It will take a massive, unified, ongoing antiwar movement to end this war. That is why we are compelled to come together at this time. The Iraqi people are suffering indescribable hardship; and we, in the belly of the most violent beast the planet has ever seen, are seeing our futures and the future of our children deteriorating and the lives of our troops wasted and ruined, their families tragically impacted.
Ultimately, it will take millions of people all over this country actively involved in a unified movement to stop this war. It will take work stoppages, school strikes the ending of “business as usual” in this country and in the military. And with the massive opposition to the war and the increased costs of the war bearing down on our economy, we may be closer to that point than we think. But so far we, in the antiwar movement, have only come together on a very few occasions and only on a temporary basis. That is why we have not been able to reach out and organize the masses of people who oppose the war.
In the best of circumstances, we have been able to bring together representatives from some of the major coalitions into a quasi-united front and have been able to agree upon building a particular demonstration on a particular day and disband cooperation from that point on. The demonstrations are called, built and organized by a few groupssome of which call themselves coalitions so that we have a “coalition of coalitions,” so to speak. But come the day of the action no plans have been made to organize further actions together or to use the power of the demonstration itself as a massive organizing tool that could bring those opposed to the war into active opposition to it.
How different would the outcome be, if for Oct. 27, we already had in place plans for a March 20, 2003 “Shock and Awe” anniversary protest on Saturday, March 15 or 22, 2008 and a Spring 2008 action planned, say, for sometime in April or May to launch a summer organizing drive for the fall? What if we had set up at the Oct. 27 demonstration something like “community and school organizing tables” where each could set up their own committee to coordinate and publicize and build for these demonstrations and organize their own outreach actions leading up to them? What if part of that meant that each of our groups would try to help build these community groups Places of Worship, schools, workplaces, labor unions, within the military itselfsupport them, help them to organize, etc. and encourage them to form themselves into democratic, ongoing organizations that could really coordinate with each other, learn from one another to make their work more effective and bring even more into the fold?
We could then have a division of labor among a broad layer of activists to do all of all the things that have to be done to build the kind of movement that can bring this country to a standstill. We need to be able to send counter-recruitment activists to the rural areas of the country that are recruiting the most to the military. We need to convince inner-city youth that it is in their interests to actively protest the war and demand that the money spent on war go to good jobs, education and healthcare for all, not for more cops, jails and war! We must convince them above all that theywehave the right to these things and the right to fight for them!
We must convince millions that the best way to end human strife and violence is to rid the world of the causes of iteconomic inequality, poverty and oppression. We need to insist that our tax dollars be spent on human needs and services in order to eliminate the causes of war! Putting aside our differences now and working together is mandatory if we are to stop this bloodbath from exploding to a point of no return for the human race. The politicians will not end this war for us! We need to organize ourselves independently of them. If they wish to join usgood! A united, open, independent, ongoing and democratically structured organization is what is needed to set into motion the kind of broad and massive movement that will have the power to: Stop the War Now! Bring All the Troops Home Now! Get the U.S. Out Now!