Free the Cuban Five! Close Guantanamo Base! Day of action in Britain - Apr 7

Activists from the Revolutionary Communist Group (RCG) and Rock around the Blockade (RATB), which campaigns in solidarity with the Cuban Revolution, took to the streets across Britain on Saturday 7th April, to demand freedom for the Cuban Five and an end to US occupation of Guantanamo Bay. The protests were among several activities organised by RCG/RATB during three months of international action called by the Union of Young Communists in Cuba, to demand the release of the five heroes. Today’s events were timed to coincide with demonstrations in New York and Los Angeles called by the April 7th Coalition in the United States.

Lively actions were help in busy city centres in Glasgow in Scotland, in Newcastle and Manchester in the north of England and in London, the capital city. The Cuban flag, a symbol of anti-imperialist resistance, flew proudly across the country, while thousands of leaflets were distributed informing the British public and tourists from all over the world about the international campaign to free the Cuban Five and about the achievements of Cuban socialism. Hundreds of signatures were collected on petitions, illustrating the significant support for Cuba, even here in the belly of the imperialist beast. Using loud-speakers (megaphones) to inform the public, activists condemned the US blockade of Cuba, Britain’s complicity in US imperialist aggression and explained how Cuban socialism demonstrates that ‘another world is possible’, a world based on people not profit.

In London and Newcastle we used street theatre to expose the hypocrisy of the US’s war on terrorism and plans for transition to a ‘free’ Cuba. Activists dressed in orange suits, with black hoods and chains to symbolise the brutal conditions for prisoners incarcerated by the US military in its concentration camp in illegally occupied Cuban territory in Guantanamo Bay. We pointed out that this was the ‘democracy’ which the Plan Bush dreamed of imposing on the Cuban people and that the decision to build Camp X-ray in Guantanamo was an insult to the socialist revolution in Cuba, a society which placed humanity and consciousness at the centre of development. The case of the Cuban Five and the US barbarity in Guantanamo illustrate the shameless hypocrisy of the US and Britain’s claim to be fighting a ‘war on terrorism’ and to represent the forces of freedom and civilisation.

In reality, Cuban socialism and the growing revolutionary movement sweeping Latin American, particularly in Venezuela and Bolivia are the real forces of progress for humanity. These countries have shown the benefits of cooperation in trade and development through ALBA – a powerful and democratic alterative to years of neo-liberal policies which have plundered the continent and plunged millions into poverty. Socialism is the only solution to salve humanity and the planet.

In Manchester the protest had an added attraction – the public had the chance to show their disgust with the Labour government by throwing wet sponges at one activist dressed as Tony Blair, giving him a good soaking in the process!

During the demonstrations, we raised funds for our campaign work in support of Cuba and for the solidarity brigade which we are sending to Cuba on 21st April, to work with the UJC in Caimito before taking part in the international conference to demand freedom for the five in Havana on 29-30 April. RCG/RATB will be donating over $5,000 to buy materials for a pioneers’ camp in Havana province. This is the tenth such brigade we have sent to Cuba in the 12 years since the solidarity group was founded.

Free the Cuban Five!
Close Guantanamo!
End the Blockade!
Viva Cuba!
Viva Fidel!

www.ratb.org.uk