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Excerpt from an article published at Spero News, which is being circulated by 2008 independent Congressional candidate and anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan:
Did Obama’s Election mean the End of the Anti-War Movement?
The anti-war movement in the US may have become more anti-Republican than antiwar since 2003, say U-Michigan researchers.
By Bernie DeGroat / Thursday, April 07, 2011
Since 2003, the antiwar movement in the United States has had much to protest with Americans fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya, but the movement—which has dropped off sharply the past two years—may be more anti-Republican than antiwar, says a University of Michigan researcher.
A new study by U-M’s Michael Heaney and colleague Fabio Rojas of Indiana University shows that the antiwar movement in the United States demobilized as Democrats, who had been motivated to participate by anti-Republican sentiments, withdrew from antiwar protests when the Democratic Party achieved electoral success, first with Congress in 2006 and then with the presidency in 2008…
Their study found that the withdrawal of Democratic activists changed the character of the antiwar movement by undermining broad coalitions in the movement and encouraging the formation of smaller, more radical coalitions.
After Obama’s election as president, Democratic participation in antiwar activities plunged, falling from 37 percent in January 2009 to a low of 19 percent in November 2009, Heaney and Rojas say. In contrast, members of third parties became proportionately more prevalent in the movement, rising from 16 percent in January 2009 to a high of 34 percent in November 2009…
For members of third parties, holding radical political attitudes had a significant, positive effect on the likelihood that they would attend antiwar rallies. They also had a more negative view of Obama’s handling of Iraq, compared to Democrats, nonparty members and even Republicans.
“The withdrawal of Democrats from the movement led to the collapse of its largest and broadest coalition, which resulted in the fragmentation of the movement into smaller coalitions and left it relying more on individual organizations acting independently,”…
“Overall, our results convincingly demonstrate a strong relationship between partisanship and the dynamics of the antiwar movement. While Obama’s election was heralded as a victory for the antiwar movement, Obama’s election, in fact, thwarted the ability of the movement to achieve critical mass.”
Bernie DeGroat writes for the University of Michigan.
Study: Partisan dynamics of contention (PDF): http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mheaney/Partisan_Dynamics_of_Contention.pdf