PRESS ALERT: Protest at USA Embassy this Friday 11 October (11h00-12h30)

The “Coalition Against USA-led Imperialist Aggression in Syria” is organizing a protest at the USA Embassy in Tshwane/Pretoria this Friday, October 11 between 11h00 and 12h30 (877 Pretorius Street, Arcadia, Tshwane/Pretoria). The purpose of the march is to condemn the USA-led and Israeli supported imperialist aggression, war-mongering, killings, human rights abuses and plunder, particularly in Syria as well as in the broader Middle East. We are demanding an immediate end of the two-year war in Syria and the continuous beating of war drums by the USA and other imperialist countries. Details of the protest (now taking place on Friday the 11th of October and not Friday the 4th of October) are:
DATE: Friday 11 October 
TIME: 11h00 - 12h30
PLACE: USA EMBASSY in Pretoria (877 Pretorius Street, Arcadia, Tshwane/Pretoria)
- Chris Mathlako (International Relations Secretary of the South African Communist Party [SACP])
- Zingiswa Losi (2nd Deputy President of the Congress of South African Trade Unions [COSATU])
- Lulamile Sotaka (Head of the World Federation of Trade Unions [WFTU])
- Mzwandile Makwayiba (President of the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union [NEHAWU])
- Alex Mashilo (Deputy National Secretary of the Young Communist League of South Africa [YCLSA])
- Ngoako Selamolela (President of the South African Students Congress [SASCO])
- Muhammed Desai (National Coordinator of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel in South Africa [BDS South Africa])
The "Coalition Against Imperialist Aggression in Syria" is made up of South African political parties, trade unions and civil society organizations including the South African Communist Party (SACP); Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU); World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU); Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA); South African Students Congress (SASCO); Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel in South Africa (BDS South Africa); Communication Workers Union (CWU); National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA); National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU); Muslim Students Association Union (MSA); Media Review Network (MRN); Palestine Solidarity Alliance (PSA) and other organisations.

In the case of Syria, the primary factor that should be considered is to end the Syrian death toll and decrease the suffering of the Syrian people. The death of over 100 000 people so far in Syria and the dispersal of more than 2 million people as refugees is a shocking devastation. Indeed, any number of people killed or displaced is unacceptable – one death is one too many. Any continuation and escalation of the war in Syria will only but increase the number of killings. We support the position that all those involved in the Syrian conflict must be encouraged to participate in all-inclusive national dialogue free from violence, intimidation and outside interference aimed at regime change. This dialogue must satisfy the legitimate democratic aspirations of the Syrian people.

In the case of Iran, we view with much worry the way in which the Israeli lobby in the USA is applying pressure and forcing the USA to attack Iran similar to how the Israeli lobby is trying to have the USA attack Syria. One of the USA's biggest influence in the region is arguably its proxy, Israel, in which case, the USA, together with the peace-loving peoples of the world, must ensure that Israel immediately ends its occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights and its colonization of the entire historic Palestine.

Furthermore, the USA itself should immediately leave Iraq – a country that it has destroyed and occupied for the last decade. In general the USA should leave all countries and stop meddling in domestic and regional issues. This includes ending its blockade of Cuba, its support for Morocco in the occupation of Western Sahara, and its meddling in Africa and other continents in the cold imperialist interests of its capitalist economy and corporations.
We view the imperialist impulses of the USA and its supporters as a continuation of the colonisation of the Middle East and the broader South to the whims of the exploitative capitalist system and its corporations. The military threats and aggressions by the USA in Syria and other neighboring countries seek to increase the USA's imperialist grip in the Middle East, involving the exploitation of its resources, labour and markets. The USA, its allies and surrogates have no interest in the peoples of the region, only resources, markets and domination. This is the same racist way the USA views our own African continent – as a land and people that can be exploited for private accumulation purposes. The USA must move away from its unilateral, militarist and imperialist agenda and join the peace-loving peoples of the world in a multilateral and democratic internationalism.
It is clear that the continuation of war in Syria and the bullying of the USA is an indication of the dismal failure and impotence of the United Nations system which must be restructured in favour of a more democratic and people-centred internationalism. We welcome and support the stance by the Latin American countries in the United Nations General Assembly to challenge the dominance and bullying of the USA and its allies. We are calling on all peace loving South Africans and people of the world to mobilize and rally against all wars, whether chemical, biological or nuclear. All countries, and not only Syria, must destroy their capacity for mass murder. This includes, in the first place the USA, its allies and the various terrorist groupings that they support the world over.

Our coalition will deliver a memorandum on Friday (11 October) to the Government of the USA via its Embassy in Tshwane/Pretoria calling for an end to the war in Syria, an end to the USA and its imperialist allies support and supply of weapons to the various terrorist groupings within Syria, an end to USA imperialist meddling in the Middle East and other parts of the world. Our march on Friday continues in the spirit of the recent protests that took place across South Africa under the "Nobama Coalition" when President Barack Obama was in our country on his State visit. We remain consistent that we are against all forms of imperialism. We are against all USA imperialist aggressions and meddling in other countries. We remain committed to a multilateral world system based on peace, justice and equality. The USA's arrogant, selfish and oppressive foreign policies that are rooted in war mongering, neo-liberal super-exploitation, colonial racism and the disregard and destruction of the environment make the realisation of a just and peaceful world impossible. Like we said in June this year in our memorandum to Obama and the people of the USA: "From the South African people, to the American people, we say hold your administration accountable about its actions in the world, for a shared global consciousness rooted in freedom, justice and equality."

Richard Mamabolo / 079 670 0274 /
Vuyo Bikitsha / 083 253 8647 /