Easter Video: Institute for Policy Studies National Teach-In on Iraq

Watch a teach-in that celebrates the 40th anniversary of the first teach-in against the Vietnam war at Ann-Arbor, MI.

I've spoken and attended several of these teach-ins in the past several years. The first was immediately after 11 September. I cannot count the number, though. And, I must say, they can be some of the most strange, schizophrenic, scintillating, depressing, frustrating, and uplifting experiences. I've been extremely depressed and negative about protests and their ineffectuality. Teach-ins are an opportunity to raise a magnifying glass to the problems, yet they're usually offered only to those who have both the time and access to higher education. This makes me angry. The one I linked to here is held at George Washington University.

Anyway, it's still certainly worth watching or listening to while you cook some Easter food. I'd like to think we can "End the war", but I see a lot of things already written on the walls that do not bode well for all no matter what anybody says or does. Again, as I'll always say, I hope I'm wrong. And I hope things may be reversed. We've got to continue speaking out against the occupation and its effect on Iraq and Iraqis especially.

All I know is that there are some wonderful speakers at this teach-in deserving of your attention: writer Naomi Klein, Phyllis Bennis from the Institute for Policy Studies, Celeste Zappala, founding member of Gold Star Families for Peace, Anas Shallal from Iraqi Americans for Peaceful Alternatives.

Perhaps I've just heard enough. Some of the speakers are new to me, though. Patrick Resta, the Iraq War Vet is intense, articulate. He's excellent actually. And of course, it's always great to hear a dignified Iraqi voice in Anas Shallal. He had a family member kidnapped and released for a ransom, too. Anyway...

Enjoy, Stop the Occupation, and Happy Easter.

Visit United For Peace and Justice.

As to Professor Cole's recent post:

The rightwing Zionists want to racialize the Sudan conflict in American terms, as "Arab" versus "black African" because they want to use it to play American domestic politics, and create a rift among African-Americans and Arab-Americans. Both of the latter face massive discrimination in contemporary society, and they should find ways of cooperating to counter it. What is happening in Darfur is horrible with regard to the loss of life and the displacement of persons, but the dispute is not about race. It is about political separatism and regionalism.
Hip-hop is the answer for the first part. Perception of visible racism is played on yet again. The irony on this Easter is that both groups tend to be on the more culturally Christian side of the fence. Most Middle Easterners in the US are Christian and Lebanese. Some numbers: 42% are Catholic (includes Roman Catholic, Maronite, and Melkite); 23% are Muslim (includes Sunni, Shi’a, and Druze); 23% are Orthodox (includes Antiochian, Syrian, Greek, and Coptic). 12% are Protestant. In contrast, 76 percent of Americans identify as Christian; 13 percent are secular; and 14 percent practice another or no religion and 1.3 percent practice Judaism in the United States. Where do they come from? 47% came from Lebanon, 15% came from Syria, 9% came from Egypt, 6% from Palestine, 3% from Iraq, 2% from Jordan, 18% from 16 other countries. And Darfur...well, I'm afraid nobody cares about Africa still. How do we change that simple fact?

And yes, Mosul's Abu Ghraib has been confirmed by reports steadily streaming out of most news-outlets. Most of us already knew all the stories about what was happening in Mosul. We didn't need this belated confirmation or weak-validation by western media.

"We have a great deal of responsibility to the people of Iraq. It doesn't start by continuing the occupation. It starts by ending it."
-Phyllis Bennis


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