Australia: Mass Resistance to Lockdown Hell

sydney freedom protest

Above: Sydney anti-lockdown protest, July 24. http://www.worldpoliticnews.com

25-07-2021: While Europe and the USA are in the process of at least temporarily lifting “Covid” lockdowns, Australia is headed in the opposite direction. Currently, 13.5 million – around half of the country – are under harsh lockdowns imposed by soulless politicians. Many of the lockdown measures and a dizzying list of rules and restrictions are illegal even according to state laws and the federal constitution, but the capitalist state imposes them with the threat of police enforcement. The states of New South Wales (NSW), Victoria (VIC) and South Australia (SA) resemble dystopian hellscapes, with most citizens effectively confined to house arrest. In NSW, the government lists 16 “reasonable excuses” for people to leave their homes and allows 14 reasons for an “essential gathering”. In all other cases, gatherings of more than 2 people are expressly forbidden.[1]

If people breach the draconian “health directions”, they can face an on-the-spot fine of $1652 for individuals and $9913 for businesses, with larger fines able to be issued through the courts.[2] In Tasmania (TAS), the island state on the southernmost tip of the country, people can be fined $16 800 or six months in jail – for not being at home.[3] Western Sydney, areas which have a high concentration of residents from migrant backgrounds, are subject to heavier restrictions than those imposed on people living in the East. Some workers from Western Sydney are not allowed to leave their local government area – even in the case of work. Residents from the Cumberland, Blacktown, Fairfield, Liverpool and Canterbury-Bankstown local government cordons can only travel outside these areas for work if they are on a list of “authorised workers”.[4] In addition, police in Western Sydney have reportedly been stationed at some shopping centres and have been checking the bags of those exiting – allegedly to ensure that shoppers were only purchasing “essential items”.[5]

This was never about a virus

18 months after “two weeks to flatten the curve”, any claim that Covid lockdowns are about public health is vexatious. If the SARS-CoV-2 virus exists at all, it has an infection fatality rate of between 0.1% and 0.5% at the most, comparable to a medium round of influenza.[6] Mandatory facemask mandates are risible, given that some studies have concluded that facemasks have no effect on the transmission of a respiratory virus, and may even increase the likelihood of infection, due to the collection of saliva and mucus within.[7] Lockdowns prevent access to fresh air and sunlight, one of the key means which naturally combat cold and flu coronaviruses. Lockdowns create enormous psychological and physical distress, at least partially due to a virtual abolition of social contact, and the prevention of some being able to earn wages with which to pay rent and food. The lockdowns are predicated on the false notion of “asymptomatic spread” – where people who are 100% healthy and have no symptoms, can allegedly spread a deadly virus. The tests used to determine “positive Covid” are likely to produce false positives at a rate as high as 97%,[8] due to their epic misuse.

The Covid “vaccine”, which is being pushed onto world populations with an overblown propaganda campaign, should not actually be referred to as a vaccine. A vaccine, until Covid came along, was a method of conferring immunity from infection to a particular illness – providing it worked at all. The Covid “vaccine” – from Big Pharma corporations Pfizer, Moderna, Astra-Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson – does not at all deliver immunity from anything, let alone the SARS-Cov-2 virus (presuming it exists). If it does anything at all, it will only reduce[9] what are effectively cold and flu symptoms. And this is IF you are lucky enough not to have any side effects. Side effects from the Covid “vaccine” include sudden death, Bell’s Palsy and other permanently disabling conditions.[10]

Yet one and a half years into a supposed “pandemic”, it is becoming superfluous to rationally discuss science and medicine. Facts, much less scientific and medical research, are given little respect due to the intensely political use of “Covid-19” by the ruling class in their struggle for survival. This was never about a real or imagined virus. If anyone has any doubt as to the deeply misanthropic thrust of lockdowns, check the recent statement of NSW “Health” Officer Dr Kerry Chant, who warned the public that talking or being friendly to neighbours should be avoided due to the spread of Covid![11] Part of the nefarious agenda is clearly to physically separate workers from each other, in order to prevent them from fighting back against the terms of their “New Normal” slavery.

What is the agenda?

If the deliberate collapse of whole economies and almost limitless political repression of working people is not actually about a virus – what is the agenda? In a word – fascism. This is not an intentional exaggeration, but a description of what workers must resist. For despite its notorious history, fascism is not always immediately recognisable. This is because it can assume many different forms. It does not have to assume the form of a far-right Nazi type party or movement, which appears to be an outsider which gradually or rapidly acquires mainstream support. That is only one type and succeeding forms of fascism do not have to adhere to that model. As Robert Lindsay writes, fascism can and does call itself just about anything. In fact, there have been fascist movements which have called themselves anti-fascist.[12] Today’s lockdown fascism is using the vehicle of liberalism and thus the rhetoric of “progressive humanitarianism” to sustain and grow itself.

This means that it can use the existing capitalist parliamentary parties – conservative or social-democratic – as its political driver. It does not have to create a new party or movement. Therefore, acting as willing auxiliaries of the parliamentary parties and hence of lockdown fascism are – wait for it – Trade Union officials and the parties of the former “left”. This has created mass confusion and political disorientation, but it is something we must understand if we are to defeat it. Union officials have a material interest, despite themselves, in restricting working people within the confines of capitalist relations of production. If capitalism enters a period of severe economic crisis and finds that it can no longer entertain the bourgeois democratic and civil rights pertaining to liberal democracy, the ruling class will simply junk them in favour of fascism. Trade Union officials retain their well-heeled positions irrespective of whether capitalism uses the liberal democratic or fascist shell. For example, the officials of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), instead of fighting against lockdown fascism, are instead one of its key protagonists. They have even pushed for four days paid pandemic leave so workers can receive the Covid vax and recover from the dangerous side effects![13]

“Left” parties uphold lockdowns

Despite decades of proclaiming themselves “Marxists” and “revolutionaries” and “socialists”, almost every Australian left party has been eager to deputise as agents of finance capital, even while it launched its most devastating broadside against the working class in history. They do not appear to notice that lockdown fascism has arrived, nor that they themselves are participating in it. In fact, some of them have so wholly swallowed the pandemic of lies, they adopt positions to the right of the ruling class itself. For example, the Trotskyist Platform does not appear to notice the devastation they are in the middle of in Sydney, when they write that half of the country “has had” to be locked down! They do not at all oppose lockdowns, but only the Morrison government for not ensuring a fast enough Covid vax rollout. They whine that some in Sydney had to wait six hours for a Covid test.[14] These “leftists” complain that there is not enough Covid hysteria, and not enough state repression!

Socialist Alternative (SAlt) direct their fire at the Liberal Party for not enacting lockdowns earlier. Fantastically, they claim that by delaying lockdowns in NSW, the current lockdown now has to go longer.[15] Despite millions of workers being thrown into unemployment, they still claim that lockdowns are in the interest of “public health” ! The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) are now known for pressuring the ruling class from the right for harsher, stricter and longer lockdowns. They appear blind to the adverse consequences of closing down whole parts of economies, removing already threadbare democratic and civil rights, and giving cops an almost free rein to keep workers restrained. Incredibly, they claim that the NSW government had not introduced a “genuine” lockdown, which meant that some businesses were able to remain open.[16] Perish the thought that some workers can keep their jobs!

