cbcox at ilstu.edu
Mon Aug 27 19:42:28 MDT 2007
Marvin Gandall wrote:
> NOTHING has led anywhere
Actually, quite a bit has led to quite a few somewheres. We've saved a
person here and a person there from a life in prison. We've saved jobs.
We've introduced someone to political activity who is working in a local
group elsewhere. (Sometimes "we" here is generic, but some of the
instances are specific to activity I have been involved with.) We've
worked at keeping pressure on police depts. not to work in too illegal a
way -- not very successfully, but it's had its effect here and there.
We've given a variety of people over the years a taste of what
collective action is like. That has to be kept up -- i.e. each
generation of radicals has to at least reproduce itself. My prime
example is the (nearly invisible) anti-war movement of the early '50s: a
lot of the people who kicked off the anti-war movement of the '60s were
from that early 'failed' effort. Rosa Parks if I remember correctly had
attended a school that was indirectly sponsored by the CP. (Fortunately
supporting the DP was never the ONLY thing the CP did.) We've helped out
political refugees who were also 'illegal' migrants, sometimes only
morally, sometimes in material ways.
It really is important (Joaquin perhaps puts too little stress on this)
to keep a minimal left organization alive in as many localities as
possible; for there always to be from decade to decade people around
with some experience in collective political activity. Working in
elections doesn't do a thing for any of these purposes, and it doesn't
even affect the elections for that matter.
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