The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

January 18-19:
Weekend of protests against war on Iraq

Feb 3, 2003

January 18-19 was a weekend of big protests in a number of countries against the U.S. government's escalating war against Iraq and its threatened invasion of that country. Thousands marched in Japan, Turkey and Egypt. In Europe there were large demonstrations in France, Belgium, Spain and Britain; others were held in Germany, Italy, Sweden and Russia. Military bases were chosen as the rallying point in several demonstrations.

Demonstrations took place in this country also. At least a hundred thousand people, probably more, young and old, gathered in Washington, D.C. on the Mall and then marched to the Naval Yard, determined to say NO to the Bush administration's drive for an all-out attack against Iraq. Nearly a hundred thousand more marched in San Francisco, and smaller numbers in other cities.

Among the marchers were a sizable number of first-time protesters as well as many people who had opposed the war in Viet Nam. They spoke of their objection to American soldiers and Iraqi people dying in this war. All around, the protesters could be heard calling Bush "nuts" or "crazy."

It's a good sign that throughout the U.S. there are a growing number of people ready to add their numbers in protest. But Bush is not "crazy." People who oppose the war need to recognize that. If he is able to get away with talking blatant lies to justify something so dangerous as this, it's because he represents a ruling class whose interests are served by such wars.

They are the ones who own the media that has been beating the drums of war. They own the oil companies that will get to grab more Middle Eastern oil. They own the factories that pay low wages for labor working in horrible conditions in countries all around the globe.

This war is aimed at imposing and reinforcing the U.S. empire around the world. Workers here are in the belly of the beast. The American working class has the power to stop this war.