Over 1,500 people participated in a veterans-led civil resistance action initiated by Veterans for Peace that led to the arrest of 113 people at the White House. The ANSWER Coalition, March Forward! and many other organizations supported the event.
At the rally in Lafayette Park, Brian Becker, the national coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition, said: “The U.S. government never tells the people that ‘we’ are going to invade or bomb another country in order to control and exploit its natural resources—especially oil and natural gas—or the labor of the occupied people. That is, of course, the truth. But no mother or father would allow their child to go to war for the crass function of exploitation. The U.S. government always states that each Pentagon invasion or bombing attack is for humanitarian rather than imperial objectives.
“Today, on the eight anniversary of the criminal invasion of Iraq, the United States, Britain and France are poised to begin a massive bombing of Libya--again, they say, for noble, humanitarian reasons. That is a lie that we must expose. Libya is the largest producer of oil on the African continent and the imperialists want to re-conquer the country and its resources. We, in the ANSWER Coalition, stand against any military action against Libya. The Libyan people, and they alone, must be the masters of their own destiny.”
Caneisha Mills, an organizer with the ANSWER Coalition, also addressed Libya in her talk, saying: “The U.S. government claims it will bring democracy and freedom to Libya; these are the same terms used to invade Iraq! After the massive and ongoing slaughter in Iraq and Afghanistan we know that is not true!”
Ryan Endicott, a member of March Forward! and an Iraq war veteran who served in Ramadi, told the crowd: “We know firsthand that our enemy is not the people of Iraq, who for eight years have been struggling to survive a brutal occupation. It is not the people of Afghanistan who for over a decade have been struggling to survive a brutal occupation. The biggest threat to the people of the United States is not thousands of miles away, but hundreds of yards away, right here in the White House, in the Pentagon, on Wall Street. It’s the bankers that take our homes, the CEOs that lay off from our jobs only to take million dollar bonuses.”