UFPJ finds another answer

I was pleased to see that United for Peace and Justice finally let go of the achilles heel of the American anti-war movement: the stalinist organization International A.N.S.W.E.R.:

In recent months, a difficult and controversial aspect of our work has been our engagement with International A.N.S.W.E.R in co-sponsoring the September 24, 2005 Washington, D.C. Rally and March. Following this experience, and after thorough discussion, the national steering committee of United for Peace and Justice has decided not to coordinate work with ANSWER again on a national level.
A few years ago, David Corn wrote a lengthy expose on ANSWER in the LA Weekly, where he demonstrated that it was a front for the Workers World Party (WWP): "...ANSWER is run by WWP activists, to such an extent that it seems fair to dub it a WWP front. Several key ANSWER officials -- including spokesperson Brian Becker -- are WWP members. Many local offices for ANSWER’s protest were housed in WWP offices."

And what are some of the causes of the WWP? Corn summarized: "The party advocates socialist revolution and abolishing private property. It is a fan of Fidel Castro’s regime in Cuba, and it hails North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il for preserving his country’s 'socialist system,' which, according to the party’s newspaper, has kept North Korea 'from falling under the sway of the transnational banks and corporations that dictate to most of the world.' The WWP has campaigned against the war-crimes trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic."

I can recall from personal experience how frustrated I've been over the past three years watching ANSWER speakers hijack the antiwar protests to talk about their own pet causes -- starting chants about the greatness of Fidel Castro -- and how the media used ANSWER to tar and undermine the entire movement. No doubt, thousands were turned off from sticking with the cause to end the invasion and occupation of Iraq because of the nutty speakers they put on stage. ANSWER tainted the whole thing.

UFPJ's reason for cutting further participation with ANSWER was cool-headed and on professional terms (I've posted the entire announcement from the UFPJ steering commitee in the extended post -- there's a lot of backstory).

I'll bet dollars for dimes that the next UFPJ war protest will leave regular Americans feeling like they want to do it again.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.