Antisocial behaviour, crime and policing bill

Another inch of liberty is in the process of being clawed away. It seems the Oligarchs bang bangare securing their position for the long haul, and it is a long haul, as shown by the Tories proposed cuts for the next term they are confident of winning. They plan to implement deeper cuts to the benefits of the most vulnerable in society, when they are at their most vulnerable and sinking deeper and deeper into despair, destitution and poverty. And to safeguard this utopia of the bourgeoisie they are introducing laws with ever more vague parameters to criminalize the malcontents who will inevitably rise up against such oppression, because to paraphrase Karl Marx, the bourgeoisie creates its own gravediggers.

Red Youth reproduces here the article written by George Monbiot in the Guardian:

Until the late 19th century much of our city space was owned by private landlords. Squares were gated, streets were controlled by turnpikes. The great unwashed, many of whom had been expelled from the countryside by acts of enclosure, were also excluded from desirable parts of town.

Social reformers and democratic movements tore down the barriers, and public space became a right, not a privilege. But social exclusion follows inequality as night follows day, and now, with little public debate, our city centres are again being privatised or semi-privatised. They are being turned by the companies that run them into soulless, cheerless, pasteurised piazzas, in which plastic policemen harry anyone loitering without intent to shop.

Street life in these places is reduced to a trance-world of consumerism, of conformity and atomisation in which nothing unpredictable or disconcerting happens, a world made safe for selling mountains of pointless junk to tranquillised shoppers. Spontaneous gatherings of any other kind – unruly, exuberant, open-ended, oppositional – are banned. Young, homeless and eccentric people are, in the eyes of those upholding this dead-eyed, sanitised version of public order, guilty until proven innocent.

Now this dreary ethos is creeping into places that are not, ostensibly, owned or controlled by corporations. It is enforced less by gates and barriers (though plenty of these are reappearing) than by legal instruments, used to exclude or control the ever widening class of undesirables.

The existing rules are bad enough. Introduced by the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act, antisocial behaviour orders (asbos) have criminalised an apparently endless range of activities, subjecting thousands – mostly young and poor – to bespoke laws. They have been used to enforce a kind of caste prohibition: personalised rules which prevent the untouchables from intruding into the lives of others.

You get an asbo for behaving in a manner deemed by a magistrate as likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to other people. Under this injunction, the proscribed behaviour becomes a criminal offence. Asbos have been granted which forbid the carrying of condoms by a prostitute, homeless alcoholics from possessing alcohol in a public place, a soup kitchen from giving food to the poor, a young man from walking down any road other than his own, children from playing football in the street. They were used to ban peaceful protests against the Olympic clearances.

Inevitably, more than half the people subject to asbos break them. As Liberty says, these injunctions “set the young, vulnerable or mentally ill up to fail”, and fast-track them into the criminal justice system. They allow the courts to imprison people for offences which are not otherwise imprisonable. One homeless young man was sentenced to five years in jail for begging: an offence for which no custodial sentence exists. Asbos permit the police and courts to create their own laws and their own penal codes.

All this is about to get much worse. On Wednesday the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill reaches its report stage (close to the end of the process) in the House of Lords. It is remarkable how little fuss has been made about it, and how little we know of what is about to hit us.

The bill would permit injunctions against anyone of 10 or older who “has engaged or threatens to engage in conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person”. It would replace asbos with ipnas (injunctions to prevent nuisance and annoyance), which would not only forbid certain forms of behaviour, but also force the recipient to discharge positive obligations. In other words, they can impose a kind of community service order on people who have committed no crime, which could, the law proposes, remain in force for the rest of their lives.

The bill also introduces public space protection orders, which can prevent either everybody or particular kinds of people from doing certain things in certain places. It creates new dispersal powers, which can be used by the police to exclude people from an area (there is no size limit), whether or not they have done anything wrong.

