Subject: ON SOCIAL MOVEMENTS INSIDE
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Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
The presidential inauguration is scheduled
for 20 January. Before that date, political organizers are pushing to force a
recount in the state of
In items A. and B. Ted Glick, National Coordinator of the Independent Progressive Politics Network, describes first the growing coalition that aims at challenging the results of the 2004 presidential election; then gives a brief explanation of the strategy over the next few days to demand a recount in the state of Ohio, à la Ukraine elections.
In item C. Monty Kroopkin, from
In item D. Michael Albert, of Z Magazine in
In item E. Professor Fred Lonidier shares
with us an important National Endowment for the Arts project to bring high
Finally, in item F., we see the re-mobilization of anti-war forces on American campuses, despite diversions, intimidations, and repression by the forces of imperialist order.
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Dircector of Research
from Ted Glick :
Doing the Right Thing
by Ted Glick
Jesse Jackson and the Green Party are both on the progressive side of the political spectrum, but it's still quite something to see them, along with many other groups, coming together to try to get to the bottom of the voter disenfranchisement/election machine fraud/voter suppression scandal that continues to grow despite a near-whiteout by the corporate media.
November 2000, during the first days of the
years later, however, David Cobb, the 2004 Green Party Presidential candidate,
and Rev. Jackson were sitting next to each other on December 8 as Congressman
John Conyers and other Democratic House Judiciary Committee members convened a
hearing on Capitol Hill about the many election "irregularities" in
Ohio. Cobb was there because the Green Party's Cobb/LaMarche
campaign had provided leadership to the struggle to expose the truth about what
recent years Rev. Jackson has been, well, a "team player" in the
Democratic Party. David Cobb has been active with the Green Party at local,
statewide and national levels since the mid-'90s, following years of activism
Now, at this crucial moment in this country's history, they're working together, "doing the right thing."
right thing, one of the key "right things," that all progressives of
all nationalities and whatever their party affiliation need to be doing **right
now,** is throwing ourselves feet first into the
grassroots movement to bring out the truth of what happened in
should be getting on the phone to their
able to get to
weeks since the election have seen the emergence and unfolding of a potentially
powerful, pro-democracy movement in this country. Such a movement will, of
necessity, bring together organizations and leaders who have their differences
on other issues but who are in agreement that the defense, expansion and
It may be the holiday season, but this is no time to be sitting back relaxing. There's a Winter Democracy Campaign underway and, in Ella Baker's words, "we who believe in freedom cannot rest."
For more information go to www.votecobb.org, www.nov3.us, www.counter-inaugural.org, or www.unitedforpeace.org.
Glick is the outgoing National Coordinator of the Independent Progressive
Politics Network. He can be reached at futurehopeTG@aol.com or
from Ted Glick :
by Ted Glick
next governor should enter office without any doubt about the legitimacy of his
or her office. The people of
Rossi, Republican candidate for Governor of Washington, in open letter to
Democratic candidate Christine Gregoire Rossi s
argument is equally applicable to the Presidential election. Following an
extremely flawed and probably illegal recount in
the example of the people of the
thousands of duly-registered African American voters did their civic duty and
went to the polls in
Many stood for three, four or even eight hours in the cold and rain with tired, hungry children and sick or elderly relatives.
people, whose children are disproportionately represented in the
unbeknownst to them, many of their votes were not even counted.
that the votes of African Americans and other
because we have no idea who won the vote on November 2, we must immediately
raise the call for an
The vote totals we are seeing in the newspapers assume that there has been no tampering with the vote totals.
While no one has as yet proven definitively that there was vote tampering, any impartial observer can say with certainty that it would be impossible to say that there was NO tampering.
How can we say this so unequivocally? Private company technicians from Triad and possibly Diebold had unsupervised access to ballots and vote counting machines after the initial vote counting and before the recount.
