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Anti-War Activists Plan 'Emergency' Rally In DC To Protest Afghanistan Escalation

by
Evan McMorris-Santoro

Activists of the anti-war CodePink group march the short distance from the US Treasury Department to the White House in Washington ahead of President Barack Obama announcing his new strategy for Afghanistan. (AFP/Nicholas Kamm)

A new coalition led by more than 100 anti-war activists has
announced an "Emergency Anti-Escalation Rally" to protest President
Obama's new strategy for Afghanistan. The rally, scheduled for Dec. 12
in front of the White House, will include speeches by former U.S.
Senator Mike Gravel and 2008 Green Party presidential nominee Cynthia
McKinney.

The new coalition, called EndUSWars.org, has posted an "open letter" to Obama on its website,
where it calls for an end to all U.S. military action in the
Afghanistan region, including Predator drone airstrikes and covert
intelligence operations.

Though the coalition's demands are to the extreme left-wing side of
the progressive furor over Obama's plan add troops to the Afghanistan
conflict, the organizer of the Dec. 12 rally says the coalition's anger
at Obama is becoming more mainstream among the left.

"This is a movement, and it's growing," Laurie Dobson told TPMDC. "A
lot of people said any change was better [than President Bush], but
it's not better if we're still peddling perpetual war across the
planet."

Dobson founded the coalition of anti-war progressives earlier this
month, when she said it became clear to her that Obama was not going to
cease military operations in Afghanistan. Dobson said the Dec. 12 rally
is the first step in a series of protests moves she said might end with
anti-war progressives running their own candidate for the 2012
Democratic presidential nomination.

Though Dobson said the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan began as
"neo-con wars" under Bush, she claimed Obama's speech last night put
made the wars his refocused the full force of the anti-war protests
Bush faced onto the Obama administration.

"It's about Obama," she said of the Dec. 12 rally. "And refusing to support his presidency any longer."

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