What is the
Seattle Anti-Imperialist Committee?

(CV #39, January 2007)

Below is the Unity Statement of the SAIC, September 17, 2006.

Introduction

. The Seattle Anti-Imperialist Committee (SAIC) is a democratic committee of anti-imperialist activists in the Seattle area. It works to build the local anti-war and other progressive movements through raising their level of anti-imperialist consciousness, organization and activity. To date this has involved organizing a feeder march, protest contingents, discussions, postering, and the writing and distribution of leaflets designed to draw more people into political motion. Much of this would have been impossible had we not combined our efforts through SAIC.

. But the SAIC still remains at the level of an attempt, an effort, to rally anti-imperialists of Seattle into the kind of force we think they can be. Meanwhile, imperialist wars and oppression continue, with more being planned. Thus we again invite all local anti-imperialists to join with us to deepen and spread the work crying out to be done. Further, we also seek to unite with groups and individuals outside the committee to build marching contingents, demonstrations and other activities while insisting on the right of all partners in such united actions to freely express themselves.

Method

. SAIC is composed of people with certain differing analyses of world imperialism and world political forces, and we seek to unite with others who will inevitably have still differing ideas. But we stand united around the anti-imperialist ideas in this document. When disagreements arise over how to implement the tasks implied by these ideas we struggle to seek truth from facts -- i.e., to carefully investigate and analyze the issue in question.

. Nevertheless, when the movement demands that we act quickly we may think voting on an issue is necessary. When so, the majority rules. Further, although individuals or groups in the committee may have different theories over what the imperialist system should be replaced with, debating this question is not the purpose of the SAIC.

Imperialism

. Modern imperialism is rooted in the capitalist system of production where it has reached the stage where giant corporations and banks are merged into huge conglomerates of capital (monopolies) that play the decisive role in global economic life: monopoly capitalism. The laws of the capitalist system of production force these concentrations of wealth to maximize profits through expansion to dominate markets, sources of raw materials, and low-wage labor. Beneath and alongside these dominating conglomerates the old competitive capitalism goes on as well, giving rise to new concentrations of capital and new monopolies whose internal economic laws also demand expansion. The intense contradictions within this world economic system inevitably give rise to wars.

. In the imperialist countries the social class owning these monopolies, the monopoly-capitalist class, or bourgeoisie, plays the decisive role in economics, culture, politics, and the state. In the U. S. this is the class whose interests lay behind the "war on terror", the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, threats of war against Iran, bullying of Latin America, support for the Zionist domination of Palestine, huge war budgets and permanent militarism. The Democratic and Republican parties are its principal political instruments, while the Green Party and others play a special role in fostering illusions that there can be a capitalism without wars and oppression, and of diverting activists away from reliance on mass struggle and toward reliance on electoral politics.

. The most economically, politically and militarily powerful among the imperialist powers dominate the United Nations, World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund and World Bank, which they overall use as tools for imperial interests.

Anti-Imperialism

. Anti-imperialist activism means political work targeting the imperialist system as the root cause of wars and other crimes against the masses. It means exposing and opposing the lies and deception of the capitalist political parties and the opportunist leftists who serve them. And, since there are no solutions to be found within the system, it means an orientation toward arousing and uniting the masses of people who suffer from imperialism in struggle against the imperialist ruling class:

. Our solidarity is with the workers and others exploited and oppressed by capitalism and imperialism in all countries. We popularize and support their struggles against both their local exploiters as well as domination by the U.S. and other imperialist powers. This is an important part of building a politically conscious movement against our main enemy, which is at home.

Opposing sham anti-imperialism
and opportunism

. Anti-imperialism does not mean inviting liberal politicians and others to tell demonstrators that they should support legal and multilateral imperialist wars as opposed to Bush's unilateralist wars, or to criticize Bush for weakness in the "war on terror", or to say the movement should support Iraqi withdrawal plans that always leave U.S. troops in the country for many more months and leave them in the oil-rich region indefinitely. Nor does anti-imperialism mean handing a microphone to liberals like Kucinich so that they can divert activists into working for "peace candidate" election campaigns, and then later tell these activists that they should work to get war-hawks like Kerry elected. Yet these are the opportunist practices of sham anti-imperialists in the major anti-war coalitions.

. Moreover, anti-imperialism does not mean supporting reactionary clerical forces, Ba'athists and others just because they are fighting U.S. imperialism. Nor does it mean glossing it over when such reactionary forces seek to accommodate the imperialist powers, collaborate with occupation administrations, and brutally oppress the working people, leftists, women and minority nationalities. But many groups in the movement do precisely these things and call it anti-imperialism-thereby causing great damage to the very idea of anti-imperialism.

. The struggle against opportunism and sham anti-imperialism therefore becomes an inseparable part of the struggle to build the movement against imperialism.

. With regards to Iraq, for example, real anti-imperialism means supporting the Iraqi people -- whether presently armed or unarmed -- both in their struggle against the imperialist occupation as well as their struggle against internal class enemies who work to keep them chained to a reactionary framework, ultimately weakening the struggle against imperialism.

Membership and organization

. SAIC members are expected to regularly attend committee meetings, and help advance the committee's work through leafleting, postering, writing, or in other ways. Anyone is eligible for SAIC membership after attending one meeting, expressing agreement with this Unity Statement, and asking to join. Membership is formalized by the majority vote of the existing members of the committee present at any one meeting. A member who is later found to be violating the conditions of membership may be removed from the committee by a majority vote.

. SAIC may elect a Chairperson and a Secretary-Treasurer, both of whom can be recalled at any time by majority vote on a motion which cannot be ruled out of order on the agenda. The Chairperson is responsible for ensuring that meeting locations are found and announced, soliciting items for the agenda, conducting meetings, and calling special meetings. The Secretary-Treasurer is responsible for keeping a record of meetings, recording all decisions, and keeping track of financial contributions and expenses.

Build the movement against imperialism!

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February 25, 2007.
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