The World Can't Wait

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World Can't Wait protesters at a January 4, 2007 rally in Upper Senate Park.

The World Can't Wait (WCW) is a group in the United States dedicated to mobilizing mass resistance to what it describes as crimes committed by the US government.[1]

Formation and goals[edit]

World Can't Wait was formed in January 2005. Its headquarters is in New York City. WCW attempted during the Bush years to create a mass popular movement strong enough to force George W. Bush and Richard Cheney from office in disgrace. According to its original (2005) mission statement, by organizing people living in the United States, WCW seeks "to create a political situation where the Bush administration's program is repudiated, where Bush himself is driven from office, and where the whole direction he has been taking U.S. society is reversed."[2]

WCW levied many accusations against the Bush administration, including: the Iraq war, prisoner abuse, torture of military detainees, the abrogation of their rights to habeas corpus, ubiquitous domestic wire-tapping and surveillance activities ordered personally by the President, the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina, and the administration's support for anti-abortion legislation which they state has a basis in the goals of the Christian Right.

Founders of WCW included members or supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Party, Greens, anarchists, and people of various other political backgrounds.[3] Organizing in high schools, college campuses and on the Internet, by October 2006, the group gathered 24,000 supporters, including actor Sean Penn, writers Studs Terkel and Eve Ensler, Democratic state assemblyman Mark Leno and anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan, and was able to organize protests in 150 cities across the United States, Canada and Switzerland.[4] According to WCW national coordinator Debra Sweet, "In the beginning, we were what you might call the voice-of-conscience usual suspects. Since then, we've been opening our umbrella wider." [4]

World Can't Wait stated during the 2008 presidential race that Obama would not be the redemptive figure that so many believed. Its National Director Debra Sweet said on November 7, 2008,

“Obama, the ’anti-war’ candidate, wants to leave 50 to 80,000 troops in Iraq, and move more combat brigades to Afghanistan. … People expected Obama, who taught Constitutional law, to protect their rights, but Obama went out of his way to make an unpopular vote to bolster the ‘war on terror’ and set the basis for expanded political repression. He voted for an amended USA PATRIOT Act that had more draconian curbs on political protest than the 2001 version.

“How can we feel Obama is ‘for the people’ when he put all his backing behind the bailout of Wall Street banks, but tells the people only to have faith in their leaders? When he supports the notoriously racist death penalty, and blames Black people themselves for the huge prison population? When he finds ‘common ground’ with the most rabid Christian fundamentalist plans to do away with abortion and gay marriage? The ban on gay marriage passed in California, benefiting from Obama's expressed opposition to gay marriage.

“This is not the time to ‘wait and see’ what Obama will do after January 20, or after 6 months or a year...or never, because if he does what's in the peoples' interests he won't be re-elected? He's telling us what he will do, and the worst thing would be to get passive in the face of more crimes being done in our name.”[5]

In 2009 the WCW adopted a new mission statement that incorporated the major elements of its original statement and ended with: “This direction cannot and will not be reversed by leaders who tell us to seek common ground with fascists, religious fanatics, and empire. It can only be possible by the people building a community of resistance - an independent mass movement of people - acting in the interests of humanity to stop, and demand prosecution, of these crimes.”[6]

In the fall of 2010 WCW took out an ad entitled "Crimes Are Crimes No Matter Who Does Them," stating that the Obama administration "either continued Bush policies or went even further than Bush". The ad appeared in the New York Review of Books, The Nation and the New York Times.[1]

Events organized[edit]

  • November 2, 2005: Demonstrations attended in protest of the anniversary of the 2004 presidential elections; some 2,000 participate in New York City.[7]
  • January 31, 2006: Demonstrations attended in protest of President George W. Bush's State of the Union address.
  • February 4, 2006: Demonstration in Washington, D.C. outside the White House.
  • May 12, 2006: Demonstration at Wachovia Stadium to protest Battle Cry.
  • October 5, 2006: A mass walkout from school and work and demonstrations in over 200[citation needed] towns and cities.
  • January 4, 2007: Rally in Upper Senate Park in Washington, D.C. at noon on the opening day of the 110th United States Congress.
  • January 23, 2007: Demonstrations attended in protest of Bush's State of the Union address.
  • February 17, 2007: "Emergency Summit to Impeach Bush for War Crimes" was held in New York City.
  • March 19, 2009: First national day of protest against the wars under President Barack Obama. New York City event including a rally at Union Square and a march to the US Armed Forces Recruiting Center in Times Square.
  • December 1 & 2, 2009: World Can’t Wait participated, with other groups, in the demonstrations outside Obama’s West Point announcement of the increase in troops to Afghanistan, and the protests in New York City the day after.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b 2010 Statement Crimes Are Crimes No Matter Who Does Them
  2. ^ WCW Mission Statement
  3. ^ Joe Garofoli (2 November 2005). "Protesters taking to streets to seek Bush ouster: Communist group is helping organize nationwide effort". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 30, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Meredith May (4 October 2006). "Huge statue to be jailed in anti-Bush rally". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 30, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Going Forward in Stopping the Crimes of Your Government"
  6. ^ 2009 WCW Mission Statement
  7. ^ Stanley W. Rogouski and Jed Brandt (2005-11-02). "World Can't Wait, NYC: Hundreds Walk-Out, Thousands March". The New York City Independent Media Center. Retrieved 2007-11-11. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]