Activists gathered in downtown Boston on March 10 for a speakout led by women from the Boston branch of Workers World Party to push back against war rhetoric and say, “U.S. hands off Korea!” They gathered at the corner of Park and Tremont streets with signs, a loudspeaker and a banner decrying U.S. military expansion around the world, especially against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The southern half of the peninsula has been occupied by U.S. military forces since 1945.
Phebe Eckfeldt from the Women’s Fightback Network told the crowd: “This is why north Korea needs to and has a right to defend itself.” She held up a map detailing sites all over the Korean peninsula where the Pentagon organized massacres of tens of thousands of Korean civilians and liberation fighters in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Eckfeldt was part of a delegation to south Korea, sponsored by the Korea Truth Commission, that uncovered and exposed the massacres.
Speakers angrily raised connections between U.S. military expansion around the world and the need for capitalism to find new markets for private businesses. The imperialist need to profit from the global class war has led to initiatives like the U.S. government’s 1033 program. For almost 20 years, billions of dollars in military vehicles and equipment have been funneled through the Defense Logistics Agency to local police departments. This has led to mine-resistant armored vehicles in places like the streets of Ferguson, Mo., and the Standing Rock Sioux land, which brings home that this continent has always been a war zone for nationally oppressed people.