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Regarding the Chicago anti-war conference . . .

a response to the claims that the ISO dominated the November student anti-war conference in Chicago
I'm a student at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and attended the reccent Midwest student anti-war conference in Chicago as a delegate from Duluth/Superior Students Against War group.

In my view, the conference was an excellent first step for the movement, and everyone from our delegation thought so as well. We constituted ourselves as a functioning regional network, we elected a coordinating committee, adopted points of unity and issued calls for days of joint action.

I was shocked though when visiting the IndyMedia site I found so many people claiming that the conference was a fiasco and that it had been hijacked by the International Socialist Organization. I have a number of political differences with the ISO - but I feel obliged to state for the record that these accusations that the ISO somehow hijacked this conference and silenced opposition is simply not true. Yes, the ISO was there; yes, the ISO was probably the biggest single political group present; and yes, the ISO played a key role in building the conferene and helping it come off - but these are things to be applauded, not denounced. There was some confusion over parilimentary procedure, and not all proposals submitted were gotten to on the last day of the conference - but I don't think anyone who attened the conference can honestly say the ISO silenced them or rammed through any proposals. I remember things being democratically decided and discussed to the point of redundancy.

Now, I don't know what happened at the East Coast and West Coast conferences, but there was no hijacking by the ISO, or any other group, at the Chicago conference. And while I'm ranting, I also want to warn against the talk I'm seeing on several local Indymedia sites about splitting the anti-war movement to form anti-ISO anti-war committees. This my friends, is factionalism and sectarianism of worst kind - it's so petty that it would be laughable if the potential consequences weren't so dire. The last thing we need to be doing is splitting, especially over accusations that I feel to be gross exageration at best, and blatant fabrication at worst.

"Red"ily yours,


Adam Ritscher
 
 

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