In some counties, ballots were not locked up in ways that would preserve their integrity.
almost all counties, the recounts did not comply with the dictates of
Whether in the interest of hiding something, or merely in the interest of wanting to go home for the Christmas holiday, pre-selecting the precincts to be re-counted could lead to re-counting precincts without problems instead of those where machines failed, ballots were soiled, or other problems occurred.
reminded us that many
It provided a way to keep the reform process in public view so that changes can be made in time for the 2006 election season.
importantly, however, the
no one can claim victory in a contest when the score-keeping system was broken.
take a few minutes to read County Recount Reports from the observers who
monitored the recount in
In Champaign County, a precinct signature book, necessary to verify that the number of votes that were cast, will not be made available to recount observers until after January 10 (four days after Congress has counted the Electoral College votes), per orders of the Secretary of State.
Meanwhile, in Van Wert County, an observer reported:
"When asked if Triad had serviced the machine, the deputy director and a board member stated that they had serviced the machine over the phone via modem on December 9th."
Many other counties used vote tabulation machines that were serviced by technicians outside the supervision of anyone else between the November 2 election and the recount date.
In Ashland County, there were other security issues: "The cast ballots are stored by precinct in open cubicles along one wall of this room, completely open and visible to anyone who enters this room....Piled on top of the cubicles holding the vote are baskets, Doritos, paper plates, mugs, cleaning products, Fresh-n-Soft, Glad Wrap, etc."
These "chain of custody" issues are especially important when you consider that, as reported in the New York Times, "Voting machine companies and their supporters have been given a large say in the process [of setting federal standards for electronic voting machines], while advocates for voters, including those who insist on the use of voter-verified paper receipts, have been pushed to the margins. The chairman of the working group preparing the standards for voting machines is a top executive of Election Systems and Software [ES&S], a large and controversial voting machine maker." http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/27/opinion/27mon1.html
Didn t Impartial Democrats Monitor the Process?
Yes, both Democrats and Republicans supervised the voting and recounting processes.
According to the Columbus (Ohio) Free Press, however, their impartiality is not a given, because Ohio election law calls for directors, deputy directors, and members of all county boards of elections to be assigned by the Secretary of State.
They hold these paying jobs at his discretion regardless of whether they are Democrat or Republican. A major argument of those who claim Ohio s 2004 presidential election was fraud-free centers on the myth that local precincts are run as bipartisan operations, deflecting charges of partisan interference while failing to account for the fact that the principals all owe their jobs to the Secretary of State, who in this case served as co-chair of the state's Bush-Cheney campaign. http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/1046
The Constitution calls for a convening of Electors in each state, who cast ballots that then are opened and read by Congress.
year, the Electors met on
The problem we have this year is that the 20 Electoral votes cast by Ohio Electors are fundamentally flawed because they were cast before the recount even began, and because it was a seriously problematic recount.
John Kerry s concession has no legal meaning. If a re-vote results in his
issue facing us now, however, is not the election of Bush, Kerry, or even the
Green or Libertarian presidential candidates. The issue is that we do not know
the people of the
there are 48 million voters in the
If the voting processes are so fundamentally flawed, you ask, how could we trust a new re-vote?
paper ballot can be easily produced with the names of the presidential candidates on it.
Every voter will hand in one piece of paper with a check mark next to one candidate s name, and another piece of paper with his or her name, address, and other necessary voter registration information.
These two piles will be kept in case a recount is needed.
from the various presidential campaigns should be allowed to monitor the 88
county election proceedings, and we also may want to bring in some
international election observers comparable to those who supervised the
election in the
Bush can issue a call for a re-vote himself, following the lead of Dino Rossi
Congress can demand a re-vote when it convenes to receive the Electoral votes
If we let this one go by without the political fight of our lifetimes, we just might have kissed what s left of our democracy goodbye.
Ted Glick is the outgoing National Coordinator of the Independent Progressive Politics Network (www.ippn.org) and is very active with the Winter Democracy Campaign. He can be reached at futurehopeTG@aol.com.
from Monty Kroopkin :
Happy (?) New Year,
I have just sent a very unradical (and less than completely original) letter (see it below) addressed to each of the following suspects:
Senator Dick Durbin, (202) 224-2152, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Russ Feingold, (202) 224-5323, email@example.com
Senator Tom Harkin, (202) 224-3254, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Jim Jeffords, (202) 224-5141, Vermont@jeffords.senate.gov
Senator Edward Kennedy, 202/224-4543, email@example.com
Senator Patrick Leahy, (202) 224-4242, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Barbara Boxer, (202) 224-3553, email@example.com
It may be of no practical consequence, but then I have only wasted an hour of my time. Perhaps you will enjoy doing something similar. (Hint)
---------- Forwarded Message ----------
Dear Senator Leahy,
More than a month has passed since voters cast votes for the President and Vice-President of the United States -- but every day, more and more stories surface that call into question the election's integrity.
