Originally published in the Summer 2019 edition of the Virginia Defender, issue 59, printed August 23. Reproduced here for accessibility and archival purposes. To find other stories in the Summer 2019 issue or to download the full PDF, see this post. For the full web catalog, see our Full Issues page.
More than 600 people rallied and marched through the streets of downtown Washington, D.C., on March 30 to kick off a week of actions protesting “NATO, War & Racism!” and demanding an end to the U.S. campaign to overthrow the government of oil-rich Venezuela.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was coming to town on April 4 to celebrate its 70th anniversary. The date also happened to mark the 51st anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., a particularly inappropriate time to celebrate militarism.
NATO is the military alliance that has joined the U.S. in wrecking death and destruction across the Middle East and North Africa. That includes destroying the once prosperous African country of Libya. NATO is now moving into Latin America, recruiting countries that border Venezuela.
The march and two rallies were initiated by the United National Antiwar Coalition and endorsed by more than two dozen antiwar and social justice organizations.
Other protests and meetings took place throughout the week, sponsored by a range of organizations, including World Beyond War, Black Alliance for Peace, the U.S. Peace Council and Popular Resistance.
Two weeks before these actions, a march and rally of about 1,000 people focusing on Venezuela was held in D.C. by the ANSWER Coalition.
The Virginia Defenders played a leading role in the March 30 actions, including writing the initial Call, proposing the rally speakers (emphasizing youth, women and people of color), arranging for the rally stage and sound and coordinating security, planning the march route and arranging for the march and rally permits.
Categories: International & Antiwar News