Welcome.../ FRFI 163 October / November 2001

FRFI 163 October / November 2001
By the time this issue of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! rolls off the printing press the ground may well be shaking with the tremors of war as the US and Britain unleash their ‘War on Terrorism’ on the poor people, the deserts and the mountains of Afghanistan (see page 3).

A few hours after the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington were hit by hijacked passenger planes on 11 September, US President Bush declared the ‘first war of the 21st century’ (see pages 1 and 3). Ironically, in London on the same day there was a protest at the British DSEi (defence systems and equipment international) arms fair, where delegates from all over the world were shopping for the latest weapons of mass destruction.

To see the war toys in action delegates could glance at the 40 armed conflicts currently raging throughout the world, most of them fuelled by the US, British and other western military industries. The foot soldiers of imperialist puppet regimes aim through US rifles at left-wing revolutionaries, trade unionists and human rights workers in Colombia (see page 12) and at courageous stone-throwing children in Palestine (see page 16), for example.

The full reality is even more sickening. The biggest killer in the world today is poverty. 14 million children die every year from malnutrition and diarrhoea, let alone preventable diseases like typhoid and measles. That is one child every two seconds! As Cuban President Fidel Castro pointed out, it is the equivalent to a Hiroshima bomb being dropped on the children of the world every three days. The poor people of the world are at war with poverty and they are losing.

At the Durban conference on racism, Castro also pointed out that one quarter of the annual amount spent on arms could clothe, feed and house the entire world’s population (conference report, page 6). So why don’t the leaders of the so-called ‘civilised’ world use their billions to unleash a war on poverty? Simply because they create it and they need it. The impoverishment, the misery and the destitution of two-thirds of the world is necessary to ensure the ‘economic growth’, the prosperity and the privilege of the western world. We live off the suffering and deprivation of the world’s poor. Even sections of the working class within Britain benefit from the exploitation of the underdeveloped world. We can buy a cookery set in Woolworths for under £10 because it was made by a child labourer in appalling factory conditions under a brutal puppet-regime in the underdeveloped world. That is imperialism, and the working class struggle in Britain must act in solidarity with the world’s poor and break away from the imperialist Labour Party or it will fail at its own emancipation (see pages 8, 9 and 10).

The 11 September attacks struck corporate and military targets at the heart of the capitalist system that creates this poverty. But capitalism can always rebuild its fortresses. Capitalism is a social relationship, it divides society into the minority who have and the majority who have not. It is not possible to blow up a social relationship however significant the targets you attack. Only a mass movement can challenge the exploitative social relations of capitalism by seizing control of resources for the majority.

Now we face an escalation of terrorism: state terrorism, as the imperialists force the world to cower under their military might. At the same time the world is plunging into a major economic recession. Stock markets are crashing. More than £120bn was written off the value of British companies within ten days of the attack.

The knock-on effects, both economic and social, will be huge. Massive redundancies have been announced and already in Britain there has been an increase in racist attacks as a result of the hysterical anti-Muslim propaganda preparing us for genocide of innocent civilians. Few dissenting opinions will be aired in the corporate media, mouthpieces of the capitalist state. In Britain, 98% of the media is controlled by just seven capitalist corporations.

That’s why the Revolutionary Communist Group produces FRFI, so we can counter the lies of the corporate state, and to arm the people with knowledge, as the basis of collective action.

Hundreds of asylum seekers are being incarcerated in prisons, their only crime being to escape from brutal regimes sponsored by British and other western finance (see page 4). Immigration policy reflects the racism at the core of the British state and the Labour government, that gives police and prison staff impunity when a black man dies in their custody (see page 13). Asian prisoner Satpal Ram is an example of those who refuse to be broken by the system despite daily repression. We must support his fight for justice (see page 13).

Capitalism has no solution to the social problems of poverty and alienation. Only a system founded on economic equality can form the basis of a society where there is social equality, without racism, sexism, homophobia, and all other forms of discrimination. A society based on people, not profit, is a socialist society. Join the movement to build socialism.

Don’t just get angry...get active!

FRFI is produced by a collective effort and we rely on you – please send you contributions to FRFI, BCM Box 5909, London WC1N 3XX.


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