Another side-by-side comparison

John M Cox coxj at
Sun Feb 2 06:23:47 MST 2003

Coverage of Jan. 18 antiwar rally in DC:
... tens of thousands of
protesters representing a diverse coalition for peace converged here today
for a rally and march against the Bush administration's threatened use of
military force against Saddam Hussein's regime.

Washinton Post:
Tens of thousands of antiwar demonstrators converged on Washington

The Militant:
"Tens of thousands
protest U.S. war drive"

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Amid news of the U.S. governments stepped-up military
deployments in the Middle East, tens of thousands of people gathered here
on January 18 around the slogan "No War on Iraq." A similar crowd gathered
in San Francisco, while smaller demonstrations were organized in Tampa,
Florida; Portland, Oregon; and elsewhere.

note: While the bougeois press understated the numbers and belittled the
protestors from the right, The Militant understated the numbers and
attacked the demonstration from the "left":

Invoking the name of the slain civil rights leader, some of the speakers
as well as many demonstrators sounded a pacifist theme.

Several speakers argued that the impending military assault on Iraq was a
"weapon of mass distraction" from social and economic problems in the
United States.

"Poverty is soaring while social programs are being diverted for a war and
occupation of Iraq," read the leaflet for the march. Some "1.5 million
people in New York have to go to food pantries," said Brian Becker,
co-director of the International Action Center, who co-chaired the
concluding rally at the Navy Yard in Washington. "We want the $250 billion
used for military spending to feed the people."

Patriotic themes
Nearly all the speakers presented President George Bush and the Republican
Party as the ones responsible for the drive to war. The leaflet for the
march called on "the people of the United States to act now to stop Bushs
planned war of aggression."...

Placards carried by many marchers also expressed these themes. "War in
Iraq Wont Solve Americas Problems," read one sign. "This Patriot Is For
Peace," read another. Some participants carried U.S. flags.

"Peace is patriotic, war is nothing but chaotic," chanted one small

Fortunately, however, the SWP bravely ventured into this sea of
petty-bourgeois liberalism, pacifism, and patriotism, and found a few
young people (out of the "tens of thousands") who were willing to consider
a communist explanation of the necessity to abstain from the antiwar
movement, sell the Militant and Pathfinder books, and thereby lead the
overthrow of the imperialist war-makers.

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