Press

Scroll down for press releases and press coverage:

Actors, Writers, Performers, Lawyers Say President is Wrong to Target U.S. Citizen for Assassination

 Press release from the national office of World Can’t Wait

 
The May 27 issue of the New York Review of Books, appearing on newsstands tomorrow, will run a statement signed by hundreds criticizing Barack Obama for continuing civilian deaths in the global war on terror begun by the Bush administration.
 
The statement, published as a paid ad, opens by challenging the president’s plan to assassinate a Muslim cleric now living in Yemen , a U.S. citizen. 
 
“In the past few weeks, it has become common knowledge that Barack Obama has openly ordered the assassination of an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, because he is suspected of participating in plots by Al Qaeda. Al-Awlaki denies these charges. No matter. Without trial or other judicial proceeding, the administration has simply put him on the to-be-killed list.”
 
Bill Quigley, a law professor at Loyola University of New Orleans, and a signer of the statement wrote Monday, “Murdering anyone in the US is a criminal act that is prosecuted regularly in courts across this country. Why should secret cold-blooded murder by government forces outside the U.S. be treated any differently?”
 
The statement goes on to say, “Such measures by Bush were widely considered by liberals and progressives to be outrages and were roundly, and correctly, protested.  But those acts which may have been construed (wishfully or not) as anomalies under the Bush regime, have now been consecrated into “standard operating procedure” by Obama, who claims, as did Bush, executive privilege and state secrecy in defending the crime of aggressive war.”
 
Among the signers are Edward Asner, Noam Chomsky, James Cromwell, Daniel Ellsberg, Donald Freed, former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel, Chris Hedges, Kathy Kelly, Ray McGovern, Tom Morello, Michael Ratner,  Rev. Dr. George F. Regas, Mark Ruffalo, Cindy Sheehan, Sunsara Taylor, and Cornel West.

Reports from Protesting the 7th Anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq

Anti-war protester
Debra Sweet
Elaine and Matthis arrested
We Are Not Your Soldiers!

Racist bigots with the "Tea Party Movement" aren't the only ones in the streets, as we proved March 18th - March 21st with coast to coast protests against the wars and torture the U.S. is still carrying out.

What has this war meant for the people of Iraq? Despite 7 years of "shock & awe" for the people of Iraq, their nightmare of US invasion is not over... 7 years of bombs and home-raids, repeated massacres of whole families.

One of the speakers at the protest in Chicago was Fatma Hindi, a former professor of journalism at the University of Baghdad and now an Iraqi refugee working with the Refugee Center for Hope in Chicago:

"I have not [got anything] to say because I want to scream, because I want to cry," said Hindi, whose sister's family in Iraq was killed in an explosion two weeks ago and who was herself both kidnapped and raped before finding a safe haven in Chicago. "I want to thank you so much because you are here with me now."

The war and occupation of Afghanistan was never justified & must end also.  ONLY the people can do this; only through mass visible protest, not hemmed in to official politics can we bring these horrors to a halt. In doing so, we give heart to the people of Iraq & Afghanistan and all over the world.  These wars are being carried out in our names and it is our responsibility to stop them.

Report from the ground in DC by Debra Sweet
Some people from Toledo, OH put up a huge display memorializing the 5,400 soldiers killed, as well as the million+ in Iraq. There's a class of Cal State students here with their professor. They're coming from different backgrounds and different majors: women's studies, art, film... we sat down and talked about John Yoo and what's behind the protest of him tomorrow night. They wanted to know - what does it take to put together a movement like this?

There was a press conference today - the AP and Washington Post came out. A reporter asked us if it's harder to stage a protest movement against Democratic presidents. We all know the movement isn't where it should be. But on the other hand this is the first time when we're marching across the country in a big way against Obama's wars.

There are thousands of posters up around the city for the march on Saturday. ANSWER has $9,000 in fines for putting them up but they are fighting this political repression and not accepting it.

What World Can't Wait is bringing into the mix:
We have to take people back to the basics: this was a preemptive, aggressive, illegitimate war, and we need to end it. We've been right all along: this wasn't a "dumb" war, this was an unjust war - a crime against humanity! We are marching Saturday to take responsibility for the future and to stop the crimes of our government. Look what it's led to, seven years later.

