Occupy 2012 & commemorate 20 years of resisting U.S. wars, racism and corporate greed
Download pdf of IAC 2011 brochure HERE
In 2012 the International Action Center will commemorate its 20th anniversary. What a celebration! We are full of enthusiasm and determination for the period ahead. Twenty years of resistance to endless wars and now a new surge of hope!
How true the famous observation on change: “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.”
The whole world has turned. A new spirit of struggle and resistance has finally come to the U.S. Youth are in the streets. The International Action Center is in the midst of the new Occupy movement from coast to coast.
The unsolvable global capitalist crisis has pushed millions of youth who feel they have no future into open struggle and awareness of the super-rich 1% whose profits are based on war, massive government bailouts, cutbacks in all social programs, and a national plague of foreclosures.
The IAC has organized and worked hard over the past two decades because of your support. However, we need to do so much more.
Gaza: Our year started with an IAC delegation led by Ramsey Clark to besieged Gaza. Little did we know, as we traveled from Cairo to the long wait at the Rafah crossing into Gaza, that two weeks later thousands of youth, in quickly mounting massive demonstrations across Egypt, would bring down the hated U.S.-backed Mubarak dictatorship.
By late January the Arab Spring had changed the political landscape. The IAC played a major role in nearly daily solidarity actions across the U.S. This revolutionary process is far from complete, with the U.S.-backed military the next target of the Egyptian people.
War: Threatened by the collapse of the military dictatorships in Egypt and Tunisia, the U.S. again chose war. Seven months of savage NATO bombing brought massive destruction to Libya, while the war continued in Iraq and Afghanistan and drones were launched against Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan and Somalia.
The IAC helped to rally large parts of the anti-war movement to oppose the continuing U.S. wars and the new war on Libya.
We played a crucial role in organizing a 22-city tour with former Congressperson Cynthia McKinney, following her courageous Dignity Delegation to Libya during the U.S. bombing. In every city hundreds turned out at major meetings to oppose another war for oil.
We are mobilizing to oppose the alarming escalation of threats and new sanctions on Iran. A new and wider war would destroy countless lives.
Center of Resistance and Organizing: Throughout the spring, the IAC and the Solidarity Center, in which the IAC is housed, served as a center of resistance and mobilizing in major antiwar demonstrations, such as the April 9 action organized by the United National Antiwar Coalition. Importantly, a major rally for immigrant rights on May 1 was organized from the Solidarity Center by the May 1 Coalition for Worker and Immigrant Rights.
IAC activists helped to sustain a three-week encampment, called Bloombergville, in front of New York’s City Hall to protest enormous budget cuts ordered by billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg. This was a new challenge that reflected the mass assemblies in Madrid, Athens and Rome against cutbacks.
Once again, we helped to rally thousands of people to oppose anti-Muslim bigotry and attacks on the 10th anniversary of September 11.
The IAC’s website — www.iacenter.org — our constant emails, many educational programs, forums, factsheets, and current videos of struggle by Peoples Video Network are an unmatched resource.
Occupy Wall Street, Occupy the World!
While the IAC had participated in planning meetings throughout the summer, nothing could have prepared us for the dramatic change that came with Occupy Wall Street (OWS). Suddenly on Sept. 17, a new struggle was born.
Each police attempt to shut down the OWS encampment at Zuccotti Park led to widening support. After video cameras recorded police pepper-spraying young women, and after the arrest of 700 activists on the Brooklyn Bridge, the movement spread like wildfire to hundreds of cities across the U.S. and around the world.
The IAC helped to elevate the struggle against racism and the prison system in this new movement. We played a role in organizing many rallies to stop the execution of Troy Davis. We held major antiwar demonstrations around the slogan Wall Street = War Street, and Occupy Wall St — Not Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
IAC activists worked with community efforts to deepen the impact of this occupation by supporting efforts like Occupy the Hood, Occupy Schools and Occupy Bronx.
IAC activists have been part of OWS camps across the U.S. — slept at them, organized them, defended them, been arrested, marched, written about them, and done legal support for them.
At the Solidarity Center, the IAC helped build a Peoples Assembly in the South Bronx that launched an Occupy4Jobs Campaign — a grassroots effort of activists from African-American and Latino/a communities, labor unions and anti-imperialist forces who are demanding a jobs program at union wages for all working people. Our first action was the Nov. 23 response to the attempts by the Congressional “supercommittee” to reduce their deficit by further cuts to Medicare, Social Security, food programs and other people’s needs.
A brutal, near-fatal police attack on Occupy Oakland galvanized longshore workers at the Oakland port, city workers and students into the first one-day general strike or people’s strike in many decades, on Nov. 2.
As the political character of OWS grew sharper, increasingly targeting issues hurting millions of people as it is hits the bankers and superrich, the powers-that-be made a decision: Cut off the movement at the head. It is known that Homeland Security nationally coordinated police attacks on occupations throughout the country.
The police crackdowns and mass arrests of OWS protesters have breathed life into the phrase “repression breeds resistance.” Solidarity has increased between OWS and unions, students, antiwar, and other progressive and working-class activists and communities. They showed their strength as 35,000 marched together in New York on Nov. 17. IAC activists played a role in mobilizing Occupy encampments in Portland, Denver, and Boston that were shut down by police.
The OWS movement is an amazing development politically and a boost to resistance in the U.S. It must grow and succeed. The IAC must meet its responsibilities and involvement in this and other movements. We must persist in mobilizing against war, militarism, repression, bigotry and economic attacks. We must continue to make our educational resources available on every issue, and to make the Solidarity Center available to the many organizers and activists who need it, especially in the period ahead.
The IAC knows you share this feeling of enthusiasm and hope for the future.
We ask that you help our vital organization to continue. Your concern, involvement and support make the difference! NOW is the time!
The International Action Center
55 West 17th Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10011 firstname.lastname@example.org 212-633-6646