Asheville, NC – Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) held a demonstration at the Federal Building here, Dec. 4, to protest the escalation of the Afghanistan War and to demand an immediate end to the occupation. This action was one of many nationally-coordinated events responding to the recently unveiled troop escalation.
Speakers at the rally addressed topics that included the right of Afghanistan to determine its own future without foreign occupation, Hamid Karzai’s family ties to the heroin trade and the need to replace the imperialist system of the United States with a society that serves the needs of working and oppressed people.
Local SDS chair Sarah Buchner said, “We oppose the decision to escalate this failing war. The plan from the White House, to ‘surge’ more than 30,000 additional U.S. and NATO troops to Afghanistan in an attempt to prop up the illegitimate Hamid Karzai puppet government is an injustice, not only to the Afghan people, but to the American people as well. Every dollar spent on bombs and bullets to kill Afghans is money stolen from people here at home. We are in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and trillions of dollars are being spent on this war while that money could instead be spent here on people’s needs.”
SDS member Pete McKelvey explained why thought it was important for students to stand in opposition to the imperialist war against the Afghan people, “What this escalation makes even more obvious is that the U.S. war in Afghanistan is more than a war, it’s an occupation. It’s increasingly important for students to take a stand because it was the youth vote that came out in strong favor of Obama. Clearly, the youth voice has earned the ear of the president. As the policies of the president drift further from his promises, students of this country are in an ideal position to use that voice and tell the president what needs to change.”
According to the call to action released by the national SDS antiwar working group, “We categorically reject U.S. wars, occupations and bombings of the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. The Afghan people have a right to self-determination, to control their own resources and take care of their own affairs. It is not the place of the U.S. to bomb Afghanistan into submission and control its destiny. The only way for Afghanistan to be free is for the bombings to halt and for all U.S. and NATO troops to leave the country immediately. We support the people of Afghanistan in their struggle for liberation and freedom from foreign occupation and domination.”
SDS member Josh Sykes said, “No amount of troops will be enough to stop the Afghan resistance to U.S. imperialism. The Afghan people, throughout their history, have made it clear that they will not allow foreign troops to ride roughshod over their homeland. They want what everyone wants: self-determination. They will fight until have they have national independence, and nothing less. The sooner the U.S.-NATO forces leave, the better.”