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  • Cleveland Peace Conference

    Posted by Green Party Peace Network on June 26, 2008

    Dear Supporters of the June 28-29 National Antiwar Conference in Cleveland:

    As a conference supporter, we want to bring you the latest good news about the growing support for the Assembly and the exciting program that awaits the hundreds of activists expected to attend.

    Five years after the initial attack and invasion of Iraq, the great majority of the American people oppose the war, yet there is no move by Congress to end it. Only a powerful, unified antiwar movement visible and in the streets demanding an immediate end to the war can galvanize a silent majority and finally compel the US government to bring the troops home.

    The National Assembly is calling on the broader movement to organize the largest possible mass mobilizations on an agreed date or dates to stop the Iraq war and end the occupation.

    To date, nearly 500 organizations and key individuals have endorsed the call to gather in Cleveland. These include the Iraq Moratorium, U.S. Labor Against the War, Veterans for Peace, Progressive Democrats of America, A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor (formerly Cleveland AFL-CIO), United Teachers Los Angeles, National Education Association Peace and Justice Caucus, National Lawyers Guild, California Federation of Teachers, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and New England United.

    Representatives of the nation’s major antiwar coalitions — Leslie Cagan of the United For Peace and Justice (UFPJ), Brian Becker of ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), and Larry Holmes of Troops Out Now — along with Fred Mason, a Co-Convenor of U.S. Labor Against the War and President of the Maryland AFL-CIO; Riham Barghouti, Adalah-NY: Coalition for Justice in the Middle East; Veterans for Peace President, Elliott Adams; civil rights activist, Colia Clark; Haymarket Press leader, Ahmed Shawki; Shaker Heights high school student and SDS leader, Josh Davidson; and Jorge Mujica, Chicago immigrant rights leader, will speak to the Assembly Saturday night. Gold Star Families for Peace co-founder Cindy Sheehan is scheduled via a video presentation.

    Navy Petty Officer Jonathan Hutto, author of Anti-War Soldier: How to Dissent Within the Ranks of the Military and co-founder, Appeal for Redress From the War in Iraq and Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, are also featured speakers. A Sunday morning session will include Los Angeles immigrant rights leader and organizer of the million person May 1, 2006 demonstration, Jesse Diaz; Lynne Stewart, a New York progressive attorney falsely convicted of conspiracy to aid and abet terrorism; and Clarence Thomas, International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10 leader, who helped to initiate the May Day 2008 West Coast work stoppage to protest the war.

    Donna DeWitt, President of the South Carolina AFL-CIO and northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee leader, Greg Coleridge, will keynote the conference’s opening session. Harriet Applegate, Executive Secretary, North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor (formerly Cleveland AFL-CIO) will welcome conference participants.

    Action proposals to build and strengthen the movement will be discussed and debated at the Assembly. These can be viewed at our website: http://www.natassembly.org, along with the list of conference endorsers, information about the program, how to register, and other details.

    The conference is less than two weeks away but it’s not too late to register and participate in this historic event. If you haven’t already done so, we urge you to register now. You can do so online or by using the attached form. To make a room reservation at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, call 216-771-7600.

    It is also not too late to continue your efforts to publicize and build the Assembly. Many people don’t make final decisions until the last minute so please help keep the information and motivation going.

    Of course, organizing a national conference and helping young people who need subsidies to attend, costs a great deal of money. As an Assembly supporter, we ask that you make a generous contribution to help cover the expenses. Checks should be made payable to National Assembly and mailed to P.O. Box 21008, Cleveland, OH 44121. If you would like more information about the conference, please call us at 216-736-4704.

    We hope to see you in Cleveland on June 28th as we spark our own version of a “surge” – one that will mobilize the American people to finally and definitively bring all U.S. forces home and allow the Iraqi people to determine their own destiny.

    In peace and solidarity,

    Marilyn Levin, Member, Coordinating Committee, Greater Boston United for Justice with Peace; Founder, Middle East Crisis Coalition

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