Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2002 14:50:37 -0400
From: a20 Coalition
Subject: REPORT (DC–a/20) a20 Coalition Statement
Huge turnout for rallies and march reflects shift in political environment; the “consensus” has cracked April 20 – 75-100,000 people marched on Washington D.C. to oppose the Bush agenda for an “endless war.”
All in all, at least 15,000 people attended the April 20 Stop the War Mobilization, which was one of four coordinated rallies. The rally was called by the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition, of which 180/MDE is a member, the theme was “United We March, for Peace and Justice.” The demonstration called for an end to the “war on terrorism” both abroad and at home. 100-plus national organizations that organized for the events agreed on 6 demands:
**A U.S. foreign policy based upon social and economic justice, not military and corporate oppression.
**An end to racial profiling and military recruitment targeting youth of color and working class youth.
**Government funding for programs to benefit the economic victims of the 9-11 attacks and the recession.
**An end to the degrading and secret imprisonment of immigrants.
**Increased funding for non-military-based financial aid for education
**Full disclosure of military contracts with universities.
The rally was addressed by speakers such as Rep. Martin Luther King III, Amy Goodman from Democracy Now! Radio, students, youth, people of color, religious groups, union leaders, veterans, and a range of others, all of whom sent a clear signal to the government that: WAR WILL NOT MAKE US SAFE!
After speakers and musicians, the group marched together with three other mobilizations, including Palestinian solidarity marchers and folks protesting the World Bank/IMF’s stranglehold on the Global South. The marches converged and moved toward the US Capitol. Once at the Capitol Mall more speakers and music were heard, including Rep. Cynthia McKinney and Julie Beatty, president of USSA.
Overall, the corporate media coverage focused on the issues of Palestine and Israel. But the peace and democracy presence that United We March brought to the day helped to bring seemingly disparate elements of corporate globalization and the Palestinian solidarity movement together in a way never before seen. The large turnout of the march signaled the end of the perceived consensus, touted by corporate media and pundits, that the Bush administration is practically infallible and has opened the door to dissenting voices so critical to authentic democracy.
The National Youth and Student Peace Coalition, the National Coalition for Peace and Justice, the 9/11 Emergency National Network, and NYC Labor Against War constitute the membership of the United We March. The broad coalition continues to call for continued organizing for an end to the “endless war.” April 20th was only a beginning! Member organizations are now holding meetings to determine the course that the coalition will take in the coming months. Keep updated by referring to the United We March website.