In the following interview, I sat down with an American political analyst to discuss Donald Trump’s victory in the US Presidential elections and whether or not he represents a blow to imperialism. We discussed the impact Trump would have if he sticks to his promises regarding NATO and free trade agreements and whether of not he will end the export of so-called freedom and democracy.
Corinne from Red Youth and the CPGB-ML talks at the Februray 2016 annual general meeting of the Stalin Society in London. She asks – who was Stalin?
What role did he play in the formation of the world’s fist socialist country – the USSR – and the building and defence of socialism?
We send our congratulations and support to those students of Oxford University who have initiated a campaign to topple Cecil Rhodes Statue, which stands outside Oriel College, half-way up the well known university town’s High Street (pictured). Continue reading “Rhodes Must Fall!”
On 19 September the National Front held a demonstration in Wigan against immigration and the recent refugee crisis. Prior to this demonstration their local organiser, Daniel Lewis, called for homosexuals to be gassed in response to the Manchester gay pride festival.
The National Front was met by counter-protesters from parties such as the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist), Left Unity, SWP, and other organisations were present such as Hope Not Hate.
The Indian Workers Association (Great Britain), has played a significant role in the British working class movement over the last 60 years. The Grenwich & Bexley Heath branch of the Indian Workers Association (Great Britain) held this meeting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of their branch. (1:34)
Harpal Brar, National organiser of the IWA (GB), and chairman of the CPGB-ML gives a landmark speech reflecting on the history of the IWA (GB). The organisation was able, in its time, to organise demonstrations of tens and hundreds of thousands of workers, and regularly held meetings of 4-5,00 members and supporters, throughout the country.
Matt from the CPGB-ML takes a look at the way the history of the civil rights movement in America is taught. It is taught emphasising the moderate, and leaving out the revolutionary, so that its true lessons are rarely appreciated by students and in particular, by exploited and oppressed workers. And that is precisely the point.
He focuses on Robert F Williams, who wrote the classic novel “Negroes with Guns” that inspired the strategy and orientation of the Black Panther Party for Self Defence, among others.
Look out for more short Educational Videos, and let us know what you think about this one!
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It was recently announced that the Supreme Court is to look into issues surrounding the notorious joint enterprise law for the first time. This is a law under which many young working-class and ethnic-minority people have been put behind bars for crimes they did not commit.
The British State Murders with impunity: ‘to Protect and Serve’ the Capitalist Class. Not only the Met, but the whole capitalist system is inherently racist and anti-working class, and needs to be dismantled. This is the core truth that underlies Police Injustice.
For much of Britain’s working class, long shackled by unemployment, debt and neglect, and particularly for black and immigrant workers, who are also subject to ingrained institutional persecution, incessant harassment and arbitrary arrest, the oppressive character of the British state requires no elucidation. A host of recent events make it clear that institutional racism remains rampant in Britain today.
This is but one example of many. We could just as easily look at housing, education, income or unemployment statistics.
When we look at our brothers and sisters across the sea, in the USA, we can see just how deep is the irony that that they call themselves “the land of the free and the home of the Brave.” There have been a host of racist police assaults and murders in the US, from Rodney King to Michael Brown, sparking the Fergusson conflict between the civilian population and a police force so heavily armed they may as well be invading another country.
But the fact that Black and immigrant workers live under a double oppression, is also meant to distract and appease white workers – dividing us from our common interests as workers, and distracting us from the fact that our enemy is the employing class, the capital owning class. White workers are encouraged to see immigration, instead of rich capitalists stealing wealth produced, by the working class as a whole – as ‘the main problem’. We must not be misled by the anti-immigrant, racist ranting of the Daily mail, UKIP, Labour or the Tory party.
THE BRITISH STATE
Institutions of the British state do not serve the people, and practices such as cover-ups and corruption are part of the very logic of their operations, rather than the results of ‘extraordinary’ actions by a few ‘bad apples’.
The violence of the state must be seen in the context of the economic violence of a system that sabotages and destroys the lives of billions world-wide, and millions in Britain, in order to concentrate the entire wealth of humanity in a tiny number of people’s hands. The 65 richest multi-billionaires today, control as much wealth as HALF THE WORLD’S POPULATION! Between 20 and 25 percent of all 16-24 year olds across the UK are unemployed. As an index of discrimination, it merits attention that a staggering 60 percent of young black men are jobless. As a result of endemic unemployment and under- employment, declining and often derisory wages, 3.6 million British children are growing up in poverty (between a quarter and a third of all children in the UK), and that this figure is set to rise. A recent report indicates that 1,000,000 children go hungry in Britain every day. How long will British workers accept this meekly? Our ruling class are already preparing for the violence they think will arise from this unjust and appalling inequality.
