Monday, October 30, 2006

The sectarian left holds a scowl-fest

Pre-election protest calls for end to Iraq war
Market Street march draws colorful crowd

"About 1,000 anti-war activists marched through San Francisco on Saturday in a lively protest that combined chants, cheers and street theater."

October 28th ANSWER Anti-War Protest
"People in cities all over the US heeded ANSWER's Call to Action to organize locally coordinated anti-war activities for Saturday, October 28th. ANSWER said, 'The people will force the issue of the Iraq war onto the U.S. political stage by taking to streets in demonstrations in cities and towns throughout the United States.' ANSWER also protesed Bush's denial of the number of Iraqis who have died in the war, and the threat of a war on North Korea."

OK, here's the problem with the American left. It's just over a week before the November mid-term elections. On a Saturday when many mainstream Democrats, Greens, and progressives are walking precincts, tabling, phonebanking, or otherwise working in support of candidates for various positions, what does the sectarian left do? Call for an antiwar protest!

The mainstream activists who are sympathetic to calls to end the Iraq war are busy, and don't participate. So the march is a small, demoralizing gathering of the hardcore left, who scowl at each other as they sell their newspapers. If elections really don't matter--and I'm one who agrees that Democrats are no alternative--then why have the protest 10 days before the election? Why not after?

If the goal is to break progressives away from any illusion in the Democratic Party, then why not wait when you can have a march that attracts more of them to a protest where they can interact with socialists, anarchists, and other radicals? Yes, the Democrats are a delusion. They are not an alternative. However, to make that argument, you need to engage people. And if mainstream activists don't come, how do radicals engage them?



Post a Comment

<< Home