HELP US!Â PLEASE!
Mobile to New Orleans Veteransâ€™ and Survivorsâ€™ March
â€œWalkinâ€™ to New Orleansâ€
March 14-19, 2006
EVERY BOMB RELEASED OVER IRAQ EXPLODES FROM MOBILE TO NEW ORLEANS.
SURVIVORS OF THE â€˜WAR AT HOMEâ€™ AND VETERANS OF WARS ABROAD ARE GOING TO JOIN HANDS IN MARCH TO WALK THROUGH THE IMPACT AREA.
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN.
Just because we no longer see the steady stream of images on CNN of the devastation that was neglected in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita doesnâ€™t mean the crisis has disappeared.
And just because neither CNN nor any other major media have ever highlighted the connection between an illegal war that is not projected to cost $2.65 trillion and the failure of an adequate moral, economic, and political response to Katrina, doesnâ€™t mean a clear connection doesnâ€™t exist.
But when veterans of the Iraq war and other foreign military adventures set off with survivors of the hurricanes on an epic trek down Gulf Coast Highway 90 and march into the heart of New Orleans on the third anniversary of the war, the ongoing crisis on the Gulf Coast and the connection that Dr. King made between the â€œgiant triplets of racism, economic exploitation, and militarismâ€ will be impossible to ignore.
Veteransâ€™ for Peace (VFP), Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), and Military Families Speak Out (MFSO), at the call of the Mobile, Alabama Veterans for Peace Chapter, will conduct a 135-mile march between Mobile AL and New Orleans LA from March 14 to March 19, 2005.Â They will be joined by hundreds of hurricane survivors along the route.
Not only will these veterans and military families build relationships with the surviving members of communities affected by the Katrina-Rita disaster, we will demonstrate through our actions the solidarity of veterans and military families with the survivors of Katrina-Rita not simply as the acute victims of a â€œnaturalâ€ disaster, but as predominantly African Americans who continue to suffer structural injustice in the United States.Â We will spotlight the similarities between the emphasis on population control instead of reconstruction in both the Gulf States and Iraq.Â We will the cynical social spending priorities that ignore the input and needs of survivors of the Katrina-Rita disaster in the development of plans for its aftermath, and the recruitment of poor and working class youth from these very communities to prosecute the wars of the rich abroad.
Our veterans see this as a political action, but also as a spiritual pilgrimage.
We will demand grassroots power for Gulf Coast hurricane survivors and self-determination for Iraqis.Â We will demand immediate, unilateral, and unconditional withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq.Â We will demand proper care and full benefits for all veterans returning from the war, including Depleted Uranium testing and post-traumatic stress disorder treatment.Â We will demand that the US government provide funds for all Katrina families to be reunited and returned to their rightful homes, and that hurricane survivors must be guaranteed the right to plan their future free from the dictates of the politicians in Washington D.C., Baton Rouge, LA, and at the local level.
But we will also demonstrate over a period of five long days what solidarity, community, and commitment look like.Â As we walk down that coastal highway, with the eyes of a nation fixed on us, we veterans who were ourselves instruments of the giant triplets, and who have been made witnesses as a matter of conscience, will become the conscience of the nation, in a region of the deep South where the monumental struggle to break legal American Apartheid found its most turbulent force.
The increasingly unpopular war in Iraq is part of a growing credibility gap, as is the continuing, criminally negligent, often hostile, and disastrous response to the survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.Â This march is a reminder to the nationâ€™s leadership, regardless of party affiliation, that the majority of this nation is now opposed to the war, and that equivocating on the war while people continue to die, and while those resources are desperately needed by the Gulf Coast of the United States, is simply not acceptable.
In 1960, the great organizer Ella Baker called together mobilized students at Shaw University in Raleigh NC for a meeting that would found the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which went on to galvanize black and white youth for the audacious and pivotal Freedom Rides through this very same region.Â This kind of audacity and moral clarity are exactly what is needed for regular people across the country who are alarmed at our political malaise to see that everyday people can and must put themselves back into the arena of the struggle for peace abroad and justice at home.
The march itself will consist exclusively of veterans, military families, and hurricane survivors.Â It is essential that we not dilute that identity; because it is the special credibility of these groups to speak to these issues and the connection between them that is our strength.Â Others are invited to attend the rally in New Orleans on March 19th, the third anniversary of the war.
We are asking now for your financial support to conduct this march.
To contribute: Go to IVAW and hit the “donation” button. Note that your contribution is for the “march in March.”
For more information, contact Paul Robinson of the Mobile AL Veterans for Peace… firstname.lastname@example.org
or contact Stan Goff… email@example.com/blog
To coordinate fundraising events for the march, contact Anita at firstname.lastname@example.org
To provide media assistance or contacts, contact Virginia at email@example.com
To register as a veteran, military family member, or hurricane survivor, contact Dave at Daoudc@aol.com