[Marxism] October 27 demos (was Yesterday's TONC antiwar demonstrations in DC and LA)

John Obrien causecollector at msn.com
Tue Oct 2 21:50:08 MDT 2007

I attended the TONC LA Demonstration on Saturday - and did not see Walter Lippmann there - and with such a small turnout - I thought I could not miss him!
I also disagree with Walter stating that all of the activist groups were there.  Far from that in my opinion.  Even the small ML sectarian party groups were not all there.  There were 300 people and there are more activist groups in LA than that - if you view progressive groups and not just the alphabet soup party groups.  Again many of the sectarian groups did not even have their memberships take part, or even set up a table to propagandize.
And this was in main part, due to the sponsors, and not the political conditions for why more people did not attend.  The sponsoring group had no real influence among the larger communities that make up Southern California and they did not know how to involve them - as with all sectarians they just tell people - the demonstration date is set and the demands and that they should just be there!!!
A real coalition effort requires reaching out to groups and asking them what their issues they want to include and to then bring in more forces and have THEM organize and be truly involved, making decisions and organizing.  But sectarians want to make all the key political decisions themselves without real cooperation with others - and do not want a true coalition that would really function and grow with more forces becoming invovled - and not one smaller political group - having control - which is all they want to recruit a few people - rather than build a movement for all concerned.
John O'Brien
Lod Angeles
> Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2007 10:47:53 -0700> From: dbmcdonald at comcast.net> To: marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu> Subject: [Marxism] October 27 demos (was Yesterday's TONC antiwar demonstrations in DC and LA)> > Walter Lippmann writes:> > The demonstration here in Los Angeles was quite> disappointingly small. Just a few hundred total,> perhaps more if you count people who were coming> and going, but very small. All of the activist> groups were present, but not much else.> > > David McDonald replies:> > We are perhaps finally seeing some of what was behind the split between > Workers World Party and the Party of Socialism and Liberation. While > ANSWER and the Party of Socialism and Liberation, its parent > organization, have joined with UfPJ in organizing the regional > demonstrations called for October 27, WWP denounced the political basis > for those demonstrations in the harshest terms, calling them all manner > of sellouts and traitors to the cause of Palestine in a screed I read on > Marxmail that was put out in the name of USLAW. The miniscule size of > the TONC demos may signal a broader understanding among leftists that a > separate coalition of "the left" is a truly worthless idea and > counterproductive in the extreme.> > The building for the October 27th demonstration in Seattle has been > rocky, but not because of ANSWER. ANSWER has attempted to operate as a > wing of the movement and successfully so. Our troubles have come from > other organizations of the left, the Freedom Socialist Party and a local > continuator of the Marxist Leninist Party. Their antics have cost us > some support from the mainstream antiwar movement groups and its allies, > the churches, labor organizations, and so forth, but numerous mainstream > organizations have noted that ANSWER's decision to work within the major > coalition has been beneficial. The coalition also has the participation > of the ISO, the CPUSA, a local leftist group called Stand Up Seattle and > an anarchist group, to mention just the main groups from the left.> > I have learned something from watching the idiocies of the ultralefts > within the local coalition that I had not actually put into words for > myself until recently. That is, in a real coalition, most organizations > come to the table to accomplish work, to do something. They don't come > to recruit people to their organization on the reasonable grounds that > if you were going to be a recruit, you would already have joined. The > emphasis is on work, and on figuring out what is a reasonable political > basis for operating given the forces present at the table.> > The ultralefts, on the other hand, are there simply to lay out their > politics repeatedly, on each agenda point. It makes for a very long > meeting. But when all you have is your distinct view of the world, all > you can do is repeat it endlessly. No matter the cost to the efficiency > of the organization, you have done your work by the mere repetition of > The Word. I am veering toward the view that our coalition has erred on > the side of ultra-democracy in allowing these windbags to dominate > meetings far beyond what their numbers or influence would require, to > the detriment and loss of other organizations with real pulling power. > Live and learn. Our coalition's doings may be followed at > www.endthewarseattle.org.> > I would be interested in reports from others building October 27 demos > around the country.> > > > ________________________________________________> YOU MUST clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.> Send list submissions to: Marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu> Set your options at: http://lists.econ.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism

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