As for the war in Afghanistan - it is now truly Obama's war. The current military offensive is the biggest offensive in the history of the war and has led to repeated killings of dozens of civilians. It is being done in our name but is not about saving the people of Afghanistan. The torture state continues - these are crimes. In fact, the situtation is worse under Obama. People are being detained indefinitely, tortured, held in isolation and force fed in the most inhumane ways. Now, denied the right to defend themselves in Bagram prison in Afghanistan.

Cindy Sheehan was interviewed on Democracy Now! on Friday, and then she, I and others were on Free Speech Radio News talking about the anti-war movement.

Then, we went to protest John Yoo at the University of Virginia law school. He was in fine form as usual, telling David Swanson that there was nothing that could stop the President from nuking U.S. cities.

There were thousands marching in DC. Read AP report. Watch the AP video. Watch the local video coverage:

Video

Report from Debra, March 28th. Watch Debra's speech

You can read Debra Sweet's speech here. After the march, several protesters were arrested in front of the White House, including Cindy Sheehan, Elaine Brower, and Matthis Chiroux. They were in jail for more than 48 hours, disrupting Cindy's ability to lead the Camp Out Now protests on the following days. Read Matthis' account of why he burned the U.S. flag, and why he doesn't regret it. Watch the video:

Protesting at the White House

More photos from Washington, DC and around the country

Reports from World Can't Wait Chapters in:
Los Angeles
San Francisco
Chicago
Seattle
Hawai'i

Seattle Anti-War Protest on 7th Anniversary of Invasion of Iraq

Emma Kaplan   High school students

On Sunday March 21st in Seattle, hundreds gathered to protest the illegitimate wars and occupations. We got mainly positive response from people on the sides of the streets and some joined in the march on the spot. The We Are Not Your Soldiers flier was tremendously popular and people really like that we are doing something to actually STOP the wars instead of just dissenting against them. Teenagers in particular were interested and had though about military recruiting some but weren’t sure how to go up against it. There was an ex-school teacher who really were glad to see us out there, recalling the days when recruiters would come into the schools completely unopposed and try to suck on youth to join the military. He hated it but also wasn’t sure how to go up against it. We had 4 high school students join our contingent, all very energetic and wanting to do something that would contribute to stopping torture and the war. One high school woman said, “ I was in second grade when 9/11 happened and this is all we have really known.” Another high school student said, “You always hear about 9/11 but they don’t teach you in school why it happened, what led up to it (referring to what the U.S. does in the world), it wasn’t until my freshman year that I really started to understand this.” People are frusterated but they are also inspired to see others criticizing what Obama is doing and there largest applause came when we said that millions of people need to stay in the streets until Bush, Cheney and all war criminals are prosecuted and sent to jail for war crimes. People also expected to be more college students from the student strikes but this did not translate. One young woman said, “Maybe they are not coming out because this doesn’t affect them directly.” The approach some of the organizers had was to try to show that the war affecting students directly by building for the action by saying money for education not for war and occupation, thinking that would convince them to come out. However, what was compelling those who wanted to stop the war and have consistently been out in the streets have been those who have an understanding about what the reality of these wars are, the atrocities that are committed against the people in Iraq & Afghanistan and seeing that these are a part of wars for empire.

This is what needs to be brought out to people. One student said, “ If somebody could convince us that these wars are wrong, who’s to say we can’t convince the world.”

Hawai'i Anti-War Protest on 7th Anniversary of Invasion of Iraq

NO WAR  Picasso banner

About 15 people holding banners and signs demanding an end to wars, occupations and torture lined a busy intersection in Honolulu on Saturday. Response from passers-by was overwhelmingly positive. Many people walking by stopped to thank us, shake our hands, and even say "everyone should be doing this".  But when we invited them to join us most said they were busy (and headed to Hawai`i's largest shopping center across the street).   Many people honked their car horns or gave an enthusiastic thumbs-up.  Trolley drivers clanged their bells, and many tourists on the open-air trolleys waved in support.  Japanese tourists held up cameras and cell-phones and we're confident that the messages on our banners went far beyond our state.

The turn-out for the signholding was disappointing, but not surprising.  We had not built for this protest as broadly as we usually do.  Some supporters said they had been discouraged with the number of people responding to recent anti-war protests and didn't want to feel discouraged again.   But for those who came, it was heartening to hear and see the support of the people passing by and to know that the demand to end the war resonates with the majority, even while the ability to transform this sentiment into action remains elusive. 

