Bulletin 167


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2 January 2005

Grenoble, France


Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,


The presidential inauguration is scheduled for 20 January. Before that date, political organizers are pushing to force a recount in the state of Ohio, which could change the outcome of the election. If John Kerry won the 20 electoral votes from Ohio, he would become the 44th President of the United States on 20 January, and George W. Bush would be history. But this is unlikely to happen for a variety of reason. . . .


In items A. and B. Ted Glick, National Coordinator of the Independent Progressive Politics Network, describes first the growing coalition that aims at challenging the results of the 2004 presidential election; then gives a brief explanation of the strategy over the next few days to demand a recount in the state of Ohio, à la Ukraine elections.


In item C. Monty Kroopkin, from San Diego, California, demonstrates his solidarity with this movement which is nationwide and involves many hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens, who are fearful of loosing their democratic rights forever.


In item D. Michael Albert, of Z Magazine in Boston, has sent us the agenda for a "counter-inaugural" celebration in Washington, D.C. to further mobilize resistance to the Bush administration on 20 January.


In item E. Professor Fred Lonidier shares with us an important National Endowment for the Arts project to bring high culture to U.S. troops, educating them to the human condition by exposing them to classic Shakespearean drama.


Finally, in item F., we see the re-mobilization of anti-war forces on American campuses, despite diversions, intimidations, and repression by the forces of imperialist order.




Francis McCollum Feeley

Professor of American Studies

Dircector of Research

Université Stendhal Grenoble 3







from Ted Glick :

December 27, 2004




Doing the Right Thing 

    by Ted Glick


Jesse Jackson and the Green Party are both on the progressive side of the political spectrum, but it's still quite something to see them, along with many other groups, coming together to try to get to the bottom of the voter disenfranchisement/election machine fraud/voter suppression scandal that continues to grow despite a near-whiteout by the corporate media.


In November 2000, during the first days of the Florida election crisis, Rev. Jackson traveled there and within days of the election had begun to organize street demonstrations calling for an accurate recount of all votes. But he abruptly left, obviously prevailed upon by the Gore campaign whose idea of "fighting for every vote" turned out to be as imaginative and creative as Gore's personality. And Ralph Nader, the Green Party's 2000 Presidential candidate, was little in evidence.


Four years later, however, David Cobb, the 2004 Green Party Presidential candidate, and Rev. Jackson were sitting next to each other on December 8 as Congressman John Conyers and other Democratic House Judiciary Committee members convened a hearing on Capitol Hill about the many election "irregularities" in Ohio. Cobb was there because the Green Party's Cobb/LaMarche campaign had provided leadership to the struggle to expose the truth about what happened in Ohio by successfully filing for a recount two weeks before, in cooperation with the Libertarian Party. Jackson was there, of course, because he has been a leader in the struggle for civil rights and the right to vote in this country going back over 40 years to when he worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.


In recent years Rev. Jackson has been, well, a "team player" in the Democratic Party. David Cobb has been active with the Green Party at local, statewide and national levels since the mid-'90s, following years of activism within Jackson's 1984 and 1988 Presidential campaigns and the National Rainbow Coalition.


Now, at this crucial moment in this country's history, they're working together, "doing the right thing."


The right thing, one of the key "right things," that all progressives of all nationalities and whatever their party affiliation need to be doing **right now,** is throwing ourselves feet first into the grassroots movement to bring out the truth of what happened in Ohio and elsewhere. We need to demand that action be taken accordingly-action against any criminal wrongdoing, action to reform an electoral system that is seriously deficient, even on its own two-party, winner-take-all terms.


U.S. "democracy" is to democracy what the war on Iraq is to a just war.


People should be getting on the phone to their U.S. Senators demanding that, on January 6th, they join with Congressional Black Caucus members to stop the approval of the electoral college votes until there is an investigation into what really went on in Ohio and elsewhere. If only one Senator does this, Congress will have no choice but to interrupt Bush's smooth path towards inauguration on January 20th.


People close to Columbus, Ohio should be planning to join the pro-democracy demonstration on January 3 called by Rev. Jackson and many other groups for 2 p.m. in the Capitol Theatre across from the Ohio State Capitol.


People able to get to Washington, D.C. on January 6th should do so to be part of the demonstration happening then on Capitol Hill while Senators and Congresspeople are convening inside. And we should all be out on the streets on January 20th either in D.C. or in our hometowns when Bush is inaugurated.


The weeks since the election have seen the emergence and unfolding of a potentially powerful, pro-democracy movement in this country. Such a movement will, of necessity, bring together organizations and leaders who have their differences on other issues but who are in agreement that the defense, expansion and deepening of U.S. democracy is an urgent necessity. Such a movement, over time, should grow to include not just Greens and progressive Democrats but other third party adherents and even some Republicans who are disturbed by what they see happening in their party. Such a movement, if it is to succeed, must put institutionalized electoral racism at the center of its agenda and must be led by African Americans and other people of color in combination with others. Indeed, that is what is now happening.


It may be the holiday season, but this is no time to be sitting back relaxing. There's a Winter Democracy Campaign underway and, in Ella Baker's words, "we who believe in freedom cannot rest."


For more information go to www.votecobb.org, www.nov3.us, www.counter-inaugural.org, or www.unitedforpeace.org.



Ted Glick is the outgoing National Coordinator of the Independent Progressive Politics Network. He can be reached at futurehopeTG@aol.com or P.O. Box 1132, Bloomfield, N.J. 07003.





from Ted Glick :

January 1, 2005


Re-Vote Ohio  

by Ted Glick



Our next governor should enter office without any doubt about the legitimacy of his or her office. The people of Washington deserve to know that their governor was elected fair and square. Unfortunately, the events of the past few weeks now make it impossible for you or me to take office on January 12 without being shrouded in suspicion.


-Dino Rossi, Republican candidate for Governor of Washington, in open letter to Democratic candidate Christine Gregoire Rossi s argument is equally applicable to the Presidential election. Following an extremely flawed and probably illegal recount in Ohio, no one can say for sure who won that state s 20 Electoral College votes, and these 20 votes are necessary for either George Bush or John Kerry to claim a victory in the 2004 election.


