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SDS is calling on students to protest the escalation of the war in Afghanistan. Please join us to oppose this unjust war.

Participating chapters:

  • Rochester SDS – Funk the War for Dec. 4 in downtown Rochester
  • University of Rochester SDS
  • Roberts Wesleyan SDS
  • Syracuse SDS
  • Milwaukee SDS
  • Waukesha SDS
  • UNC Chapel Hill SDS – Rally December 2nd at 12:00 pm
  • UNC Asheville SDS
  • Tuscaloosa SDS
  • Chicago SDS
  • Columbus SDS
  • Stanford University – Vigil, December 2nd at 6:00pm
  • University of Florida – Gainesville SDS
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Estudiantes por una Sociedad Democrática (SDS por su siglas en ingles) hicieron un llamado a todos lo estudiantes alrededor del país para que hagas sentir sus repudio ante los planes del Gobierno norteamericano de enviar una escalada masiva de tropas para apoyar la guerra en Afganistán. Obama anunciara en la próxima semana su plan para movilizar entre 30,000 a 40,000 soldados mas para la guerra en Afganistán. Nosotros debemos responder con protesta. La gran mayoría del pueblo norteamericano se opone a la ocupación militar; nosotros debemos hacer que esa oposición sea visible, tomar acciones protestando en las calles, proyectados documentales, enseñando lo que pasa, o todo aquello que puedas hacer para demostrar oposición públicamente a esta guerra injusta.

Nosotros rechazamos categóricamente el bombardeo y las ocupaciones de los pueblos de Afganistán, Pakistán e Iraq por parte de los Estado Unidos. El pueblo Afgano tiene el derecho a auto determinarse, a tener control de sus recursos y cuidar sus propios asuntos. No es lugar de los EE.UU. bombardear Afganistán para mantener sumido y controlado su destino. La única manera de que Afganistán se libre es que se detenga los bombardeos y que todas la tropas de EE.UU. y la OTAN salga de inmediatamente del territorio Afgano. Nosotros apoyamos a pueblo Afgano en su lucha por la libertad y por su liberación de la ocupación y dominación extranjera.

¡Fondos para la educación, no para la guerra y la ocupación! ¡EE.UU. fuera de Afganistán e Iraq ahora mismo!

Spanish translation courtesy of Franiel Genao Nuñez

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Demonstrations marked 8th anniversary of Afghan War–demand immediate U.S./NATO withdrawal

On Wednesday October 7, students on 26 campuses across the United States protested eight long years of war against and occupation of the people of Afghanistan. Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), a nation-wide student organization committed to activism for peace, justice and equality, organized the protest.

Hundreds of students marched in Washington, DC in a Funk the War event organized by DC Students for a Democratic Society. The demonstrators stormed the lobby of a building that houses Chevron, Shell, Blackwater’s lobbying group, United Technologies, and Clear Channel, demanding U.S. troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Hundreds of students joined a rally organized by DC SDS.

Hundreds of students joined a rally organized by DC SDS. (Photo: Jake Cunningham)

In Gainesville, Florida, 40 people rallied in the Plaza of the Americas at the University of Florida to protest the war in Afghanistan. The protesters then marched while chanting “Fund education, not occupation” and “What do we want? Peace! When do we want it? Now!” The demonstrators held a “die-in” during a class change to symbolically represent innocents killed in war. Protester Fernando Figueroa said, “What we have done today doesn’t end here. We will keep building the movement to end the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan.”

40 students rally and march at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

40 students rally and march at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

A spirited rally at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee saw fifty students demonstrate against the war. “We’re participating in this national day of action because the war in Afghanistan is wrong and we need the troops out now,” said Maral Safavi of Milwaukee SDS. “This war is only benefiting the rich.”

50 students rallied at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.

50 students rallied at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.

In Asheville, North Carolina students shouted “Money for jobs and education, not for war and occupation!” across the quad on the University of North Carolina at Asheville. UNCA Students for a Democratic Society member Angela Denio said, “The people of Afghanistan have the right to self determination. Eight years of unjust U.S. occupation in Afghanistan has resulted in hundreds of civilian casualties, and displaced too many families that are now living in extreme suffering and poverty.”

Demonstrators at UNC-Asheville call for self-determination for the Afghan people.

Demonstrators at UNC-Asheville call for self-determination for the Afghan people.

A Funk the War protest by Rochester SDS that drew dozens into the streets demanding an end to the occupations and an end to militarizing schools ended violently, when almost 30 police cars interrupted the peaceful protest. Police then began shoving students and community members, threatening them with batons, and spraying them with pepper spray. The police arrested 12 protestors, 2 of whom had to go to the hospital for injuries caused by police brutality. The first person arrested by the police was the only African-American student in the vicinity, and protestors quickly called the police out on this obvious racism. This protest was part of a larger campaign by Rochester SDS to end budget cuts and demilitarize their schools.

