Thursday, June 19, 2008

Antiwar Voices Must Be More Radical, Not Less

A great argument for not letting the other side paint you as "extremist".
The powers that be will always try to claim that social movements are “out of touch” with “regular” people. But the movement can’t confront this accusation by adapting to it and excluding radical and left organizations and individuals.

This will only poison the atmosphere of open debate and dialogue that sustains any healthy and growing movement–and marginalize and alienate many experienced and committed activists. And activists will never be successful in mollifying those intent on wielding such criticisms in any case–they’ll make such claims anyway.

Eric Ruder argues that, faced with similar attempts to paint union support as "Communist," Martin Luther King Jr. refused to back down. He didn't compromise the principle that the struggle of blacks and the struggle of the working class were intertwined. Today's anti-war movement, says Ruder, must similarly refuse to compromise on related anti-war issues, such as speaking out against Muslim and Arab prejudice at home, or bringing the war in Afghanistan to an end.