from Red Lamp News and Analysis, April 2, 2019
International League of People’s Struggle or ILPS, New Patriotic Alliance or Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan USA) and representatives of Anakbayan youth USA joined the United National Antiwar Coalition or UNAC together with a dozen of justice and peace organizations under No to NATO. The Virginia Defenders for Freedom and Justice and Equality based here in Richmond Virginia which I came to join also participated in the mobilization sending their representatives in Washington D.C. The mobilization was a big success.
UNAC is composed of various organizations in the US fighting against US imperialism and war of intervention, plunder and destruction in other countries. The coalition called “No to NATO, War and Racism! U.S. Hands Off Venezuela”.
The mobilization was participated of many people’s mass organizations coming from various states and some as far as Canada, traveling 10 hours on road to join the march.
The march started at 2:45 in the afternoon but speakers went on stage at around 1:00 in the afternoon speaking on the need to oppose US imperialist wars of aggression in other countries specifically today the ongoing embargo and US sanctions in Venezuela and against their Maduro with the US trying to put its puppet representative Guido for its total control of the country’s oil resources.
The March rally route highlighted the functions of US government agencies and went to do a stop on each of them. It started in front of the White-house and went to pass the building of the International Monetary Fund at 700 19th St. NW, the World Bank, the Organization of American States at 188 F. St. NW, the Office of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Customs and Border “Protection” at 1300 Pennsylvania road.
Various speakers expounded on the need to oppose ongoing U.S. Intervention in Venezuela, the need for all people’s to support the struggle’s in other countries as well as continuous organizing of anti-imperialist organizations and the solidarity movement inside the belly of the beast.
Speaking on behalf of the Philippines was former Congressman Raymond “Mong” Palatino who represented the Bayan- Philippines and ILPS- Philippines. Mong Palatino spoke on the continuing attack of the Filipino people by the US-backed fascist corrupt Duterte regime and the US
role in funding its military and police that have killed thousands in the Philippines under a pretext of fighting the entry of drugs but is being used as a political cover to attack legitimate dissent and rights of the Filipino people.
Many speakers highlighted the need to develop a vibrant anti-imperialist organization in the U.S. and its role in supporting the struggles of neo-colonial countries. Many condemned and lambasted the US intent in seeking to take advantage of Venezuela’s economic problems by orchestrating a U.S. embargo to choke the economy and its latent intent to roll back the country into the age of right-wing fascist puppet regimes supportive of the US hegemonic power and agenda. Some speakers also spoke of the U.S. role to transform its Latin American backyard as a haven for big multinational corporations and continue to exploit resources like oil in the case of Venezuela as one of the world ’s highest deposit far more compared that in the middle east. A speaker also mentioned the U.S. using the framework of the Monroe doctrine of 1831 to continuously intervene in Latin America.
The coalition also highlighted the role of NATO in the U.S. wars of intervention, plunder and destruction of other countries as a largest military alliance in the world with the largest military spreading (roughly three-quarters of the world total) and nuclear stockpiles. Founded on April 4, 1949, 70 years this coming Thursday, NATO is seen as a formation that serves well U.S. craving for more wars in the world. While proclaiming to “preserving peace”, NATO has violated international laws and to mention a few it has bombed Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Afganistan, Pakistan, and Libya. It indeed has only exacerbated the tensions with Russia, increased the risk of nuclear devastation. As a leading contributor to the tremendous effects and devastation as a result of imperialist intervention in other countries, it is also the main cause of wide displacement of people, the growing immigration and refugees, and climate crisis.
NATO has caused the erosion of civil liberties and in fact, is the main catalyst for racism and bigotry to grow in the U.S. and throughout the world. Instead of celebrating NATO, the coalition called for its dismantling and rechanneling its funding and resources to people’s needs, the call to stop militarizing cultures in other parts of the world. Instead of celebrating NATO hiding on the slogan of “maintaining world peace which is nothing but a mechanism for U.S. imperialist control and domination in the world over its resources and markets ), the group called to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech against the war he made in April, 1967, as well as his assassination on April 4, 1968.
