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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Anti-War March: Press Release

Thanks to Terry:

Media Release: Johannesburg Mobilization for 19 March Global Day of Action Against War Issued by: Anti-War Coalition (AWC), Gauteng 14 March 2005

The Gauteng Anti-War Coalition (AWC) is busy mobilizing for a weekend of activism against war that will take place in Johannesburg this weekend, March 19-21. Our activities will coincide with actions taking place around the world as part of a global day of action against the US war on Iraq. The program begins with a mass march through downtown Johannesburg on 19 March, followed by a festival of music and poetry and a series of films on war and occupation in Iraq and Palestine, the role of South African mercenaries in Iraq, ongoing wars in Africa, and the war against the poor in South Africa.

March 19: International Day of Mobilisation Against War
- 10:00 am: Convergence at the JHB Civic Centre for procession to Newtown
- 2:00 pm: Anti-War Festival at the Workers' Library, Newtown

Uniting under the banner "War Against Profit Not People," the AWC mobilization will highlight several key issues. First, we are protesting the ongoing US occupation of Iraq. Despite the recent elections, resistance attacks have escalated, the new Iraqi assembly has very few powers, and the occupiers show no sign of leaving. Second, we will emphasize the role of South African mercenaries in Iraq. There are currently 40,000 mercenaries operating in Iraq, comprising more than 1 in 5 of the coalition soldiers. South Africans make up the third largest mercenary force in Iraq, with estimates of up to 10,000 South African mercenaries and ten South African companies operating in occupied Iraq.

We demand their withdrawal and their prosecution under the Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act. Third, we want to highlight the continuing role of imperialism throughout Africa. Even though all African countries are today free from colonial rule, imperialism continues to drive conflicts and wars throughout the continent, impoverishing millions and depriving Africans of fundamental human rights such as health, water, housing, and education. Finally, we will stand in solidarity with the ongoing Palestinian struggle for freedom. Despite the ceasefire, Israel continues confiscating land, building settlements, constructing the Apartheid Wall, and carrying out military incursions into Palestinian territory. While the South African government promotes trade ties with Israel, it is up to people's movements to sustain the humanity of oppressed people.



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