The World Can't Wait

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The World Can't Wait
FormationSeptember 2005
HeadquartersNew York City
MethodsNonviolent resistance, political protest
Debra Sweet
Key people
Debra Sweet, Sunsara Taylor, Tomas Olmos, Dennis Loo

The World Can't Wait (WCW) is a coalition group in the United States dedicated to mobilizing mass resistance to what it describes as crimes committed by the US government.[1] Initially formed as an ad-hoc coalition to organize mass protests to force the George W. Bush Administration from office, WCW has also protested against the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the continued operation of the Guantanamo Bay prison,[2] the use of torture by the U.S. government under both the Bush and Obama administrations, and against anti-abortion groups and legislation.[3]


Formation and Call[edit]

World Can't Wait was officially formed in September 2005, at a meeting of hundreds in New York City chaired by Sunsara Taylor and Debra Sweet, two activists and supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.[4] 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."[5] This statement, known as the "Call" was signed by prominent people in both activist circles and in the arts, such as Mark Ruffalo, Cindy Sheehan, Jane Fonda, Gore Vidal, Harold Pinter, Daniel Ellsberg, Eve Ensler, and Tom Morello, among thousands of others.[6]

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

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.

WCW has been described as a Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) "affiliate".[7] WCW was initiated by the RCP.[8][9][10] Its website said it had "Greens, Christians, Republicans, anarchists, Muslims, Jews, feminists, Democrats, pacifists, and people who claim no affiliation" as members.[8] 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.[11] According to WCW director 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."[11]

World Can't Wait stated during the 2008 presidential race that Barack Obama would not be a redemptive figure.[12]

Activities Post-Bush Administration[edit]

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.”[13]

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]

WCW shares a mailing address on West Broadway with Refuse Fascism.[14]

Events organized[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b 2010 Statement Crimes Are Crimes No Matter Who Does Them
  2. ^ Montopoli, Brian (October 5, 2009). "Cindy Sheehan Arrested Outside White House". CBS. Retrieved March 17, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ Kaitlyn, Tracy. "Chicago: Abortion on Demand and Without Apology!". The World Can't Wait.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ "The History of World Can't Wait". The World Can't Wait. Retrieved March 17, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ WCW Mission Statement
  6. ^ "The Call to Drive Out the Bush Regime". World Can't Wait. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
  7. ^ RCP, Black activists feud on Twitter as Janelle Monae performs in Atlanta", Atlanta Progressive, 1 September 2005
  8. ^ a b 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.
  9. ^ Smith, Jack IV (November 2, 2017). "The far-right thinks a violent antifa overthrow is coming Nov. 4, but the truth is far stranger". Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  10. ^ Astra Taylor The '60s Are Gone, But One of Its Most Controversial Organizations Is Back, AlterNet March 21, 2007
  11. ^ a b Meredith May (4 October 2006). "Huge statue to be jailed in anti-Bush rally". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 30, 2011.
  12. ^ World Can't Wait "Going Forward in Stopping the Crimes of Your Government"
  13. ^ 2009 WCW Mission Statement
  14. ^ Stephanie Dube Dwilson, November 4, 2017 Protests: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know,, November 2017
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Leslie Fulbright, Marsha Ginsburg (2005-11-03). "10 arrested during World Can't Wait's anti-Bush march". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
  17. ^ Martha Groves and J. Michael Kennedy (2005-11-03). "Angelenos Join in Anti-Bush Protest; Many in L.A. and across the nation walk out of school and work to rally against the president". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
  18. ^ Conroy, Scott (2005-11-02). "Anti-Bush Protests In NYC". CBS News. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
  19. ^ Rick Warren protestors diverge over tactics at Ebenezer, Atlanta Progressive 18 January 2009

External links[edit]