[Marxism] Barely a Peep

Christopher Hutchinson christopher.hutch at gmail.com
Mon Oct 19 09:07:10 MDT 2009

I think we need to examine why the volume of the voice masses is  
percieved to be low.  There are three points I would like to make:

1. The masses of working people are overwhelmingly anti-war. From  
sellin newspapers at unemployment offices in the community and from  
flyering and speaking on campuses aroun CT this was made clear. Our  
organizing efforts are massive in contrast to the small size of the  
coalitions and groups with which we agitate.  However, we are finding  
and building with new student leaders who are radicalizing in a period  
that is much harder to navigate politically than the bush period.

2. This new leadership is just beginning to find their footing and  
gain confidence.  I have met more vets who are becoming active on  
their campuses along with LGBT and other minority groups who have  
become radicalized in anti-racist and LGBT struggles. They do not fail  
to make the connection between their struggle and the wars in Iraq and  
Afghanistan... it will be through lessons learned in these struggles  
that will make them class conscience wars able to shake the  
foundations of society.

3. Our lack of funds and fulltime staff hamper our ability to  
organize...it is not so much a struggle not to fill a bus to go to  
Boston for a march but rather it is difficult for many workers and  
students in the wake of layoffs, etc to pay $20 or so to secure a  
spot...carpools were are organized but that also has a limited  
organizing capacity.

Let's also not forget that by 1969 the war in Vietnam had been hot for  
a while and there was a global radicalization and anticolonial  
movement and the Cuban revolution that gave workers and students a  
tremendous amount of confidence in their ability to struggle.

I think we are seeing in 2009 this deeper radicalization take place.   
 From the strikes at the  universities in California to Honduras to  
Guadeloupe, etc we have the beginnings of a fightback not just against  
the war but the global economic crisises.  These struggles will  
hopefully give our brothers and sisters here the inspiration to take  
on the imperialist beast that is the US.

Keep well,

Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 19, 2009, at 5:29 AM, Greg McDonald <sabocat59 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Barely a Peep
> Escalation Unopposed
> When school started in September 1969 I was attending a Catholic high
> school located twenty miles outside of Washington, DC. in Laurel, MD.
> My dad was in DaNang, Vietnam.  The seniors at the school were facing
> an almost certain induction into the military and Richard Nixon had
> been president for almost a year.  Some of the kids who lived closer
> to DC were working on the big demonstration coming up on October 15 --
> the Vietnam Moratorium.  The point of this protest was to bring the
> antiwar sentiment home to every town in the United States.  In
> addition, there was a large protest scheduled for DC.  The overall
> politics were liberal antiwar politics.  A few of the nuns at the high
> school agreed with their efforts and got the school to hold a small
> meeting of its own.  The first person who talked was an Army guy who
> said the usual Army stuff.   Then a pacifist priest spoke.  After the
> two talks and some discussion, those of us who wanted to walked to
> downtown Laurel and joined the small antiwar vigil taking place there.
> I don't remember if there were any hecklers, but there were around
> fifty of us against the war.
> Like an acquaintance of mine who helped organize the Moratorium in
> College Park, MD wrote in an email yesterday: who today wouldn't take
> massive liberal anti war demos?  Indeed.  Reports this morning
> (October 15, 2009) from Washington indicate that Barack Obama is going
> to send 45,000 more US troops to Afghanistan.  At this point it is not
> clear if this is the entire number or if it is just the number of
> combat forces.  As the Washington Post revealed earlier in the week of
> October 11th, 2009, when Washington sent some 20,000 troops into
> Afghanistan earlier this year it did not announce that another 13,000
> support troops were also sent over.  If this ratio holds true that
> would mean that there would be closer to 70,000 more US troops in
> Afghanistan by the time this latest escalation is completed.  These
> numbers would put the total amount of troops involved in the
> occupier's forces euphemistically called the International Security
> Assistance Force (ISAF) very close to 200,000.
> 200,000 heavily armed invaders on the ground.  Untold numbers flying
> planes and dropping bombs.  More sitting in bunkers in the North
> American desert launching drones aptly named Predator that kill
> fighters and civilians alike without an ounce of moral hesitation.  An
> unknown number of mercenaries working under the title of contractor.
> Yet, there is barely a peep from the people of the nations whose men
> and women wage this pointless and immoral war.  With the exception of
> a few protesters in DC and other big cities and a few thousand college
> students on twenty six college campuses around the United States,
> recent calls for protests against the war in Afghanistan and the
> continued occupation of Iraq went unheeded.  The sight of young men
> and women in military camouflage and crewcuts wearing ISAF patches is
> becoming overly familiar to travelers in US airports.  Yet, there is
> hardly a peep.  The sight of parents crying on the television while
> their children are buried in caskets covered with the red, white and
> blue is not uncommon.  If the news reports are true and at least
> 45,000 soldiers are preparing for their assignment to Afghanistan,
> these displays designed to inspire more such deaths will increase in
> frequency.  All the while families tell themselves their children died
> for something like freedom when most of us know deep inside that no
> one but those who send them over there really know why the US military
> is even over there.  When we the people are honest with ourselves we
> know it has to do with empire and conceit, but those reasons do o not
> make us feel good.
> And there's barely a peep.  Liberals and rightwingers in Congress line
> up behind the Obama who lines up behind the Pentagon and the industry
> of war.  With the exception of a very few, the consensus is that the
> death and destruction must continue.  The comfort of the empire's
> citizens must not be disturbed.  It can not be said enough, the time
> to speak up is now.  The orgy of death is set to increase.  One can
> not add 50,000 more troops whose job is to kill and expect anything
> else.
> Ron Jacobs is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the
> Weather Underground, which is just republished by Verso. Jacobs' essay
> on Big Bill Broonzy is featured in CounterPunch's collection on music,
> art and sex, Serpents in the Garden. His first novel, Short Order
> Frame Up, is published by Mainstay Press. He can be reached at:
> rjacobs3625 at charter.net
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