Welcome… / FRFI 203 Jun / Jul 2008

FRFI 203 Jun / Jul 2008

If you live in Britain you might be forgiven for thinking that the war in Iraq and Afghanistan is over. The mainstream media and government have adopted a policy of silence about the atrocities of the occupation. The closest we get to ‘news’ on the subject is visits from the heirs to the throne to the battlefield or a passing statistic hidden in an inside column of a newspaper, usually regarding the latest British casualty of the war. There is little reporting about the Iraqi deaths, that now exceeds a million people, or about the mass exodus of refugees to Syria and other places. There is scant reference to the failure of Bush’s ‘surge’; the pessimism of the US military leaders; the attacks on the apparently safe Green Zone or the renewed uprising by the resistance from Basra to Baghdad. In Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! we report this news and more on pp6-7.

There is another brutal occupation which gets little coverage. That is Israel’s occupation of Palestine which has just reached 60 years. About this Middle East conflict we are told a lot, yet nothing. In the bourgeois media we have been told about the irreconcilable differences between the Palestinians and the Israelis, how the former are the terrorists who just aren’t open to a peaceful solution, or at best that both sides are as bad as each other and just aren’t willing to sit down and sort things out. The reality of course is a brutal Zionist occupation that has destroyed the lives of generations of Palestinians, who have seen their land stolen and been forced, like the Iraqis, to take refuge around the world. This onslaught continues to receive the full support of the US and British governments. On p11, we report the effects of the occupation and the truth about imperialism’s support for the racist Zionist regime together with the struggle by Hizbullah in Lebanon against the puppet government of Siniora.

What we have heard in the news is a lot of anti-Chinese sentiment, triggered in large part by the protests at the Olympic torch relays. We haven’t though been told about the violence of the rioters in Tibet towards other ethnic groups or about the history of the reactionary theocracy that lived off the backs of the people (p10).

We’ve also heard a lot in the press about the turmoil of the Labour government following its hammering in the Crewe bi-election and in the recent local elections. We have been told about the personalities involved, such as Cameron vs Brown or Ken vs Boris but little substance behind the election results (p2). With predictions that house prices may suffer double-digit per cent falls both this year and next, and oil prices projected to rise beyond $200 a barrel, Labour’s electoral coalition is disintegrating (p2). As the economy gets worse it is the poor who are being forced to pay, both here and in the US (p3).

It is always the poor who are forced to pay for the capitalist crisis. As a few continue to live in unprecedented luxury the majority are paying the price. Many are going hungry and are finding it difficult to pay for essentials such as bread and rice. This is not because enough food can’t be produced, but because the mechanisms of capitalism has restricted both the production and distribution of simple food stuffs, causing shortages and spiralling prices (p1).

Even in a wealthy country like Britain basic services are also under attack and are being eroded. Rather than foot the bill for a quality health service the ruling classes are opening health provision to the market (p5). Profits will be prioritised over quality of health care for all.

There is an alternative to this madness. In socialist Cuba good health care and nutrition for all are the main priorities. We are now seeing the strengthening of the revolution with greater access to communications technology, despite the best efforts of the US blockade to limit such developments (p12). Cuba’s example is of vital importance to the developing revolutionary democratic movements in Latin America. However, they face stiff opposition from the bourgeoisie, particularly in Bolivia, where the ruling class is threatening to split the country rather than be defeated by the popular government under the leadership of Evo Morales (p8). On the other side of the world the rich have taken a battering with the communists winning elections in Nepal. This victory follows a decade of hard struggle by the Nepali people against a brutal monarch and imperialist attacks (p9).

The world is on the move. The direction it moves in is very much up to us. There is a famous saying that ‘knowledge is power.’ This is false. Knowledge by itself is worthless – but when combined with action then there is the power for change. At the back of this paper you will find details of the work that we are involved in, the attacks that we are fighting by supporters of the Labour Party and crucially the work we have planned for the future. Join us in action!


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