Leaflet against the Iraq war written by the Antithesis collective (NYC-NEFAC) and distributed at an anti-war rally in New York City on October 27th.
Workers, not politicians, will end this war
Build Our Solidarity, Not Their Elections
Before bombs began dropping on Iraq, millions of us protested against the war. Today, the war is dismally unpopular and every day we learn of new atrocities being committed in our names. And all at the expense of the lives of U.S. soldiers, drawn heavily from the working class. Faced with this dire situation, leaders of the antiwar movement have focused on electing Democrats, lobbying Democrats, and calling on Democrats to impeach Bush. We reject this whole electoral strategy. It has not brought us any closer to stopping the war. Of the leading Democratic candidates for President, all plan on keeping U.S. troops in Iraq indefinitely. It is clear to us that a new type of movement and strategy is needed, both to end the unjust wars in Iraq and beyond, and to work towards the liberation of all of us here in the U.S.A.
Part of building this new movement is working class solidarity. Although the ruling class would love for you to forget it, the truth is that we live in a society that is divided along class lines. The vast majority of humanity creates the wealth of society, but is robbed of its wealth and its power by the capitalists. The State and its politicians exist to keep this system going, to keep us in line with their police and prisons, and in time of war, to send us to die for the corporations they serve. They do it all in the name of a phony democracy. It's a "democracy" that gives power to this or that faction of the rich, instead of power to the communities and power to the workers. By voting in someone to make decisions for us, we cede our power to make real change in our society.
Just look at where they have gotten us. How many people are working well over 40 hours to get by, and can hardly afford to get by at that? How many people now find themselves forced from their homes and communities? How many are without health insurance? How many young people are in prison instead of good schools? Why have we not been able to stop the devastation of this planet of ours? This is the war that is being waged against us. It is up to us whether we are willing to fight back.
We must consider this class war when debating the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond. The working people of those nations are our allies, not our enemies. Our common enemies sit in the mansions and palaces on both sides, and it is those in power who keep us at each other's throats and makes us think we have different interests. Over here and over there, the truth is that most of humanity simply wants to live in peace and enjoy the products of their labor. We have built everything that exists in our society. We grow and serve the food. We build and maintain the buildings. We take care of all the people and things. We have created a society that could very easily provide for all, but we are forced to turn its vast potential towards the profit of the few, the waste of our resources, and the tools of their wars. We do not control our society. We do not control our futures.
But we can! And the alternative? It is right there in our history of struggle. All progress in the U.S.A. has been won, not by elections, but by mass struggle and people's solidarity. The great gains of the unions were won in the 1930s by massive, illegal strikes, direct actions and occupations of the factories. The defeat of Jim Crow was won by African-Americans through illegal marches, civil disobedience, and urban rebellions. The Vietnam War was ended through large demonstrations, campus strikes, draft resistance, and a virtual mutiny in the army.
Our movement against the Iraqi war must become independent and militant. Let us reject support for the Democrats or Republicans, or any other attempt to elect someone responsible for this war. Let our movement be rooted in the majority of the population. The only class that is capable of making society work for us and not for the bosses and their wars. The government will not give in to peace parades or scattered acts of violence. We need mass action, workplace struggle, civil disobedience, and unrelenting hostility toward the warfare state and its corporate masters.
Let us support the many troops and veterans who are speaking out against the war. Let us prevent any more of our fellow workers and youth from being recruited and sent to die. Let us support the struggles of working women, people of color, and LGBT people. Let us STRIKE against the war and in solidarity with working people worldwide. Together, we have the power to shut down the machinery of war. We reach out to you as fellow workers in the anti-war movement to help push this movement towards working-class solidarity, unity, and organization. The people of all nations have the right to determine their own future. When we learn to use our own power, the war will end and will be but the beginning of a march towards emancipation.
"The greatest bulwark of capitalism is militarism, but an international feeling of solidarity is bringing all the workers to the point when they will say to their masters, 'Go and do your own killing. We have done it long enough for you.'" – Emma Goldman, anarchist communist, New York City, 1917
No War for Empire – No Peace for the Ruling Class!
We are the Northeastern Federation of Anarchist Communists (NEFAC)
- Antithesis, NYC - NEFAC collective
The above statement was written as a flyer to be distributed at the Red & Black segment of the labor contingent we called for the anti-war rally in NYC on October 27th. We are releasing it today in unison with the Iraq War Moratorium.
Please forward widely.