[Marxism] Unity Call from Troops Out Now Coalition

Lance Murdoch lancemurdoch at gmail.com
Tue May 17 15:59:47 MDT 2005

On 5/17/05, Greg Butterfield <gregb at wwpublish.com> wrote:
> 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.

Troops Out Now and United for Peace and Justice seem to have a strange
idea of unity.  To both of these groups, unity seems to mean either
that both groups are sponsoring an event (like on March 20th, 2004) or
that they are almost at the point of sabotaging one another's events.

I really have no idea why things have to be either connubial or
antipathetic.  Isn't there some middle ground?  Can't you both at
least coordinate and say, for example, that you won't have events at
the same time?  On March 19th of this year UFPJ sponsored a march at
the same time IAC (TONC) sponsored a march.  If you're going to have
two marches in one day, can't they at least be at different times?  As
it was, I went to the UFPJ sponsored march and then to the TONC (IAC)
rally.  Or take this May Day.  There was a UFPJ sponsored march and
rally at the same time there was a TONC rally and march.  Again, I
went to both, but missed some of both.  Some people say to this "it's
good there are multiple events in one day", but I think they're
missing the point.  It's like a flight from New York to Chicago
arriving at 2:01 AM and a flight from Chicago to San Francisco leaving
at 2:00 PM.  Who is really benefiting from the fact that the first
flight doesn't take off a few minutes earlier and/or the second flight
taking off a few minutes later?

You'd think if people weren't going to cooperate they'd at least
coordinate.  But there seems to be no desire to do this, it is either
all or nothing.  From what I've seen of all of this, it appears to me
that both TONC and UFPJ are being rather silly.

Since you're a TONCer, I'll comment on this latest missive.  It reads
more like an "open letter" than something sent to UFPJ.  Also, it
seems to take an all-or-nothing attitude - we're organizing events on
these days, either follow us or be damned.  Both of these things are
the type of hardheadedness I'm talking about.  I think a letter truly
interested in unifying the anti-war movement would say, "We're
organizing events on these days, if you're not following us, please
tell us if you're planning anything for these listed days so we can at
least have a coordinated schedule if anyone wants to participate in
both of our events".  Of course, as I said before, UFPJ has been
acting loopy as well, but that doesn't mean TONC hasn't.


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