Building a movement

Free the Five protest. Washington D.C.600 marched in DC on Saturday in support of the Cuban Five. The Five were unjustly imprisoned here because they infiltrated right-wing Cuban exile groups in Miami, groups whose members have bragged about committing serious violence, including murder, in Cuba.

This was an important demo. It drew people from 30 cities. The ANSWER Coalition was one of the primary organizers.

Building a movement isn’t just about big demonstrations and protests, it’s about the smaller ones too. You need to organize on multiple issues. People start to see the linkages between the issues, they join forces, and then the movement gets bigger. When ANSWER started organizing against the then impeding Iraq invasion, the protests were small. But they grew. Some of them have drawn hundreds of thousands of protestors. Before the war started, an antiwar stance was considered radical, now it’s mainstream. ANSWER hasn’t changed, the rest of the country did.

Would it be the Democrats understood this. The way to build opposition is by opposing, not by being tepid clones of those you pretend to oppose. But then, except for a few social issues, there is little difference between the parties. Certainly not on the war(s), Democrats, with few exceptions, have cheerleaded for war, torture and spying as much as any right-wing Republican. That they are out of touch with an increasingly antiwar populace shows their class arrogance and complicity with imperialist warmongering.

US intelligence agencies are now saying it has all backfired, with the US more in danger, not less, since the the invasion of Iraq. Well, duh. Blowback can be a bitch. Yet legislators continue to sleepwalk in D.C. isolated in their protective wealthy bubbles, clueless and uncaring about what is happening in the real world.

That’s why we need to build a movement. They can not and will not do the right thing. We the people must do it instead.

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