LP's AntiWar Movement and Ours (was Re:Baghdad bombing...)

DMS dmschanoes at earthlink.net
Thu Aug 28 06:17:54 MDT 2003


While LP may think it's fine if Dean speaks as long
as he's followed by a real "fire-breather," the reality
is quite a bit different as Dean indeed has a program,
has the organization to support the program, and fire-
breathing speeches don't mean anything without a program.

One last go around at this as we all know by now that
nobody is likely to change a posted position based on
a counterpost and we've all been down this path before.
But.....

Let me think back out loud to my youth at the University
of Michigan, my SDS days.  It is the fact that the anti-war
movement drew its original energy from those who had partici-
pated in the civil rights struggles, radical community org-
anizing projects, and those people in turn were concentrated
in and around universities.

SDS had participated in these efforts and on many college
campuses led organized protest against the war in Vietnam.
This was certainly the case at the University of Michigan.

The anti-war movement in its "student" phase however was
not organized simply as "End the War."  It was organized
as end the war through actions and programmatic demands--
so that the movement against the war itself was built by
the demands that the university refused further contract
work the CIA regarding social sciences, that the university
break all connections with the US Dept of Defense, that
corporate recruiters be confronted and expelled from the
university.  Now we can say all those things merely
reinforce the notion of privilege among college students,
but that's another issue, and besides, you wouldn't ever
reach that conclusion unless you first make these sort of
demands.

But the movement itself grew around precisely those sorts
of demonstrations and actions to implement those demands.
Turnout for the confrontation with recruiters from DuPont
was huge after SDS leafletted the campus pointing out DuPont's
role in both the war, and suppression of the African-American
population of Wilmington, Delaware.

Similarly, the eventual seizure of the ROTC building brought
many students into direct confrontation with what "ending the
war" required as SDS explained the direct connection between
the training of officers and the maintenance of imperialism.

Now if we can do that and get positive results with a student
population we ought to be able to translate that into something
more concrete, more conscious, more socialist among the
general population.  And if we don't try to do that then indeed
you will see this movement fade into obscurity as the earlier
one did in 1972 while the war continues for years, as the
previous one did.

dms




 when Bill Ayers was still teaching
at the Children's Free School,




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