75+ US organizations endorse protests against war on Yemen this month
Activists call on US federal lawmakers to introduce a new Yemen War Powers Resolution to end US participation in the war on Yemen.
On March 25, 2015, Saudi Arabia announced launching the coalition's aggression on Yemen, claiming "to defend and support the legitimate government of Yemen," plunging the country into the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Eight years on, more than 350,000 were killed, more than 19 million are facing hunger, and millions of oil and gas barrels have been looted, as the country is still facing a strict siege and is casually shelled by the Saudi coalition and its allies.
In a statement on the eighth anniversary of the Saudi-led bombing and blockade of Yemen, the Action Corps initiative highlighted that activists in 17 cities across 10 states demanded a lasting change in US policy to Saudi Arabia and Yemen, including the introduction of a Yemen War Powers Resolution in advance of March 25.
It added that the protests marking this month’s 8th anniversary of the war on Yemen were endorsed by over 75 US organizations.
"If not now, when?" asked Dr. Yolande Cadore, chair of the board of Action Corps.
Speaking of the Saudi-Iran deal, Neda Saleh, a prominent Yemeni-American community leader and Action Corps’ coordinator, said, "Sen. Sanders has spoken passionately about the need to end U.S. complicity in the war. My question today is: Must my beloved Yemen wait any longer?"
Arwa Mokdad, a Yemeni-American peace advocate, pointed out that "this is an opportunity for the Saudis to pull out of Yemen and try to save face."
"The U.S. Congress must stand up at this key moment and use its power to put an immediate and definitive end to U.S. complicity in the world’s largest humanitarian crisis," Mokdad stressed.
On her part, Kawthar Abdullah, a Yemeni-American activist with the Yemeni Alliance Committee, said, "It’s been eight long years. The Yemeni people have had enough."
During this month’s Yemen war protests, activists called on federal lawmakers to introduce a new Yemen War Powers Resolution before the March 25th anniversary of the US-backed Saudi-led coalition’s entry into the war, the Action Corps statement read.
It underscored that "if brought to the floor for a vote, Congress could order the president to end U.S. participation in the catastrophic conflict, which the U.S. has enabled for 8 years."
Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Jayapal and Sen. Sanders sponsored last year’s bipartisan bill, which was co-sponsored by over 130 members of Congress, the statement recalled.
Despite the current pause in bombings in Yemen since April 2022, there is no structure to prevent Saudi Arabia from resuming airstrikes nor to permanently end the Saudi-led blockade of Yemen.
"The U.S. has enabled Saudi Arabia and the UAE to subject the Yemeni people to over 25,000 air raids. Activists describe the Yemen War Powers Resolution as the most effective way for Congress to stop enabling the war on Yemen, including ending the Saudi blockade," the statement indicated.
It highlighted that "starvation and disease are a daily presence in Yemen; millions of children are malnourished and two-thirds of the country is in need of humanitarian aid. Saudi Arabia’s blockade drives the crisis."
"For example, almost no containerized goods have been able to enter Yemen’s principal port of Hodeida since 2017, depriving the Yemeni people of needed medical supplies and other essential goods," it added.
"The Saudi-led war on Yemen could not have started or continued, for eight years, without US support. The war was announced from Washington DC, and it is time that its end is also announced from DC," underlined Dr. Aisha Jumaan, founder and president of the Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation, a humanitarian organization that co-leads the US coalition working to end US involvement in the Yemen war.
Yemen advocates state that without US support for the war, Saudi Arabia would lose the threat of resuming airstrikes on Yemen, making it harder to continue its participation in the war, including its devastating blockade, the Action Corps said.
Organizations that signed the call to protest the war included the Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation, the Yemeni Alliance Committee, About Face: Veterans Against War, Veterans for Peace, Progressive Democrats of America, the Libertarian Institute, Avaaz, CODEPINK, Peace Action, United for Peace and Justice, Democratic Socialists of America International Committee, Women's League for International Peace and Freedom – US Section, among others.
The statement noted that US participation in the Saudi-led bombing of Yemen began without Congressional authorization on March 25, 2015, during the Obama administration.
It added that despite a commitment in February 2021 from President Biden to end "offensive" weapon sales and military support for Saudi Arabia in its war in Yemen, the US has continued to provide spare parts and maintenance for the Saudi air force, which increased the frequency of airstrikes on Yemen in 2021 and early 2022 — after Biden took office.
March 25 will mark the eighth anniversary of the beginning of the Saudi-led coalition's bombing of Yemen. To mark the occasion, at 12 pm ET that day, Action Corps will join Peace Action, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, Yemeni groups, and others from the US and UK for an online rally to build momentum to end the war in Yemen.
According to the statement, confirmed US speakers include Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Ro Khanna, Rep. Omar, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Dr. Shireen Al-Adeimi, Amaani Yehya, and the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis.
Sen. Bernie Sanders has been also invited to speak.