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



The following resolution was unanimously endorsed the 4th National Convention of Students for a Democratic Society, July 12-14 in Murfreesboro, TN. Please contact us by e-mail or leave a comment if you wish to add your student or youth organization to the list of endorsers.

Download the flyer here: U.S. Out of Afghanistan! End the War Now! (.pdf)

Delegates unanimously voted to organize action on October 7, 8th anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan

Delegates unanimously voted to organize action on October 7, 8th anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan

Protest 8 years of war with Afghanistan

We are calling for students across the country to protest the 8th anniversary of war with Afghanistan by taking action and demanding that the U.S. get out of Afghanistan now!

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.

The war affects us here at home as well. The number of U.S. troop casualties increases more and more each year that the war continues. By next year the cost of the Afghanistan war will be more than the cost of the Iraq war, with the U.S. government requesting $65 billion dollars for the war in 2010. So far the government has spent almost a trillion dollars in the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq. With that money, we could have paid for 35,068,800 four year university scholarships.

We, as students, have a responsibility to the people of Afghanistan to stand up, speak out, and take action against the war! We are calling on all students to sign-on and pledge to take action on October 7th to mark the 8th anniversary of the U.S. invasion. That action could be walking out of classes, occupying buildings, hosting a teach-in or film-showing – any form of protest to show opposition to the Afghanistan war!

The Obama administration is sending a “surge” of 21,000 U.S. troops to fight the insurgency. We know this is not a so-called “just war,” but a war for regional domination and control of natural gas reserves in the region. The Afghan people have a right to self-determination, to choose their own leaders and governments and to take care of their own affairs. It is not the place of the U.S. to bomb Afghanistan into submission and to choose its political leaders. The only real way for Afghanistan to be free is for the bombings to halt, and for all U.S. and NATO troops to leave the country immediately.

Help us get the word out – We want money to go to our education, not war and occupation! We want the U.S. out of Afghanistan NOW!

Download the flyer here: U.S. Out of Afghanistan! End the War Now! (.pdf)

US Out of Afghanistan!

The Antiwar Working Group of Students for a Democratic Society condemns in the strongest possible terms the May 4 bombings, carried out by the U.S. military in Afghanistan’s western Farah province, which have resulted in in 147 civilian deaths. Words cannot express the outrage and sadness that we feel. Our deepest condolences go out to the families of those who were killed by the U.S. air force. Our thoughts are with them, and with all occupied peoples of Afghanistan who struggle every day to be free.

What happened on May 4 is not an isolated incident. This bombing is the latest atrocity in a brutal occupation that has killed thousands of Afghans and driven millions from their homes. Unable to win a ground war against a guerrilla army, the U.S. is resorting to wide-scale air strikes. The inevitable result is a huge increase in civilian casualties. U.S. military reports show the air force dropped 438 bombs in Afghanistan in April alone, while 163 tons dropped in 2004 went up to 1,956 in 2007.

For too long, Afghanistan was the ‘forgotten war’. Now the horrible reality that U.S. occupation has created in Afghanistan is impossible to ignore. Every day brings more news of civilian deaths at the hands of the U.S. military. While Afghans starve and suffer in poverty, the corrupt, U.S.-backed puppet government gets rich off drug trafficking. The U.S., in its quest for empire, has brought nothing but misery, poverty and death to Afghanistan. And now President Obama is escalating the war, sending 21,000 more U.S. troops to prevent the hated occupation from collapsing.

We say ‘Enough’! As students and youth, we stand with our sisters and brothers in Afghanistan in their struggle for liberation. Just as we stood up for the people of Iraq and marched, risked arrest, organized day and night, and held sit-ins, blockades, and occupied legislative offices, so too must we now act in support of the people of Afghanistan.

We urge chapters of SDS to do all they can to protest against the criminal U.S. occupation of Afghanistan and raise the demands, “End the occupations now! U.S. out of Iraq and Afghanistan!”

Antiwar Working Group

Students for a Democratic Society

May 12, 2009

sdsantiwar.wordpress.com | sdsantiwar.wg@gmail.com

On this sixth anniversary of the Iraq War, we continue to demand immediate and complete U.S. withdrawal. Since the invasion of Iraq, over 1.4 million Iraqis have died and 4 million displaced in one of the most atrocious humanitarian crises of our time. Over 4000 U.S. troops have been killed, with another 70,000+ soldiers wounded and discharged from combat operations. We reject Obama’s plans for leaving 50,000 troops in Iraq, even after August 2010. Nothing less than full sovereignty and complete, unconditional withdrawal will do.

