“Demonstration” at the Tory Party Conference in Birmingham

This warm, sunny Sunday in late September saw an event that usually unites various left elements in the country: the demonstration at the Tory party conference. Only that this year it was not planned as a protest but as a ‘festival’! Are we celebrating the British state’s attack on the working class and the non-existent resistance now?! Even though it might not have been that much more impressive on the day, at least two years ago, when it was also held in Birmingham, it was still billed as a ‘march and rally for the alternative’

© Stalingrad O'Neill

Even as a street festival, the event organised by the TUC this Sunday can only be described as an underwhelming experience, lasting hardly any longer than 4 hours, including a short 20 minute stroll through the city centre of Birmingham. The festival was set up on Victoria Square in front of the Council House, which would have been a decent enough location, had the conference not been held half a mile away, out of sight and hearing range. The march through the centre merely moved further away and made full use of empty backstreets, so as not to disturb the shopping public.

At least the CPGB-ML and Red Youth put on a good display under the circumstances, with one of the nicer stalls, shining in full crimson and displaying not only party literature but also a selection of Marxist classics that put others to shame.

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In the process we chatted to many interested members of the public, some disillusioned with other left groups and also one self-proclaimed ‘anarcho-capitalist’, who somehow found his way from the internet into the real world. The latter provided us with the invaluable information that the European Union is in fact a communist institution, as it supposedly redistributes wealth to the poorer countries at the expense of the successful ones. Comrades, we can pack up, we have already achieved power across Europe!

In all seriousness, individuals like this, providing they are not purely interested in having an argument, should look into who really benefits from the European single market – big banks, industrialists and financiers. Even more importantly is understanding the definition of communism and socialism and not equating it with a ‘big state that hates the market’.

In any case, we made a number of new contacts, including a number of young comrades from China who showed interest in working with us, reinforcing the image that many the more serious revolutionaries in this country tend to be from an international background, like the author of this blog piece!

Signed, an Austrian living in Birmingham!

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CPGB-ML South Wales Update

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It has been a busy few months for CPGB-ML comrades in South Wales as they continue to step up activity in the region. Comrades have attended Bedroom Tax and NHS events and there has been activity in both Merthyr Tydfil and Abergavenny. The latest Gaza leaflets were distributed in Cardiff City Centre and there was a high level of interest in them. The CPGB-ML were also once again present at the 1911 Railway Strike commemoration in Llanelli as they have been since its centenary in 2011.

The Party has long been instrumental in highlighting and raising awareness about Nato’s murderous warmongering and this was reflected in a good contingent at the ‘No to Nato’ protest in Newport where comrades from Newport, Merthyr Tydfil and Swansea were joined by party members from Runcorn, Hereford, Bristol and London. The demo was large and lively and we were able to set up a gazebo both at the start of the march and the town centre rally afterwards. Comrades marched proudly with the CPGB-ML banner and flags as well as the Palestinian flag, and over 700 of our Nato leaflets were distributed. There was a lot of interest in our latest Ukraine leaflets too and it was refreshing to note that people are not buying in to the Russia as warmonger mythology.

Comrade Giles was able to take our message to a wider audience in an interview for Bangladeshi TV and footage of the CPGB-ML featured on the RT coverage of the event. Despite the usual lack of accurate reporting from the BBC which aimed to make the week of protest look smaller than it actually was in a vain attempt to diminish its impact, the Activists were out in full force. All this despite the intimidation of a heavy police and military presence, the kettling of protesters and access to both Newport and Cardiff having been made as difficult as physically possible.

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With the streets of Newport being tarted up for the visit of the ‘World Leaders’ the public showed what they really thought and surrounded Cardiff Castle as the leaders were treated to a slap up feast! While the eyes of the world are riveted to footage of atrocity after atrocity in Syria and Iraq and bombs rain down on Palestinian schoolchildren Obama took time out to visit a local school. The irony of this was lost on him…

As the US and its Imperialist chums turn their attentions back to Syria there is an air of disbelief emanating from the masses, an anger building. A gentleman who was reading our leaflets talked about the convenience of the BBC coverage concerning ISIS and Iraq to divert attention away from Gaza and the outpouring of solidarity across the world with the Palestinian people.Indeed, it is getting harder and harder to keep up lately. Who is on the target list today: DPRK? Syria? Iraq? Iran? Venezuela?