Following the example of the people of the Ukraine, we should demand that Ohio's 5.5 million voters be given a chance to vote for president again in a fair and transparent process.


What Happened in Ohio?


Many thousands of duly-registered African American voters did their civic duty and went to the polls in Ohio on Election Day.


Many stood for three, four or even eight hours in the cold and rain with tired, hungry children and sick or elderly relatives.


These people, whose children are disproportionately represented in the U.S. military and the Iraq war, suffered disproportionately from misallocation of voting machines, biased application of voting standards, outright harassment, and the ultimate indignity for a voter:


unbeknownst to them, many of their votes were not even counted.


Concerns that the votes of African Americans and other Ohio voters were not fairly counted were one of the main reasons that David Cobb of the Green Party and Michael Badnarik of the Libertarian Party demanded a recount of the votes in Ohio. Now that the recount is finished, the picture is a lot worse than any of us thought. Not only were African Americans in huge numbers denied the right to vote on Election Day, but something even more shocking was discovered: we have no idea who won the presidential vote in Ohio.


And because we have no idea who won the vote on November 2, we must immediately raise the call for an Ohio re-vote.


The vote totals we are seeing in the newspapers assume that there has been no tampering with the vote totals.


While no one has as yet proven definitively that there was vote tampering, any impartial observer can say with certainty that it would be impossible to say that there was NO tampering.


How can we say this so unequivocally? Private company technicians from Triad and possibly Diebold had unsupervised access to ballots and vote counting machines after the initial vote counting and before the recount.


In some counties, ballots were not locked up in ways that would preserve their integrity.


In almost all counties, the recounts did not comply with the dictates of Ohio election law that the precincts re-counted must be randomly selected.


Whether in the interest of hiding something, or merely in the interest of wanting to go home for the Christmas holiday, pre-selecting the precincts to be re-counted could lead to re-counting precincts without problems instead of those where machines failed, ballots were soiled, or other problems occurred.


Thankfully, the Ohio recount fulfilled its purpose. It helped us to see the extent of the problems in Ohio s voting processes.


It reminded us that many Ohio state and local elections officers should either be fired for incompetence or criminally indicted for allowing voters to be disenfranchised on Election Day.


It provided a way to keep the reform process in public view so that changes can be made in time for the 2006 election season.


Most importantly, however, the Ohio recount has led us to a conclusion that should be obvious to fair-minded people of any political party:


no one can claim victory in a contest when the score-keeping system was broken.


If you take a few minutes to read County Recount Reports from the observers who monitored the recount in Ohio's 88 counties, you will see why Ohio s Electoral College votes are tainted and must be rejected by Congress.


For example, in Fairfield County, Ohio, a full recount should have been ordered when the 3% test sample required under Ohio election law did not match the official vote totals. Instead, based on what county officials said was a recommendation from Secretary of State Blackwell's office, the recount was "suspended" so that they would not have to do a full recount. http://www.votecobb.org/recount/ohio_reports/


In Champaign County, a precinct signature book, necessary to verify that the number of votes that were cast, will not be made available to recount observers until after January 10 (four days after Congress has counted the Electoral College votes), per orders of the Secretary of State.


Meanwhile, in Van Wert County, an observer reported:


"When asked if Triad had serviced the machine, the deputy director and a board member stated that they had serviced the machine over the phone via modem on December 9th."


Many other counties used vote tabulation machines that were serviced by technicians outside the supervision of anyone else between the November 2 election and the recount date.


In Ashland County, there were other security issues: "The cast ballots are stored by precinct in open cubicles along one wall of this room, completely open and visible to anyone who enters this room....Piled on top of the cubicles holding the vote are baskets, Doritos, paper plates, mugs, cleaning products, Fresh-n-Soft, Glad Wrap, etc."


These "chain of custody" issues are especially important when you consider that, as reported in the New York Times, "Voting machine companies and their supporters have been given a large say in the process [of setting federal standards for electronic voting machines], while advocates for voters, including those who insist on the use of voter-verified paper receipts, have been pushed to the margins. The chairman of the working group preparing the standards for voting machines is a top executive of Election Systems and Software [ES&S], a large and controversial voting machine maker." http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/27/opinion/27mon1.html


Didn t Impartial Democrats Monitor the Process?


Yes, both Democrats and Republicans supervised the voting and recounting processes.


According to the Columbus (Ohio) Free Press, however, their impartiality is not a given, because Ohio election law calls for directors, deputy directors, and members of all county boards of elections to be assigned by the Secretary of State.


They hold these paying jobs at his discretion regardless of whether they are Democrat or Republican. A major argument of those who claim Ohio s 2004 presidential election was fraud-free centers on the myth that local precincts are run as bipartisan operations, deflecting charges of partisan interference while failing to account for the fact that the principals all owe their jobs to the Secretary of State, who in this case served as co-chair of the state's Bush-Cheney campaign. http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/1046


The Constitution calls for a convening of Electors in each state, who cast ballots that then are opened and read by Congress.


This year, the Electors met on December 13, 2004, and Congress receives and counts their votes on January 6, 2005.


The problem we have this year is that the 20 Electoral votes cast by Ohio Electors are fundamentally flawed because they were cast before the recount even began, and because it was a seriously problematic recount.


Therefore, John Kerry s concession has no legal meaning. If a re-vote results in his winning the Ohio popular vote, he will win Ohio s 20 Electoral votes and the presidency.


The issue facing us now, however, is not the election of Bush, Kerry, or even the Green or Libertarian presidential candidates. The issue is that we do not know who won Ohio.


And as the people of the Ukraine have shown us, a re-vote is possible.


Indeed, there are 48 million voters in the Ukraine and only 5.5 million in Ohio, so the process would be ten times easier.


How Could a Fair Re-Vote Take Place?


If the voting processes are so fundamentally flawed, you ask, how could we trust a new re-vote?






paper ballot can be easily produced with the names of the presidential candidates on it.


Every voter will hand in one piece of paper with a check mark next to one candidate s name, and another piece of paper with his or her name, address, and other necessary voter registration information.


These two piles will be kept in case a recount is needed.


Observers from the various presidential campaigns should be allowed to monitor the 88 county election proceedings, and we also may want to bring in some international election observers comparable to those who supervised the election in the Ukraine.


