Something New from the Antiwar Movement


The biggest US anti-war coalition UFPJ is trying something brand new on Saturday, October 27, eleven big rallies across the US all at the same time. The rallies are not being organized top down, but region by region by whichever groups show up at meetings. Sometimes this can lead to blunders (as Sharon Smith recently pointed out) like the Chicago group sending invitations to Obama, Durbin and Daley. Yet it can also lead to a lot of creativity.

In New York there’s going to be feeder marches from Washington Heights, Brooklyn, East Harlem and from New Jersey across the George Washington Bridge. Jonesborough, Tennesse will be the site of another rally. It’s home of Aerojet Ordnance Tennessee the company that makes depleted uranium munitions. [A notice on the Jonesborogh rally site cautions those who routinely carry guns and knives to leave them at home or in their car, not something we here in the East would think to mention.] The New Orleans protest will march through the French Quarter. The San Francisco demo will include Malik Rahim the founder of Common Ground Relief (for New Orleans), Justin Raimondo, libertarian director of Antiwar.com and Michel Shehadeh, a Palestinian who the government has tried to deport for decades.

We’re most involved in the New England protest which will be held in Boston. Area local, grassroots antiwar, liberal, church, labor and leftist groups from around the region came together to plan the character of the demonstration in a very open and democratic manner. Rather than have Democratic Party double-speak, we will have Iranian, and Iraqi and Palestinian speakers such as Rostam Pourzal and Dr. Dahlia Wasfi and Salma Abu Ayyash.. Labor will be represented by John Olson, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, who at their state-wide convention last month voted unanimously to support the demonstration, along with very decent resolution on immigrant rights. Radical historian and activist Howard Zinn will be a featured speaker. See www.newenglandunited.org We’re organizing a Palestinian contingent to be gathered right in front of the stage, near a banner "60 Years of Israeli Apartheid and Occupation. Enough!"

The whole march will end at Copley Square where marchers can then join Arab, Jewish and human rights groups who are co-sponsoring a demonstration called: "Tearing Down Walls, Building Bridges: Protesting Apartheid in Israel/Palestine". Not bad.

Now we have plenty of criticism of UFPJ (a sometime puzzling rivalry with ANSWER, fear of talking about the Israel Lobby, not enough outreach to Arabs and Muslims, and leadership relations with the Dems), but actually its come quite a way. There’s far fewer Democratic pols as speakers at its events even as the Democratic Party pretends to be more anti-war. Part of the reason is that the UFPJ is coming out stronger for Palestinian rights. In its stategic document adopted at its 2007 Chicago Assembly it came out for cutting all economic and military aid to Israel. It gets most of its policy on Palestine/Israeli issues from the "US Campaign to End the Occupation". The "Campaign" supports the right to return, last year adopted an anti-apartheid framework and in September started a year long program to talk about the Palestinian Nekba (catastrophe) of 1947-1948.

There may have been "priority" plank at the June UFPJ Assembly calling for "engaging in the electoral season" with a "peace and justice agenda", but the only Democrat in view at the whole Assembly was Tom Hayden. If you go to the website http://www.oct27.org you’ll see plenty of anti-war demands, and nothing about supporting Democracts. And take a look at the Chicago website. Obama and Daley haven’t accepted. There’s a good lineup of speakers (with the the exception of impeachment-avoiding John Conyers.)

Mass demonstrations won’t bring down the government, but they are a great way to show strength and to involve new layers into the movement (as has been done with military families and Iraq vets who now lead all the marches). Sure the speakers could be more Left, but there’ll be thousands or tens of thousands at each demo, a great place for radicals and Palestinian rights activists to show their banners and to leaflet the crowds.

So come on out!

Stanley Heller is on the Organizing Committee of UFPJ affiliate Connecticut United for Peace and host of "The Struggle" video, http://wwwTheStruggle.org

Ben George is an activst with CT United for Peace, the Middle East Crisis Committee and Unidad Latina En Accion.


Weekend Edition
October 9-11, 2015
David Price – Roberto J. González
The Use and Abuse of Culture (and Children): The Human Terrain System’s Rationalization of Pedophilia in Afghanistan
Mike Whitney
Putin’s “Endgame” in Syria
Jason Hribal
The Tilikum Effect and the Downfall of SeaWorld
Paul Street
Hope in Abandonment: Cuba, Detroit, and Earth-Scientific Socialism
Gary Leupp
The Six Most Disastrous Interventions of the 21st Century
Andrew Levine
In Syria, Obama is Playing a Losing Game
Louis Proyect
The End of Academic Freedom in America: the Case of Steven Salaita
Rob Urie
Democrats, Neoliberalism and the TPP
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
The Bully Recalibrates: U.S. Signals Policy Shift in Syria
Brian Cloughley
Hospital Slaughter and the US/NATO Propaganda Machine
John Walsh
For Vietnam: Artemisinin From China, Agent Orange From America
John Wight
No Moral High Ground for the West on Syria
Robert Fantina
Canadian Universities vs. Israeli Apartheid
Conn Hallinan
Portugal: Europe’s Left Batting 1000
John Feffer
Mouths Wide Shut: Obama’s War on Whistleblowers
Paul Craig Roberts
The Impulsiveness of US Power
Ron Jacobs
The Murderer as American Hero
Alex Nunns
“A Movement Looking for a Home”: the Meaning of Jeremy Corbyn
Philippe Marlière
Class Struggle at Air France
Binoy Kampmark
Waiting in Vain for Moderation: Syria, Russia and Washington’s Problem
Paul Edwards
Empire of Disaster
Xanthe Hall
Nuclear Madness: NATO’s WMD ‘Sharing’ Must End
Margaret Knapke
These Salvadoran Women Went to Prison for Suffering Miscarriages
Uri Avnery
Abbas: the Leader Without Glory
Halima Hatimy
#BlackLivesMatter: Black Liberation or Black Liberal Distraction?
Michael Brenner
Kissinger Revisited
Cesar Chelala
The Perverse Rise of Killer Robots
Halyna Mokrushyna
On Ukraine’s ‘Incorrect’ Past
Jason Cone
Even Wars Have Rules: a Fact Sheet on the Bombing of Kunduz Hospital
Walter Brasch
Mass Murders are Good for Business
William Hadfield
Sophistry Rising: the Refugee Debate in Germany
Christopher Brauchli
Why the NRA Profits From Mass Shootings
Hadi Kobaysi
How The US Uses (Takfiri) Extremists
Pete Dolack
There is Still Time to Defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Marc Norton
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
Andre Vltchek
Stop Millions of Western Immigrants!
David Rosen
If Donald Dump Was President
Dave Lindorff
America’s Latest War Crime
Ann Garrison
Sankarist Spirit Resurges in Burkina Faso
Franklin Lamb
Official Investigation Needed After Afghan Hospital Bombing
Linn Washington Jr.
Wrongs In Wine-Land
Ronald Bleier
Am I Drinking Enough Water? Sneezing’s A Clue
Charles R. Larson
Prelude to the Spanish Civil War: Eduard Mendoza’s “An Englishman in Madrid”
David Yearsley
Papal Pop and Circumstance
October 08, 2015
Michael Horton
Why is the US Aiding and Enabling Saudi Arabia’s Genocidal War in Yemen?