Orange Alert for democratic rights: the judge's decision

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Tue Feb 11 01:35:02 MST 2003


The ruling against our democratic right to march on February 15 (our equally
solid right to rally was acknowledged, and the rally is on!) highlights the
reality that, despite the massive opposition they face, the ruling class in
this country is fundamentally unified around going to war against Iraq.  We
are not dealing with cowardly Democrats or a  cowed media, but with basic
support for the war on these fronts.

The fact that Sen. Lieberman joined Rumsfeld in twisting the German foreign
minister's arm for support is another reminder that we are not dealing
solely with the right-wing circle around Bush but with a course that has
bipartisan support from the Clintons, Bidens, Kerrys, and Gephardts in the
Democratic Party, not just the "yellow dog" Democrats; the Powells,
Bloombergs and McCains in the Republican Party, not just the John Ashcrofts
and Richard Perles; from CBS and ABC, not just Fox News; from the Washington
Post and New York Times, not just the New York Post or Manchester Union
Leader. And this, not primarily Democratic fearor timidity, is the reason
for the near unanimous votes for the  anticemocratic Patriot Act and
Homeland Security measures.

In my opinion, foriegn policy has been more decisive than alignment with the
capitalist right or left in determining the outcome of presidential
elections.  Bush Sr., a mainstream Republican, won big but lost his backing
when he failed to gain a decisive victory in the first Iraq war; the liberal
Clinton survived two terms in large part because of his success in
establishing a strong U.S. military presence and influence in Eastern Europe
and the former Soviet Union, with the war in Yugoslavia as the key step; I
suspect that the desire for an accelerated war drive decided the 2000
election (not the vote but the ELECTION) for Bush, with his ties to the
Republican hard right; and Bush's reelection will hinge on his success in
attaining the rulers' goals in the second Iraq war.

Given the scope of the opposition they face at home and abroad, which is
incompatible with fighting a war which lasts more than a week or two and in
which there are significant casualties, we have to expect attempts to
sharply escalate the attacks on democratic rights, including the right to
demonstrate, over the next period.  The Orange Alert -- with its planned
disruptions and the promised presence of machine-gun toting cops and
soldiers on the streets -- and the ruling on the New York rally are initial
steps.

The many existing fights for democratic rights from the fight to free Mumia
Abu-Jamal to the fight against the deportation of socialist journalist Roger
Calero (of the Militant newspaper and Perspectiva Mundial magazine) are
going to have greater weight for all of us in the coming months.

At this point,  the massive and still growing antiwar sentiment,  the
difficulties with France and Germany, and the defiance of Korea and
Venezuela have not yet caused a fundamental break in the ruling class front
for the war.  The rulers still, at this point, find the hope of seizing the
oil of Iraq, establishing a permanent military power base in the Middle
East, setting off a new stock market boom with a successful expansionist
war, and terrifying the world with a show of military technology and the
will to carry out new Hiroshimas is still too tempting to resist.

I think Jose G. Perez seems to have been vindicated in his assertion on this
list a week ago that the cop refusal to grant a march permit represented a
challenge to the antiwar fighters from the ruling class.  The fight against
all this, of course, continues and is so far gathering more support.

Those who would like to see the federal judge's decision denying our
constitutional
right to march this Saturday (again, the rally is permitted and on!), can
go to:

www.nysd.uscourts.gov

Go to "Rulings of Interest" on the homepage, and you'll see the opinion PDF
file.

Fred Feldman


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