Media and the Moratorium, 1969


Just in case anyone has the mistaken impression that the leftwing bias of the media, government bureaucracies and academic institutions is anything new, we have this reminder from Jeremy Brecher, writing about the halcyon days of the anti—Vietnam war "Moratorium" demonstrations in the fall of 1969:
Throughout the country, workplace committees have sprung up spontaneously to coordinate participation in the October and November demonstrations. In New York, for example, Moratorium committees were formed by employees in each of the major newspapers, T.V. stations, and publishing houses; in Boston, by secretaries and lab workers at M.I.T.; in Washington, by workers in each government agency.
The main activities of such groups so far have been recruiting for participation in demonstrations and education teach—ins, discussions, and meetings for fellow workers.

Even such elementary exercises of Constitutional rights have often brought conflict with the employers over peace work during working hours and the use of employers' facilities. Thus, at both the New York Times and the National Institute of Mental Health the use of auditoriums was refused for October 15. In the latter case, the ban was overturned by an injunction secured by the workers against their governmental employer. Thus, such a movement automatically raises the most fundamental questions of participatory democracy and socialism: workers' control of their own work time and work place, and their responsibility for the overall direction of society.

The prime objective of each workplace organization should be participation of a majority of their fellow workers either in workplace educational meetings or as a group in demonstrations on each Moratorium day, eventually including mass walkout.

And in case anyone should think that people like Mr. Brecher have grown up or given up, here is his current bio blurb:

Jeremy Brecher was once Northwest regional organizer for SDS. He was also an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. and co—editor of Left Mailings, a new radical pamphlet series.

Elsewhere Mr. Brecher claims to be a historian, whilst he writes screeds in support of the candidacy of——surprise, surprise——John Kerry.

Steve Gilbert   9 27 04