Monday, December 19, 2005

'Just World News' by Helena Cobban: Chaos in the US antiwar "movement"

Helena Cobban posted an excellent analysis of the sorry state of the organized opposition to the war in the US: Chaos in the US antiwar "movement"

At the national level here there are two big antiwar coalitions, which have had a frequently stormy relationship with each other. And now is, sadly enough, one of those times.

These coalitions are United for Peace and Justice, and International ANSWER.

She duly notes both the scary Stalinist character of ANSWER and the ineffectually bloated nature of the lesser known UPJ. Her conclusion sounds right to me:
I have a suggestion. Maybe we should all stop having any faith at all that either of those two existing organizations is capable of coordinating an effective antiwar movement at this time.

Maybe we should ask Tony Benn, the President of the British Stop the War Coalition, and his six very able Vice-Presidents, for permission to form a fraternal branch of their organization here.

Stop the War Coalition-US would adopt the same organizing approach that has proven so effective for the parent group in Britain:

  1. A tight focus on ending the war, and
  2. Strong organizational cohesiveness-- including organizational lean-ness, integrity, and full accountability of all its leaders and officials.
Going this route would have huge advantages. For one thing, we could fold into such a movement the many sterling folks in the US who are not on the political left, who share the growing desire to bring the troops home[...]

When you're doing coalitional work, it is almost always, imho, important to focus strongly on the goal. Now is surely such a time.

I hadn't really thought about the disorganization of the war opposition. It's truly sad that there is such chaos and impotence when in fact public opinion is so clearly in favor of ending the conflict and opposing the war effort.

No comments: