Statement regarding the “Rage against War” rally

On December 23rd, I expressed concerns about the Rage Against War rally, pointing out that the demands ignored Russian aggression in the war. With recent revelations about speakers and sponsors, it is clear that those demands have attracted openly pro-war and pro-Putin speakers (see sources below).

Since retweeting my concerns, the Classical Liberal Caucus has remained silent about the event. This is in line with our policy of speaking our own message, and not going out of our way to tear down the messaging of others. But there are times where we cannot remain silent, especially when the core libertarian principle of non-aggression is at stake.

Reaching out to people of different political beliefs to work together on common issues is a good thing. But there is no room for pro-war speakers at an event that claims to be anti-war. Many speakers invited to the Rage against War rally, and including at least one sponsor, are openly pro-war and pro-aggression.

If a rally’s speakers are pro-war, then the rally is pro-war. If a rally’s speakers are pro-aggression, then the rally is pro-aggression. This event would do a great deal of damage to the anti-war movement if it continues as presently organized.

The principled path forward is to remove the pro-war speakers (specifically Scott Ritter, Jackson Hinkle, Garland Nixon, Daniel McAdams, and any of the others who support Russian aggression) and remove the The Center for Political Innovation as a sponsor, and replace them with any number of true anti-war speakers: Spike Cohen, Justin Amash, Dave Smith, Chase Oliver, Jo Jorgensen, to only name a few in the Libertarian Party.

If this cannot be achieved, and the event remains a pro-aggression rally, the Libertarian Party should end its sponsorship of the event. Libertarians have one principle at the core of our philosophy, the non-aggression principle. If we abandon it, we abandon everything we stand for.

There is never a point at which it is too late to do the right thing. The Classical Liberal Caucus is more than willing to help with turning this rally around and make it something the anti-war movement can be proud of.

Jonathan Casey
Classical Liberal Caucus Chair

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