Machines broke down, counted backwards, eliminated votes, and registered votes for the wrong candidate. Progressive and African-American neighborhoods experienced by far the longest lines on election day, the most vote spoilage, the most elimination of provisional ballots, and the most victimization by precinct manipulation. Private corporations were incredibly entrusted with counting and reporting electronic votes.
Four hundred thousand callers phoned
voter protection hotlines, with complaints ranging from absentee ballots lost
in the mail, to outright voter intimidation and disenfranchisement. And
partisan election officials with conflicts of interest undermined voting rights
in states from
How can we have confidence in American democracy when so many questions about this election remain unanswered? In addition to the longstanding issues subtly undermining democracy -- corporate domination of the two major parties, plurality elections, and corporate media bias - the recent election betrayed democratic principles overtly.
Despite the efforts of a few valiant members of Congress, most Senators and Representatives have ignored our pleas for serious investigation into the "irregularities" that surrounded the 2004 election. But one more opportunity remains for you to stand for democracy -- oppose the certification of the Electoral College vote!
It would be ludicrous to think the
outcome will be changed. But shining a spotlight on the insults to voting
rights COULD lead to meaningful protections against future insults. Absent any
strong action, our children and grandchildren will likely talk about the
Be brave! Make a difference!
from Michael Albert :
from Fred Lonidier :
Subject: NEA support for US military
NEA Brings Shakespeare to the Military
"We watch two of the best and brightest (Lord and Lady Macbeth - aka George and Donald) decide to seize power through murder and deception. In doing so, they unleash a furious evil into their world. Macbeth is also a fascinating study in the self-creation of a tyrant."
--Director Kent Thompson
On September 10th, amid great
excitement and anticipation, the curtain rose in a converted movie theater at
Maxwell Air Force Base in
It was here that the National
Endowment for the Arts launched its Shakespeare in American Communities
Military Base Tour. With $1 million from the Department of Defense, the Arts
Endowment worked with all four military branches to serve military personnel
and their families with free performances and educational activities. After
Maxwell Air Force Base, the tour continued at 17 more bases, finishing at
Holloman Air Force Base in
At a theater class, actors from Macbeth discuss "stage fighting" with children at the base. Photo: Leslie Liberato NEA Chairman Dana Gioia said, "As our country now has the best-educated, best-trained military in our nation's history, the Arts Endowment has made a conscious effort to extend programs of artistic excellence, including Shakespeare in American Communities, to the men, women, and their families in our nation's Armed Forces. We have enjoyed bringing the greatest playwright in the English language to a great audience."
The 13 bases that comprised the Alabama Shakespeare Festival tour included three Army, three Navy, two Marine, and five Air Force bases in 11 states >from North Carolina to New Mexico. They presented more than 16 performances of Macbeth, and many more educational and outreach activities. In the spirit of theater tours of the past, the venues on each of the bases ranged from
theaters to gymnasiums to, in one case, an airplane hanger. The Arts Endowment also provided multimedia resource kits for teachers and librarians on all the bases. The kits featured a recitation contest guide, timeline poster, audio CD, videos, and other materials.
Alabama Shakespeare Festival's Producing Director Kent Thompson explained why Macbeth has thrilled audiences for so long. He said, "We watch two of >the best and brightest (Lord and Lady Macbeth) decide to seize power through murder and deception. In doing so, they unleash a furious evil into their world. Macbeth is also a fascinating study in the self-creation of a tyrant."
Shakespeare in American Communities is the largest tour of Shakespeare in American history. Since September 2003, the Arts Endowment has engaged 29 professional theater companies to bring new Shakespeare productions and special in-school programs to more than 200 communities across all 50 states.
