Ifind David Cortright’s call useful but limiting. The most exciting aspect of the antiwar organizing has been its global reach. While in the anticorporate globalization movement we had already formed impressive ties with grassroots movements overseas, antiwar organizing has given us the opportunity to expand geographically to areas such as the Middle East, where we had less-developed contacts; to multiply our ranks with a dazzling array of new sectors, from city councils to women’s and civil rights organizations such as NOW and the NAACP; and, most important, to merge the peace movement with the movement to fight corporate-dominated globalization.
How do we build on this momentum? Organize, organize, organize. Let’s organize more World Social Forums where we gather physically to meet and strategize. Let’s send grassroots teams to the world’s hot spots–North and South Korea, Iran, Syria–to link up with appropriate local and regional groups to prevent the next war, instead of sending human shields at the eleventh hour. Let’s start a global campaign to democratize the UN by giving power to the General Assembly instead of the Security Council. Let’s channel the bursting anti-American sentiment overseas into targeted boycotts against corporations profiting from war. Let’s launch global, grassroots campaigns to get the United States to sign on to international treaties and institutions such as the International Criminal Court and the Kyoto Protocol. Working with local communities where US troops are based, let’s start a Bring All the Troops Home campaign to stop the expansion of US bases and start dismantling some of the hundreds of existing bases overseas.
Here at home, our greatest challenge is to make sure that our antiwar coalitions don’t fall apart after the immediate crisis ends. This will involve linking opposition to the war to urgent domestic crises: teaming up with folks fighting service cuts to oppose the way military spending robs our schools, hospitals and housing programs; making common cause with immigrant and ethnic groups that have found themselves under attack in the wake of September 11; and working together with libertarians and conservatives to counter the erosion of our civil liberties.
And while Cortright is right that we must organize to get Bush out of power in 2004, let’s realize that the two-party system is not working, that the Democratic leadership has blood on its hands for sanctioning this war and that we must build a multi-party system–opening the space for truly progressive parties such as the Greens–for democracy to take root in this country.
The past six months of frenetic organizing have taught us that we are indeed a formidable global force. It is through strengthening this global movement for peace and justice–a movement never before seen–that we can bring about sweeping changes in who makes decisions for our global community and in whose interests those decisions are made. It is through flexing the muscle of the new superpower–world public opinion–that we can, in the long term, challenge the dominant corporate and military powers that dragged us into this bloody war.