist and colonialist character of the occupation.

George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon brass, in collusion with leading Republicans and Democrats in Congress, are guilty of heinous war crimes. And behind them, calling the shots, stand the giant capitalist monopolies of Big Oil and Wall Street.

The growing popular resistance in Iraq has thrown Washington into disarray. Yesterday they all wanted to conquer Iraq; today they are all looking for someone else to blame. There is open political warfare within the Bush administration. The New York Times, which cheered on the war, was forced to admit that it printed false "evidence" to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Public support for the war and occupation has fallen sharply.

The enthusiastic response to the June 5 protests shows that important sectors of the anti-war movement have not been swept up in the "Anybody

But Bush" current. As even mainstream commentators now admit, there is little difference between Bush and Kerry over Iraq. Kerry is committed to the occupation and calls for tens of thousands of additional troops

to be sent to shore up the chaotic operation. Like Bush, he hopes to convince more of the European imperialist allies to send troops and take some of the heat off Washington by giving the occupation an

"international" veneer.

The road to getting U.S. troops out of Iraq lies through mass action, not electing a "lesser" evil.

With the nominal June 30 handover of "sovereignty" to a government handpicked by the U.S., the anti-war movement must raise ever stronger the demand for real self-determination for Iraq's people. There can be

no true sovereignty while U.S. and British troops occupy the country and control all the vital avenues of political and economic life. There can be no real independence under the administration of the United Nations Security Council--a body dominated by the U.S., British and French imperialists.

The people of Iraq must be free to decide for themselves what kind of political, economic and social system they will have. That means demanding that the United States get out now--with no strings attached--

and pay reparations for the damage caused by war, occupation and 13 years of genocidal sanctions.

We support the Iraqi people's right to resist the brutal occupation. And it becomes clearer every day that the masses of people are rising together--Sunni, Shiite and secular--to drive the invaders from their homeland.

We stand for the right of all those living under U.S. domination to resist.

In Haiti, U.S. Marines kidnapped Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the elected president, in February. They conduct house-to-house searches, collaborate with former death squad members terrorizing Aristide

supporters and their families, and on May 18 presided over a massacre of demonstrators in Port-au-Prince. Yet Haiti's people continue to protest.

In occupied Palestine, the U.S.-backed Israeli army slaughtered 45 people and demolished 67 homes in Gaza in late May. Yet the Palestinian people's unrelenting struggle has thrown Ariel Sharon's apartheid regime into crisis.

U.S. soldiers--mostly workers in uniform, many from nationally oppressed communities--have both the right and obligation to resist illegal occupations and the war crimes the brass tries to push them into, like

the torture at Abu Ghraib.

The troops don't want to be stationed abroad for indefinite periods, forced to kill or be killed, hated as occupiers by the people Bush claimed they were "liberating." We look forward to the emergence of more heroic resisters like gay Marine Stephen Funk, recently freed from a military jail, and Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia, sentenced to a year in prison for refusing to commit war crimes. We pledge our support to them.

The working class here at home also has the right to resist. Tens of thousands of families have been torn apart to staff the occupations. Meanwhile, hundreds of billions of dollars that could be spent to create

living-wage jobs, provide free, quality education, rebuild communities and create universal health care are instead being given to military-industrial corporations for the slaughter in Iraq.

Workers--Black and white, Latin@ and Asian, Arab and Native, women and men, lesbian, gay, bi, trans and straight, immigrants and those born here--create all the wealth of this society. Nothing would move, nothing would be built, no profits would be made without our labor power.

We are committed to mobilizing this powerful class to end the occupations from Iraq to Haiti and everywhere, and to building a working-class movement that can take the power away from the billionaires and create a society based on human need, not corporate greed. We are committed to struggling for socialism.

John Parker and Teresa Gutierrez

Workers World Party candidates

for president and vice president

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