Build resistance, organise to fight repression

FRFI 209 June / July 2009

With the deepening economic crisis, and the political disarray within the ruling class, it is vital that socialists in Britain build on the opportunities that now exist to create a new anti-imperialist working class movement. There is now a real urgency: chances such as this do not come often, and we must seize it with both hands. Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! urges its readers to join with us in a summer of campaigning activity to help extend and deepen the influence of our trend, taking a stand on the streets against war in Iraq and Afghanistan, in support of socialist Cuba, in defence of the Palestinian intifada, alongside those fighting racism and deportation or factory closures or public sector cuts.

Hundreds of thousands in Britain will be forced out of work in the coming months, out of their homes and into poverty. They will face a punitive Welfare Reform Bill, which, when it becomes law, will intensify the oppression of those who cannot work. Eligibility for income support, incapacity allowance and other benefits will be reduced to force people – including single mothers and those unfit for work – into whatever miserable jobs are available, on whatever conditions the ruling class sees fit to impose. Those unable to get work will be forced to perform ‘community service’ for their benefits, for the equivalent of £1.83 an hour. Backed by the racist media, the Labour government continues its virulent attack on immigrants and asylum seekers, with a barrage of immigration laws used to harass, detain and deport thousands of people. Those who demonstrate – in support of the peoples of Palestine or Tamil Eelam, or against the G20 summit – are violently attacked by the racist British police.

Throughout the world prospects for fighting imperialism are improving. From Baghdad to Caracas, forces of resistance and revolution are on the march. Today, after 50 years of imperialist blockade and attacks, Cuba still carries the banner of socialism and continues to show what is possible when the working class and oppressed take power and use it to transform society. Across Latin America new democratic governments are starting to challenge imperialist hegemony and setting out on the road to construct new societies: in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador in particular. Cuba’s influence, through its relationships of mutual solidarity, is crucial in this process.

We in Britain need to play our part. FRFI argues that human society can only make progress, or indeed survive, if capitalism is destroyed. We stand for the creation of a society organised both to meet the needs of the entire population, and to ensure the fullest possible development of every individual. That will require a revolution led by the working class since the British ruling class will never allow the system which maintains its domination to be voted away.

The first step, and one we can all take, is to commit to fighting attacks by the Labour government, to intervening in working class struggles as they emerge, to presenting arguments for the unity of the whole working class and oppressed, and to working together with other working class people to develop effective means of resistance. We need to extend our street work, taking our clear anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-Labour message into new parts of the country. For that we need your active support and involvement in our summer campaign. You can:

• Build a street event in your local area – a meeting in support of Cuba, a picket of Marks & Spencer in defence of the Palestinian people, or anything else that promotes a socialist, anti-imperialist standpoint. We can provide materials and help in the organisation
• Contact us about campaigns or events in your area in which you are involved and for which you need support; send reports about them for publication in FRFI
• Take copies of FRFI to sell to your friends, in your workplace, university, college, school or on the streets, helping us to extend information, analysis and organisation to new people and new areas of the country
• Host an FRFI public meeting - we can provide speakers and help with publicity
• Subscribe to FRFI, ensuring that you receive news and analysis of anti-imperialist struggles around the world with every issue
• Take out a standing order to support FRFI, helping us to expand the range of our publications and open regional offices across Britain, or make a donation to our Fighting Fund – see page 15

The campaign will culminate in a speaking tour in early autumn with national speakers addressing the key questions facing us in the context of the crisis. We will be preparing publicity for this with the next issue of FRFI.

Now is the time to get active. The socialist movement is at its weakest in Britain for over a century and this is not tolerable. All of us have a role to play and a responsibility to act. Let us seize the time!


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