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Northern Communists

Northern Communists E-Newsletter 2011 No 1
Subject: Northern Communists E-Newsletter 2011 No 1
Send date: 2011-03-20 23:25:49
Issue #: 7

 Northern Communists E-Newsletter


20 March 2011


Dear [NAME]


The Communist Party of Britain has branded the UN security council decision to back military intervention in Libya a betrayal of its founding principles to halt or prevent war.  Last Friday, following the Security Council vote, CPB international secretary John Foster said that it risked allowing major Western powers to "establish a compliant and corrupt pro-Western government, Western military facilities and Western control over valuable natural resources in Libya" - a goal for the US, Britain and other Nato members for 50 years.

"This continues to be their strategic objective, including if necessary through the initial partition of Libya with all its dangers of prolonged civil war," said Mr Foster.

He said that wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo showed that "Western imperialist intervention will not secure genuine democracy or sovereignty."

The subsequent bombardment of Libya by Britain, France and the USA goes way beyond the terms of the UN resolution.  As the Stop the War Coalition noted at the week-end, "The firing of 112 Tomahawk missiles was a declaration of full-scale war on Libya, not just the supposed no-fly zone which we’ve been presented with. This will result in substantial civilian casualties and may already have.”

The diplomatic dance that preceded the UN decision should fool nobody.  After the Iraq catastrophe in particular, the Western imperialist powers - and especially the US - could not be seen to instigate a military attack on Libya.  That is why the deal was done between European powers and the Arab League for the latter to call for a No Fly Zone, in return for the West supporting the mobilisation of Saudi Arabian armed forces (via the Gulf Cooperation Council of despotic dictators) to uphold the rotten, corrupt Bahrain dictatorship against the civilian protest movement. That's why, too, it had to look like the Arab League, France and Britain have been trying to persuade a reluctant US administration to support the French-British No Fly Zone resolution at the UN Security Council.

The lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan are there for all to learn: intervention, reaction, civil war, internationalisation of the conflict, millions of people displaced, hundreds of thousands dead, and the installation of a sham democracy headed by corrupt and reactionary Western-compliant regimes.

Stop the War Coalition chair, comrade Andrew Murray, has set out ten reasons for opposing a war against Libya in the Morning Star .

If the Libyan opposition forces in the oil-rich east of the country imagine that imperialist intervention or partition will deliver them control of their own country and its resources, they are in for a savage awakening. They will find themselves embroiled in a civil war and, to the delight of fundamentalists, a new 'holy war', with the West ending up controlling Libyan oil and gas and a new string of military facilities.

The Communist Party's opposition to any form of military intervention should not be confused with support for the Gadaffi regime. While Libya has committed more of its oil wealth to social programmes than is the case of many other countries in Africa and the Middle East, and large sectors of Libyan industry are in state and social ownership, the Gadaffi regime's claims to be, objectively, a socialist and anti-imperialist one have never been accepted by the international Communist movement.

Libyan and super-exploited guest workers do not have independent working class trade union and political organisations, let alone such organisations exercising power in Libyan society. The ideology of Gadaffi's 'Green Book socialism' is a bizarre jumble of romantic small-producer anti-capitalism, cooperatism, corporate statism, Islamic mysticism and state 'socialism' shot through with utterly backward nonsense about the destiny of women as mothers and carers.

Communists cannot forget that Gadaffi tried to enforce the liquidation of the Libyan Communist Party from the beginning of his 'revolution', handed over leaders of the Sudanese Communist Party to their government for torture and execution, financed ultra-left (and anti-Communist) terrorist organisations which served the interests of capitalist reaction from Germany to Japan, and even funded British fascist groups. His own expansionist policy in relation to Chad had more in common with colonialism than anti-imperialism.

To state these facts is not to help prepare or justify the ground for Western intervention, any more than in the case of Saddam's past regime in Iraq or the reactionary regime in Iran today.  The future of Libya has to be determined by the Libyan people themselves, free from outside interference or intervention.

British imperialism's history in North Africa and the Middle East has been a long one of bloodshed, exploitation and tyranny. We have to break the still widespread mindset in Britain that we - or more accurately our ruling class and its state power - have a progressive role to play in Libya, Iran, Iraq or Afghanistan. The CPB backs mediation between opposing forces in oil and gas-rich Libya as proposed by ALBA countries including Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Ecuador.

Cut Warfare Not Welfare - support the TUC anti-cuts demonstrationin London on March 26.
Sign the Stop the War Coalition's online petition, No military intervention against Libya.  Click here .
In Tyneside, support the Coalition's emeregency protest at 5 pm on Monday 21 March at Grey's Monument, Newcastle.

The Communist Party has organised its biggest speaking tour in a generation, with 18 public meetings throughout March and April.  The slogans are:

Fight for Jobs and Public Services
Tax the Rich and Big Business
Call Time on the ConDem Millionaires

The second meeting of the tour takes please in Newcastle upon Tyne at 7.30 pm at the Newcastle TUC Building, 4 Cloth Market, on BUDGET DAY, Wednesday 23 March.  Come and hear Communist Party general secretary Robert Griffiths and other speakers, including NE Area NUM general secretary Dave Hopper.

On Thursday March 24, all members of the University and Colleges Union, UCU, will be out on strike to defend pensions, pay and jobs.  This is the first significant strike action against ConDem government policies, and deserves the support of all trade unionists.  Picket lines will be set up at all colleges and universities, and within the area covered by this Newsletter there are at least two lunchtime rallies - one in Middlesbrough (no details yet) and the other in Newcastle - assemble City Baths 12 noon and march to Grey's Monument for a rally at about 1 pm.

Going to London for the TUC demonstration on March 26?  Then, if you are lucky, you'll be able to get one of the 30,000 free copies of the Morning Star being distributed, thanks to the generosity of a number of trade unions.  There should also be several thousand more copies available for sale at newsagents in train stations and motorway services.  Are you going on the train from Newcastle, along with your union?  The paper needs volunteers to help distribute it.  We can meet you at Central Station with supplies.  Contact info@northerncommunists.org.uk.

The TUC demonstration has to be seen as just a start.  Magnificent as it is likley to be, that alone will not shift the government.  March 26 should be used to build a mass base of solidarity with public sector workers taking coordinated action (most likely to defend their modest pensions), leading to general strike action with local community support to defend public services.

The People's Charter, backed by the TUC and now with more than 14 national trade union affiliations, proposes progressive and left alternative policies around which a wide range of forces can unite.

Communist Party branches in the North of England will be out campaigning with a new national leaflet putting the alternative to ConDem policies, and there will be local election campaigns in Newcastle and Carlisle.

The biennial Northern District Congress of the Communist Party will be held in Penrith on Saturday 18 June.  The District Committee's draft resolution analyses the situation in the District and the tasks for the movement and the Party.  It will be released after March 26: if you would like a copy, or more information, then e-mail info@northerncommunists.org.uk.

Yours in comradeship

CPB Northern District Committee


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