On September 4, thousands of students from across the Twin Cities will walk out of class and strike on the last day of the Republican National Convention (RNC) to demand an end to Bush’s wars for oil and empire. Socialist Alternative is working alongside Youth Against War and Racism (YAWR), a high school-based antiwar and counter-military recruitment organization, to organize this day of action.

The strike will send a message: No business as usual while these warmakers are in our town. The Bush administration has been one of the most destructive and criminal in U.S. history. All the rhetoric about WMDs, “liberation,” “democracy,” and fighting terrorism have been revealed as lies. They have led to the criminal slaughter of Afghans and Iraqis and the deaths of thousands of U.S. troops, while war profiteers like Halliburton and Blackwater have made billions.

Bush’s legacy also includes No Child Left Behind, the Patriot Act, torture, massive bailouts for banks, tax cuts for the rich, domestic spying, and record inequality. Bush will leave office as the most hated president in U.S. history.

Yet none of this would have been possible without the help of the Democratic-controlled Congress. Instead of impeaching Bush and Cheney, who Ralph Nader rightly calls “the most impeachable duo in American history,” the Democrats have handed over hundreds of billions of dollars to continue the criminal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, transportation, healthcare, infrastructure, and schools are failing.

We cannot rely on corporate-backed politicians to bring justice to these criminals and their criminal system. We must rely on our own strength and solidarity. At the RNC, we will give Bush the farewell he deserves. The student strike will culminate in a theatrical “March to Arrest the War Criminals” and a popular mock trial of the war criminals and the political establishment that aids and abets them.

Army of None Campaign
The military relies on youth as cannon fodder to continue its wars. While many will look to the elections to bring change, both Obama and McCain have called for adding 92,000 troops to the armed forces. To achieve this, the Pentagon has dramatically increased its budget for recruitment to $20.5 billion in 2009, double that of 2008 and up from $4 billion in 2003.

This fall, Twin Cities activists will also launch the “Army of None” campaign to counter military recruitment in schools. Activists will set up tables next to recruiters whenever they come to schools, using a resolution passed by the Minneapolis School Board (following a campaign organized by YAWR) giving counter-recruitment organizations equal access to schools.

The Army of None campaign will allow antiwar activists to counter the lies of recruiters, which were again demonstrated this May after a Fox 9 investigation resulted in the suspension of four Minneapolis recruiters. By cutting off the war machine’s supply of young soldiers, we can jam the gears of the Pentagon’s racist poverty draft and weaken the warmakers’ ability to conduct brutal, unjust wars.

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