Sunday, September 26, 2010

The time has come to Stop the War on Afghanistan - Rally 9 October 2010

Stop the War in Afghanistan - Sat 9 Oct - please display images
There is going to be an anti-war rally in Perth on Saturday 9 October.
12noon, Sat 9 October, Wesley Church corner (cnr William & Hay Sts, Perth)

Speakers at the rally will include:
* Jo Vallentine (long time peace activist)
* Scott Ludlam (Greens senator)
* Alex Bainbridge (long time anti-war campaigner)
* Phil Chilton (Refugee Rights Action Network)
* Bill Hinds (Vietnam veteran)
This rally has been organised by a number of individuals who have come together to voice our opposition to the war in Afghanistan on the ninth anniversary of the original invasion.

There are many reasons to oppose this war including:
* The Afghan war is a "war on innocent civilians, not a war on terror" according to Afghan parliamentarian and human rights activist Malalai Joya (known as the "bravest woman in Afghanistan").

* WikiLeaks' Afghan War Diary has detailed civilians being killed and maimed; brutality and lawlessness from the occupying forces and their Afghan puppets; cover-ups; endemic corruption and wide-scale disorganisation in running the occupation effort.

* US and Australian troops are propping up the corrupt and unpopular Harmid Karzai government that is responsible for human rights abuses across the country and that relies on fraudulent elections to maintain power.

* a majority of Austalians (61% according to the Essential Media poll, June 22, 2010) are opposed to the war

* The continuation of the unpopular foreign occupation is leading to increased support for the Taliban

* The war is not isolated to Afghanistan. There are regular US drone attacks on Pakistan which kill civilians there. Despite Obama's publicised withdrawal of "combat troops" from Iraq, there are still 50,000 US troops (not to mention mercenaries) that engage in combat in that country. The drums of war are beating against Iran as well. It is time to stop the madness, not escalate it!

Organisations supporting this rally include:
* Women's International League for Peace and Freedom * Refugee Rights Action Network * Socialist Alliance * Women in Black * Socialist Alternative
We are seeking further endorsements. Please conact Alex 0413 976 638 or Felicity 0413 495 242 if your organisation can support the rally in any way.

Organisations can support this rally by:
* Formally endorsing the rally
* Advertising the rally in newsletters, email lists, etc
* Making a donation towards advertising costs

Individuals can support this rally by:
* Encouraging friends and workmates to come along
* Make a banner or sign to bring to the rally
* Contact us (0413 976 638 or 0413 495 242) if you want more ideas about how you can help

* Check out this information sheet from the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

* John Pilger on Why WikiLeaks must be defended

* Malayai Joya speaks to British Stop the War Coalition (44 minutes)

* This anti-war music video clip below is by Perth musician John Novatscou from the band Nakedflame. John is actively promoting the October 9 rally:

* The text below is from the Sydney Stop the War Coalition:

About 150,000 US-NATO troops (including from Australia) and at least 100,000 mercenaries are taking part in a war of terror against the people of Afghanistan and, increasingly Pakistan.  Bipartisan support for the war has meant that there has been no parliamentary debate, and yet a clear majority  (61% according to Essential Poll) now opposes Australia’s involvement. There is now a chance for a national debate on this nine year war with the Greens, and some independents, pressing for one.

This is not a war for Australia’s “national security”.  Australia is in Afghanistan because the US are in Afghanistan, to maintain the American alliance.  The US is not there to fight “terrorism”; it is protecting its interests in Central Asia vis-a-vis Russia and China, with the prize being - access to the region’s oil.

This war is not about “stopping terrorism”. Hostility to the corrupt Kabul regime and to the brutality of the occupation is driving the local population to use any means available to force the foreigners to leave. This is not terrorism: it is legitimate resistance to foreign occupation. If terrorist acts spread internationally, the cause is rooted in the occupation.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of civilian Afghans and Pakistanis and more than 2000 US-NATO troops – including 21 Australians - have been killed and billions of dollars are being spent. The Australian 2010 defence budget earmarked $1.2 billion to be spent on 1550+ troops in Afghanistan. The US has spent an unimaginable US$1.6 trillion on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. These trillions should have been spent on social needs, given the havoc caused by the global financial crisis, and addressing global warming.

Afghanistan is becoming more dangerous. The UN has been forced to withdraw its operating staff from Afghanistan. Violence against women continues and ethnic minorities, like the Hazaras, are increasingly targets for murder. Refugees are fleeing the country while the Australian government pretends it is safe to send them home and refuses to process their applications for asylum.

This war cannot be “won” by military force. Afghan MP Malalai Joya told Australians last year that Afghans want the foreign troops out. A political solution is what’s required, she said.