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The March 20 National March on Washington to demand “U.S. Out of Afghanistan and Iraq Now” is shaping up to be a dramatic and highly significant demonstration.
People will be coming to D.C. by bus, van, car, train, plane and metro from over 50 different cities and towns across the East Coast, South and Midwest. Large numbers of veterans, service members, and their families; members of the Arab and Muslim community; students and teachers; representatives of local anti-war and peace groups; and many others are mobilizing to join the demonstration.
We will gather at 12 noon at the White House (Lafayette Park on the north side).
We will march from the White House, making stops at the offices of Halliburton, Washington Post, Mortgage Bankers Association of America, National Endowment for Democracy and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
On the march, we will carry hundreds of coffins representing the victims of war from Iraq to Afghanistan, Palestine, Pakistan, Lebanon, Somalia, Yemen, and the U.S. GIs who have been killed in the various fronts of these wars of aggression. We will deliver the coffins to the doorsteps of those who profit from and promote these wars.
|There are several ways that you can be a part of this important action:
1) Be part of a team that carries a coffin in the march
|Where and Why We Are Marching|
|White House (start and end of the march)
The White House is the decision-making center of the U.S. empire, where all high-level decision on war and occupation are ultimately made.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
National Endowment for Democracy
Mortgage Bankers Association of America
Make a generous donation to help high school students travel to Washington D.C. for the March on Washington. It costs a lot for organizations to rent buses and for individuals to buy tickets to come to Washington, D.C. We are setting up a scholarship fund to help cover the transportation costs for high school students. How much we can provide will be based on how much we raise. Please click here to make a generous donation and help a new generation of activists take their place in today’s anti-war movement.
More information about March 20 is available at www.AnswerCoalition.org.
Help build the March 20 March on Washington!
16/03/2010 Israel has opened the so-called “Hurva” (Ruin) synagogue in occupied Jerusalem (al-Quds) on Monday, in a move backed by the United States and ignited angry protests by Palestinians in the holy city and elsewhere in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Hamas announced Tuesday a “day of rage” a day following the opening of the synagogue a few hundred meters from the al-Aqsa Mosque in.
A joint Palestinian factions’ statement read by Hamas’ Politburo Chief Khaled Meshaal in Damascus on Monday, described the synagogue opening as “a declaration of war” because of its direct threat to the holy site. “It is part of a project to destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque” and replace it with Israel’s so-called “Solomon’s Temple.”
Mashaal slammed Tel Aviv’s “falsification of history and Jerusalem’s religious and historic monuments”. “Israel is playing with fire and touching off the first spark to make the region explode,” he said.
Large Israeli occupation forces continued to deploy throughout the occupied city, with 3,000 policemen and border officers stationed in the area and in neighboring villages, where hundreds of Palestinians clashed with the occupation police early Tuesday.
Israeli police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades at protesters who hurled rocks at occupation security forces in the Shuafat refugee camp.
In a video message to the opening ceremony, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu claimed that the synagogue brought a message of religious coexistence. “We permit believers of other faiths to conserve their places of worship. We proudly protect our heritage, while at the same time allowing others freedom of religion,” he said.
Netanyahu’s speech came while Palestinian men under the age of 50 were barred from entering the al-Aqsa Mosque compound for a fourth day and will continue for the fifth day. Members of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee are set to hold a procession in the east of the city on Wednesday.
Israeli Housing Minister Ariel Atias used the occasion to stress construction in Jerusalem will continue. “We have thousands of housing units in 2010, and no government has allowed a dialogue about the right to build in Jerusalem,” the Israeli minister said.
Palestinians both in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip closed ranks to condemn the Israeli move.
Head of al-Quds international institution, Dr. Ahmed Abu Halabiya, warned the opening of the synagogue in al-Quds was part of an Israeli plan “to build a Jewish temple on al-Aqsa ruins.”
Hamas called on Arab and Islamic governments to shoulder the responsibility of protecting Al-Quds and the Aqsa Mosque. The movement also urged PA chief Mahmoud Abbas and his entourage to end the futile negotiations with the Israeli occupation government and to return to the ranks of the Palestinian resistance to confront the occupation and its schemes.
