US Anti-War Movement Grows

by Tom Crean, New York, member of Socialist Alternative (CWI's affiliate in the US)

Socialist Voice February 2003

THE ANGER against the Bush administrations relentless drive towards war against Iraq is growing. Increasing numbers of people clearly see the war preparations as having little or nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction and everything to do with control of the oil supplies of the Middle East.

On 18 January, the growing anti-war movement in the US took another important step forward when a crowd estimated at over 200,000 braved the cold in Washington DC. The protest was very diverse with large numbers of high school and college students but also many veterans of the '60s anti war movement and many people who had never been to a demonstration before in their lives. Meanwhile, another 50,000 people rallied in San Francisco, and thousands more demonstrated in Portland, Oregon and other cities across the US.

Opposition to the war is also being fuelled by domestic factors including the state of the economy. Almost 200,000 jobs were lost across the US in November and December alone. Large sections of the population are deeply uneasy when they see the estimates of the possible costs of the war running into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

On top of this is the reality that it will not be the rich who will have to fight and possibly die on the streets of Baghdad but working class and minority youth. It is very significant that a number of trade unions and labour councils including, for example, the Washington State Labor Council and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers Union (UE) have taken a strong stand against the war. Recently, 100 delegates representing over 2 million organized workers formed US Labor Against the War at a meeting in Chicago.

The arguments of Socialist Alternative, calling for the building of a new political party which could represent the interests of working people and all the oppressed in America, were well received.

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