April 29 End the war demonstration set

NEW YORK — A coalition of peace, civil rights, women’s and environmental groups announced a national April 29 demonstration in New York to end the Iraq war.

The National Organization for Women, United for Peace and Justice, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, Friends of the Earth, U.S. Labor Against the War, Climate Crisis Coalition, People’s Hurricane Relief Fund, and National Youth and Student Peace Coalition issued the call.

“This demonstration is an attempt to bring together all of the peace and justice movements in the country to say ‘no’ to the war,” Judith Le Blanc, UFPJ national co-chair, told the World, “But it is also to make the connection between the war in Iraq and the domestic impact, much as Dr. King did when he spoke about the Vietnam War, saying that when the bombs are dropped in Vietnam, they explode in our communities.”

The demonstration came out of grassroots strategizing meetings on defeating the ultra-right agenda in the November congressional elections.

“The fight around civil liberties and civil rights, attacks on immigrants, voting rights issues, layoffs, cuts in human services, entitlement programs — they have all added up to the need to mobilize all of the movements to come together to set the agenda for the 2006 elections in the streets,” Le Blanc continued.

Labor participation is important, according to a USLAW statement, because the war “has served as a smokescreen for a corporate assault on working people and our unions.” In addition to the central labor councils and union locals that are already part of USLAW, dozens more have signed onto the demonstration within the past week, including state AFL-CIO federations, the Coalition of Labor Union Women, teachers’ union locals, and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America.

As a lead-up to April 29, there will be coordinated grassroots activities March 15-22, the week of the war’s third anniversary. For more information, visit www.unitedforpeace.org.