Troops Out Now - Momentum Growing for March 19

NYC--Troops Out Now! Momentum Growing for March 19

1) Troops Out Now - the Momentum is Building

2) Media coverage of today's press conference, including video coverage

3) Letter to Bush from 16 members of Congress

4) How to get involved


Troops Out Now! - the Momentum is Building!

On Saturday, January 15, the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday, activists and representatives from dozens of labor, community, anti-war, and international solidarity organizations joined veterans clergy and military family members on the steps of New York City Hall to announce their intention to march to Central Park on March 19 under the slogan, "Troops Out Now!"

Nearly one hundred activists assembled at City Hall despite the bitter cold, carrying placards with pictures of Dr. King and the words "Troops Out Now! March on Central Park, March 19!"

Speakers included NY City Council member Charles Barron, Brenda Stokely, President of DC 1707, Larry Holmes of the International Action Center, Rev. Herbert Daughtry, former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Chris Silvera, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamster Local 808 and President of the Black Teamsters Caucus, Leilani Dowell of Queers for Peace and Justice, Kim Rosario, mother of a soldier currently stationed in Iraq, Amos Hoff of the New York AIDS Housing Network, Nora Soul of Artists and Activists United for Peace, Mel Stephens of ACT UP, Nellie Bailey of the Harlem Tenants Council, and others.

The coalition announced its plans to march to Central Park on March 19 to demand the immediate, complete, and unconditional withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Speakers also stressed the importance of ending, not only the war in Iraq, but the war against working people here in the U.S. and the ongoing occupation of Haiti, Afghanistan, and Palestine.

To sign up for updates, go to http://www.TroopsOutNow.org/updates

NY 1 video of press conference:

Anti-war advocates plan March rally


January 16, 2005

On the birthday of civil rights activist the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., anti-war advocates yesterday demanded that U.S. troops be withdrawn immediately from Iraq and announced plans for a March 19 demonstration in Central Park.

"Mayor Bloomberg and President [George W.] Bush barred us from holding a rally in Central Park during the Republican convention. That was unnecessary, undemocratic, unconstitutional and it's not going to happen this time," said City Councilman Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn), referring to the GOP national convention last summer.

Barron was joined on the steps of City Hall by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, the Rev. Herbert Daughtry of Brooklyn and about 40 other anti-war activists from a group called the Troops Out Now Coalition.

In the weeks and months before the convention, Central Park became a controversial touchstone after the Parks Department denied the umbrella activist group United for Peace and Justice a permit to use the Great Lawn for a rally expected to attract 250,000 people. The department said a crowd that large would damage the lawn.

Dustin Langley, an organizer of yesterday's rally, said the Troops Out Now Coalition applied last month for a permit to march in Central Park and members of the group already have met with Parks Department officials.

"We applied for the permit very early, so that if there is a problem getting a permit we have plenty of time to deal with that problem," Langley said. "Whether if it's by legal action, whether we have to protest outside City Hall or outside Bloomberg's house, [Police Commissioner] Ray Kelly's house. Because we are going to the park one way or the other."

Participants in the march, scheduled for the second anniversary of the day the U.S.-led coalition invaded Iraq, are expected to step off at Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem and head south to Central Park.

"We are being flexible. We have asked for several different areas within the park," Langley said. "We are going in with good faith. Central Park has become symbolic of civil rights."

Kim Rosario of Bushwick, whose son, Pvt. Joshua Morales, 19, has been stationed since September in Ramadi, Iraq, was one of many speakers at the rally, which rang with chants of "Bring the troops home now" and the display of signs demanding the same. She said true support for the troops does not come with just putting a magnet on your car.

"If you truly support our troops, you want them to come home and be safe," Rosario said. "You would speak out and write to politicians, march, you'd protest, because they don't belong there. Bring the troops home now."

Copyright © 2005, Newsday, Inc.


Activists Gear Up To Protest Iraq War On 2nd Anniversary Of Its Start JANUARY 15TH, 2005 from NY1

Lawmakers and anti-war activists are planning to mark the two year anniversary of the Iraqi war, by rallying in Central Park.

City Council member Charles Barron joined dozens of protesters in front of City Hall Saturday afternoon to announce the event, which will be held on March 19th.

