This post was researched and co-written by Andrea D’Cruz.
Within a matter of months a majority of Americans have shifted from supporting to opposing the Afghanistan war as we approach the eighth anniversary of the start of the conflict. According to recent polls, a solid 57 percent of Americans now object to the military effort.
At the same time, Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s request for additional troops to prosecute the war is being studied by the White House, which will soon make a decision that could define the Obama presidency, as The Nation‘s editorial laying out the case against escalation, notes.
Meanwhile, just like the administration, antiwar activists are reallocating their attention from Iraq towards Afghanistan, determined to preempt McChrystal’s proposed troop surge. A broad coalition of groups is co-ordinating protests and demonstrations for the coming weeks, hoping to emulate the successes of the Vietnam protests in ways that the anti-Iraq war movement never managed. There will be vigils, rallies, memorials, teach-ins, film festivals, demonstrations, direct action and marches. The activities will range from a few individuals to events where many thousands of people are expected to turn up.
The activist upsurge is nicely detailed in an article in last week’s UK Observer, which also argues that “…the Obama administration does not appear to have much fear of the doveish wing of the broad liberal coalition that put Obama into the White House.”
That needs to change. Here are some ways you can help:
See the Nation‘s list, Ten Things You Can Do to Oppose War in Afghanistan by Z.P. Heller.
And, Ten More Things You Can Do to Oppose War in Afghanistan by Tom Hayden.
If you’re a student, join the Campus Antiwar Network and hold teach-ins, debates, talks, demonstrations and walkouts on college campuses across the country.
Sponsor one of the more than 830 pairs of empty boots making up the Eyes Wide Open Exhibit, a memorial to American soldiers killed in the war, which is being organized by the American Friends Service Committee and Military Families Speak Out for this coming weekend in Washington, DC. You can also offer to volunteer either at the memorial in DC or with the preparation in Baltimore on Friday.