The occupation of Afghanistan is spiraling out of control. President Obama recently called for 17,000 more troops to strengthen the occupation. The war of terror continues to terrorize and bombard the Afghan people. This unjust war is not about “spreading democracy” or fighting al-Qaeda. It is about geo-political control in the Middle East and South Asia. Likewise, it is being used to construct an oil pipeline to bypass routes through Iran. Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to saber-rattle at Iran and violate Pakistani sovereignty through illegal and violent bombing campaigns. We demand that Afghanis have a right to decide their own destiny without U.S. occupation, that U.S. intervention in Pakistan cease, and that the U.S. stop interfering in the internal affairs of Iran.

While the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and U.S. support for the occupation of Palestine are draining hundreds of billions of dollars, high schools are laying off teachers and colleges are cutting entire departments and raising tuition. If we don’t fight back, it is the programs won through struggle for women, LGBTQ students, working class youth, and oppressed nationalities that will get cut first. In addition to the nationwide 8.1% unemployment rate (5.4 million people), 21% of those are youth (from 16-19). We understand that the rich get bailed out first while working, poor, and young people get left in the dust. We need to explain to people that we have the money to fix the situation, but until this government stops spending billions to oppress and exploit others abroad, we will never be free or know justice at home.

We believe that building a massive movement to oppose U.S. wars abroad and the economic crisis at home is one step further toward building a democratic society. SDS participated in the occupation of New School University in New York, winning important measures against budget cutbacks and war profiteering. And SDS occupied a building at University of Rochester to protest the Israeli invasion of Gaza and won concessions from the administration. Dozens of chapters are working to mobilize thousands of youth and students to get in the streets for this sixth anniversary.

Why do we continue to fund two wars abroad and Israel when so much is needed here at home? We must continue to put the pressure on the university elite and the government here at home. We must build a movement to challenge U.S. war profiteering while our education is being sacrificed. Join us in building a better society. Join SDS!

Out of Iraq and Afghanistan!

End U.S. Aid to Israel!

Fund Education, Not War and Occupation!

The SDS Anti-War Working Group is calling on students nation-wide to protest and demonstrate in opposition to President Obama’s Feb. 17 approval to send an additional 17,000 troops into Afghanistan.  

In this time of economic despair, we students will not sit idly by as our country deepens itself into a war that is taking place merely to rob the Afghan people of their resources and their sovereignty and to further line the pockets of the super-rich here in the United States. We stand with the Afghan people against this brutal war and occupation. We believe the money being used to fund this war is desperately needed here at home. Over the next two weeks, SDS chapters nation-wide will organize protests, sit-ins, walk-outs, discussions, and whatever else they can to denounce the latest surge in Afghanistan.

The SDS Anti-War Working Group exists to help coordinate national SDS anti-war activity, and has also called for nation-wide demonstrations against the war in Iraq for the week of March 16.  
U.S. Out of Afghanistan Now!
Fund Education, Not Occupation!

SDS Anti-War Working Group

sdsantiwar.wordpress.com | sdsantiwar.wg@gmail.com

The SDS Anti-War working group is calling for protests against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the occupation of Palestine on the week of March 16th-21st, during the 6th anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. We are demanding troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and an end to U.S. aid to Israel. Organize sit-ins, walk-outs, teach-ins, banner drops, die-ins, building occupations, film screenings – whatever your campus can do to protest U.S. foreign policy. Or join the March 19th Funk the War and the national protest marches in Washington DC, where on March 21st we will have a SDS meet-up. Together we will build a mass movement to end the occupations now and put the people’s needs first.

March 20, 2009 will mark the 6th anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq. 150,000 U.S. troops continue to occupy Iraq, bringing misery and suffering to the Iraqi people. The Pentagon and President Obama are escalating the ‘good war’ in Afghanistan, where thousands of civilians are killed every year by U.S. air strikes and gunshots. U.S. aid to Israel, at over $3 billion a year, continues unabated while 1,335 Palestinians were killed by a U.S.-Israeli assault on Gaza in January.

We as students should not – and cannot – sit idly by as the country that we live in either supports or is directly involved with the occupations of these lands. While we at home face an unprecedented economic crisis with local and state budgets slashed and workers losing jobs and their homes, with our tuition skyrocketing and our universities losing funding, the United States government is escalating the war in Afghanistan, continuing the occupation of Iraq, and supporting the massacre of Palestinians by Israel’s occupying forces.

This is not the change that we need or voted for. At the same time, we know that the people make history, and that politicians will respond when our movements are vocal and strong. That’s why we need to take action now to support the Iraqis, Afghans, and Palestinians and demand U.S. out NOW, and end all occupations! We don’t want our money going to bailout rich bankers and pay for occupations – we need it for schools, jobs, health, and people’s needs.

End the Occupations Now: Iraq! Afghanistan! Palestine!
Money for Jobs and Education, Not for Wars and Occupations!