FW: Comment on the UFPJ-initiated meeting on national coalitions

Jose G. Perez jgperez at netzero.net
Wed Jul 23 06:57:16 MDT 2003

-----Original Message-----
From: Jose G. Perez [mailto:jgperez at netzero.net] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2003 12:58 AM
To: lesliecagan at igc.org; ufpj-disc at yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [ufpj-disc] UFPJ calls for meeting of national coalitions

Dear Leslie,

	Thanks for sharing this memo. Out here in the "provinces" we
sometimes find it hard to understand why people in the "center" find it
so hard to get together on this kind of thing. So it was very
encouraging to see ANSWER take initial steps towards a rapprochement,
and to see you follow up with this proposal to get together on a united
campaign against what is being done in our name in Iraq.

	But this meeting *must* produce results. So please don't be
offended if I speak plainly. What we want, what we need, is a clear
organizing FOCUS. 

	It can be a national demonstration, regional ones or local ones,
but it needs to be on a date certain, with a united call and a united
commitment from all groups (or as many as can be united), and clearly
focused around protesting against Bush's occupation of Iraq. A national
day of protest -- whether one or a couple of central demonstrations,
several regional ones, or many local ones.

	ANSWER has already proposed Oct. 25, which their friends locally
say isn't their date, but rather one that has been proposed as an
international day of protest from Europe. If that is the case, great,
and anyways, that date is as good as any. But if it is a week or two
earlier, or later, that's no big deal from where we sit here in Atlanta
-- provided whatever date people come up with is supported by the
broadest possible array of forces as a national day of protest, and some
other wing of the antiwar movement isn't promoting a DIFFERENT national
date a week or two earlier or later.

	It is time for ALL the national groupings (including ANSWER, but
not just ANSWER) to subordinate their meaningless "tactical" victories
for whatever they imagine they represent to the needs of the peace and
justice movement as a whole. And as I see it down here, the needs of the
movement as a whole are to reactivate the enormous sentiment we saw pour
out into the streets last fall and winter, and which is now beginning to
re-emerge, by providing it a clear organizing focus.

	There are many different ideas as to the best way to organize,
and I daresay most  of them have at least an element of validity. So if
I had my 'druthers, I'd say do what was done in 1969, with the local
protests all over the country in mid October, and the national march 2,
3 or 4 weeks later. But get everyone *together* on a single, planned

	As to the central slogans, or theme of this national day of
protest, it needs to be against the Iraq war/occupation abroad, first
and foremost, but also for human needs/social justice at home. At this
stage the peace forces aren't going to agree on whether it should be a
demand for "out now" as opposed to a U.N. takeover, as some have
suggested. I favor demanding immediate and unconditional withdrawal, not
just of all troops, but also of "civilian" authorities of the U.S. AND
all others who are in there as part of the "coalition." But I am happy
to make common cause with anyone and everyone who is opposed to this war
and occupation, whatever their ideas may be on the best way to end it.

	Please, take this message to your friends in UFPJ and to those
leading the other coalitions: Give us down here in the provinces
SOMETHING we can ALL work on TOGETHER. IF you do THAT, I guarantee you
the many thousands of activists who made the mobilizations last fall and
winter such a tremendous success will do their part, and then some.



-----Original Message-----
From: Leslie Cagan [mailto:lesliecagan at igc.org] 
Sent: Sunday, July 20, 2003 7:39 AM
To: ufpj-disc at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [ufpj-disc] UFPJ calls for meeting of national coalitions

Below is a copy of a memo that United for Peace and Justice sent this
past Thursday, July 17th to the five other major national anti-war


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