[Marxism] Re: "The National Question" in the UPFJ-ANSWER Debacle is an Epic Farce"

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Aug 4 08:25:08 MDT 2005

Fred wrote:
>The fact is that these groups, through their broader contacts in the
>Muslim communities, brought about 20,000 people to the April 20, 2002,
>demonstration in Washington.  Their participation was organized through
>ANSWER, to the considerable outrage of some UFPJ leaders who insisted
>that ANSWER had violated a promise to tell them that the demo was really
>only about Palestine. A similar number, I believe, participated in the
>March 14,  2003, march.  On several occassions in New York, these groups
>have pulled out 5 to 10,000 people to antiwar protests in New York City.

We have to put some things into perspective. ANSWER does not have much of a 
presence in New York City, the city where the largest pool of participants 
for Washington protests can be found traditionally. If you go to their 
website, you cannot even find an office address--just a phone number. It 
turns out that their office is in Central Harlem, a bid I guess to bolster 
their 3rd world credibility but not one designed to facilitate reach-out to 
non-Black New Yorkers. This should come as no surprise since the WWP 
members who split from the group and retain control of ANSWER are 
concentrated on the West Coast.

In NYC, you have the Troops Out Now coalition that has identical politics 
to ANSWER and which is led by the WWP--again with politics identical to the 
West Coast splinter group--as far as one can tell. The fact that this 
outfit has allowed itself to split in this fashion without a single 
explanation made to the rest of the left lends credence to UfPJ complaints 
about difficulties in working with them. If they can't unite 
organizationally when there no obvious differences involving principle, how 
can you expect them to mount a sincere united front initiative to UfPJ?

If Troops Out Now is supposed to act as a tribune for people of color, 
oppressed immigrant communities and the Palestinians, they haven't gotten 
off to a good start. Their demonstration in Central Park last March was 
pathetic and the most recent rally in Harlem was even more pathetic based 
on the account of Chad Negendank that I posted here. You can go to 
http://workers.org/ and listen to WWP leader Larry Holmes's speech, which 
is mostly a rant against UfPJ without mentioning it by name.

If you go to the Troops Out Now website, you can't even find a god-damned 
Steering Committee. If this outfit and ANSWER are supposed to be the last 
best hope of the Palestinian people, they'd seem to be getting screwed once 



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