President Bush can issue a call for a re-vote himself, following the lead of Dino Rossi in Washington State. He can declare that he wants to be elected by a fair and transparent process.


Or Congress can demand a re-vote when it convenes to receive the Electoral votes on January 6, 2005. If neither of those take place, it is imperative that the mushrooming pro-democracy movement that has been developing since the elections escalate its pressure and its tactics to reflect the urgency of what is at stake. We must assert out Tenth Amendment power to reclaim our right to a fair election in Ohio and a fairly elected President of the United States.


If we let this one go by without the political fight of our lifetimes, we just might have kissed what s left of our democracy goodbye.



Ted Glick is the outgoing National Coordinator of the Independent Progressive Politics Network (www.ippn.org) and is very active with the Winter Democracy Campaign. He can be reached at futurehopeTG@aol.com.





from Monty Kroopkin :

San Diego, California

Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2005



Happy (?) New Year,


I have just sent a very unradical (and less than completely original) letter (see it below) addressed to each of the following suspects:


Senator Dick Durbin, (202) 224-2152, dick@durbin.senate.gov

Senator Russ Feingold, (202) 224-5323, russ_feingold@feingold.senate.gov

Senator Tom Harkin, (202) 224-3254, tom_harkin@harkin.senate.gov

Senator Jim Jeffords, (202) 224-5141, Vermont@jeffords.senate.gov

Senator Edward Kennedy, 202/224-4543, senator@kennedy.senate.gov

Senator Patrick Leahy, (202) 224-4242, senator_leahy@leahy.senate.gov

Senator Barbara Boxer, (202) 224-3553, senator@boxer.senate.gov


It may be of no practical consequence, but then I have only wasted an hour of my time. Perhaps you will enjoy doing something similar. (Hint)



---------- Forwarded Message ----------


Dear Senator Leahy,


On January 6, 2005, Congress will meet in joint session to certify the 2004 presidential election. On that day, if one member of the House and one member of the Senate object to the certification of the vote, then all members of Congress will finally discuss the issues of an unverifiable election outcome and the outrages that produced it.


On January 6, 2001, not a single Senator would join with the Representatives, most of them Black, who demanded an inquiry into the Florida recount. I urge you to prevent a repeat of this crime. Even if it means the end of your political career, a stand for the republic, against the tide of the tyrants, is your only honorable choice.


More than a month has passed since voters cast votes for the President and Vice-President of the United States -- but every day, more and more stories surface that call into question the election's integrity.


Machines broke down, counted backwards, eliminated votes, and registered votes for the wrong candidate. Progressive and African-American neighborhoods experienced by far the longest lines on election day, the most vote spoilage, the most elimination of provisional ballots, and the most victimization by precinct manipulation. Private corporations were incredibly entrusted with counting and reporting electronic votes.


Four hundred thousand callers phoned voter protection hotlines, with complaints ranging from absentee ballots lost in the mail, to outright voter intimidation and disenfranchisement. And partisan election officials with conflicts of interest undermined voting rights in states from Ohio to Florida to New Mexico. Even progressive Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have questioned the elections' legitimacy, in a series of rigorous, painstakingly detailed letters documenting the unprecedented extent and scope of vote suppression.


How can we have confidence in American democracy when so many questions about this election remain unanswered? In addition to the longstanding issues subtly undermining democracy -- corporate domination of the two major parties, plurality elections, and corporate media bias - the recent election betrayed democratic principles overtly.


Despite the efforts of a few valiant members of Congress, most Senators and Representatives have ignored our pleas for serious investigation into the "irregularities" that surrounded the 2004 election. But one more opportunity remains for you to stand for democracy -- oppose the certification of the Electoral College vote!


It would be ludicrous to think the outcome will be changed. But shining a spotlight on the insults to voting rights COULD lead to meaningful protections against future insults. Absent any strong action, our children and grandchildren will likely talk about the American Republic in the past tense, just as one sad generation of Romans learned to speak of the Roman Republic as a dead thing of history.


Be brave! Make a difference!




Monty Kroopkin

4409 Donald Avenue

San Diego, California 92117

(858) 270-8067





from Michael Albert :

1 January 2005







from Fred Lonidier :

Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2004

Subject: NEA support for US military



NEA Brings Shakespeare to the Military


"We watch two of the best and brightest (Lord and Lady Macbeth - aka George and Donald) decide to seize power through murder and deception. In doing so, they unleash a furious evil into their world. Macbeth is also a fascinating study in the self-creation of a tyrant." 

--Director Kent Thompson



On September 10th, amid great excitement and anticipation, the curtain rose in a converted movie theater at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. In front of a capacity crowd of troops, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival began its riveting production of "the Scottish play" (as it's called by superstitious actors). Outside, the theater sign announced, "No movies-Macbeth."


It was here that the National Endowment for the Arts launched its Shakespeare in American Communities Military Base Tour. With $1 million from the Department of Defense, the Arts Endowment worked with all four military branches to serve military personnel and their families with free performances and educational activities. After Maxwell Air Force Base, the tour continued at 17 more bases, finishing at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on October 21st. The tour was managed by Arts Midwest, based in Minneapolis. Additional support for Shakespeare in American Communities has been provided by The Sallie Mae Fund.


 At a theater class, actors from Macbeth discuss "stage fighting" with children at the base. Photo: Leslie Liberato NEA Chairman Dana Gioia said, "As our country now has the best-educated, best-trained military in our nation's history, the Arts Endowment has made a conscious effort to extend programs of artistic excellence, including Shakespeare in American Communities, to the men, women, and their families in our nation's Armed Forces. We have enjoyed bringing the greatest playwright in the English language to a great audience."


The 13 bases that comprised the Alabama Shakespeare Festival tour included three Army, three Navy, two Marine, and five Air Force bases in 11 states >from North Carolina to New Mexico. They presented more than 16 performances of Macbeth, and many more educational and outreach activities. In the spirit of theater tours of the past, the venues on each of the bases ranged from

theaters to gymnasiums to, in one case, an airplane hanger. The Arts Endowment also provided multimedia resource kits for teachers and librarians on all the bases. The kits featured a recitation contest guide, timeline poster, audio CD, videos, and other materials.


