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Cassandra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 08:31 AM
Original message
ANSWER deliberately lied about the start of the march...
to hold onto their captive audience.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/25/205136/412

"I'm sorry, but these people are scum. For example, after about the third anti-Israel speaker left the stage, and the audience began to walk off, probably in disgust, one of the emcees came out and said, "We have a very important announcement about the march itself. We have a very important announcement about the march itself..."

Then they sent Gloria LaRiva from the National Committee to Free the Cuban 5 claiming that it's "not possible to move right now so yo are actually better off in staying here a little while longer cause it's totally jammed."

This, according to a friend who was there, was an abject lie. They were so desperate to keep an audience for their parade of radical speakers that they lied to the audience to keep them from joining the march.

Make no mistake, ANSWER is not our friend. And we must never again allow our real movement to be associated with them. In fact, we should do our best to make sure that no one ever shows up to one of their events again."

I am willing to march if ANSWER is attending, as they were last summer in NYC, but I will NOT participate if they are controlling the agenda. Their agenda is not mine.
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BlueEyedSon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. Join them and shift their focus from the inside
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Cassandra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. The only reason I would ever join them...
is to find out where the hell they're getting their money from. Personally, I'm not a PI and have no desire for a "We're All Palestinians Now" T-shirt.
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belle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #1
11. If I'm going to do that, I'll stick to the Democratic party, thanks.
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
2. Or mine.
OK, lets see what we can do to avoid needing them in the future.

Who here wants to help organize a focused anti-war, anti-Republican group to stage the next big rally?
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oblivious Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. I guess this is the solution.
We have the same problem in Hong Kong with different groups piggybacking on the anti-Iraq war demonstrations, resulting in a confusing unfocused event for many participants who weren't expecting that.

I've been wondering what to do about that. I guess the best thing is to organise the demonstrations myself.
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Exactly.
We have to be willing to put it on the line if we want a focussed demonstration.
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Cassandra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. Why can't we work with UFPJ?
They got the NYC permits last year and ran a very well organized march of 500,000. I was in it and was very impressed. If they get the permits first, join with Moveon for organizing and AAR for publicity, why would we have any use for ANSWER? Someone suggested in another thread that if they can secure the permits before they announce possible dates, ANSWER won't beat them to it.
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Either Move-On of UFPJ would be good.
Warning... They tend to invite the ANSWER people along for the ride, so we would have to make it very clear to them that this is not a good idea. If ANSWER wants to have a presence, that is OK, and I don't know how we could stop them in any case, but not setting the agenda or the speakers.
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Cassandra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. ANSWER was at the NYC march
I could see their banners and t-shirts here and there, but they weren't allowed to speak (hardly anyone spoke). They simply joined in with everyone else and it was OK.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
3. That's cheesy but it's hardly outrageous
Now, having said that, by two hours into the rally on a pretty fall day, I had a hard time watching and found myself sorting laundry and putting on my dirty shoes to go work in the garden. I don't know how extreme the "anti-Israel" speeches were. I got the "strident and dreadful" part.
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DrZeeLit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. When they started chanting "Intifada," I was totally embarrassed...and
beyond annoyed.

And YES, I was there, standing not five feet from the girl with the megaphone....

We quickly moved to the sidewalk and around them.

I went in good faith to march against the war. All the other stuff grated. And I could see why no politicians would join. They couldn't be linked to this stuff.

I wore a t-shirt that stated I was a regular mom who paid taxes and voted and was against war and taught my children those values. I just wanted people to know -- we are normal, not radical, but mainstream.

Sheesh.
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eallen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. What is their thinking?
The closest I can figure is that they think one of two sides in a conflict must be right and pure. But do they really think that any of the Palestinian factions are pushing to create a liberal democracy?
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #7
14. & I can see the schism with UFPJ
ANSWER did a good job with the coronation-inauguration protest in January, but they obviously went back to their old, annoying ways.
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Cassandra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. An interesting comment from the Dailykos thread...
"The History of This Event (4.00 / 10)

I'm involved in two organizations that are members of UFPJ. One has a representative on the UFPJ governing board. So I have some sense of the internal politics of this march.

UFPJ had planned an event for DC for 9/24. ANSWER got wind of these plans, quickly put in their own permits, and demanded that UFPJ join with them to make it a united event.

At first UFPJ resisted, because like just about every other organization that's ever worked with ANSWER in the past, they had terrible experiences doing so.

But ANSWER proceeded to bombard peace groups around the country with a series of messages attacking UFPJ for splitting the peace movement. In addition, they issued other divisive messages to a more limited set of peace groups. For example, they suggested that UFPJ (which has a strong official position in favor of Palestinian statehood) was insufficiently pro-Palestinian. For some audiences, ANSWER began to claim that UFPJ was racist or segregationist (the supposed basis of this claim was that one of the few actually independent membership organizations in the ANSWER "coalition" -- which is in fact made up of a series of other Workers World front groups -- is a major Arab-American group...and since this group was in ANSWER, UFPJ was ipso facto racist!). In some quarters, UFPJ was said to be "Zionist" dominated.

