Wednesday, December 16, 2009

No More War! No More Troops to Afghanistan!

In Burlington, Vermont over 100 people gathered on Saturday December, 12 to say "No more war in Af
ghanistan" and to denounce Barack Obama's 30,000 person troop surge to Afghanistan.

The rally took place one day after 350 members of the Vermont National Guard departed for training before deployment to Afghanistan early next year. Vermont is sending more than 1,500 National Guards people to Afghanistan, this is the largest deployment of Vermont's National Guard since World War II. As of July 2009, the Vermont National Guard had a total of 2,660 people enlisted, this leaves Vermont with just over 1,000 guards to protect the state in the event of an emergency.

Dozens of similar demonstrations took place across the country on Saturday. Thousands of people spoke out against the troop surge and the escalating war in Afghanistan.

Local author and activist, Ben Dangl, attended the rally. "This December 12th protest in Burlington, VT coincided with protests around the nation denouncing Obama's troop escalation in Afghanistan, and should signal the re-emergence of a much-needed anti-war movement. From Afghanistan to Honduras and beyond, Obama's foreign policy is a devastating continuation of US imperialism and needs to be stopped.

Despite the freezing cold temperature and frigid winds the crowd stayed warm singing chants, "Same lies, same plan, troops out of Afghanistan".

The event was organized by local activist Jonathan Leavitt. "Our political leaders have failed us, allowing more Vermont National Guard to be shipped into the meatgrinder that is Afghanistan than remain here in Vermont, leaving us dangerously vulnerable to disasters. Until Vermonters organize and rise up in mass civil disobedience, we are allowing ourselves to be implicated in an illegal and immoral occupation, which in turn leaves us vulnerable to the common blizzard"

Speaking to the crowd Leavitt encourages that "Hopefully starting today...a righteous flame of indignation can rise in the anti-war movement to say no more, not another dollar, not another dayfor this illegal and immoral war!"

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