Frontlines and the antiwar movement

Jose G. Perez jgperez at
Wed Mar 12 04:52:15 MST 2003

John Paramo, to my complaint of the Left Party/Frontlines material being
presented in alternating chunks in English and Spanish, making it extremely
difficult to follow.

"Yeah, the price they have to pay for having few thousands regular readers
in English, Spanish, bilinguals and so on.  No system was found yet to
dscriminate who speaks what when they register to receive the bulletin."

As to the system for checking to see whether people speak English or Spanish
when they sign up to receive the bulletin, might I suggest one that has
worked for me in the past? Ask them.

The mechanism of posting two paragraphs in English, two in Spanish, then two
in English, etc., is a unique invention of Frontlines and the Left Party. My
belief is that this is done consciously and deliberately in putting together
the material -- why I can't guess. Many others have come up with ways of
presenting material in various languages without resorting to it. There are
many different ways the material could be presented. But you guys go ahead
and do what you want.

In response to my analysis that the antiwar movement is a multilevel
distributed p2p network, with local and national "supernodes," clusters of
activists structured around those nodes, etc., John Paramo responds:

"Aside from the fact that that method of organizing leave out about 95% of
Latinos and 80% of African Americans and 70% of working class poor and so on
... the text actually do not talk against it."

a) Your "facts" are, as usual, made up. Fifty percent of Hispanic Adults
used the Internet as of a Feb. 2001 Pew Center report and at that point
internet usage among Hispanics was growing at a 25% per year rate.

b) I'm not saying this is what the antiwar movement *should be*. I am trying
to describe it as it exists.

John Paramo writes:
"In fact, we think new technology must play an important role, it is playing
it (and as you commented, we are trying to
use it) but cannot replace nor should the political personal contact, the
debates, the discussions that is only possible through intensive human
inter-action, at the door to door, in the public meetings and in the
leafleting in neighborhoods and plant gates..."

My impression is that, whatever else one may say about it, the "new tech"
has ALREADY in fact REPLACED most contact and outreach work, postering and
leaflet distribution and so on. My point is that this has influenced the
forms of organization adopted by the movement, as it exists today.

"It is no one method against the other of "communication" but being able to
use all of them.  Methods of organizing restricted to new technology are
class biased, whether you have that intention or not."

Neither here nor there, as far as my theses is concerned. I am not making an
argument that the antiwar movement *should* be a certain way, but rather
that it *is* a certain way.

"We do have the aim to try to convince the movement to go to the next level,
in a series of approximations and to enhance it to embrace the working class
and the oppressed - and yes, we are also old-fashioned on that too, since we
think they should lead it."

How nice. But you and your friends make a series of concrete proposals all
of which could have been written 30+ years ago, and seemed to have *missed*
that *this* movement we have today is presenting in very different forms
than the old one. Before proposing what the "next level" ought to be, and
specifically the *forms* of that "next level," I suggest we need to
understand what is.


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