Antiwar activists plan protest to coincide with President Obama’s visit to Rhode Island
When: August 29, 2014 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Where: Burnside Park, Providence, RI
Who: Rhode Island Antiwar Committee; RI Coalition to Defend Human and Civil Rights; Occupy Providence
Rhode Islanders who are not millionaires will have a chance to “speak to” President Obama this Friday, August 29 between 5:00 and 6:30 PM at Burnside Park in downtown Providence. The open-mike rally will draw parallels between U.S. foreign policy and the recent killing of the unarmed African-American, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri. Also included will be calls to: stop police brutality in communities of color from Palestine to Ferguson; end the militarization of our cities; end the war on Gaza and all aid to Israel; end the U.S. military presence in the Middle East; and stop NSA spying on private citizens.
“One reason for our choice of locale,” said Paul Hubbard, spokesperson for the Rhode Island Antiwar Committee (RIAC), “is that President Obama will be fund-raising among the 1% at a secluded ocean-front mansion in Newport. The other 99% of his constituents will probably be unable to catch even a glimpse of him, due to the blocked roads and high security surrounding his brief visit. This situation strikingly symbolizes the truth about which groups the U.S. government is really serving.”
The rally is also calling on Obama to keep his campaign promises and hold out against war hawks trying to escalate the Iraq war and spread it to Syria. “The public – and the media – seem to have forgotten that after the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, the military disarmed the Sunnis first, (debathification) and created a civil war between Sunnis and Shia with the surge of 2007. The years following the U.S. partial withdrawal have been a reaction to that bloodbath, and they show that continued U.S. military action will only bring further resentment, brutal killings, and terrorist attacks,” noted Christopher Murphy, another RIAC member. Instead, RIAC demands that more resources be devoted to solving our many domestic problems. The bombings, invasions, and occupations of countries around the world are an exercise in unchecked U.S. imperialism that primarily benefits privilege-seeking corporations and the military-industrial complex.
However, RIAC notes that Obama recognized overwhelming public opposition to war with Syria last summer and cooperated with Russian President Putin in removing Syrian poison gas stockpiles.
Other sponsoring groups include the RI Coalition to Defend Human and Civil Rights and Occupy Providence.