Welcome.../ FRFI 162 Aug / Sep 2001

FRFI 162 August / September 2001

It has been a dramatic two months since the last issue of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! with street protests throughout Europe and in Britain, against both capitalism and the poverty and racism it breeds.

Since the protest in Seattle against the World Trade Organisation in December 1999, huge anti-capitalist demonstrations have threatened to disrupt every meeting of the imperialists planning to intensify their exploitation of the world.

The shooting of three protesters in Gothenburg, Sweden during the European Union summit on 15 June, marked a major intensification of the anti-capitalist struggle. It was the first time in Europe that a state had used guns against the new anti-capitalist movement.

The World Bank cancelled its meeting in Barcelona on 24 June to avoid clashes with protesters, but still 30,000 anti-capitalists marched past the Stock Exchange. The police attacked and street battles with protesters raged for hours.

A few days later, in Papua New Guinea, three people were shot dead after five days of peaceful protests against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund privatisation programmes. Thousands took to the streets attacking buildings and police barracks in protest at the killings. The incident barely made the news in Britain. In most of the world, protests for basic human rights are frequently met with murderous repression.

However, as the economic and political crisis intensifies and the European/US anti-capitalist movement develops, the ‘liberal democratic’ governments will strip away their phoney veil of democracy to reveal the brutality inherent in the system, as the killing of a young Italian at the G8 Summit protests in Genoa on 21 July showed (see pages 1 and 3).

Tony Blair and his lackeys in the Labour Party identified with the Italian ruling class and quickly condemned the protesters in support of the fascistic Italian police tactics. This came as no surprise after the Labour Party threatened to use water cannon closer to home to crush the uprisings of Asian youth in several northern towns who took to the streets to defend themselves from attacks by racists and police (see page 16).

In south London, angry black youths took to the streets at the end of a week in which the British police shoot-to-kill tactic claimed two more unarmed victims (see article alongside). Meanwhile, solicitors of the Police Federation threatened to sue organisers if they went ahead with public showings of the documentary film Injustice about deaths in custody through violence or neglect.

We must have a united movement, organised and democratic, to defend people against the violence of the capitalist state. We must learn from other courageous struggles, from years of armed resistance to British imperialism in Ireland (see page 5), from the Palestinian resistance today to the Zionist war of annihilation (see page 4) and from the black working class organising against privatisation programmes in South Africa (see page 4).

As FRFI predicted, almost 50% of the population in Britain didn’t vote in the general election fraud (see page 10). Most black, working class and other oppressed people understand that the Labour Party has never defended their interests. It champions a privileged section of the working class through the wealth generated by imperialism. Between 1900 and the Second World War, the Labour Party and trade unions in Britain stood solidly behind British imperialism. Communists in Britain played a vital role in organising those excluded, unskilled workers and the unemployed (see pages 8, 9 and 10).

Inequality in Britain is as great as in the 1930s, when hundreds of thousands joined the hunger marches. Today one in three children lives below the poverty line while there are 74,000 millionaires. Young people are leaving school without qualifications, unemployment is forcing millions into poverty and onto exploitative schemes like the New Deal, debt is rising, drug use is increasingly common, and the government’s racist immigration policies are criminalising those seeking asylum from tyrannical regimes backed by British capital.

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.

In 1989-91, capitalists regained control of the Soviet bloc. Now they are eagerly awaiting similar developments in China (see pages 6-7). However, revolutionary Cuba shows that human beings are capable of facing the challenges of building socialism and creating a world for people not profit (see page 11). We have to get there collectively.

The media is just as controlled by corporations as the government. In Britain, 98% of the media is controlled by just seven companies. Rupert Murdoch alone owns over a third of national newspaper circulation in Britain.

That’s why the Revolutionary Communist Group produces FRFI so we can counter the lies of the corporate state, which make us believe that we cannot change anything. Through FRFI we aim to arm the people with knowledge, as the basis of collective action.
Don’t just get angry...get active!

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

FRFI Fighting Fund, BCM Box 5909, London WC1N 3XX


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