[Marxism] Unity Call from Troops Out Now Coalition

Greg Butterfield gregb at wwpublish.com
Tue May 17 06:58:59 MDT 2005


The Troops Out Now Coalition (TONC) wholeheartedly and 
unreservedly joins the activists and groups who are 
calling for a united mobilization against the war in the 
fall. The absence of such unity amongst the anti-war 
coalitions only serves to demoralize rank and file 
anti-war activists and local forces across the country. 
The grassroots of the movement are looking to those of us 
who make decisions to put our differences aside in the 
interests of the struggle to get the U.S. the hell out of 

Achieving unity isn't easy but the power of unity is the 
thing that will give everyone the confidence to do what 
needs to be done. Moreover, the people of Iraq and 
throughout the Middle East need the movement in this 
country to unite. The whole world is looking to us to do 
it. TONC welcomes the sentiments of all who have signed on 
to the unity statement that is being circulated by USLAW.

TONC would add to that call that the movement needs to 
reach out in a more serious way not only to trade 
unionists that are active in the anti-war movement, but 
also to working people and people of color. In the Million 
Worker March Movement you have trade unionists that are 
people of color at the helm.

These trade unionists are leading the way in helping to 
bring the workers movement and the anti-war movement 
together. Let us make sure that our appeal extends to them 
as well as others including immigrants who are all too 
often under-represented.

An important part of forging any meaningful unity will, of 
necessity, require that the anti-war movement both 
acknowledges and unites with the struggle of people of 
color and the events that carry their message.

The call for a "Millions More March" on the tenth 
anniversary of the "Million Man March" has gone out far 
and wide. The Millions More March will extend over 3 days 
next fall, October 14, 15 and 16, including a massive 
march on Washington DC. It goes without saying that many 
of us will be pre-occupied with this important 
mobilization. This is something that needs to be 

TONC believes that the time has come for all of us to 
unite around the demand to bring the troops home 
immediately. This in no way means that other demands 
should not be put forth.

We absolutely must talk about the war budget and how it's 
robbing workers and poor people.

We must talk about the prospect of the draft being 
revived. We must find ways of reaching out to resisters 
inside the military.

Moreover, we don't believe that uniting must mean 
censoring, silencing or excluding the positions of those 
who are participating in that unity.

The antiwar movement must not turn its back on the 
Palestinian people and their struggle. In addition, the 
position that the Iraqi people have a right to resist 
occupation by whatever means they choose cannot be 
censored or excluded.

We don't think that it helps us to make no mention of the 
threats against Venezuela or Cuba or Iran or North Korea 
and simply pretend that these problems don't exist. We 
believe that the movement must address the ongoing 
occupation of Haiti and Afghanistan; the imperialist 
designs on Zimbabwe, the Philippines, Colombia and all the 
peoples of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Caribbean and 
Latin America. Others may have different priorities.

The anti-war movement must ensure that all oppressed 
communities have an equal place at the table, where their 
issues and concerns are represented.

Unity does not mean uniformity--the main thing is for the 
basis of unity to be clear.

It's not necessary for us to ask of each other that we 
forget neither our differences nor the unpleasantness of 
past conflicts. All that is required is that we not let 
any of that get in the way of joining hands to grasp the 
opportunities that only unity makes possible.

There is a high road. On that road, questions are 
answered, problems are solved and the means and methods 
necessary to move forward are found.

Nothing is more important at this moment than for all to 
walk together on the high road to unity. We believe that 
what we all do will be decisive. We must and we can stop 
the war and get every U.S. soldier out of Iraq.

It is up to all of us to do whatever is necessary for our 
movement to rise to this challenge.

TONC is holding a regional meeting on June 11. A special 
session of this meeting will be devoted to continuing the 
discussion on unity and we will be extending invitations 
to groups to participate in that discussion.


More information about the Marxism mailing list