Alabama Shakespeare Festival's Producing Director Kent Thompson explained why Macbeth has thrilled audiences for so long. He said, "We watch two of >the best and brightest (Lord and Lady Macbeth) decide to seize power through murder and deception. In doing so, they unleash a furious evil into their world. Macbeth is also a fascinating study in the self-creation of a tyrant."


Shakespeare in American Communities is the largest tour of Shakespeare in American history. Since September 2003, the Arts Endowment has engaged 29 professional theater companies to bring new Shakespeare productions and special in-school programs to more than 200 communities across all 50 states.


The witches (Jennifer Hunt, Suzanne Curtis, and Sonja Lanzener) surround Macbeth (Remi Sandri). Photo: Phil Scarsbrook

Shakespeare in American Communities Military Base Tour with Alabama Shakespeare Festival:



10-11: Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, AL

15: Kings Bay Submarine Base, Kings Bay, GA

17-18: Charleston Naval Weapons Station, Charleston, SC

21-22: Camp Lejeune Marine Base, Jacksonville, NC

24: Quantico Marine Base, Quantico, VA

28: Selfridge Air National Guard Base/TACOM Army Base, Mt. Clemens, MI



1: Naval Support Activity Mid-South, Millington, TN

3: Scott Air Force Base, O'Fallon, IL

6: Fort Riley Army Base, Manhattan, KS

9: Fort Leavenworth Army Base, Fort Leavenworth, KS

15: Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, CO

18: Cannon Air Force Base, Clovis, NM

20-21: Holloman Air Force Base, Alamogordo, NM



Other Shakespeare in American Communities Military Base Tour engagements:

March 6, 2004: Fort Richardson, Anchorage, AK (Aquila Theatre Company)

June 23, 2004: Edwards Air Force Base, Lancaster, CA (The Acting Company)

October 14, 2004: Pearl Harbor Naval Station, Pearl Harbor, HI (Artists

                                    Repertory Theater), Hickman Air Force Base, HI (Artists Repertory Theater)

October 16, 2004: Schofield Barracks, HI (Artists Repertory Theater)



National Endowment for the Arts






from Junaid Alam :

December 29, 2004

Campus Anti-War Network



Anti-war Organizing On Campus  



As the disastrous consequences of the war on Iraq continue to unfold, millions of Americans are becoming increasingly disillusioned and angry with the war effort. In the struggle to translate that sentiment into a formidable anti-war movement, the efforts of progressive youth will undoubtedly play an important role. Spearheading this effort on the national level is the Campus Anti-War Network (CAN), comprising all anti-war student groups on college campuses across America. M. Junaid Alam of Left Hook talked to four of CAN s elected representatives about the political imperatives and realities the movement faces, including internal debates, right-wing harassment, and planned mobilizations.




Monique Dols, Mid-Atlantic Representative, Columbia University Josh Karpoff, Northeastern Representative, Rochester Institute of Technology Desmond G., Southern Representative, Georgia State University Daniel Saver, At-Large Representative, University of California, Berkeley


Alam: What effect did the elections have on the anti-war movement in your experience and in your region? Do you feel there was a major demobilization or diverting of resources and energy because of pressure to line up behind Kerry? Was there some internal friction within the movement over the Anybody But Bush phenomenon?


Monique : The surrendering of the antiwar movement to the Kerry campaign had a devastating impact on the student antiwar movement. I choose my words carefully when I use the word surrender. But that is exactly what happened. The greatest tragedy of these past elections is that the US based antiwar movement didn t have an electoral expression for our antiwar opinion like the people in Spain did. The antiwar movement should have been pointing out the sham and illegitimacy of the US elections and the lack of a real antiwar alternative. Instead, we surrendered to the terms of the elections as they were given to us and mobilized for a man with interests that were diametrically opposed to everything that we stand for.


We had Bush the warmonger, and Kerry the other warmonger who had no regret for voting for the war, promised to send more troops to Iraq and pledged to do a more efficient job of slaughtering Iraqis. When the leadership of the antiwar movement mobilized people to vote for Kerry it had disastrous repercussions. This diversion of resources meant that when the Abu Ghraib tortures story broke there was almost no response. When Fallujah was crushed, no national protests.


And this certainly had an effect on campus organizing. Regional and national demonstrations have set the pace for campus organizing since the February 15th protests. They give us something to mobilize and educate around. Without that, people feel isolated. Sure people still hate the war, but without big demonstrations to validate and organize that anger people are alone.


This surrendering has not just held back the antiwar movement but it has brought it backwards. The politicians and the corporate, pro-war media set the terms of the debate around the war. But a strong, self-confident antiwar movement can have an impact on that debate. Imagine if instead of mobilizing people to vote for Kerry, the antiwar movement was pointing out the hypocrisy of the idea that the US could bring democracy when we don t have democracy at home. This could have seriously changed the stultifying terms of the debate rather than pouring everything we had worked for right into the laps of the undeserving Democrats.


You can see the effect that this has had ideologically as well. When the antiwar movement was at its height people would say that the war was wrong because it was all about conquest and oil. Today on campuses you hear the argument that it was wrong because it was a diversion from the real war on terror. This is straight from Kerry s speechwriters. While the antiwar movement was sitting on its criticisms of Kerry he was actively undoing the gains of our movement, and unfortunately we failed at waging the right fight during this period.


Josh: The 2004 Presidential elections pretty much brought the student antiwar movement to a grinding halt. Everyone in Western New York seemed to suddenly drop everything and start campaigning for one of the candidates. It seemed that nearly everyone was putting all of his or her hopes of stopping the war in the outcome of the election. With everyone campaigning for someone there was pretty much no one left to work on antiwar work so the groups that were able to keep one or two people active went into holding patterns, just struggling to stay afloat and wait out the election. The Anybody But Bush Phenomenon didn t cause that much friction inside the group, as it did outside, preventing us from successfully intervening in any events or recruiting new members.


Desmond: In Atlanta, most student antiwar organizations fell apart after the invasion, before the elections became an issue. Once the elections became an issue, there was also a problem of us antiwar activists, who were still around, not asserting ourselves as much as we should have. We still aren t as visible as we should be. At Georgia State, I ve been meeting a lot of students who were active before the invasion, and they ve been trying to find us for a year.