The Socialist Alliance (SAll) call for an extension of the incredibly invasive tracking, tracing and testing.[17] The “Marxist-Leninist” Communist Party of Australia (CPA),[18] Communist Workers Party of Australia (CWPA),[19] and Communist Party of Australia Marxist-Leninist (CPA-ML)[20] all blame the government for not imposing swifter and harder lockdowns! One wonders just how much poverty and destitution would have been adequate for these “revolutionaries”. The other “Marxist-Leninist” party, the Australian Communist Party (ACP)’ are a little more circumspect about actually calling for harsher lockdowns. Their strategy seems to be to avoid mentioning them, such as calling for the defence of democratic rights while refusing to even mouth the word “lockdown”.[21]

To their partial credit, Solidarity actually recognise that the current lockdowns are pushing people to breaking point, and that many workers turned out on July 24 to protest against them. However, they then go on to warn against protests that seek to “let the virus rip”.[22] They claim that the rallies were led by “reactionary forces”, while not recognising how reactionary it is to side with Big Pharma and Big Tech against workers demonstrating for the right to turn up for work. The Spartacist League (SL) have distinguished themselves by adopting a position which opposes lockdowns, albeit a full 12 months after they began.[23] This would have been a positive step towards the defence of the working class, but it is overshadowed by their wholesale acceptance of the “Covid-19 outbreak” nonsense, which remains undistilled bourgeois ideology. A foot in both class camps is impossible to sustain.

Resist lockdown terror

As Connor Kelly writes, there are psychological reasons why many refuse to recognise the reality of lockdown fascism. Almost everyone imagines themselves to be a good and moral person, who cares about the welfare of others.[24] Virtually no one wishes to identify as a fascist, and the thought that they themselves could be one is dismissed out of hand as a self-defence mechanism. Simultaneously, they are policing and enforcing lockdown fascism against those who even question the logic behind the removal of almost every right that has been won in the past. They even dismiss the fact of millions of workers being thrown into unemployment as an “unfortunate” by-product of a “pandemic”.

In a similar way, so-called left parties which have enthusiastically signed up to capitalist imperialism as Covid enforcers cannot conceive themselves as reinforcing 21st century fascism. They imagine themselves to be “leftists”, and thus dismiss the very possibility that they could be being used by the very forces they have sworn themselves to oppose. They have not been able to recognise how politics has switched sides over the last 20 years, and how it was turned upside down during 2020. Stuck in the 20th century, they push themselves further away from workers in dire need of direction.

Thankfully, the anti-lockdown movement has taken up the mantle of the struggle against fascism. During the “Worldwide Rallies for Freedom” on July 24, tens of thousands mobilised across Australia to protest against barbaric lockdowns, facemask mandates and dangerous vaccines. Numbers are disputed, but there were at least 15 000 in Brisbane, 30 000 in Sydney, and 5000 in Melbourne.[25] Fascism cannot be combatted without confronting the capitalism from which it emerges. Therefore, the urgent task for genuine Marxists is to help build the anti-lockdown movement despite the disparate political forces involved. At the same time, the winning of the most class-conscious elements to the painstaking task of the construction of a workers vanguard party remains the key to breaking the back of lockdown fascism. Out of the wreckage of a crumbling capitalism, a socialist order must rise.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


[1] Government Gazette No 65 of 30 March 2020 pages 1149 to 1163 (nsw.gov.au) (25-07-2021)

[2] Coronavirus in Australia: Most of the country is effectively in full lockdown as state governments help stop the spread | 7NEWS (25-07-2021)

[3] Tasmania’s home lockdown order for coronavirus spread explained | The Examiner | Launceston, TAS (25-07-2021)

[4] Sydney COVID: Cumberland, Blacktown residents subject to tighter worker restrictions after cases continue to surge (smh.com.au) (25-07-2021)

[5] Police spotted waiting outside a Kmart in western Sydney to check customers’ shopping bags (clikati.com) (25-07-2021)

[6] https://swprs.org/facts-about-covid-19/ (25-07-2021)

[7] https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/html/10.1055/a-1174-6591 (25-07-2021)

[8] https://www.globalresearch.ca/nucleic-acid-testing-technologies-use-polymerase-chain-reaction-pcr-detection-sars-cov-2/5739959 (25-07-2021)

[9] https://off-guardian.org/2021/07/23/new-normal-newspeak-2-vaccine/ (25-07-2021)

[10] https://www.sott.net/article/447459-Objective-Health-The-Covid-Vaccine-Lottery-What-Side-Effects-Will-You-Get (25-07-2021)

[11] EVIL Dr. Kerry Chant says: DO NOT TALK TO YOUR NEIGHBOURS or be friendly, because of COVID (brandnewtube.com) (25-07-2021)

[12] Alt Left: Trotsky on Fascism: One of the Best Analyses of Fascism Ever Written – Beyond Highbrow (25-07-2021)

[13] Federal Government must provide four days paid vaccination leave for aged and disability care (actu.org.au) (25-07-2021)

[14] FREE LEFT-WING POLITICAL PRISONER CHAN HAN CHOI! | Trotskyist Platform (25-07-2021)

[15] Liberal governments’ failures are the reason we are in lockdown | Red Flag (25-07-2021)

[16] Australian state government declares “national emergency” in Sydney but rejects calls for sharp lockdown – World Socialist Web Site (wsws.org) (25-07-2021)

[17] To defeat COVID-19 workers need income support | Green Left (25-07-2021)

[18] HARD SHUT DOWN NOW! – CPA (25-07-2021)

[19] THE AGITATOR (communistworkerspartyofaustralia.org.au) (25-07-2021)

[20] Vanguard – Communist Party of Australia Marxist Leninist (cpaml.org) (25-07-2021)

[21] Don’t Discount Democratic Rights — Australian Communist Party (auscp.org.au) (25-07-2021)

[22] ‘Freedom rallies’ no answer to lockdown woes – Solidarity Online (25-07-2021)

[23] Down With the Lockdowns! – The Working Class Must Defend Itself (icl-fi.org) (25-07-2021)

[24] Collaboration or resistance, part 1: Our brand new shiny fascist state – Left Lockdown Sceptics (25-07-2021)

[25] Australians say ‘no more’: Mass freedom protests staged in capital cities – TOTT News (25-07-2021)

#SOSCUBA: Code for Counter-Revolution

CUBA-PINAR DEL RÍO SERÁ SEDE DEL ACTO CENTRAL POR EL 26 DE JULIO

Above: Cubans marching with their national flag, and the flag of the July 26 Movement (26 Julio). Image from http://www.radiorebelde.cu

17-07-2021: Here we go again. Following in the footsteps of numerous “colour revolutions”, destabilisations and outright subversion in multiple countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, now it is Cuba’s turn. As always, regime change operations such as these can ultimately be traced back to one source – US imperialism and their allies. The “#SOSCUBA” demonstrations throughout the island 144 kilometres south of Florida last week had an openly anti-socialist and anti-government character, regardless of a number of economic difficulties Cuba is currently facing. Some placards read “Down with Communism!” and “Down with the Dictator!”, revealing once and for all their counter-revolutionary political character. Workers internationally need to be aware that the US Empire is continually fostering and fomenting regime change within Cuba, via the funding of ultra-reactionary dissidents on the island, and through similar operations in the USA itself.

