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World PEACE Rally * Illegal War * UN Peace Mission

14 February 2003





"Congress shall have power... (to) declare war."
-- Article I, Section 8, US Constitution



1) Ten Million Join World Protest Rallies
2) Suit questions Bush's war powers
3) Russia Threatens to Veto US War Plan
4) Justice, Peace, a voice in the Americas


Editor's Notes:


Today, while writing, I will sometimes stop to chase squirrels from my windowsill, which is reserved for my winter-feathered friends for sunflower seeds. The squirrels can get those falling to the ground. In North Korea, a CBS Sixty-Minutes correspondent said that the sky there was silent, due to hungry people scavenging for any sort of nourishment. Meanwhile, the North Korean government maintains a hefty military operation with more special unit forces than in all of the US. Now, for leveraging power, North Korea has fired up its plutonium generating nuclear power plant. This could produce enough Pu for about 6 atom bombs in a few months. This is a crisis situation that makes an attack on Iraq now more preposterous. This weekend will mark an unprecedented moment in the world uniting for peace. Please keep passing the word to support the plan for a U.N. alternative to war, "Uniting for Peace," which was posted in the last issue, and can be linked from the action section at FlybyNews.com

Item 1 in this issue is an article that was published in The Guardian (UK) about the world movement for peace. The second item covers a law suit, which includes Dennis Kucinich as a plaintiff, declaring that war without a vote first in Congress is unconstitutional. The suit states that Congress' resolution passed last October to authorize Bush to attack Iraq was also unconstitutional. War can only be declared one way, definitely not by military dictatorship with cronies in Congress avoiding their Constitutional responsibilities.

Scott Ritter's full house presentation in Albany, NY last night was aired on public radio, WAMC, He said that he believed that a Coup d'etat had taken over the US government by neo-conservatives from the Republican party. He said that they have interest in further destabilizing our world to remain in power. Scott Ritter is a courageous person, who will stare death in its face to defend and uphold the principles in the US Constitution. When asked what one can do, he said we should make sure that George W. Bush is a one-term President. Item 2 shows again the Kucinich-record as the best (soon to be) candidate for the job. His tireless endeavors for democracy and the US Constitution are inspirational. According to a recent schedule, he is speaking in NYC - February 15. Item 3 is on Russia's actions in being a broker for peace. Having their support makes a UN plan to send in inspectors and peace keepers feasible in stopping the US-led invasion. This would be best for America and the world. Then, perhaps, we can continue to unite and join efforts for a peaceful resolution with North Korea, toward the ideals of working to destroy and abandon all weapons and technologies capable of the mass destruction to life, for peace, mutual prosperity, and celebration.

Please write, call, member nations of the UN to Unite for Peace.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
RALLY for PEACE * February 15 & 16
"The World Says No to War"
- for more information, see:
http://www.unitedforpeace.org/article.php?list=sub&sub=30
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"There's a growing consensus in America today that Bush's economic programme is just misguided."

Joseph Stiglitz

Nobel laureate





1) Ten Million Join World Protest Rallies


10 million join world protest rallies
From Africa to Antarctica, people prepare to march for peace

John Vidal
Thursday February 13, 2003
The Guardian

Up to 10 million people on five continents are expected to demonstrate against the probable war in Iraq on Saturday, in some of the largest peace marches ever known.

Yesterday, up to 400 cities in 60 countries, from Antarctica to Pacific islands, confirmed that peace rallies, vigils and marches would take place. Of all major countries, only China is absent from the growing list which includes more than 300 cities in Europe and north America, 50 in Asia and Latin America, 10 in Africa and 20 in Australia and Oceania.

Many countries will witness the largest demonstrations against war they have ever seen.

The majority will be small but 500,000 people are expected in London and Barcelona, and more than 100,000 in Rome, Paris, Berlin and other European capitals. In the US, organisers were yesterday anticipating 200,000 marching in New York if permission is given. A further 100,000 are expected to march in 140 other American cities.

