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January 15, 2003

What is a Front? WWP & ANSWER

David Byron in comments doesn't want to take the word of the multiple writers I linked to have experienced the WWP control (mostly through the International Action Center) of the ANSWER coalition, so I thought it might be useful to illustrate how to identify a coalition that is really a front for a sectarian group.

Start with who runs the website and where the national office is located. If a single group set up the website and the national office is the same as a sectarian group-- it's a good bet you've got a front group on your hands.

Note that the national office of ANSWER is located at: 39 W. 14 St., #206, NY, NY 10011

And the home office of the International Action Center (the WWP's main front group) is:
39 W. 14th St., #206 NY, NY

Interesting coincidence, huh?

But a fun test is to look at the steering committee list. Lots of big name organizations have endorsed the coalition, but none of them are on the steering commitee, just these relatively small groups:

IFCO/Pastors for Peace
Free Palestine Alliance - U.S.
Partnership for Civil Justice - LDEF
Nicaragua Network
Bayan - USA/International
Korea Truth Commission
International Action Center
Muslim Student Association of the U.S./Canada
Kensington Welfare Rights Union
Mexico Solidarity Network
Middle East Children's Alliance

And guess what? Almost all of them are either controlled by WWP/IAC members or are long-time allies of the organization.

Take the Korea Truth Commission. Run a google search and all the references will be either those associated with the International Action Center or about delegations featuring the IAC's house celebrity, Ramsey Clark.

The Partnership for Civil Justice is the long-time legal counsel for the International Action Center. See this lawsuit from the 2000 Bush inauguration.

Then there are the smaller groups that are tied to the WWP and IAC in almost all their activities.

See this google search for the Free Palestine Alliance" which is tied tightly to the IAC in most mentions or Bayan- USA/International. Bayan is the Bayan, which is the US affiliate of a leftwing group in the Phillipines that does not even list contact info in the US, other than its frequent mentions in IAC/WWP/ANSWER materials. And the IAC and Pastors for Peace have been doing delegations to Iraq together for years. See here.

Whatever you want to call it, ANSWER was a prefab coalition put together by a group, the Workers World Party, that only invited its puppets and closest friends into any real power over the organization. That's kind of the definition of a front group in any political dictionary.

Update: Good article on WWP and ANSWER here. On using the word "front" see this comment:

``Basically, A.N.S.W.E.R. is dominated by the IAC, which is largely a front for the Workers World Party, a Marxist-Leninist group that has been around since the 1950s,'' said Stephen Zunes, chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Program at the University of San Francisco.

Posted by Nathan at January 15, 2003 11:31 AM

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