NYTimes article on antiwar movement
craig at red-bean.com
Sat Mar 29 19:50:41 MST 2003
"LouPaulsen" <LouPaulsen at attbi.com> writes:
> If the NYT were trying to give a fair picture of the movement on the ground
> they would certainly mention NION, which has done a hell of a lot of serious
> work in a quite non-sectarian way. Here in Chicago NION was the spearhead
> behind the March 5 'moratorium', and the meetings here brought together
> everyone from Carl Davidson of DSA (who was sitting on my left [that's the
> first time I can ever remember him being to the left of me :-P ] ) through
> ANSWER and ISO into the anarchists, We basically just cooperated.
As another Chicago participant, I have to second Lou's assesment of
the situation "on the ground."
I just came back from a Direct Action Network/Labor all-day training
session that included everything; anarchists who refuse to wear coats
in a Chicago winter, 5th Congressional district electorial activists,
some NION peeps, Students 4 Social Justice, Voices In The Wilderness,
and perhaps most important, a whole contingent of fresh faces that
have been flooding the organizing meetings since M20. Another
Coalition that I work with has an even more diverse group. There are
some "vangaurd" parties catching flack here, but its for some tactical
issues and the people who have kivetched to me about it have always
made sure to point out that it takes all kinds.
For example, the Spart 'Utes have been grating some nerves because
they show up for events without helping organize them. They break out
their banner and bullhorn and go thru their rants with unequaled
endurance. If you pick up their paper, the youth section is full of
attacks on other parties, the ISO, SWP in particular. There were also
some instances in the M20 march where ISO bullhorns contradicted M20
tactical, and one yelled "you can't stop a bolshevik march." Of
course it was not a bolshevik march, regardless of the fantasy frame
these people are operating in.
When M20 was stuck at Michigan and Oak, trying to march thru the Mag
Mile shopping district, the Sparts started chanting "We Just Want To
Shop" which spread thru the crowd like wildfire in a very tense
situation and had the same people who had complained about them
earlier laughing, knowing all too well which bullhorn had started it.
Obviously the political and social differences are still there. Yet,
at the larger events and in the organizing for them (M20 in
particular), I have seen faces from nearly every org in the city. I
think that Mr. Levich is exaggerating the problem, or at least it
appears that way from here. I hope he takes this contradiction as it
is intended, good tidings.
> I don't know what it is like in NY, but in Chicago the war has
> brought most of us closer together. On the afternoon of March 20, I
> got a call that the AFSC was supposed to have a meeting that evening
> for people who weren't going to block traffic, and I was told that a
> guy from the RCP was recommending me as a speaker. I put off the
> decision. That evening, out in the middle of Lake Shore Drive, I
> ran into the RCP guy and said to him, "So, do I have to go speak to
> the AFSC now?" He waved his hand at a nearby portion of the throng
> and said, "They're out here." Indeed they were. Everyone was.
Chicago has always struggled to bring out numbers, and the M20 event
has totally energized the area. The 800 arrests seem to have made the
arrestees more militant, and inspired people to take the next step.
Perhaps because it has not been a regional activist hub before (well,
in the last couple decades), and because it has had to work so hard
for so long with little payoff, the community here recognizes that
they are making progress and are not willing to jeopardize it with
infighting. New blood can heal old wounds.
Sincerely, Craig Brozefsky <craig at red-bean.com>
No war! No racist scapegoating! No attacks on civil liberties!
Chicago Coalition Against War & Racism: www.chicagoantiwar.org
Free Scheme/Lisp Software: http://www.red-bean.com/~craig
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