Salt Lake City — In recent weeks, there has been a resurgence in anti-war politics in Salt Lake City with the creation of the Utah Anti-War Coalition. UAWC was initiated in order to work toward organizing community resistance against the spread of the U.S. war machine at a time when more than half of U.S. residents are said to be against the war in Afghanistan. The coalition sees the need to resist the spread of U.S. wars abroad and the militarization of society.
The coalition consists of local activists from Occupy Salt Lake City, the Revolutionary Students Union and the Industrial Workers of the World. The group has united on opposing U.S. wars by using slogans independent of political differences, slogans like “Stop the Drone Strikes,” “End the Kill List,” “Hands Off Iran” and “U.S. Out of Afghanistan.”
Many of the activists in the coalition are relatively new to the anti-war movement and are beginning their work with plans for a counter-recruitment campaign aimed at stopping campus military recruiters.The group plans to bring information and alternatives to young people who are frequently the target of the U.S. military for recruitment into the armed services.
Some goals of UAWC include finding ways to influence public school policies and presenting an anti-recruitment message that will counter the lies offered by the military at high schools, colleges and universities around the Salt Lake City area. The group sees its long-term goal as getting the military recruiters out and kicking the military-industrial complex off of college campuses.
The coalition plans to build opposition to U.S. militarism and corporate war profiteering with a teach-in at the end of July. This teach-in is planned at a time when ALEC — the American Legislative Exchange Council — a major right-wing corporate lobbying group, plans to hold its annual meeting in Salt Lake City. ALEC crafts corporate-friendly state legislation and hands it off to local conservative politicians to run with. ALEC has long-term ties to the Koch brothers, with representation by Koch Industries on the governing board of ALEC.
Utah activist groups have been building for months, planning and organizing opposition to the ALEC visit to Salt Lake City. There are many demonstrations, teach-ins and pickets scheduled throughout the week of the ALEC conference.