Senior Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Zahhar leveled scathing criticism to the occupation government saying: “You who are opening Hurva are heading towards ruin. Wherever you have been you’ve been sent to your destruction. You’ve killed and murdered your prophets and you have always dealt in loan-sharking and destruction,” he said Monday, during a conference of Palestinian groups in Gaza.
“You’re destined to be destroyed. You’ve made a deal with the devil and with destruction itself – just like your synagogue,” al-Zahhar said.
He urged the Arab world to respond to “Israel’s crimes and protect the sites that are holy to Muslims and Christians from the Zionists’ racist onslaught”.
Moreover, Political bureau member of Hamas Ezzet Al-Resheq said the synagogue served as a cornerstone for the Judaization of Jerusalem, warning in a press release on Monday the Israeli occupation authority of the repercussions of the aggressive policy against Al-Quds and the Aqsa Mosque.
Hatem Abdel Qader, the Palestinian Authority’s official in charge of al-Quds affairs, expressed concern over what he described as “not just a synagogue.” “This synagogue will be a prelude to violence, extremism and religious fanaticism, and that will not be limited to extremist Jews but includes members of the Israeli government,” he warned.
The US State Department, however, criticized Palestinian comments for “mischaracterizing the event in question, which can only serve to heighten the tensions we see.”
The US support for the opening of the synagogue raises serious questions over a purported dispute between Tel Aviv and Washington over the continued Israeli settlement construction. Some analysts argue that the ostensible tensions are to provide a cover for Israel’s encroach upon Palestinian and Islamic identity of al-Quds.
NEW DELHI: Karachi-based ganglord Bashir Ahmad Khan Ain-ul-Haq Khan had recruited two Mumbai-based men arrested over the weekend for plotting terrorist attacks, intelligence sources have told The Hindu.
Khan, a key lieutenant of top mafioso Mushtaq Abdul Razzak Memon, is wanted for his alleged role in planning and executing the 1993 serial bombings in Mumbai, which left 254 people dead and more than 700 injured.
Khan is a paternal uncle of Abdul Latif Sheikh, one of the two men arrested by the Mumbai police. Sheikh is married to the sister of Riyaz Ali, the second suspect.
Maharashtra prosecutors say Khan played a key role in landing hundreds of kilograms of plastic explosives, as well as assault rifles and grenades, off the coasts of Dighi and Shekhadi in January and February, 1993. He is also alleged to have participated in a string of meetings where top mafioso Dawood Ibrahim Kaksar planned the serial bombings, and to have received combat training from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate.
Based on the evidence so far available, planning for the attacks appears to have been at an early stage. No explosives of weapons had been received by the men, and neither appears to have been directly linked to jihadist organisations.
Intelligence sources said both men appeared motivated by a desire to avenge the anti-Muslim violence that tore apart Gujarat in 2002. Both men’s families, the sources said, are ethnic-Gujarati, originally hailing from Ahmedabad and Bhusaval.
Personal grievances may also have shaped the choice of the two suspects’ targets. Four years ago, police detained Ali after he eloped with a minor, the daughter of his former employer at the Thakkar Shopping Mall, one of the targets.
[Is this the end of Indo-American scheming?]
|Advani demands explanation on decision|
NEW DELHI: Amid stiff opposition from the political parties, particularly the Left, the government on Monday decided against introducing in the Lok Sabha the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010 that provides for compensation in the event of a nuclear accident.
A key step in the operationalisation of the India-U.S. nuclear deal, the Bill was listed for introduction in the House, but just as it was about to be tabled, Speaker Meira Kumar said she had received a request from the government that “it did not intend to introduce the Bill today [Monday].”
At least four members from the Opposition had given notice to the Speaker in the morning of their intention to oppose the Bill at the introduction stage as it violated Article 21 of the Constitution and several Supreme Court rulings.
Under Rule 72 of the Rule of Procedures of the Lok Sabha, any government motion that is opposed at the time of introduction has to be put to vote. Since the government lacked the numbers in the House, it decided to withdraw the Bill instead.
