In a crushing blow to George Bush, US voters last week voiced their dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq, the declining economy, and ethics in government.
While the Democratic Party became the majority in both houses of the Congress, Bush accepted the resignation of defence secretary and architect of the Iraq war Donald Rumsfeld.
This is a stunning victory for the anti-war movement.
Nearly 60 percent of voters said the war had not improved the long term security of the country, and 55 percent said the US should pull out some or all troops from Iraq.
Despite the Democratic Party’s tremendous success, largely on a anti-war platform, there will be an inevitable backslide from its campaign promises into behaviour that mirrors the corporate party’s pro-war stance in the past.
It is only the efforts of ordinary people that will allow justice to prevail. The US anti-war movement must continue the pressure on the politicians.
United for Peace and Justice, the nation’s largest anti-war coalition, has called for a national demonstration on the fourth anniversary of the invasion in March 2007.
A broad-based campaign is taking shape which targets Congress. This “mandate for peace” is being called by the major anti-war coalitions and organisations.
In this mandate, signatories “insist that the newly elected Congress, in its earliest days in office, pass legislation requiring the prompt removal of all US troops from Iraq and discontinue funding for military purposes in Iraq except for the safe withdrawal of all US forces”.
Economic worries also played a part in the Democrats’ victory. In the recent exit polls, only 30 percent of Americans expected that their children would live better than they do — this in the wealthiest nation in the history of civilisation.
Latino voters, concerned about immigration rights, supported the Democrats more than in 2004.
Six states including Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, and Ohio voted to increase the minimum wage.
The anti-war movement has had a huge impact on the results of the US midterm elections and the resignation of Rumsfeld.
These monumental events would not have occurred without the countless demonstrations and the massive show of force on the streets around the world.
Virginia Rodino is national organiser for US Labor Against the War and co-convenor of United for Peace and Justice’s international committee