While, as a result of a successful legal challenge, asbos can be granted only if a court is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that antisocial behaviour took place, ipnas can be granted on the balance of probabilities. Breaching them will not be classed as a criminal offence, but can still carry a custodial sentence: without committing a crime, you can be imprisoned for up to two years. Children, who cannot currently be detained for contempt of court, will be subject to an inspiring new range of punishments for breaking an ipna, including three months in a young offenders’ centre.

Lord Macdonald, formerly the director of public prosecutions, points out that “it is difficult to imagine a broader concept than causing ‘nuisance’ or ‘annoyance'”. The phrase is apt to catch a vast range of everyday behaviours to an extent that may have serious implications for the rule of law”. Protesters, buskers, preachers: all, he argues, could end up with ipnas.

The Home Office minister, Norman Baker, once a defender of civil liberties, now the architect of the most oppressive bill pushed through any recent parliament, claims that the amendments he offered in December will “reassure people that basic liberties will not be affected”. But Liberty describes them as “a little bit of window-dressing: nothing substantial has changed.”

The new injunctions and the new dispersal orders create a system in which the authorities can prevent anyone from doing more or less anything. But they won’t be deployed against anyone. Advertisers, who cause plenty of nuisance and annoyance, have nothing to fear; nor do opera lovers hogging the pavements of Covent Garden. Annoyance and nuisance are what young people cause; they are inflicted by oddballs, the underclass, those who dispute the claims of power.

These laws will be used to stamp out plurality and difference, to douse the exuberance of youth, to pursue children for the crime of being young and together in a public place, to help turn this nation into a money-making monoculture, controlled, homogenised, lifeless, strifeless and bland. For a government which represents the old and the rich, that must sound like paradise.

Video – Great October Socialist Revolution

Thursday 7th November 2013 marked the 96th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, and this little introductory video is just to give you a flavour of the celebration that was held by the CPGB-ML at a packed meeting in Saklatvala hall, Southall on Saturday 9th November 2013.

Great speeches from the representatives of Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea, as well a Katt Cremer from the Party and Angela and Dan from Red Youth.

This video explains why we celebrate, what we are trying to achieve and why we have every reason to be optimistic about the future.

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Equ9NND_ZJE]

Communists celebrate Bolshevik Revolution

Comrades from the Communist Party and Red Youth were joined by representatives from the embassies of Venezuela,  Cuba and DPR Korea to celebrate the anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution. Our close friends from the Chinese state news agency Xinhua were also present to celebrate this joyous occasion.

October Revolution Celebrations Southall LDN 2013

In a packed Saklatvala Hall a spirited meeting heard speakers from the central committee of the CPGB-ML, the embassies of Cuba, Venezuela and Korea, Harsev Bains from the I.W.A (G.B) and two leading members of Red Youth.

Our international guests recalled the heroic struggles for national liberation, independence and socialism which were and continue to be waged as a result of the glorious October Revolution. In the speeches of comrade Dan and Angela, Red Youth speakers declared:

“We still talk about the October Revolution today because all the lessons it teaches us are still relevant, perhaps moreso now than ever before both in our country and internationally.

In the UK over a fifth of young people are unemployed, with a similar rate across Europe. In countries such as Spain and Greece the rates today reach 56% and 61% respectively. Everyone knows why we’re facing this current capitalist crisis – the irresponsibility of bankers, the greed of the corporate elite, and the complicity of these governments in the destructive imperial capitalist machine. And yet every measure directed to stave off complete financial collapse has been directed at the working classes; cuts to health, cuts to transport, taxes on spare bedrooms, measures that will only affect the very poorest. Many families are now relying on food banks, or having to make the choice whether to go to bed hungry or cold as fuel prices relentlessly increase.

This is not to mention the already existing disparity between the working classes and the elite. Whereas the 7% of pupils that can afford to attend independent schools make up 39% of the students at top universities the poorest 33% of students only make up 6%, no wonder when parliament is filled with millionaires….

The revolution and the changes that followed inspired similar events in China, Cuba, Vietnam, Korea, and many other countries. No longer in the Soviet Union and these other socialist countries was a full education the preserve of the wealthy, health care wasn’t just for those that could afford it, access to employment, housing, and food wasn’t based on whether or not you had the connections or luck to secure a job in tough economic times. And these revolutions were necessarily not just economic – they were social too, doing away with any notion of privilege related to gender or race. Every single metric relating to quality of life improved.