The notice to oppose the Bill had been given by Murli Manohar Joshi and Yashwant Sinha of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Basudeb Acharia of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Gurudas Dasgupta of the CPI.
Protesting strongly against the announcement, working chairman of the National Democratic Alliance L.K. Advani said the government should tell the House why the Bill was deferred suddenly.
“The government should tell [us] whether it has a rethink on it or whether they are not introducing because of opposition to the Bill,” he said, pointing out that the proposed legislation was an important part of the day’s agenda.
Earlier, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj also said that a motion had to be moved for withdrawal of the Bill from the agenda as the matter was listed in the day’s business.
“The House does not run by the intention of the government but by rules of the House,” she said.
The Speaker, however, rejected the demand saying such a motion could not be moved as the Bill had not been introduced.
Responding to the opposition, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said the government decision could not be challenged in the House.
Enactment of the liability law is one of the three key requirements because of which the nuclear deal with the U.S., concluded in September 2008, could not be operationalised so far.
The Bill provides for establishment of a Nuclear Damage Claims Commission.
“Meant to serve
The Left parties dubbed the Bill as “a harmful piece of legislation meant to serve the interests of the United States and its nuclear industry.”
The BJP said it had “serious reservations” over the Bill as it “caps the liability of American firms.”
MUMBAI: A terror strike appears to have been averted in Mumbai in the nick of time. The two terror suspects arrested over the weekend planned to set fire to the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) office at Bandra (East) on Monday (March 15), according to state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) officers.
Abdul Latif Rashid alias Guddu (29), a resident of Haji Chawl, Behrampada, Bandra (East), and Riyaz Ali Imtiaz alias Rehan (23), a resident of Koyla Bhavan Chawl, Ratan Nagar, Dahisar, planned to enter the ONGC premises, known as Vasudhara Bhavan, with the help of an ONGC Class-IV employee, said the ATS officers.
When asked how they intended to set fire to the building, the ATS officers said they were still interrogating the two brothers-in-law. Sources said they were held while going to a petrol pump to arrange for fuel. Police are issuing a warning to all pumps not to sell loose fuel to any customers, especially those who don’t have vehicles, and to inform the authorities of anyone trying to buy such fuel.
According to the remand application, attacks were planned on ONGC, Thakkar Mall in Borivli, where Riyaz worked, and Mangaldas Market in Kalbadevi, where Latif worked. Gujarati Chawl, near the Borivli mall, was also targeted. The ATS officers said fire was to be set at these places before the suspects went to Pakistan.
Latif had allegedly asked six men, aside from himself and Riyaz, to apply for passports and go to Pakistan free of cost for terror training. Two of those youth refused to go, saying the plot was anti-national. ‘‘One of those two youths first told a police informant about the plot and we put all the eight under surveillance,’’ said the officer. Both youth who refused to go to Pakistan have been questioned by police.
Of the other four, two have been questioned and two cannot be found. While some sources said the four who applied for passports may be arrested soon, other sources said the ATS is looking for as many as 10 associates of the arrested duo who was part of the ‘‘Karachi operation’’.
Police said the arrested duo had befriended an ONGC employee over the period of a month. ‘‘The duo wanted to set the ONGC headquarters, Vasudhara Bhavan in Bandra, on fire, and not oil tanks,’’ said a senior ATS officer. No maps, firearms or petrol was recovered.
Senior officers were tight-lipped about the identity of the ONGC employee, but plan to make him a witness for the prosecution. ‘‘The two suspects befriended him and wanted to get some support from him. We are questioning him, but it’s too difficult to say at this stage whether he was part of the conspiracy or unaware of the plot,’’ an ATS officer said.
Latif was in touch with a certain ‘Chacha’ in Karachi. ‘‘Latif’s maternal uncle is an absconding accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts. He had asked Latif to go to Pakistan and sent Rs 10,000 to help him get a passport through tatkal,’’ said an ATS official. It is not known if ‘Chacha’ and Latif’s uncle are the same person. Latif’s and Riyaz’s passports have been seized. ‘‘More than 16 calls were made and received by the duo to a Pakistani number. Their phones will be sent for analyses,’’ said the ATS source.