Did anyone but the most dedicated observer of political activism notice the two rallies held in New York City on May 1, 2005? The International Action Center, through a new "coalition" called Troops Out Now!, organized a march and rally to "Revive May Day," attracting only 1,000-1,500 according to organizers' own estimate. United for Peace and Justice, meanwhile, marched and rallied to "Abolish Nukes!" (as May Day fell on "the day before the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference begins at the United Nations"). Perhaps, 10,000-40,000 attended the UFPJ march and rally. It is clear that neither May Day nor nuclear disarmament resonated with many Americans.
Whether you look at the home page of UFPJ, Troops Out Now!, or International ANSWER, you don't see any more plan for a big national mass action to Bring the Troops Home Now. Delegates to the UFPJ National Assembly on February 19-21, 2005 did vote for a proposal to make September 10, 2005 "World Day of Mobilization on the U.N. against War," but mobilization for it apparently has yet to begin.
Anti-war activists nationwide, who have always had only tenuous relations to the main US anti-war coalitions headquartered in New York City, are effectively on our own. Is it time to write an obituary for the IAC, ANSWER, and UFPJ?
Ron Jacobs, arguing that ANSWER and UFPJ are not "the proper vehicles" to raise the political and economic costs of the Iraq War high enough to compel the US power elite to abandon it, calls for the creation of "a broad anti-imperialist coalition," rather than trying to change ANSWER's and UFPJ's nature and direction ("If Imperialism Is the Cause, Shouldn't the US Anti-War Movement Be Anti-Imperialist?" CounterPunch, 2 May 2005). Whether we agree or disagree with Jacobs on his call, it is undeniable that there is a big vacuum in the anti-war movement.