So we will celebrate the October Revolution every year, and we will share the lessons it has taught us and the rest of the working class, that we have a duty to form a vanguard party and to educate the working classes, to teach people that there is an alternative to slaving away for the bourgeoisie in return for cuts to public services, mass unemployment, homelessness, and starvation. Hence the motto of Red Youth: Each One, Teach One!

More photo’s of the event will appear here shortly.

WFDY Festival and CPB attitude

We reproduce below the comments of YCL member and CPB sectarian comrade, Devonshire lad George Waterhouse to Red Youth requests to join in with this magnificent anti-imperialist festival. These comments were posted via facecbook:

George Waterhouse “A fantastic, mass party. Noted as the best defenders of the traditions of the carnation revolution and leaders of the Portuguese labour movement who have held several recent general strikes.

But wouldn’t the PCTP Maoist lot be more up your street?”

Paulo Cannon “When is the ycl going to sort the Brit prep committee for ecuador festival or you gonna keep banging on about mao?”
Yesterday at 00:58 · Like · 1

George Waterhouse “Nothing to do with me you cunt”
18 hours ago via mobile · Like

George Waterhouse “Lets be honest you lot will completely ignore emails and meetings from the BPC and just use the family fortune send Ranjeet again.

To be involved in the BPC means to be organised professionally, respond to emails, attend meetings, help with fundraising. I have not idea about this festivals BPC but from my experience on the last one you lot simply refused to get involved and then whinged about it.

Last time there were representatives of trade unions-the RMT, Unite, student broad left, some trot group, the new communist party, the YCL, domiciled CPs in Britain-Sudan, Iraq, Iran..etc but Britain’s “only thoroughly non-revisionist communist party” (lol!) couldn’t be bothered to get involved.

But I get the idea that you prefer to ignore all emails and meetings and then play the ‘everyone’s picking on us’ card. It’s your political style!”

CPGB-ML and Workers Party of Korea mark 60 years since the first historic defeat of US imperialism

Comrades and friends assembled in Saklatvala Hall on Saturday and celebrated both the defeat of US imperialism in the Korean war and the attacks on the Moncada barracks led by Fidel Castro which heralded the beginning of the Cuban revolution.

Members of the Kim il Sung Socialist Youth League performed revolutionary songs and cpgb-ml artists performed classics such as Joe Hill with everybody finishing with the Internationale.

Kim il Sung Socialist Youth League DPR Korea Embassy Victory in Korea cpgb-ml
cpgb-ml bbq

A history of the communist movement in Britain has now been uploaded to our youtube and can be seen here presented by cpgb-ml member -and former CPGB and NCP member- Steve Cook:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zo77Snx6GHU]

A video of the Internationale performance is here.

Stop the War Coalition, Ten years on – what have we achieved?

Red Youth

Stopping the war means stopping the imperial war machine: Join the Axis of Resistance!

Another February, another Stop the War ‘coalition’ conference.

British imperialist politicians, industrialists, mineral extraction conglomerates, weapons manufacturers and city financiers are no doubt quaking in their (custom-made John Lobb) shoes, all a-quiver in anticipation to see what militant challenges to their holocaust industry will emanate from this great anti-war gathering.

Except that a year after curtailing debate, unconstitutionally ‘disaffiliating’ anti-imperialists and ensuring Labour party control, unhindered by electoral consultation with the membership, StW ‘leaders’ have taken the step of scrapping the AGM format altogether, and substituting instead a ‘conference’ of an altogether less threatening type: there will be no motions, no debate, no ‘democracy in action’, no ‘grass-roots participation’. This year, “ten years on”, the platform will deliver their sterile lectures uninterrupted by activists’ disquieting notions of actually resisting imperialism. A kind of Marxism 13 for the Counterfire group.

