ANSWER's letters to UFPJ on unity for October 25

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sun Jul 20 21:43:10 MDT 2003


The following are two letters sent by Act Now to Stop War, End Racism
(A.N.S.W.E.R.) to United for Peace and Justice. The July 10 letter
issues an "an invitation to United for Peace and Justice to form a
united front with the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition in order to build the
broadest possible mobilization."  The July 20 letter reaffirmed the
call for a "full-fledged united front" and asked whether UFPJ had
reached a decision on how to respond.

The sending of the July 20 letter coincided roughly with the UFPJ's
sending last night or today of a letter  calling for a meeting with
ANSWER and other coalitions. ANSWER and the other coalitions have not
yet responded, as far as I know.

ANSWER's call for October 25 proposes the central slogans, "End the
occupation! Bring the Troops Home Now!"  These are excellent slogans,
sure to grow in popularity if, as is likely, the Iraqi people continue
to stand up to the violation of their sovereignty and independence.
Those slogans will certainly be the ones around which I will be
building the demonstration.

However, although these slogans also have wide support in UFPJ, there
are forces in the UFPJ and other coalitions who are hesitant for
various reasons about ending the occupation -- fear of "chaos," an
Islamic regime in Iraq, concerns about Israel's "security," and so on.
Some advocate a United Nations or broader international occupation --
although whether the antiwar protesters in other countries will be
enthusiastic about proposals to replace US cannon fodder with their
own is open to question.  In Iraq, of course, there seems to be strong
popular support for complete withdrawal and unconditional restoration
of sovereignty and independence.

In addition, I have learned through hard experience that there are
groups and individuals who will seize on just about any pretext to
avoid unity with ANSWER.  In my opinion, they were successful in
turning UFPJ away from united front collaboration with ANSWER after
February 15.

I think ANSWER will have to take a very responsible and flexible
stance to achieve the unity I believe they are seeking under these
circumstances.  While making no concessions to redbaiting and
anti-Semitism-baiting and insisting on the right to their views, they
are going to have to take the lead in striving for common ground.

A united action will help build the fight for immediate, unconditional
US withdrawal from Iraq whether or not the central slogan includes the
word "now."  The "Bring the Troops Home Now" slogan is beginning to
catch on even now among working people, and among soldiers and their
families.  We can have every confidence that the most unconditional
antiwar slogans will gain through the building of a mass protest, and
that this will fully justify any negotiated compromises that are
required to get the show on the road.
Fred Feldman


Dear Sisters and Brothers of United for Peace and Justice,
We are writing in regard to ongoing efforts to build unity in the U.S.
anti-war and social justice movement. Recognizing that the movement
should be as broad and inclusive as possible, we have sought to build
a united front as we have organized mass demonstrations and anti-war
campaigns across the country. As many of you know, since UFPJ's
inception, we have invited UFPJ to co-sponsor and share fully in the
speakers and program for major national anti-war marches on Washington
that we have organized, and have had conference calls between the
leadership of UFPJ and A.N.S.W.E.R. to this end.

As an outcome of the A.N.S.W.E.R. national conference on May 17-18, we
adopted an action plan that included an International March on
Washington on October 25 focused on the Bush Administration's illegal
occupation of Iraq. The demonstration is designed to show massive
support inside the United States for the demand: End the Occupation,
Bring the Troops Home Now. The demonstration will also focus on the
devastating consequences of the Bush Administration's assault on
social, economic and political rights at home. As the October 25-26
weekend is the anniversary of the signing of the Patriot Act, the
demonstration will call for an end to repressive laws enacted under
the cloak of "national security" both in the U.S. and around the
world.

We anticipate that tens of thousands of people will participate,
including delegations from countries around the world, marching under
the banner "The World Unites Against U.S. Militarism."

We would like to take this opportunity to extend an invitation to
United for Peace and Justice to form a united front with the
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition in order to build the broadest possible
mobilization. We would propose that there be an equal sharing of
responsibility for logistics and mobilization and for the creation of
the program on the day of the demonstration.

