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On the Upswing Again

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  • Clore Daniel C
    News for Anarchists & Activists: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo On the Upswing Again by Ted Glick Future Hope Column February 25, 2002 About two months
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2002
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      News for Anarchists & Activists:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

      On the Upswing Again

      by Ted Glick

      Future Hope Column

      February 25, 2002

      About two months from now tens of thousands of people will
      be converging on Washington, D.C. over the weekend of April
      19-22. Three national coalition efforts, the Colombia
      Mobilization, the April 20th Mobilization Committee and the
      Mobilization for Global Justice, are organizing what
      promises to be a significant and timely four days of
      activity. There are close to 200 organizations already
      actively involved or publicly endorsing one or more of these
      coalitions, and the three groups are coordinating and
      working together so that the respective actions each is
      organizing will complement and support one another.

      This is exciting news. These actions will be building upon
      the success of the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre,
      Brazil and the massive demonstration in New York City
      against the World Economic Forum in early February.
      Together, these past and future actions make it clear that
      the people's movement is on the rebound and on an upswing
      after September 11th.

      Yet, there are some critical issues that need to be
      addressed concerning this movement against U.S. corporatism
      and militarism and for social and economic justice, at home
      and abroad.

      A key political issue is how we will combine firm solidarity
      with people struggling against corporate and military
      domination in countries around the world with outreach to
      the many millions of U.S. Americans who are open to or
      supportive of our anti-corporate, pro-justice message but
      who, since September 11th, are understandably concerned
      about the threat terrorism poses to their lives and their
      security.

      It is essential that our anger and outrage against the
      ravages of global capitalism and go-it-alone U.S. militarism
      do not lead us to the dead-end politics of anti-Americanism.
      Indeed, we need to consciously and openly identify with the
      "other America," those movements for democracy, justice and
      equality that have achieved important successes over the
      course of the history of this highly contradictory, almost
      schizophrenic society.

      We need to do this because in doing so we will feel
      empowered personally and be stronger as a movement as we
      study, know about and feel pride in people like those who
      fought for the Bill of Rights, the early labor unions of the
      19th century and many heroic unionists since, Tecumseh,
      Sitting Bull and Chief Joseph, Nat Turner and Denmark Vesey,
      John Brown, Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, Susan B.
      Anthony, Eugene Debs, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ella Baker,
      Malcolm X, Fannie Lou Hamer and many, many more. We have a
      rich tradition of righteous struggle for the truth and
      against oppression, and victories to show for it.

      We also need to do it because we cannot allow the Bush
      oil-and-war-men and their supporters to wrap themselves in
      the flag and portray anyone who seriously opposes their
      policies as terrorists, traitors or un-American. It is
      essential, if we are to have any hope of reversing this
      country's current, dangerous course, that we fight for the
      political space to keep building a broadly–based movement,
      one that, over time, must involve literally millions of
      people in action of some kind. Given what we must contend
      with, particularly a mass corporate media that disinforms,
      miseducates or confuses so many people, we must have
      foremost, in the absolute forefront of our consciousness as
      we go about our work, the understanding and firm belief that
      we are the ones who are truly fighting for our peoples, our
      land, our world and our future.

      We must use language that invites, not repels. Let's talk
      and write in ways that regular folks can understand and
      relate to. Away with all rhetoric!

      We must also think clearly and soberly about the appropriate
      tactics for our movement at this particular point in time.

      The actions being organized by the three coalitions for
      April 19-22 combine a mix of activities. On April 20th there
      will be a massive, non-violent, legal demonstration to Stop
      the War, At Home and Abroad. On April 21st there will be a
      similar demonstration calling for an end to U.S. support of
      war and oppression in Colombia. Actions will also take place
      as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank meet
      during these two days. There will be conferences, workshops,
      trainings and lobbying. There will almost certainly be
      puppets, street theatre and other forms of creative,
      artistic action. And on Monday the 22nd there will be
      disciplined, focused, non-violent civil disobedience
      organized by the School of the Americas Watch and the
      Colombia Mobilization.

      It seems to me that these are the appropriate forms of
      action for this particular weekend, for this particular time
      and place.

      Since Seattle in late 1999 I've participated in many of the
      major demonstrations organized by the direct action wing of
      the global justice movement. I was part of a "flying squad"
      on April 16th, 2000 in Washington, D.C. I joined with the
      Kensington Welfare Rights Union in their unpermitted march
      down Broad St. in Philadelphia to the Republican Convention
      on July 31st, 2000. I was part of the march on the Wall of
      Shame in Quebec last April and was tear-gassed four times
      during those protests against the Free Trade Area of the
      Americas. I expect I'll participate in similar types of
      actions at some point in the near future. But not on the
      weekend of April 19-22.

      April 19-22 will be successful if we turn out big numbers,
      and if the April 22nd non-violent civil disobedience is
      conducted in such a way, as I know it is being organized,
      that the urgent message being conveyed through the action is
      much harder for the media to distort.

      We have an awesome task before us. People around the world
      need us to be not just brave and courageous but smart and
      intelligent. We must find the ways to build a movement not
      of thousands, not of tens of thousands or even hundreds of
      thousands. We will need millions, with the support of tens
      of millions more, to achieve our objectives. Let's act
      accordingly. The whole world is watching; let's not let them
      down.

      To find out more about the Colombia Mobilization go to
      www.colombiamobilization.org.

      To find out more about the April 20th Mobilization Committee
      go to http://www.a20stopthewar.org

      To find out more about the Mobilization for Global Justice
      go to http://www.globalizethis.org

      Ted Glick is National Coordinator of the Independent
      Progressive Politics Network (http://www.ippn.org ) and a
      Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate in New Jersey. He can
      be reached at mailto:futurehopeTG@... or P.O. Box 1132,
      Bloomfield, N.J. 07003.

      --
      Dan Clore
      mailto:clore@...

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