Feb. 26-28, 2010: Campus Antiwar Network National Conference @ UIUC.

For Immediate Release: January 12, 2010

Local Contact: Susan Song

Disappointment with Obama Administration reinvigorates national student antiwar movement.

The Campus Anti-war Network invites faculty and students from all schools in the U.S., and their supporters, to its winter conference on February 27th and 28th.  Hear speakers give context to the history and motivations of U.S. foreign policy, and activists engaged in ongoing struggles against the wars relate their experiences.  Participate in workshops on war and the environment, divestment campaigns, the situation in Gaza, the AfPak conflict, and more. Discuss how to build a democratic anti-war movement in this country from the grassroots, one focused on mass action to force politicians regardless of party to accede to the demand for an end to illegal U.S. backed occupations. 


In November of 2006 and 2008 the U.S. electorate clearly repudiated the previous administration's foreign policy of endless war, first by ousting the Republicans from the Congress, and then the White House.  Voters' hopes for change have been crushed by the new administration, which has faithfully continued and entrenched the occupation of Iraq and has expanded the occupation of Afghanistan with a surge of 40,000 troops. 


The Obama administration has simply ignored that solid majorities of Americans are now opposed to both occupations, which have killed millions in Iraq and Afghanistan and are the main obstacles to Iraqis and Afghanis rebuilding their societies and establishing democracy.  They have cost the lives of thousands of U.S. soldiers and created epidemics of suicide and disability among veterans, conditions ignored by military brass and the Veterans Administration.  Says regional coordinator Sarah Jaine Szekeresh, “CAN is still working to dispel the myth that Obama's presidency is a victory for the peace movement. It is not. Obama's presidency will be a victory for corporations like KBR who will continue to be paid billions of dollars for creating military bases in Afghanistan and Iraq.”


Despite being in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Obama's government budgets billions for these wars as well as for Israeli apartheid in Palestine, and these requests are approved by a pliant Congress.  To fund these imperialist adventures, money for education, infrastructure, and healthcare are cut, to the detriment of working Americans and the environment.  We feel the end these disasters will have to come from outside the political establishment. 

Who: Campus Antiwar Network
What: National Conference: “It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over: Hope Only Goes So Far”
When: February 26 – February 28
(call contact for more specifics)
Where: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Why: To build a grassroots student movement to fight imperialism and stand for human rights

See website to register: http://campusantiwar.net/canference_2010

Conference speakers


  • Michael Schwartz: Professor of Sociology at Stony Brook University and author of War Without End: The Iraq War in Context.
  • Robby Diseu: Organizer with Peace of the Action (http://peaceoftheaction.org/)
  • Laura Slattery: Long time antiwar activist and war veteran.
  • Insurgent Theatre: The group has been producing radical plays since 2003 and touring the country since August, 2008 (http://www.insurgenttheatre.org/).
  • Wes Strong: Organizer with Connecticut Students Against War (CT-SAW), discussing the relationship between imperialism, budget cuts and tuition hikes.
  • Dan Moore: Organizer with the Interfaith Workers Center (http://www.cworkers.org/).
  • Katherine Fuchs: Organizer for the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, discussing Boycott Divestment, and Sanctions. 


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10:00 – 11:00

It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over: Hope Only Goes So Far

Gregory Hall 100


Sarah Jaine, Michael, and Stephen, members of the Coordinating Committee, contextualize the state of CAN and welcome everyone to the CANference!

11:15 – 12:15

Palestine 101

Gregory Hall 111


Nancy and Drew discuss their recent trips to the West Bank. Historical introduction by Paul, rooted in International Law.


Environment & Imperialism

Gregory Hall 113


Susan talks about the effect imperialism has on environmental degradation.

Torture & Health Care Professionals

Gregory Hall 205


Abdul explains the study done by Harvard Law students on Dr. Larry James, former chief psychologist for both Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.

12:30 – 1:30


Gregory Hall 111


Stephen and Pete explore the disconnect between the Obama administration's rhetoric and practices in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

What the ROTC and Military Recruiters Won't Tell You: The Truth About Enlistment

Gregory Hall 113


Patricia discusses strategies to combat militarism including veterans' benefits, length of enlistment and stop-loss, PTSD, and other ways of paying for college.

Immigration & Imperialism

Gregory Hall 205


Dan Moore, from the Interfaith Worker's Center, describes the link between U.S. Interventionism in Central and South Americas, immigration, and labor.

1:30 – 2:30 LUNCH!

[1:30 – 2:25: Mike gives info session on the new website. Bring your lunch!]

2:30 – 3:45

GFM Reportback and What We Can Do At Home

Gregory Hall 100


Shannon, Layney, Jad & Joel describe their experiences with the Gaza Freedom March; Katherine Fuchs, National Organizer for the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, discussing Boycott Divestment, and Sanctions

4:00 – 5:00


Gregory Hall 205


Anthony discusses the United States history of imperialism in Iraq and the current facts on the ground.


Peace of the Action

Gregory Hall 207


Robby Diesu, antiwar veteran working with Peace of the Action, reviews PotA's plan to engage in direct action during the week of the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.


Budget Cuts

Gregory Hall 100


Wes Strong, from Connecticut Students Against War (CT-SAW), explores the relationship between imperialism, budget cuts, and tuition hikes, and relates current initiatives for student power.


5:15 – 6:00

Soldiers Speak Out

Gregory Hall 100


Members of Iraq Veterans Against the War and Vietnam Veterans Against the War share stories of their time spent in the military.


6:00 – 7:30 DINNER!


7:30 – 8:45

Why We're Really There & Stories From the Front

Gregory Hall 100


Mike Schwartz details the neo-liberalism takeover of Iraq. Laura Slattery, antiwar veteran, relates her experience in counter-recruitment and non-violence.


9:00 – 10:00

The Insurgent Theatre

Gregory Hall 100


The Insurgent Theatre performs a piece exploring violence and direct action.


10:00 – SLEEP


Boozin', schmoozin', and cruisin'.


9:00 – 9:15

Imperialism & the Democrats

David Kinley Hall 114


Kyle argues that dispelling the myth that the Democrats are the peace party and supporting political alternatives is crucial to building a lasting anti-war movement.


9:15 – 11:00

Chapter Building

David Kinley Hall 114


Sarah Jaine and Chris lead an all-group discussion/brainstorming on how to more effectively build on campuses.


11:00 – 11:30 LUNCH!

[is delicious]

Provided by FOOD NOT BOMBS! <3

Let's make it quick!

11:30 – END


David Kinley Hall 114

Discussion on the role of off-campus and alumni organizers & roles of Regional Coordinators

-breakout into REGIONAL CAUCUS

voting for Regional Coordinators

(back to full assembly)

Discussions on Points of Unity, Resolutions, and National Actions.

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