Can unions rebuild the antiwar movement?

Socialist Unity in Britain wonders, as do many of us, about the steadily diminishing numbers at antiwar protests given that the majority of the populace opposes the war. They hope unions might somehow revitalize the movement, but I’m doubtful unions have the clout or the willingness to do so in mass numbers, especially in the US.

The key reason why attendances at marches are down and why the health of the anti-war movement overall has taken a sharp downward dip is because there is no domestic organising focus for the anti-war movement. The war is still there, but we have no way at the moment to really hit back at it.

There’s no draft and returning body bags are carefully kept out of public view. So, the immediacy of the war now isn’t like it was during Vietnam. Also, mass demonstrations no longer have much effect. They’ve been done so often that the mainstream media barely considers them news anymore. And if it doesn’t have mass impact, then you’ve not accomplished much except make protesters feel good and (don’t overlook this, it can be a major reason groups organize protests) recruit for your organization.

If you want a protest to be huge in size, then you have to organize within the public at large, not just within Left enclaves. Few, if any, groups are doing this. Which is another reason the protests are getting smaller. The Left base is finding them to be routine while no outreach is happening within the larger population.

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