Welcome.../ FRFI 193 Oct / Nov 2006

‘Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this platform, the President of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here talking as if he owned the world. Truly. As the owner of the world. I think we could call a psychiatrist to analyse yesterday’s statement made by the President of the United States. As the spokesman of imperialism, he came to share his recipes, to try to preserve the current pattern of domination, exploitation and pillage of the peoples of the world.’ Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, at the UN General Assembly, 20 September 2006

Chavez went on to emphasise the necessity of building an anti-imperialist movement and that such a possibility is far from being a dream. We know that his words are not hollow as we have just witnessed the peoples of the world begin to break down the patterns of domination, exploitation and pillage to which he refers.

The current global epicentre for imperialism’s war on the oppressed – the Middle East – has seen a strategic and historical setback for imperialism’s client state Israel. The Zionist myth of invincibility was exposed by the resistance of the Lebanese people led by Hizbullah (see pages 8 and 9). In Palestine, Israel has continued to murder civilians, demolish homes, confiscate land, arrest and assassinate elected political leaders and continues to build settlements and construct its hideous Apartheid Wall. Despite all these attacks the Palestinian people refuse to surrender, refuse to give up their just struggle against Israel’s brutal occupation (see pages 8 and 9). They have taken their stand as have the people of Iraq and Afghanistan who are fighting back against the increasingly desperate imperialist occupation of their countries (see pages 1 and 3).

This war on terror has exposed the national interests of the rich countries. Inter-imperialist rivalries are becoming intensified as the two main imperialist powers, the US and Europe, compete against each other for the resources of the world and the labour of the oppressed. It is into this arena of competition that China is slowly emerging. Once a revolutionary example to the world, China has now become a capitalist power in its own right (see page 12).

In Latin America people are moving in the opposite direction. Between 14 and 17 September in Havana, Cuba, the 14th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement took place where leaders from Latin America, Africa and Asia discussed the possibility of creating a world free from imperialist domination and exploitation (see page 6). Resistance in Latin America is widespread and the potential for revolution is apparent, from the workers and peasant struggle in Bolivia to the protests of the Mexican people against fraudulent elections and the decision of the Venezuelan government to reject imperialist interference (see page 7).

At the heart of this movement for change is revolutionary Cuba, which despite the illness of its leader Fidel Castro, remains strong and calm (see page 6). This is hardly surprising considering the level of consciousness of the Cuban people under the stewardship of a disciplined and dedicated Communist Party.

Here in Britain, life for many is going from bad to worse. The education of working class children has become a commodity which can be sold to the highest bidder (see page 4). Hospitals are cutting services to make way for privatisation. New plans include closing down hospitals and midwife led maternity units despite a rise in A&E attendances (see page 4).

Asylum seekers in Britain are also feeling the cutting edge of the increasingly reactionary policies of the British state. Entire families who have fled from poverty and war, created by the imperialist economic system, to seek refuge in Britain face discrimination and ill treatment (see pages 13 and 16). Who is behind the pillage and injustice here? The devil in the UN? Tony Blair? Gordon Brown? No. It is not a matter of individuals. It is the capitalist system that is to blame and it is the British Labour Party that is both the representative of and executioner for this backward system.

The system now relies on repression more than ever. Police, under the guise of fighting terrorism, have been granted new powers to make arrests (see page 5). The reality, of course, is not about combating terrorism but about keeping working class people from fighting for their basic rights. Any genuine movement must confront the imperialism of the Labour Party and make a clear split from it. We can have no confidence in the trade unions. The trade union movement has never recognised nor represented the most oppressed sections in society and they continue to tie themselves to the blood-stained Labour Party (see page 10).

It is time for serious action. As Hugo Chavez said: ‘The imperialists see extremists all around. No, it’s not that we are extremists. What is happening is that the world is waking up and people everywhere are rising up. I have the impression, Mr Imperialist Dictator, that you will live the rest of your days as if in a nightmare, because no matter where you look we will be rising up against US imperialism. Yes, they call us extremists, we who demand complete freedom in the world, equality among peoples and respect for national sovereignty. We are rising up against the Empire, against the model of domination.’
Imperialism is a brutal system, but it is made by humans and humans can tear it down. Start today, contact us to get involved.
BCM Box 5909,
London WC1N 3XX

FRFI 193 October / November 2006


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