“Ten years of banging on and on – in increasing obscurity, with ever fewer people paying attention, while the British imperialist war machine grinds inexorably on.” Would be more accurate.

What obstacles will ‘leaders’ like John Rees, Jeremy Corbyn, Tony Benn, Lindsay German – not to forget crowd-pulling Trotskyite linguistic guru Noam Chomsky – throw before the City of London’s ‘god-given’ right to exploit, rape pillage and plunder the globe?

There can be no doubt that this conference will be used as a platform for cosy reminiscences on the ‘great success’ of our ‘million-man march’ through London, on that wintery Saturday afternoon of 15 February 2003. Indeed, all our party comrades were there – although our party was not yet born. It is inspiring to be with the masses, no doubt. We could almost sense our strength, the slumbering power of the working masses. But what was the programme? Where the real disciplined unity? How were we to implement our goal? Were we simply a pressure group, begging the imperialist armies and their Labour party quartermasters to show mercy?

For even as we were marching, the Labour government – content that the official anti-war movement was in safe hands – was laying invasion plans, and was quick to talk down the significance of 4 percent of the British population marching through the capital. We failed to strike while the iron was hot! One month later, the troops were on Iraqi soil. For those who have taken the trouble to count, studies show that the real death toll stands at 4 million in Iraq alone, with 6 million displaced internally and externally. What kind of sorry ‘success’ story is that? And what is the conclusion that the average worker drew? That marching was useless, that the movement was over – that it had failed. On balance, their analysis is better than StW’s.

Renting a crowd?

Let’s not deceive ourselves. It was not the SWP or CPB, and certainly not the Labour party, who turned British workers onto the streets, but a section of British and European capitalists (manufacturing capital, as opposed to the oil and armaments giants) who were less desperate, more risk-averse, and opposed the Anglo-American militarist agenda and impending catastrophe in Iraq and the Middle East. It was the Daily Mail, that enlightened bastion of radical ideas, which advertised the march and called in its editorials for Britons to participate. The day before the march, it was the Daily Mirror that led with the article “A war won’t save Britain from terror” and ran its printing press all night to make placards for the demo!

What’s the point?

Since that initial high, with StW fortuitously finding itself at the head of this groundswell of real and popular anger (polls quoted 93 percent opposed to the Iraq war – while 98 percent of ‘balanced’ BBC propaganda was pro-war), where have we led British workers? How has our relationship matured?

It has been one long downward spiral. The StW office has collected money for distribution to a crop of Trotskyite and revisionist careerist staffers, and the ‘leadership’ thus generated issued call after call to “March, protest, act!” But to what purpose, and with what effect? Resolutions passed at national congress calling for active non-cooperation have been quietly shelved, and the most banal, unimaginative and ineffectual ‘action’ has been StW’s mantra. If the tactics were aimed at losing the support of the masses, they have been pitch perfect!

The grand old 2nd Viscount Stansgate marched us up to the top of the hill, handed us over to his successor, the honourable MP for Islington North, who pinned a Labour party purple campaign ribbon to our breast and marched us firmly down again. All aided and abetted by their adulating left-sectarian groupies, who go to the length of publishing articles – apparently without shame – about their ‘special relationship’ and admiration for Labour party ‘elder statesman’ Benn: “He’s got to this age and he’s still at demonstrations with a flask and cheese sandwich.” Amazing! Would that he were not.

The mountain brought fourth a mouse! The very same party that waged genocidal imperialist war, the Labour party of ‘Bomber Bliar’, leads the anti-war movement, and has delivered it safely into the enemy’s hands. What a farce! When the Nazi party ran trade unions in Germany, did this also demonstrate Hitler’s special relationship with the working class?

Yet few seem able to comprehend that the emperor is wearing no clothes: that the Labour party is a true-blue, union-jack-waving, immigration-scaremongering, gun-boat-toting, cruise-missile-dropping party of imperialism – and that support for and membership of such a party is totally incompatible either with serving the working class, or with stopping any imperialist war.

Where now?