The biggest effect of the elections here has been on a political level. We still have to gain a lot of ground in arguing that the US should leave Iraq immediately and that the war on terror is wrong, plain and simple.


Daniel: I think that in Berkeley, like most other places, there was certainly a lull in the anti-war movement during the election campaigns. The elections were on the forefront of everyone s mind, so mobilizing around the war specifically was slightly more challenging. And in Berkeley specifically, I believe that more organizational resources were actually diverted into the Nader campaign as opposed to Kerry; many of the core members of our Coalition were very active in supporting Nader, which probably (though by no means certainly) detracted from our focus as an antiwar group. The anyone but Bush theme was a central talking point among many of our discussions, but it was not so devise as to create a substantial rift in the Coalition. We were able to acknowledge the fact that regardless of who won the Presidency, the antiwar movement would still have our work cut out for us in the next four years. We built upon the common ground that we all stood upon (being against the war!), and were able to have a rather successful semester despite the drain that we felt because of the election.


Alam: It seems that in the election s aftermath, the number of meetings and mobilizations has been on the rise. Has this been true in your area? Is the movement seeing just old faces returning, or is there a new layer of freshmen and other youth showing up at meetings and demonstrations?


Monique: Most people are feeling a combination of depression and outrage at the fact that Bush will be in office for four more hears. Overall there is a renewed sense on campuses that we need to stop Bush. In some places this has exploded into a lot of activity, like at City College in New York City where a group of students kicked military recruiters off campus in two separate incidences and are now launching a campaign to kick them off for good. But there are some very real political challenges and obstacles that we face that are connected to the challenges of the election.


Since the elections all the corporate media have drawn the conclusion that Kerry lost because he went too far to the left. But that s just their newest way of telling us to sit down and shut up. During the elections it was by telling us to vote for Kerry, and now it is by telling us that we need to moderate our goals if we ever want to reach middle America. Unfortunately no one is pointing out that maybe Bush won because he faced no real opposition. And as long as there is no opposition to this unending war on the world we can rest assured that Bushism will be carried out by every administration- Republican and Democratic alike.


Josh: There has most definitely been a serious upturn in struggle, which has translated into definitive growth. In Rochester a new high school CAN chapter has recently formed in the city and participated in several demonstrations. While a few of the old faces have been around, they haven t been very active, largely coming around to events. On my campus we ve lost a lot of our original members to graduation, financial problems, transfers (one transferred to another school and is now also on the coordinating committee as an at large representative). The bulk of activity has been from people new to the movement. A lot of the members of the group on my campus are first year students, which is really great, because it means that we can have a much stronger long-term outlook.


Desmond: There was a relatively large, angry protest after the election in Downtown Atlanta, right near GSU. We planned for it in advance. A lot of high school students came out, a couple of students from other universities showed up. At almost every school there s an opportunity to win people away from the bankruptcy of the Democratic Party as the main vehicle for change, and to a left, activist alternative.


There is a mix of old and new in the student antiwar movement here. The old faces are really old faces--people haven t been active since the US toppled Saddam s statue. I think activists should try to re-involve students who haven t been around for a while. They might be ready to get active again.


The new students are really encouraging. There are a lot of high school and even middle school students who show up at antiwar rallies in the city, and they have a sense of urgency that has been lacking for so long.


Daniel: The Berkeley campus felt a significant political and emotional backlash after the election was over: there were many students who felt outraged, disillusioned, and disconnected when Bush was re-elected. These emotions did not exacerbate the problems facing the movement, but instead acted as a fuel to redouble our efforts and concentrate on the job at hand: ending the war. The aftermath of the election, combined with the assault on Fallujah that occurred shortly afterward, were used by the Coalition as ways of engaging potential members in political and organizational discussion. This has led to a significant number of new faces at our weekly meetings, which has brought a lot of great ideas and new thought patterns to our group. Attracting new members has been a large concern of the Coalition, and our almost daily tabling efforts have thus far proved to be very valuable in building our presence on campus.


Alam: No doubt the anti-war formations across campuses come across resistance from Republicans and perhaps college administrations as well. What has been the intensity and coordination of groups hostile to the anti-war movement s politics? Have you or others you know faced organized harassment and intimidation in your experience?


Monique: Yes this has been a huge problem on campuses since Bush won. While Bush has been moving to cash in his political capital a lot of right-wingers have taken his lead and gone on the offensive. This includes incidences of racist scapegoating at San Francisco State from the College Republicans, a burst of FBI Raids and visits from the office of Homeland Security as well as a very coordinated effort to thwart Pro-Palestine organizing on campuses.


At Columbia University the administration has played a very harmful role in initiating an investigation against the Middle Eastern Studies Department by caving to a Pro-Israel group called the David Project and their campaign to marginalize professors who are critical of Israel and the US. President Bollinger is setting a dangerous precedent by creating a committee investigate claims of intimidation in the classroom. Rather than protecting his professors, Bollinger is giving credence to the accusations which amount to little more than politically motivated moves against pro-Palestinian professors for their criticism of Israel s right to exist as an exclusivist, apartheid state.


Josh: On my campus the College Republicans formed in response to the emergence of left wing groups, I guess that s why you could call them reactionary. They however are fairly disorganized and have had little practical impact on campus. At a mock debate before the elections which featured representatives for the democrats, republicans and Nader supporters, the Republicans made total fools of themselves the by insisting that the solution to air pollution was to pump it underground. They were also able to antagonize a very large former marine into nearly strangling them. The campus administration is another matter entirely. While they have been outwardly tolerant of our actions, we ve had to deal with a lot of administrative junk, such as our improper use of the Institute brand on our website, which required a hearing and paperwork.


We ve also had disagreements over the posting of flyers, where I personally was brought up on charges with the housing administration that were later found to be totally bogus but wasted much of my time. Rochester Institute of Technology is run by and for the military industrial complex. The CIA has in the past had direct involvement in the orientation of classes and whole programs to meet their needs. A lot of the research used for spy planes and satellites is done at RIT, as well as the retrofitting of military equipment, such as armored personnel carriers and fight bombers so that they can continue to serve past their designed usefulness. On several occasions we ve been followed by a suspicious individual whose appearance screams ex military (crew cut, sunglasses, pants tucked into his polished combat boots), who according to our administrative sources works for the office of the president. This individual has shown up at the doors of several of our members, apparently asking for someone else, which we find hard to believe. One of our previous presidents was actually fired for his direct ties to the CIA. Lately though its been fairly easy going.