Amid Donald Trumps doubletalk call that NATO is obsolete, speakers at the rally exposed him as a salesman of U.S. imperialism by asking member countries to buy more arms from the U.S. for wars. Among others being mentioned is NATO adding its partnership with Colombia exposing its self its false pretenses as only within “North Atlantic” suing NATO as a leeway for U.S. Congress to decide of committing the right to oversee the atrocities U.S. wars, used as a cover by member governments to join U.S. wars under the pretense that they are somehow are more legal or acceptable, a cover to illegally and recklessly share nuclear weapons of mass destruction with supposedly non-nuclear nations as well as used to assign nations the responsibility to go to war if other nations go to war as well its aggressive promotion of militarism that threatens the environment, fuel racism, and bigotry and eroding civil liberties and finally making sure that the world resources are in the hands of the few big U.S. capitalists.
March Route and the US Government institutions the marchers passed by.
(March Guide was developed by the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality)
International Monetary Fund – 700 19th St. NW
Also founded in 1945, the International Monetary Fund or IMF, is an international financial institution notorious for demanding so-called “structural reforms” in return for financial assistance. These reforms include promoting budgets, removing price controls, slashing government subsidies for the poor, privatizing state-owned enterprises, and changing national laws to make it easier for foreign investors to make profits. Meeting these demands has resulted in the neo-colonization of many countries in Asia including the Philippines, Africa and Latin America and more recently in Eastern Europe, as in Poland, Hungry and Ukraine.
World bank (Inspection Panel) – 1818 H. St. NW
Founded in 1945, the World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to countries for capital projects. It claims that its goal is reducing poverty, but in granting loans to developing countries it often traps them in deepening cycles of debt. Further, the loans are dependent on agreeing to anti-worker structural “reforms.” In Ghana, it forces school fees on poor students. In Tanzania, it demanded the government to privatize its water system as what it did in the Philippines with foreign corporations taking control of the Maynilad and MWSS. In post-war Iraq, it pushed for eliminating food subsidies. Further, many of the capital projects its funds have been deeply destructive of the environment.
Organization of American States – 1889 F. St. NW
Founded in 1948, the Organization of American States, or OAS, is made up of the 35 countries of South, Central and North America and the Caribbean. The OAS has now thrown its weight behind the U.S. campaign to overthrow the elected government of Venezuela. On January 10, it passed a resolution “to not recognize the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro’s new term” as president of Venezuela. Venezuela is in the process of withdrawing from the OAS. Cuba was expelled from the organization in 1962, an order that only ceased to the effect in 2009. But Cuba now refuses to accept re-admission in solidarity with Venezuela. OAS member Colombia has now become NATO’s first South American “global partner.” President Trump has said he wants to see Brazil become another partner. Both countries border Venezuela and are led by right-wing presidents eager to do Washington’s bidding. So now NATO is being brought into the U.S. campaign to overthrow a socialist government that has nationalized the country’s oil industry and uses the revenue to benefit the vast majorities of Venezuelans, especially the poor.
Office of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser – 1350 Pennsylvania. NW
As of July 2017, the District of Colombia has a poverty rate of 16.6% meaning one out of every six residents is poor, most of them Black or Latino/a. And this is in the capital of the richest country in the world. Further, D.C. has a higher level of income inequality than any state in the country. Households in the top 20% of income have more than half of all D.C. income, while the bottom 20% has 2%. Why can’t the government address this situation? Because our taxes are being wasted on war. We’re told that military spending only takes up about a quarter of the federal budget, but that’s just for the Department of “Defense.” It doesn’t include nuclear weapons, which come under the Department of Energy. Or veterans’ health care and benefits, which come under the Department of Veteran Affairs. Or interest payments on the national debt, which is the cost of past wars and is now nearly equal to the “Defense” budget. Altogether, half our federal tax dollars go to past, present and future wars. This is why the politicians claim there’s no money for better schools, public transit, universal health care or the environment, and that we must cut hard-won domestic programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. And this is why we say, “Stop the Wars at Home and Abroad!” and use the country’s vast military spending for people’s needs in the cities and rural areas and for the reparations for the wars abroad.
Customs and Border “Protection” – 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
The Customs and Border Protection agency was formed in 2003 by combining functions of several other agencies, such as the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) and the U.S. Border Patrol. It is now the largest federal law enforcement agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and one of the largest enforcement agencies in the entire country, with more than 45,600 sworn federal agents and officers. Remember that every border of the United States was carved out of indigenous lands. The descendants of those who stole the land now want to keep out mainly Latino/a immigrants, many of whom are indigenous. This was true under President Obama, whose administration deported more immigrants than any president before him, and that repression has now been ratcheted up under the brutally racist policies of the Trump administration. “No hay fronteras en la lucha los obreros – There are no borders in the workers struggle!”
More photos on the original post on Red Lamp News and Analysis.