In solidarity,


Brian Becker
Mara Verheyden-Hilliard
on behalf of the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition Steering Committee

We are writing in regard to ongoing efforts to build unity in the U.S.
anti-war and social justice movement. Recognizing that the movement
should be as broad and inclusive as possible, we have sought to build
a united front as we have organized mass demonstrations and anti-war
campaigns across the country. As many of you know, since UFPJ's
inception, we have invited UFPJ to co-sponsor and share fully in the
speakers and program for major national anti-war marches on Washington
that we have organized, and have had conference calls between the
leadership of UFPJ and A.N.S.W.E.R. to this end.

As an outcome of the A.N.S.W.E.R. national conference on May 17-18, we
adopted an action plan that included an International March on
Washington on October 25 focused on the Bush Administration's illegal
occupation of Iraq. The demonstration is designed to show massive
support inside the United States for the demand: End the Occupation,
Bring the Troops Home Now. The demonstration will also focus on the
devastating consequences of the Bush Administration's assault on
social, economic and political rights at home. As the October 25-26
weekend is the anniversary of the signing of the Patriot Act, the
demonstration will call for an end to repressive laws enacted under
the cloak of "national security" both in the U.S. and around the
world.

We anticipate that tens of thousands of people will participate,
including delegations from countries around the world, marching under
the banner "The World Unites Against U.S. Militarism."

We would like to take this opportunity to extend an invitation to
United for Peace and Justice to form a united front with the
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition in order to build the broadest possible
mobilization. We would propose that there be an equal sharing of
responsibility for logistics and mobilization and for the creation of
the program on the day of the demonstration.

In solidarity,


Brian Becker
Mara Verheyden-Hilliard
on behalf of the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition Steering Committee


Dear Sisters and Brothers of United for Peace and Justice,

We are writing in regard to ongoing efforts to build unity in the U.S.
anti-war and social justice movement. Recognizing that the movement
should be as broad and inclusive as possible, we have sought to build
a united front as we have organized mass demonstrations and anti-war
campaigns across the country. As many of you know, since UFPJ's
inception, we have invited UFPJ to co-sponsor and share fully in the
speakers and program for major national anti-war marches on Washington
that we have organized, and have had conference calls between the
leadership of UFPJ and A.N.S.W.E.R. to this end.

As an outcome of the A.N.S.W.E.R. national conference on May 17-18, we
adopted an action plan that included an International March on
Washington on October 25 focused on the Bush Administration's illegal
occupation of Iraq. The demonstration is designed to show massive
support inside the United States for the demand: End the Occupation,
Bring the Troops Home Now. The demonstration will also focus on the
devastating consequences of the Bush Administration's assault on
social, economic and political rights at home. As the October 25-26
weekend is the anniversary of the signing of the Patriot Act, the
demonstration will call for an end to repressive laws enacted under
the cloak of "national security" both in the U.S. and around the
world.

We anticipate that tens of thousands of people will participate,
including delegations from countries around the world, marching under
the banner "The World Unites Against U.S. Militarism."

We would like to take this opportunity to extend an invitation to
United for Peace and Justice to form a united front with the
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition in order to build the broadest possible
mobilization. We would propose that there be an equal sharing of
responsibility for logistics and mobilization and for the creation of
the program on the day of the demonstration.

In solidarity,


Brian Becker
Mara Verheyden-Hilliard
on behalf of the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition Steering Committee








To: UFPJ Steering Committee
From: ANSWER Coalition

Dear UFPJ Steering Committee Members,

On July 10th, in advance of your national steering committee meeting
held in Washington DC, we extended an invitation to the UFPJ to form a
full-fledged united front with ANSWER for the purposes of the October
25 March on Washington that will focus on: End the Occupation of Iraq,
Bring the Troops Home Now, and Money for Jobs & Schools, Not War.

As we made it clear in our July 10th letter, we have made similar
invitations to the UFPJ for all the major national anti-war marches in
2003, whether they were ANSWER-initiated or UFPJ-initiated

As of today, Sunday July 20th, UFPJ has not as yet responded to our
proposal. Did your steering committee accept or reject our invitation?

In solidarity,

Brian Becker & Mara Verheyden-Hillard
On behalf of the ANSWER Steering Committee




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