The witches (Jennifer Hunt, Suzanne Curtis, and Sonja Lanzener) surround Macbeth (Remi Sandri). Photo: Phil Scarsbrook
Shakespeare in American Communities
Military Base Tour with
10-11: Maxwell Air Force Base,
17-18: Charleston Naval Weapons Station, Charleston, SC
21-22: Camp Lejeune Marine Base, Jacksonville, NC
24: Quantico Marine Base, Quantico, VA
Air National Guard Base/TACOM Army Base,
1: Naval Support Activity Mid-South,
3: Scott Air Force Base, O'Fallon, IL
15: Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, CO
18: Cannon Air Force Base,
20-21: Holloman Air Force Base,
Other Shakespeare in American Communities Military Base Tour engagements:
Repertory Theater), Hickman Air Force Base, HI (Artists Repertory Theater)
National Endowment for the Arts
from Junaid Alam :
Campus Anti-War Network
Anti-war Organizing On Campus
disastrous consequences of the war on
Dols, Mid-Atlantic Representative,
Alam: What effect did the elections have on the anti-war movement in your experience and in your region? Do you feel there was a major demobilization or diverting of resources and energy because of pressure to line up behind Kerry? Was there some internal friction within the movement over the Anybody But Bush phenomenon?
Monique : The surrendering of the antiwar movement
to the Kerry campaign had a devastating impact on the student antiwar movement.
I choose my words carefully when I use the word surrender. But that is exactly
what happened. The greatest tragedy of these past elections is that the US
based antiwar movement didn t have
an electoral expression for our antiwar opinion like the people in
Bush the warmonger, and Kerry the other warmonger who had no regret for voting
for the war, promised to send more troops to
And this certainly had an effect on campus organizing. Regional and national demonstrations have set the pace for campus organizing since the February 15th protests. They give us something to mobilize and educate around. Without that, people feel isolated. Sure people still hate the war, but without big demonstrations to validate and organize that anger people are alone.
surrendering has not just held back the antiwar movement but it has brought it
backwards. The politicians and the corporate, pro-war media set the terms of
the debate around the war. But a strong, self-confident antiwar movement can
have an impact on that debate. Imagine if instead of mobilizing people to vote
for Kerry, the antiwar movement was pointing out the hypocrisy of the idea that
You can see the effect that this has had ideologically as well. When the antiwar movement was at its height people would say that the war was wrong because it was all about conquest and oil. Today on campuses you hear the argument that it was wrong because it was a diversion from the real war on terror. This is straight from Kerry s speechwriters. While the antiwar movement was sitting on its criticisms of Kerry he was actively undoing the gains of our movement, and unfortunately we failed at waging the right fight during this period.
2004 Presidential elections pretty much brought the student antiwar movement to a grinding halt. Everyone in
biggest effect of the elections here has been on a political level. We still
have to gain a lot of ground in arguing that the
think that in
Alam: It seems that in the election s aftermath, the number of meetings and mobilizations has been on the rise. Has this been true in your area? Is the movement seeing just old faces returning, or is there a new layer of freshmen and other youth showing up at meetings and demonstrations?
people are feeling a combination of depression and outrage at the fact that
Bush will be in office for four more hears. Overall there is a renewed sense on
campuses that we need to stop Bush. In some places this has exploded into a lot
of activity, like at
the elections all the corporate media have drawn the conclusion that Kerry lost
because he went too far to the left. But that s just their
newest way of telling us to sit down and shut up. During the elections
it was by telling us to vote for Kerry, and now it is by telling us that we
need to moderate our goals if we ever want to reach
has most definitely been a serious upturn in struggle, which has translated
into definitive growth. In
Desmond: There was a relatively large, angry protest after the election in Downtown Atlanta, right near GSU. We planned for it in advance. A lot of high school students came out, a couple of students from other universities showed up. At almost every school there s an opportunity to win people away from the bankruptcy of the Democratic Party as the main vehicle for change, and to a left, activist alternative.
is a mix of old and new in the student antiwar movement here. The old faces are
really old faces--people haven t been active since the
The new students are really encouraging. There are a lot of high school and even middle school students who show up at antiwar rallies in the city, and they have a sense of urgency that has been lacking for so long.