US funded sabotage

US coup-installed President Joe Biden wasted no time in throwing his support behind the ultra-right wing protests in Cuba. He indicated that Cubans had taken to the streets to protest food shortages and high prices amid the (so-called) “pandemic”. He waffled that the Cuban people are “demanding their freedom from an authoritarian regime”.[1] The rhetoric about protesting food shortages and high prices is simply a cover from both Biden and his proxies for deep-seated anti-socialism. The US state itself spares little expense in putting in fuelling any legitimate discontent towards regime change, ever since Cuba’s socialist revolution in 1959. In the weeks before the July 11 protests, the US State Department asked for $30 million for “democracy promotion” in Cuba, i.e., regime change operations.[2] This is on top of a current tally of $10 million to “identify and promote the next generation of Civil Society leaders” – in other words the current protest leaders themselves.

On July 6, US congressional bill H.R. 4373 was passed, which allots $9.7 million for the US Agency for Global Media.[3] This arm runs the notorious Voice of America media outlet, which broadcasts anti-socialist propaganda daily around the world. It also runs Radio y Television Marti, which beams anti-Cuban government media directly into the island from Miami in Florida. There is some evidence that anti-Cuban messaging was being co-ordinated even before the protests in Cuba, aided and abetted by Twitter. The Big Tech titan, which has censored thousands of accounts over the past 18 months during the fear pandemic, also has a history of shutting down Cuban government and Cuban media accounts.[4] In other words, the July 11 protests in Cuba were planned with the help of the Empire.

The cost of the blockade

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the CIA arm which works full-time on regime change operations, admits that it provided “critical support to advance democracy” in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela during 2020.[5] Needless to say, the NED never “advances democracy”, however that may be defined, but constantly works to overthrow any nation which attempts any inkling of independence from Washington. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez argued in favour of a US military intervention in Cuba, and even suggested it should consider bombing as a part of such efforts.[6] Although sounding ludicrous, it is only political realities that prevents Washington from carrying this out. That is, if it was true that the Cuban government was a dictatorial regime that the overwhelming majority deeply resented, a US military intervention may not cause an outcry. Of course, however, pro-US dissidents in Cuba are certainly there – but are only a small minority.

Indeed, since the anti-government protests, there have been a series of pro-government and pro-revolution demonstrations in response.[7] In fact, footage of some of the largest pro-government rallies in Cuba was falsely used by the Western corporate media to promote an anti-government agenda. The Guardian, Fox News, Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Times and Voice of America were all caught in this act of blatant dishonesty.[8] Some of the rallies featured the red and black flag of the July 26 Movement (J26M), the organisation which Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and others formed in the course of the Cuban revolution, and parts of which later became the governing Communist Party of Cuba (PCC). Obviously, thousands of supporters of J26M would be pro-revolution, not pro-imperialism!

There is no doubt that Cuba is dealing with formidable economic difficulties, which cause shortages of some supplies and utilities like electricity. Where electricity needs to be “rationed”, the hospitals and other vital services are prioritised. However, overwhelmingly the main cause of the economic travails is the economic blockade imposed on Cuba by the US government ever since 1962. In 2002, the Cuban government estimated it loses $685 million annually due to the embargo. A 2008 estimate claimed that the blockade had cost Cuba $93 billion in lost revenue.[9] These losses are not just one way. It is estimated that US businesses forego $2 billion in trade annually that could be made if travel and commerce with Cuba was allowed by the US government. Washington makes a calculation that some economic losses are subordinate to the overall political goal of demonising socialism in Cuba.

Socialism on one island

The Republic of Cuba, however, remains a bureaucratically deformed workers’ state which is politically led by a conservative and nationalist caste. This means the PCC assiduously applies the mistaken Stalinist policies of “socialism in one country” and “peaceful coexistence with imperialism” – even at the same time as bravely defending their outstanding achievements. Instead of reaching out to workers of Latin America, the Caribbean and internationally, the PCC leadership restricts much of its internationalism to sharply limited diplomacy with the capitalist and imperialist states of the West. Instead of at least politically aiming for international socialism, the PCC and their backers effectively attempt to construct “socialism on one island” – a bare impossibility. Socialism, at the very least, is about the world’s resources for the world’s people, which can only begin to come about with the working-class holding state power in the major industrialised nations and regions of the planet.

To maintain “socialism on one island”, the nationalist caste leading Cuba cooperates with and helps prop-up capitalist imperialism internationally. “Marxism” is tossed out of the window in favour of diplomatic recognition by the very world powers which plot their overthrow. The most graphic illustration of this practice is the PCC’s capitulation to the Covid fear pandemic, which in practice is the most severe assault on the global working class in history. The PCC act as if the same imperialists which seek to destroy everything they have achieved since 1959 are somehow at the same time highly concerned about the health and welfare of the poorest people on the planet. Through acting as stagehands for the Covid pantomime, the PCC have betrayed their own workers and have simultaneously boosted imperialist political control over the working class throughout the globe.

So eager was the PCC to assist imperialism it enacted measures which harmed Cuba’s economy. They imposed lockdowns and facemasks on March 20, 2020, and on March 24, they closed their borders to tourism[10] – one of the lifebloods of the economy. Lockdowns, facemasks and border shutdowns have not one shred of scientific or medical legitimacy – but the PCC prodded Cuba’s famed medicos to play along with the Covid charade. The nonsensical Covid restrictions forced Cuba’s economy to retract by 11% in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).[11] In a country which struggles economically at the best of times, this was a body blow.

Internationalism?

The Cuban government has displayed a form of selfless internationalism in the past with regard to its international deployments of doctors and health professionals. Many Third World nations have benefited from this largesse, and workers internationally have correctly applauded this practice. However, the dispatching of the Henry Reeve Brigade to 50 nations[12] to deal with “Covid” – a mild flu if it exists at all – can only be condemned. Similarly, Cuba’s development of Covid vaccines[13] is another stab in the back to workers struggling against the tyranny and oppression of lockdowns worldwide.

By adopting the Covid language, methods and practice of imperialism itself, the nationalist caste leading Cuba have bolstered the political stocks of the US Empire even as it wages a life and death struggle against the workers of the world. It has contributed to some confusion amongst some workers who claim to be anti-imperialist and carry out some level of Cuba solidarity. If the Cuban government is on board with Covid – they wrongly figure – then Covid must be a deadly plague. The opposite is the case, as Covid is merely the ideological cover utilised by imperialism to camouflage its descent into a new and historically more dangerous form of fascism. That the PCC have assisted in this disastrous step towards the “New Normal” speaks volumes as to the depth of its betrayal.

In a similar vein, the nationalist castes at the head of other deformed workers’ states have played a similarly treacherous role. The political leaderships of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) have all joined with the Western governments in a vast deception of their own working class, as well as the workers of the world. The Communist Party of China (CPC) arguably led the way, being the first government to impose Covid lockdowns – albeit only in one city, and only for a period of around two months.[14] The DPRK’s government immediately shutdown its borders in response to Covid, and this has led to significant economic difficulties. The DPRK’s main and important trading partner is the PRC, but during the lockdowns, trade with the PRC plummeted by 80%.[15] The SRV faired better in an economic sense, and still managed to post an impressive 5.64% GDP growth figure recently[16], despite its partial imposed lockdowns.