They know that they would not stand for it – so why should we?
STEPHEN LAWRENCE – CORRUPTION AND RACISM IN THE MET
On 18 March 2014, it was revealed that the Metropolitan Police in 2003 destroyed a vast cache of documents connected to an ongoing corruption investigation, including documents relating to a detective involved in the investigation of the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993.
In an interview in the Guardian on 28 January 2012, Doreen Lawrence underlined that the police failed to find her son’s murderers, but stopped his brother 20 times as a criminal suspect! She herself was stopped a year after the murder, ‘suspected of driving a stolen car’.
This disclosure came just weeks after a coroner’s inquest ruled that the murder of Mark Duggan in August 2011 was ‘lawful’, despite the jury agreeing that Duggan was unarmed at the time. The two-and-a-half years following his murder have not only seen the usual attempts at cover-up and the giving of false evidence by the officers involved, but also a sustained media smear campaign against Mr Duggan and his family.
These are just some of the most high-profile cases, which need to be understood in the context of the daily discrimination and harassment suffered by black and Asian communities at the hands of the British police.
STOP AND SEARCH
One of the most striking examples of this is the disproportionate use of ‘stop and search’ powers. These attacks on the black community have been ongoing since the notorious ‘sus’ (Suspicion) powers police used to target them since the 1970s.
Despite black people being around half as likely to be using drugs as other members of the public, in 2009-10 black people in England and Wales were more than six times more likely to be stopped and searched for drugs possession.
In addition to this, they are treated far more harshly by the ‘justice’ system after arrest, and are much more likely to be charged for minor offences (as opposed to being merely cautioned).
[See ‘The numbers in black and white: ethnic disparities in the policing and prosecution of drug offences in England and Wales’, release.org.uk, 2013]
DEATHS IN POLICE CUSTODY
The numbers relating to deaths in custody also display the same disturbing features at a national level. Since 1990, there have been 82 deaths of members of an ethnic minority at the hands of the Metropolitan Police. None of these have to date resulted in a conviction. There have been a further 63 in other forces in the rest of England and Wales.
While many of the black and ethnic-minority deaths have been concentrated in the Metropolitan Police area, the number of deaths in custody generally have been quite consistently higher
for ethnic minorities than for white Britons across the country. (See ‘Datablog: deaths after police contact or in police custody’, guardian.co.uk, 19 July 2012)
KILLING THE VULNERABLE
Particularly shocking is the number of black people suffering from mental-health problems who have died in police custody, often after having suffered disproportionate violence.
Typical of this racially aggravated assault and police murder are the cases of Roger Sylvester (who died after being ‘restrained’ and asphyxiated by 11 police officers in 1999, while trying to gain access to his own home), and Rocky Bennett (who expressed his desire to leave voluntary psychiatric treatment, was promptly sectioned, then ‘restrained’ and asphyxiated by a gang of police who effectively murdered him in 1998).
BRIXTON, BROADWATER FARM, & the 2011 Youth Uprisings
Add this systematic mistreatment and harassment to the wider economic inequalities that exist along ethnic lines and it is quite understandable how even a single incident can spark a drastic reaction; be it the police killings that sparked the Brixton and Broadwater Farm uprisings in 1981 and 1985 or the shooting of Mark Duggan that sparked the youth uprising of 2011.
While all this is deeply troubling, it is unfortunately not surprising. Marxists have long understood that imperialism survives by creating division among workers at home as well as abroad – the partition of the world and exploitation of its masses goes hand in hand with racism and oppression of workers in the centres of imperialism itself
As the old trade-union adage goes, “United we stand, divided we fall”. Or as Karl Marx and Frederick Engels so succinctly put it in the Communist Manifesto, “Workers of the world, unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains!”
POLICE VIOLENCE AGAINST PROTESTORS
The police and Army in Britain have a long history of violence against the organized working class movement, from the Llanelli railway strikers in 1911, to the British General Strike of 1926, the battle of Cable Street in 1936, the Miners Strike of 1984 – 1985, or the more recent anti G11 , Anti-NATO, or student demonstrations against sky-rocketing tuition Fees and the abolition of the EMA, that effectively barred access of the working class to further and higher education.
