Speaking of ANSWER

Speaking of ANSWER

People sometimes ask me about ANSWER, hey, are they communists? The answer is, No!

Some history. The International Action Center (IAC), was started in 1991 by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark after the Gulf War, so the peace movement would have a permanent base, and wouldn’t have to start over each time the US had a war or invaded yet another country.

The ANSWER coalition was formed by IAC and other groups after 9/11 because they surmised another war was coming, and soon. And, obviously, they were correct. ANSWER is a coalition, as a glance at the Steering Committee will show.

Some members of ANSWER are also in Workers World, a socialist group. This is where the red-baiting comes in. I’ve seen cases where someone found an off the wall article from the Workers World newspaper in 1965, then used that as an excuse to attack ANSWER for being Stalinist. It’s a repulsive tactic, and is sometimes used by progressives who ought to know better.

ANSWER is a coalition that in L.A. includes labor organizers, teachers, the Bus Riders Union, several immigrant right groups, Palestinians, Jews, Greens, veterans from the Vietnam protest days, seventeen year olds, Gays, people with a nice car and people with no car, Hip Hop artists, Latinos Against the War, and people from literally dozens of countries of origin. It is unquestionably the most ethnically, religiously, and culturally diverse group of people I’ve ever worked with.

I’ve been volunteering at ANSWER since October. I’d heard the rumors too. They are baseless. There is no hidden agenda. Instead, ANSWER is a well-organized group of hyperactive (and unpaid) volunteers who welcome all who want to stop the endless wars of the U.S.