The people of South Wales have always been immensely proud of their heritage and justifiably so. Although the scarred hillsides serve as a constant reminder of the loss of industry in the area it is the actions of the Chartists, the Miners and the working people that remains in our hearts and our minds and serves as an example to us. South Wales has a staunch and admirable Socialist past and the region and indeed Wales as a whole must continue to stand with the workers of Britain and continue to fight for the cause of Internationalism in the same spirit as the Welsh volunteers of the International Brigades. In 1831 during the Merthyr Uprising the red flag of revolution was raised for the very first time and the CPGB-ML are proud to march beneath this international symbol of the working classes – join us!

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“Remember the procession of the old-young men
From dole queue to corner and back again,
From the pinched, packed streets to the peak of slag
In the bite of the winters with shovel and bag,
With a drooping fag and a turned up collar,
Stamping for the cold at the ill lit corner
Dragging through the squalor with their hearts like lead
Staring at the hunger and the shut pit-head
Nothing in their pockets, nothing home to eat.
Lagging from the slag heap to the pinched, packed street.
Remember the procession of the old-young men,
It shall never happen again.”
-Dylan Thomas

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CPGB-ML at lobby of Labour Party Conference

CPGB-ML comrades attended the lobby of the Labour Party Conference in Manchester on Sunday, 21st September 2014. Protesters pushed to the brink by continuing war and austerity gathered to express their anger outside the conference centre while Labour bigwigs soaked up the luxury and opulence of the Midland Hotel opposite. The lobby was attended by various campaign groups such as KONP (Keep Our NHS Public) and there was a vocal and spirited stand against G4S and its human rights abuses in Palestine.

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The lobby also coincided with one of the national climate marches where anti-fracking protesters were out in force. CPGB-ML comrades showed solidarity against ALL capitalist cuts and our message was simple but clear: Socialism is the ONLY alternative to the corruption and oppression of all working people under the current system.

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Our contingent had a visible presence with banner and flags, and were able to secure a good spot at the conference entrance to set up a stall where copies of Proletarian and Lalkar were purchased along with a number of party publications (‘Nato’s Predatory War against Yugoslavia’ proved to be popular!).

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CPGB-ML members also handed out leaflets on issues ranging from Palestine and Nato to the NHS and Austerity with a good response from the public, protesters and even one or two conference delegates! Our stall was popular with a number of Trade Unionists coming from the conference to speak to us about their disillusionment with the Labour Party. And despite an intimidating police presence (also armed forces and helicopters) which almost outnumbered the protesters, a few members of the police force chatted to us about how they don’t receive over time for events such as these as they are salaried workers. Of course refusal to attend would result in their being disciplined!

Despite the enthusiasm of protesters it was a noticeably small gathering. Many protesters shouted slogans such as ‘Don’t be a Tory all your life!’ and urging Labour not to sell off our NHS, seemingly oblivious to the fact that Labour have been instrumental in its creeping privatisation. Labour brought us PFI, and Labour brought us Atos and its heinous fit for work assessments. Labour have also refused to ban fracking and have now put forward the earth shattering proposal of raising the minimum wage to £8 per hour… in 2020!

We all have to stand together and realise that Labour are every bit as dangerous as the Tories. They do not represent working people. Capitalism Must Go! Labour, Tory? Same Old Story! Join the CPGB-ML.

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Wigan Diggers Festival 2014

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 On Saturday 13 September, the Wigan Diggers festival came around for its fourth consecutive year. The festival was set up to celebrate the life of Wigan-born Gerrard Winstanley (1609-1676), a leading member of the 17th-century Diggers movement.

Last year’s festival was a great success, with around 2,000 people attending. The organisers worked hard this year to make it even better than the year before. There was an excellent line-up of music, stalls and activities.

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The high-point of the day was a march through the town accompanied by an English Civil War era-style troop of drummers.  Spurred on by the tremendous positive response they received from the people of Wigan, our comrades boldly took centre-stage, proudly holding aloft the flags of Palestine and the Soviet Union as they marched.