Alam: No doubt the anti-war formations across campuses come across resistance from Republicans and perhaps college administrations as well. What has been the intensity and coordination of groups hostile to the anti-war movement s politics? Have you or others you know faced organized harassment and intimidation in your experience?
this has been a huge problem on campuses since Bush won. While Bush has been
moving to cash in his political capital a lot of right-wingers have taken his
lead and gone on the offensive. This includes incidences of racist scapegoating at
Josh: On my campus the College Republicans formed in response to the emergence of left wing groups, I guess that s why you could call them reactionary. They however are fairly disorganized and have had little practical impact on campus. At a mock debate before the elections which featured representatives for the democrats, republicans and Nader supporters, the Republicans made total fools of themselves the by insisting that the solution to air pollution was to pump it underground. They were also able to antagonize a very large former marine into nearly strangling them. The campus administration is another matter entirely. While they have been outwardly tolerant of our actions, we ve had to deal with a lot of administrative junk, such as our improper use of the Institute brand on our website, which required a hearing and paperwork.
We ve also had disagreements over the posting of flyers, where I personally was brought up on charges with the housing administration that were later found to be totally bogus but wasted much of my time. Rochester Institute of Technology is run by and for the military industrial complex. The CIA has in the past had direct involvement in the orientation of classes and whole programs to meet their needs. A lot of the research used for spy planes and satellites is done at RIT, as well as the retrofitting of military equipment, such as armored personnel carriers and fight bombers so that they can continue to serve past their designed usefulness. On several occasions we ve been followed by a suspicious individual whose appearance screams ex military (crew cut, sunglasses, pants tucked into his polished combat boots), who according to our administrative sources works for the office of the president. This individual has shown up at the doors of several of our members, apparently asking for someone else, which we find hard to believe. One of our previous presidents was actually fired for his direct ties to the CIA. Lately though its been fairly easy going.
Desmond: I don
t know too much about student antiwar activists outside of
There have been a lot of right-wing attacks on, and off, campuses across the country. Racists have targeted Arab, South Asian and Muslim students relentlessly.
I think the antiwar movement needs to build broad coalitions to wage fight-backs whenever something happens.
Alam: What are the major political and theoretical questions affecting the trajectory of the Campus Anti-war Network? What kind of debates have there been around the issues of supporting dissenting GIs, the nature of the Iraqi resistance, the issue of Palestine, and organizing and demonstration tactics?
short the major political questions facing CAN are questions that face the
larger antiwar movement as a whole. They include questions about how to best
maintain and build an independent opposition like what we faced during the
elections as well as questions about the nature of the war on terror as a
whole. After much debate at the last CAN conference, we decided to pass a resolution
in opposition to the whole logic of the war on terror, which was a big step
forward for us. But the work doesn t stop there. We have a lot of work to do on our campuses to
undo the damage that Kerry and Bush did in revitalizing the war on terror and
making the repression of the Iraqi resistance about fighting terror. Somehow
they have been able to paint people who fight tanks and fighter jets with
homemade bombs and Kalashnikovs in
There was a lot of consensus at the last CAN conference that we need to do everything that we can to support dissenting GIs. These resisters signed up with the military to go to college, and we need to do everything we can to support them when they decide they can t take it anymore. They risk a lot more than we do when the refuse orders and it is our duty as the US based antiwar movement to have their backs so that they don t get punished and so others can feel confident to do the same. This means making a place for them to speak out when they are ready, so that they can decompress and feel supported by people who hate the death and maiming that this war has wreaked on Iraq and on working class GIs.
Josh: What a loaded question. The short answer is the debates have been long and incredibly political. The longer answer is that much of the discussions have not been so much disagreement with the stance for political reasons, it s been more about how these stances will affect our relations with other groups we want to work with. So far I don t think we ve chased away any allies, which to me says that we re doing fairly well. The debate seems to always arise when we try to be sure that CAN is at the political tip of the sword being thrust into the heart of the logic of imperialism. Wow that was a slightly over the top metaphor, but I like it nonetheless.
Right now I can t really hit on any defining questions of the movement, which to me is kind of annoying, I want to identify the problem and solve it, but when the questions aren t clear its kind of frustrating.
