Radical Sociology

By J. David Colfax; Jack L. Roach | Go to book overview

(21)
Insurgent Politics in New Haven:
A Report from AIM *

ROBERT M. COOK

DURING the past three years the American Independent Movement —AIM—has come a long way. We have evolved from a loose coalition of antiwar activists into an organization with a long-range commitment to build a viable political alternative in New Haven.

Our movement originally grew out of a variety of issues and interests; most important was the creation in 1964 of an Economic Research and Action Project group in a black area, the Hill, and the formation that same year of the Yale-New Haven Committee for Peace in Vietnam. A core of organizers developed around these projects, and early in 1966, AIM was founded to spearhead an antiwar congressional campaign.

The campaign was only a partial success, but our organization continued beyond November, with more people becoming involved through the programs we launched around urban renewal, welfare, the war and the draft. In 1968 AIM again staged a congressional campaign, but it was quite different in conception and organization from the first one. A comparison of the two campaigns reveals a great deal about our development as a political movement.

In 1966, the campaign was AIM's primary activity. I was chosen to run for Connecticut's third congressional seat, and Fred Harris, a black leader of the Hill Parents' Association, ran for State Assembly. Although we were described as "peace" candidates, our platform also attacked racism and the failure of New Deal and Great Society programs. This marked the beginning of our split with the liberals, who were interested only in an antiwar emphasis.

____________________
*
Reprinted in updated form from Leviathan 1, No. 1 (March 1969): 8-10.

-353-

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