In December 2011, responding to increased public unrest and clearly anticipating more, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) published a report highlighting the existing legal power of police to shoot ‘arsonists’ if they are deemed to be ‘endangering life’. Whilst lip-service was paid to this tactic being a ‘last resort’, its inclusion within the report, and its subsequent promotion in the bourgeois press, is a thinly- veiled endorsement of the use of live ammunition by police against protestors who are deemed threatening to the British state.
It is a blueprint that authorises the murder of those who deviate from the usual routine and futile avenues of protest, and it must be made clear to workers that, as seductive as the rhetoric on ‘protection of the public’ is, it is a fig-leaf intended to disarm us.
The police were not concerned about the protection of Mark Duggan as they publicly executed him, or of so many of our loved ones who have died at their hands, or languish unjustly in their jails. Claims that he was armed and dangerous have been shown up as false, since the gun it was said he was carrying about his person had no trace of his DNA on it.
The police shot to kill in order to intimidate that section of the local population who are inclined to rebellion, no longer meekly swallowing the bourgeois propaganda and lies that generally serve to hold the working-class population in check.
The police are equally unconcerned about the dozens of people who have died in their custody or in immigration detention camps.
The British state has a long history of violence, oppression, rape and robbery in its colonial possessions, from India and China, to the Americas and Africa. Ireland is its oldest colony, and it still occupies and polices the northern part of that nation.
The British army had no compunction about freely murdering the participants of national liberation struggles in all its colonies over hundreds of years. Just as little were the British military concerned about the protection of the 14 civil rights potestors civilians they murdered in Derry in 1972, or the many others killed and wounded by them over the years of occupation, in Ireland and in Britain. The briefest of inquiry would reveal that their loyal concern lies with the protection of British capitalists’ interests and above all their private property and the perpetuation of the system of class exploitation itself.
The treatment of Harry Stanley, shot dead by police officers in 1999, for having an ‘Irish accent’ (he was Scottish), and reported carrying a shotgun (in fact a wooden table-leg, which he was carrying home in a plastic bag) is instructive in this regard, as was the police execution of Diarmuid O’Neill in 1996.
As ever, for workers, our only option is to Struggle. But we must realize who are our enemies and who can be won to our cause. British youth need a Marxist-Leninist education that will enable us to adopt leadership positions in our communities, break down the walls of suspicion between workers of different ethnic and religious backgrounds, unite with other communities in common struggle against our oppressors, and advance the struggle against capitalist imperialism.
The CPGB-ML stands in solidarity with all those who are fighting for justice against the tyranny, and murderous oppression of the British State. But also issues a word of caution. The imperialist leopard cannot change his spots. ‘Financial compensation’ is an insult. Police ‘apologies’ are rare, admissions of guilt or reprimand of the officers concerned almost never happen. Why? Because the capitalist’s need the strong arm of the law firmly held to our throats. In the last analysis, the only redress that can be won for the British workers, is the overthrow of the decadent, rotten, corrupt and moribund system of exploitation of one man by another and one nation by another that has landed humanity in this Sorry state of affairs.
Only the working class in power can solve these issues for themselves. We will guarantee that our society is built upon humane and just lines, that allow the development and flourishing of all individuals within our rich and diverse country and usher in an era that is truly peaceful and prosperous.
Red Youth on the 2011 Riots:
Understanding the State:
We reproduce below a letter to Red Youth from a young comrade from south-east England focusing on the racial segregation that is driven into the British public through capitalism’s most insidious tool – the private media.
Such contributions are an essential part to the building of a organised mass-movement against the imperialist ruling class. Only by uniting as a class, rather than reacting as artificial divisive groups, can we defeat the parasitic forces of imperialism and secure a peaceful and prosperous future for all.
“Capital is an international force. To vanquish it, an international workers’ alliance, an international workers’ brotherhood, is needed. We are opposed to national enmity and discord, to national exclusiveness. We are internationalists.” (Lenin)
Dear Red Youth,
It is often thrown around in our society that immigrants are to blame for the unemployment of millions of British people. In fact, such things are disseminated daily in the press, acting as the mouthpiece of the capitalist government. People rely on these mouthpieces for news, and therefore are willing to accept most things printed in them, regardless of whether or not the press has committed various atrocities to breach the privacy rights of thousands, such as hacking into and snooping around texts, e-mails, phone calls, etc., with people seeing it as “gossip” that’s perfectly acceptable to get in on and swallow up.
