On October 1, CASMII members and supporters from Washington, DC were welcomed by two dozen Virginia activists protesting outside the world's largest Naval base in Norfolk.
The rally was organized -- without much time to prepare -- by several local groups concerned about a possible attack on Iran by the Bush regime. Time magazine reported recently that a naval armada led by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower was ordered to leave Norfolk for the south coast of Iran on or soon after October 1. The protest announcement demanded "an immediate end to Washington's campaign of sanctions, hostility, and falsehood against the people of Iran."
(For a list of the sponsoring groups, please see the announcement at http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/downloads/norfolkflyer.pdf).
Local media did not cover our rally, but did report on the imminent departure of the naval attack group for the Persian Gulf to combat terrorism. One of the dozens of sailors driving into and out of the Norfolk base during our rally also confirmed to us that her battle group was deploying to the Gulf.
As we held up our banners and signs at the wide intersection outside Gate 5, some of us noted with irony that USS Eisenhower is named after the American president who ordered the CIA to overthrow Iran's democratically elected prime minister in 1953. In 2003 the New York Times senior correspondent, Stephen Kinzer, concluded in All The Shah's Men that Middle Eastern terrorism grew from that coup and subsequent Western misadventures in the region. With the revelations that Bush's so-called war on terrorism increases hatred towards America, the global consequences of a new US attack on Muslims for the control of oil is on the minds of many American voters this fall.
CASMII jointed the protest in part to network with Norfolk activists for mutual support in future actions. We communicated to our brothers and sisters there, who included a number of military veterans, that we would be glad to help them organize a public forum on US-Iran tensions. We also invited them to meet with us when they travel to Washington.