- Created: Tuesday, 08 May 2012 09:51
- Written by Newcastle Branch
'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.