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Indeed, many CPGB-ML and Red Youth comrades attended this year’s festival, and one of our comrades was involved in the organisation of the festival itself. We also had a stall there, which allowed us to speak and have plenty of discussions about recent events, with a lot of people’s discussions focused around the NHS and Palestine. We had lots of books, leaflets and pamphlets available on the stall.

10626780_332208093613282_4309286412441055537_nThe festival was bigger this year than it has ever been, and the signs are that it will continue to grow, to become perhaps the biggest and most vibrant event of its kind in the North West.  We feel sure that our proud association with the Wigan Diggers Festival will continue to grow also, since the communists of today carry the proud tradition of Comrade Gerrard Winstanley into the 21st century and beyond.

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Online: red youth interview with marcel cartier

Check out these interviews with marcel conducted by a young member of red youth. Marcel has witnessed first hand the achievements of socialism in DPR Korea and Cuba. Thanks to Marcel for his time and speaking to red youth in London, Birmingham, Bristol and Glasgow this summer:

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Is Scotland a Nation? Inform your opinion!

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On 18th September 2014 the people of Scotland will vote in a referendum to decide whether they will remain part of the Great British Nation.

Read “THE NATIONAL QUESTION IN SCOTLAND” here: http://www.lalkar.org/issues/contents/sep2012/scotland.html

It is undeniable that the Scots have a Scottish Culture and national consciousness – but it is our contention that the poeple of Scotland developed all the characteristics of nationhood in the late 18th and early 19th century – and precisely at that time elected to throw their lot in with the people of England and Wales to join in the creation of a British Nation.

The Scottish and English – British – ruling capitalist class cooperated fully in their quest for industrial development, conquering colonial markets and creaeting a fully fledged empire, characterised by the systematic export of capital, the exploitation and domination of millions of clonial peoples.

Morever the British working class came together, including the poeple of the highlands, islands and lowlands of Scotland, to either make their fortune in assisting the British project, or to cooperate in their quest for chartism, and for either reform of the exploitative capitalist syustem, or its revolutionary overthrow.

Adherants of left nationalism make all sorts of claims regarding the prospect of an independent Scotland – that it will bring world equality (at least one step nearer), that it will give rise to a fair and just (albeit monarchist, capitalist and imperialsit!) society; that it will rid scotalnd of nuclear weapons, or aggressive armies (although Scotland will remain part of the most aggressive warmongering imperial alliance ever assembled – namely NATO -, and will seek to become a member of the EU imperialist club), etc, etc.

Rest assured, that the British monopoly capitalist class are not offering the dismemberment of their exploitative machine, or marauding armies. The State will not be broken by an independant Scotland as envisaged by the SNP, SSP, or any other member of this alliance.

These parties can win at best a little more personal influence and power. They will not bring the British people – be they English, Welsh or Scotch – one step closer to meaningful freedom. Rather they can achieve only the sowing of greater discord, and disorganisation, among British workers, with the diversion and false poanacea of ‘independence’.

The truth is that the only fight that can bring equality and justice to the working beople of Britain, is the fight against capitalism and for socialism – that must place decisoin-making power in the hands of workers.

What is urgently required is not more divisive nationalism, but the wide adoption of an internationalist outlook and approach to our problems: Workers are better together; stronger united. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XD687At2NvU

In this excellent presentation, Harpal Brar, speaking in 2012 in (the semi-autonomous republic of) Southall, explains “what is a nation?”, and goes on to adderss the specific question “Is Scotland a nation”.

Excellent introductory and explanatory fotage – Don’t vote before you watch!

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Western Leaders Fear-Monger to Mobilize Support for Air-Strikes on Syria

Originally posted on what's left:

By Stephen Gowans

One of the roles of leading politicians and top officials of the state is to enlist public support for policies which serve the goals of the upper stratum of the population from whose ranks they sometimes come and whose interests they almost invariably promote. When these policies are at odds with the interests of the majority, as they often are, the mobilization of public consent is possible only through deception. The deception is carried out through prevarication, equivocation, and fear-mongering, crystallized into misleading narratives which the mass media can be reliably counted on to amplify. So it is that Western officials have ramped up a campaign of deception to provide a pretext for military intervention in Syria to combat ISIS but which may very well serve as a Trojan horse to escalate the war on the Syrian government.

The foundations of the campaign were laid in March…

View original 1,185 more words

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