What is extraordinary, say the organisers, is the depth and breadth of opposition that the US and Britain are meeting across the world before a war has even started.

"This is unprecedented. Demonstrations only got this large against the Vietnam war at the height of the conflict, years after it started," said a spokesman for Answer, a coalition of US peace groups which helped organise a march of 200,000 people last month in Washington.

Many in the global peace movement optimistically hope that public opposition to a war is becoming politically significant and could now affect the timing of an invasion of Iraq and possibly even help avert conflict altogether.

"The internationalism of the opposition is the most powerful weapon people have. It's all we have. We think that Bush and Blair are well aware that global opposition is mounting fast and that they are now desperate to start the war before they are completely isolated by world opinion," said a spokesman for United for Peace and Justice, a US coalition.

New polls in Europe and the US yesterday suggested that opposition is still mounting and is likely to continue even if the US gets a second resolution. Spanish and Dutch polls showed that more than 70% now oppose even UN-mandated action, with slightly fewer in Italy. Yesterday CND reported that it was struggling to cope with the deluge of people wanting to join.

In Germany, more than 300 towns are sending coaches to Berlin, where more than 100,000 people are expected to march.

"Opposition is broader than at any time in the past. This will the largest peace march in 20 years," said Malte Keutzseldt of Attac, Germany. "The peace movement is getting older now, but a new generation of young people is deeply concerned. The churches and unions have linked to make the coalition far broader than even the anti-nuclear missile marches in the 1980s".

In Paris, a march organiser said that feeling was running high and that he expected the anti-war demonstration to be largest ever. The most unusual rally is expected to be in the international territory of Antarctica, where dozens of scientists and others at the US McMurdo base on the edge of the Ross sea will take to the ice.

The idea of an international day of action against the war was first suggested in London after the last peace march in October. It was discussed by peace and anti-globalisation groups from 11 countries at the European social forum in Florence in November, but only became truly international following meetings in Cairo, Egypt and Porto Alegre, Brazil, last month.

Since then the idea of coordinating international peace protests has spread rapidly across the world and up to 30 new cities a day are believed to be planning demonstrations. Next month activists from all continents will meet in London to propose further global actions.

Coordinated international demonstrations have flourished in the past five years with anti-capitalist marches and campaigns by environmentalists and anti-globalisers against corporations like McDonald's, Shell and Esso, and against global warming or international trade. Mostly organised on the web by activists working below the radar of the mainstream media, they have taken the establishment by surprise in many countries and only been reported by independent media.

"The whole world's marching," said Helmut, a German student in London. "This peace party should be better than the millennium celebrations."

The Stop The War Coalition (STWC) is planning a display of mass direct action designed to bring Britain to a standstill on the day any war starts with Iraq. The protests would involve demonstrations in the centre of London and other big towns and cities, wildcat strikes by anti-war supporters and mass sit-ins at schools, colleges and universities across the country.

A spokeswoman for the SWTC said: "We do think there will be a whole wave of civil disobedience if war breaks out. People want to be peaceful and are quite slow to anger, but they will be very angry if after Saturday's mass show of opposition Tony Blair refuses to listen."

For the originally posted article by John Vidal in The Guardian February 13 2003, see:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,894448,00.html

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Featured speakers and performers at the NYC Peace Rally, 2/15, include:

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Harry Belafonte
Danny Glover
Julian Bond
Phyllis Bennis
Susan Sarandon
Pete Seeger
Rosie Perez
Angela Y. Davis
Dennis Rivera
Ruth Messinger
Welfare Poets
Kim Gandy
Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Poets from Def Poetry Jam

For more information, see
http://www.unitedforpeace.org/article.php?id=961




2) Suit questions Bush's war powers

By David D. Haskell
From the National Desk
Published 2/13/2003 3:25 PM

BOSTON, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- A lawsuit filed in federal court in Boston Thursday seeks to prevent President Bush from going to war against Iraq without congressional approval.

A coalition including six House members, several U.S. soldiers and parents of servicemen claims only Congress has that power under the Constitution.