Hands Off Cuba!

It is of vital importance that workers internationally demand the lifting of the blockade and embargo on Cuba, and an end to US state meddling through the funding and fostering of anti-socialist sabotage. At the same time, Cuba today is a living refutation of the twin Stalinist policies of “socialism in one country” and “peaceful coexistence”. Even if a workers’ state scrupulously respects the boundaries of the Empire outside it, imperialism will never return an ounce of respect. Imperialism is the expansionist policy of finance capital, and capital must expand beyond national boundaries as soon as it has saturated the home market. Or, it reaches a saturation point when it has so impoverished the majority of its working class at home that it must embark on diabolical adventures to intervene and/or overthrow other countries which are not totally open to its exploitation. In Cuba, this is the basic reason for the 60-year blockade, the ban on US travel, the fomenting of anti-socialist dissent, and so on.

While a victorious socialist revolution in an isolated state will need to defend its borders and come to diplomatic agreements with imperialist states in the absence of being joined by other workers’ revolutions internationally, “socialism in one country” is fictitious. Even the PRC, with a vast economic base, can only take steps towards world socialism. The defence of the Cuban revolution “at home” requires the political expansion of the working-class struggle against capitalism internationally. This requires a genuinely Leninist political outlook, which seeks – where possible – to co-ordinate an international workers struggle against capital’s global rule.

Russian revolutionary leader L Trotsky did not live to see the 1959 Cuban Revolution. Yet his formula of proletarian political revolution (ultimately initiated by Lenin against his own Soviet State from 1921) for deformed workers’ states remains critical. Such a series of acts will defend the Cuban socialistic state, while shedding the legacy of an increasingly narrow “socialism on one island”. While demanding imperialist “Hands Off Cuba”, only working-class internationalism can end the interference of Empire.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com
E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] How Cuba Protests Reveal Biden’s Political Challenges In South Florida: NPR (16-07-2021)

[2] Morgan Artyukhina on Twitter: “Last week, US State Dept asked for almost $30 million toward regime change ops in Cuba, including upgrades to propaganda outlet Radio y Television Marti & promoting “free enterprise and private business organizations” & “people-to-people educational and cultural activities.” 🤔 https://t.co/U0tFULtzc6” / Twitter (16-07-2021)

[3] H. R. 4373 (Reported-in-House) (govinfo.gov) (16-07-2021)

[4] ‘Bay of Tweets’: Twitter Permits Anti-Cuba Bot Army Despite ‘Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour’ Rules – Sputnik International (sputniknews.com) (16-07-2021)

[5] Latin America and Caribbean – NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY (ned.org) (16-07-2021)

[6] Miami Mayor Says the US Should Consider Bombing Cuba – News From Antiwar.com (16-07-2021)

[7] Cubans take to the streets in rejection of destabilization attempts – YouTube (16-07-2021)

[8] Blatant propaganda: Western media use images of PRO-government rally, protest in Miami to illustrate Cuban unrest as Havana warns of ‘soft coup’ — Society’s Child — Sott.net (16-07-2021)

[9] Blockade on Cuba Costs US Economy More – COHA (16-07-2021)

[10] Leading by Example: Cuba in the Covid-19 Pandemic – CounterPunch.org (16-07-2021)

[11] Cuba’s successful response to COVID-19 | Green Left (16-07-2021)

[12] Cuba and the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade deserve to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize – Doctors not Bombs – Jamaica Peace Council (wordpress.com) (16-07-2021)

[13] Cuba announces its Abdala vaccine is 92.28% effective against Covid-19 | USA | EL PAÍS in English (elpais.com) (16-07-2021)

[14] Coronavirus: Lockdowns in Wuhan, Hubei long lifted but some Chinese workers still stuck, East Asia News & Top Stories – The Straits Times (16-07-2021)

[15] https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/06/11/across-the-north-korean-border-in-china-an-economic-winter-that-never-ends/ (16-07-2021)

[16] https://en.vietnamplus.vn/vietnam-posts-high-economic-growth-in-six-months-despite-covid19/204032.vnp (16-07-2021)

Free New South Wales!

Covid border closure

http://www.sydneynewstoday.com

15-07-2021: One and a half years after “two weeks to flatten the curve”, the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) is enduring one of the harshest lockdowns ever imposed. The draconian dictates of Covid rules enforced by police are a laundry list of inconceivable demands which defy elementary tenets of logic. In the Greater Sydney area, residents can only leave home if they have a “reasonable excuse”. Facemasks are mandatory more or less everywhere except inside your own home. The rules even state that facemasks must be worn in the stairwells and corridors of an apartment block. Church services are banned and can only be live streamed online. At these online services two people are permitted to sing or chant – provided they are 3 metres apart! Weddings are essentially banned, and people cannot enter Greater Sydney and other regions of NSW to attend them. Pubs, clubs, restaurants, hair salons, cinemas, music halls and much more are all closed down by government order.[1] With some exceptions, culture, religion, sport and most avenues of public interaction have ceased – with no given date as to when these restrictions will be lifted.

Pandemic of lies

The only pandemic which exists is a pandemic of lies. The current lockdowns in NSW are said to be in response to the death of one (!) 90 year old woman who allegedly died in the Liverpool Hospital days after “testing positive” to Covid-19 via contact with a family member.(!)[2] Working people have little time to verify what they are bombarded with by the corporate media and captive politicians. Corporate backed politicians are professional liars, and they are more than adept at spinning lie after lie to “explain” more lockdowns, more facemask mandates, more vaccine hysteria, and on and on. Their system produced a television advertisement featuring a woman gasping for breath in a hospital bed, with messages urging “Stay at home. Get tested. Book your vaccination”. Some have immediately labelled the advertisement “next level gaslighting”.[3] Mountains of irrational fear is the only ideological weapon in the arsenal of a system whose credibility has long expired.

If the SARS-CoV-2 virus exists at all (which is doubtful)[4], it is likely to be just one of the coronaviruses which cause common colds and influenza each winter. This is one reason why the anti-microbials Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine are effective treatments[5], as are doses of Vitamin C and Vitamin D. Sunshine can provide the latter, and along with fresh air and exercise, a protective barrier against “Covid-19” – which is essentially a renamed flu. Yet fresh air and exercise is precisely what people in NSW are being denied under lockdowns, along with the immense psychological damage of aggravated anxiety and depression. Going into lockdown is not like going to jail – because even then each inmate knows exactly when they will be released. Unscrupulous politicians fanning corona doublespeak, on the other hand, do not announce permanent lockdowns. They only say “it depends on case numbers”, or even threaten to extend lockdowns if people do not follow the rules!