The Daily Mail (or the ideological compass for UKIP) once reported that “29,000,000 Bulgarian and Romanian people” are apparently going to immigrate to the UK when the border restrictions are lifted in 2014! This is nothing short of nonsense straight off the bat given that the combined population of both Romania and Bulgaria just passes 28.5 million people! Are all of the people from both countries suddenly going to immigrate to the UK, leaving the countries completely empty?
But what we must analyse further is why people immigrate to the UK.
The first point is simply wanting a better life elsewhere. There seems to be such a problem with this in Britain, and what often follows is nothing short of racist rhetoric, usually blaming such immigrants for the downfall of Britain, the loss of the apparent “British culture” we once had, and an array of other fallacious appeals that rely on a memory of Britain that never existed.
Capitalism, and in particular its highest state of oppression imperialism, is one of the main reasons as to why people come to the UK, and often it is to escape war zones and poverty implemented by the colonial warmongers themselves armed with weapons and drones funded by international corporations such as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola to name just two. Their funds are just as criminally gained through deforestation to clear paths for factories, farms and capital outputs, and for building factories that pollute the air and rivers of the East and the world.
This example of imperialism’s thirst for super profits and maximising avenues of profitable investment at the expense of the people is just one of many.
The war on Iraq waged by western imperialism through its stooges Blair and Bush was under the guise that the Iraqi government was stockpiling weaponry capable of decimating the west “within 45 minutes”. These claims were found to be baseless, and no such weaponry was ever found once Hussein had been successfully overthrown and executed.
In the pursuit of these make believe aims, two million Iraqi lives were lost— the lives of innocent men, women and children. And what has happened since? Interestingly enough, it should be noted that, since the overthrow of Hussein and the failure to find weaponry, many U.S.-based oil reserves – protected by the American army – have been established in Iraq, as Iraq was (and, for that matter, still is) known as the fifth largest oil reserve in the world. This should come as no shock that invasion happened, as it was in the real pursuit of the benefit and profit of large and expansive oil companies, based mainly the west. And what were the cost of these huge profits and the concentration of capital? It was blood of many thousands of men, women and children.
Imperialism is monopoly capitalism, it is capitalism in its highest form, and it is the gravest threat to the welfare and lives of all people.
Because of these hideous affairs, it should serve as no shock that people wish to flee their countries which have been turned into a war zone. Iraq is just one of the few examples, and even older examples would include India at the height of the British Empire. On more than one occasion, starving Indian workers and peasants were met only with gunfire and steel, not with the help that they required despite serving Britain’s manufacturing needs after having their raw materials and natural resources practically torn from their own lands. This is, as stated, the highest development of capitalism. One country isn’t enough for the endless demands of the profiteers, so they look to export capital to other areas where they are able to extract super profits from the toiling colonial slaves, British colonialism and imperialism spanned a large portion of the planet at one point, colonising many countries.
Furthermore, what of the claims that immigrants come to the UK for welfare?
It is a fact (not a myth, but a fact) that immigrants to the UK have helped build this nation for centuries, there are NO “indigenous” Brits, and with fewer than 10 per cent of recent immigrants actually claiming welfare (equates to around 600,000 out of approximately 9,000,000 foreign nationals residing in this country) a huge majority of foreign nationals are happy to work, pay taxes, bills, and contribute to our on-going cultural development, contrary to popular belief.
The media does not make things so easy as that however. To those who acknowledge this fact an equal supply of misguiding lies make claims that “they take jobs away from British people” to further drive racial division between the working class and further maintain the rule of the exploiting capitalists.
It is not foreign nationals who should bear the brunt of racist nonsense and be blamed for the downfall of Britain, but the bourgeois class who have driven us down into the ground regardless of the length of the dole ques.
Right back at the start of this letter, I stated that it is the capitalist mouthpiece (i.e. the mass media) that is quick to disseminate anti-immigrant propaganda. Millions upon millions of newspapers — which recycle the bourgeois nonsense — are printed and sold daily. From this, think of the sheer amount of people that this information is reaching; it would stretch to nearly every single corner of the UK, resulting in millions in the form of profit for the owners of the media empires. And often it is known for the bourgeois press to recycle and exaggerate sheer nonsense for the sake of “attracting customers”, profits and sales, and expansion.
To conclude, it must always be borne in mind that, if it serves the relevant interest of the bourgeoisie, more often than not, they will repeat it. This is why, often, complete fallacies are recycled and spouted within capitalist press — it serves their interests, and it serves to make profit, so their logic would be: why not? A lot of the time, the press will exaggerate, twist and distort things out of shape to their liking, because it also serves to help maintain their class domination.