Other bits of ANSWER-originated anti-UFPJ propaganda: UFPJ was a bunch of redbaiters for refusing to work with ANSWER. Or, UFPJ was a frontgroup for hawkish Democrats, designed to defang the antiwar movement by focusing too narrowly on the war itself.

But the centerpiece of all this blather was the notion that UFPJ was splitting the peace movement.

It's worth pausing for a second to note the way ANSWER works. ANSWER reflects its origins in the sectarian, Marxist-Leninist left (specifically the Workers World Party). ANSWER is deeply authoritarian in its structure. Decisions are made in a top-down fashion, reflecting their vanguardist political beliefs. It is a "coalition" that includes virtually no truly independent groups as members. ANSWER tends to announce unity statements first, and then demand that others sign off on them. Even when ANSWER makes compromises in negotiations with cosponsoring groups, they frequently renege on these promises at the last minute And ANSWER uses its front groups to push its line, both on issus of substance, and on tactical infighting with other peace groups.

Let me note that there's nothing necessarily Marxist about these tactics (many of them have been borrowed by the much more mainstream right in recent decades), nor do Marxists -- many of whom have pretty deep commitments to honest, democratic organization -- necessarily practice them. I say this only because it's at this point in the conversation that ANSWER tends to accuse their interlocutors of redbaiting.

At any rate, back to the history...by the middle of the summer, a variety of pseudo-independent organizations were clamoring for "unity" on 9/24. The highwater mark was a supposedly independent call for unity that was issued in July over the names of a bunch of very impressive signators.

I can attest that among grassroots peace activists who really didn't know UFPJ from ANSWER these calls had a profound effect. One of ANSWER's advantages is that it is small and authoritarian. It can turn on a tactical dime. UFPJ is a large, and somewhat messy, diverse coalition of groups that has to constantly keep its member organizations happy. Eventually UFPJ decided that it was simplest to work with ANSWER, and actually managed to carve out a plan of action in which they had a fair bit of independence. The problem was, ANSWER apparently got what it needed: just enough ground to claim the entire march as their own.

I actually think the answer to the ANSWER problem is simple: live and let live. UFPJ should have stuck to its guns and proceeded with its separate march. The message had to be "let a hundred flowers bloom." Unity is not the most important value. So what if the peace marchers participate in two parallel events so long as both are calling for an end to the war? If other peace activists simply refuse to let ANSWER bully its way to the front of every event, ANSWER will be reduced to what it really is: a small if tactically sophisticated fringe group. "
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. So ANSWER horned in on UFPJ, who already had the permits
That was quite an account. I had been hoping to just ignore ANSWER, but now I am getting p--d off. I would like to compare notes with our local peace organization.
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deutsey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #15
27. I agree (especially the last paragraph). Thanks for posting this!
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displacedtexan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 08:39 AM
Response to Original message
6. Here's what I saw...
I was with Billionaires For Bush in front of the US Treasury bldg.

Everything was fine until a group of Anti-Zionists hopped onto the balcony behind us and started screaming "Death to Israel" through a bullhorn.

This went on for about 15 minutes, then the marchers in the street started asking them to shut up so they could hear us Billionaires do our "Pro-Bush" chants and skits.

They finally went away.
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redwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #6
25. Were you the yachtsman? Or the pretty lady in tiara?
Loved you guys, whichever one you were! Billionaires for Bush is a great idea, love it, love it, love it!
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 09:20 AM
Response to Original message
16. ANSWER and UFPJ have split up, acc. to Will Pitt
or at least developed a temporary rift.

Pitt posted to me on a DU thread that this rift resulted in two separate stages and two separate sets of speakers on Saturday. This is also why there were no march coordinators leading the crowd or keeping the march moving. it kept stalling in various places and nobody knew what to do.

Here's something from Wikipedia on ANSWER:
From Wikipedia:

ANSWERis a protest organization established by the International Action Center, which was founded by former United States attorney general Ramsey Clark and has taken a leading role in the post-9/11 antiwar movement. The organization characterizes itself as anti-imperialist, and its steering committee consists of socialists, civil rights lawyers, and progressive organizations from the Muslim, Arab, Palestinian, Filipino, Haitian, and Latin American communities...

...Other prominent organizational endorsers include the Freedom Socialist Party, Green Party USA, and Vietnam Veterans Against The War Anti-Imperialist. Prominent individual endorsers include comedian Dick Gregory, Robert Meeropol of the Rosenberg Fund for Children, author Michael Parenti, and historian Howard Zinn.

