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News and reports

September 9, 2005 | Pages 14 and 15

End the occupation of Iraq
No ROTC on campus

Money for relief, not for war
By Petrino DiLeo

NEW YORK--Activists organized a series of emergency meetings and rallies in response to the government's achingly slow response to Hurricane Katrina. Many were outraged by the government's woeful inadequacy in getting poor, Black New Orleans residents out of the disaster zone and the media's racist tarring of survivors as "looters."

A demonstration called by the Troops Out Now Coalition outside the Army recruiting station in Times Square on September 2 drew about 75 protesters who demanded the government direct more money to New Orleans instead of the war on Iraq. The next day, an emergency meeting organized by Critical Resistance was attended by dozens of organizations and more than 70 activists.

In the short term, activists will raise money for progressive grassroots organizations providing hurricane aid. There was a strong desire to develop a political response in light of the massive racism unearthed by the storm. "The media keeps talking about New Orleans looking like a Third World country," said one activist. "In reality, poor Blacks in the U.S. have always lived in a Third World country. The storm has only brought that into the open."

In coming weeks, activists hope to have a fundraising letter that will include a list of progressive organizations--such as AIDS/HIV health providers, churches, low-income housing groups and prisoner rights organizations--that will need help in the wake of the storm. Earlier in the day, antiwar activists organized a picket outside the Army recruiting station on 125th Street in Harlem.

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End the occupation of Iraq
By Jake Kornegay

NEW YORK--Eighty people came out September 2 for a panel discussion titled, "Washington Heights Says No to War!" to support an end to the war in Iraq and military recruitment in our schools. The panel was held at Gregorio Luperón High School, cosponsored by Fuerza Juvenil and the Campus Antiwar Network, with many high school and college students participating.

"The fact that [young people] can't afford an education, that they can't afford their living conditions, that they need to work in order to support their families, I think those are important things to overcome in order to show the youth the options that may be available to them," said Victor Paredes, the brother of military resister Pablo Paredes.

Luis Barrios, Reverend of the Iglesia San Romero de las Américas and a local community activist, spoke of the need to challenge the ideology of patriotism. Panelist Saraí Guttierrez explained the need to organize: "It's very important I know my choices, and what it means to go and kill people in another country. These thoughts have given me strength to go out and flyer every Saturday...We need to go out and get more young people involved."

Monique Dols, of the Campus Antiwar Network and the International Socialist Organization, pointed out, "The unnatural disaster in New Orleans shows everything that is wrong with the priorities of this government. Where were these politicians when the state funding for disaster relief and flood prevention in New Orleans was cut to fund the Pentagon, and tax cuts for the super-rich?"

There was a palpable sense of excitement and urgency in the hot, packed room, with speaker after speaker from the floor highlighting that the country is turning against the war. The meeting raised money for the victims of the hurricane in New Orleans, and agreed to build support for the September 24 national antiwar march on Washington, D.C.

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No ROTC on campus
By Paul Pryse

MADISON, Wis.--A group of five protesters from the University of Wisconsin (UW) at Madison Stop the War coalition delayed an Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) orientation course for an hour and a half by picketing outside the campus ROTC building September 1. The ROTC had planned to travel to a local high-ropes course for their kickoff event, but remained inside their building, waiting for the protesters to leave.

The protesters had come the day before the event, and a student, posing as a potential ROTC recruit, ascertained the time of the orientation course. This may have tipped off the ROTC leadership, as they had UW police waiting the next day, both across the street and inside the building.

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