In Beirut, between September 17-19, over 260 delegates from 43 different countries, representing social movements, organizations, political parties, networks, and coalitions struggling against war and occupation, met to discuss the principles and strategies of their struggle.
The international meeting was convened in order to broaden and strengthen the global anti-war and anti-globalization movement by surfacing common perspectives, strategies and campaigns for the coming years while deepening existing links, along with building new links with anti-war and anti-globalisation forces in the Arab world. The meeting reaffirmed the principles of unity and plan of action articulated in the Jakarta Peace Consensus while committing to the continued struggle against the occupations of Iraq and Palestine, corporate-led globalization, and dictatorships.
The place and the timing of the meeting were themselves significant. Beirut has witnessed some of Israelâs most atrocious crimes â above all the massacre of Sabra and Shatila–that took place exactly 22 years earlier. It was in Beirut where the Lebanese resistance began, following the Israeli invasion in 1982 and in Leabnon where the Zionist forces were defeated, inspiring people worldwide.
The Apartheid Wall in Palestine was one of the focal points of the meeting, as delegates clearly stated that this Israeli crime is an expression of Zionismâs racist and colonial nature –part of its long criminal history. The links between the occupation in Iraq and Palestine were highlighted in numerous speeches.
But the conference was aimed at more than discussion and coordination; rather, it sought more effective forms of popular mobilization that should be based on worldwide pressure on governments together with the day to day involvement of the people. Working groups on Palestine, Iraq and anti-globalization met to plan future activities that call for international momentum.
Against the Zionist onslaught of the Palestinian people through the colonization of their land, the Conference has called for a âMovement against Israeli Apartheidâ as a concrete means of supporting the Palestinian struggle for Justice and Liberation with its core the call for comprehensive boycott, divestment and sanctions.
While the Conference has laid the groundwork for strengthened global action against War, Racism and Globalization, it is now up to every one of us to give it strength.
Where Next for the Global Anti-War and Anti-Globalization Movements?
An International Strategy Meeting Beirut, Lebanon September 17-19, 2004
THE BEIRUT DECLARATION
Declaration of an international strategy meeting of anti-war and anti-globalisation movements in Beirut, Lebanon on 17-19 September 2004
We are delegates from social movements, organizations, political parties, networks, and coalitions from 54 countries who are struggling for global peace and justice and who are committed to equality, solidarity, and diversity. We are from Latin America, North America, Asia and Pacific, Africa, the Middle East and Europe engaged in our own campaigns and struggles against militarization, globalization, nuclearisation, US bases and corporate globalization.
Gathered in Beirut at a critical moment in history, we welcome and celebrate this historic opportunity to deepen and strengthen our bonds with our friends and comrades in the Arab region. We reaffirm the principles of unity and plan of action articulated in the Jakarta Peace Consensus (See Annex) and commit to continue waging the struggle against the occupation of Iraq, Palestine, corporate-led globalization, and dictatorships.
We express our solidarity with the people in the region fighting for democracy and social, economic, political and civil rights and who are suffering repression because of their opposition to dictatorship.
The Middle East is the strategic battleground of the US. Iraq and Palestine are the two critical focal points of aggression and resistance. The liberation of the Iraqi and Palestinian peoples is crucial to build global justice. Their struggles are ours.
* We support the right of the people of Iraq and Palestine to resist the occupations.
* We call for the unconditional withdrawal of US and âcoalitionâ forces from Iraq.
* We demand the end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
* We demand that the Right of Return be fulfilled. Until then, Palestinian refugees in the diaspora and internally displaced Palestinians need to be granted full economic, political and social rights.
* We denounce the racist and colonial character of Zionism, Israel’s State ideology.
* We demand the dismantlement of the Apartheid Wall and all settlements.
* We ask for the release of all Palestinian and Iraqi political prisoners.
In commemorating twenty-two years of the Lebanese people’s resistance and the anniversary of the Sabra and Chatila massacre, we salute the Lebanese resistance which has inspired us the world over, and we express our solidarity with the continuing resistance in Southern Lebanon.
We will build our solidarity through common campaigns and this positive dynamic of dialogue and common action must continue.
THE BEIRUT PLAN OF ACTION
To discuss specific and concrete proposals for the plan of action, the conference participants were divided into three working groups: on Iraq, on Palestine, and on globalization and militarization. The conference then convened in a plenary session to discuss the proposals.
The following proposals presented by the working group on Palestine were adopted and endorsed by the conference.
– The launch of an International Movement against Israeli Apartheid.
– The economic, academic, cultural, political and diplomatic isolation of Apartheid Israel by the effective imposition of boycotts, divestments, and sanctions.
– The formation of an international working group to coordinate these campaigns.
Being only another step in the direction towards a global strategy against war and globalization, the Conference did not have the necessary time to comprehensively discuss the following proposals presented by the working groups on Iraq and on globalization. We invite those who are interested on any particular proposal to get in touch with the contact people specified for each proposal.
– Support for efforts by Iraqis to build a united national front against the occupation.
– The launch of a global campaign to send medicine and food to Iraqis (Sungur Savran: firstname.lastname@example.org).
– The establishment of an international committee of lawyers to protect Iraqi prisoners, especially women and children.
– Support for an alternative independent constituent assembly (Amir al-Rekaby: email@example.com).
– The January elections as a strategic focal point of action.
– The launch of an international campaign to protect civil liberties in Iraq in order to protect journalists and activists by asserting the right to free speech and the right to assembly -the launch of an international campaign targeting war profiteers -support for existing projects such as the Iraq International Occupation Watch Center (Herbert Docena: firstname.lastname@example.org) and the World Tribunal on Iraq (Ayse Berktay: email@example.com)
– Exploring the possibility of holding a peace march in Iraq.
– Sending of letters of support from Iraqi organizations and messages of solidarity for mobilizations on the international donor’s conference for Iraq’s “reconstruction” in Japan on 13-14 October 2004 (Yoko Akimoto: NAG00562@nifty.ne.jp)
– Mobilizations on 30-31 October 2004, the weekend before US elections, under banner of âNo to Bush Agendaâ, âEnd the Occupation of Iraqâ or âNo to US Foreign Policy.â
– Mobilizations during the coming NATO summit.
– Mobilizations during the second anniversary of the invasion on 20 March 2005.
On globalization and militarization:
– Continuing mobilizations and campaigns against the international financial institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization as means for waging an economic war.
– Building and continuing campaigns against bilateral and regional free trade agreements which serve as complementary tools of the World Trade Organization (Marylou Malig: firstname.lastname@example.org).
– Support for on-going campaign for the closure of foreign military bases and support for efforts to form an international network of activists, communities, and researchers working on this campaign (Corazon Fabros: email@example.com).
– A campaign against the means by which the so-called “war on terrorism” is being used to criminalize the movement and to curtail civil liberties.
– Opposition to martial law and security cooperation agreements, forced military service, recruitment by private military contractors, and the global arms trade.
– A campaign to halt the nuclear weapons arms race.
– International mobilizations on the following days: 1 May 2005, against neo-liberal economic policies; 6 August 2005, the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, against nuclear weapons and foreign military bases; 10 September 2005, for food, political, and cultural sovereignty; 11 September 2005, against the so-called “war on terror;” 1-12 October, global week of action against WB, IMF, and WTO; 18 November, against the School of the Americas; December 2005, on the World Trade Organization’s ministerial meeting in Hong Kong.