After seven years of crisis, capitalism remains caught between the Scylla and Charybdis of its own making; between the abundant cheap goods it can produce by reducing wages, and its inability to sell this produce to the unemployed and impoverished masses; between the worker as object of his exploitation, and the worker as the consumer of his produce.

This worldwide crisis, more profound than the Wall Street crash of the 1930s, has been decades in the making, and is ruining the lives of unprecedented millions, who find their abilities, talents, and creative labour-power squandered; consigned to the scrap-heap of unemployment. A million British children go hungry each day, over a million youth and probably in excess of 8 million people of working age are unemployed.

The capitalist ‘solution’? Enormous hand-outs to (too-big-to-be) failing capitalists (no prizes for guessing who’s idea that was!), bankrupting the national treasuries, increasing taxes (for workers, while reducing tax on the mega-rich ‘economic motors’!) and reducing ‘unwarranted’ expenditure on health and education: sensible policies, for a happier Britain!

Currently the ConDem fad is more austerity on the one hand, and militarisation on the other; but let us note that decades of (Labour and Tory) Keynesianism have also failed. There is no solution under capitalism, but that will not stop them from attempting to dig their way out by increasing reliance on export of capital, backed by military adventurism to cement super-exploitation of cheap ‘third-world’ labour and looting other peoples’ resources. Britain and the US are becoming, if you can imagine it, ever more parasitic.

That is why the last ten years have seen such a relentless drive toward regional and world war. Our ‘masters’ are drowning the world in blood in order to avert the final demise of their system of production for (their) profit at our expense.

The fact is that the super rich-capitalists are totally out of their depth, and totally out of control. Our domestic woes and British imperialism’s bloody rampages abroad are two sides of the same coin; both are symptoms of the impending downfall of a senile ruling class. But they must be pushed over the precipice. Should our hand tremble? Is that not our job? Is that not the mission of our movement?

‘Unity’ with imperialism: the quaker test

Well, if by ‘movement’ we mean StW, then the answer is actually ‘No’. John Rees (SW/Counterfire Trotskyist) has at previous conferences assured the floor during debate (debate look you!) that he personally embraces these aims (of course!), but that, in order to remain ‘broad’ and quaker-friendly, he opposed StW calling for the victory of anti-imperialist forces.

Much easier (don’t you see?) to implicitly allow the victory of US and British imperialism – in the name of unity – while bemoaning the fate of their victims, calling for a better deal for our boys, fewer atrocities, etc. As for ‘bringing the troops home’, our imperialist masters plan on doing so anyway – once their missions of subjection are complete, compliant regimes are installed, stable occupations enforced and their reign of terror assured. It’s a military necessity to free up troops for the next intervention!

Rees’s infamous ‘quaker test’ is every bit as insidiously and divisively pro-imperialist as Norman Tebbit’s ‘cricket test’ is obviously and offensively so. If Rees wishes to support British imperialism, let him have the courage to say so openly, and remove his pernicious influence from the anti-war movement. No such honesty is forthcoming. Instead, it is more of the same: denunciation of the forces of resistance (they’re not socialists, they have poor ‘human rights’ records, they’re not democratic, are dictatorial …), pacifist platitudes, and simultaneous lionisation of Labour party social-imperialist saboteurs.

Libya

And it is just this opportunist leadership of StW that led to its shameful support of Nato’s bombing of Libya. A little retrospective wailing and gnashing of teeth over the 50,000 deaths and wholesale destruction of Libya’s hard-won independence and freedom will not wipe out the stain of collaboration. For at the crucial moment, Stop the War organised demonstrations in support of Nato’s war, and against the Libyan people’s resistance – on the shabby pretext of ‘opposing Gaddafi’. We shall not forgive or forget this shameful fraud and betrayal, which was the beginning of the end for StW. Libya’s enlightened society and modern industrial infrastructure yielded exemplary living standards – the highest in Africa, before the head-banging CIA and MI6-backed jihadists were forcibly installed.

