Vietnam-era anti-war protestors continue their demonstrating today, most recently in San Francisco against a potential Iraq war, but the sponsorship, partnerships, and funding of these groups raise questions about their real purpose. They are very organized, have a significant Internet presence, and actively raise large amounts of money.
This all started when I saw the name of a protest group listed in an AP wire story. I wondered a bit about this and tried to find out about this group via the Internet. I found that I could trace it back at least to 1987 (in various forms, though at the same address). Note that if a foreign country wanted to fund anti-war activism regarding Iraq, all they'd need to do is donate to a day care center in New York (and it's deductible).
This is the AP story that piqued my curiosity:
SEPTEMBER 14, 17:02 ET
5 U.S.-Born Terror Suspects Charged
By BEN DOBBIN
Associated Press Writer
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Five American-born men accused of operating a terrorist cell linked to al-Qaida appeared in court Saturday and were charged with providing material support to terrorists.
Just before the hearing in U.S. District Court, a carload of people drove by the federal building chanting: ``U.S.A! U.S.A!'' Three members of the protest group Act Now to Stop War and End Racism silently held signs reading ``Stop the racist witch hunt'' across the street...
So, what on earth is the group "Act Now to Stop War and End Racism?" I did a Google search and came up with a website:
They call themselves International A.N.S.W.E.R (acronym for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism). Looks like an old anti-war group from the Vietnam era, complete with Ramsey Clark speaking at a rally (look at the upper right hand side of the webpage). I did a little digging and turns out this is an Iraqi support group. The name changes but the address and phone remains the same.
Domain Name.......... internationalanswer.org
Creation Date........ 2001-09-18
Registration Date.... 2001-09-18
Expiry Date.......... 2002-09-18
Organisation Name.... International Action Center
Organisation Address. 39 West 14th Street, Room 206
Organisation Address. New York
Organisation Address. 10011
Organisation Address. NY
Organisation Address. UNITED STATES
A Google search on the phone number (212) 633-6646 brings back something that I had to take from the Google archives...the link is no longer any good. Note that the address of the Iraq Sanctions Challenge is the same as the WHOIS address above. Do a Google search on the phrase using that phone number and you bring up all sorts of things. Must be an interesting office, what with the Free Mumia crowd, the Iraq Sanctions Challenge, U.S. Out of Korea Committee, and the Coalition to Stop U.S. Intervention in the Mideast, among others.
Formerly found at: http://www.salam.org/activism/challenge-success.html:
Delegation Delivers Over $4 Million of Medicine to Iraq
Press Release - 13 May 1998
The 100 strong Iraq Sanctions Challenge delegation has returned after delivering over $4 million worth of medicine to Iraq in defiance of the genocidal U.S.-led U.N. Sanctions.
Below are the press releases that have been sent out by the Iraq Sanctions Challenge office in New York with day by day updates on the Challenge's
activities and progress.
Iraq Sanctions Challenge
39 West 14 Street, Suite 206
New York, NY 10011
Fax (212) 633-2889
For Immediate Release
Attention: Assignment Editor
Contact: Deirdre Sinnott
Iraq Sanctions Challenge Delegation Returns to Home With No Governmental Interference. New phase in the Struggle to End Sanctions is Opened. "We must force the U.S. government to end the sanctions policies, " said Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, from Baghdad.
From May 6 to 13, 100 Iraq Sanctions Challenge delegates visited Iraq in defiance of the U.S.-led United Nations sanctions. The delegates brought more than $4 million worth of medicines for the Iraqi people. They visited hospitals, schools, water sanitation facilities, and other areas hard-hit by sanctions. More than 1.5 million people have died as a result of the sanctions, mostly children and the elderly.
The Iraq Sanctions Challenge has an iacenter.org email address and a WHOIS for iacenter.org gives another organization at the same address:
International Action Center (IACENTER2-DOM)
39 West 14th Street, #206
NY, NY 10011
Domain Name: IACENTER.ORG
Flounders, Sara (SF1171) iacenter@IACENTER.ORG
International Action Center
39 West 14th Street, Room 206
New York, NY 10011
(212) 633-6646 (FAX) (212) 633-2889
A September 25, 2001 New York Post article lists several more organizations at that same office.
