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June 16, 2010
12:16 PM

National Conference to Bring the Troops Home Now

As Congress Faces Vote on Funds for Escalation of War in Afghanistan, a National Conference to Bring the Troops Home Now to Convene in July in Albany, NY

WASHINGTON - June 16 - A diverse coalition of organizations opposed to the U.S. wars and occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq will sponsor a National Conference the weekend of July 23-25 in Albany, New York with the central demand being " Bring the Troops Home Now!" Organizers see the conference as a step to uniting in action the largest number of people possible to call for an end to the wars and occupations.

The conference is being organized as the U.S. war in Afghanistan is escalating, with thousands of additional U.S. troops being sent to that country. News reports make clear that the Pentagon plans to launch a major offensive in Kandahar this summer.  Civilian casualties are already increasing at an alarming rate. To finance the escalation of the war, Congress is being asked to authorize a supplemental funding request of $33 billion.

Keynoting the conference will be Noam Chomsky, internationally renowned political activist, author, and critic of U.S. foreign and domestic policies, MIT Professor Emeritus of Linguistics; and Donna DeWitt, President of the South Carolina AFL-CIO and Steering Committee member, U.S. Labor Against the War.

Joe Lombardo, an Albany area peace activist and a conference coordinator said, "The conference comes at a time when it is imperative that the U.S. antiwar movement works to reverse the escalation of the war in Afghanistan, takes steps to mobilize opposition to that war in the months ahead, and demands that all the troops be brought home now."

"In the midst of the worst economic crisis in generations," Lombardo declared, "with millions of working people losing their jobs, foreclosures and evictions putting families out of their homes, and schools and other vital services facing draconian budget cuts, the billions now wasted on war and occupations could be used to create jobs, meet other urgent human needs, and address the fiscal crisis of our states and local governments."

The announcement of the conference states in part, "We demand the immediate and total withdrawal of U.S. military forces, mercenaries and contractors from Afghanistan and Iraq. Moreover, we recognize that the Middle East cauldron today also encompasses Iran, Pakistan, Yemen, Palestine and Israel, while Haiti, Honduras, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba and other countries in Latin America are targeted for intervention, subversion, occupation and control as a consequence of a militarized U.S. foreign policy."

Co-sponsors of the conference to date include After Downing Street, Arab American Union Members Council, Black Agenda Report, Bail Out the People Movement, Campaign for Peace and Democracy, Campus Antiwar Network, Code Pink, Fellowship of Reconciliation, International Action Center, Iraq Veterans Against the War, National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations, Peace Action, Peace of the Action, National Lawyers Guild, Progressive Democrats of America, U.S. Labor Against the War, Veterans for Peace, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and World Can't Wait.

The July 23 - 25 conference will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Albany, NY. For more information on the conference, phone 518-227-6947 or visit UNAC's web site at and view the event brochure.




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