- Created: Thursday, 07 May 2009 13:54
‘The greatest of the imperial powers is feeling in its own bowels the bleeding inflicted by a poor, backward country: its fabulous economy is strained by the war effort. Killing has ceased to be the most comfortable business for the monopolies’
(Che Guevara – ‘create two, three, many Vietnams’, message to Tricontinental, April 1967)
38 years ago on 8 and 9 October 1967, revolutionary communist Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara was captured and executed in Bolivia where he was preparing a Latin-American anti-imperialist guerrilla front, following his call to ‘create two, three, many Vietnams’. His message to the Tricontinental refers to the courageous struggle of the Vietnamese people against US imperialism. Today the poor inflicting bleeding on the US are the Iraqis (see pages 1 and 6).
Once again the US is bleeding in its bowels, but it is not just the monopolies that are uncomfortable. Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster turned into a human catastrophe by the anarchy and inefficiency of a capitalist system which puts profits before people every time. Katrina’s thousands of dead are also victims of the US and Britain’s barbaric ‘war on terrorism’ (see page 8/9). There is no blood price the imperialists will not pay in the interests of their profit, as long as the system itself is not threatened by political crisis.
The Katrina catastrophe highlighted two things. Firstly, the deep-rooted racism, which is intrinsically linked to class oppression, that continues to dominate US society, whether or not it is articulated. Secondly, the steady erosion of investment into social infrastructure and welfare provision. These realities are the constant backdrop of daily life for the poor in rich capitalist countries, but they are usually experienced as a form of individual suffering. With the sheer scale of the Katrina catastrophe, however, the suffering was so widespread and collective that it has created the potential for the re-emergence of class-consciousness and class struggle. That will be a struggle against poverty and against racism, in other words, against capitalism. The hurricane season is not over, and global warming threatens to intensify such phenomena. The poor will realise that they are the vast majority of the world’s population and rise up to take back the wealth they created with their sweat and blood. This happened in Cuba when Che joined Castro and the other Cuban revolutionaries in the 1950s (see page 11), and has now begun in Venezuela (see page 12).
Che Guevara said:
‘We must definitely keep in mind that imperialism is a world system, the final stage of capitalism, and that it must be beaten in a great worldwide confrontation. The strategic objective of that struggle must be the destruction of imperialism.’
Wherever we are, we must fight against imperialism, contributing however we can. Never underestimate the contribution that every individual can make, especially in Britain where there are so few activists. It took 14 years to build a significant anti-war movement in the US against the brutal occupation of Vietnam and cost 3-4 million Vietnamese lives. We cannot wait that long to build a movement against the brutal occupation of Iraq.
This academic year new Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! student societies are being set up across the country. We have launched the Student Anti-Imperialist Network, a coalition of progressive anti-imperialist forces on campus. Now it is time to act. It is our duty to fight for the freedom of those whom our governments oppress. We must recognise that we benefit from the exploitation of the oppressed majority, and renounce those privileges in the spirit of international proletarianism which Che Guevara practised so heroically. We must build a real anti-imperialist movement in this country. Not one that makes concessions to the Labour government, or refuses to fight anti-terrorism legislation (see page 3), not one that distances itself from criminalised migrant communities, not one that apologises for armed struggle, placing conditions on support for national liberation movements (see page 12). But one that means what it says: Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!
At the 16th World Festival of Youth and Students in revolutionary anti-imperialist Venezuela we met people from all over the planet engaged in struggles against imperialism, many of them risking their lives (see page 10). It is clear that the poor and oppressed of the world are fulfilling their duty to fight imperialism ‘in a great worldwide confrontation’. That duty is not yet being fulfilled in the imperialist countries themselves, in the belly of the beast. Help us to build that movement in Britain. Let’s answer Che Guevara’s call and be part of that great worldwide confrontation with imperialism!
Please send your contributions, written and financial and your requests for information about our activities in your areas to:
FRFI, BCM Box 5909,
London WC1N 3XX
FRFI 187 October / November 2005