Syria

No sooner had Libya fallen under Nato’s jackboot, than the same fundamentalist CIA army were transferred to their new task of causing murderous and brutal chaos in Syria – in order to generate the pretext for another intervention, removing the next obstacle on the road to total US/British hegemony over the oil and labour of the Middle East. One step closer to recolonising Iran (how we thirst for Persian oil!)

And, right on cue, in waded StW, with Rees and company’s heartfelt denunciations of ‘brutal dictator’ Assad and strident support for this ‘popular revolution’! Once more, there is not a hair’s breadth between the imperialists’ pro-war propaganda and that of the allegedly anti-war Trotskyites. Rees didn’t seem to notice that Nato’s aggression is a criminal, barbaric assault on an independent and sovereign nation. His only worry was that open Nato bombing (as opposed to the covert, proxy war via local proxies) would be “a threat to the continued progressive nature of the uprising”.
So no need to oppose the aim of Nato’s terrorists’ atrocities – forcing terrified captives to act as human bombs, massacring unarmed civilians while filming it all for the greater glory of YouTube, etc – because we all want Assad out, right? In fact, Rees and co would much rather forget all about Nato’s current war, and concentrate on denouncing the prospect of a future war with Iran – ignoring the fact that the war against Syria is an essential preliminary to that campaign!

History repeats itself – the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce! Lenin was a thousand times right when he said that “the fight against imperialism is a sham and humbug unless it is inseparably bound up with the fight against opportunism”.

If we are ever to be crowned by success, we must jettison this bunch of charlatans who parade as ‘friends of the people’ while binding our movement to the war chariot of imperialism.

Stop the wars! Fight imperialism! Join the axis of resistance!

Support Palestine … Join the axis of resistance!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaBev6QGpfA&w=560&h=315]

Leaflet issued by CPGB-ML, 26 January 2013
www.cpgb-ml.org/index.php?secName=leaflets&subName=display&leafletId=94

Imperialism in the Middle East

In order to make sense of what goes on in the Middle East, we need to understand that today’s world is dominated by a handful of superrich countries, which have become wealthy by looting resources and exploiting people all over the world.

Britain, the first country to develop capitalism was also the first to grab a modern empire.

In the 19th century, Arabia was dismissed as being a barren wasteland, but in the early 20th century, vast oil deposits were discovered under the desert — just around the time that oil was becoming the fuel of choice for many modern machines (including warships!) and industries.

Suddenly, the rush to secure plentiful and cheap supplies of ‘black gold’ became a key strategic imperative for all imperialists, leading to a cut-throat competition for control of the region.

Zionism and Palestine

Seeing their chance, the early zionists asked Britain’s rulers to let them set up a jewish state in Palestine in exchange for helping to keep the region under British domination.

With Arab nationalism on the rise, the imperialists accepted the offer, looking forward to the creation of a “loyal jewish Ulster in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism”.

And, although British masters were later pushed aside by American ones, a ‘loyal jewish Ulster’ is exactly what Israel has remained to this day.

The zionist stooges who destroy Palestinian homes, drop bombs on Palestinian schools, plough up Palestinian crops and poison Palestinian water are bribed by US and British governments and corporations to do imperialism’s dirty work.

In return for helping corporations like BP and Texaco to carry on looting the oil and dominating the people of the whole Middle East, the zionists are given military support and hardware, financial aid, diplomatic immunity, and a campaign of lies and disinformation in the imperialist-controlled media.

Israel was established in an orgy of ethnic cleansing, and has been illegally occupying further Palestinian lands and displacing and wiping out Palestinian families ever since.

War crimes are a daily event in this, the most militarised state in the world. In fact, rather than viewing Israel as a state with a huge military, it is more helpful to realise that Israel is in fact a massive army base that also happens to have some schools. Israeli children are brought up to be Nazi-like stormtroopers, ther heads filled with supremacist hatred of all Arab peoples.

The imperialists made one serious miscalculation, though. It was assumed that in the face of Israel’s might, Palestinians would accept underclass status or leave, but the days when colonialists could evict a people from their land and get away with it were over.

In a century of socialist revolution and national liberation, the racist dismissal of local peoples as ‘uncivilised barbarians’ or merely ‘irrelevant’ was no longer possible.

