From the Students for a Democratic Society Antiwar Working Group:
Demonstrations mark 8th anniversary of Afghan Warâ€“demand immediate U.S./NATO withdrawal
Students on 25 campuses across the United States will protest eight long years of war against and occupation of the people of Afghanistan, on Wednesday October 7. Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), a nation-wide student organization committed to activism for peace, justice and equality, are organizing the protest.
â€œWe are outraged by the daily loss of life and devastation caused by the U.S. military in Afghanistan,â€ Daniel Ginsberg-Jaeckle, a member of SDS in Milwaukee, WI. â€œFor eight years this occupation has brought nothing but misery, poverty and suffering to the Afghan people. The U.S. and NATO need to get out now.â€
The protests come on the heels of the largest loss of life for U.S. occupation forces in a year. On Sunday October 4, anti-occupation fighters in Afghanistan killed nine U.S. soldiers in a series of attacks. So far, 869 U.S. troops are dead in Afghanistan since the occupation began in 2001 â€“ with over a quarter of those killed in the past ten months alone. There are over 4,000 U.S. wounded.
U.S. and NATO occupation forces do not keep track of civilian casualties, but many estimate that U.S. air strikes and gunfire have killed tens of thousands of Afghanis. Just last month, U.S. air strikes killed over 90 Afghan civilians in the northern Afghan village of Omar Kheil. A similar strike in Farah province on May 4 this year killed 147 civilians.
â€œThe U.S. occupation is a disaster for Afghanistan, just like it is for Iraq. The Afghan people will never have stability and peace until the U.S. leavesâ€, said Stephanie Taylor, a member of SDS at the University of Minnesota.
The organizers of the October 7th protests note that the war and occupation of Afghanistan is linked to U.S. interests in controlling strategic energy resources and markets in central Asia. Jenae Stainer, an SDS organizer in Tuscaloosa, Alabama explains, â€œOur government wants to keep us ignorant about the real reasons and true costs of war both at home and in Afghanistan. That is why organizing to stop the war is so important.â€
Organizers of the October 7th actions say they will continue to initiate demonstrations to protest the occupation of Afghanistan until all U.S. and NATO forces leave the country. â€œWe will keep speaking out and organizing to support the people of Afghanistan in their struggle for independence from U.S. occupation,â€ said Ginsberg-Jaeckle. â€œWe will continue to demand that the U.S. government stop spending money on war and occupation, and fund peopleâ€™s needs here at home, including education, housing, jobs, and healthcare.â€
U.S. Out of Afghanistan Now!
Fund Education, Not Occupation!
The SDS Anti-War Working Group exists to help coordinate national SDS anti-war activity. For more information, please contact Daniel Ginsberg-Jaeckle at 608-658-5480. More information, reports, and organizing materials are available on the SDS Antiwar Working Groupâ€™s homepage.