World actions on third anniversary of invasion
On March 18-19, the third anniversary of the war of aggression on Iraq, the world voiced "No!" to the occupation and demanded for the immediate withdrawal of occupation forces.
In the US, UFPJ (United for Peace and Justice) and other organizations carried out "Bring Them Home Now" actions at more than 600 locations in the 50 states. In the UK, the Stop the War Coalition mobilized 80,000 plus demonstrators in London calling for the troops withdrawal. Others having joined the world actions include Madrid, Rome and various cities in Europe, Istanbul, Sydney, Seoul and a number of cities in Japan. It is now a manifesto course of action for world anti-war movements to stage concurrent anti-war actions over national borders for the end of the occupation in Iraq and the withdrawal of troops of the respective nations. These international movements are continuing to put heavy pressure on occupying governments now deprived of "great cause" of any kind.
Actions in Japan, US and UK highlight Solidarity with IFC
One noteworthy feature of the recent world actions is that activities for enhancing solidarity with IFC (Iraq Freedom Congress) emerged on the international arena, highlighting the significance of solidarity with the forces in Iraq that are committed to reconstruction of Iraq based on secularism and democracy.
In response to the resolutions at the January Tokyo International Conference for Solidarity with IFC, solidarity rallies and joint actions were held in Tokyo, Kyoto, Takatsuki, Osaka and Kobe, Japan. Although raging violence did not allow mass actions in major cities in Iraq, IFC issued a message to the world. Joseph Gainza from UFPJ (representing the American Friends Service Committee) introduced an appeal for solidarity with IFC in a press conference on March 18. Similarly, Bill Weinberg from War Resisters International League (WRL) sponsored meetings with the Iraqi Civil Resistance video and lectures with a speaker from the OWFI (Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq) in cities including New York. In the UK as well, OWFI representatives made appeals at a meeting of the women's section of the RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers) and in the Wales Assembly. Furthermore, IFC's North American branch was established on March 26 in Toronto, Canada.
The resolution of the International Conference called to the world is now steadily fledging.
IFC, the perspective
We must quickly spread this move for solidarity with IFC around the world. The situation is urgent.
Reportedly, the number of victims since the bombing of the Golden Mosque (the Askariya shrine) in Samarra has well exceeded 1,000. As occupation forces use this catastrophic chaos as an excuse for ongoing deployment in Iraq, President Bush has even made a public commitment to a long-term deployment of the military to continue until the end of his tenure in 2009. Unless we pull occupation forces out of Iraq and stop sectarian wars, Iraq would be directed toward a split of the nation and civil war in continuing mass killings of the people.
The tide driven by IFC - against state terrorism by occupation forces and non-discriminatory terrorism by armed political Islam, struggling to build a society based on humanity - is the might that can salvage Iraq from ruin and oust occupation forces most effectively. Calls to the world for support for and solidarity with IFC will change and enhance the international anti-Iraq War movement yet to make it clear which force in Iraq we should side with.
The key to this challenge is support for the launch of Iraqi PEACE TV Station, an urgent need appealed by IFC. Satellite TV is a medium in today's Iraq that will have decisive importance for the Iraqi people as a vehicle of truth and policies. However, all existing satellite TV stations are currently under the influence of political Islam or occupation forces. Once launched, the PEACE TV Station will show what IFC is and does as well as the perspective it provides to all, from Iraqi population to the entire Middle East and to the world. Let us spread the fund-raising campaign for the PEACE TV Station around the country, and to the world. (March 27)