[Marxism] Organizers and NYC cop agree: 500,000 marched
ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Tue Aug 31 01:23:25 MDT 2004
I just want to say that I was marching somewhat behind the Nader
contingent for a substantial (but nothing near majority) part of the
march, but I never saw hissing or booing or hostility toward the
But I completely believe Eli's description. We all observe different
things. I could have missed the hissing and booing, even if it occurred
in front of my face, if I had been concerned with something else -- such
as getting out Solidarity newsletters with Joaquin's valuable article.
Of course I have no idea who hissed or why, but I would be surprised if
there was no Kerryite hostility to Nader on this march. I was stunned
-- absolutely stunned by the low level of Kerryite enthusiasm, and Eli's
report confirms that the world I thought I was living in before the
march still bears some resemblance to the actual one.
I think, however, that the clear and conscious priority that the mass of
demonstrators gave to the war issue is more important than what they
think about the Nader campaign. One of the Nader campaign's
contributions has been keeping the opposition to the war from being
pushed out of the electoral arena entirely. The demonstration was a
tribute to that effort, among other things including:
(1) Most of the anticapitalist politicos in the New York area probably
underestimated the ranks of the movement, who continued to build on an
antiwar basis and found a GROWING response. For example, I have heard
from a participant that 150 people attended an antiwar meeting in
Jackson Heights Queens initiated by list member Jacob Levich. I hope he
will describe the meeting for the list, which founded a community
antiwar group of some sort.
This was not a completely isolated development. Activists in Boston
have told me about growing responses to groups organizing antiwar
Regardless of what UFPJ national leadership was doing, antiwar -- not
just anti-Bush -- organizing was going on in communities across the
country. Of course, most of the sentiment in these groups on the
election is pro-Kerry, but in my opinion they accept him REALLY as the
lesser evil, not as better than Bush (an approach which is excessively
mistaken for lesser-evilism.
(2) Kerry went too far, and antiwar activists who were pro-Kerry felt
they had to push back. Kerry's position on the war is the reason why so
many thousands of activists regard him as an evil, albeit lesser, and
not simply as the better candidate.
(3) Above all, the people of Najaf and Shia Iraq fought and made
headway despite their overwhelming military disadvantage.
Quite unexpectedly to me, politics has gone forward, not backward, in
the election period.
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