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Activist beware of ANSWER & Not in Our Name

by sick Saturday, Oct. 12, 2002 at 5:19 PM
of vanguards and

vanguards & Authoritarians




What You Should Know about the Workers World Party and the International Action Center

Updated: July 2, 2002

The International Action Center is a prominent Left organization located in New York City which is known for organizing large Left protests. What most people don't know is that an authoritarian Left organization stands behind the IAC, an organization known as the Workers World Party. Both organizations have been criticized by Left activists for supporting unsavory leaders such as Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic. They support these unsavory rulers because they subscribe to a shallow version of anti-imperialism. Quite simply, they will support any regime, no matter how vile they really are, if that regime is opposed to U.S. imperialism and aggression.

The IAC and WWP have also been criticized for their authoritarian activist methods and for their cooperation with the police.

The IAC are like the "Borg" of the Left. They always want to be friends with you and they want you to sign onto their projects. They get the momentum going for their projects by creating deceptive lists of endorsers and then they use this to manipulate other groups to sign on. A critical mass develops behind their event, which ends up being big enough to give the IAC the credibility that it is really interested in. As one activist recently explained:

"The IAC made a point of contacting many groups to sign on to International ANSWER. They immediately contacted various groups in the New York area for support and got it. They got folks as individuals to sign on and listing their organization (for informational purposes) which gives the illusion that those groups were for ANSWER even if those groups hadn't had time to even make a decision yet. They were willing to have anyone sign on, no litmus test of political principles required. Pacifists groups like the Jonah Catholic Worker House in Baltimore, or WWP's ideological rivals in the Freedrom Road Socialist Party. For each name they got added to their list of endorsers, that gave them more clout as being the first big demonstration against the war."

The WWP is an authoritarian organization. Decisions about when and demos are going to be held are made by a small group of leaders. The WWP expects endorsing groups to participate under the banner of one of its front organizations, frequently the International Action Center and currently through the International A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition. This goes clearly against the non-hierarchical and democratic organizing models that have characterized the anti-globalization and anti-capitalist movements. There is no spokescouncil in the IAC.

The IAC is also known for the timidity of its protests, which are typically permitted, symbolic affairs that involve endless hours of speakers and a permitted march. The IAC actively discourages all forms of direct action, including civil disobedience. The IAC actively participates and cooperates with the police at all stages of protest organizing. One of their frequent tactics is to take out permits for all the public spaces that other protest groups might be using for a large mass action. They then play "permit broker" in order to gain influence among other protestors.

WWP Front Groups

International Action Center (http://www.iacenter.org/)

International A.N.S.W.E.R. (http://www.internationalanswer.org/)

Mumia 2000 (http://www.mumia2000.org/)

Iraq Sanctions Challenge

Beat Back Bush (www.beatbackbush.org)

Peoples Video Network (http://www.peoplesvideo.org/)

Anecdotes from Activists

FAQ on the Workers World Party and International Action Center

Version 0.3 / January 20, 2002

This is mostly under construction.

Who is the Workers World Party?

What are the WWP's front groups?

A "front" group is any group or organization which is created by a parent group, which subsequently hides its involvement with the front group. The reasons for creating front groups vary. Right wing political groups frequently create fake environmental organizations. In the case of the Workers World Party, they create front groups because they understand that their politics alienates many working people. It's easy to get involved with a benign group called "the International Action Center," which people don't associate with the Stalinist politics of the WWP. However, the IAC's ties to the WWP have become widely exposed, which perhaps explains why the WWP/IAC people created the A.N.S.W.E.R. anti-war coalition.

The Worker's World Party is responsible for the following front groups: the International Action Center, A.N.S.W.E.R. anti-war coalition, Mumia 2000, Iraq Sanctions Challenge, National Peoples Campaign and the People's Video Network.

Does the IAC take credit for the work of other activists?

Of course. This is a common tactic among left sects which don't enjoy the support of a mass base. Like other parasitical sects, the IAC has a history of taking credit for the hard work of other activists. Sometimes this is as simple as holding up several IAC signs at a demo and then claiming in the party publication that the IAC was involved in organizing the demonstration. (This is a common practice by sectarian groups--antoher favorite is to stage a pciture with young activists running, i.e. "charging forward for socialism.") Activists in the anti-globalization movement are upset at the IAC for organizing a competing rally during the September 2001 Washington, DC protests. Their actions can be seen in this press release, which presented the IAC as a significant player in the anti-globalization movement. This is, of course, false.

Is the WWP and IAC dishonest to its supporters?