Class attack

Covid repression is the crisis of liberal democracy as the principal form of bourgeois rule. In the same vein, lockdowns are the clearest example of capitalism reducing itself to a grotesque absurdity, and a historical anachronism. Private production for private profit based on the exploitation of social labour was, at one time in the distant past, a historical advance on the rule of feudal monarchs. The material economic conditions for the supersession of capitalism and its replacement with socialism were present at the time of World War I. The 20th century could have been the final nail in capitalism’s coffin, but for various reasons, the working class in the West was unable to cohere the requisite political leadership which could shatter the chains of wage slavery through workers’ revolution.

Hence, the longer the life of capitalism is extended, the more inevitable the appearance of fascism becomes. Liberal democracy – which always was only bourgeois democracy, (democracy for the rich, the wealthiest millionaires and billionaires) contains far too many civil and democratic rights for a ruling class which is locked in a life and death struggle for its own survival. Finance capital therefore simply dispenses with the usual formalities of parliamentary rule and reverts to rule by unrestrained violence or the threat of violence, in this case – lockdown fascism. Fascism is the last political resort for capital but faced with its own demise it will not hesitate with its deployment. Lockdown fascism, combined with the attendant Covid narrative, is the current phase of capitalist imperialism. Even if lockdowns are on again, off again, Covid nonsense (facemasks, vaccines, tracking and tracing, restrictions, rules etc.) can be extended permanently. Unless overthrown by an uprising, the unbearable and intolerable Covid repression will remain, and there will be no “back to normal”.

Rise Up!

Despite this, there is no reason to despair. Vast swathes of the masses are sick and tired of lockdowns, and/or loathe and despise them. If this overwhelming sentiment is harnessed by an organised and determined political leadership, the lockdowns could be tossed into the trash can of history. An anti-lockdown movement has arisen and has mobilised millions of people around the world repeatedly – from Australia to the USA to Europe and beyond. As important as the successes of this movement are, they are partially based on the demands for freedom, peace and liberty. While this is entirely understandable, these abstract concepts mean different things to different classes. Small and medium sized business certainly has been crushed by the lockdowns, but it is the working class which has suffered the worst with millions of job losses – meaning a loss of livelihood. While the petty-bourgeoisie certainly demands an end to lockdowns and Covid repression, by virtue of their class position they cannot demand an end to capitalism and its demonic offspring – lockdown fascism.

While the urgent political task for workers is the building of the anti-lockdown movement, movements in themselves are limited in what they can achieve. To achieve mighty tasks such as the overturn of capital and the forging of a workers’ republic, the working class must have a party of its own. Due to the abject apostasy and perfidy of the Union officials and the lockdown “left”, there is a vacant political gulf which must be filled by a Marxist vanguard party. Such a party can help lead the struggle to abolish lockdown tyranny as the first vital step towards the triumph of a socialist order.

WORKERS  LEAGUE


www.redfireonline.com


E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


[1] https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/greater-sydney#places-that-are-closed (14-07-2021)

[2] https://news.yahoo.com/australia-announces-first-coronavirus-death (14-07-2021)

[3] https://www.skynews.com.au/australia-news/coronavirus/critics-say-insensitive-covid19-ad-should-be-taken-off-air-immediately (14-07-2021)

[4] https://italytravelideas.com/the-virus-is-fictitious-cdc-sued-by-7-universities-scientists-for-huge-fraud/ (14-07-2021)

[5] https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/05/elites-worried-covid-cases-india-plummet-government-promotes-ivermectin-hydroxychloroquine-use/ (14-07-2021)

Ethiopia: US/EU Meddling Stokes Ethnic Conflict

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Flag of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

12-07-2021: In modern times, there appears to be numerous regions around the world that are afflicted by separatist struggles which are be driven by ethnic or national grievances. On scratching the surface, however, one often finds the fingerprints of the imperialist machinations of the governments of the United States of America (US) and the European Union (EU). Ethiopia today is an example of meddling by the US and the EU, who are covertly backing the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in a fratricidal conflict inevitably aimed at the current Ethiopian government headed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The US and the EU are doggedly using any means at their disposal – including the fostering of ultra-violent civil conflict – to prevent Africa’s second most populous nation[1] becoming an independent and regional leader via its co-operation with Beijing and Moscow. Workers internationally need to be aware of the deadly manoeuvres at play.

TPLF launches war

The Western corporate media narrative is that the Ethiopian government is carrying out a campaign of suppression against the Tigrayan people defending their basic rights. This is an inversion of reality. In early November 2020, PM Ahmed announced military operations against the TPLF, but only in response to TPLF attacks on federal army camps. Around midnight on November 3, the TPLF had launched an armed attack on the Dansha barracks of the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF), with an hours long rifle and grenade barrage that included former ENDF soldiers of Tigrayan background which had switched loyalties to the TPLF. This was an epic betrayal, with some ENDF soldiers being “killed in their pyjamas” by Tigrayans they had formerly fought alongside.[2] The TPLF followed this on November 9 with a massacre of over 500 civilians mainly from the Amhara, Oromo and Wolaita ethnic groups. The President of the Amhara region utterly condemned the murderous assault and urged people not to fall for the TPLF’s plot of stoking ethnic conflict between Tigrayans and Amharans.[3]

This was obviously unacceptable and was the trigger for the announcement of military operations against the TPLF by PM Ahmed. The ENDF later took control of the regional capital Mekele in late November, but the TPLF vowed to fight on.[4] Some have commented that tensions between the TPLF and PM Ahmed were bound to break out. Abiy Ahmed was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for concluding peace with longtime rival Eritrea, which alienated the TPLF.[5] This was partially due to the TPLF being backed by the West for 27 years when it was in government, before being dumped by them in favour of Ahmed.[6] Now the worm has turned again, and it is Ahmed’s turn to be demonised by the US/EU for having the temerity to even partially ally Ethiopia with their New Cold War foes.

China/Russia cooperation spurs Ethiopian advance

Like many nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America, Ethiopia has undeniably benefitted from economic co-operation with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and military co-operation with the Russian Federation. The PRC is Ethiopia’s top trade and investment partner, and the two nations work together on a whole swathe of mutually beneficial economic projects. In the area of hi-tech co-operation, the giant Chinese based tech group Alibaba is developing its World Trade Platform, which will help Ethiopia develop its digital economy. Incredibly, PRC assistance in the hi-tech sector has enabled Ethiopia to launch its first ever satellite into space.[7] Like other African countries, Ethiopia benefits handsomely from integration with the PRC’s Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and by signing on to the PRC’s impressive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). In 2020, Ethiopia approved over 1500 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects from Chinese based businesses worth 2.7 billion dollars, which accounts for 25% of the total FDI operating within the country.[8]

One of the flagship BRI projects completed in recent years is the Addis Ababa-Djibouti rail line. Ethiopia has long suffered from a lack of rail infrastructure, with the previous line along this route being built by French colonialists in the 1890s, which had since fallen into disrepair. The electrified BRI built rail line runs parallel to the disused and superseded line, and the new $4 billion line will carry both passengers and freight, and will cut travel times between the two destinations from several days to less than ten hours.[9] The rail line gives landlocked Ethiopia crucial access to a seaport, and thus links to further international trade and commerce. Undeniably, such infrastructure alongside other sectors of investment from the PRC has driven Ethiopia’s stunning economic growth in recent years. Ethiopia is the fastest growing non-oil based economy in the world. In 2017, Ethiopia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was a remarkable 10.2%, which has tailed down to 6.1% during 2020[10] even despite the near worldwide lockdowns of economies due to a nonsensical fear pandemic.

