How the ANSWER Coalition was formed

ANSWER was created the day after 9/11 as the organizers, many with decades of experience, knew what was coming.

When the U.S. was attacked on its own soil on September 11, 2001, very few organizations were rushing into the streets to take a stand against the Bush administration’s immediate efforts to use the attack to unleash a long-planned war. In the days after the attack, the A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition was the only formation in the U.S. that called for mass demonstrations on September 29, 2001, against the government’s war moves.

That initiative was greeted at the time by either fear, or denounced or boycotted, by most of the “respectable” pacifist and social-democratic leaders and organizations—not to mention a few who consider themselves revolutionaries and Marxists.

A.N.S.W.E.R.’s call to action was not a bland and politically innocuous call for peace. Rather, it directly focused on building opposition inside the United States to the Bush administration’s war drive.

The Sept 29 2001 antiwar demo in Los Angeles was organized by Preston Wood of the ANSWER Coalition and Jim Lafferty of the National Lawyers Guild. Preston recalls, “We were hoping for 200, 300 people, and 2,500 came. It was amazing.” It was also the birth of the post-9/11 antiwar movement in Los Angeles. Seventeen months later, in Feb. 2003, an ANSWER-led march and rally in Hollywood drew 80,000, one of the biggest demos ever in L.A.

The draft will return regardless of who is elected President. They will need the additional troops for their insane Iraq war. So, let’s make it 800,000 next time. The people stopped the Vietnam War, we can do it again.