The following article is being reposted from the website of the Stop the War! Stop McCain! working group of Students for a Democratic Society
click for more photos
By Doug Michel
Asheville, NC – When members of the University of North Carolina – Asheville Students for a Democratic Society (UNC-Asheville SDS) heard that Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was coming to hold one of her lynch mob style rallies in Asheville, there was no question of organizing a protest. Workers, students and members of the Asheville community assembled outside of the Civic Center downtown. On Oct. 26, there was an outpouring of over 300 protesters who confronted Palin and her rally of supporters.
The following is from the Stop the War! Stop McCain! working group of Students for a Democratic Society:
Welcoming Sarah Palin in Asheville, NC
Everyone knows that this presidential election is important. The question is how to relate to it as radical activists. As activists and organizers we have to be realistic and strategic. We cannot accept the view, on the one hand, that this election can change everything, turn the system upside down, and create a participatory democratic society based on collective liberation and anti-imperialism. On the other hand, we cannot accept the view that it is necessary to avoid somehow morally soiling ourselves by participating in the election of the next Commander and Chief of the Empire.
Bill Ayers and Weather Underground bombed toilets while the U.S. bombed villiagers in Vietnam.
McCain and Palin are pallin’ around with real terrorists like George W. Bush, who is responsible for the deaths of 1.2 million dead in Iraq and 4 million displaced. And now Palin “doesn’t know” if abortion clinic bombers are terrorists?? Indeed, her wording is very specific: does the categroy of “innocent americans” include abortion clinic doctors, according to Palin’s fundamentalist, right-wing world view? All of this isn’t because she’s confused. Its because she’s a fascist.
The following is an excerpt from Eric Mann’s recent article on the election, and while I don’t agree with all of Eric Mann’s ideas about revolutionaries submerging themselves into a “united front” with Obama, I do think it is important to do what it takes to prevent John McCain and his running dog, Sarah Palin, from taking office.
Posted in Electoral Politics, Women's Liberation
Tagged Barack Obama, Bill Ayers, Bush, Eric Mann, Iraq, John McCain, Sarah Palin, terrorism, video, Vietnam, Weather Underground, Women's Liberation
I first came upon Eric Mann of the Labor/Community Strategy Center when I read his excellent book, Katrina’s Legacy: White Racism and Black Reconstruction in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast (this article is similar to the book). As the elections draw near, folks should consider this article by Eric Mann and what it outlines as “what is at stake” in this election. I don’t really agree 100% with his formulations, in particular I don’t agree with the idea the revolutionaries should go all out campaigning for Obama, basically submerging themselves into his campaign. For my view on how revolutionaries should relate to the election, please look at this along with my article, Revolutionary reflections on the election: we are the wind and the rain, and LS’s reply, “Electing Obama is an important blow against racism and white supremacy”.
Ten Reasons We Should Turn Out the Vote for Barack Obama
by Eric Mann
For those of us who are in the Civil Rights, Immigrant Rights, Women’s Liberation, Environmental Justice, and Anti-War Movements, for those of us on the Left, the election of Barack Obama is of the utmost urgency. Voting for Barack Obama is not enough. In the next two weeks we need to put all our energy into getting out the vote to elect Obama and defeat McCain.
Because of his brilliant organizing, the possibility of an Obama victory is palpable. Because of the racism of this country and the strong reactionary elements of the general population, the threat of a McCain victory is only too real.
The stakes leave no room for passive support. The Republicans coalescing against Obama are carrying out a calculated strategy to preserve and extend the victories of Reagan and Bush. If it can be imagined, they intend to take the country even further to the right. They want to destroy what is left of democratic liberalism, destroy the Civil Rights and Black Liberation movements, destroy the Immigrant Rights, Women’s Liberation, LGBT, Anti-War movements, to destroy the Left.
I’ve posted about this presidential election campaign before. I’ve posted my article, Revolutionary reflections on the election: we are the wind and the rain, and a significant reply, “Electing Obama is an important blow against racism and white supremacy”. See also Tim Wise’s This is Your Nation on White Privilege. I would like to encourage people who haven’t to read those articles, and also to watch this video. Unfortunately, in my own experience, the racist and ignorant views expressed in this video are not at all uncommon.
Posted in Black Liberation, Electoral Politics
Tagged Barack Obama, Black Liberation, John McCain, national oppression, racism, Sarah Palin, Tim Wise, video, white chauvinism, white privilege, white supremacy
The following was originally posted as a comment from LS on my post, Revolutionary reflections on the election: we are the wind and the rain. I think this comment by LS is a significant contribution to a larger discussion on the Left about electoral politics, strategy and tactics. It also raises some interesting questions to think about in terms of the national-democratic aspects of the larger Black Liberation struggle for full equality and national self-determination. It deals with other questions as well, such as the war against Iraq, but the African American national question is central to what LS is talking about. There is a lot here to think about and digest, so I’m reposting it here for further discussion.
I appreciate you bringing up this topic, and grounding it in some key Marxist writings dealing with issues that have some similarities historically. This election is obviously an important topic of discussion for everyone on the U.S. left today. I think all the reasons you talk about for voting to defeat McCain in this election are solid. I’d just like to elaborate a bit more on my thinking about it.
I have three main reason for voting for Obama in this election. The first is that the election has become seen by the masses of people as a referendum on racism and on whether a Black person is capable of being president. Understanding the centrality of white supremacy and the oppression of Black people in all of U.S. history up to the current moment, I think we must strike a decisive blow to McCain/Palin’s shameful whipping up of racism and to the groundswell of fear of Black people (and Black political power) that McCain/Palin are tapping into and in fact fanning (i.e. Palin saying Obama ‘palls around with terrorists’, etc). Given the reality that Cynthia McKinney (the excellent and very progressive African American candidate of the Green Party) has no chance of getting even 1% of the vote in this election, the best way to deliver a decisive anti-racist message in 2008 is for Obama to win a decisive victory over McCain.
The following is from Counter Punch, October 15, 2008. Please see also my recent post, Revolutionary reflections on the election: we are the wind and the rain.
Is a Vote for Obama a Vote Against Racism?
The Politics of Race in America
By RON JACOBS
When I got on the bus last April after Barack Obama’s primary victory in North Carolina, the conversation was naturally enough about that victory. Despite its southern location, the town I live in–Asheville, NC–is known for its liberal politics and social tolerance. Consequently, the overriding tone was one of exuberance. Young black men and older veterans of the desegregation struggles of the 1960s smiled knowingly at each other. Indeed. one fellow said to every black person who got on the bus–“Black President.” Occasionally, he gave the new passenger what the right wing called a “terrorist fist pump.” If there was somebody on the bus who objected to this display, they kept their mouth shut. Continue reading
Posted in Black Liberation, Electoral Politics
Tagged Barack Obama, Black Liberation, Electoral Politics, John McCain, National Liberation, national oppression, national question, racism, Ron Jacobs, Sarah Palin