Shaken Not Stirred: A Bold, Audacious Student Movement to Drive Out the Bush Regime
by R.J. Schinner, National Student Organizer for World Can’t Wait

Revolution #015, September 25, 2005, posted at revcom.us

We received this article from the national student organizer for World Can’t Wait.

We need to shake things up on the campuses. The fact is, people are not by and large apathetic right now. Millions have watched with horror the mass murder in New Orleans at the hands of the Bush regime, torture after bombs after lies in Iraq, and this past week hearings to appoint a fascist to preside over the Supreme Court, while the right to abortion (among other things) hangs in the balance. Millions are agonizing over all this but don’t know what to do about it. People are paralyzed. They are up against a powerful regime that doesn’t care about what people think, what is true, or what is good for the planet and its people. They have been played by a Democratic Party that works overtime not to stop any of this nightmare (in fact it is part of making it); stirring people around in circles that go nowhere, only demobilizing and preventing people from stepping out in resistance that could actually stop the Bush regime.

World Can’t Wait—Drive Out the Bush Regime is heading a different route. We are acting on what’s true, what’s right, and what the world needs. And we’re not afraid to go out and challenge people to be a part of this. If we are to break the millions who hate where the Bush regime is taking things out of this deadly paralysis, we need to shake things up in bold, creative, and determined ways that connect with and draw forward millions in resistance to drive out the Bush regime.

To this end, we are calling for and leading a student movement that will pierce the paralysis on campuses across the country. Truth generally starts off in the hands of a minority, and it is on this minority to go out and win others to understand and act on this truth. If you understand that the world really cannot wait for fascism to consolidate power in the U.S. and for further and more atrocious crimes to be committed by the Bush regime around the world, and if you understand that the only way to do this is by breaking out of the framework of relying on the Democrats to save us and taking independent historic action to drive the Bush regime from power, then you have a big responsibility on your hands. You must become an organizer, step out and shake things up, and draw forward millions in massive resistance to drive out the Bush regime.

How Can We Do This?

First, we need to keep a firm grip on the fact that this is what the world needs. That all the reality that is described in the opening paragraphs of the World Can’t Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime call about the crimes this government is committing are simply true, and need to be stopped. Some have told us we need to tone down our message or find some way to gradually convince people, instead of putting out the truth straight up and then struggling for it. For a number of reasons, this logic is not only wrong, but deadly. For one thing, we do not have time to gradually convince people, baby-step by baby-step. And furthermore, the logic of compromise and cutting to the middle only loses ground to the Bush regime and trains people in paralysis and capitulation. It must also be said that no major social change has ever happened without a minority stepping out and standing up for what’s right and true, refusing to compromise, and winning over millions. It’s time to “call a spade a spade.”

Second, we need to step out and act on this understanding even if we are at first acting alone. This means finding the ways to shake people up and show that there is a way to resist and STOP the Bush regime. This past Thursday (9/15), we put out a call for students to go out on campus in the midst the Roberts hearings with visual displays of coat hangers bearing the words “Resist or Die,” “The World Can’t Wait—Drive Out the Bush Regime,” and exposure of where society will be going with the Supreme Court of the Bush Regime (i.e. they intend to outlaw abortion, in case you haven’t noticed by the fact that people like and including Roberts have openly stated this as their goal1). Where students took this up, this shook things up on campus, stopped students in their tracks, and got people thinking about what needs to be done. This kind of action is the beginning steps of sharply bringing home the stakes for humanity right now and breaking people out of the paralysis. We need far more and far greater of this. We need to be bold, determined, and creative.

Third, we need to connect all this with the millions out there who do hate what’s going on, and desperately want a way out, and begin reaching out to those who have been fooled by Bush. But we CANNOT do this, as some have argued, by watering down our message or making reality or our resistance more palatable to the “mainstream”. And while this may offend some at first, this will also inspire and galvanize those who are looking for a way out from this nightmare. There is a basis, especially now, as the crimes of the Bush regime in New Orleans are exposed for all to see, to bring millions of people into this resistance, if we go out and challenge them to.

