[Last update: UNKNOWN 2001]

International Action Center Statement

Everyone here has been deeply affected by today's events. The International Action Center extends its most heartfelt sympathies and condolences to all those who have lost loved ones today as well as the thousands of workers who were in lower Manhattan today.

While at this moment thousands of families are in mourning for the death and injuries of loved ones, the Bush administration is taking advantage of the tragic human toll to strengthen the forces of repression while intensifying the Pentagon's war drive, especially in the Middle East.

Arab and Muslim peoples in the United States are reporting that they are facing racist harassment in their communities, on their jobs and at mosques. Anti-Arab racism is a poison that should be repudiated. We call on all people who oppose racism to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Arab-American community in the face of this reactionary frenzy.

After the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, the U.S. government and media were quick to speculate that Arab and Islamic organizations were responsible; but as everyone now knows, extreme right-wing Army veteran Timothy McVeigh was to blame.

New War Danger

The International Action Center urges all anti-war activists and progressive people to remain on the highest alert in opposing the Bush administration and the Pentagon's plans to use this crisis as the springboard for a new round of aggression in the Third World, especially against the people of the Middle East.

In August 1998, the Pentagon delivered murderous cruise missile air strikes against a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan without any evidence, supposedly in retaliation for the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya. The cruise missiles destroyed the Al Shifa Pharmaceutical factory that provided most of Sudan's medicines. Thousands of African people perished as a direct result of the Pentagon's bombing.

President Ronald Reagan ordered the invasion of Grenada in the Caribbean shortly after a truck bomb exploded at a U.S. Marine Corps base in Lebanon in 1983. Under Bush senior, over 2,000 Panamanians were killed in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve in 1989 under the pretext of the war on drugs.

In 1986, after pointing a finger at Syria, Iran and several Palestinian organizations for an explosion at a discothèque in Germany, U.S. aircraft bombed Tripoli and Benzagi in Lybia. Hundreds of civilians, including children, died in their sleep as the U.S. Air Force carried out this nighttime sneak attack.

We ask activists and the people of this country to be ready to protest new Pentagon aggression in the coming period.

The Bush administration will use this current crisis as a means to justify a further expansion of the Pentagon's war budget at the expense of money for housing, education, health care, jobs and other human needs.

Danger of More State Repression

Throughout the country, the military, FBI and local police authorities are now sealing off large urban areas, blockading bridges, tunnels and roads, and mobilizing a massive presence of police and the National Guard. All this reveals an advanced stage of planning for domestic repression that can be used against the progressive and labor movements, and the Black, Latino, Asian, Arab and other oppressed communities.

All the more reason to resist the current efforts to strengthen police measures under cover of the present crisis.

Build Solidarity

The people of New York City and the country cannot allow the Bush administration and the Pentagon to play on their genuine feelings of shock and disbelief to stir reaction and strengthen the forces of repression. This will not help the working and oppressed people of this or any country.

The only way to respond to today's events is to extend solidarity to the families and friends of those who perished or who were injured at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon; build global solidarity with people around the world struggling against war, poverty and exploitation; and deepen the movement to protest new Pentagon aggression.

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