The group says the billions of dollars being spent on the war should be better spent on health care, education, and jobs.

The protesters took time to honor the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., and say he would have been protesting with them, if he were alive today.

"Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. who went beyond civil rights, went to human rights in his anti-war stance against the war in Vietnam, is appropriate for everyone who loves Dr. King should be against the Iraqi the war today," said Barron.

"On March 19, 2005 – second anniversary of this terrible invasion and war in Iraq – New York is going to rock. The people of this city, the people of the surrounding area, are going to march on Central Park," anti-war activist Larry Holmes.

"We're going to be out there on the 19th; we're going to try to get as many people about there, because most people, the people they don't poll, those are the people that are against the poll and they're going to be speaking up," said Brenda Stokely of Million Worker March.

The group says they have already obtained a city permit for the rally and march.


On January 12, sixteen Democrats in the House of Representatives sent a letter to President Bush calling on him to begin the immediate
withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. (The letter and list of signers is
included below.)

This letter is a clear indication of the growing opposition to this colonial war, a war that has taken the lives of more than 100,000 Iraqi people and nearly 1400 U.S. soldiers.

This growing opposition highlights the importance of taking to the streets on March 19 to demand "Troops Out Now."


January 12, 2005

The Honorable George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President,

We write to urge you to take immediate steps to begin the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.

Although the initial invasion of Iraq may have occurred with minimal troop deaths, the subsequent occupation of the country has been anything but successful. Already more than 1,300 American troops have lost their lives since the war began on March 19, 2003. At least 10,000 American troops have been injured as well, and it is impossible to know exactly how many thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians have been killed.

Despite the enormity of the war’s casualties, the Iraqi insurgency continues to grow stronger with every passing day.

Iraq is no closer to becoming a stable democracy today than it was two years ago, as evidenced in recent weeks by the daily torrent of
insurgent attacks on American forces and Iraqi civilian leaders. On January 4th, insurgents assassinated Ali Haidari, the governor of the Iraqi province that includes Baghdad. Just as devastating to the prospect of democracy, on December 30th, al-Jazeera satellite channel reported that all 700 electoral workers in Mosul quit their posts out of fear of being killed. Two weeks later, on January 10th, the entire 13-member electoral commission in the Anbar province, just west of Baghdad, resigned after being threatened by insurgents. If even Iraqi election officials fear for their lives, how can we possibly expect Iraqi citizens to feel safe going to the polls? How can we continue to put our own troops in harm’s way, the continued targets for Iraq’s thousands of malcontent insurgents?

It has become clear that the existence of more than 130,000 American troops stationed on Iraqi soil is infuriating to the Iraqi people - especially because Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction and did not have a connection to the tragic events of September 11th, 2001 or to the al Qaeda terrorist organization. Indeed, the very presence of Americans in Iraq is a rallying point for dissatisfied people in the Arab world. The events of the last two years have not only intensified the rage of the extremist Muslim terrorists, they have also ignited civil hostilities in Iraq that have made Americans and Iraqis substantially less safe. Therefore, by removing our troops from the country, we will remove the main focus of the insurgents’ rage.

Again, while it may be logistically difficult to immediately remove every American soldier, we urge you to take immediate action to begin the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. This is the only way to truly support our troops. Thank you for your consideration of this request.


Lynn Woolsey (CA-06) 202-225-5161
Danny Davis (IL-07) 202-225-5006
Lane Evans (IL-17) 202-225-5905
Sam Farr (CA-17) 202-225-2861
Raul Grijalva (AZ-07) 202-225-2435
Alcee Hastings (FL-23) 202-225-1313
Maurice Hinchey (NY-22) 202-225-6335
Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL-02) 202-225-0773
Dennis Kucinich (OH-10) 202-225-5871
Barbara Lee (CA-09) 202-225-2661
John Lewis (GA-05) 202-225-3801
Jim McDermott (WA-07) 202-225-3106
Grace Napolitano (CA-38) 202-225-5256
Major Owens (NY-11) 202-225-6231
Jose Serrano (NY-16) 202-225-4361
Pete Stark (CA-13) 202-225-5065

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