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Anti-war forces in Madison demand ‘Jobs, not wars!’

Published Mar 12, 2011 10:55 AM

From the beginning of the people’s struggle against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s “budget repair bill,” at the behest of the banks, corporations and the Pentagon, thousands of peace and anti-war forces have traveled to Madison and other parts of the state to confront the politicians’ and their rich backers’ lie that there’s no money for people’s needs.

The United National Anti-War Committee sent a solidarity delegation to Madison for the tens-of-thousands-strong Feb. 26 protest at the state Capitol. UNAC members from Minnesota, Illinois, Vermont and Virginia carried a 25-foot banner that read, “Stop the war on unions, Muslims, immigrants and communities of color!” They passed out thousands of fliers linking defense of unions with opposing wars abroad.

The UNAC statement concludes by demanding, “Money For Jobs, Not War!” and calling on poor and working people to support, build for and attend the anti-war rally and marches in New York City on April 9 and April 10 in San Francisco. Go to UNACPeace.org to read their entire statement of solidarity with Wisconsin workers.

According to Costofwar, since 2001 taxpayers in Wisconsin — the overwhelming majority of whom are poor and working people — have been robbed of more than $18 billion to fund just the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As in the countries where the U.S. is waging war, domestically the effects of the U.S. wars affect children, women and people of color the worst. (costofwar.com/en)

U.S. Labor Against the War states, “Solidarity with Public Workers in Wisconsin Is a Stand for Public Workers and Labor Rights Everywhere.” (uslaboragainstwar.org/).

Iraq Veterans Against the War issued a statement to members of the Wisconsin National Guard during the weekend of Feb. 18 that reads in part: “In the midst of the growing protests in Madison, and across the Midwest, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker recently stated that he was preparing the National Guard to respond to any problems following the introduction of union-busting legislation in Wisconsin. We know that National Guard troops have been used in the past against striking workers, protesting students, and to quell urban rebellions in the U.S., at times with horrifying results (think Jackson and Kent State, 1970). But recent events in Egypt remind us that service members have the power to side with the people.” (www.ivaw.org)

Other organizations also sending solidarity delegations to Madison are Veterans For Peace, the Wisconsin Network For Peace and Justice, Peace Action Wisconsin, Courage to Resist, the Answer Coalition, the International Action Center, the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice, Stop FBI Repression and Women Against Military Madness.

The writer is an organizer with MECAWI, a member of UNAC.