Such economic growth is the envy of the West, with Europe, the US, Australia and others enduring critical economic malaise effectively since the “global” financial crisis of 2008. And in fact, Ethiopia’s cooperation with Russia, not just the PRC, has also contributed to its impressive growth. As part of its economic and military technical agreements, Russia has written off debts owed by Ethiopia.[11] This somewhat assists Ethiopia to recover economically from scientifically unjustifiable “Covid” lockdowns. Ethiopia is yet another example of a government acceding to the fake Covid narrative emanating from Washington and Brussels, yet receiving no guarantee in return that it will not be subject to imperialist destablisation, up to and including the stoking of fratricidal regime change war.

However, in Ethiopia’s case, military cooperation with the Russian Federation forms a partial block to US/EU regime change aims. In July, the two nations held the 11th Ethio-Russia Military Technical Cooperation Forum in Addis Ababa. The former Union of Socialist Soviet Republics (USSR) offered strong support to the Derg government in Ethiopia in the 70s and 80s, and this close diplomatic relationship has continued despite political developments since then. Ethiopia (and Eritrea) is distinct from other countries in the Horn of Africa in the sense that rather than Islam or Catholicism or Protestantism being predominant religions, Orthodox Christianity largely takes centre stage. This is not only a means of cultural exchange, as Ethiopian and Russian Orthodox Church officials occasionally engage in exchanges alongside politicians and their delegations from both nations.[12]

US/EU false claims of “atrocities” and “famine”

Unable to compete in the same ballpark of the mutually beneficial ties between Addis Ababa and Moscow and Beijing, the US and the EU resort to the worst tricks of the neo-colonial trade. After its involvement in the massacre on November 9, the TPLF was declared a terrorist organisation by the Ethiopian government.[13] The ENDF then began its military campaign against the TPLF, lest any more civilians lose their lives. Demonstrating crass hypocrisy, in January the EU suspended 88 million Euros worth of budgetary support for Ethiopia until humanitarian support agencies are granted access to the northern Tigray region.[14] The US Biden Administration chimed in, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken releasing a statement accusing both Ethiopia and Eritrea of “human rights abuses”, “atrocities” and “gender-based violence” against people of the Tigrayan region.[15] Needless to say, these claims were made with no substantiating evidence. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) further made baseless claims that the ENDF military operations against the TPLF was pushing “400 000 innocent people to the brink of famine”, and urged the world to remember the Ethiopian famine of the 1980s.[16]

The egregious piety and double-dealing from US imperialism here is more than apparent. The number one war Empire accuses yet another Third World nation of “human rights abuses” and of not allowing “humanitarian access” to Tigray – which would likely be a replay of the situation in Syria. For years there, the US/EU cried out for “humanitarian access” to Idlib, the last bastion where ISIS and Al Qaeda were stationed. EU Commissioner Janez Lenarcic replicated, releasing a statement to EU MPs which claimed that Ethiopia was “laying siege” to Tigray, and “using starvation as a weapon”.[17] Pekka Haavisto, the Finnish Foreign Minister and EU special envoy to Ethiopia, went much further. He made the claim that in closed meetings, Ethiopian leaders had told him that “they were going to wipe out the Tigrayans for 100 years”. In turn, the Ethiopian government expressly denied anything of the sort had taken place and described Haavisto of having a “hallucination” or a “lapse of memory”.[18]

Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh, in a letter to the United Nations (UN) Security Council, openly suggested that US President Joe Biden’s administration was stoking “conflict and destablisation” in Tigray, with the apparent objective being to “resuscitate the remnants of the TPLF regime”.[19] Earlier this year, the Ethiopian government released a statement confirming that humanitarian aid agencies have been allowed access to Tigray, though they have been under the supervision of a government-led process.[20] It is entirely understandable that the Ethiopian government would oversee the delivery of aid to a region of its own country, especially given the recent example of how “aid” to ISIS and Al Qaeda in Idlib during the proxy war on Syria fuelled and prolonged that dire conflict. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed even stated that foreign aid into Tigray could be exploited as a means to re-arm the TPLF.[21] It is to the credit of the Ethiopian government that they recognise the Machiavellian moves of US/EU imperialism and move to prevent them from eventuating.

Ethiopia rising

The Ethiopian government is also moving in the direction of trying to establish a common market for the Horn of Africa. One project which underpins such moves is the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which, despite tensions with Egypt over the use of water resources from the Nile, is already providing hydroelectric power to its neighbours. It is currently generating 2000 MW of power but aims for 10 000 MW as construction nears completion over the coming years. This has earnt Ethiopia the nickname of the “water tower of East Africa”.[22]  Large scale engineering projects such as this will lead to further economic development, as the supply of electricity has the tendency to do. These and other developments indicate the leading economic and political role that Ethiopia is playing in Africa. This growth sends shockwaves throughout the corridors of power in the US and the EU. For decades, the US and the EU have destablised the Horn of Africa through intervention and war (recall the Hollywood film Black Hawk Down) to maintain a form of control for imperialism. The last thing the US and the EU want is an economically strong and politically united state in Africa helping Africans to lift themselves out of decades of despair. Rather, the US and the EU need a “weak, famine-stricken and ethnically fragmented vassal state in Ethiopia”.[23]  This is the real reason for US/EU backing of the TPLF.

After centuries of colonial rule by the European powers and the US Empire which followed, Africa finally has the option of economic and military assistance from the PRC and Russia which takes place on the basis of mutual respect. Socialists uphold the right of African nations to engage and/or ally themselves with the PRC and Russia in the process of seeking to push themselves forward to First World levels of development. At the same time, Leninists understand that neither the governments of the PRC nor the Russian Federation aim to build socialism in Africa or anywhere else. While economic development in Africa on a capitalist basis can lead to certain benefits for African workers, ultimate elimination of poverty and underdevelopment will only occur under publicly owned and planned economies facilitated by the operation of democratically operated workers councils – overseen by regionally integrated workers’ states. For this and future upheavals, the leadership of internationally linked Marxist vanguard parties will be vital for socialist liberation.

