Friday, March 18, 2005

Anti-War Movement and the various Tendencies

Common Dreams had an interesting discussion of the marches today in the U.S.

I went looking for more info, because when I saw the address on the first "Troops Out Now" flier I assumed, that because its hq was that office on 14th street, that they were a new group aiming to sanitize the name of the IAC. That wouldn't stop me from going on the march - Hell, if you're in the city, you should go, unless you go on another march in the city. Even the IAC (or just a group that includes them) is still better than war in Iraq. If you thought it was OK to vote for Kerry, you should feel like it's OK to go on a march sponsored by some people whose politics you don't totally support.

But to be more specific...According to "sabate's" post on the Indymedia newswire,
TTruth be told, there was an internal split in WWP around the elections, and the strategic orientation of the antiwar movement, among other issues. A faction led largely by Brian Becker in Washington, DC Richard Becker, Gloria La Rivera on the West Coast - all active in the ANSWER national leadership, left the WWP to form the Party for Socialism and Liberation ( - which continues to work within the ANSWER coalition framework. Remaining Workers World Party loyalists continue to orient around the IAC, based in NYC. It was this split, along with the IAC's desire to actively engage groups like NY Labor Against the War that propelled the emergence of a new Troops Out Now Coalition in NYC.
The Troops Out Now group has sent an open letter out condemning UFPJ for being racist, etc.
UFPJ responded:
People in the NYC UFPJ coordinating committee had three different reasons for reaching this conclusion (not to co-sponsor the march):

(1) Major concerns that in some of the early materials for this protest there was language about supporting the Iraqi resistance, which is not a position that the NYC coalition (or the national UFPJ, for that matter) has taken, and is a position strongly opposed by some groups in our coalition.
(2) Concerns about the involvement of the International Action Center in the action. In an attempt to strengthen the antiwar movement United for Peace and Justice has spent much of the past three years attempting to work with the International Action Center (IAC) and ANSWER, two (at times) overlapping groups. Our experience with these groups has been extremely negative, even though we recognize that they have made contributions to the antiwar movement.
While professing to desire unity, ANSWER and the IAC have repeatedly misrepresented the positions of, attacked, and attempted to isolate and split UFPJ and other antiwar groups, even when we were supposedly in alliances.
In addition, many people in UFPJ have disagreements with the style and approach that the IAC and ANSWER take, an approach that sometimes makes it harder to reach the broadest constituencies possible and therefore limits the potential power of the antiwar movement.
(3) Capacity issues. In January the local UFPJ – NYC coalition committed to build several actions the weekend of March 18-20 (a send off rally for buses to Fayetteville, NC; nonviolent civil disobedience at military recruitment centers; a US Labor Against the War action (since cancelled); and an interfaith gathering in Riverside Church). In December UFPJ’s National Steering Committee decided to allocate staff time to building March 18-20 activities nationally and to support the major regional demonstration being organized in Fayetteville, NC by UFPJ member groups. They gave clear instructions to staff that they could only put a limited amount of time and resources into building any activity in New York. On top of that, through late February staff time was focused on organizing our national assembly in St. Louis. Given all this, many people felt the UFPJ – NYC coalition didn't have the capacity to spend many hours in negotiations over language and other issues with members of the Troops Out Now Coalition.

So readers, I don't know what your position on all this is, but I'm going to a War Resister's March in Brooklyn, and I'd like to see a group that would take an anti-imperialist stance, focus extensively on issues of racism, not get caught up in the electoral distractions, and NOT be a bunch of Maoist/Stalinist wingnuts.


Anonymous said...

Comrad can you not see that it is the Moaists that are the wingnuts.

Stalin Rocks

Anonymous said...

Comrade, do *you* not see that it is the Stalinist wingnuts that are holding back the true people's revolution.

-Mao more than ever