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Rallies denounce NATO bombing of Libya

Published Jul 17, 2011 6:43 AM

Rallies in Washington and San Francisco on July 9 demanded an end to the U.S./NATO bombing of Libya. At the White House, more than 300 people included supporters of the Nation of Islam and other local Black Muslim organizations in the Washington, D.C. area. A delegation of Libyans drove to the protest from Colorado and waved green flags in support of Gadhafi and the people’s revolution that brought him to power.

A contingent of people from the Ivory Coast came from around the country to protest intervention in their own country and oppose the bombing of Libya. At the rally, that contingent chanted “Free Gbagbo,” referring to the deposed and arrested ex-president, and carried placards about the struggle in the Ivory Coast.

In San Francisco, about 150 people marched in the demonstration opposing the bombing of Libya and then joined the demonstration in solidarity with the prisoners holding a hunger strike at the Pelican Bay State Prison in California. (See articles this issue.)

In Washington, a contingent from Workers World Party distributed a booklet entitled “U.S. Hands of Libya,” containing articles from this newspaper exposing the nature of U.S. intervention in Libya and supporting Cynthia McKinney’s national tour in which she is telling the truth about what she saw in Libya. Every single one of the booklets was scooped up by attendees, apparently excited to see an anti-imperialist explanation of the bombings.

Members of the American Party of Labor were also in attendance, as was a delegation from the Iranian-American Friendship Society. The Answer Coalition had initiated the anti-war actions in both cities.

At the rally, Sharon Black, representing Workers World Party, made clear as she spoke to the media that the money used to bomb Libya could be used instead to provide employment to the millions across the country in need of a job or an income.

A much smaller contingent of counterprotesters made clear its true agenda by waving the flag of the Libyan monarchy of King Idris and openly supporting the murder of their own people with signs such as “NATO is the ‘Bomb.’”

Numerous times the small group of counterprotestors shouted racial slurs at people of African descent and insinuated that because of their ethnicity they were “getting welfare from Gaddafi.”

Speakers at the closing session, held indoors at the George Washington University School of Business, said that Minister Louis Farrakhan and former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark were both in full support of the rally and its goals.

Organizers of the event hailed rallies in Libya against the bombing, which reportedly had 1.7 million people in attendance. The organizers urged all to attend the upcoming rally in New York City on Aug. 13 initiated by a coalition of Pan-African organizations, including the December 12th Movement, the New Black Panther Party and the Nation of Islam, and endorsed and supported by anti-imperialist groups like Answer and the International Action Center.

The rally planned for Aug. 13 will also demand that the U.S. end its effort to destabilize Zimbabwe and other African countries.