Fourth, we need to take on the Bush regime and its shock-troops on campuses whenever they rear their ugly head. If David Horowitz comes to your campus to advocate fascist thought police and purging progressive thought and faculty, he needs to be publicly repudiated and made to look like the bumbling fascist fool that he is, and we must make NO APOLOGIES for doing so. And all these Young Republicans and Students for Academic Freedom (sic) need to be put on the defensive, because they are not simply “expressing their views”, but are part of a well-funded and organized brown-shirt movement to impose a fascist clampdown on the campuses. Similarly, whenever some crony of the Bush regime comes to your campus to justify their crimes, they need to be publicly repudiated. When this has happened, as much as the media tries to cover this up and make people forget about it, it has a huge effect (for example, just remember back to when Madeline Albright was called out at OSU on national TV for the first Gulf War).
And fifth, we need to do all this in a way that builds strength, momentum, and organization up to November 2nd. We must take bolder and more determined actions, including making sacrifices, and spread these to campuses across the country. And we must seize on moments and places where students are ready to step out in resistance and set an example for others to follow. Beginning now, students need to write statements about why they are taking up the Call for World Can’t Wait—Dive Out the Bush Regime and what they are doing at their campus on November 2nd,, and spread these statements to other campuses. We have called for walk-outs, student strikes, and campus shut-downs. Right now,students need to call for such actions on Nov. 2nd, put this call out to everyone on their campus, welcome and enter into all the controversy and debate this will spark, and galvanize and organize students to walk out and protest on Nov. 2nd.

Opposition to the War

If you still have doubts about whether the approach of World Can’t Wait is correct, consider what happened when Cindy Sheehan called out Bush for the liar and killer he is, called out the war, and demanded the US get out of Iraq now. Her stand was right, and it galvanized opposition to the war and dragged Bush’s lies back into the light of day. Meanwhile, the Democrats worked to pull this opposition back into acceptance of the war (but we can’t pull out now), and some criticized Sheehan for telling the truth. Now, many are going to the Sept. 24th protests against the war with the same spirit, conviction, and determination as Cindy Sheehan. This renewed, active opposition to the war, from Camp Casey, to kicking military recruiters off campus, to the outpourings on the 24th, is very positive and needed right now, and the world has been desperately missing this since spring 2003. At the same time, we cannot allow this opposition to get sucked back into the paralyzing reliance on the Democrats. And as the Call for the World Can’t Wait—Drive Out the Bush Regime says, “We need more than fighting Bush’s outrages one at a time, constantly losing ground to the whole onslaught. We must, and can, aim to create a political situation where the Bush regime’s program is repudiated, where Bush himself is driven from office, and where the whole direction he has been taking society is reversed. We, in our millions, must and can take responsibility to change the course of history.”
The widespread and fierce opposition to the war on Iraq demonstrates the potential for Nov. 2nd. Coming out of Sept. 24th, students need to go back to campus as organizers in the movement to drive out the Bush regime. Join us at the Sept. 24th protests—we will be distributing fliers, Resist or Die T-shirts, stickers, etc. and enlisting organizers on the spot. We are having a one day student conference in D.C. on Sept. 25th, to bring together those who will be turning their campuses alive with resistance on Nov. 2nd. We will be discussing and debating out how to build this movement, how to involve the millions who don’t want the future Bush has in store for us, and what Nov. 2nd and all the weeks leading up to it need to look like on campuses everywhere.

Build a Student Movement

Students have a big responsibility in all this. This is because they are in a key position in society to act as a catalyst for sparking resistance, exactly because students have more access to progressive and radical ideas, are not weighed down by tradition and acceptance, and are able to organize and sacrifice. This was certainly true of the 1960s, and needs to be true NOW. Just think of what it meant to the world when students shut down campuses across the country in response to the US invasion of Cambodia, risking jail, riot police, and even murder (Kent State and Jackson State) at the hands of the authorities. Think about what it meant when elite universities like Columbia and Harvard turned out determined resisters of the status quo, or when Berkeley was known as the People’s Republic of Berkeley. Just think about what it would mean now for campuses to turn into centers of resistance, refusing to stop until Bush stepped down from power, and spreading this everywhere.
Some people say that the students of the 1960s were just a bunch of spoiled rich kids who really didn’t affect anything. By “some people say,” I mean this is what the status quo that was threatened by the radical student movement has been telling us for decades in order to convince students not to do it again. The simple fact is the student movement shook up society, called forth others to resist, and lost the allegiance of a generation to the American empire, not to mention contributing to ending the war in Vietnam, winning the right to abortion, gains in the civil rights movement, and more. Ever since then, the status quo has been working overtime to reverse anything that was won through the struggle of the people in the 1960’s, and bombard us with the lie that this is the best of all possible worlds, so accept it. So let’s draw the real lessons from the 1960s—that when millions of people break from “mainstream politics” (i.e. the Democrats) and fight for what’s right, it can actually make difference—and take things further.

And while I’m on the subject, let me say a few words about “spoiled college kids.” Instead of just complaining about them or (if you’re one of them) saying “we don’t want to impose our views on others,” let’s organize students at the elite universities to change the whole direction of society and take responsibility to fight for what’s right and true. If this is not our orientation, the only thing that will be “spoiled” is our chance to drive out this horrible regime.
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Become an organizer. Send us your audacious plans for what November 2nd is going to look like on your campus. Take this challenge out to other campuses, and society as a whole. RESIST OR DIE. Get in touch with us, and come to the student conference in DC on Sept. 25th:  youth_students@worldcantwait.org