International Action Center (IAC) is having a conference this Saturday, November 6, 2010. Named the "Regional ANTIWAR Conference and a National meeting to STOP FBI Repression", they’re hailing it as "…a discussion of a new kind of unified & inclusive antiwar movement that can challenge the wars abroad and at home". As is usually the case with left wing antiwar organizations this one too comes with their social agenda as part of the package. On their website they state that part of the discussion is to be about "…a massive movement to bring the war $$, troops, and mercenaries home now, rebuilding our cities, providing jobs, schools and health care that we all have a right to". Bringing the troops and mercenaries home sounds great. It is the part about then using the money saved to finance the government’s spending on social programs the is a problem for the liberty minded. Given these realities the question has to be asked, is this really an inclusive antiwar movement?
No doubt that by now progressive readers are rolling their eyes wondering how this crazy libertarian can be against spending money on health care and education. This isn’t the time or place to engage in a debate about these subjects, we can do that later after we end the wars. Now is the time to agree to disagree on some things and unite to stop the wars and oppression.
Libertarians are reaching out to the left to stand together for peace. (See "Organizing a Left-Right Alliance Against the War Parties ") This author approached the organizers of the October 16, 2010 peace rally in Philadelphia (See "Raising Eyebrows at a Peace Rally") at their planning meeting a few days before the event. There I was politely, but firmly, told that they were completely unwilling to change their agenda for future rallies to accommodate other points of view.
When the left tacks on a social agenda to their antiwar coalitions that the liberty minded can not endorse they tell us we’re not welcome. We’re not asking any of the organizations and individuals that are part of IAC or similar groups to change their advocacy. Their speakers can advocate all the same things they have before. Same with the signs they carry. All we ask is that the antiwar coalitions themselves be politically neutral so we can all join them in good conscience.
Imagine the strength of a truly united and inclusive peace movement. We can do it. All it takes is a little tolerance and understanding.