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University of Minnesota SDS held a protest of 30 students that included a skit to demonstrate the need for funding to go to education and not the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Grace Kelley of SDS linked the war to sexism in the United States, saying “It has been argued by many people, politicians, and even feminists, that the war in Afghanistan is in fact going to liberate the women of Afghanistan … How can our military forces help the women in Afghanistan overcome their own cultural oppressions when we can’t even eliminate sexism within the military itself, with one in three female veterans reporting sexual assault while in service?”

University of Houston held a teach-in with 70 people in attendance. Afghanistan war veteran Matt Dobbs spoke about his experiences in two tours of duty in Afghanistan, and how he has come to oppose the war on a civilian population that is fighting a battle of self-defense against the U.S. occupation.

70 students attend an antiwar teach-in organized by Houston SDS.

70 students attend an antiwar teach-in organized by Houston SDS.

Chicago students joined a mass rally and march of hundreds against the occupation of Afghanistan. Doug Michel, a member of Chicago SDS, said, “Students from four different Chicago campuses stood up today to demand an end to the US war in Afghanistan, and we will keep speaking up until the last U.S. troop is off Afghan soil.”

And at UNC-Chapel Hill, thirty students rallied against the war, while hundreds of passers-by stopped to listen to the speeches and take antiwar literature. War veterans, community members, and students spoke out to denounce the occupation of Afghanistan and demand immediate withdrawal. The demonstration was organized by the local chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, and supported by many other campus groups.

30 students rally at UNC-Chapel Hill, while hundreds listen to the speeches.

30 students rally at UNC-Chapel Hill, while hundreds listen to the speeches.

Across the United States, dozens more campuses took part in the national day of action to protest the occupation of Afghanistan.

The October 7th protests came 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 – 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.

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. More information, reports, and organizing materials are available on the SDS Antiwar Working Group’s homepage at https://sdsantiwar.wordpress.com.

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Demonstrations mark 8th anniversary of Afghan War–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.

“We are outraged by the daily loss of life and devastation caused by the U.S. military in Afghanistan,” Daniel Ginsberg-Jaeckle, a member of SDS in Milwaukee, WI. “For 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.”

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 – 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.

“The 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. leaves”, 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, “Our 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.”

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. “We will keep speaking out and organizing to support the people of Afghanistan in their struggle for independence from U.S. occupation,” said Ginsberg-Jaeckle. “We will continue to demand that the U.S. government stop spending money on war and occupation, and fund people’s needs here at home, including education, housing, jobs, and healthcare.”

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 Group’s homepage at https://sdsantiwar.wordpress.com.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 24, 2009

Students for a Democratic Society launches campaign to protest 8 years of U.S. occupation of Afghanistan

At the 2009 national convention of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), over one hundred delegates from across the country unanimously endorsed a resolution calling for immediate U.S. withdrawal and an unconditional end to the occupation of Afghanistan.

To demonstrate solidarity with the occupied Afghan people, SDS chapters will hold campus protests on Wednesday October 7, 2009, the 8th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.

Chapin Gray is an organizer with SDS at the Tuscaloosa, Alabama chapter. In introducing the resolution to the floor of the convention, Gray noted that, “The war in Afghanistan is not the ‘good’ war. It is an unjust occupation and needs to end now.” Gray continued, “Every anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, students have turned out to protest. Now that the U.S. is shifting its attention from Iraq to Afghanistan, and sending tens of thousands of more troops, we have to show mass opposition to the occupation of Afghanistan and demand ‘U.S. Out of Afghanistan Now’.”

The resolution adopted at the convention, “U.S Out of Afghanistan! End the War Now!”, stated in part:

October 7th will mark the eighth year that the U.S. has been at war with Afghanistan, under the auspice of fighting “the war on terror.” In eight years under occupation, tens of thousands of Afghans have been killed by U.S. air strikes, bombs, and bullets, and the Afghani infrastructure has been devastated. In just one day of this war, May 4, 2009, U.S. air strikes killed over 150 Afghan children, women, men in a village in Farah province.

Kati Ketz, an organizer with the Antiwar Working Group of SDS, emphasized, “The Afghan people have a right to self-determination, and a right to live in a country that is not being constantly bombed by US and NATO forces.” Ketz stated, “We call on all students and youth in the U.S. to demonstrate solidarity and take to the streets October 7 to demand ‘U.S. out of Afghanistan’! Money going to bomb, oppress and occupy Afghanistan – and Iraq – should be used here at home to support schools and fund scholarships.”

Students and youth are encouraged to sign on to the call to action initiated by SDS. Endorsements by local, regional and national antiwar coalitions are also welcomed.

For more information, please contact sdsantiwar@gmail.com or visit https://sdsantiwar.wordpress.com

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