Instead of politely disappearing, the Palestinians stood their ground — refusing to submit no matter how barbarous their oppressors became. Instead of passively joining the long list of imperialist victims, the Palestinians became a beacon of resistance and an inspiration to oppressed people globally.

Gradually, the wellspring of sympathy that Israel shamelessly exploited following the Nazis’ mass extermination of jews in WW2 has run dry. As every agreement and concession on the part of Palestinians is greeted with fresh Israeli crimes, it has become clear to all that it is the zionists, and not the Palestinians, who stand in the way of peace.

So brazen has its war machine become that, today, Israel is the number one creator of anti-jewish feeling in the world.

Solidarity and resistance

So what has all this got to do with workers in Britain?

We need to recognise that the same ruling class that is waging war on our living standards (trying to force us to pay the price of the economic crisis of capitalism) gains much of its power from looting the world. Since oil is such a vital resource, the British state is still one of Israel’s main backers.

If Israel was defeated, British and US imperialism’s ability to grab the region’s oil would be fatally undermined — and with that wealth would go some of the ruling class’s ability to keep us in our ‘place’.

So it’s in our interest to support the Palestinians against imperialism and zionism. But if we want to give effective solidarity to their struggle, we need to learn from past experience.

A consumer boycott is certainly causing embarrassment to Israel, but no such boycott has ever brought down a state that had such powerful military, financial and diplomatic backers as Israel does.

British workers can actually do a lot more, if we are prepared to use our collective power over the country’s economy. The ruling class might give orders, but it is we who are expected to carry them out. If we all refuse, there is not that much they can do.

Neither the capitalists themselves, nor their careerist spivs in Whitehall are about to send their own kids to work in arms factories, to drive trains, to crew cargo ships, to enlist as cannon fodder, or even to print and broadcast their pro-Israel propaganda.

A striking example of such solidarity in action is the case of the Jolly George, a ship that was supposed to be taking arms and soldiers to Russia in 1918, when the new socialist republic was facing attack by 14 capitalist powers. Dockers in east London refused to load the ship, undermining the war effort and setting an infectious example to workers elsewhere.

In 1920, pushed by the ‘Hands off Russia’ campaign, the TUC threatened a general strike if Britain persisted in its criminal warmongering. Lloyd George’s government had to pull out and the war of intervention collapsed.

The ruling class emerged weaker and the working class stronger from this confrontation.

Today, we are part of the same battle against British imperialism on whose front line the Palestinians have been fighting so heroically for 65 years.

Today, they are joined by the Syrian and Iranian anti-imperialist governments and the Lebanese resistance movement Hizbollah — all forces that have refused to reach any accommodation with Israel; have refused to accept the imperialists’ right to dictate how they should live; and have refused to allow imperialist corporations to loot their resources at will.

Recognising their common struggle, Syria and Iran have consistently supported each other, and given money, arms, refugee asylum and diplomatic support to both the Palestinian struggle and the Lebanese resistance movement. A defeat for any of these forces would give a massive boost to imperialism and its zionist stooges and would be a major set-back for the cause of freedom in the Middle East — and especially to the cause of the Palestinian people.

British workers need to join this axis of resistance and give full support to all parts of it, taking their place in the unifying and indivisible struggle against imperialism.

See also:
Victory to the intifada! Join the axis of resistance! (Leaflet, November 2012)
Defend Syria and Iran … Join the axis of resistance! (Leaflet, November 2012)
Hail the victory of the Palestinian hunger strikers! (Proletarian, June 2012)
No justice for the Gaza protestors (Proletarian, August 2010)
Gaza’s people at risk of genetic mutation (Proletarian, February 2011)
Long live the martyrs of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla! (Proletarian,June 2010)
Anti-imperialism and the PSC executive (joti2gaza, January 2012)
Zionists in Birmingham come out to defend racist Israeli state (Red Youth, November 2012)
Hackney Council censor resident from speaking against corporation complicit in war crimes in Palestine (joti2gaza, November 2012)

