Forwarded from WWP'er Gary (Wilson?)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Apr 1 08:27:05 MST 2002


Comments: I'd like to submit this message to the discussion about April 20.
It shows that, unlike the comments suggesting that the message from ANSWER
was a misrepresentation of the facts, Ted Glick of April 20 indicates here
that there was an agreement with ANSWER. The disagreement was apparently
over ANSWER's stand against the bombing of Afghanistan, which some groups
were not willing to endorse.

----- Original Message -----
From: "portsidemod" <portsidemod at yahoo.com>
To: <portside at yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 27, 2002 9:36 AM Subject: Mass Mobilization and
Political Change

Mass Mobilization and Political Change

Future Hope Column, March 26, 2002

Mass Mobilization and Political Change

By Ted Glick

Over the weekend of April 19-22, 2002, particularly on April 20th, tens of
thousands of people from around the country will participate in a wide
range of peace and justice activities in Washington, D.C. In an
unprecedented show of political maturity and unity, four national
coalitions, the Colombia Mobilization, the April 20th Mobilization, the
Mobilization for Global Justice and International ANSWER, have joined
together in calling for a variety of forms of action over those four days.
The groups are in regularized communication and are developing ways that
the activities each is planning can be most effectively coordinated so that
our political message is the strongest possible.

This unity did not come easily, and as this column is being written there
are still a number of questions about how this weekend "extravaganza," as
it is being called, will play itself out. But given the overwhelming
urgency of the present moment and the strong demand for unity from
grassroots activists all over the country, it is to be expected that the
unity will hold.

The weekend actions will take place against the backdrop of a Bush/Cheney
administration that is clearly using the September 11th attacks as an
excuse to militarize the world, particularly those areas of the world where
oil and other extractable resources are to found. Key to their plan is
that, at the same time, they lay the legal and political basis for what can
only be called a 21st century version of corporate fascism in the United
States.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the national Democratic Party has
proven itself once again to be a slender reed, a whisper in the whirlwind,
in the face of these obviously grave dangers. There are some voices of
sanity emanating out of Capitol Hill, but they are literally few and far
between.

The need for building the broadest, largest, most diverse and most unified,
grassroots movement for peace and justice could not be clearer. It is no
exaggeration to say that the fate of the world rests to an important degree
upon what we do in this country, right now.

On a very practical level the April 20th mobilization has the potential to
accomplish several things:

-This will be the first, major, broadly-based national mass action since
last September which is explicitly against the growing war buildup, the
further militarization of U.S. society and the concomitant attacks on civil
rights and civil liberties. As tens of thousands of people physically join
together and interact with each other in the streets of Washington, D.C.,
we can all gain needed energy and inspiration to return home to continue
our peace and justice organizing.

-The force of our numbers will undoubtedly put some steel in the backbone
of some of the members of Congress who are aware of the dangers of what is
happening but are afraid to speak out. We can't underestimate the
importance of this. Let's think concretely: ultimately, it will take a
growing opposition in Congress to force change in U.S. policy. And before
we get to that point, visible Congressional opposition can have an impact
on moderating the worst excesses of the Bush oil-and-war-men, provide some
political space for us to build up an ever-stronger, independent,
grassroots movement, the key to progressive change.

-People around the world will take heart when they learn of massive peace
sentiment being expressed by large numbers of people in the belly of the
beast. Their movements will feed off of what we do here, just as we should
draw strength and encouragement by actions like what just happened in
Barcelona, Spain on March 16th. At the conclusion of the European Union
summit on that day, the peace and global justice movement mobilized upwards
of half a million people, many times more than the tens of thousands that
had been expected by the organizers.

-Finally, many millions, if not tens of millions of U.S. Americans will
hear about these actions. Because of the internet and alternative media,
this will be the case even if the corporate media does their usual biased
job of reporting what is clearly a significant press event.

Some of those who hear about April 20th will be motivated to speak up and
express their concerns, doubts and fears about the direction our country is
going. Others will be moved to join peace and justice organizations and
become active. Still others may not do much for a while, but they will
begin thinking much more seriously about these issues and in the future, as
our movement continues to build, they will be drawn toward our activities
and campaigns.

Of course, the extent to which these things happen will depend upon our
success at using this last period of time, 25 days as this column is being
written, to outreach as widely as we can. We need to get on the phone and
fill buses or get commitments to attend. We need to be visible at all kinds
of events with materials and making announcements about April 20th and the
other activities on this weekend. Letters to the editor, calls to radio
talk shows, postering and leafleting in areas where people congregate, all
of the "old," pre- internet methods of mobilizing should be used.

We should act as if the prospect of a world at peace, with social and
economic justice an increasing reality, and an ecosystem being brought back
to health and balance, depends upon the success and size of the events
April 19th-22nd. We must be motivated by an urgency that grows out of the
serious threats we are facing and a love for the earth and its people. This
is the time to step it up.

For more information go to www.unitedwemarch.org.

Ted Glick is the National Coordinator of the Independent Progressive
Politics Network and the N.J. Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate this
year. He can be reached at futurehopeTG at a... or P.O. Box 1132, Bloomfield,
N.J.  07003.


Louis Proyect
Marxism mailing list: http://www.marxmail.org



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