Desmond: I don t know too much about student antiwar activists outside of Atlanta on this issue. But as for Georgia State, our main battle with the right-wingers was during the invasion, at our on campus demonstrations and through the student newspaper. Mostly, we only get the usual two or three pro-war guys who swear the US is fighting to liberate Iraqis and that the majority of Iraqis want the US to stay, but are just too intimidated to show it. But I suspect that will change as we become more visible.


There have been a lot of right-wing attacks on, and off, campuses across the country. Racists have targeted Arab, South Asian and Muslim students relentlessly.


I think the antiwar movement needs to build broad coalitions to wage fight-backs whenever something happens.


Daniel: Berkeley has seen little outright, organized resistance to our antiwar movement. I know that SF state has had some harassment problems in the past few months, but the Berkeley right has not done any serious attacks on us.


Alam: What are the major political and theoretical questions affecting the trajectory of the Campus Anti-war Network? What kind of debates have there been around the issues of supporting dissenting GIs, the nature of the Iraqi resistance, the issue of Palestine, and organizing and demonstration tactics?


Monique: In short the major political questions facing CAN are questions that face the larger antiwar movement as a whole. They include questions about how to best maintain and build an independent opposition like what we faced during the elections as well as questions about the nature of the war on terror as a whole. After much debate at the last CAN conference, we decided to pass a resolution in opposition to the whole logic of the war on terror, which was a big step forward for us. But the work doesn t stop there. We have a lot of work to do on our campuses to undo the damage that Kerry and Bush did in revitalizing the war on terror and making the repression of the Iraqi resistance about fighting terror. Somehow they have been able to paint people who fight tanks and fighter jets with homemade bombs and Kalashnikovs in Iraq and Palestine as terrorists, and we have a lot of work to do reverse that.


There was a lot of consensus at the last CAN conference that we need to do everything that we can to support dissenting GIs. These resisters signed up with the military to go to college, and we need to do everything we can to support them when they decide they can t take it anymore. They risk a lot more than we do when the refuse orders and it is our duty as the US based antiwar movement to have their backs so that they don t get punished and so others can feel confident to do the same. This means making a place for them to speak out when they are ready, so that they can decompress and feel supported by people who hate the death and maiming that this war has wreaked on Iraq and on working class GIs.


Josh: What a loaded question. The short answer is the debates have been long and incredibly political. The longer answer is that much of the discussions have not been so much disagreement with the stance for political reasons, it s been more about how these stances will affect our relations with other groups we want to work with. So far I don t think we ve chased away any allies, which to me says that we re doing fairly well. The debate seems to always arise when we try to be sure that CAN is at the political tip of the sword being thrust into the heart of the logic of imperialism. Wow that was a slightly over the top metaphor, but I like it nonetheless.


Right now I can t really hit on any defining questions of the movement, which to me is kind of annoying, I want to identify the problem and solve it, but when the questions aren t clear its kind of frustrating.


Desmond: Coming out of our November national conference CAN was unified in the idea that reaching out to soldiers and doing counter-recruitment work would be our main long-term focus. Most of us recognize that GI resistance is what stopped the war in Vietnam, and it is the job of the antiwar movement to make sure soldiers are a part of this movement.


Daniel: The issue of Palestine has been a large issue facing our Coalition for the past semester. We organized a small presentation at one of our meetings on the issue, which was followed by an engaging discussion. As a whole, our group fervently supports the Palestinian cause and views the issue as inextricably linked to the war in Iraq. American support of the Israeli occupation is nothing more than another manifestation of Western imperialism, and therefore the plight of the Palestinian people is intricately interwoven in the work of the antiwar movement. That being said, this is not the unanimous opinion of the Coalition (though it is certainly the majority), and the discussion that we typically have concerning Palestine can be rather heated.


This semester the Coalition has also fielded discussion about the methods and tactics that are used by the antiwar movement. This has resulted in quite a bit of discourse on what could be called small victories for the antiwar movement. That is, we feel that the best way to increase interest, participation, and belief that the antiwar movement can actually do something is to accomplish veritable results in our local area. Part of the dilemma facing the movement is that there are many people who oppose the war, but they do not feel confident that any sort of grassroots organizing can actually cause any change. If the Coalition is able to demonstrate the value of small scale organizing by winning a definitive victory, then more people will have faith in the antiwar movement as a whole. Several ideas that we have floated on this subject are to field/support a peace candidate for local office and to expel military recruiters from campus.


Alam: All the major pretexts propping up the case for war prior to the launch of the invasion have clearly been demolished in the past 18 months. Has this had a tangible effect on the confidence of anti-war activists, or on the ability to persuade undecided students to anti-war politics? What kind of arguments and rationalizations do the pro-war groups come up with in response?


Monique: Certainly, the fact that all of the justifications for the war that Iraq had weapons of Mass Destruction, that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat the US, that there were any links between Hussein and al-Queda have all been laid bare. This is definitely important for the antiwar movement as a whole. But in the process of invading and occupying Iraq, the US has created facts on the ground (to borrow a phrase from Israeli tactics in the West Bank and Gaza) by entrenching their occupation, sowing the seeds for rivalry between the Kurds, and the Sunni and the Shia. And then the very conditions of instability and nepotism that the US has created by being there become the excuse for why they can t leave. What a difference a year makes.


We need to be able to take the lead of groups like Military Families Speak Out and the Iraqi resistance itself in order to get the troops home from Iraq now. They have been saying from the beginning: Out Now! And this is because they know first hand what it means to live under as well as execute an occupation. This requires cutting through the rationale that we can t cut and run in Iraq, that there will be chaos if we leave. And this requires a historical sense that this is exactly what every colonizer from the British in India and Iraq to the French in Algeria said to hold onto their colonial territories.


The pro-war campus groups just take their lead from the warmongers themselves. They rely on jingoism and deception to back up their arguments. And they don t have to work very hard because they get their arguments from the politicians and most major media outlets. We, on the other hand have a lot more difficult work ahead of us. But we don t have much of a choice.


