Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Stand in Solidarity March 19th: Madison, Wisconsin

Iraq Veterans Against the War calls on all veterans and peace organizations to mobilize to Madison, Wisconsin on March 19th, the 8th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, to stand in solidarity with workers organizing for their rights. We will be joined in the streets by the AFL-CIO, union members, and their supporters:

- 10AM rally at Library Mall, 750 State Street in Madison, WI
- 11AM march up State Street and around the capitol to the Hans Christian Heg Memorial
- Noon rally and speak-out at the capitol, joined by the Wisconsin AFL-CIO and other unions - King Street entrance

With Scott Walker's latest maneuver to erase collective bargaining rights, Wisconsin workers are calling for continued resistance, with the possibility of a general strike on the table. Scott Walker has threatened to call in the National Guard to repress these mobilizations. As military veterans, we call on our brothers and sisters in the Wisconsin National Guard to refuse and resist any mobilization orders. We believe military service members are public employees. It is dishonorable to suggest that military personnel should be deployed against teachers, health care providers, firefighters, police officers, and other government employees, many of whom are serving in the National Guard. The Wisconsin National Guard was sent in to repress workers fighting for the eight hour workday in 1886 and killed 7 people including a 14 year old boy and injured others (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_View_Massacre). It is vital that our brothers and sisters know they have a choice and can fall on the right side of history this time by standing with the working people of Wisconsin.

As veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we stand in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of workers who have mobilized across the country to defend their rights as workers and union members. The waves of resistance sweeping the Middle East show us that democracy is not something delivered by U.S. military intervention, but won and fought for by people in their own towns, cities, and countries.

Almost a decade of war in Afghanistan and eight years of war in Iraq have brought nothing but death and trauma to the people of those countries, as well as our brothers and sisters in the military. Meanwhile, we have seen the erosion of public goods such as education, veterans benefits, and healthcare and an all-out political attack on the very workers who make our society function. Scott Walker and the Republican caucus of the Wisconsin state legislature have gone behind the backs of the people of Wisconsin to erase collective bargaining rights for public workers. Under the guise of budget crisis, these and other politicians throughout the country are attempting to undo the hard-won union rights of the American people. Yet, these same politicians continue to reach deep into the pockets of working people to finance the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while sending our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, off to fight them. It is time for us to start connecting the dots between endless war abroad and the erosion of our rights and public goods here at home.

We call on veterans organizations and the anti-war movement to join us as we stand in solidarity with working people in Wisconsin and call-out to the National Guard to refuse mobilization against these workers. On the 8th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, join us as we call for an end to the wars against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan and an end to the war against the working people of Wisconsin.

- Wisconsin Iraq Veterans Against the War

Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=193875367309986

IVAW Blog link: http://www.ivaw.org/blog/call-action-stand-solidarity-march-19th-madison-wisconsin

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