Coming out of our November national conference CAN was unified in the idea that
reaching out to soldiers and doing counter-recruitment work would be our main
long-term focus. Most of us recognize that GI resistance is what stopped the
This semester the Coalition has also fielded discussion about the methods and tactics that are used by the antiwar movement. This has resulted in quite a bit of discourse on what could be called small victories for the antiwar movement. That is, we feel that the best way to increase interest, participation, and belief that the antiwar movement can actually do something is to accomplish veritable results in our local area. Part of the dilemma facing the movement is that there are many people who oppose the war, but they do not feel confident that any sort of grassroots organizing can actually cause any change. If the Coalition is able to demonstrate the value of small scale organizing by winning a definitive victory, then more people will have faith in the antiwar movement as a whole. Several ideas that we have floated on this subject are to field/support a peace candidate for local office and to expel military recruiters from campus.
Alam: All the major pretexts propping up the case for war prior to the launch of the invasion have clearly been demolished in the past 18 months. Has this had a tangible effect on the confidence of anti-war activists, or on the ability to persuade undecided students to anti-war politics? What kind of arguments and rationalizations do the pro-war groups come up with in response?
Certainly, the fact that all of the justifications for the war that Iraq had
weapons of Mass Destruction, that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat the US,
that there were any links between Hussein and al-Queda
have all been laid bare. This is definitely important for the antiwar movement
as a whole. But in the process of invading and occupying
need to be able to take the lead of groups like Military Families Speak Out and
the Iraqi resistance itself in order to get the troops home from
The pro-war campus groups just take their lead from the warmongers themselves. They rely on jingoism and deception to back up their arguments. And they don t have to work very hard because they get their arguments from the politicians and most major media outlets. We, on the other hand have a lot more difficult work ahead of us. But we don t have much of a choice.
Josh: The Bush Administration should be totally discredited in every way imaginable, but they haven t been. The biggest arguments we seem to come up against from the undecided are the Chaos Theory, in which if we leave now Iraq will just descend into total anarchy, the Pottery Barn Theory, where we ve broken Iraq and now we have to stay and fix it and to a lesser extent the idea that elections will solve the problem. The aggravating thing is that I encounter these arguments amongst those who I had thought already opposed to the war. For now I m going to leave the explanation and refutation of those theories up to others like Left Hook and Counter Punch, cause you ve done a good job of it already, a much better one then I could do now.
have personally been involved in the movement for only one semester, so I
cannot judge the relative confidence of the movement. But I can say that our
Coalition is utterly confident in our cause, and I believe that many of us knew
that the pretexts of the war were bogus before any of the recent information
came out. The publicity surrounding much of the recent evidence refuting Bush s
pretexts (such as WMD, the al-Qaida links, etc.) has
defiantly aided our outreach efforts, as most people we encounter recognize the
misinformation, even if they still believe that the US is doing the right
thing. The arguments that our opponents put forth are generally echoes of the
Alam: What kind of protests and actions are being planned on campuses in your area? Are there any large-scale mobilizations or new initiatives being undertaken?
January 20 many students are going to protest Bush s Inauguration. There will
be protests in DC and
In January CAN will be developing our strategy for how to best take advantage of the recent court ruling making it illegal for the Feds to pull funding from schools that kick military recruiters off campuses. This is very important because federal funding has been the major stick that the government has used to keep schools from challenging the presence of recruitment on campuses and we need to find a way to take advantage of it. There is a really strong sense at schools that people want to target military recruitment in some way because it gives people a very concrete, goal oriented way to oppose the war and all of its domestic ramifications.
also need to find ways to fight back against right wing and racist campaigns.
