This article is from Fight Back! News
Standing up at the RNC
Voices from the protest
These are statements from some of the many people who will protest against the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, MN on September 1-4, 2008.
Carlos Montes, Latinos Against War
I am marching on the RNC to unite with thousands of people who will be there to expose the Bush-McCain politics of war, racism and anti-immigrant attacks. I am marching to represent the Chicano-Mexicano people’s struggle for self-determination and equality. Our struggle has a long history of resistance to U.S. oppression of our land, culture and economic and political power. We as Chicanos stand in solidarity with the people of Iraq in their fight against U.S. occupation. The RNC agenda represents a pro-corporate anti-people politic. It is also an agenda that promotes the increased attacks and oppression against Chicanos and Mexicanos in our own homeland in the Southwest U.S. and other major cities.
Anh Pham, Anti War Committee, MN
When I first started protesting, it was amazing to me how much it mattered to other anti-war protesters; especially those who protested the U.S. war in Viet Nam War, to have me – a Vietnamese American woman join them. When I had the chance to go to Palestine after the start of the second intifada, I was deeply moved and inspired by the Palestinian people’s struggle for the right of return and an end to the occupation. They saw their struggle as part of a whole movement against injustice worldwide. Drawing inspiration from them and others that I know are in the struggle with me, I march on the RNC to say no to the Republican agenda, no to racism and to any agenda that seeks to oppress the many to serve the needs of the few.
Steff Yorek, Freedom Road Socialist Organization
I am marching on the RNC to stop the war in Iraq and to defeat the Republican agenda. U.S imperialism is devastating the Iraqi people. John McCain is an advocate of war and occupation. A movement in this country to oppose the war and defeat McCain will help the Iraqi people free themselves. I am also marching to stop the devastation that capitalism is causing here at home. Homelessness and hunger are rising and New Orleans is still a disaster three years later. The rich care nothing about the people of this country and the Republicans are a big
part of that.
As a Palestinian Arab who was born and raised in this country, I have seen nothing but death, destruction and catastrophe for my people in Palestine, the rest of the Arab world and here in the U.S. Although these U.S. government policies have been consistent throughout both parties’ administrations, this past era has possibly been the most devastating in generations for Palestinians and Arabs. So we must all march on the RNC, demand an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, demand self-determination, the Right of Return and liberation for the Palestinian people, and demand an end to all U.S. aid to Israeli occupation and colonization.
Larry Davis, Teamsters Local 743 Vice-President
There are a number of issues important to us – the Employee Free Choice Act, health care for everyone. The United States is a very rich country and everyone in America should have health care. Fair trade. Full equality for everyone – all workers in America should be treated fairly regardless to race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or where they were born. We believe in affirmative action. The next president needs to support affirmative action as well as enact an affirmative action program. End the war – the human cost and the cost to America’s economy are far too great.
Juzel Sanders, Welfare Rights Committee
The Poor People’s Contingent at the RNC march is very important because it’s time that we let these beasts in office hear what America is really thinking. We are tired of being poor, hunger, stressed and dying because we’re living off of they feel is ‘fare.’ We have a chance to make history in more ways than one.This is the time that we all have to stand together and fight. It’s time for a change and only we can make that change, so let’s stand and march for us. Make them understand that we need money for human needs, not for war!
Guillermo Rafael Cohen, Colombia Action Network
This past June, President Bush said he had to handle many disasters, referring to Hurricane Katrina, the housing and financial crisis and the oil crisis. Nevertheless, I say Bush and the Republicans have been a great disaster for Latin America, especially promoting Plan Colombia and war against the poor. In his support for the corrupt, narco-trafficking President of Colombia, Bush said, “President Uribe has done everything we asked for and more.” We do not want more of the same, so we are protesting the Republicans and McCain in Saint Paul.
Jacob Flom, member Iraq Veterans against the War, Milwaukee Wisconsin
I’m attending the mass protests of the RNC to join and support the majority of Americans who are opposed to the Republican agenda. As a veteran I experienced the costs of the ongoing occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. I saw friends and co-workers die, commit suicide, receive debilitating injuries and suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), drug abuse, and alcoholism. The massive amount of suffering experienced by the Iraqis, soldiers and their families made me look deeper into the root causes for war. The occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan are not wars on terrorists, but occupations designed and executed to fill the pockets of American corporations.
Chapin Gray, SDS Tuscaloosa AL
Our chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), like many other chapters across the country, will be skipping classes to make the long trek to Saint Paul to face the Republicans head on. We’re determined to show McCain that we refuse to be silenced by the increased repression we face from our own schools in this post 911 era and that we as students are a powerful force in the anti-war movement who will continue to fight to end the occupation of Iraq.