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2003-03-28

International Black Coalition for Peace and Justice Rally Calls for Major Anti-War Protest in Los Angeles: We Talk to Organizer Maulana Karenga

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Two of the first US casualties in the invasion of Iraq were soldiers of color. African-American Marine Sergeant Kendall Damon Waters-Bey of Baltimore and Jose Angel Garibay, of Orange County California.

Michael Waters-Bey, Kendall’s father lashed out at the Bush Administration for the death of his son who he last saw at Thanksgiving.

He said, "Are you looking George Bush? Are you looking? This was not your son or daughter. That chair he sat in at Thanksgiving will be empty for ever." He continued, "I am against this war–I’m against killing for any reason."

Kendall’s sister Nakia, later added, "This war is all about oil and money. But Bush has already got oil and money. It’s about greed. He ought to send his daughters over there to fight.

In Jose Angel Garibay’s last letter to his mother, he asked her to send him a Vicente Fernandez CD because he missed Mexican music so much. He never got to hear it.

Well today, let’s listen to Youth Radio’s Silvia Rivera, a college student in Chicago, who has been thinking about the role of people of color in the military. She’s a young Latina against the war, but she’s aware that many people in her community are fighting in Iraq. Youth Radio sent us her commentary:

  • Youth Radio documentary produced by Silvia Rivera.That was Sylvia Rivera, a college student who works with Radio Arte in Chicago. Special thanks to Youth Radio for sending us her commentary.??Well, African-Americans make up nearly 20 percent of military personnel, 30 percent of Army enlistees, but are make up only 12 percent of the nation’s population.

??Polls have indicated far greater opposition to the war among African American populations that the general population.

??The latest CBS / New York Times poll claimed 78 percent of the white population approved of Bush’s handling of the war. This compares to just 37 percent of African Americans.

??To display this opposition, the Los Angeles-based International Black Coalition for Peace and Justice, a federation of 20 organizations has called for a major peace protest for tomorrow, March 29, in Leimart Park.

??The Coalition includes the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, headed by Martin Luther King III, and the Organization US, a Black cultural and social change group, chaired by Kwanza creator Maulana Karenga.

??We are joined by Dr. Karenga on the phone.

  • ??Maulana Karenga, Professor in the Department of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach and Chair of the organization US which is one of the groups organizing the International Black Coalition for Peace and Justice Rally in Los Angeles tomorrow, Saturday, March 29, at 11 a.m.

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