The Statement below was produced for the HOPI teach-in in Dublin on 10th November.
Socialist Democracy Statement.
Building HOPI as a campaign
In February 2003 over 100,000 people took to the streets of Dublin to protest the upcoming invasion of Iraq. The invasion went ahead anyway and the mass mobilisation disappeared from the streets. In the time since then the anti-war movement has shrunk and fragmented while the fruits of occupation have become more and more bloody and barbarous.
Why did this happen? Socialist Democracy believes that the initial mobilisation did not have an anti-imperialist consciousness. People thought that their demonstration could shift the policy of the governments involved. When they found that this was not the case they became demoralised and withdrew from political demonstrations. This spontaneous tendency has been strengthened by socialist and anti-war militants seeking to capture the pacifist character of the early demonstrations.
HOPI offers the possibility of breaking out of this cycle. It puts forwards tasks of socialist and anti-imperialist solidarity and an orientation towards the working class that could offer a new basis for a campaign. This will not be an easy task. Translating slogans into a real campaign, finding new ways to reach and engage working-class militants will be very difficult. The first step should be an open conference to draw together militants and discuss a common approach to the very real problems that exist.
The forces organising around HOPI are quite small, but it would be a real advance if a democratic anti-imperialist and socialist campaign can be built that will not blown off course by spontaneous shifts in public opinion or by frantic attempts to find the lowest common denominator.