Sara Flounders is a political writer and activist who has been engaged in progressive and anti-war organizing since the 1960s. Aiming to “help build a revolutionary struggle for change within the U.S.,” she serves as a co-director of the International Action Center (IAC) and is a member of the Secretariat of the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party (WWP). Flounders writes regularly for the WWP newsletter, Workers World, and has co-authored and/or edited ten books (all published by IAC) on such subjects as the evils of military recruiters, the injustice of U.S. wars and sanctions against nations like Iraq and Yugoslavia, and the immorality of America’s use of weaponry containing depleted uranium. Flounders and fellow WWP member John Catalinotto formerly served as co-coordinators of the IAC’s Depleted Uranium Education Project.
When the U.S. and the United Nations imposed economic sanctions against Saddam Hussein‘s Iraq in the 1990s, Flounders organized delegations that traveled to that country for the express purpose of drawing attention to the pain and suffering that its citizens were experiencing as a result of the sanctions. She also traveled to Sudan in 1998 to condemn a U.S. missile strike that had destroyed a pharmaceutical complex which had been mistaken for a chemical weapons factory run by Osama bin Laden. In 1999 Flounders went to Yugoslavia to denounce the death and destruction caused by a 78-day NATO bombing campaign that sought to destabilize Slobodan Milosevic’s repressive regime. In June 2000, shedescribed NATO as “a criminal conspiracy with a global appetite … that is commanded, organized and largely equipped by the Pentagon.”
Flounders also has led delegations to Lebanon, to expose the what she portrayed as the unjustified destruction that the Israeli Defense Forces had perpetrated with weaponry supplied by the United States.
A frequent critic of what she describes as U.S. imperialist aggression, Flounders helped coordinate major International War Crimes Tribunals to document America’s alleged atrocities in Korea and, later, in Iraq and Yugoslavia. In the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, she was a featured speaker at numerous anti-war rallies.
In May 2003, shortly after major combat had ended in the initial phase of the Iraq War, Flounders wrote a scathing article in Workers World stating that American troops were starving and abusing the Iraqi people; that the U.S. had maliciously and/or carelessly destroyed Iraqi schools in bombing campaigns; and that “this is a time to demand that the U.S. and British pay Iraq billions in reparations.”
In April 2004 Flounders co-sponsored a Brooklyn rally in support of Haiti’s Marxist president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who had been deposed in a military coup and was seeking to reassert his authority.
On September 21, 2010, in midtown Manhattan, Flounders and approximately 130 fellow American leftists—including such notables as Cynthia McKinney, Ramsey Clark, and Amiri Baraka—attended a friendly meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. According to one sympathetic news report of the event: “These prominent leaders … rejected a well-funded campaign to demonize Iran and whip up a pro-war climate.” Flounders delivered some opening remarks at the meeting, lauded the work of the American peace movement, and explained that international concerns about Iran’s nuclear weapons program should be resolved via dialog rather than military action.
Claiming that capitalism is inherently a breeding ground for war, inequality, and racism, Flounders identifies socialism as a far superior alternative. In a November 2015 article in Workers World, she wrote that “crises of overproduction” have historically “upended capitalist economies every 7 to 10 years.” “The boom-and-bust, expansion-and-contraction cycles leading to capitalist overproduction,” she elaborated, “were described by Karl Marx over 165 years ago. They make capitalism an unstable, crisis-ridden, self-destructive system of production.”
Flounders detests the nation of Israel, accusing it of subjecting Palestinian Arabs to “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “genocide.” Consequently, she supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against the Jewish state. Especially critical of America’s longstanding alliance with Israel, Flounders in July 2014 condemned the U.S. for having provided “decades of … military, political, diplomatic, and economic support” for a “Zionist policy” aimed at “destabiliz[ing] the region and … destroy[ing] the Palestinian people.” Moreover, she impugned the United States for having “denounced the unity government of the Palestinian people, between Fatah and Hamas.” Over the years, Flounders has traveled several times to Gaza to highlight Israel’s alleged human-rights abuses in the region.
During the course of her activist career, Flounders has sat on the directors’ board of the International Anti-Imperialist Coordinating Committee; served as a founder and organizer with the United National Antiwar Coalition; and served as board secretary of the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms. She also has worked on legal defense efforts for such “political prisoners” as radical attorney Lynne Stewart, convicted cop-killer and leftist icon Mumia Abu-Jamal, and al-Qaeda operative Aafia Siddiqui. IAC’s biography of Flounders emphasizes her steadfast opposition to “the growing racism, mass incarceration, political repression and austerity that is linked to the ever expanding encroachment of militarism into all aspects of U.S. society.”
Further Reading: “Sara Flounders” (IACenter.org, Keywiki.org, World Heritage Encyclopedia); “NATO and the Crime Against Peace” (by Sara Flounders, 6-10-2000); “U.S. ‘Authority’ in Iraq Continues to Unravel (by Sara Flounders, Workers World, 5-29-2003); “My Dinner With Mahmoud Ahmadinejad” (Pan African News Wire, 9-26-2010); “U.S. Activists Meet with Iranian President” (Workers World, 9-30-2010); “Anti-War Activist Argues for Socialism” (International Action Center, 2-14-2008); “Tremors Before a Capitalist Earthquake?” (by Sara Flounders, Workers World, 11-3-2015).