Friday, October 19, 2007

Building The Anti-War Movement

One of the main themes for Mobilization Against War and Occupation(MAWO) Vancouver which has been highlighted in our recent discussions has been the growth of the Anti-War movement, around the world, but especially in Canada and the United-States. The Anti-War movement of the late 60s and 70s in the United-States was, at its peak, a tremendous force, but like any other social justice movement it transformed itself over years of struggle and ups and downs. MAWO Vancouver is probably the most active anti-war organization in North America, but by no means is it the biggest, and the message which has been stressed by the veteran activists and revolutionaries of MAWO, is that the growth of the anti-war movement here in Vancouver and all accross North America and beyond requires first and foremost utmost patience. As was shown by the Anti-War Movement of the 60s and 70s, it will take years and years for the movement to grow from thousands to hundreds of thousands of active supporters, and along with those years of patience is required from the leadership the unwavering maintenance of a strong, grounded, and consistent position. Our position must never soften or shift giving any sort of concessions to the right, it must be one of militant and genuinely revolutionary committment, but we must also avoid the risk of alienating and losing the masses by going too far left.

One of the most common problems in the early stages of an anti-war movement is that our moral supporters are quick to doubt the effectiveness of our smaller numbers, and become impatient because they cannot see immediate tangible results. A few days ago myself and a copule of fellow revolutionaries were tableing and petioning at Simon Fraser University. I approached and began to speak with two women who both signed the petition. The older of the two told me she would gladly sign the petition, but that she thought it was all in vain, that she wasn't seeing any results from our efforts, and that our numbers are too small for us to make a difference. The unfortunate reality is that there are so many people out there, just like that woman, who believe in our cause, but think it is simply not worth making an effort. In response to that, the important thing to realize is that if we can convert all those moral supporters into active supporters, the Anti-War Movement will quickly swell from hundreds, to thousands, to tens of thousands, and beyond.

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