Rules of the road

Kasama

On the Shelf

« Rage Against the Machine Re-Unites! | Main | Note on sock-puppetry »

February 15, 2007

Comments

the burningman

For folks in New York – come up to Columbia University tomorrow.

Events start on campus at noon.

Sunsara Taylor and Liam Madden are also speaking at Columbia and there are two teach-ins from World Can't Wait scheduled in the coming days... check the WCW website.

The right-wing decided to make Columbia a test case for academic purges. From the Zionist attack on the Middle Eastern studies program to the Minutement imbroglio – there's a political fight there that's particularly sharp.

Chanders

Check out the cowardly behavior by the Campus Democrats. Well on their way to a life of compromise and waffling, at the link on my name.

the burningman

Hope to see you at Columbia mañana, Chanders...

Your point is the one a certain unnamed group has been making more broadly: we can't count on the Democrats.

What that means is we have to literally create the opposition we need, not just "pick" the "best" option...

Toni Sunshine

A certain unnamed group?

I believe everyone on the left has been making this point for years.

In fact i was at a forum the other day which got interupted (as always) by the 4th internationlists who seemed to want to hammer home the point that the democrats "represented the imperialist butchers of baghdad"

Lets not pat ourselves on the back for making an argument that is far from unique.

Good luck tomorrow, although i dont have much faith in calls for walk-outs without any popular base to back up such a call, hopefully some of those kids get up out of their seats for a change.

the burningman

Far from unique, no doubt – but further still from ubiquitous.

Stanley W. Rogouski

Your point is the one a certain unnamed group has been making more broadly: we can't count on the Democrats.

Speaking of the Democrats, I found this blog post.

Now these people are on the far left of the Democratic Party (probably Kucinich supporters) but they are terrified of mass protest.

http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2007/2/14/131557/728

They hate Hillary. They hate the war. But what they really fear is the idea that people even further to the left than they are are going to mess up 2008 for them.

And what they really want is for the war to go on, wreck the Republicans and make it possible to elect a leftist Democrat.

What despicable people. They almost make me want to join the Spartacists.

student

feb 15 info:

http://february15.wordpress.com

V.Aye

Good luck! I'm not in school any more, but this is right on time.

It seems like it was organized really fast. Hopefully this is a flare, not the fire.

Come March and April – there should be another national date!

Is this new SDS grouping involved?

LS

I don't know of any SDS chapters that are involved in today's call for student strikes. There may be some doing it but SDS groups didn't initiate the call.

A student meeting organized by some Southern SDS chapters at the School of the Americas protest last November united on a call for a national day of student and youth action against the war for March 20th.

So some SDS groups initiated and are definitely participating in that call.

See the call and the list (in formation) of campuses that are doing actions on March 20.

the burningman

Initial report from Columbia (event still in progress):

Three hundred students turned out in 15 degree weather to rally in front of the library. There were a number of speakers, high energy.

LS

The website for the March 20 National Student Day of Action Against the War is at http://march20antiwar.blogspot.com.

Keep building!

jibaro

for me there is something "off" about setting dates a month off.

This mounting pressure on Iran is intense, immanent, and demands more than just "let's meet again in a month."

I'm not sure what I'm suggesting....

But again, let's think of "what's needed" (not what is traditional, convenient, ordinary, expected.)

How can they be on one timeline and we on another??!!

Stanley W. Rogouski

There was a huge protest in Santa Barbara and they blocked the Freeway.

friendly advice

Jibaro says: "for me there is something "off" about setting dates a month off."

Yeah, there are those who believe in setting a permanent "crisis" mode where everything is immediately urgent, activists get worked to the bone until they break down.

Anyone else seen that? I sure have.

Four meetings a week... three hour meetings... phone calls at all hours... and so on. Bad work habits. Bad diets. Emotionally exhausting and alienating.

Setting a date a whole big month away allows for discussion in communities of people.

There are several dates coming.

Include multiple dates with announcements... like STRIKE today! Protest at the Pentagon March 17! National student strikes in April and May! And so on.

If groups are all busy working their own networks, pushing their "dates" or their emergency immediates – then not only do we lose out on any economies of scale, but the dedicated activists will burn out, grow to resent other people (because of their own exhaustion) and it won't do anyone any good.

If your world is on fire... run with it. But you a single spark can't start a prarie fire in the rain.

As chance would have it, I think we are at one of those moments where we have to push hard, and just about everywhere I look there are more people flipped about what's going on then there are activists to organize and involve these people.

Pick something. Do it. Do it well. Learn from it. Do something better.

friendly advice

Excellent news about Santa Barbara.

LS

I agree with 'friendly advice'. The March 20 student day of action was set by a student meeting in November at the SOA protest in Georgia. It was set for that date because that is the 4th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and also because it's late enough in the semester to allow students time to build up for it to make it as large and broad as possible.

