Mick Jagger isn’t the only sixties veteran taking his old act on the road this fall. A full-page ad in last week’s New York Times featured another wrinkled reunion tour, this one of old radicals bent on stopping American imperialism generally and the Bush administration’s “war on terror” specifically.
The New York–based organization is called Not in Our Name (NION), and its headliners include ex-Weatherwoman Bernardine Dohrn, people’s historian Howard Zinn, convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, Harvard prof Noam Chomsky, and special guest star Jane Fonda.
Hollywood is further represented by Susan Sarandon, Oliver Stone, Ed Asner, and Danny Glover, while the youth vote is provided by the likes of Mos Def and Marisa Tomei. Sixties antiwar veterans make up the bulk of the names, from Angela Davis and Tom Hayden to Pete Seeger and Gloria Steinem. Psychedelic shaman Ram Dass is even onboard.
A lot’s changed – both personally and politically – since the good old days, of course. Fonda spent the ensuing three decades making aerobics tapes, while other movement heavies seem simply to have vanished. When was the last time we heard from sixties activist Clark Kissinger?
Not everyone, however, is thrilled about the comeback. Vanity Fair and Nation columnist Christopher Hitchens, an outspoken supporter of the war on terror, groaned at the group’s mere mention: “Nobody in Iraq, nobody in Europe, practically no one in America gives a shit what the American antiwar left thinks anymore. Their complaint is with reality.”
Undaunted, NION is also collecting lesser-known signatures (4,000 so far) for its national “Pledge of Resistance” and drumming up support for a rally in Central Park on October 6, the anniversary of the start of the U.S. bombing campaign in Afghanistan. Signatories are asked to donate $200 to the cause, which may seem a lot compared with the sixties, but then, it’s $100 cheaper than a front-row seat at the Stones.