In the Post's main story about the antiwar march, 4 years After Start of War, Anger Reigns,
reporters Steve Vogel and Michael Alison Chandler vaguely refer to "organizers" a few times before one quick direct identification: More than 60 bus loads of protesters who had been scheduled to come from the region canceled their trips Friday night, according to Brian Becker, national coordinator for the Answer Coalition, the event's main sponsor. Becker and Answer are never heard from again.
But they ought to be. The fifth story in that Google search may be the key one for newbies, in an arguing-against-interest kind of way; it's an expose of the extremely extreme far-left antiwar associations of ANSWER and related organizations, written in October, 2002 for LA Weekly by The Nation's David Corn:
If public-opinion polls are correct, 33 percent to 40 percent of the public opposes an Iraq war; even more are against a unilateral action. This means the burgeoning anti-war movement has a large recruiting pool, yet the demo was not intended to persuade doubters. Nor did it speak to Americans who oppose the war but who don’t consider the United States a force of unequaled imperialist evil and who don’t yearn to smash global capitalism.
This was no accident, for the demonstration was essentially organized by the Workers World Party, a small political sect that years ago split from the Socialist Workers Party to support the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956. The party advocates socialist revolution and abolishing private property. It is a fan of Fidel Castro’s regime in Cuba, and it hails North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il for preserving his country’s “socialist system,” which, according to the party’s newspaper, has kept North Korea “from falling under the sway of the transnational banks and corporations that dictate to most of the world.” The WWP has campaigned against the war-crimes trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. A recent Workers World editorial declared, “Iraq has done absolutely nothing wrong.”
Officially, the organizer of the Washington demonstration was International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism). But ANSWER is run by WWP activists, to such an extent that it seems fair to dub it a WWP front. Several key ANSWER officials — including spokesperson Brian Becker — are WWP members. Many local offices for ANSWER’s protest were housed in WWP offices. Earlier this year, when ANSWER conducted a press briefing, at least five of the 13 speakers were WWP activists. They were each identified, though, in other ways, including as members of the International Action Center.
If you do your own searches, you'll learn plenty about Becker and his passionate defense of the last great Stalinist enterprise, North Korea. Current websites for ANSWER and the Workers World Party don't reveal many links between the two, and I don't know whether that's a tactical decision on their part after stories like Corn's, or whether this story written by a disgruntled lefty that references rifts in left-wing circles has anything to do with it (Socialism and Liberation, another march supporter, may be part of the answer if you'll pardon the expression).
But absent a story about Becker changing his stripes into a classical liberal, I'll assume he still stands for the hodgepodge of "anti-imperialist" ravings that he is widely known for outside the willfully ignorant mainstream media, which has never fully grappled with ANSWER and its allies. That definitely includes the Post.
There's more to say about the march coverage, but that will do for now.
Update: The New York Times--of all things--explains what the Post did not, and clears up what Becker's been up to since we last tuned in. Via Powerline:
This New York Times account is interesting, once you get past the clearly low-ball assertion that "several hundred" pro-war demonstrators turned out. The Times acknowledges with unusual frankness the far-left sponsorship of the antiwar rally:
Saturday’s march was organized by the Answer Coalition — named for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism — an organization that was initially associated with the Workers World Party and now affiliated with a breakaway faction of that party called the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
*** Judging by the speeches and placards, the marchers on Saturday set their sights on sweeping goals, including not only ending the war but also impeaching President Bush and ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Many carried Answer Coalition signs bearing the image of the Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara.
Brian Becker, the national coordinator of the Answer Coalition and a member of the Party of Socialism and Liberation, said the group held out little hope of influencing either the president or Congress. “It is about radicalizing people,” Mr. Becker said in an interview. “You hook into a movement that exists — in this case the antiwar movement — and channel people who care about that movement and bring them into political life, the life of political activism.”
*** Many in the crowd said they were unfamiliar with the Answer Coalition and puzzled by the many signs about socialism.