Message from Howard Zinn


I’d like to express my support for the plan to have nationwide protest by students on November 2nd, protest not just against the policies of the Bush administration, protest against the war, but against the general direction which our country has been moving in for some time, a direction which the Bush administration has moved faster on, more fanatically on than any previous administration. By that I mean that the country has been moving towards a militarized country, a country bent on expansion abroad and on the curtailment of civil liberties at home, the direction which the country has been going is a direction which is disastrous for the ordinary people of this country. Because what it means is that the enormous wealth that we have in this country is going to be expended on military adventures abroad, on expansionism, is going to be diverted into the pockets of the super-rich in this country and the rights of people to health, to housing, to education, to employment, those rights are more and more being diminished. And it seems to me that we are at a historic turning point in this country where we will need to turn the country in a different direction if we are not going to be headed towards collapse and disaster.

The impetus for such change so often depends on the young, so often depends on students, not alone on students of course, but students can very often be a kind of spark that sets off, that increases the power and energy of the national movement. We’ve seen this in the past, we saw it in the civil rights movement where young Black students in the south really set of the sparks that ignited a national struggle by Black people which finally ended in the elimination of legal segregation in the south and which changed the consciousness in the country. We saw students again involved in the war in Vietnam, opposing the war. The students were joined by other people and by the veterans of the war-- but the students themselves on hundreds of campuses across the country played a crucial role in causing other people to think about what was happening in this country. And so I see what’s happening now as something requiring something like what we have seen in the past, and that is for a new student movement which would sort of wake people up, which would perhaps be the opening of a recognition by other people in the country that we are on a dangerous course in this country and that we want to have a different kind of society, one devoted to peace, one devoted to economic justice, to racial justice.

For those reasons I see the November 2nd action as something really important, [that] might be a turning point in the development of a student movement and then a national movement to change the direction in which the country has been going. I don’t think the world can wait, I don’t think the nation can wait, I don’t think history can wait. This is I think a moment for people who have wondered, “What can I do?” This is a moment for people to engage themselves and join others. And there’s nothing so uplifting, nothing so rewarding as to become part of a movement for social change.

Howard Zinn


World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.