WORKERS  LEAGUE


www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


[1] Ethiopia Population (2021) – Worldometer (worldometers.info) (12-07-2021)

[2] The midnight attack on an army camp that plunged Ethiopia into war | Africanews (12.07.2021)

[3] More than 500 innocent civilians massacred by TPLF forces in Mai Kadra during retreat (ethiopiancitizen.com) (12-07-2021)

[4] EU envoy warns Ethiopia Tigray crisis ‘out of control’ – EURACTIV.com (12-07-2021)

[5] Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopian Prime Minister – The New York Times (nytimes.com) (12-07-2021)

[6] Ethiopia: Ethnic Apartheid and the Globalist Colonizers’ Playbook – 21st Century Wire (12-07-2021)

[7] China-Ethiopia relations to see more achievements in 2020: diplomat – Xinhua | English.news.cn (xinhuanet.com) (12-07-2021)

[8] Ethiopia-China Enjoy Strong Cooperation of Belt & Road | Belt & Road News (beltandroad.news) (12-07-2021)

[9] Improved access for Ethiopia: opening the Addis Ababa-Djibouti line (railway-technology.com) (12-07-2021)

[10] Ethiopia GDP Annual Growth Rate | 1981-2020 Data | 2021-2023 Forecast | Historical (tradingeconomics.com) (12-07-2021)

[11] Beyond COVID-19 Aid, Ethiopia Hoists Africa’s Flag – Global ResearchGlobal Research – Centre for Research on Globalization (12-07-2021)

[12] https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/global-perspectives-ethiopia-russia-relations (12-07-2021)

[13] Is Foreign Meddling in Ethiopia Actually a Proxy War Against China? – Global Research Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization (12-07-2021)

[14] EU suspends Ethiopian budget support over Tigray crisis | Reuters (12-07-2021)

[15] Statement by Secretary Antony J. Blinken on the Continuing Atrocities and Denial of Humanitarian Access in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region | U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia (usembassy.gov) (12-07-2021)

[16] U.S.-EU Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Emergency in Tigray | Press Release | U.S. Agency for International Development (usaid.gov) (12-07-2021)

[17] EU commissioner misled MEPs on Tigray war, Ethiopia claims (euobserver.com) (12-07-2021)

[18] The Bloody Conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region | New Eastern Outlook (journal-neo.org) (12-07-2021)

[19] Eritrea blames US support for Tigray’s leaders for the war (apnews.com) (12-07-2021)

[20] News: Ethiopia “deeply concerned” by EU statement on Tigray, stays silent on accusations of Eritrea’s role in the armed conflict – Addis Standard (12-07-2021)

[21] What Explains Ethiopia’s Stunning Military Reversal in Tigray? – Global Research Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization (12-07-2021)

[22] Regional economic integration in the Horn of Africa: Wishful thinking or a basis for peace? – ECDPM (12-07-2021)

[23] Ethiopia – Following in the path of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and Syria? Susan Rice’s New War: Washington weaponizing human rights again – Target Ethiopia. | View from the Left Bank: Rob Prince’s Blog (robertjprince.net) (12-07-2021)

Eswatini: “Democracy” Insurgents Run Riot

Eswatini flag

Above: National Flag of Eswatini

04-07-2021: Another country, another covert regime change operation under the guise of a movement for “democracy”. This time, the target is the small African nation of Eswatini, with a population of 1.1 million.[1] Eswatini (also written as “eSwatini”) was formerly the nation of Swaziland, before its name change in 2018. What was then Swaziland gained its independence from British colonialism in 1968, but it has remained a form of monarchy, with a king sitting above a parliamentary assembly. King Mswati III became the monarch in 1986,[2] and is known for taking as many as 15 wives and living a lavish lifestyle. Despite Eswatini being one of the last monarchies still existing, workers cannot afford to extend an iota of political backing to the violent riots now besetting the country. These “protests” are in fact an exercise in deceit which ticks all the boxes of imperialist funded subversion.

Burn, loot and riot

By now it is a familiar refrain: in the name of social justice, first you must burn, loot and riot. Where have we seen this before? It first came to prominence in the hands of Black Lives Matter (BLM) during 2020 in the USA, but was previously employed in Chile,[3] and subsequently in Colombia,[4] Lebanon,[5] Hong Kong[6] and Nigeria[7], to name a few. Needless to say, a genuine movement which pursues noble political goals hardly resorts to burning down public buildings and private businesses, looting shops, and rioting as a first port of call. Something else entirely is going on – and the common thread is surreptitious orchestration by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Open Society Foundations (OSF). The NED is the regime change arm of the CIA, and the OSF is the regime change vehicle of convicted financial felon[8] billionaire and anti-socialist George Soros. The NED and the OSF work hand-in-glove to advance the foreign policy of Washington in its New Cold War drive, and Eswatini today is unfortunately no exception.

The NED funds multiple “civil society” fronts in Eswatini,[9] or at least the ones they admit to. The OSF has a special body funding faux “democracy promotion” shells throughout 11 nations in Southern Africa,[10] including Eswatini. The point should not have to be made that the US state department and George Soros are never and nowhere concerned about “bringing democracy” to Southern Africa, or anywhere else. What occurs is sophisticated internal political underwriting of the very institutions of the state which is being targeted for replacement, to the extent that they become agents which corrode and collapse the nation from within. This is carried out with utterly deceptive and disingenuous rhetoric about “democracy”, “good governance”, “human rights” and so on. Deceiving young people and many left and liberal organisations internationally, the NED/OSF transform the targeted state into an effective satellite of Washington. They can then be used as leverage in Washington’s New Cold War.

Sham narrative

The domestic and international forces behind the “protests” underhandedly claim that the protests began peacefully on June 20 when youths took to the streets to demand the right to democratically elect the Prime Minister. They go on to claim that the violence only began after the government suspended the delivery of petitions. Whether or not this is true, a hallmark of NED/OSF backed regime change operations is the extremely rapid turn from peaceful to violent, and this is what occurred in Eswatini. Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku declared that the government suspended the delivery of petitions as this was being used as a “breeding ground for anarchy” which had been “intentionally hijacked to sow seeds of division”.[11] It would appear the delivery of the petitions to the government was just the cover for the pre-planned violence which was to follow. If the government can spot an intentional hijack, there is no reason why leftists internationally cannot do the same.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) plays a similar role alongside the NED/OSF. Yet even it had to report the extraordinary behaviour of “protestors” in the capital Mbabane on June 29. People described as “youth activists” had blocked roads, set fires in the streets, ordered all shops to shut down, and told people to leave town.[12] This is patently not the behaviour of well-meaning “activists” concerned about the fate of their country or their society. Ordering shops to close and people to leave town is a clear indicator that they are aware that violence will follow. These are not “activists” pursuing a political cause out of genuine motivations. Further, some government buildings as well as some trucks crossing the border from South Africa carrying goods were set alight.[13] Obviously, preventing needed goods from South Africa (which is naturally Eswatini’s largest trading partner) from reaching consumers in Eswatini is not “activism”. And neither is setting fire to government buildings!

Liberals internationally are often drawn into the narrative of an “authoritarian” Third World government restricting access to the internet in response to protests, and recoil in horror. This is indeed what has occurred in Eswatini today,[14] but when “protestors” are blocking goods from reaching the country, burning down government buildings, and telling people to leave town – is it any wonder? Brian Sangweni is the national spokesperson for PUDEMO (People’s United Democratic Movement), believed to be the largest of the opposition parties. On June 29 he confirmed that 30 000 workers had been turned away by “protestors” in the industrial area of Manzini.[15] So not only are the “protestors” engaging in violent riots, they are telling people to leave town and are blocking thousands of workers from engaging in their paid work. The regime change aims here could not be clearer. The methods being used are little more than targeted acts of terrorism. This is scarcely a “democracy” movement.

CPS offers “left” cover

The role of the misnamed Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) is quite revealing. CPS General Secretary Thokozane Kunene claimed that King Mswati III had fled to Johannesburg in South Africa and was hiding out in the wealthy Sandton area.[16] Yet this claim was immediately rubbished by Acting Prime Minister Masuku.[17] Kunene later stated that the aim was to “suffocate the regime” and “match the violence (emphasis added) unleashed by the government on the people.”[18] Such a peaceful movement for democracy! Yet the General Secretary was not finished there. He went on to make wild claims that the Eswatini military had tossed murdered protestors into a raging fire at the Swaziland Beverages Company in Matsapha.[19] These claims are more than fanciful and are made with zero evidence. And these fires were started by the “democracy protestors” themselves!

