Award-winning journalist Bill Weinberg will give a report-back from an international conference on building solidarity with the Iraq Freedom Congress (IFC) held in Tokyo this past summer. The IFC is a coalition of trade unions, women’s organizations, neighborhood assemblies and other civil society groups which have come together to oppose the US-led occupation and demand a secular government in Iraq. The IFC is leading a campaign against the pending law that would privatize Iraq’s oil, and has established self-governing zones, which both occupation forces and sectarian militias are barred from accessing, in neighborhoods in Baghdad and Kirkuk. Recently, their leaders have been targeted for attack by US forces. The Japanese anti-war group Zenko last year raised $400,000 for the IFC to start its own satellite television station, Sana TV, which began broadcasting in April. Can anti-war forces in the US similarly organize effective political and material support for Iraq’s civil resistance?
Bill Weinberg is author of Homage to Chiapas: The New Indigenous Struggles in Mexico (Verso 2000), and editor of the on-line World War 4 Report. He also co-hosts the weekly Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade, an anarchist variety show, Tuesdays at midnight on WBAI, 99.5 FM in New York City.
Sponsored by The National Organization for the Iraqi Freedom Struggles (NO-IFS).
The National Organization for the Iraqi Freedom Struggles (NO-IFS) is a coalition of individuals who have come together to oppose the US war against Iraq by supporting the secular, democratic, and progressive movements in Iraq that are struggling for freedom against the occupation and against the Ba’athists and the political Islamists, who aim to impose a theocratic state on the Iraqi people. NO-IFS supports Iraq’s civil resistance, which champions the rights of women, workers, national minorities, and GLBT people and fights for a non-sectarian and multi-ethnic society. NO-IFS advocates that the antiwar movement as a whole adopt this approach to ending the war and occupation—active support for Iraq’s secular and democratic freedom struggles against both the US occupation and terrorist reaction. This type of solidarity is a central way to build and sustain our movements here. It is only with a principled commitment to human freedom and to people struggling for freedom—not by explicitly or tacitly supporting a supposedly “lesser evil” —that the antiwar movement will flourish.
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