Getting to Grips with Imperialism - FRFI Northeast Hold 'Britain's Hidden War's' Public Meetings

Getting to Grips with Imperialism - FRFI Northeast Hold 'Britain's Hidden War's' Public Meetings

'Resist!' - Trevor Rayne summing up the Newcastle meeting.

On Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th of April, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! North East hosted public meetings in Newcastle and Sunderland addressing the issue of 'Britain's Hidden Wars'. As the only group on the left detailing the reality of imperialism, Britain's extensive overseas interests and wars, and the effects this has on the British working class, the meetings provided a refreshing and necessary forum for discussion of these issues which are key to developing the struggle against the British state.

Trevor Rayne of the FRFI editorial board spoke about a Marxist understanding of imperialism, bringing out incredible facts and statistics detailing the scale and barbarity of British imperialism, and showing the direct links to the unprecedented economic crisis which capitalism is facing. He revealed that the RAF has bombed Iraq in 7 of its 10 decades of existence underlining the crucial importance of the Middle-East for imperialism. Turning to Britain, he explained that the past Labour government had passed one new criminal offence every 1 day and 3 hours in its bid to control and criminalise dissent and resistance, concluding,  'that's what the ruling classes call value for money!' As the crisis deepens, the need for strategic control of resources and transport routes, was shown to be key to so many emerging conflicts and rivalries between capitalist and imperialist powers.

This set the theoretical background for FRFI supporters Toby Harbertson and Patrick Ulysses to give specific examples of the developing machinations of the imperialist powers in Syria, and East Africa. Toby exposed Britain's hidden war in Syria and the wider region, as it fights alongside the US, France, and others against the growing influence of Russia and China in this resource rich region. With special forces on the ground, and huge quantities of arms flooding into the hands of Syria's 'rebels', the scale of imperialism's hidden involvement is staggering.

Patrick detailed the role of Uganda and other proxy governments in imperialist control of East Africa. The imperialist's need troops on the ground as the people of the region continue to reject their imperialist-puppet leaders, and the Kony 2012 campaign was shown to be a way of mobilising people behind this intervention. Again the rivalry for markets and resources between China and established western imperialist powers was demonstrated to be a key factor, setting up worrying possibilities of warfare on a scale not seen since 1945.

The speeches sparked excellent discussion, of the deepening crisis and austerity measures in Britain and of the inspiring resistance of people all over the world, from Cuba to Palestine to Somalia. Most prominent of all however, was the importance of using these examples to fight back in Britain against the system which cannot but demand war and cuts - capitalism.

Watch out for full recordings of the speeches, which will be going up on Youtube - just search for Britain's Hidden War's.

Getting to Grips with Imperialism - FRFI Northeast Hold 'Britain's Hidden War's' Public Meetings

Getting to Grips with Imperialism - FRFI Northeast Hold 'Britain's Hidden War's' Public Meetings

'Clegg Off to Cuts!' - opposing the Lib Dem spring conference, Newcastle - 10 March 2012

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On Saturday 10 March, several hundred people marched from Byker through the streets of Newcastle to protest against the Lib Dem Spring Conference taking place in Gateshead. The party had the arrogance to hold their conference in one of the most savagely cut areas of the country. Although Nick Clegg called on his party members to stop apologising for their decisions whilst in the Coalition, and to shout about their achievements, demonstrators exposed exactly what they have achieved in their 22 months in power: cuts to jobs and services, tuition fees, privatization, repression and military intervention.

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Newcastle: Anti-cuts movement continues to build as police step up repression - 18 Dec 2010

On Saturday 18 December hundreds of anti-cuts activists again took to the streets in Newcastle, protesting inside and outside shops and banks implicated in tax-dodging, bail-outs and support for the cuts. This was the fourth such demonstration in a month in the city, with participants numbering in the hundreds, and on the 24 November and 9 December numbering in the thousands. The latest demonstration also saw wider sections of the local population join in, following the lead set by school and college students.

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Fascists attack Occupy Newcastle

Fascists attack Occupy Newcastle

On Saturday 29 October Occupy Newcastle came under attack, first verbally during the day, from a combined mobilisation of several fascist organisations, and later that night physically, from an unidentified group of racists.

The combined actions of Counterfire, Labour councillors and police left the occupiers open to these attacks. For over a month, CounterFire/Coalition of Resistance and Labour Councillor Dipu Ahad had been promoting a ‘Rising against Islamophobia’ event to take place on 29 October at Grey’s Monument in the city centre. The organisers had invited a speaker from the Occupy Newcastle camp, which has occupied the Monument since 15 October. There were reports that the racist English Defence League (EDL) were planning to target the event, but leading Counterfire members had stated that there was no need for self-defence because the police would ensure its safety. The day before the event the following statement was issued announcing that the event had been cancelled:

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Report from Occupy Newcastle - 18 Oct 2011

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On Saturday 15 October, FRFI Newcastle took part in the Occupy Newcastle global day of action. Following a short rally FRFI supporters participated in a rolling picket on bank occupations, hitting HSBC3, Lloyds TSB and Nat West in protest against the bank bail outs, and the whole of the corrupt parasitic British banking system that is the backbone of Imperialist Britain.

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