Josh: The Bush Administration should be totally discredited in every way imaginable, but they haven t been. The biggest arguments we seem to come up against from the undecided are the Chaos Theory, in which if we leave now Iraq will just descend into total anarchy, the Pottery Barn Theory, where we ve broken Iraq and now we have to stay and fix it and to a lesser extent the idea that elections will solve the problem. The aggravating thing is that I encounter these arguments amongst those who I had thought already opposed to the war. For now I m going to leave the explanation and refutation of those theories up to others like Left Hook and Counter Punch, cause you ve done a good job of it already, a much better one then I could do now.


Desmond: I think the US is pretty much caught with its pants down in the eyes of most students at GSU. The pro-war groups really haven t had to rationalize the situation, but they have anyway. Their argument is that America will be made weaker if we cut and run and they throw in something about fighting terror, etc. A lot what we wave been struggling against is not from conservatives, but liberals who think well we broke it, now we have to fix it, as if Iraq was something they bought from a store.


Daniel: I have personally been involved in the movement for only one semester, so I cannot judge the relative confidence of the movement. But I can say that our Coalition is utterly confident in our cause, and I believe that many of us knew that the pretexts of the war were bogus before any of the recent information came out. The publicity surrounding much of the recent evidence refuting Bush s pretexts (such as WMD, the al-Qaida links, etc.) has defiantly aided our outreach efforts, as most people we encounter recognize the misinformation, even if they still believe that the US is doing the right thing. The arguments that our opponents put forth are generally echoes of the Freedom and Liberty jargon used by the Bush Administration, as well as continued reinforcement of Iraq as the new front in the War on Terror . Many people who believe that war was an injustice (and of course, the pro-war people as well) will nonetheless argue that the US must now remain in Iraq, for they believe that a complete withdrawal will result in chaos and disorder. We have done our best convey the necessity of military withdrawal, but this remains a prevalent attitude among the general student population. In the coming semester, we are hoping to better utilize the case for withdrawal and break through this argument.


Alam: What kind of protests and actions are being planned on campuses in your area? Are there any large-scale mobilizations or new initiatives being undertaken?


Monique: On January 20 many students are going to protest Bush s Inauguration. There will be protests in DC and San Francisco as well as solidarity protests in cities all across the country. Some schools will still be on break and some will just be getting back, but students will find a way to get there. Unfortunately the large antiwar groups are not really mobilizing for it so we are kind of on our own to organize caravans and busses. It won t be like in 2000, but we just can t let this man be inaugurated without an opposition.


In January CAN will be developing our strategy for how to best take advantage of the recent court ruling making it illegal for the Feds to pull funding from schools that kick military recruiters off campuses. This is very important because federal funding has been the major stick that the government has used to keep schools from challenging the presence of recruitment on campuses and we need to find a way to take advantage of it. There is a really strong sense at schools that people want to target military recruitment in some way because it gives people a very concrete, goal oriented way to oppose the war and all of its domestic ramifications.


We also need to find ways to fight back against right wing and racist campaigns. Like at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in New York State where in order to graduate, seniors will be forced to listen to a lecture by Daniel Pipes, Islamophobe extraordinaire. Locally, the antiwar and Muslim groups are working together to expose Pipes for the worthless racist that he is. We have a long way to go to push these people back on a national scale. It s clearly going to start on a local level but we need to find ways to support local initiatives and roll back all of the attacks on Muslims, Arabs and South Asians. Unfortunately, what s happening at RIT is only a small sample of the racist onslaught that has plagued the US since September 11. Campuses are by no means immune to this climate.


Josh: We recently mobilized to protest retired general Tommy Shock and Awe Franks when he came to speak in Rochester. It was really inspiring to see the handful of people who braved the pouring rain and strong winds when there was another progressive event going on two blocks away, indoors. Our plans include a lot of publicity stunts to begin rebuilding awareness of the antiwar movement, as well as more protests and educational events. On a national level there s going to be mobilization for the presidential inauguration, not sure what the turnout is going to be, but it should be pretty militant. Also we re discussing a nationwide demilitarization of schools campaign, to kick recruiters and ROTC off of our campuses. If we could win that we d be well on our way to mortally crippling the war effort.


Desmond: We re trying to have speak-outs at Georgia State; there aren t any plans for broad student actions, yet, but I think it s really important for campus antiwar groups to make sure they re visible on campus every week, with information, buttons, stickers, flyers, and all that.


For some actions you ll be lucky enough to bring out a large crowd just on publicity, but groups need to make sure they have a base. It s the difference between just seeing a flyer on the wall and having someone hand it to you. It s much better to have someone hand you the flyer and talk to you about why this protest, or meeting is so important.


Daniel: Our chapter is organizing several events for the upcoming semester. The first event is still rather tentative, but we are determined to organize some sort of large scale demonstration on campus to highlight the massive toll the war has taken on human life. We are hoping to construct several hundred cardboard tombstones to symbolize the number of human lives that have been taken (probably on a scale of 200:1, which means about 500 tombstones). These will be places on the main glade at the school where there is a consistent and large amount of foot traffic. We hope that the demonstration will raise awareness of the Coalition and provide a rather shocking visual that will spur students to become involved in organizing. The demonstration will also act as a venue to publicize a forum that we will be putting on the next week, at which an Iraqi Veteran (or two) and a professor will speak. Last semester we held a similar forum with a member of Iraqi Veterans Against the War, but her addition to the speaker s list was on such short notice that we were not able to spread the word sufficiently. We hope to use the forum as a way of educating the student body of the real situation in Iraq, as well as a means of engaging potential new members. Both of these events will be held as part of the framework of our larger campaign for the semester, which is to kick military recruiters off campus. We view the recent decision to allow Colleges to expel recruiters as an opportunity to achieve a small victory that can instill confidence in the movement (and of course, to actually do something).


Alam: What is the relationship between the youth anti-war movement and anti-war GI veterans of the Iraq war and from previous wars? Is this becoming an increasingly relevant issue?


