Monday, June 27 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM on
the west side of City Hall, 15th & Market
Stop the NATO bombing of Libya - Stop Drone Attacks on Yemen, Pakistan!
On June 27, NATO will renew its bombing campaign in Libya past its original 90-day timeframe.  The bombing in Libya is intensifying, with tremendous "collateral damage" as civilian casualties mount.  The US and NATO have no right to intervene in Libya.  Stop the bombing now!  Meanwhile, US drone attacks continue in Pakistan and now Yemen, where the people are in struggle with their corrupt government.  We demand an end to all drone attacks around the Middle East, South Asia and around the world.  There are no "humanitarian" bombs.  Join us as we protest these interventions!


Demonstrations are taking place around the United States today to protest the U.S./NATO war in Libya. June 27 is the date that the UN resolution authorizing the 90-day “no-fly zone” expires and a new 60-day authorization begins.
It is clear that the US/NATO goal in Libya has nothing to do with protecting civilians and is, in fact, the greatest danger to Libyan civilians today. NATO has carried out over 12,000 air sorties to date, although, according to British military officials, less than half the attacks have hit their intended targets (London Daily Mail, June 25, 2011). This means, given the escalation of attacks on Libya’s cities, that the rate of civilian deaths as “collateral damage” will probably rise.
Last week, NATO admitted killing civilians in a June 19 raid that hit a residential neighborhood in Tripoli. The following day, as many as 19 more people were killed—including several children—in a NATO attack around 40 miles to the west of the Libyan capital. In the aftermath, Western journalists described a scene of desolation, as workers employed sniffer dogs to try to discover more bodies in the rubble.
The United States and its allies argued that their armed intervention was needed to counter a “massacre” of civilians by troops loyal to the Gadhafi government. However, a recent investigation by Amnesty International has cast doubt on claims that Gadhafi’s forces had participated in mass rapes and murders. A senior adviser for Amnesty, Donatella Rovera, told the press, "We have not found any evidence of a single victim of rape or a doctor who knew about somebody being raped." She said that on several occasions the rebels in Benghazi appeared to have knowingly made false claims on the issue of rape.
Likewise, Amnesty could find no evidence to back the claims of rebels that mercenary troops from Central Africa had been used against them. "Those shown to journalists as foreign mercenaries were later quietly released," said Rovera. "Most were sub-Saharan migrants working in Libya without documents" (see the British Independent, June 24, 2011).
Nor has evidence come forward that the Gadhafi government has been using cluster bombs—as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others charged. Human Rights Watch observed the use of cluster bombs in fighting in Misurata last April, when civilians were reportedly killed. But after extensive investigation, HRW could find no proof that Gaddafi’s forces had used them. In fact, NATO representatives admitted that they had employed “certain weapons” on populated areas of Misurata at the time, leading to questions about whether the cluster bombs had in fact been dropped by NATO (see http://humanrightsinvestigations.org).
As Libyan civilians die and the country’s infrastructure is destroyed, it appears more and more obvious that the attacks by the United States and its Western allies have nothing to do with their professed goals of “peace and democracy.” In reality, they see intervention in Libya as part of their efforts to roll back the mass movements of the Arab Spring and to saddle the countries of the Middle East and Africa with a new colonialism. The big Western powers wish to reassert their control over the lucrative resources of the region—above all, oil.
Democrats and Republicans in Congress, after some squabbling, voted on Friday to continue appropriations for the war in Libya. But people in this country have no interest in continuing the carnage—or in paying for it. So far the war in Libya has cost the United States over $716 million, and the White House predicts the costs will rise to more than $1 billion by the end of September. Meanwhile, our cities and states say that they cannot afford to pay their workers, and are cutting back school programs and other necessary social services.
 
It is time to demand: No to the U.S./NATO war in Libya! Self-determination for the nations of the Middle East, Southwest Asia, and North Africa! End drone bombings in Yemen and Pakistan! Money for jobs and education, not for war!
 
For more information, or to get involved in antiwar activities, contact Philly Against War, www.phillyagainstwar.org. Be sure to attend PAW’s next forum, with noted Middle East scholar Vijay Prashad, speaking on “Palestine and the Arab Spring.” The event takes place on Saturday, July 23, 2 p.m. at the Tabernacle Church, 37th & Chestnut Sts., Philadelphia.