FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Something New from the Antiwar Movement

by STANLEY HELLER And BEN GEORGE

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.

 

 

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism:  Transcending the Masters tools
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Chuck Collins
Wall Street Hopes You’ve Forgotten the Crash Already
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Robert Koehler
Costa Rica’s Peace Journey
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
Andrew Stewart
The 4CHAN Presidency: A Media Critique of the Alt-Right
Edward Leer
Tripping USA: The Chair
Nyla Ali Khan
One Certain Effect of Instability in Kashmir is the Erosion of Freedom of Expression and Regional Integration
Rob Hager
The Only Fake News That Probably Threw the Election to Trump was not Russian 
Mark Dickman
The Prophet: Deutscher’s Trotsky
Christopher Brauchli
The Politics of the Toilet Police
Charles R. Larson
Review: Timothy B. Tyson’s “The Blood of Emmett Till”
February 23, 2017
Dave Brotherton
Trump, Moral Panics and Resistance
Jonathan Cook
One State: Trump Has Reminded Palestinians What It Was Always About
Bill Quigley
Ten Examples of Direct Resistance to Stop Government Raids
Linn Washington Jr.
Bigot Boy Business: Trump Exposes His Ignorance and Intolerance, Again
John W. Whitehead
The Illusion of Freedom: the Police State Is Alive and Well
Ralph Nader
Restricting People’s Use of Their Courts
David Macaray
Women As Labor Union Organizers
Kathy Kelly
Friendship in Defiance of War
Doug Weir
Why Did the US Use Depleted Uranium Weapons in Syria?
Steve Horn
Former GOP Congressional Staffer Follows Revolving Door, Now Latest Keystone XL Lobbyist
Binoy Kampmark
From Rights to Repentance: Norma McCorvey and Roe v Wade
Thomas Knapp
The Target of the “Border Adjustment Tax” is You
Chris Zinda
Open Letter to Neoliberal Environmentalists
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail