Act Now to Stop War and End Racism

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Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) is left-radical, decentralized, interest group formed in the U.S. following the 9-11 Attack. Formed on 14 September 2001, it focused on "political resistance through mass action, and created a forum for people of conscience to speak out when so many others were silent. Many of the national organizations that constitute the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition Steering Committee were those groups in the anti-globalization movement."[1] Its scope soon moved from its initial emphasis on the pressure for military action against terrorist groups, to the Israel-Palestine Conflict, which has at least some relationship to the terrorist motivations on 9/11, to issues such as immigration, civil rights, social services including social security.

Leading its creation were Ramsey Clark and the International Action Center (IAC). IAC was established by the Workers World Party,[2] which often takes highly controversial positions such as calling North Korea "socialist Korea" where the "land, factories, homes, hotels, parks, schools, hospitals, offices, museums, buses, subways, everything in the DPRK belongs to the people as a whole" [3]

Many antiwar organizations consider ANSWER too extreme and avoid working with it. One such organization is United for Peace and Justice, which found that ANSWER did not keep agreements governing a joint demonstration in September 2005. [4]

ANSWER's emphasis is on mass action, and has conducted many demonstration, reminiscent of those against the Vietnam War or global financial institutions. ANSWER does not focus on policy formulation or coalition building other than including other organizations in its broad front. UFPFJ specifically said "But the souring of the political atmosphere is largely due to ANSWER, which, in our experience, consistently substitutes labels (“racist”, “anti-unity”) and mischaracterization of others’ views for substantive political debate or problem solving – both in written polemics and direct face-to-face interactions. "

ANSWER was listed in the October 2010 list of "top ten anti-Israel organizations in the U.S." by the Anti-Defamation League, which is strongly supportive of the policies of the State of Israel. [5]

References

  1. About Us, ANSWER Coalition
  2. Michael Albert (24 October 2002), Ten Q&A On Antiwar Organizing, ZNet
  3. Workers World, May 9, 2002, quoted by Albert
  4. Steering Committee (12 December 2005), UFPJ Rejects Future Work with ANSWER, United for Peace and Justice
  5. The Top Ten Anti-Israel Groups in America, Anti-Defamation League, 4 October 2010