Revolution #53, July 16, 2006
World Can’t Wait
Drive Out the Bush Regime Summer Bus Tour
With only three months until the October 5 day of mass resistance, the World Can’t Wait – Drive Out the Bush Regime is going all-out to shake society up this summer, including by launching a national bus tour on July 4 in New Orleans. The schedule of the bus tour is online at worldcantwait.org.
We interviewed several World Can’t Wait organizers who are participating in the bus tour. Here are some excerpts.
Debra Sweet, World Can’t Wait National Coordinator:
Q: The World Can’t Wait Steering Committee’s “Enough Bush Crimes—Bring This to a Halt” statement (6/15/06) identified many outrageous crimes the Bush regime has committed in the last few months. While millions of people hate all this, there’s still too much paralysis. Could you talk about what WCW is doing to transform that, including with the Drive Out the Bush Regime bus tour that was just launched?
Debra Sweet: There is something people can do now to resist these outrages. The point of this Bus Tour is to go to the people to make a public battle over what this society will look like.
Look at just the last six months, the increasing speed of the outrages that you mentioned. And then there is a pattern that has been established where there will be a minute and a half of shock and “outrage” by the Democrats, and then Congress will come together and change the laws to legitimize the very things people were so outraged by. Just last week, after the Supreme Court made their decision against military tribunals conducted by executive order for Guantanamo detainees, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer came out and said, “Had they come to Congress a few years ago on this issue, my guess is they would have gotten most of what they wanted.” This is why the world can’t WAIT and why we must drive out this regime!
We are calling on people to join us on this bus tour! Specifically, come to Mississippi to ride out to meet the anti-abortion theocrats trying to shut down the last abortion clinic there. If you can’t make it, send a message and a financial contribution. Or, get some friends, hop in a car, and be part of the “spin-off” tours that we want to see crop up all across the country. There are outrages and battle lines being drawn all across the country: things like the hearings on immigration, the recent unveiling of a “Statue of Liberty” holding a Bible in Memphis. These things should be countered, and they can be by people everywhere with signs saying, “The World Can’t Wait—Drive Out the Bush Regime. October 5th: Bring this to a HALT!”
Be bold, get in the news. Find people wondering what to do, and challenge those who have been fooled, or think maybe there is nothing that can be done.
Prachi Noor, World Can’t Wait Steering Committee member:
Q: Why, at this moment in history, is World Can’t Wait sending activists to some of the “red states” and other areas in Middle America, as a central part of its summer plans?
Prachi Noor: The bus tour is going to the areas in the so-called red states, areas that the Bush regime calls its own. We are going into these contested areas that are sharp battlegrounds over what society will be like in the future if the agenda of the Bush regime goes unchallenged. These are areas where there is a lot of sentiment against the Bush regime. There are millions in these states that oppose this and they need to know they are not alone. Women’s right to choose, gay rights, the battle over evolution in schools are all issues that fuel and feed the forces that openly dictate directions to the Bush regime. As we speak, whole states are being transformed into theocratic base areas for the extreme right. We will bring with us the analysis that theocracy, unending wars around the world, the repression of science, attacks on women, immigrants and gay people—all of this is part and parcel of the Bush agenda that is a harbinger of fascism. People throughout the country need to understand this and take a side.
Q: Could you share some of the thinking on how the various stops on the tour were decided on?
Prachi Noor: Each stop on the bus tour draws attention to an area where the Bush regime is setting out to remake society. Appropriately, the bus tour began in New Orleans, a city with a rich African-American history, a city that has been left to rot, and plans of privatization are a means for ethnic cleansing and provide a glimpse of the horrific future represented in the Bush program. The horror has not ended. People have been kept from returning to their homes and bodies continue to surface in the 9th Ward. Meanwhile officials like the representative from Baton Rouge, Republican Richard Baker, claim that “God cleaned up” the public housing for them in New Orleans.
The next stop is in Jackson, Mississippi, where Operation Save America, an anti-abortion, anti-Muslim group, is bringing in people across the country to attack the last abortion clinic there. We are working with the National Organization for Women chapter in Jackson, who are calling on people to do week-long actions in the area around the town, so this anti-abortion agenda does not go unopposed.
Some of the stops are also some of our big chapters like Chicago and Minneapolis, where we will have evening events to talk about the experiences of the Bus Tour and build for October 5.
Elaine Brower, a WCW organizer whose son is currently deployed in Iraq, is joining the bus tour at Fort Polk military base in Louisiana July 8-9
Q: Activists going right to military bases with the message that the war in Iraq is wrong is not something you see all that often these days. What compelled you to do this, and to do it as part of the WCW Bus Tour?
Elaine Brower: Back in March I went to 29 Palms Marine Corps base in California, where my son was leaving for Iraq, and I decided then that the antiwar movement needed to reach out to the troops because the polls that were being taken of the troops were saying that 72% of troops wanted to get out [of Iraq] now. The second thing that motivated me was that I lived through the 60s, and there was a lot of troop dissent and I thought, “There’s probably the same thing today, but they’re afraid to express that.” So we protested by 29 Palms and it turned out that it was successful. It was scary at first cause we didn’t know what to expect, but I was willing to take that chance.
Q: Could you paint a picture of the kind of resistance that would be needed in this country in order to actually drive out the Bush regime?
Elaine Brower: Well, my picture is millions of people out on the streets, refusing to work, refusing to shop, refusing to buy into this government. You’re gonna need millions of people finally putting their foot down to say “enough.” Constant struggle in society, not just in New York City, but all over the country. Until you get to the point where there’s societal unrest that interferes with large corporate interests and the government, you’re never gonna have change. If you look back in history, the only thing that has affected was a massive uproar.
Check online at worldcantwait.org for updates and contact information about the WCW bus tour.
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