Coalition to March on the RNC

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Coalition to March on the RNC

Formation

The Republican National Convention (RNC) was held on Sept. 1-4 in St. Paul, Minn. On Feb. 9-10, 2008, in St. Paul’s twin city of Minneapolis, the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War met with more than 60 other organizations to plan events protesting the Republican agenda.

The coalition consists of local anti-war and solidarity organizations, unions and social justice groups. Three national anti-war coalitions were also represented at the conference: Troops Out Now Coalition (TONC), the ANSWER Coalition and United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ).

Other organizations present included the International Action Center; Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!; Latinos Against the War; Fight Imperialism-Stand Together; Students for a Democratic Society; New Jersey Solidarity-Activists for the Liberation of Palestine; the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera; Teamsters Local 743 and AFSCME Local 3800.

A press conference for local and national media included speakers from the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War, TONC, UFPJ, ANSWER and the Arab American Action Network.

Phyllis Walker, Marie Braun and Jess Sundin opened the conference with an inspiring welcome from the local coalition. Two panels laid out the many reasons for marching on the RNC.

In the first panel Muath Asamarai, a local Iraqi American; Leslie Cagan of UFPJ; Sara Flounders of TONC and the IAC; John Beacham for the ANSWER Coalition; Carlos Montes of Latinos Against the War; and Angel Buechner from the Welfare Rights Committee spoke on why their organizations and coalitions are mobilizing for the march.

The second panel consisted of representatives from other endorsing organizations, including Richard Berg, president of Teamsters Local 743; Kosta Harlan, a member of Students for a Democratic Society; Hatem Abudayyeh, executive director of the Arab American Action Network; Tyneisha Bowens, a leader of Fight Imperialism-Stand Together; George Paz Martin of Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice; and Barry Reisch of Veterans for Peace.

These organizations emphasized the importance of opposing the imperialist agendas of both the Republicans and the Democrats.

The diversity of the issues addressed by the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War was reflected in the diversity of the attending organizations and activists. Immigrant rights, Palestine solidarity, Latin American solidarity, welfare rights, labor and low-income struggles were some of the issues included on the agenda and in the planning of the march and other events to counter the RNC.

This respect for diversity was also reflected in the local coalition’s open position on various tactics and safe spaces for those not participating in militant actions.

On the second day of the conference, the participants met in plenaries to discuss the program for a major demonstration on Sept. 1 and coordination and communication leading up to the event. Tours were held of the area around the Xcel Center where the RNC will take place in September.[1]

References

  1. [http://www.workers.org/2008/us/conventions_0228/, WW Groups make plans to protest at Republican & Democratic conventions Published Feb 23, 2008]