Sara Flounders

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Sara Flounders


Sara Flounders worked for the International Action Center.

Venezuela delegation

Leaders of the anti-war movement in the United States arrived in Caracas on March 9 and 10 to find out firsthand the truth of how the government and population are responding to the U.S.-led attacks on Venezuela. They will use this truth to build solidarity with the worldwide efforts to stop the covert U.S. war, economic sabotage and propaganda assault on Venezuela.

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As they landed in Caracas, the delegates, like the Venezuelan people, were faced with a power outage caused by sabotage of the electrical grid. This interfered with transportation and communications for them, too, even though their hotel had its own power generator.

Everyone in the group had planned to arrive on March 9, but some airlines insisted that the travelers have visas just to fly to Venezuela. Since the break in U.S.-Venezuelan relations, no visas are being issued in the U.S., but most of the delegation members were able to fly anyway, based on letters from their Venezuelan hosts.

Saturday, March 9, sharing the same flight into Caracas were Bahman Azad, the organizational secretary of the U.S. Peace Council, the organization sponsoring the delegation; Gerry Condon, president of Veterans for Peace; Sara Flounders, co-coordinator of the International Action Center; Ajamu Baraka, national coordinator of the Black Alliance for Peace; progressive journalist Eva Bartlett; and Joe Lombardo, co-coordinator of the United National Antiwar Coalition.

Arriving later that day and Sunday to complete the delegation were Sarah Martin from Women Against Military Madness; Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers of Popular Resistance; Darien De Lu, president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom-U.S.; Miguel Figueroa, president of the Canadian Peace Congress; and Daniel Shea, board of directors, Veterans For Peace.

The delegation met over the next few days with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, who discussed with them the historic struggle between the U.S. and Venezuela over who will control the great oil and gold resources of this South American nation. The fact that Washington is now acting so openly against the Venezuelan government exposes to people all over the world the real face of U.S. imperialism.

Arreaza made it clear that the Bolivarian government attaches great importance to the potential response of the people in the U.S. He said you must be in the front lines, that you are the first victims of imperialism and that the most fundamental change will happen inside the United States.

This underscores the importance of the demonstration that the members of the delegation and their organizations are building for March 30 in Washington, D.C. UNAC originally called this event to protest the upcoming 70th anniversary of NATO, set to be celebrated there by the Western warmakers on April 4. But after the U.S. moves against the government in Caracas, the coalition refocused the March 30 action more urgently on opposing U.S. intervention in Venezuela. Many organizations now support this protest.

Solidarity groups in Venezuela are also paying attention to the U.S. movement. The Committee of International Solidarity (COSI) met the delegates as they arrived at the airport and have helped explain what is happening on the ground in their country.

In addition to our meetings with Arreaza, the North American delegates held discussions with organizers from COSI, including its president, Carolus Wimmer; Carlos Ron, the vice minister of foreign affairs for North America, who had been stationed in New York for some time; and Pasqualina Curcio, an economist at the Central University of Venezuela.

Curcio discussed the U.S. role in creating the “humanitarian crisis” in Venezuela. These include shortages of basic necessities: toilet paper, corn, milk, coffee and vital medicines. To counter these shortages, the Bolivarian government established a distribution network to serve 6 million families by importing food, medicine and hygiene products.

The current U.S. sanctions on Venezuela’s oil, the blocking of its banking services and the edicts that prevent the government from using its gold reserves all restrict the ability of the Venezuelan government to satisfy basic needs.

On top of this, the U.S. has handed $11 billion worth of assets of Venezuela’s national oil company, CITGO, directly to Juan Guaidó, a virtually unknown right-wing politician until U.S. Vice President Mike Pence suggested on Jan. 23 that Guaidó nominate himself to be “interim president.”

Foreign Minister Arreaza was recently in negotiations with Elliott Abrams, who just this January was appointed Special Representative for Venezuela by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Abrams had organized bloody right-wing coups in Central America in the 1980s for the Reagan administration and was also a key architect of the Iraq War.

Arreaza characterized Abrams as “frank” when he told the Venezuelan that “all options are on the table” — a threat of military intervention aimed at splitting the Venezuelan military.

When Arreaza then reminded Abrams that “The coup has failed,” the U.S. organizer of counterrevolutions shrugged and said, “This is a long-term project.”

Arreaza explained to the anti-war delegation that in countering the shutdown of its electrical power, Venezuela had to deal with an attack on the brain of its electrical system. “The enemy knows the weakness of the system,” he said. “The U.S. knows what Venezuela could not buy or replace. Knows what we have. This is cyber terrorism!”

Abrams also told Arreaza that to get peace, Venezuela must do as Nicaragua did in 1990, that is, hold a new election that the European Union would set up — and that would open the door to the right-wing.