Monique: This is of course a relevant issue. Students are vets and vets are students. We invite members of veterans peace groups and military families groups to speak on panels on campuses all the time. It has helped us significantly to drive home the reality of war and occupation, which can so often be missing from academic discussions about war. People realize that these are real people with real experiences and real grievances. And that is something that people want to become a part of- a movement that is trying to make a real difference and stop a war that is destroying so many people s lives. We are beginning to meet vets on our campuses that are coming back from Iraq and we are telling them about groups like Iraq Veterans Against the War, and Military Families Speak Out. Vets need to know that if they speak out they will be supported.


Josh: This has been a generally positive relationship, though some friction has occurred over our support for the Iraqi s right to self-determination and the resistance, which is totally understandable. On that point I like the line that Tom Barton of GI Special uses, If you don t like the resistance, End the occupation. I think that in order for all of us to successfully end the war, we re going to need to work together and this means that we re going to have to have these debates out and that we may have to learn to agree to disagree with each other. In the end, I think that our combined efforts here and the efforts of those in Iraq, both Iraqis and US soldiers opposed to the occupation, is what will be necessary to bring this war to an end.


Desmond: More student antiwar activists are realizing that if we want to end the war, we have to support the resistance within the military. This means working with military families and vets but, in particular, reaching out to soldiers--people who are actually in the military. I think the main task of the antiwar movement is to make soldiers feel like they are a part of the movement and to give them confidence to take the actions necessary to end the war.


We need to make sure antiwar military families are in touch with each other on the local level. We need to let soldiers know about organizations like Iraq Veterans Against the War, publications for GIs like Traveling Soldier and GI Special, and we need to listen to soldiers. A lot of them feel like civilians are just blind to what s going on. They feel isolated, and they want someone to listen to them.


Daniel: Maintaining a strong relationship with Iraqi and previous war veterans is vital to furthering the anti-war movement as a whole. Last semester our Coalition realized the value of the veterans and brought a soldier with IVAW and a Vietnam veteran to speak, and we are determined to maintain and develop that relationship by having them return and speak this coming semester. Personally, when I heard Diana (the IVAW representative) speak, I was moved almost to the point of tears. The government and mainstream media only convey the realities of the war that suit their purpose, so hearing the true state of the occupation straight from the lips of some one who has actually been there, in the streets and on the rooftops, is a revealing experience. The veterans have the unique ability to convey the emotive and human aspects of the war that commonly get lost amid the statistics and political discourse surrounding the war. And if the current movement is to take one lesson from the antiwar movement of the 60s, it is that the involvement of returning troops can be the catalyst we need to become a truly effective grassroots force. The broad mass of the American public are much more likely to heed the words of a returning solider who is opposed to the war than a bunch of college students.


Alam: What is the general sentiment among college anti-war activists about the holistic war on terror ? Do most people see Iraq as a separate issue, or as part and parcel of an overall war agenda that includes certain long-term designs on the Arab/Islamic world?


Monique: I think it is very hard to say what the general sentiment is. This has to do with the weakness of the antiwar movement in this particular moment and our struggle to have an impact on general sentiment. But it also has to do with some of the extremely difficult questions that this occupation has raised. Certainly many, many people are still against the war. But what does that mean now? Many people are leery to call for troops to leave Iraq now. This I believe comes out of the false idea that the US could potentially play a positive roll in Iraq.


The legacy of the Vietnam War made subsequent US wars harder to sell for a number of years. But many people our age are growing up in a time when from the 1990 s to today politicians are doing everything in their power to resell and repackage both the Vietnam War in particular and US wars in general. I know that during Kerry s bid for president many activists from the 1960 s were saying Since when was the Vietnam war a good war?! But unfortunately we need to reclaim that history of resistance and opposition to all US wars. Because it has been appropriated by people like Kerry and whitewashed to be just about a few bad policy mistakes.


The lesson of that period is that US wars are all about extending US power and domination, and never about what they say they are about restoring freedom, or extending democracy. Today the same goes for the war on terror. Many still see the invasion of Iraq as a bad mistake- a diversion from the real war on terror. But people need to keep in mind that the movement against the Vietnam War was only able to make headway when they denounced the whole Cold War and the logic of fighting communism, which of course was the pretext for that slaughter.


The legacy of how the Vietnam antiwar movement became effective has a lot of relevance for our struggle today. And we need to study that history because there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. We ll need a lot more of that history in the struggles ahead because as the pitch of our struggle rises there will be even more voices of moderation telling us to sit down and shut up.


Josh: I think that most activists are opposed to the war on terror but there is still some debate as to what exactly the nature of the war on terror is and what opposition to it entails. The problem is that many of those outside the movement are still confused as to the nature of the war on terror and thus many feel that having to defend this position will interfere with building the movement. Which I couldn t disagree with more, the more we discuss these issues and come to agreement the stronger our movement is, especially if we can survive the debate. There have been moments in the past where the debate was so heated I was worried that CAN might fall apart, but in the end we came out of those debates stronger people.


Desmond: There are many who think the idea of the US actually fighting a war on terror is an entire sham, since the US is largest terrorist in the world. There are others who for example, maybe supported the war on Afghanistan because they feel there is a threat and the US has to do something. Some activists who recognize that the US is incapable of bringing justice also emphasize what the war on terror really is: it is racism against Arabs and Muslims; it is tens of thousands of dead Iraqis and Afghanis; it is the new Cold War. The war on Falluja a brutal attempt to crush Iraqi resistance was fought under the guise of


Daniel: The antiwar movement itself understands the inherent flaws in the War on Terror, and views the entire current imperialist/militarist policy of the government as currently manifesting itself in the war on Iraq. The War on Terror is nothing more than a front used by the government to carry out its policy with the approval of the American public. US support of the occupation of Palestine, as well as the recent discourse from the Bush Administration concerning Iran, demonstrate that American imposition into the Middle East via Iraq is not an isolated incident. A key point for the antiwar movement is to reveal that the real motives behind the War on Terror (ie. Oil, power, etc.) are not the motives claimed by the government. Though only half the American people support the War in Iraq, the vast majority support the War on Terror, and the antiwar movement must illuminate the link between the two. Any sort of overarching war agenda is unacceptable, not only the war in Iraq.



M. Junaid Alam, 21, is co-editor of Left Hook. He can be reached at alam@lefthook.org.