The year 2017 has been one of both extreme reaction and broad resistance. The polarization in U.S. society is the most profound of any time since the late-1960s/early 1970s.
In the Bay Area and nationally, the ANSWER Coalition has been a key factor at the core of the resistance: mobilizing against white supremacy, standing up for women’s rights, solidarity with our immigrant sisters and brothers, opposing racist and anti-poor police brutality, building a movement against a new war on the Korean peninsula, and much more.
As we head into 2018, we must intensify this multi-front struggle to defeat the disastrous domestic and global agenda of the ultra-rightist Trump administration and its criminal collaborators in Congress.
We need your support to do what is needed for the future of humanity and the world we live in. Please give what you can today. All donations to the Progress Unity Fund are tax-deductible.
Trump’s approval ratings are currently at historic lows. Remember that before 9/11 George W. Bush’s approval rating was just 32%. When he went to war, it shot up to over 90%.
It is no coincidence that Trump’s war threats have become more extreme against North Korea (“we will totally destroy”) and Iran (“the source of evil in the Middle East”). To treat all this as bluster would be a deadly error. An influential clique of Pentagon generals and other national security officials want a new war and Trump himself would do whatever he thinks is necessary to preserve his presidency and Republican rule in Congress before the midterm elections.
2018 has to be the year of a renewed antiwar movement. To oppose the murderous adventures of the U.S. Empire is a responsibility for all people living “in the belly of the beast.” The continuation of the U.S.-funded genocide in Yemen; a first-strike nuclear attack on North Korea and its 25 million people; heightened hostility toward Venezuela and Cuba; a new regional war in the Middle East involving Israel, Lebanon, Iran and Saudi Arabia; these are all actual developments or possibilities that must be answered with a renewed mass antiwar movement.
The events of 9/11 had an effect on popular attitudes, to be sure. But the decisive change was that the media and political environment changed overnight. Criticism of the president, and his foreign policy, became “treasonous.” Thousands of Muslims in America were rounded up by the state; an untold number were violently attacked by mobs. The Democratic Party “opposition” in Congress enthusiastically lined up behind the war, the Patriot Act and the “commander-in-chief.”
After 9/11, all the jokes about Bush stopped for a while, and, more dangerously, public critique and dissent was left to a very small minority. We in ANSWER know this history well because we were a leading part of that small minority — ANSWER was formed then by the individuals and organizations who wanted to fight the new wave of militarism.
The result of the post-9/11 “unity” among the establishment media and politicians was clear: millions dead, endless wars, the consolidation of the surveillance state and the re-election of Bush who was freed up to pursue his aggressive domestic agenda.
The Trump administration undoubtedly knows this history well and has learned from it. So have all of us. Please dig deep and give what you can.
From Day One of the odious Trump administration, the ANSWER Coalition has been in the streets. On January 20, 2017, ANSWER led counter-inaugural protests from along the parade route in Washington D.C., San Francisco, and many other cities across the country. The next day, ANSWER chapters mobilized again for the massive Women’s Marches.
In March, we joined with the Al-Awda Coalition and others in protest of the anti-Palestinian AIPAC annual convention in Washington D.C.
ANSWER led or helped to organize many of the anti-fascist demonstrations from coast-to-coast in the past year. On August 26, thousands marched without incident in San Francisco, defeating the fascists and compelling them to cancel their hateful plans.
We joined with and provided logistical support to an April speak-out and rally at the San Francisco regional office of the Environmental Protection Agency, and mobilized for the March for Science in San Francisco and the march against climate change in Oakland the same month.
Our office served as the organizing center for the May 1st Coalition, that brought out more than 10,000 people in support of immigrant rights on May Day in San Francisco, at a time when stepped up ICE raids and deportations have terrorized immigrant communities.
ANSWER joined with thousands who formed the “Resistance Contingent” which led the SF LGBTQ Pride Parade up Market St. to the cheers of hundreds of thousands along the way.
We sponsored and co-sponsored with progressive Korean organizations public forums, a national speaking tour, and July rallies calling for “No New Korean War.”
ANSWER played a key role in convening the People’s Congress of Resistance, which took place at Howard University in Washington. More than 700 delegates from 38 states, over 200 cities and towns, came together to share experiences and skills, and build solidarity between the many struggles represented there.
Following the devastating hurricanes which hit the Caribbean and the southeastern U.S., the Cuba and Venezuela Solidarity Committee of ANSWER sponsored events, including a fundraiser for Cuba and Puerto Rico relief featuring Alice Walker.
The American Indian Movement-West held its annual conference in our office, in mid-November, dedicated to AIM co-founder Dennis Banks, who passed away earlier the same month.
In the past year, our office, which was built by our activists and supporters, has hosted many other political, cultural and community activities and organizations, including Lyrical Revolt, Women Organized to Resist and Defend, Bay Area Latin America Solidarity Coalition, May 1st Coalition, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Frisco Resistance, as well as poets and musicians from the Mission and other communities, and many others.
We count on your support. Due to the high cost of rent, utilities and everything else, we are in a constant battle to raise the funds necessary to sustain our office and organization. We believe that ANSWER plays a unique and vital role in the progressive movement in the Bay Area. If you agree, please make as generous a tax-deductible donation as possible.
Yours in the struggle for a better future,
Western Regional Coordinator