Arreaza explained to the antiwar group that Venezuela has a broad system of social protection that began under Hugo Chavez and was even further expanded after Maduro became president. “That’s why,” he said, “four days without power in several major cities did not lead to chaos,” as it would have in most of the world. The imperialists wanted an image of people looting food markets, but that failed.

Russia, China and Turkey are helping Venezuela, said Arreaza. “We need the solidarity of the whole world, though. Terrorist brigades are being armed against us.”

The demonstration supporting Guaidó on the day the delegation arrived was smaller than its organizers had projected. While Maduro may have the support of half the population, his opposition is divided into many forces. And most of them oppose U.S. military intervention.

Eastern Caracas, an upper- and middle-class area, is a base of the opposition to the Maduro government. Western Caracas is working class and Black, with a lot of support for the government. Lombardo reports that the west side used to be a real shanty town, but the Bolivarian Revolution put resources into this community and now the people live in nice apartment buildings.

Guaidó’s forces, reports Flounders, were described as racist, sort of the KKK of Venezuela. Nine of the people burnt to death by the counterrevolutionary opposition in 2017 were Black Venezuelans.

Even by Sunday, March 10, the delegation already had a lot of media requests for interviews. They plan a press conference at the United Nations in New York City on Monday, March 18 at 11 a.m., as well as a public webinar reportback.[1]

ANSWER "Rally Against War and Racism"

April 20, 2002 International A.N.S.W.E.R. Rally Activists representing various groups met on the Ellipse in Washington, DC to voice their support for a Palestinian state, criticize the Bush administration for its support of Prime Minister Sharon’s government in Israel, advocate a stop to racial profiling, and protest the treatment of Muslims at home and abroad.

The event was coordinated by the organization Act Now to Stop War and End Racism.

Speakers included Larry Adams - Labor Against the War, Pam Africa Activist International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Sami al-Arian Professor University of South Florida (Tampa, FL)->Computer Science, Tariq Ali Author, Luis Alvarez Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques, Nihad Awad Co-Founder and Exec. Dir. Council on American-Islamic Relations, Brian Becker, Co-Director International Action Center, Vernon Bellecourt Director (Former) American Indian Movement, Mahdi Bray Director Muslim Public Affairs Council->Communications, Helen Caldicott M.D. Founder Physicians for Social Responsibility, Illel Cohen Activist, , Tarek Elgawhay Spokesperson Muslim Student Association Shaker Elsayed, Secretary-General Muslim American Society, Sara Flounders Spokesperson Iraq Sanctions Challenge, Jane Franklin Author, Teresa Gutierrez Co-Director International Action Center, Graylan Hagler Minister Plymouth Congregational Church of Christ (Washington, DC), Cheri Honkala, Founder and Executive Director Kensington Welfare Rights Union, Rafik Jaber President National Islamic Association for Palestine, Teresita Jacinto Member Committee for Indigenous Solidarity, Randa Jamal Member Palestine Right to Return Coalition, Amer Jubran Activist, Sala Kahn, Activist Magdy Mahmoud, President , Metropolitan Muslim Federation->New York, New Jersey, Carl Messner Co-Founder, Partnership for Civil Justice, Riya Ortiz, Representative Asha Samad-Matias Spokesperson Muslims Against Racism, Grace Trevettn Activist.[2]

"NO WAR, NO WAY"

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Jan 19, 2003, ANSWER brought together an impressive array of speakers at two rallies—one that began at 11 a.m. in the sprawling National Mall, and a concluding rally at the Washington Shipyard.

Moonanum James, co-chair of United American Indians of New England and a Vietnam-era veteran, opened the rally by connecting the U.S. government’s ongoing racist war against Native peoples with their preparations for a racist war against Iraq.

Actors Jessica Lange and Tyne Daly addressed the crowd. So did political figures, including the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton; former-U.S. Congressperson Cynthia McKinney and Rep. John Conyers. The Rev. Lucius Walker read an anti-war statement from Rep. Charles Rangel.

Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark called on those listening to “impeach Bush.” Blase Bonpane, from the Office of the Americas, traveled from Los Angeles to bring greetings. International representation included Ashraf El-Bayoumi from the Cairo Conference against U.S. Aggression on Iraq and Jeremy Corbyn from the Stop the War Coalition and Abe Tomoko spoke as a representative of the Lower House of the Japanese Parliament.

Struggles around the world against U.S. domination were articulated by Teresa Gutierrez and Sara Flounders from the IAC; Hector Castro, director of education, Central Unitaria de Trabajadores, Colombia; Francisco Rivera, Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques; Marie Hilao Enriquez from BAYAN; and Yoomi Jeong from the Korea Truth Commission.

