Many of us sensed that there was something new on Feb. 15, when millions around the globe marched against the U.S. government’s drive to war on Iraq.
S. Africa: March to U.S. Embassy Some 4,000 people representing 60 organizations – including the governing African National Congress, the Communist Party of South Africa and the Congress of South African Trade Unions – brought a powerful anti-war message to the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria Feb. 19. Chanting, “No to war, yes to peace,” the demonstrators rallied as a delegation including ANC Secretary-General Kgalema Motlanthe, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa, Tshwane Mayor Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, COSATU President Willie Madisha, and SACP General Secretary Blade Nzimande went inside to present the Declaration of South Africans United to Stop the War in Iraq. The action is part of the Stop the War campaign.
TEL AVIV – Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will present his new government to the Knesset, Feb. 26, to ask for a parliamentary confidence vote. This follows the announcement on Feb. 24, that the Likud had signed an accord with the Shinui (Change) Party to join a Likud-led coalition, composed of Likud, Shinui and the clerical-Zionist, far right National-Religious Party (NRP). These three parties control together 61 of the 120-member Knesset.
TRIPURA, India – The Northeastern section of India consists of seven states: Tripura, Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. These states, known as the “seven sisters,” are rich with beauty and natural resources. Tea and jute plantations, which extend throughout this lush land, are basic to the economy there. However for the last 14 years all of these states have been facing far-right extremism and terrorism.
Thousands of protesters, organized by the Piraeus committee of the Greek Committee for International Peace and Détente, massed for two days of demonstrations against the presence offshore of the NATO Standing Naval Force of the Mediterranean. Protesters also targeted the Greek government and the presidency of the European Union with their slogans. Other initiators included Youth Action for Peace, the Action-Thessaloniki 2003 campaign, the left-led labor federation PAME, and dozens of other organizations.
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) General Secretary Guy Ryder, on Feb. 7, asked Colombian President Alvaro Uribe to take action to protect human and trade union rights and to bring those who violate them to justice. With the spiraling of murders and death threats against them, Colombian trade unions are critical of the purely security-oriented policy of their government.
Thousands of Bolivians heeded the call of trade unions for a 48-hour general strike Feb. 17-18, to demand the resignation of President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada. They were protesting the government’s handling of the country’s worsening economic crisis, and protesting the deaths of at least 22 people in protests last week.
CHICAGO – Indicating the widening gulf between the Bush administration and much of the nation and world over the administration’s drive to war, a leading Republican senator is saying the U.S. should let Iraq weapons inspections work.
PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil – Most Israelis want a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, and the Bush administration’s policies are “very unhelpful,” Galia Golan, a leader of Peace Now, Israel’s oldest and largest mass peace movement, told the World.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) will begin operations on March 11, despite the Bush administration’s worst fears. Under the Clinton administration the United States had signed the Rome Statute, which formally began preparations for the formation of the ICC. But over a year ago under the direction of the Bush administration, the U.S. pulled out of the treaty.