No rest for the weary

With the 2002 elections barely over, the election wars of 2004 are already underway. And you can bet that Karl Rove, Tom DeLay and other Neanderthals are burning the midnight oil as they prepare their battle plan to extend the White House tenure of Bush the Appointed.

And there will be battles: Battles over taxes, prescription drugs, school vouchers and public education and any of a dozen other social programs including price supports and parity for family farmers. Battles over welfare reform and health care. Battles to defend affirmative action, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights; in defense of immigrant and labor rights, a woman’s right to chose and the environment. And looming over all, the threat of war.

By any measure, a full plate – and with it the challenge of building a fight back capable of side tracking the rightwing drive to parlay a one- or two-vote pick up in the Senate into a legislative steam roller.

We draw two conclusions from the 2002 elections: The first is that President Bush did NOT win a mandate.

The second is that, as the AFL-CIO election night survey shows, nothing changed as far as the issues facing working people are concerned. The front burner issues of Nov. 4 were still on the front burner when the polls closed Nov. 5.

There are two keys to developing a successful fight back against the Bush agenda: A program of demands that meets the needs of people and developing the tactics that can unite the intended victims of that agenda into a movement capable of conducting a militant struggle for those demands.

Election 2002 showed that such a coalition can be built. The results showed that it must be built. As we said, you can bet that Karl Rove is already burning the midnight oil!

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War can be stopped

Everywhere people are debating the next steps following an election showing voters to be split on the issues and the way to a peaceful future for their children and grandchildren.

In union halls and churches; on the street and on the job, voices calling for “standing up and fighting” the Republican’s program reflect the mood of the thousands of activists who knocked on doors and succeeded in preventing a right-wing power grab on Nov. 5.

Stand up and fight: that is the way to blunt the Bush administration’s push for war with Iraq despite that country’s agreement to the UN resolution calling for unconditional inspections. (See Story, page 1.)

The war drive can only be stopped with by a grassrooots movement whose roots reach into every community pointing out the very real dangers, both at home and abroad, that war with Iraq will pose: A grassroots movement that makes real the possible loss of human life such a war will exact and explains why military might, alone, can not disarm a country. A grassroots movement that can educate the people about how the U.S. arms industry – the industry that is supplying the world with the very weapons that could bring on a nuclear war It’s a cycle of war and violence that must be stopped.

The Iraq Pledge of Resistance, a campaign by peace and religious groups for nonviolent civil disobedience to oppose war in Iraq is calling for local actions on Tuesday, December 10.

Let’s join these actions. Let’s take the door knocking and phone banking we used in the Election 2002 fight and put it into action to stop the election war Bush and the right would like to have. Lets go to our churches, community groups and union locals and organize teach-ins and vigils on Dec 10. So far actions are being organized in 26 cities and 17 states. We urge our readers to sign-the pledge of resistance at www.peacepledge.org or call the Pledge at (301) 589-2355.

Let’s make real the Biblical dream of beating swords into plowshares and prevent the U.S. arms industry from selling war no more.

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