Summary: From a demonstration sponsored by the LA-based Coalition for Peace, Revolution, and Social Justice (CPRSJ) and originally published on its website onÂ November 6, 2017 – Editors
A Korean-American Perspective
I was born in South Korea. My family moved to the United States in pursuit of better opportunities. My father grew up in poverty in post-war South Korea but was the first to go to college from his village and eventually came to the U.S. in pursuit of a PhD with my mother and me when I was three years old. Still, we went back to visit family as much as we could, and I consider South Korea to be my other home. All but three of my family members still live in Korea, my grandparents, my aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews … I have my friends who live there as well, all kind, loving, big-hearted people. My father and my stepmom moved back to Korea and my dad has a little garden plot there where he likes to grow organic vegetables … he studies and teaches neurology trying to find cures for brain diseases to help improve the health of people all around the world … The vast majority of my friends and family as well as half of all people in South Korea live in Seoul, the capital city of South Korea. It is located about 30 minutes from the North Korean border. If the U.S. goes to war with North Korea, it will easily mean annihilation and destruction for South Korea as well. It will throw South Korea into complete devastation and chaos while the U.S. merely watches from TV screens, hardly feeling a thing. The border will not incubate South Korea from the effects. South Korea will be on the front lines of the war. North Korea will not launch its missiles against the U.S. in retaliation – it will be at Seoul, where half of South Korea lives, where my friends and family live. All men in South Korea are required to serve in the military, so all boys from all walks of life in South Korea will be forced to take up arms and die for Donald Trump’s belligerent mistake. Donald Trump has made clear many times that he doesn’t give a shit about South Korea – he didn’t know about the history of the conflict dragging on over half a century, and has reportedly asked many times why the U.S. can’t just nuke North Korea. He sees South Korea as a burden to the U.S. economy when it is the country of Samsung, of Hyundai, of so much culture that has worldwide reach and effects. He sees North Korea as defined by Kim Jong Un, who is really just a reflection of Trump and all that Trump aspires and longs to become. But North Koreans are South Koreans’ literal sisters and brothers, they are our long-lost relatives divided by this arbitrary line drawn by politicians. An arbitrary line that has separated life from death, from nourishment and starvation, from life under authoritarian control to life under democracy. South Koreans have been organizing to repair relationships with North Korea, even seeking reunification – without the U.S.’s involvement. South Korea just elected a new president who, unlike his U.S. puppet predecessors, has vowed to repair relations with North Korea. While the two countries have sought to move towards peace and reconciliation, the U.S. has been a menace, especially since the election of Donald Trump. Please, I beg each and every one of you, do not let my family, friends, and all the precious lives in both South and North Korea be destroyed by Trump’s belligerence. Please do not let the U.S. start a war with North Korea! We need each and every one of your voices and your actions to stop this. Do not let this be the beginning to World War 3. We have enough suffering in the world as is. Thank you.
— Dyne Suh, JD UCLA and Korean-American activist
An Iranian-American Perspective
There is growing risk of a U.S.-Korea war. After Trump’s speech at the United Nations, where he declared that there will be no North Korea left after a U.S. attack, and the recent attack of U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley on Iran in the United Nations Security Council, there can be no doubt that the possibility of war is real. In fact, with war in Syria, Yemen, and the recent war between Iraq and the Kurdish Peshmerga, I have to say that it has already started. The political contradiction of imperialism today is centered in the Middle East and the eyes of the world should be focused on this deeply troubled region. This is because what Trump has planned for Korea is certainly linked to the Middle East and the military presence of Russia in that region, which should be considered a matter of urgency for all Marxist, socialist, humanist and progressive anti war peace activists today. The violence of “imperialist peace time ” is over and we are entering the violence of an era of imperialist war in the capitalist system. This brings a growing risk of wars between the U.S. and North Korea, and of the U.S. and Iran. The aggression of U.S. in the Middle East and the response to it of reactionary governments of North Korea, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Turkey, which are willing to sacrifice their own people’s humanity and even existence to stay in power, means that a surprise attack could be started from anywhere. This could escalate to a form of chemical or nuclear attack that could cost the lives of millions of people. It can only be stopped by a united front of revolutionary and progressive forces, of anticapitalist antiwar activists around the world fighting to stop neofacist rightwing racist actions of Trump.
— Ali Kiani, International Marxist-Humanist Organization
A Student Perspective
Brothers and sisters, comrades and friends!
Today we gather to say no to the capitalist system, which turns people into machines and machines into people.
We gather to say no to a Trump regime that would rather go to war than solve the problems of life here at home.
We say no to a regime that pretends to care about the danger of nuclear weapons, all the while pointing thousands of nuclear missiles at millions of innocent people all over the world.
We say no to a disastrous war that would harm both the people ofÂ North Korea, victims of their own regime and the American people, victims of Trump.
We say no to war with Iran, while the American ruling class cozies up to the oligarchs in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and their illegal war in Yemen.
We say no to the building of walls and the deportation of working people seeking a better life, while the rich get away with the most heinous crimes possible.
We say no to the making of millions of refugees at the hands of the bloodthirsty Bashar Assad regime and their criminal Russian backers.
We say no to an Iranian mullah regime that starves, harasses, and murders the Kurds and the representatives of Iranian workers.
We say no to the Russian plutocrats that brazenly rob the Russian people dry and distract their own population with war and strife.
And we will not rest until our very own immoral, wicked, oligarchical President and his crony friends are torn down and real democracy, true democracy, workers’ democracy takes place not just in this country but all over the world!
And we are going to fight, and we are going to struggle, and we are going to unite, and we are going to win. Because even though the oligarchs and the warmakers have their billions, we have the millions behind us!
And so brothers and sisters, thank you very much for your time.
— Christian, UCSB Campus Marxist-Humanists