In reality, the reasons as to why immigration even happens en masse is often down to the sheer atrocities of capitalism, creating war zones and unsafe environments abroad for the sake of capital, profit, expansion, etc. And, often, war zones lead to the establishment of military-protected oil zones, factories, and workshops. Imperialism makes life unbearable for the vast masses of the planet. Imperialism brings the workers to the proletarian revolution!
JOIN THE STRUGGLE! JOIN RED YOUTH TODAY! – Statement of Aims
Foreign students targeted by Capitalism (Prol. 50) – http://www.cpgb-ml.org/index.php?secName=proletarian&subName=display&art=868&from=results
“Immigration: the colour of money” (Prol. 41) – http://www.cpgb-ml.org/index.php?secName=proletarian&subName=display&art=709
George Zimmerman, the neighbourhood watch co-ordinator who shot and murdered an unarmed black teenager, has walked free from a Florida courtroom. The jury – five out of six of whom were white – took 16 hours to deliberate and return a unanimous ‘not guilty’ verdict.
It is with disgust – but not surprise – that Red Youth notes Zimmerman’s acquittal as the verdict confirms what most rational observers know: that the lives of oppressed people, particularly young black men, in the United States remain disposable.
Whilst media analysts have already attempted to mask this injustice, referring to circumstantial evidence, there are clear facts from the case that must be repeated:
– Trayvon Martin was a junior in high school who was walking in the community in which he was temporarily living. He was not trespassing or involved in any other criminal activity, as Zimmerman claimed.
– Trayvon was racially profiled, followed, assaulted and murdered for no plausible reason other than Zimmerman – acting in his role of neighbourhood watch leader of a gated community- found his appearance and ethnicity offensive.
– After calling the police to notify them of Trayvon’s ‘suspicious behaviour’, Zimmerman was instructed by the dispatcher to wait for the police and not to approach the teenager. He ignored this instruction.
– Zimmerman claimed that Travyvon was suspicious – ‘up to no good’, ‘on drugs’ and ‘looking at all the houses’. Yet, a police report confirms that Trayvon was not involved in any criminal activity on the night of his murder.
– Attempts have been made to slander Trayvon Martn and to depict him as a violent criminal. It’s been highlighted, for example, that he was suspended from school three times in recent years. These suspensions were, in fact, for non violent alleged offences such as truancy and marijuana possession. Trayvon had never been charged with any crime and did not have a juvenile record.
– Despite shooting and murdering an unarmed child, Zimmerman was astonishingly not arrested until six weeks after the killing. His eventual arrest was the result of cumulative pressure from the public and not the police or state’s quest for justice. The Sanford Police Department was at best incompetent and both the Chief of Police and Lead Investigator have now lost their jobs.
However, this case is not about incompetence. There were no ‘mistakes’. Zimmerman’s acquittal is the logical consequence of an unjust, racist system and is a reminder – albeit a brutal one – that black males can be executed with impunity in the United States.
Moreover, the verdict does not only find Zimmerman innocent, it suggests and assumes that Trayvon is guilty. He is portrayed as menacing, dangerous and ultimately deserving of his fate: HE shouldn’t have been there; HE should have behaved differently; HE should have listened. Yet, the evidence – and cultural, political and economic context – shows that Trayvon is guilty of only one thing – being African American.
In 1964, speaking about the ideology of violence, Malcolm X stated that; “we are non-violent with people who are non-violent with us; but we are not non-violent with anyone who is violent with us. Once those intentions are made known, we can get to the nitty-gritty of the problem, we can get to the core of the problem, we can get to the root of the problem. Then we can correct the problem”. The murder of Trayvon Martin – and the fact that an African American is killed every 36 hours by the police or private security forces – surely reveals the barbaric violent nature of the political system in the United States, and the need for an organised, militant response.
Red Youth rejects the depiction of this event as a ‘tragedy’. It is the cold-blooded, racially motivated murder of an unarmed teenager. We also believe there is only so much mileage in talking about judicial failure. In fact, when a proper analysis of the so-called democracy in the United States is conducted, we find that its elitist, racist and anti-working class nature has performed consistent to its intended design. The murder of Trayvon painfully reinforces the reality that the system was not designed for poor, working class, black people.
Red Youth also recognises that this is not unique to the United States and that the extrajudicial killing of working class youths is becoming increasingly common here – as the execution of Mark Duggan in 2011 shows. London and Washington both practice superficial democracy to mask their oppressive political and economic dictatorship. It is in painful times like these that this mask is removed – and it is times like these that the people become most angry, militant and ready to organise for change.