[Marxism] Organizers and NYC cop agree: 500,000 marched

Eli Stephens elishastephens at hotmail.com
Mon Aug 30 20:43:17 MDT 2004

Louis wrote:

>I marched from 20th Street to 33rd Street and I didn't hear a single boo, 
>let alone a taunt from a Kerry supporter. I am not saying that Eli is not 
>telling the truth, only that I didn't see any such hostility.

Well, Louis' 13-block march is certainly a larger data point, so I think we 
can take it that this was not a general sentiment, but I guarantee if you 
were watching C-SPAN as I was the boos were quite audible and quite 
noticeable (since nothing like that occured at any other time) when the 
Nader-Camejo contingent passed by. Of course, that could just be two people 
who happened to be standing adjacent to the camera.

And Marvin wrote:

>In any case it seems evident to me that 1) a powerful mass movement was on
>view in the streets of New York yesterday, 2) it is composed primarily of
>people who support the Democrats

If it was composed "primarily of people who support the Democrats," I think 
you would have seen a LOT more Kerry buttons/signs/T-shirts than you did. It 
was certainly composed primarily of people who will be voting for Kerry in 
November. It may certainly (just based on knowledge of Americans and even 
antiwar protesters in general) be composed of a MAJORITY of people who 
"support the Democrats." But it is almost certainly NOT "primarily" people 
who support the Democrats. Opposing Bush, and voting for Kerry, is NOT the 
same as "supporting the Democrats" in the minds of most people. Just to name 
one (out of thousands), tonight on Flashpoints Dennis Bernstein interviewed 
Michael Fronti, who, just like Patti Smith, voted for Nader in 2000 and is 
not doing so this year (he refused to specifically say who he WAS voting 
for, just that he was voting "against Bush"). I'm sure he would take serious 
issue with the assertion that he is "supporting the Democrats," even if he 
is voting for Kerry.

Some people may think this is a distinction without a difference, but I do 
not. Especially so because I, like I think many if not most on this list, 
don't view elections as the center of politics. I think the most important 
thing is that a half million people were out in the streets saying no to the 
war and occupation and no to the "Bush (bipartisan) agenda." And who they 
end up voting for in November is a minor issue. The message of opposition to 
imperialist war will clearly NOT be sent in November, no matter how many 
votes Nader/Camejo or Parker/Gutierrez or the rest get. That message WAS, 
however, sent on Sunday.

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