Watch this:
VIDEO: Jack Shapiro on the Gaza massacre (YouTube, January 2009)
VIDEO: Report from the Viva Palestina 3 convoy (YouTube, January 2010)
VIDEO: Emergency resolution on Palestine (YouTube, June 2010)
VIDEO: Water in Gaza (YouTube, June 2012)
VIDEO: Defend Syria (YouTube, October 2012)
VIDEO: US on the road to WW3 (YouTube, October 2012)
VIDEO: Lifeline to Gaza: The Return (joti2gaza, September 2010)

Labour, Tory same old story – fight all the cuts!

Red Youth and cpgb-ml comrades attended an anti-cuts demo outside the Labour Party Conference on Sunday. Comrades were there to highlight the role played by all the main parties who’re in service to big business, and to argue that a simple changing of the guard is not going to get us out of the mess we’re in.

In June, a 48-year-old man tied himself to the railings of a Jobcentre, doused himself in flammable liquid and set himself ablaze. (See Guardian, 29 June 2012)

This desperate act reveals, in the most brutal of terms, that poverty in Britain is not only material deprivation, in which sky scrapers are erected and social housing bulldozed, but a multi-dimensional assault – physical and psychological – on working-class people.

Indeed, research published last month by the Centre for the Modern Family showed that one in five British families are ‘living on the edge’. (See Independent, 26 June 2012)

As retail food prices have increased by 25 percent since 2008, and the price of child care and average household bills have sky-rocketed, so too have levels of stress and mental ill health. (See Economist, 23 June 2012)

This reality is worse still in the north of England, Wales and Scotland. And, throughout the country, young people are bearing the brunt of British austerity.

Since last year’s youth uprisings, dubbed criminal rioting by bourgeois commentators, no serious attempt to tackle youth poverty has occurred. In fact, changes to benefit entitlement have pushed thousands more into deprivation; implanting feelings of failure, shame and psychological distress upon an entire generation of young people. (See BBC News Online, 11 October 2011)

It is only logical, therefore, that – with a diminutive job market, an education system that is being progressively commodified, and a vanishing NHS – class antagonisms will intensify and uprisings may become as much a part of the British summertime as corporate-sponsored sporting events.

From the student activist to the unemployed youth, in the classroom and in the street, young people are awakening to discover that our political and economic system is not designed to help realise their potential but only to exploit the labour of some and utterly discard the rest.

They are also discovering that our system is designed to enrich a tiny handful of financiers. It was revealed this month that the super-rich have between $21tr and $32tr stashed away in tax havens. (Seecnn.com, 25 July 2012)

This is not a charge from radical opponents of capitalism, but the findings of bourgeois investigation. Nor are these the dealings of shadowy businesses but the recognised and admitted practice of the world’s largest financial institutions. It is an astonishing figure, greater than the GDP of any imperialist nation, and it is the kind of wealth that could eradicate poverty for vast swathes of humanity.

There could not be a clearer example of how income disparity and material and psychological deprivation is becoming more acute in modern Britain. As welfare safety nets disappear, and government oppression increases, we should not only expect greater incidence of civil unrest but prepare to inject it with ideological direction.

Communists must seek to build and lead popular mass movements for real change; for a mere change of government will not suffice. Only an entirely new system can offer our youth a positive future.

May Day in Manchester and Chesterfield

CPGB-ML and Red Youth comrades participated in some of the May Day celebrations which were held around the country during the May bank holiday. In Chesterfield comrades distributed copies of We Want Freedom and Who Stole our Future and spoke to many working people about the role played by the Labour Party in retarding our fight back against the savage programme of cuts and austerity which are being inflicted upon the workers by the Tory and LibDem millionaires.

In Manchester comrades made the same points to Labour Party supporters and those misguided comrades from the revisionist club. Opening the eyes of those in the labour movement to the stark reality of the role played by social democracy is much harder than explaining the same thing to the masses. Comrades from the RCG were on hand to help hammer home the message and a more revolutionary May Day atmosphere prevailed!