I think it's excellent that there was a student strike called for Feb. 15th. But looking at some of the initial results, lets be honest. The Columbia Spectator is reporting the crowd there at 300. Lets be generous and assume they lowballed it and there were really 600 people there. That's still nowhere near what is possible, given time to really build it. Even moreso because supposedly the Columbia rally was being attended by NYU and CCNY students as well. Cold weather may have been a factor but still, there is enough antiwar sentiment on campuses that we can do better than a strike that only brings out 300 people.

That said, kudos to the Santa Barbara students who put out the call, and to the other students that picked it up at other schools, and to WCW for promoting it. We need to all be doing all we can to build the momentum and go broader and deeper as we move from protest to resistance, so it's not just the handful of activists making that leap but a much broader section of people.

Mobilize for DC for the March on the Pentagon on March 17, and build the student day of local actions on March 20!

Jimmy Higgins

I've breakingblogged the Santa Barbara deal over at Fire on the Mountain, and crossposted it at NY Indymedia.

Let's hope this winds up being taken up as more of a model than was the incredible struggle SDSers and others waged last May in Olympia, WA, to block trucks full of Strykers en route to the Big Sandbox. Rather, let's work to make sure it does, starting with spreading the word as widely as possible through the tubes of teh Internets.

Jimmy Higgins

I've breakingblogged the Santa Barbara deal over at Fire on the Mountain, and crossposted at NY Indymedia.

Let's hope this winds up more of a model than the incredible struggle SDSers and others waged last May in Olympia, WA, to block trucks full of Strykers en route to the Big Sandbox. Rather, let's work to make sure it does, starting with spreading the word as widely as possible through the tubes of teh Internets.

Stanley W. Rogouski

Rather, let's work to make sure it does, starting with spreading the word as widely as possible through the tubes of teh Internets.

It has a massive thread up on the Daily Kos that's been on the top of the recommended list for most of the morning and evening.

There are a few "oh protest doesn't work types" (probably work for Hillary) but the response is overwhelmingly positive.

If you've got a Kos account, hit the recommended button to keep it up a bit longer.

Fugh

Here's a big f-you to the idiots who pulled fire alarms in four buildings yesterday in a blatant effort to force people to participate. Nothing draws empathy to your cause like childish pranks that waste the time and resources of fire fighters who could otherwise be engaged in REAL emergencies. BTW, students do have a right to study and attend class if they choose to. Whether you want to judge such individuals as imperialist sympathizers (or whatever) is your call, opinions are like a**holes afterall, but pulling pranks like this only prove that you're fundamentally cut from the same cloth as the "my way or the highway" jerkoffs in the white house who got us into this mess in the first place.

Fugh -

How do you know the people who pulled the alarms were related to the protest?

How do you know that they didn't do this shit to discredit the protest?

leftclick

above post mine

"forced to protest"

Heaven forbid the gloriously entitled students of Columbia be inconvenienced for one second by an antiwar protest!

Nobody was forced to attend the protests. That's ridiculous.

And sorry, the world doesn't have to wait for everyone to "agree".

See, the problem is that 3 out of 4 Columbia students oppose the war... but 9 out of 10 of them have never done jack about it. "Not my problem" is the consensus among these future doctors, lawyers and bureaucrats of empire.

Kudos to that 1 in 10 that get it.

Pulling fire alarms is disruptive – but what's wrong with disrupting business as usual? I'm not advocating it, but a "big fuck you"? Please. How about a big fuck you to the people who act like protest is a fucking lifestyle choice, not what is needed to OBSTRUCT the normal business of the world (that is destroying the world).

questions

"BTW, students do have a right to study and attend class if they choose to."

Where do such "rights" come from? Do Iraqis have rights to study and attend class without being occupied and killed? Do Iranians have a "right" not to be threatened with attack (including by nukes)?

And when a strike is called of issues of this importance... does everyone have an obligation to engage (including disagree)?

Do people living in the U.S. have a "right" to avert their eyes, ignore what is done in their name, nestle into their private lives -- in short to be oblivious and complicit?

We live in a highly socialized and interconnected world. And what could be more "American" to assert the "right" to pretend to be apart from that, to retreat into private self-cultivation and career.

It is like living in Tony Soprano's house, and claiming "I have a right not to take a stand on what he does out there." But all the while, you KNOW on some level what it is, and why "all this material stuff" surrounds you.

That is not to say that the unawakened are enemies (at all!) -- but I question this assumption of personal "rights" to stand apart because you can. Is there a right to be a "Good German"? Doesn't humanity have a verdict on these questions that itself needs to be revisited and discussed?

questions

"Heaven forbid the gloriously entitled students of Columbia be inconvenienced for one second by an antiwar protest!"

Doesn't this whiff of revenge line actually take a wrong stand on the masses?

Is the issue here really the privilege of Columbia (versus CUNY or whatever)?

Is that petty resentment over relative privilege really the issue? And if not, why drag it front and center -- when OTHER things are the issue?

And if so, I assume you also disagree with chosing Columbia as the focal point of the day?

This is exactly the outlook criticized in the talk "Not the Last Shall be First"

The comments to this entry are closed.

Hot Shots