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Clark2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #16
21. Well, that "ANSWER"s my question earlier.
Ramsey Clark (while having a perfectly lovely name - my son's name is Ramzey and I support Wes Clark) is a nut.

And, I can see that the rhetoric regarding Israel was over-the-top; however, Arabs, particularly Palestinians, do have a right to have a beef with the STATE of Israel and not be called anti-Semetic.

Afterall, Arabs are Semetic, too.

And, I say this as the ex-wife of a Muslim man and the future wife of a Jewish man. I'm pretty well-rounded in my religious affliations. I'm the one-woman UN. LOL.
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #16
22. The separate stage being where Operation Ceasefire rally occurred?
Interesting. I saw what I thought was someone with an ANSWER money bucket working that crowd.
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Union Thug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 09:27 AM
Response to Original message
18. aha..the infighting left continues to shoot itself in the foot.
When will EVERYONE figure out that this is all about the distribution of wealth and class divisions? Bottom line, it's all about economy.

Even when dealing with the wack-job religious side of the political spectrum, economy it the tool used by those in power to manipulate the masses.

Instead of the retarded circlular firing squads we inevitably
find ourselves in, we should all be uniting behind the single most important aspect of political life - a fair and just global economic system.

"I am a citizen of the world."

Just my opinion, of course.
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. I don't call it infighting - I call it possible sabotage
I strongly suspect there are elements in ANSWER that want to hijack the peace movement, dilute it, or derail it. I wouldn't be surprised if these elements came from some CIA-type people who have infiltrated ANSWER for the express purpose of derailing the anti-war movement.

Stuff like this went on during the Vietnam War protests as well. I remember attending many protests that were planned as peaceful and nonviolent, in which small groups of crazies and agitators tried to drive the crowds to commit violent or destructive acts. They would turn over cars and garbage cans and set fire to them. They ended up making all of us look bad, and giving an excuse to the war hawks to denounce us.

There were also various groups with their own agendas trying to take over the organization of the big marches. Again, looking back I suspect that some of these people were there with the intent of screwing up the peace marches.
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Union Thug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-27-05 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #20
30. Good point.
And certainly not without precedent.
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Freddie Stubbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 09:28 AM
Response to Original message
19. If you lay down with dogs...
...you wake up with fleas.
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iconoclastNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
23. This is not bullshit!
I was there.....and i was walking away from the stage, out of bordom, mind you....we were stuck there because of traffic...it took us about 40 minutes to turn the corner....there was a log jam of people.

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Czolgosz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
24. I had thought ANSWER was an effective anti-war anti-neo-con-imperialist
coalition. Am I wrong (this is not merely a rhetorical question)? It sounds like there were some bad actions with respect to the crowd manipulation and some obviously strident rhetorical excesses which served no cause and some turf feuding, but that seems like a problem of individuals and isolated misdeeds rather than a problem that demands ostracizing a whole coalition.

I had understood ANSWER to be opposed to the human rights abuses perpetrated against the Palestinians, but I never understood ANSWER as advocating in favor of (or denying the existence of) the human rights abuses perpetrated against Israelis. Am I wrong (again, this is not a rhetorical question and I'd be grateful to be corrected if I am wrong)?

Here in Texas, progressive infighting was a part of transition from a Democratic state where Jim Hightower and Ann Richards were elected to a Republican state that gave you all the Bush-Cheney-Rove pack.

In Texas, the Democratic party suffered from the fact that Republicans managed to demonize labor to the degree that other Democratic voters who were attracted to the party for reasons other than labor-related issues stopped supporting pro-labor causes, they demonized trial attorneys and the civil justice system so that Democrats who were drawn to the party with other concerns as their primary issues stopped supporting pro-consumer causes, they demonized the communities that sought immigration fairness, they demonized feminists, they demonized environmentalists, they demonized gays, they demonized advocates of urban initiatives, they demonized us all. In the end, the Republicans succeeded in dissuading too many Democrats from supporting their natural allies.

I hate to see progressive groups turn on one another.
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deutsey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
26. I was disappointed when I heard ANSWER and UFPJ joined forces
I personally think they should have kept ANSWER's rally over on the ellipse and UFPJ's over by the Washington Monument as was originally planned.

I do not like ANSWER, but I do like that they're out there organizing. I think they should keep doing what they're doing, but I would also prefer attending only events that are UFPJ and CODE PINK led.
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Marleyb Donating Member (736 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
28. COINTELPRO
If they infiltrated peace groups in the 60's, imagine what Bushco is doing these days...
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txaslftist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-26-05 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
29. The simple answer: No ANSWER at the next rally.
Get the permits BEFORE announcing the event so ANSWER can't pre-empt them; once you have the permits and announce the event, PEOPLE WILL COME.
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