Like at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in
recently mobilized to protest retired general Tommy Shock and Awe Franks when
he came to speak in
Desmond: We re
trying to have speak-outs at
For some actions you ll be lucky enough to bring out a large crowd just on publicity, but groups need to make sure they have a base. It s the difference between just seeing a flyer on the wall and having someone hand it to you. It s much better to have someone hand you the flyer and talk to you about why this protest, or meeting is so important.
chapter is organizing several events for the upcoming semester. The first event
is still rather tentative, but we are determined to organize some sort of large
scale demonstration on campus to highlight the massive toll the war has taken
on human life. We are hoping to construct several hundred cardboard tombstones
to symbolize the number of human lives that have been taken (probably on a
scale of 200:1, which means about 500 tombstones). These will be places on the
main glade at the school where there is a consistent and large amount of foot
traffic. We hope that the demonstration will raise awareness of the Coalition
and provide a rather shocking visual that will spur students to become involved
in organizing. The demonstration will also act as a venue to publicize a forum
that we will be putting on the next week, at which an Iraqi Veteran (or two)
and a professor will speak. Last semester we held a similar forum with a member
of Iraqi Veterans Against the War, but her addition to
the speaker s list was on such short notice that we were not able to spread the
word sufficiently. We hope to use the forum as a way of educating the student
body of the real situation in
is the relationship between the youth anti-war movement and anti-war GI
veterans of the
is of course a relevant issue. Students are vets and vets are students. We
invite members of veterans peace groups and military
families groups to speak on panels on campuses all the time. It has helped us
significantly to drive home the reality of war and occupation, which can so
often be missing from academic discussions about war. People realize that these
are real people with real experiences and real grievances. And that is
something that people want to become a part of- a movement that is trying to
make a real difference and stop a war that is destroying so many people s
lives. We are beginning to meet vets on our campuses that are coming back from
has been a generally positive relationship, though some friction has occurred
over our support for the Iraqi s right to self-determination and the
resistance, which is totally understandable. On that point I like the line that
Tom Barton of GI Special uses, If you don t like the
resistance, End the occupation. I think that in order for all of us to
successfully end the war, we re going to need to work
together and this means that we re going to have to have these debates out and
that we may have to learn to agree to disagree with each other. In the end, I
think that our combined efforts here and the efforts of those in
Desmond: More student antiwar activists are realizing that if we want to end the war, we have to support the resistance within the military. This means working with military families and vets but, in particular, reaching out to soldiers--people who are actually in the military. I think the main task of the antiwar movement is to make soldiers feel like they are a part of the movement and to give them confidence to take the actions necessary to end the war.
We need to make sure antiwar military families are in touch with each other on the local level. We need to let soldiers know about organizations like Iraq Veterans Against the War, publications for GIs like Traveling Soldier and GI Special, and we need to listen to soldiers. A lot of them feel like civilians are just blind to what s going on. They feel isolated, and they want someone to listen to them.
Maintaining a strong relationship with Iraqi and previous war
veterans is vital to furthering the anti-war movement as a whole. Last
semester our Coalition realized the value of the veterans and brought a soldier
with IVAW and a
is the general sentiment among college anti-war activists about the holistic
war on terror ? Do most people see
think it is very hard to say what the general sentiment is. This has to do with
the weakness of the antiwar movement in this particular moment and our struggle
to have an impact on general sentiment. But it also has to do with some of the
extremely difficult questions that this occupation has raised. Certainly many,
many people are still against the war. But what does that mean now? Many people
are leery to call for troops to leave
legacy of the Vietnam War made subsequent US wars harder to sell for a number
of years. But many people our age are growing up in a time when from the 1990 s
to today politicians are doing everything in their power to resell and
repackage both the Vietnam War in particular and US wars in general. I know
that during Kerry s bid for president many activists from the 1960 s were
saying Since when was the Vietnam war a good war?! But
unfortunately we need to reclaim that history of resistance and opposition to
lesson of that period is that US wars are all about extending
legacy of how the
Josh: I think that most activists are opposed to the war on terror but there is still some debate as to what exactly the nature of the war on terror is and what opposition to it entails. The problem is that many of those outside the movement are still confused as to the nature of the war on terror and thus many feel that having to defend this position will interfere with building the movement. Which I couldn t disagree with more, the more we discuss these issues and come to agreement the stronger our movement is, especially if we can survive the debate. There have been moments in the past where the debate was so heated I was worried that CAN might fall apart, but in the end we came out of those debates stronger people.
are many who think the idea of the
antiwar movement itself understands the inherent flaws in the War on Terror,
and views the entire current imperialist/militarist policy of the government as
currently manifesting itself in the war on
M. Junaid Alam, 21, is co-editor of Left Hook. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.