Power and Democracy
For all the death and destruction it has caused, the United States' invasion of Iraq has given birth to a truly amazing and historic global anti-war movement which even the New York Times was forced to call "the world's other superpower." The undeniable significance of this movement was at no point more forcefully demonstrated than with the massive internationally coordinated marches that swept the globe last February 15.
Following one superpower's invasion and occupation of Iraq, representatives of this other superpower immediately gathered in Jakarta to assess the current conjuncture, to chart its next plans and to plot its future strategy.
The hurriedly organized conference, held in Jakarta, Indonesia 19-21 May 2003, was open to all. Those who attended come from some of the biggest national and regional peace and justice coalitions and groupings all over the world.
This includes representatives from the Asian Peace Alliance, a broad network of anti-war organizations from all over Asia; the UK Stop the War Coalition which organized the historic demonstrations in London; United for Peace and Justice, the biggest anti-war coalition in the United States; the Italian Social Forum, key organizers of last year's million strong anti-war march during the European Social Forum; the Istanbul No to War Coordination, which was responsible for the massive actions in Turkey; and Books not Bombs, an Australian high school student movement as well as a host of other national anti-war coalitions.
Also represented were Iraqi democracy activists, organizers of the coming World Social Forum in India, delegates from the World March of Women, Indonesian trade unions, the South Africa Anti-Privatization Forum, Greenpeace, Focus on the Global South, and Jubilee South. Also slated to attend, but not granted Indonesian visas, were delegates from Pakistan, Palestine, and an Iraqi exile from Japan.
The participants came from the following countries: Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, East Timor, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nicaragua, the Philippines, South Africa, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
After three days of intense debates and discussions, the participants hammered together the "Jakarta Peace Consensus," a declaration of unity and a specific plan of action which they have agreed to propose to the global peace and justice movements. The Consensus will be translated to Arabic, French, Spanish, Bahasa Indonesian, Italian, etc. and will be presented to the next international anti-war meeting in Evian this May 31.
The Asian Peace Mission to IraqWalden Bello, Loreta Rosales, Zulfiqar Gondal, Dita Sari, Hussin Amin and Herbert Docena rushed to Iraq four days before the bombing to oppose an illegal war for oil and empire.13-17 March 2003