UfPJ and Oct. 25
ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Thu Aug 21 20:24:21 MDT 2003
I just want to make a few factual points -- within the limits of my
I think the speculations about ANSWER resisting some demand by UFPJ for Dean
or some other presidential candidate is contradicted so far by the available
There is no evidence at all that ANSWER has set such a condition or, indeed,
almost any condition besides support for October 25 on UFPJ. Their letters
to UFPJ have not suggested this. And ANSWER has never imposed the
requirement suggested on previous demonstrations.
ANSWER has offered the UFPJ "a full-fledged united front" for October 25. I
assume ANSWER means that this means giving UFPJ considerable latitude about
who speaks representing their "side" of the alliance.
To this day, as far as I know, ANSWER has received no answer at all to its
proposals of unity with UFPJ for October 25, made well over a month ago.
Nor have there been any meetings between them as far as I know. Nor, to my
knowledge, has the meeting with the antiwar coalitions that UFPJ proposed
back in July taken place, as far as I know.
So there has apparently been no venue in which the alleged dispute over
"antiwar" candidates's speaking.
All the evidence available to me is that the onus for the lack of unity
between ANSWER and UFPJ for October 25 lies entirely with UFPJ at this time.
To my knowledge, the UFPJ has presented no proposals of its own for united
action on October 25 anywhere, whether concerning presidential candidates
speaking or anything else.
Fundamentally, this seems to be because of the UFPJ's drift from the
united-antiwar-action camp into the Anybody but Bush camp. United,
unconditional actions in opposition to the occupation and war in Iraq would
be divisive of the anti-Bush camp which includes not only soft antiwar but
downright prowar forces. From the standpoint of the ABB coalition, the
antiwar forces must subordinate their narrow special interests -- like
opposition to US wars -- to uniting with sections of the warmakers to elect
the Democratic candidate next year. This means tailoring antiwar protests
to the election requirements of a Democrat whose task will be, if he wins,
to continue the imperialists' (not just Bush's or Cheney's or Rumsfeld's or
Wolfowitz's) war policies with, they hope, broader support and fresh lies
that have not been exposed and burned out.
There is no evidence that any "antiwar" Democrat would be willing to speak
at a demonstration that called for unconditional withdrawal of the
imperialist forces from Iraq. Their pressure at this point will be against
ABB forces building large-scale actions of that kind, despite the potential
that does exist. I believe their role would be to redbait any such action,
using the usual battery of red-baiting and coverup charges against ANSWER
(the movement must be united not against the US war in Iraq but against the
1956 Soviet intervention in Hungary and similar garbage). The drive behind
the redbaiting is ANSWER's longstanding unconditional opposition to the war
against Iraq and its unconditional opposition to Israel's oppression of the
The liberal leaders of the ABB coalition demand, for the sake of unity in
this cause, that the slogan, "The World Says No to War" must yield to "The
World Says No to Bush."
I am glad that Lou Paulsen, and I hope Workers World too, has a hard
position against Anybody But Bush. If their efforts to put together a
broader antiwar candidacy fail, and I think its an uphill battle, I hope
this means there will be a Workers World campaign against both parties (not
just or primarily for the impeachment or removal of Bush) in 2004. Any
expression of class independence against the war in the elections should be
enthusiastically welcomed in what promises to be a difficult election year,
in my opinion.
But I stress that there is no evidence that Workers World or ANSWER are
utilizing this position to create obstacles to unity on October 25.
Basically, I think the source of the division is the political weight and
power of the class enemy and its imperialist two-party system.
"The World Says No to War" must give way to "TheWorld Says No To Bush."
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