Muslim speakers included Mahdi Bray, Muslim American Society; Ismael Kamal, Muslim Student Association; Ihab Darwish, Free Palestine Alliance; Ghazi Khan Kan, Council on American Islamic Relations; Imam Mousa, Masjid Al-Islam; and Dr. Mansoon Khan from Peace TV.

The Revs. Herbert Daughtry, national pastor of House of the Lord Church; Graylan Hagler, pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church, andJesuit priest John Dear addressed the audience. [3]

Supporting Aristide

On April 7 2004 in the Whitman Theatre at Brooklyn College. A multinational crowd of 2,000, mainly people from Haiti and the English-speaking Caribbean, packed the hall to hear a program entitled "An Evening with Friends of Haiti: The Truth Behind the Haiti Coup."

A broad range of speakers and cultural performers ignited the stage for three-and-a-half hours to express heartfelt anti-imperialist solidarity with the besieged Caribbean country. Haiti has once again suffered a horrific atrocity with the U.S.-orchestrated kidnapping of its democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, on Feb. 29.

The rally was co-chaired by Kim Ives and Karine Jean-Pierre from Haiti Support Network (HSN), with Pat Chin and Sara Flounders from the Workers World Party controlled International Action Center.

Other speakers included Alina Sixto, Family Lavalas New York/Tri-State Area; Rep. Major Owens of Brooklyn; Mario Dupuy, Aristide's state secretary of communication; Don Rojas, Amy Goodman and Bernard White, WBAI-Pacifica Radio; Ray LaForest, Haitian labor organizer, District Council 1707; Brian Concannon, human-rights attorney; Brooklyn College student Starr Bernard; Serge Lilavois, Support Committee for PPN; Los Angeles anti-police brutality activist Michael Zinzun; Dominican activist Marc Torres; and Haitian performers Marguerite Laurent and Phantoms[4].

Workers World Party

In 2006 Sara Flounders was a member of the Secretariat of the Workers World Party[5]. She had been in either the WWP or its youth arm, Youth Against War and Fascism (YAWF) since the early 1970's. Documentation of this can be found in the House Internal Security Committee (HISC) report on "The Workers World Party and Its Front Organizations", 1973.

Anti War rally

Hundreds of activists braved the cold for a march and rally that began at Times Square in New York City on Feb. 17, 2007.

Speakers included Berna Ellorin, BAYAN-USA; Mary Lou Al-Awda, Palestine Right of Return Coalition; Mary Klopart, Grannies for Peace; Ellie Ommani, American-Iranian Friendship Committee; Comrade Shahid, Pakistani USA Freedom Forum; Mia Cruz, FIST; Fallou Gueye, Union of African Workers-Senegalese; Jesse Heiwa, Rainbow Solidarity for the Cuban Five; WayQuay, Leonard Peltier Defense Committee; Jonathan Brown, World Can’t Wait; TONC representatives Larry Holmes, Brenda Stokely, Sara Flounders, Sharon Black and Dustin Langley.

Other speakers included Councilperson Charles Barron, who recently introduced a local resolution against the war funding, Chris Silvera, chair of the Teamsters National Black Caucus and representatives from Millions for Mumia and Fanmi Lavalas.[6]

Solidarity with Sept. 24 FBI Raid Activists

The Committee to Stop FBI Repression lists International Action Center as one of the organizations that has issued a statement of solidarity in support of the activists raided in the September 24, 2010 FBI Raids. Sara Flounders authored the statement.[7]

Meeting with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

On September 21, 2010, Sara Flounders attended a meeting at a midtown hotel with President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and approximately 130 members of the U.S. "peace and social justice movements", as well as "major figures in the Black activist community." Sara Flounders was also among those who made opening remarks at the meeting.[8]

Sara Flounders of the International Action Center spoke of the work of the peace movement in the United States and called for respectful dialogue in the US and international bodies rather than military actions. [9]

"New Cold War"

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New York City: What’s driving the new ‘Cold War’? Will It escalate? Can we stop it?

Teach-In: Saturday, May 10 2014 Riverside Church, Tower Room.

  • NATO expansion and encirclement of Russia & China
  • Why the U.S. wants a confrontation over Ukraine
  • ‘Asia Pivot,’ AFRICOM & the ‘War on Terror’
  • How Washington uses NGOs, fascist movements, mercenaries & drones to promote its agenda
  • Why our real enemy is Wall Street – not Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Korea …

Speakers:

UNAC leadership

The names and organizations of the people on the United National Antiwar Coalition administrative committee are below:

Coordinating Committee of Hands Off Syria Coalition

References