Fight racism, fascism and imperialism

With the General Election looming most of the left, running scared at the thought of a Tory victory, are openly calling for a vote for the racist war-mongering Labour Party. We say don’t vote, organise the fightback!

Fight racism!

In Newcastle FRFI continues to play an active role in Tyneside Community Action for Refugees (TCAR). TCAR’s monthly Speak Out Against Racism events continue to provide a lively and consistent anti-racist presence on the streets. Similar events have been taking place in Sunderland, most recently on 12 December.

In London on 23 January FRFI supported a No Borders event called ‘Life is too short to be controlled’. No Borders is a campaign against border controls and in defence of migrants suffering because of racist immigration controls. Hundreds of activists gathered outside Kings Cross/St Pancras Station, where the British Border Authority has detention facilities for migrants. Activists then took over London streets to march two miles to Piccadilly Circus, where they held an open-mic rally with speeches in the middle of the road. An RCG supporter spoke, highlighting the racist nature of immigration controls in imperialist Britain.

In February, Glasgow and Dundee FRFI supporters will be mobilising to confront the Scottish Defence League’s attempt to take to the streets of Edinburgh. Anti-fascists in Edinburgh have already begun mobilising, and Glasgow comrades will be aiming to share the experience gained through combating the SDL’s mobilisation in Glasgow last November, exposing the opportunist manoeuvrings of Unite Against Fascism.

End the siege of Gaza!

Just over one year on since the murderous Israeli attack, conditions of life for the people of Gaza continue to deteriorate. The siege of Gaza is intensifying and the Palestinian people demand our solidarity. FRFI supporters are active around the country helping to build this movement.

On 5 December FRFI supporters in Newcastle held a rolling picket through the city centre under the slogan, ‘Israel: off your trolley’, targeting high street companies involved in supporting Israel economically and politically. For a full report see: http:// tinyurl.com/israeloff. A similar event is planned for Manchester on 6 February, with a public forum the following day.

In Dundee on 23 January an FRFI supporter spoke to a crowd that had assembled to commemorate and protest on the anniversary of the brutal assault on Gaza. Hundreds of children’s shoes were poignantly laid out to represent those who had died at the hands of the Israeli Defence Force.

On 20 January in London the LSE FRFI Student Society screened the 1991 film Palestine: the First Intifada. This documentary is about the Palestinian struggle against British imperialism and Zionist colonisation. The film links the Palestinian rebellion of 1936-39 to the first Intifada which began in 1987. A Palestinian speaker highlighted the continuity between the racism and terror used by the British government against Palestinian anti-colonial struggles in the 1930s and British complicity with Israeli war crimes today.

FRFI’s weekly pickets of Marks & Spencer’s flagship store on Oxford Street, London, continue every Thursday from 6-8pm. We target this company because of its continuing links with Israel. Hundreds of shoppers sign the petition and join the boycott every week. RCG supporters in north London have also held regular pickets of M&S stores in Wood Green and Holloway, and pickets of Newcastle M&S continue weekly.

Viva Cuba! Latin American solidarity!

New Year’s day is the anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. On 2 January Rock around the Blockade celebrated the anniversary with a colourful rally at the Angel, north London. We asked passers-by to sign a petition against the US blockade of Cuba and  for the closure of Guantanamo torture camp, in US-occupied Cuba. Activists from RATB and FRFI in Manchester and Newcastle were out in the snow on 9 January to celebrate, almost 51 years to the day since Fidel Castro had entered Havana. The stark contrast between the actions of Cuba and the US in Haiti once again emphasises the importance of the Cuban Revolution with its international solidarity and the urgent necessity of socialist revolution.

With Liverpool Colombia Solidarity Campaign, RATB is organising a meeting to explain how Haiti has been systematically plundered by French and US imperialism and so unable to create an infrastructure to deal with the natural disasters it regularly faces. We will show the film Aristide and the endless revolution, which shows how the US organised two coups against Aristide because of his attempts as president to represent the Haitian poor.

Our monthly reading groups in London, based around the book, Che Guevara: the Economics of Revolution by Helen Yaffe, are drawing to a close. On 13 January we discussed the penultimate chapter, about Che’s critique of the Soviet Manual of Political Economy – an outstanding contribution to socialist theory. The last chapter, summarising Che’s legacy, will be discussed at our next RATB reading group on Wednesday 10 February at the London School of Economics, room H103.

FRFI supporters are active on the streets around Britain every week, but we understand that action needs to be linked to analysis. In order to rebuild a movement for socialism in Britain, education is essential. In Liverpool, following a very successful series of meetings discussing the question ‘What is capitalism?’, FRFI is organising a follow-on series, ‘What is imperialism?’. Similar meetings are taking place in other areas. We need you to be part of this important work. Contact us today to discuss ways you can get involved.

FRFI 213 February / March 2010

 

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