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Cynthia McKinney gives eyewitness Libya report

Published Jul 21, 2011 11:02 PM

Former U.S. Congressperson Cynthia McKinney spoke to an overflow crowd at the historic Friends Meeting House in Northampton, Mass., on July 14. She delivered an impassioned plea for an end to the U.S./NATO war against Libya. Her speaking engagement there is part of a multi-city national tour entitled “Eyewitness Libya.” The International Action Center is assisting in the organizing of the tour.

Nicholas Camerota, an organizer with the Western Mass. IAC, began the program by introducing Paki Wieland, a Northampton resident and Palestine solidarity activist who reported on this month’s Gaza Freedom Flotilla II, in which he participated.

Kalifa Eldurbak is a Libyan graduate student who has attended a local university for the past three-and-a-half years. He has remained in close contact with his family and friends in his war-torn homeland, and provided a detailed analysis of the current conflict there.

IAC Co-Director Sara Flounders dispelled much of the government and media propaganda, which is designed to justify the U.S./NATO military assault on Libya and further the geostrategic interests of the U.S. and former European colonial powers on the African continent.

All of these speakers noted Libya’s relative prosperity, free education and health-care systems, the absence of homelessness and the improved status of women.

McKinney noted the mainstream media’s grossly distorted picture on a wide variety of issues on the military intervention against Libya. She said that in spite of this, the majority of people in the U.S. do not support this war.

McKinney urged activists to educate, organize and mobilize people to call for an end to the U.S./NATO slaughter of Libyan civilians under the flimsy pretext of so-called humanitarian intervention, and their attempt to prevent African nations from exercising their right to self-determination. Her remarks were warmly received, and meeting participants gave her a standing ovation after she spoke.

The local NBC TV affiliate interviewed McKinney before the event. The Western Mass. IAC and the Northampton Committee to Stop the Wars sponsored the meeting. It was co-sponsored by the Alliance for Peace and Justice, Pioneer Valley Code Pink and the Pioneer Valley Green/Rainbow Local Party.