From WEEKLY MDS No.907, October 14, 2005 issue logo

Sept. 24 Actions Change World / Join January Tokyo Conference with IFC

End-the-occupation calls sound across the globe

Two years and four months since the occupation of Iraq began, calls arose again for worldwide actions against the war. The Sept. 24-25 International Actions virtually united anti-war movements of the world into a single surge of voices calling out, "Withdraw all occupation troops! End the war!" This campaign has created a great leap of the anti-Iraq War movement, working out a prospect to break down the occupation rule.

The first achievement is that these actions succeeded for the first time in uniting the movements within the US, UK, Japan and other occupier nations and the struggle of the Iraqi Civil Resistance within the occupied nation.

On September 24, the IFC (Iraq Freedom Congress) bravely waged demonstrations under the slogan, "Withdraw all occupation forces" in Baghdad and Basra. Under fierce terrorist attacks both from occupation forces and armed Islamists, the Iraqi people had organized these highly risky actions in response to the calls of anti-war organizations based in the US, UK and elsewhere. This fact has marked a political significance that is unprecedented in the previous international anti-war actions carried out several times since the occupation began.

IFC debuts in the international politics

The second achievement is that the struggles in the US and UK, the occupier nations, manifested their strength proudly and visibly, countering the continued seizure of the administration by Bush (in November 2004) and Blair (in May 2005).

Three hundred thousand protesters gathered in Washington DC, as the greatest mass seen since the outbreak of the war, filling up the entire surroundings of White House for the first time in a decade. In 400 other cities across the US, masses of citizens staged concurrent actions in unison with this central action. On September 26, more than 700 people from all of the states participated in the united lobbying activity, visiting all of the Congress members. The move to adopt a resolution demanding the return of troops has started spreading after forerunners of Berkeley, Chicago, San Francisco and Evanston, just like the moves before the war. Voices calling, "From Iraq to New Orleans, Fund People's Needs, Not the War Machine" filled the air everywhere in the US and the approval rate for Bush acutely dropped all the way to 32%. Also in the UK, the Stop the War Coalition staged a 100,000-scale demonstration, besieging Blair.

The third noteworthy achievement is that, in this process, the six-month old IFC made a public debut in the respective sites of actions, extending its networks worldwide.

In Iraq under occupation, the IFC led the demonstrations with the determination "to impose itself on political equation" and "appear in the media, the society and the world" (Samir Adil, Secretary of Iraq Freedom Congress). In the US, following the resolution at the AFL-CIO convention demanding rapid withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, USLAW (US Labor Against War, organizing one million workers from 110 unions) held a rally demanding immediate return of troops, which an IFC representative also addressed. In the UK, the largest national trade union center, TUC (Trades Union Congress), adopted a resolution against the Iraqi draft "constitution."

IFC Secretary Samir Adil joined actions in Japan on September 24 in Tokyo and on 25 in Osaka, heading the demonstrations, from which he left for tours of Asia from South Korea, to the Philippines, and to Indonesia, extending the network of support for and solidarity with the IFC to Asian countries.

International Support Conference Coming in January

While Bush is condemned, the IFC is now attracting international attention. Last year, New York City Mayor refused half a million protesters permission to use Central Park while they were demonstrating toward the Republican National Convention in New York. One year later, however, the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department could not seal off the demonstration surrounding the White House. Alienated in a tight squeeze are Bush and the governments of the occupier nations.

Unite all solidarity forces toward the international conference in Tokyo planned in January 2006 to enhance support for the IFC and to win the withdrawal of all occupation troops. (October 1)

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