San Francisco Anti-War Protest on 7th Anniversary of Invasion of Iraq

Daniel Ellsberg

Daniel Ellsberg

The richest country in the world...

The Richest Country in the World is Destroying one of the Poorest

Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the top-secret Pentagon Papers study of the Vietnam War and is the subject of the recent documentary film, "The Most Dangerous Man in America," likened the protest and others like it around the country Saturday to a day of demonstrations organized against the conflict in Vietnam in 1969.
"They thought it had no effect," he told the crowd in San Francisco, referring to the 1969 protesters. "They were wrong."
Ellsberg said President Richard Nixon was planning to escalate the war around that time, but held off.

Listen to the KPFA archived live report broadcast during the protest:

1) Stephanie Tang talks about World Can't Wait, We Are Not Your Soldiers...
Starts about 28:50-32:40, and 32:40-34:56

2) Then more from the rally at Civic Center:
38:20-39:39 ...Miguel introducing Iraq Vets Against the War
38:44-42.00 ... Carl, Forest, speaking for IVAW

3) Then more from Stephanie Tang on John Yoo and prosecuting war criminals:
1:04:26 and goes on to 1:13:23

Chicago Anti-War Protest on 7th Anniversary of Invasion of Iraq



Truthout Report

NBC Video
Speech by Fatima Hindi, Iraqi refugee (video)
Different views within the anti-war movement (video)

Coco

Speech by Coco, member of Chicago Chapter of World Can't Wait
Obama has NOT stopped torture!!! Obama has NOT closed Guantanamo, he has changed the zip code by moving it to Thomson, Illinois! Obama has NOT charged ANY of those responsible for torture with crimes against humanity and murder of which they are god damned guilty of! The Obama administration has allowed the continued use of "extraordinary rendition" by the CIA. They are continuing to fight the release of some 2,000 photos that graphically document U.S. military abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. The abuse involves "blows to [the] testicles;" "detention underground in total darkness for three weeks with deprivation of food and sleep;" being "inoculated … through injection with 'a disease for dog cysts;'" the smearing of feces on prisoners; and waterboarding. The torture, according to the Spanish investigation, all occurred "under the authority of American military personnel" and was sometimes conducted in the presence of medical professionals. I don’t know about you, but that’s not the ‘hope and change’ I wanted! 

OBAMA IS THE FUCKING SAME AS BUSH!! Obama wants to ‘look forward, not backward’ we CANNOT afford to ‘look forward’ when detainees are being rounded up and TORTURED for the so-called safety of THE COUNTRY?! BULLSHIT! That’s some fucked up tortured logic that hasn’t made any of us safer!!

On Torture
-E.Lazdins, 06/08

Right now.
Like Spirits,
Victims
Of our government’s brutality
Stand,
Silently,
Among Us.

We can’t see their suffering,
Or hear their screams,
But the stain
Of our inhumane behavior
Is like a gruesome spot-
Which will never
Wash out
Of the fabric
Of Our flag.

Under the stars and stripes,
We all struggle and sweat for some
American Dream.
Under the red
White
And blue,
Red stripes of blood flow,
Stars never to be seen.
White fear from simulated drowning,
Blue throbbing neck, arms and legs
From stress positions
Tied up.

Broken bodies: arms, eyes, hands,
Broken like Us,
Internally bleeding.
Humiliation,
Sleep deprivation,
Starvation,
Or forced feeding.
Death threats on wives and children.
All unseen
But still
Among Us.

In this supposed democracy,
Our government is Us,
If it is Us
Then we too are torturers!
80,000 people illegally detained,
(Not counting
The ever increasing
Racist assault

On migrants and black human beings
On these very streets!)

We will NOT stay silent while
Criminals
Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice
And
Complicit democrats-
(Obama says “look forward not back!”)
Reap the profits
Of corporate greed,
Justify torture
In Our names!

Call a criminal what- he- is!
John Yoo- Criminal!
Lawyer,
Distinguished professor?!
John Yoo- Criminal!
Created a memo
To violate the Geneva Convention.
The memo
Which has justified
Thousands of unheard
Screams, pleas and tears,
Justified
Unseen, uncleaned
Urine, vomit & spit.
Black bags,
Over heads,
In the blackest of days
Never to be seen again.

Charge them with war crimes!
Speak out!
And Get Up against torture!
Don’t wait for a savior,
No compromise with war criminals,
Be horrified that
Humans
Just like Us
Are victims!
And be wary,
What is used on them,
By unconstitutional law,
Is
On
Its
Way
Home.

