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Washington Square News, October 7, 2010

Protesters rally against war in Afghanistan

Joya said the death toll during Obama's time in office has increased in comparison to the toll during the Bush administration's time

By Omari Allen

Peace activists held an anti-war press conference at the CUNY Graduate Center yesterday, marking the ninth anniversary of the U.S.-NATO invasion of Afghanistan.

Malalai Joya in Toronto while promoting her book
"Today's situation of women is as catastrophic as it was under the domination of the Taliban," said Malalai Joya, former Afghan parliamentarian. "Rape cases, acid attacks, killing of women is increasing rapidly."

The group of veterans, community groups and global justice organizations said U.S. military presence in Afghanistan did not benefit anyone.

Speakers criticized the Obama administration's military tactics in Afghanistan and the conditions faced by Afghans, especially women.

"Today's situation of women is as catastrophic as it was under the domination of the Taliban," said Malalai Joya, former Afghan parliamentarian. "Rape cases, acid attacks, killing of women is increasing rapidly."

Joya said the death toll during Obama's time in office has increased in comparison to the toll during the Bush administration's time.

Selena Coppa, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, said the government is redeploying younger service members suffering from traumatic injuries, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Military Sexual Trauma, Traumatic Brain Injury and other forms of trauma caused by past or current deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan.

"The IVAW has declared that this is just not tolerable and we are not going to take it anymore," Coppa said.

Madiha Tahir, a journalist and an NYU alumna who recently reported from Pakistan, was invited to speak at the press conference.

"There is an unacknowledged war on Pakistan, second to the war in Afghanistan," Tahir said. "What this war has done is continue the [strained] relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan, which is between the Pentagon and the Pakistani military."

She described the military in Pakistan to be "a complete anti-democratic force."

Prachi Patankar, an event organizer with the South Asia Solidarity Initiative, said of the press conference: "It is time to get together and say in a united message that enough is enough. This ongoing occupation must not continue."

Category: US-NATO, HR Violations, Protest - Views: 4967