Mumiacs for Terror -- Chez, 18:50:20 09/25/01
THE organizers of Saturday's "vigil against racism and war" in Union Square Park - and a rally there the next day in solidarity with "Arab and Muslim sisters and brothers" - are being led by Ramsey Clark. Clark, who was LBJ's attorney general, is chairman of the International Action Center, an umbrella group which shares its West 14th Street office and its telephone with such groups as Iraq Sanctions Challenge; Peace for Cuba; U.S. Out of Korea Committee; Coalition to Stop U.S. Intervention in the Mideast, which was created in 1990 before the Gulf War; and Millions for Mumia, which works to free cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. Clark and his comrades, including the pro-Palestinian group Al-Awda, now have a new committee, Answer: Act Now to Stop War and Racism. They march on Washington, D.C., next week.
Here's another group that uses that address and phone number:
Peoples Video Network
International Action Center
Workers World Party
INVITE YOU TO CELEBRATE ELLEN ANDORS' LIFE
SATURDAY, MARCH 31, 2001, - 3:00 p.m.
55 W. 17 St., Fifth Floor, NYC
R.S.V.P. Peoples Video Network
212-633-6646 extension 15
Ellen Andors, Ph.D., videographer, anthropologist, teacher, socialist, political organizer, and single working parent, died on August 2, 2000, at the age of 54.
As a teacher of anthropology in the City University system for 25 years, Ellen used multi-media as a way to educate about capitalism's ills and the need to struggle against them.
In 1994, Ellen became a member of Workers World Party, and joined the Peoples Video Network. She became a driving force in producing progressive videos documenting numerous struggles. She produced and edited many political videos that are broadcast around the globe.
The stunning Metal of Dishonor is a groundbreaking expose of the Pentagon's use of depleted uranium weapons. The Prison-Industrial Complex: An Interview with Mumia Abu-Jamal features the political prisoner and award-winning journalist speaking from Pennsylvania's death row with Monica Moorehead and Larry Holmes.
At the time of her death, Ellen was compiling footage for a comprehensive video exposing the dangers NATO poses to the peoples of the world. The Peoples Video Network is committed to finishing this important project...
*Tax-deductible donations to complete production of the video about NATO that Ellen began can be sent to People's Rights Fund/Ellen Andors Memorial Fund, at 39 W. 14 St., Suite 206, New York, N.Y. 10011. For information: Call 212-633-6646
Who provides their funding? From their donations link:
The People's Rights Fund is a fiscal sponsor for the International Action Center and A.N.S.W.E.R., including demonstrations, teach-ins and other activities held in Washington on September 29, 2001, and April 20 and the recent June 1 National Anti-war conference in New York City and a protest at FBI headquarters on June 29 as well as the upcoming Independent Commissions of Inquiry into U.S.-backed Israeli War Crimes. The People's Rights Fund is sponsoring the holding of educational events to inform the people of the U.S. about the dangers of a new war initiated by the U.S. government, about the racist attacks in this country, and concerning the threats to civil liberties to the people of this country. The Fund is also sponsoring the production of educational materials on these subjects.
And who is this?
People's Rights Fund
The People's Rights Fund is a small foundation with limited resources that has channeled its support to projects often considered too controversial for more traditional funders. This has included the production of educational material opposing sanctions against defenseless populations, and combating racism and anti-Arab bigotry during the buildup to the Gulf War against Iraq. Its grants allowed the production of leaflets and other materials for the first U.S. demonstrations against the Gulf War. It has also helped provide informational material for major rallies against the blockade of Cuba.
A grant from the People's Rights Fund initiated the work on this book, the children are dying.
The People's Rights Fund is a nonprofit, tax-exempt, educational organization. It depends on contributions from people who understand that grassroots activism can mobilize progressive public opinion into a powerful force. It has supported projects that use literature and/or video and have mobilized both small groups and great public assemblies to protect and advance the rights of the poor, the powerless, and the oppressed.
