Report on Statewide Conference: `Don’t Attack Iran’ May 12, 2012, Denver by Tom Mayer
Hello peace activists and C-CAATI* participants:
Congratulations to Rob Prince, Doug Vaughan, and the other members of the Denver C-CAATI group for putting on an excellent conference about the nuclear crisis in the Middle East on Saturday! It was well organized,informative, and even inspiring. The Denver Unitarian church at which the conference was held was comfortable and had a most welcoming feel. The food was both delicious and plentiful. The conference was attended by at least 70 people, and I heard many favorable comments about the event from the attendees.
The first presentation was by Dr. Leroy Moore who spoke about the Iranian nuclear program. He presented a lot of useful information about the history of the Iranian nuclear program. He also compared the Iranian nuclear energy program to the nuclear weapons programs in Israel and the United States. Leroy emphasized that Iran does not now have nuclear weapons and has apparently not made a decision to produce them. The power point presentation that Leroy used is attached to this e-mail. You can learn a great deal by viewing it.
After Leroy’s presentation we broke into small groups that discussed methods of anti-war organizing. Many useful organizing ideas emerged from these sessions. Among these were the following: (1) a website devoted to anti-war letter writing, (2) a systematic campaign to introduce anti-war resolutions at city councils, (3) a campaign to enlist churches within the anti-war movement, (4) a mass effort to lobby Congressional representatives, (5) preparing anti-war materials that can be used in high schools, (6) pressuring candidates for election to oppose an attack on Iran, (7) more and better teach-ins at higher education institutions, (8) a sustained hunger strike conducted in a relay fashion, (9) picketing industries that profit from war, (10) enlisting labor unions in the anti-war movement, etc.
After the organizing workshops concluded a fine lunch featuring Middle Eastern food was served. I overheard many energetic political conversations while people were eating. After lunch we heard music and anti-war poetry. Then Rob Prince presented a brief summary of the ideas emerging from the organizing workshops.
The final event of the conference was a stirring speech by Ibrahim Kazerooni, an Iraqi theologian and political analyst, on the political forces underlying the threat to attack Iran. Ibrahim discussed a variety of factors, but placed particular emphasis on the weapons industries that stand to profit from an attack upon Iran. Ibrahim’s passionate and eloquent oration drew sustained and standing applause.
I for one came away from the conference feeling energized and elated. I was elated to be in the company of so many good people committed to preventing an attack on Iran. I was energized by gaining a clearer sense of how we can build a strong anti-war movement. Thanks again to the event organizers. The Saturday conference made an important contribution to our common cause.
Peace and Justice,
*CCAATI = Colorado Coalition Against Attacking Iran. conference was organized by the Denver chapter.