"We have a message for President Bush today. Read the Constitution," John Bonifaz, the plaintiffs' lead attorney, said at a news conference announcing the suit.

"A war against Iraq without a congressional declaration of war will be illegal and unconstitutional," he said. "It is time for the courts to intervene."

The representatives joining the suit, all Democrats, are John Conyers of Michigan, Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, James McDermott of Washington, Jose Serrano of New York, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas and Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois.

The U.S. Attorney's office said it had no comment on the suit.

The plaintiffs asked for a preliminary injunction against the president and for a hearing on their request that Bush be barred from launching a military invasion against Iraq without a congressional declaration of war.

The lawsuit cites Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, which reads: "Congress shall have power... (to) declare war."

The suit argues the resolution on Iraq that Congress passed in October did not declare war and unlawfully ceded the decision to Bush.

The suit contends the framers of the Constitution sought to ensure that U.S. presidents would not have the power of European monarchs of the past to wage war.

"The Founding Fathers did not establish an imperial presidency with war-making power," Conyers said. "The Constitution clearly reserves that for Congress."

"The president is not a king," said Charles Richardson, a plaintiff whose Marine son is stationed in the Persian Gulf.

"If he wants to launch a military invasion against Iraq, he must first seek a declaration of war from the United States Congress. Our Constitution demands nothing less," Richardson said.

Richardson and two other plaintiffs -- Nancy Lessin and Jeffrey McKenzie -- are co-founders of Military Families Speak Out, an organization of people opposed to war against Iraq and who have family in the military.

"A full and complete congressional discussion of the issues and all options must precede any move towards war," Lessin said, "because of the irreparable harm that would result."

At the news conference, Lessin said she worried about her son, Joe, a Marine stationed in the Gulf.

"We worry about Joe," she said. "We don't want him to be wounded or die. We don't want him to be forced to wound or kill innocent Iraqi civilians. That would kill part of him and part of us."

Copyright 2001-2003 United Press International
http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030213-093506-8792r




3) Russia Threatens to Veto US War Plan

Russia Threatens to Veto US War Plan
By Caroline Overington
New York Correspondents

TheAge.com Australia
Thursday 13 February 2003

For the first time, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council has warned that it might use its veto to deny the United States UN backing for a war on Iraq.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told French journalists yesterday that Moscow was prepared to vote against a resolution that contained the threat of "an unreasonable use of force".

"If today a proposition was made that we felt would lead to an unreasonable use of force, we would act with France or alone," Mr Putin said when asked about a veto.

Mr Putin defended France's plan to send peacekeepers to Iraq, instead of troops, saying: "We are trying to find a peaceful solution to a grave, international crisis and, I repeat, we will be heard."

He also warned the US not to launch a unilateral strike, saying: "I am convinced that it would be a grave error, outside of international law."

Russia's veto warning came as the United States grappled with a growing rift with key European allies France and Germany.

For the original posting and links, see:
http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/02/12/1044927662952.html




4) Justice, Peace, a voice in the Americas

Below is the latest list of cities in Latin America & the Caribbean where protests for peace will be held on February 15, 2003.

Bahia
Bariloche
Buenos Aires
Caracas
Caxias do Sul
Goiania
Havana
Kingston, Jamaica
Lima
Martinique
Mexicali
Mexico City
Montevideo
Quito
Rio de Janiero
Rio Grande do Sol
San Jose, CR
San Juan
San Miguel
San Salvador
Santiago
Santo Domingo
Sao Paulo


The Narco News Team opens its full coverage from the first-ever hemispheric Drug Legalization Summit in Merida, Yucatan, with our first nine reports, including a communique authored by Bolivian Congressman Felipe Quispe - El Mallku of America - special to Narco News, a report by Adam Saytanides on Mexican Congressman Gregorio Urias' keynote speech calling for a united Pan-American battle to end drug prohibition. ..You can read their accounts of the opening session of the J-School, too:

The Narco News Bulletin - http://www.narconews.com/
For information by Email, write to: narconews@hotmail.com



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