Yes. Many of the activists and working people who support the WWP and its front groups are unaware of the full history and politics of the organization. The WWP uses its front groups and a concerted strategy of "famous" endorsements to create the illusion that they are a mass-supported organization. There is a reason why Ramsey Clark, Ed Asner, and a slate of person of color groups are highlighted in WWP/iAC communications, newspapers, and websites. The WWP is very concerned with maintaining activist credibility. They want to be seen as THE organizer of big protests. This is clear in their recent efforts to organize their own parallel protests to the World Economic Forum protests in New York City. They've repeated what they did in 2001, by organizing their own event, not joining with other groups, and then claiming that they are the organizers for all the protests. If the IAC is so interested in working with other groups, why did it decide not to join any of the coalitions that were organizing anti-World Bank protests? Dozens, if not hundreds, of other groups joined these other coalitions. Why? Because the WWP, through its front groups, is pursuing the same strategy that vanguardist left groups have engaged in for the past century. They are interested in one thing: ownership of dissent and protest. In a sad way, they are like the globalizing corporations that millions of people oppose. The IAC represents the monoculture of protest.

Why is the IAC dangerous to the anti-globalization movements?

Quite simply, the IAC represents the centralized, authoritarian mode of political dissent that is ineffective and is easy to control by our class enemies. The anti-globalization movements is really a convergence of movements and organizations. It is very decentralized, diverse, egalitarian, and democratic. It doesn't provide a moncultural face to power, which is why the other side has had so many difficulties in oppressing it. On the other hand, the IAC represents the discredited Old Left, which attempts to "unify" all resistance elements into one party, which is controlled of course by their "leading cadres," i.e. central committee. Most Old Left groups scare away new recruits because they don't conceal their politics very well, i.e. support for Mao or Stalin. The WWP and IAC are much better at eliminating politics from their work, their goal being control over all dissent.

Why is the WWP's support for Third World dictators so problematic?

How was the IAC involved in the Fall 2001 protests against the World Bank and IMF?

What's up with that creepy Ramsey Clark dude?

How does the IAC collaborate with the police?

Did the Anti-Capitalist Convergence march on 9.29.01 join up with the IAC/ANSWER rally?

No. There never was any plan to join the ANSWER rally on 9.29.2001. The actvists in the ACC were very insistent on doing our own, non-permitted rally and march. This was successful and drew over 2000 participants. As the march was breaking up at a park across the street from the World Bank, the police surrounding a large group of people and held them for several hours. Eventually the cops forced this group to march to Freedom Plaza where the ANSWER/IAC rally had been going on for several hours. In fact, many of the anti-capitalists in this group thought they were being marched to arrest buses and their were several attempts to break through the police lines. When this group got to the ANSWER rally, some people stayed for the rally and march, but many left as soon as the cops allowed them to disperse. In typical fashion, the IAC is now claiming that they were the umbrella group that organized all of the anti-war protests in Washington that happened that day. This of course, is a fantasy.

One of the annoying things that the International Action Center does is to take credit for protests organized by other organizations and coalitions. Their anti-war front group, A.N.S.W.E.R., was recently caught lying about their involvement in the April 5th, pro-Palestine protests in New York City. Their website features an article that suggests that A.N.S.W.E.R. organized this protest of 10,000 people. In reality, A.N.S.W.E.R. held a small protest in Times Square and later joined the bigger protest. The picture on this webpage also suggests that A.N.S.W.E.R. was the main organizers. This is a typical tactic among sectarian left party groups. They will go to a bigger demo and arrange a few cadre members to pose with a sign in front of (or the middle of) a crowd. The signs have the name of the organization and they use these photos in their newspapers to lie to readers about their involvement in the protest.

What's up with ANSWER and the A20 protests?

ANSWER has been spreading false information that they reached a "unity" agreement with the other A20 groups. ANSWER is promoting a "united front" for the weekend of protests. The problem with their united front nonsense is that the other groups and local activists want nothing to do with ANSWER (and the WWP/IAC), because, once again ANSWER is trying to publicly deceive people that they are the primary organizers of the A20 protests. ANSWER had originally scheduled protests for A27, but moved them when several big protests were scheduled for the weekend of A20. Worker's World, the party organ for the WWP, has gone so far as to further this deception by telling its readers that ANSWER is working hand-in-hand with the other A20 coalitions. There is no such cooperation, which shows again why ANSWER, the International Action Center, and the WWP, are not to be trusted by activists.








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Why don't we Steve Saturday, Oct. 12, 2002 at 6:52 PM
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or we could... melvin Saturday, Oct. 12, 2002 at 9:37 PM
or we could... melvin Saturday, Oct. 12, 2002 at 9:37 PM
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