In Defense of Unity
By Bonnie Weinstein
I wrote the following letter as a representative of Bay Area United Against War (BAUAW) in response to a number of serious red-baiting attacks on A.N.S.W.E.R. and Socialists involved in the antiwar movement from some people on the United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) discussion list. BAUAW is an officially affiliated group within UFPJ. These red-baiting attacks had to be answered. The movement must stand firm in welcoming equally all those who oppose the war and want to bring our troops home now.
Dear fellow antiwar activists,
What takes precedence over all right now is the bloody devastation this government is bringing to the people of Iraq. What is first and foremost for the American antiwar movement is the obligation we have to make our movement huge—to bring together all those who oppose this war inside the belly of this most ferocious beast.
Opposition to this war is the common thread we all agree upon. History demands that we come together and act in unison. The future of the planet demands this of us.
There is no room for red baiting or any propaganda that will divide the movement. That is the ongoing job of the warmongers—to divide and conquer. Now is the time to put aside our differences.
The world will want to protest the war on the occasion of the inauguration of this warmonger Jan. 20, as well as the “second anniversary” of the U.S. bi-partisan declaration of war against Iraq on March 19/20, 2005.
We have had a series of National demonstrations—the Democratic National Convention, the Republican National convention, the Million Worker March. What we don’t have is a united grassroots movement based in cities and towns across the country that involves all those people against the war.
There are antiwar groups all over. But each of us is “doing our own thing.” There is nothing wrong with “doing your own thing” ordinarily. What is criminal is if we refuse to act in unison when it is necessary. Now is the time!
How much more bloodshed will it take to convince folks that this is necessary.
Every petty delay in the call for nationally unified actions gives this bi-partisan government the mandate to continue to escalate their terror on the world.
Every delay in unity by the current leaders of the movement gives this bi-partisan government the impression that they can carry their war over to Iran, Korea, Cuba, Venezuela—to escalate this war and take it to wherever opposition to the U.S. oil-grab is growing.
The entire world is waiting and watching for what the American people are going to do about their government. The world is demanding that we act.
On inauguration day all the cities and towns across this country should see thousands of angry protesters in the streets in massive opposition to this war no matter who calls the demonstrations.
Coordinated, unified, national demonstrations throughout the country could give the antiwar movement the chance to reach out to all those opposed to the war and bring them into a strong grassroots, national movement no matter which other group they belong to, or what other differences they may have. This is the idea behind a united front. This is the power of a united front.
In San Francisco, we proved what the majority of the people want. A referendum in this year’s election— Proposition N—to bring our troops home now, won with 63.9 percent of the vote; a wide margin.
The antiwar movement in San Francisco, for sure, has a mandate to organize and act in unity.
Suggestions such as demonstrating the day before inauguration day in order not to demonstrate with A.N.S.W.E.R. is profoundly shameful—criminal, in fact, since it’s red baiting—something that should have ended with McCarthy. All such divisive speech should be viewed as actions benefiting the warmongers and should be reviled by the movement.
The truth is self-evident. Tens of thousands have demonstrated in this country and throughout the world in demonstrations called by A.N.S.W.E.R., UFPJ, Not In Our Name and by many other small and large groups. Those opposed to the war have been acting in unity in spite of the differences and fights for hegemony within the leadership of the movement.
The people who are opposed to this war throughout the world have voted with their feet for unity many times over by showing up by the hundreds of thousands—millions world wide to protest the war.
When will the “leadership” catch up to the people of the world who instinctively understand the power of solidarity and demand, “Bring Our Troops Home Now! U.S. Out Of Iraq!”
Yours for peace and solidarity,