LA Anti-War Protest on 7th Anniversary of Invasion of Iraq


Report from the LA chapter
We had small but visually powerful contingent. Yahoo news reported couple of hundred, but to me it seemed like 3500 - 5000. WNYS contingent; two banner holders; two orange jumpsuits, 1 Stop torture banner and 2 folks agitating and passing out double sided orange flyers (Why we March with organizing meeting info and WANYS flyer). Flyers taken up easily.

LA We Are Not Your Soldiers    Obama belongs to corporations

Adela, in orange jumpsuit, got interviewed by KPFK both English and Spanish; key points; We Are Not Your Soldiers, Prosecute Torturers War Criminals, this is Obama's war and he is complicit with giving safe haven to war criminals.

Later on a Spanish language 5:00 p.m. Pacifica News cast when lines were opened. Adela again called in and added to what other callers were saying. Callers said March was 7-8000 (seems high). Most callers agreed that it was spirited, lots of banners represented from different organizations. Many brought up economy and need to focus on health care and jobs, not warfare. Adela followed a caller who said that yes, the economic crisis is great, but he was wondering where the unions were, the teachers who are getting laid off, etc. They should be out protesting. He felt numbers were too low given the situation and that he felt many folks were taken by Obama and disillusioned that change had not happened. Adela agreed with him, mentioning that in his campaign Obama promised to attack Afghanistan and that he would not hesitate to go into Pakistan. None of this is new. It is significant that all these groups came together across the country to protest Obama's war. This is Obama's war. What was great about march is the number of youth that were out. Our contingent was in front of spirited youth; lots of young women calling out the cost of war to women. (I think it was the Gabriela Network )

Call in to radio shows when possible! It's a good way of getting reports out.

Protesting John Yoo at the University of Virgina Law School

John Yoo was protested by hundreds of people, including the mayor of Charlottesville, when Yoo spoke at the University of Virginia Law School on March 19. For more information on the everyday, ongoing battle to fire/disbar/prosecute John Yoo see firejohnyoo.org, a project of World Can't Wait.

Debra Sweet protesting John Yoo

Photo: Al Thompson

John Yoo

Photo: Shepherd Johnson

Video with Debra Sweet's speech at the beginning


Photos from Shepherd Johnson

Charlottesville, VA

 

 

David Swanson and Ann Wright

David Swanson and Ann Wright

 

Ray McGovern

Ray McGovern

Protesting John Yoo

More photos, reports, and news coverage

John Yoo War Criminal 

Photo: Garrie Rouse

David Swanson's photos
Mike Hearington's photos
Video of Mayor of Charlottesville at John Yoo protest
Report from the inside with video, from Stark Reports
The Hook
News Plex (video and report)
NBC29 News
Charlottesville News and Arts

From the NY Times "At War" blog, December 6, 2009

 

 
An antiwar demonstration in New York’s Times Square, where leaflets were handed out calling for protests to coincide with the ceremony to award President Obama the Nobel prize. It looks like President Obama is unlikely to get the Nobel Peace Prize without the occasion being marked by protests. At least one antiwar group is already calling for a midday march to the U.S. Armed Forces Recruiting Station in New York’s Times Square to coincide with the award ceremony in Oslo City Hall on December 10, the date on which Alfred Nobel died.
 
Days before the event protesters were already handing out leaflets headlined: ‘You Don’t End a War By Sending More Troops! Stop the Occupation of Afghanistan.”
 
Another group has already posted an online petition criticizing it as an “absurd” and “premature” decision.
 
The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced on October 9 that the prize would go to President Obama, citing “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”.
 
Responding to the announcement, President Obama said: “I am both surprised and deeply humbled by the decision of the Nobel Committee. Let me be clear: I do not view it as recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations.”
 

 

Shut Down the Army Experience Center in Philadelphia

Press release from shut down the army experience center

TIME:   2:00 pm
DATE:  Saturday, September 12th
 
Franklin Mills Mall, Philadelphia, PA - This is the shopping center where the U.S. Army is teaching 13 year-olds to kill using simulated M-16 automatic rifles and M-240B light machine guns.  It's enough to cause several hundred activists in the Philadelphia area to take matters into their own hands. 

Read more...

Main Media Press & Press Releases

About

World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.