MN Anti-War Committee celebrates 20 years of fighting U.S. imperialism
Minneapolis, MN – On December 8 the MN Anti-War Committee celebrated its 20th anniversary at the Hook & Ladder Theater in Minneapolis. The event featured music by Chickpea, Garbanzo and Refried, Mestifonia, Calliope Women’s Chorus and the Unlawful Assembly marching band. Interspersed through the event were spoken word artists Angelica and Aisha, Paul Dosh and the Anti-War Committee’s own Misty Rowan. The event had toasts from local activists celebrating the contributions the Anti-War Committee has made to fighting U.S. imperialism and to helping build social movements of resistance in the Twin Cities.
Meredith Aby-Keirstead, a founding member of the Anti-War Committee, told the full theater about their committee’s experience leading civil disobedience, leading protests of tens of thousands and resisting FBI repression.
Aby-Keirstead explained, “In 2010 the Anti-War Committee and many activists, including AWC members, who organized the protest at the 2008 Republican National Convention protests were raided and subpoenaed by the FBI to testify at a grand jury in Chicago. We were targeted because of our international solidarity with Palestine and Colombia. As one of three mothers of kids under six in the AWC who was subpoenaed I can honestly say this was a terrifying time. But it was also a time filled with a lot of love and support – especially from people in this room! We didn’t cooperate. We didn’t allow ourselves to be pitted against each other or to help the investigation into our movement.”
Aby-Keirstead continued, “The good part of the story is that none of us were arrested or imprisoned because of two important actions taken right here in Minneapolis. We shined a light on the efforts to intimidate us and wouldn’t allow them to silence us and you – the movement here and around the country – protested and defended the right to protest and defended us. We stood together and said being anti-war is not a crime! That attack by the FBI could have been the end of the Anti-War Committee but it wasn’t! In fact today we are a vibrant anti-war group with tons of new members today and just last year led a protest of over 10,000 people against Trump’s racist Muslim ban!”
The Anti-War Committee's turnout and speeches showed the strong and unity of this longtime activist organization. Many people left the party expressing their desire that the AWC continue to stand up and fight back against U.S. aggression and intervention.