Saturday, March 8, 2008

el participante, volume 1 issue 3

CCAW Reorganized as a Coalition


The Columbia Coalition Against the War, which ended the Fall 2007 semester in bad shape, has been re-launched and re-energized.

When it was first created, a year ago, CCAW operated as a coalition of campus groups, which came together to organize buses to a January 27 antiwar protest in DC and then to organize a February 15 student strike. Over the next several months, however, CCAW stopped functioning as this kind of coalition and most former member groups ceased sending representatives. CCAW focused last semester on a divestment campaign, which, in the face of a declining national antiwar movement, did not gather as much momentum as had been hoped, and whose proposal was quietly rejected by Columbia.

At the beginning of the present semester, CCAW was refounded in a meeting with representatives from a number of campus groups and unaligned individuals. Though CCAW’s shift away from a broad coalition was not the primary cause of the group’s trouble, its members thought returning to its original structure could give it renewed momentum. CCAW is now a coalition consisting, usually, of Lucha, Students for Justice in the Middle East, the Progressive Jewish Alliance, the International Socialist Organization, and Students for a Democratic Society. A number of other groups have been represented at meetings, and others have expressed interest in joining.

CCAW has also implemented new voting procedures, after a discussion of problems with past ones. Decisions are now made with one vote per group represented at a meeting. Any group wanting to contribute to the antiwar movement is encouraged to send a representative.
CCAW is planning an antiwar flyering campaign over the next few weeks, culminating in a week of film screenings after Spring Break that will commemorate the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

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