For more information or to send a donation, write to:
People's Rights Fund
39 West 14th Street, #206
New York, NY 10011, USA
The People’s Rights Fund (fiscal sponsor for the International Action Center) has a website. You can see that they have branches across the nation and plan events long in advance.
The People's Rights Fund is a reporting charity, claiming to be a day care center at one time (at least to get IRS approval), apparently.
Found via: http://www.guidestar.org/servlet/SearchServlet:
Peoples Rights Fund, Inc.
39 W 14TH ST STE 2ND FL
NEW YORK, NY 10011
Information in this report is derived from IRS Form 990 or IRS Form 990-EZ, an annual report filed by nonprofit organizations.
Who We Are
Day care center
Program / Activities
Fiscal Year: 2000
This organization files an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.
more financial information
Ruling Year: 1987
These five contributions shown below were pretty hefty no matter what scale is used. Anti-war activism is clearly no small enterprise. The obvious question is, who donated that money and what was the original source? Was it overseas money laundered through a US citizen?
This was foound at page 13: http://www.guidestar.org/pdf/2000/133/270/2000-133270831-1-9.pdf:
Peoples Rights Fund, Inc 13-3270831
Schedule A: Identification of Excess Contributions included on Part IV, line 26B
*** Not Open To Public Inspection ***
Total Contribution/Excess Contribution
Total Excess Contributions to Schedule A, Line 26B
Is it possible to link the International Action Center to Iraq? Very easily, as it turns out. Iraq’s ambassador, Dr. Saeed Hasan, participated in a program sponsored by the International Action Center in 1999:
Program: First Hearing of the Independent Commission of Inquiry to Investigate U.S./NATO War Crimes Against the People of Yugoslavia
July 31, 1999 • New York City
[We are preparing transcripts of as many speeches and papers as possible from the Initial Hearing; watch this page for links to individual names]
10:00 am - 11:00 am Opening Plenary
11:15 am - 1:00 pm Panel Discussions
1:00 pm - 1:30 pm Lunch in the Hall
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm Panel Discussions
3:45 pm - 6:00 pm Closing Plenary featuring Ramsey Clark
Opening Plenary: The Case for an Independent War Crimes Tribunal
Moderator: Sara Flounders, International Action Center
David Jacobs, attorney, Canadian lawyers group
Michel Chossudovsky, economist and author
Roland Keith, OSCE monitor in Kosovo
Monica Moorehead, Workers World newspaper and Mumia Awareness Week introducing a taped message from Mumia Abu-Jamal
Dr. Saeed Hasan, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Iraq to the UN
There is an excellent article about Ramsey Clark, head of the International Action Center here. This article describes the relationship between Clark, the International Action Center, and the Workers World Party (described as an orthodox Stalinist sect). The policies of the Workers World Party add a level of complexity here. Are we still fighting the Cold War? Or is the Workers World Party simply a funding device? If it is the latter, then the immediate question is about the source of funds. The next question is, why? The International Action Center is able to raise significant amounts of tax-deductible money, that’s clear. The purpose is not so simple. Is this a means for the Workers World Party to develop an anarchistic atmosphere in the United States? Divide the population and jump into the gap to gain political control?
Louis J. Freeh, Director of the FBI, stated in testimony before the Committees on Appropriations, Armed Services, and Select Committee on Intelligence: From: http://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress01/freeh051001.htm
“Anarchists and extremist socialist groups -- many of which, such as the Workers' World Party, Reclaim the Streets, and Carnival Against Capitalism -- have an international presence and, at times, also represent a potential threat in the United States. For example, anarchists, operating individually and in groups, caused much of the damage during the 1999 World Trade Organization ministerial meeting in Seattle.”
The International Action Center is not a one-pony show. There are many elements of it beyond the anti-Iraq war aspect (North Korea/Cuba/Mumia/etc.). I believe they are acting to disable and destruct society’s institutions in order to forward an agenda. The oath of enlistment of a soldier in the US Army begins, "I WILL SUPPORT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES AGAINST ALL ENEMIES FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC;..." Dissent is one thing, and is a Constitutional right, but we must not forget that there can be domestic enemies.