As activists met in Richmond, VA for the UNAC conference entitled “Stop the Wars at Home and Abroad: Building a Movement Against War, Injustice & Repression,” the US military was shooting down another Syrian plane from the skies over Syria, and the cop who murdered Philando Castile was being acquitted. Despite these realities, the conference and the movement took a huge step forward, as over 300 people registered for the conference, bringing together people from 31 states as well as nine foreign countries: Canada, Columbia, Hungary, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine and Venezuela. The conference was the most diverse by age, race and geography of any antiwar conference or meeting in recent history.
Hosted in Richmond by the UNAC-affiliated Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality, the Friday night through Sunday conference presented a number of panels and workshops on the wars abroad and the wars at home on people of color, workers, immigrants, Muslims and others. The entire conference was professionally live-streamed and recorded by Other Voices, Other Choices, with producer Wilton Vought. The recordings can be seen and heard here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLatnOpu3eZimt5YieDM5MFzDPGe0ZQgzI.
This was the first time that UNAC attempted a conference in the South and away from the major East Coast metropolitan areas. This was due to the number of groups from the South that have recently joined UNAC and an increased pace of struggle in that area of the country.