A New Year’s Message from IAC founder Ramsey Clark
International Action Center
55 W. 17th St., 5th floor, New York, NY 10011
I’m troubled but hopeful as I write you now. During the past year, there
has been a dangerous upsurge, largely manufactured by the media, in
anti-Islamic bigotry. Simultaneously – supposedly, in the name of
“peace” – there has been a surge of U.S. attacks against
civilians, largely by drones, in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. The so-called
“end of combat operations” in Iraq has become a cruel joke.
As I write these lines, the U.S. government is threatening to renew the Korean
War, using continuous provocations while denouncing provocations from the other
side – the same old story. Now it is part of a new cold war against the
Peoples Republic of China, a far more powerful force than the Soviet Union,
against whom the U.S. waged disastrous wars in surrogate conflict in Asia,
Africa, Europe, South and Central America for more than four decades in the
second half of the 20th century.
1t is sad to start a New Year’s letter on such a somber note. However,
I’m encouraged that we still have a strong, vibrant International Action
Center, which demonstrated again this year how essential it is. In the face of
an ugly message of hate focused on September 11 – calls to “burn
the Koran,” and to stop the building of an Islamic center near the World
Trade Center – the IAC organized a rally for solidarity and a respect for
the rights of others, not war, racism and anti-Muslim bigotry.
This powerful rally far outnumbered the opponents, with a dignity and
steadfastness that literally made history! It brought together a genuine cross
section of our society -- young and elderly, people of all faiths or religious
backgrounds, working and professional people, immigrants, labor unionists,
community and human rights activists.
This was just a beginning. Orchestrated anti-Muslim campaigns and attacks on
mosques are now a national rightwing scourge, while raids against immigrant
workers have intensified.
We need the IAC’s type of bold organizing now more than ever. Endless new
terror threats are hyped in a media blitz, allegedly coming from Iran, Somalia,
Yemen, Pakistan or Palestine. Progressive governments in Latin America are
demonized. Standing up to a media frenzy of fear and bigotry, refusing to join
in the chorus of political attacks on any oppressed country has been the firm
commitment of the IAC’s for 19 years. Its independent voice does not
waver, compromise or concede; the organization has the right priorities, is
constantly vigilant, and unrelenting in its perseverance, as it carries out
effective organizing and mass mobilizing.
Now the threats of war against both Iran and Korea are intense. The attacks on
domestic social programs are growing, as gains won by past generations in
struggle are now being ruthlessly cut back. The global corporate assault is
taking a terrible human toll.
We must build resistance and knit together many diverse movements. There are
important plans for the spring: The IAC is playing a strong role in national
student actions on March 2, in major, bi-coastal anti-war demonstrations on
April 9, and strong solidarity actions with immigrants on May 1.
I ask you to stand strong in support of the IAC. I will. Let us make it as
effective as it must be for the daunting struggles we face in 2011. Take a look
at the enclosed IAC report on its past year of organizing and advancing the
cause of peace and justice for all.
We invite you to join in the new year of activism with the IAC and to support
its vital work—by participating in the struggles ahead and giving as much
as you can, too.
Donate to the International Action Center: http://www.iacenter.org/donate/
End of Year Report
IAC end-of-year report in pdf format (to print, use legal size paper)