McKinney on 27-city tour
Strong turnout at rallies against Libya war
Published Sep 2, 2011 10:48 AM
Continuing a nationwide tour to report on her fact-finding visit to Libya,
former Georgia Congressperson Cynthia McKinney spoke at Philadelphia’s
Calvary Church on Aug. 26, writes Dolores Cox. More than 200
people, mostly from the city’s oppressed Black communities, filled the
room to capacity.
WW photo: Joseph Piette
McKinney and her international delegation put themselves in harm’s way in
order to uncover the truth about the imperialist war and disprove the many lies
emanating from the White House and corporate media.
The International Action Center is organizing her North American tour, with
endorsements from many grassroots organizations. Betsey Piette and Berta
Joubert-Ceci of the Philadelphia IAC coordinated the evening’s program.
Speakers included Sara Flounders, IAC national office co-director; Pam Africa,
MOVE and the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal; and
representatives from various anti-war organizations, community groups and
WW photo: Joseph Piette
Philadelphia supporters rallied against the U.S.-NATO war on Libya with the
goal of building unity in support of the Libyan people’s resistance to
the daily bombings that have gone on for 159 days as of Aug. 26.
The meeting’s chairperson, Joubert-Ceci, introduced McKinney as a fiery,
true revolutionary, worthy of receiving a Che Guevara award and one who put
herself on the line for the people. Not only was McKinney’s trip to Libya
risky, she stated, but here at home she also needs protection from her own
Photo: Ric Urrutia
Pam Africa referred to McKinney as an international warrior for peace. Africa
made the connection between the U.S. domestic war on African Americans, using
Cointelpro to murder leaders, and U.S. terrorism against the African continent
and the Middle East, aimed at destroying anti-colonial governments.
Flounders gave a global view of U.S. terrorism and military interventions. The
U.S. has hundreds of military bases throughout the world in order to enrich the
wealthy. While the U.S. is attacking oil-rich Libya, it is also planning its
next war, with carte blanche to murder leaders and their family members.
Photo: Ric Urrutia
People everywhere have an enormous hunger for the truth, but get lies instead,
she added. Demonization of targeted leaders is a propaganda strategy used.
Libya’s government provides free housing, health care and subsidized
higher education for its people. Yet they’re living in hell due to the
attacks. U.S. and NATO have no shame! Gadhafi is a threat to the U.S. due to
his country’s wealth and aid to the rest of Africa and to other
“interests” of the U.S. and former colonial powers.
Flounders made the connection between budget cuts, homelessness and
unemployment here at home, and the cost of militarism to U.S. residents, whose
taxes pay for the wars. This is a crime against us by our own country. An
attack on Libya is an attack on all of us.
Cynthia McKinney described the vast destruction of Libya’s infrastructure
and innocent civilians injured and murdered. Graphic video slides accompanied
her talk. She said she has a heavy heart when she thinks of the trapped Libyans
and journalists, surrounded by rubble and unable to leave the country, and of
the assassination/capture attempts of Col. Gadhafi and his sons.
Merciless, unrelenting bombing has had an effect not only on the people,
McKinney added, but on the environment as well. Dark clouds and the sky are
laden with black grit, ash and depleted uranium from the bombings. She made a
comparison with the destruction of Gaza, which she witnessed after days of
nonstop Israeli bombings. Targets were similar: homes, schools, hospitals,
factories, sewerage systems and electric power installations — war crimes
under international law. McKinney stated that she’ll be against U.S.
man-made wars every time and continue to raise awareness.
U.S.-NATO interventions, McKinney related, have also created a climate of
racism in Europe against African descendants, leading to increasing attacks,
and have fostered attacks and killings of dark-skinned Libyans.
It will take unity and solidarity movements to end aggressions and all wars. We
must struggle for peace. At the ballot box we must vote for peace and
liberation from war mongers in both political parties. Libya has a right to
self-determination. Libya for the Libyans!
Full house in Detroit
Kris Hamel reports that it was a full house in Detroit on Aug.
27 as McKinney spoke truth to power about her recent trip to Libya and her
defense of that African country from the brutal machinations of NATO and U.S.
imperialism. An audience comprised of people of many nationalities, ages,
abilities and struggles cheered McKinney and other speakers, including Mark
Fancher of the National Conference of Black Lawyers; Maureen Taylor, chair of
the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization; Fred Vitale of the Green Party of
Michigan and Detroit Greens; and Abayomi Azikiwe, a contributing editor of
Workers World newspaper and a Michigan Emergency Committee Against War &
The program also featured wonderful revolutionary music and song from Siaire
Reign and the group Black Reign. The meeting was initiated by MECAWI in
conjunction with the IAC national tour.
Denver: Brother Jeff’s packed
McKinney spoke to a standing-room-only crowd at Brother Jeff’s Cultural
Center and Cafe in the heart of the historic Five Points Black community of
Denver on Aug. 28, writes Larry Hales. One hundred people
packed the room in protest against the U.S.-NATO war on the Libyan people and
to hear former Congresswoman McKinney, who ended her North American tour
The crowd was multinational but primarily made up of activists and members of
the Black community. There were also members of the Nation of Islam, students
from Libya, immigrant rights activists from Latin America — including
Mexico and Peru, from East Africa, West Africa, and one from Algeria.
Speakers also described the struggle for immigrants’ rights and, in
particular, that of a coalition of workers from the Swift meat packing plant in
Greeley, Colo., that is made up of immigrants from Latin America, Somalia and
other communities. An activist from Comité en Defensa del Pueblo spoke, as
did two IAC activists, including people’s attorney Mark Burton. Local
musician Ietef performed a spoken-word piece. Brother Jeff emceed the event and
gave a warm welcome to McKinney, whom the crowd greeted with a standing
Broad community support in Baltimore
Some 300 people packed the Union Baptist Church on Aug. 24 to hear McKinney
speak, writes Steven Ceci. The meeting was initiated by the
Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the All Peoples Congress, Job Is A
Right Campaign, Black Think Tank, Ujima Peoples Progress Party and Workers
World Party. A coalition of over 17 groups and individuals helped ensure the
success of the meeting.
National speakers at the meeting, besides McKinney, included IAC co-director
Sara Flounders and Dr. Randy Short. Important community leaders from Baltimore
participated, including Rev. Dr. Alvin Hathaway of Union Baptist Church, Eartha
Harris of the Millions More Movement, reparations writer Dr. Raymond Winbush,
Pres. Maryland/D.C. AFL-CIO Fred Mason, David Johnson of Black Think Tank and
representatives from the Green Party, Answer, All-African Peoples Revolutionary
Party, Workers World Party and Ujima Peoples Progress Party. The event was
co-chaired by Rev. C.D. Witherspoon, president of the SCLC and Sharon Black of
the All Peoples Congress.
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