CPGB-ML and Red Youth activists attended and spoke at a demonstration opposing TTIP today at Shepherd’s Bush in West London (see video below).
TTIP is the latest in the legacy of cuts and privatisation ushered in by successive imperialist governments, and has been rearing it’s ugly head with increasing frequency in the media recently – but not without opposition, despite the best attempts of our governments and media to sanitise it, and brush its anti-social effects under the carpet.
TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) is being put across as a simple way to encourage and improve trade between member countries, boosting the economy and creating jobs. What they’re trying desperately to avoid is to reveal how TTIP actually works, and what it would mean for working people in the countries afflicted with it.
What we understand of the framework of the agreement, which is discussed behind closed doors, comes largely from leaked documents over the past few years and includes a variety of despicable, yet characteristic attacks on the basic rights of the working classes everywhere.
TTIP really has one agenda: to put more tools and more power into the hands of corporations to wring out every last bit of profit from the masses they exploit.
Under the partnership, EU businesses will be able to throw out many regulations now in place for environmental protection and the safe production of food and medicines.
What is more, TTIP would force the further privatisation of vital public services including the NHS and education by requiring public providers (local and national governments) to open all services and supplies to bidding from private companies. It would also mean that corporations would have a right to sue governments for enacting any law that could effect their future profits!
TTIP has drawn protest from many quarters, including environmentalists, healthcare workers, anti-GM campaigners, and students. Many protesters have branded TTIP an ‘assault on democracy’, and potentially the ‘biggest threat to human rights’, the economy, and public infrastructure in this country. In this characterisation, we believe, many protesters display their lack of understanding of the fundamental nature of the capitalist system that oppresses and exploits us.
The fact is that the tired references to ‘democracy’, filling our air-waves once again in this election period, are as empty as they are hackneyed. Imperialism strives for domination, not democracy, and any close look at the manner in which the super rich stay in command of their fortunes, and the political and economic fate of our nation and the world show this time and again.
TTIP is a flagrant attack on the social-democratic attempt to create a ‘people friendly’ capitalism, that allows for some semblance of welfare state. But it must not be imagined that it marks some sort of qualitative turning point in the rapacious rule of capital. Rather, it will be another weapon in the arsenal of the lords of finance capital to batter down the last remaining bastions of the Keynesian consensus.
We must oppose the implementation of TTIP, while pointing out that in reality, it remains just another symptom of the root cause: capitalism itself. So long as the capitalist class remain in power, we will never be free of their constant attempts to undermine the remaining vestiges of workers’ hard-won rights. No amount of letters to MPs or petitions will solve the permanent crisis we have been born into. We must demand, not only an end to the worst excesses of exploitation, but an end to capitalist exploitation itself!
Heightened class consciousness (rather than dumbed down UKIPing and anti-immigrant scapegoating), real marxist-leninist education, widespread working class organisation, and concerted action are the only weapons in the hands of workers that are capable of worry ing big business and the MPs in their pockets, and overturning their TTIP apple-cart.