Don't Ignore the Real Movement
by Joshua Frank
December 11, 2002
Through the pages of countless publications, and dozens of TV channels, the antiwar movement is sickeningly misrepresented. Even progressive publications such as The Nation, have few rational voices covering the actual movement itself. Marc Cooper, and David Corn being two prominent ones, who Alexander Cockburn has rightly refuted. Cockburn is right to point out that the movement, if it is to succeed, must encompass a wide array of folks, liberal and conservative alike.
Recently at a huge rally here in Portland Oregon, I had the pleasure of chatting with numerous folks. Some old, some young, some white, some brown, but all with a similar purpose; to say no to a bloody conflict in Iraq.
One couple I spoke to exclaimed, "we are new at this, we aren't sure what to do," while they enthusiastically chanted, "no blood for oil!" Have these baby boomers ever even heard of the Workers World Party Cooper and Corn speak of? Or even associate the movement as somehow tainted by Karl Marx? Are they a token couple? Perhaps, but I certainly doubt it. The countless number of people I have corresponded with throughout the United States never make mention of the WWP as in any way pushing their own agenda through these mass rallies and protests. Sure they may organize marches and push a certain agenda, but that in no way means that any of the participants represent their ideals.
Antiwar sentiment can be found all around us, not just at these functions. There are many reasons to oppose this war. My conservative parents from Montana question the actual threat Saddam places on the United States. They fear another Twin Tower type catastrophe is looming, and putting resources at and Iraq fight will not protect Americans. And believe me, they have never been protesters.
The bottom line is, many people, from the radical left to the Fascist right oppose this war. The Workers World Party, the Catholic Church, and Moveon.org aren't the sole bearers of this mass dissent. Millions of working class suburban, urban, and rural Americans are concerned about the future of this planet and this pending war, for a multitude of reasons. They may not march. They may not protest. Or ever read these words - but those people do exist, and should never be ignored. The real heart and soul of this movement is breathing all around us. Figuring out how to get them out on the streets is the real trick- and if the WWP, or any other organization can do it, more power to them.
Joshua Frank, 24, is an activist and freelance writer living in Portland, Oregon. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org