We also make available occasional special messages, such as last month's "Katrina & The Antiwar Movement: Lend Our Hand and Our Voice," pasted in below.
Go to http://www.war-times.org to access these news recaps, messages and flyers including:
"Be All You Can Be: Don't Enlist".... "U.S. Soldiers Say No to War"....."Help Stop Torture - Raise Your Voice".... and "Iraq: 'Stay the Course' or Get Out Now?"
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We look forward to hearing from you! Thanks, and peace,
The War Times/Tiempo de Guerras Staff
War Times/Tiempo de Guerras is an all-volunteer project fiscally sponsored by the Center for Third World Organizing. Contact us at email@example.com or write to War Times/Tiempo de Guerras, c/o P.O. Box 99096, Emeryville, CA 94662.
Katrina & The Antiwar Movement: Lend Our Hand and Our Voice
"One prominent African-American supporter of Mr. Bush who is close to Karl Rove, the White House political chief, said the president did not go into the heart of New Orleans and meet with Black victims on his first trip there, last Friday, because he knew that White House officials were 'scared to death' of the reaction. 'If I'm Karl, do I want the visual of Black people hollering at the president as if we're living in Rwanda?' said the supporter, who spoke only anonymously because he did not want to antagonize Mr. Rove." - New York Times, Sept. 10
The desperate plight of thousands of mostly Black and poor people in the wake of Hurricane Katrina didn't inspire any urgency in the Bush administration. The White House was roused to take action - mostly on the public relations front - only when Karl Rove realized that the human disaster underway might result in a political disaster for his President.
And well it should.
Katrina was a natural calamity - but the scope and color of the resulting social disaster was a direct result of human action and inaction. The callous and incompetent behavior of the Bush administration is most immediately responsible. Yet beyond that are deeper causes:
*the racist and class-divided structure of U.S. society (and the specific situation in the Gulf region of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama);
*the 30-plus year right-wing assault on the public sector and on the whole idea of government responsibility for public welfare and the common good;
**longstanding patterns of development that place private profit ahead of environmental responsibility and human needs (including destruction of Mississippi Delta wetlands that diminish the force of hurricanes, global warming and its impact on hurricane ferocity, racist placing of toxic contaminated waste sites in communities of color, and so on).
The antiwar movement has an important role to play in the post-Katrina struggles that are already underway. We can reach deep into our pockets to help those directly impacted by this disaster (see below). We can add our voice to the demand for immediate accountability from those in government - starting with the President - for their dereliction of duty. We can join other social movements in making sure that the spotlight now shining on U.S. racism and class inequality is not drowned out by the voices calling for a return to "business as usual." We can do our part to amplify the voices of those who have deep truths to tell: folks who can describe what really happened during those agonizing days and nights in the Superdome; undocumented workers still too fearful to apply for assistance (over 100,000 immigrants in the region face devastation); New Orleans residents who had to endure a militarized reaction from authorities even while struggling to find food, water and shelter; the poor, sick and elderly who were betrayed and left behind.
Gulf region community-based organizations, especially in the hardest hit African American community, are taking the lead in this fight. Many are the same organizations providing immediate help to those most urgently in need. These deserve political solidarity as well as an outpouring of generous donations. Among the organizations you can contribute to are:
*People's Hurricane Fund/Community Labor United (Louisiana/Mississippi) http://www.qecr.org./index.html
*The Southern Relief Fund, c/o The Mississippi Workers' Center for Human Rights, PO Box 1223, Greenville, MS 38702, 662-334-1122
*S.O.S - Saving Our Selves, Att: Beni Ivey, Center for Democratic Renewal, PO Box 50469, Atlanta, GA 30302, 404-221-0025
*Louisiana Environmental Action Network, http://www.leanweb.org
*Alejandro Rosales, Oxfam regional organizer for the hurricane relief, with a focus on immigrants, Biloxi, Mississippi 818-434-6495; or e-mail Emily Parry of OxFam, firstname.lastname@example.org
Antiwar activists also have particular responsibilities in pointing out the links between Katrina's impact and the war against Iraq. Money that should have gone to disaster preparations went to the war instead. National Guard members and resources that could have made a huge difference in Katrina's aftermath were instead thousands of miles away. These are vital issues to raise as we redouble our antiwar efforts, before, during and after the urgent mobilization for the September 24-26 actions in Washington, DC to End the Occupation of Iraq and Bring Them Home Now. Go to www.unitedforpeace.org for full information: Money to Fund Full Recovery of the Gulf Coast, Not War in Iraq!
Thanks, peace, and please forward this e-mail to a friend!
The War Times/Tiempo de Guerras Staff
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