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Chicago organizer motivates Minnesota to march on NATO Summit

By staff |
April 23, 2012
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Joe Iosbaker speaking at fundraising event for buses to anti-NATO protest.
Joe Iosbaker speaking at fundraising event for buses to anti-NATO protest. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Making signs for May 20 protest at NATO Summit.
Making signs for May 20 protest at NATO Summit.

Minneapolis, MN - On April 16, the Minnesota Anti-War Committee hosted Joe Iosbaker, one of the principle organizers of the Coalition Against NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda (CANG8), in the Twin Cities. CANG8 is organizing a massive protest in Chicago May 20, at the opening of the NATO Summit.

Iosbaker first spoke at an event organized by the Anti-War Committee for people interested in going to Chicago and where protesters made signs, t-shirts, banners and buttons to take to the march. Later that evening Iosbaker spoke at a packed fundraiser organized by the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition, Women Against Military Madness and the Anti-War Committee which raised scholarship funds for low-income supporters and students to come on the busses to Chicago.

Last summer the Coalition Against NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda (CANG8) was founded and announced that it was organizing protests at the join NATO/G8 Summit in Chicago in May 2012. Many local anti-war groups joined the coalition at its founding and agreed to organize Minnesotans to participate in this important national demonstration.

Minnesotans attending the events were enthusiastic supporters of Iosbaker’s stories explaining CANG8’s victories defending the right to protest. Meredith Aby, an organizer with the Anti-War Committee explained, “As Minnesotans we remember from the demonstrations at the 2008 Republican National Convention how politicians love to use these national security events as pretexts for restricting the right to protest. Mayor Rahm Emmanuel has shown he is no different. However, CANG8 and Occupy Chicago joined forces with local unions and other community groups and fought back most of the free speech restrictions the mayor proposed, giving the former White House chief of staff his first political failure as mayor of Chicago. The movement in Chicago should inspire everyone to defend the right to protest!”

Iosbaker also announced that the protest has received a high profile endorsement from the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Jackson announced at Occupy Chicago’s April Return to the Streets protest that he intends to march against NATO on May 20. Iosbaker motivated Minnesotans by informing people that in April unions representing over 135,000 workers endorsed the protest on the NATO Summit on May 20, including the Chicago Teachers Union, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Locals 73 and Health Care Illinois/Indiana and the United Electrical workers Western Region.

Local anti-war organizers expect around 100 Minnesotans to ride the busses organized by the Anti-War Committee and WAMM, with hundreds more driving themselves. Minnesota has a strong movement for peace and justice which will be well represented in Chicago to demand money for human needs not for war.

Information about the buses from Minnesota can be found at antiwarcommittee.org.