Anti-war organizations from across the United States and 6 other countries came together on Saturday, Feb. 4, to protest the rising crescendo of threats against Iran. In more than 30 states and 80 cities, large and small, groups joined forces to raise four key demands.
"No war, no sanctions, no intervention, no assassinations!" was the slogan on the lead banner of the New York demonstration, which was sponsored by an ad hoc committee of several groups. Many placards and hand-made signs also pointed to Wall Street and the banks as the real danger, not Iran.
The corporate media have been reporting for weeks that the Israeli regime is weighing an attack on Iran aimed at dismantling its nuclear program. Yet even former U.S. intelligence officers point out that Iran's nuclear development is entirely peaceful; it is not building any nuclear weapons. (See "Divining the Truth About Iran" by Ray McGovern, published by commondreams.org.) Yet totally unsubstantiated claims to the contrary form the basis on which Israel, which itself has a large nuclear arsenal and has been armed and financed by the U.S., is now publicly claiming its right to launch a military attack on Iran.
The process has already begun in the major corporate media to give credibility to Israel's charges and soften up public opinion to accept such a criminal act, which would unleash yet another devastating war in this oil-rich region so coveted by imperialism.
A large crowd marched in New York from Times Square to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and then to the Israeli Consulate. The French press agency AFP estimated the protest at 500. Groups participating included the International Action Center, No War on Iran, SI Solidarity Iran, StopWarOnIran.org Campaign, American Iranian Friendship Committee, United National Anti-War Coalition, Answer and World Can't Wait.
An Iranian explained that the most important issue was the thousands of assassinations that have taken place of Iranian scientists, state representatives and even parliament ministers, for which the Iranian people blame Israel and the U.S. This has united the Iranian people, he said, against foreign intervention and war. The war has already started because sanctions are an act of war. Even many of those who have opposed the Iranian government are now seeing that their main enemy is U.S. imperialism, he added.
In Los Angeles, some 200 rallied at the city's busiest intersection by the Wiltshire Federal Bldg. Speakers included representatives from the Union of Progressive Iranians, CISPES (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador), BAYAN-USA, ALBA-USA, Bail Out the People Movement, Workers World Party, Southern California Immigration Coalition and the International Action Center. Some people who had been at an Answer event several blocks away later joined the main rally.
In Boston, over 300 rallied and marched through downtown and rallied at the beginning, the end and at the Israeli Consulate. It was initiated by the Occupy Boston Action for Peace Working Group and had participation and speakers from Boston UNAC, Vets for Peace, the International Action Center, the Boston School Bus union, the Women's Figthback Network, United for Justice with Peace, Dorcester Peace Action, and many others.
Other major cities with protests included Albany, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Tampa, Cincinnati, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Dallas, Houston, Tucson, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle and Honolulu.
The demonstrations were pulled together on only two weeks' notice, but they also inspired similar protests in Vancouver and Calgary, Canada, as well as in Bangladesh, India, Britain, Ireland and Norway.