The CPS plays into the fake “Covid” pandemic, which in reality is the class war of finance capital against the global working class. The CPS waffles on with typical liberal nonsense about how capitalism is not able to deal with the “Covid-19 pandemic”, but the countries with a “socialist orientation” such as “Cuba, North Korea, China and Vietnam” fared far better than countries such as the USA.[20] With a few notable exceptions, almost all leftists identifying as Stalinist have capitulated to “their own” ruling classes on the fear pandemic. While genuflecting before the cops and security forces of the capitalist state for keeping us “safe from Covid”, they spread baloney about how the nationalist and bureaucratic castes of the deformed workers’ states have “done a good job fighting Covid”. What has occurred is that the conservative castes leading Cuba, North Korea, China, Vietnam (and Laos) have assisted the imperialist nations in its suppression of their own working classes, while submitting the working classes at home to a slightly less draconian version of lockdown, facemask and vaccine repression. This betrayal by Stalinists who control state power is equaled only by the parties of the lockdown left in the West, who have similarly assisted “their own” billionaire class.

The open class collaboration by the CPS is demonstrated by their most recent congress in April this year, which was carried out under the slogan “Decisive Mobilisation for Democracy Now”.[21] In other words, the CPS become bare reformists who ally with classes completely alien to the workers in the name of “democracy”. In this situation, the call for “democracy” is simply a call for a new capitalist government, something that will certainly not benefit the workers of Eswatini – even if the entirety of US imperialism was hypothetically not involved. The CPS are also adherents of the so-called “National Democratic Revolution”,[22] a Maoist formula which in the Philippines has meant more than 50 years of fruitless searches for a more liberal wing of the ruling class. Yet there can never be a “national democratic” anything, let alone revolution.

Democracy is class rule, and it cannot be applied across different classes. The struggle for socialism means a pitch effort to replace bourgeois democracy (the rule of capital) with proletarian democracy (the rule of labour). Especially in countries of belated capitalist development, Russian Revolutionary leader L Trotsky emphasised again and again that only the working class could solve the basic issues of democratic rights, and only through the seizure of state power.[23] Paramount Bolshevik leader VI Lenin stressed again and again that liberal bourgeois forces can only play a counter-revolutionary role, and that was the case even 100 years ago!  Nor can the petty-bourgeoisie – as an intermediate class – play an independent political role. It must be politically led by the proletariat, and principally by the proletarian vanguard. In Eswatini today, we find liberal bourgeois forces openly being allied with an imperialist funded regime change operation – alongside the “Communist” Party of Swaziland ! Here is a gem of an example of the fruits of “national democracy”.

False death counts

A hallmark of NED/OSF colour revolutions in recent times have been false claims that protestors have been “gunned down by the regime”. Eswatini today is no exception, and the CPS spouts this alongside PUDEMO, without a hint of irony. PUDEMO Secretary General Wandile Dludlu echoes the CPS General Secretary with the outlandish claim that the Eswatini military tossed murdered protestors into a fire. He goes on to state that these claims cannot be verified because the bodies have been burnt !![24] Can anyone imagine trying this even in a bourgeois court of law? Sorry, your honour, we cannot verify our claims as they went up in smoke! PUDEMO’s youth wing, the Swaziland Youth Council (Swayoco) also make the same unverifiable claim that 21 people have been killed by the security forces of Eswatini.[25] Swayoco also make the provocative statement that “in honour of our fallen patriots [which don’t exist – WL] we will soldier on until democracy”.[26] For their part, the government of Eswatini stated that there have been no deaths, and the country is being destablised by foreign forces. Under the circumstances it is rather ironic that it takes an absolute monarchy to state some facts.

Skeptics may question why imperialism would make an effort to organise regime change in Eswatini, when it is perhaps the only African country not to sign up for the Belt and Road Initiative headed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). A precondition for serious assistance from the PRC is the non-recognition of the so-called “Republic of China” or Taiwan. Eswatini has chosen to remain loyal to a recognition of Taiwan,[27] as Taiwan was one of the first countries to recognise the independence of the then Swaziland in 1968. So, for now, this rules out PRC assistance to Eswatini, which means foregoing the opportunity of vital infrastructure, trade and development. One would imagine that Washington would welcome a partner which recognises Taiwan rather than Beijing – but not in this case.

Even if your government is overtly pro-US, it still does not protect you from US backed regime change. Why? Washington is trapped in a death spiral. The US economy (and that of the West generally) cannot compete with the sheer economic power of the socialistic PRC, so it is unable to offer anything in the ballpark of the Belt and Road Initiative. To prevent countries from allying with the PRC – or even thinking about doing so – Washington subcontracts internal subversion to the NED, the OSF and the “regime change industrial complex.” Regime change is then rolled out under the entirely fabricated guise of “democracy” and “human rights”. For countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, the only permanent way to repel imperialist meddling is to break with global capitalism via the construction of a workers’ state headed by a workers’ government. Key to this task is the forging of internationally linked Marxist vanguard parties, as part of the drive towards a socialist order.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


[1] Eswatini (Swaziland) Population (2021) – Worldometer (worldometers.info) (02-07-2021)

[2] Mswati III | Biography & Facts | Britannica (02-07-2021)

[3] https://redfireonline.com/2019/11/03/chile-nationalism-no-answer-to-austerity/ (02-07-2021)

[4] https://redfireonline.com/2021/05/23/colombia-national-strike-or-deadly-riots/ (02-07-2021)

[5] https://redfireonline.com/2020/05/09/lebanon-colour-revolution-redux/ (02-07-2021)

[6] https://redfireonline.com/2019/06/23/hong-kong-us-fuels-right-wing-sedition/ (02-07-2021)

[7] https://redfireonline.com/2021/06/22/nigeria-buhari-blocks-big-techs-state-subversion/ (02-07-2021)

[8] https://www.dailywire.com/news/9-things-you-need-know-about-george-soros-aaron-bandler (02-07-2021)

[9] ESWATINI 2018 – NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY (ned.org) (02-07-2021)

[10] About Us | OSISA (02-07-2021)

[11] eSwatini protests turn deadly as police intensify crackdown – The East African (03-07-2021)

[12] Eswatini: Respect Rights While Policing Protests | Human Rights Watch (hrw.org) (03-07-2021)

[13] Eswatini burns as pro-democracy protests intensify (sowetanlive.co.za) (03-07-2021)

[14] Internet in eSwatini Shut Down Amidst Pro-Democracy Protests – IT News Africa – Up to date technology news, IT news, Digital news, Telecom news, Mobile news, Gadgets news, Analysis and Reports (03-07-2021)

[15] https://peoplesdispatch.org/2021/06/29/king-msawati-may-have-fled-swaziland-but-the-pro-democracy-struggle-against-monarchy-is-far-from-over (03-07-2021)

[16] eSwatini’s King Mswati III on the run amid pro-democracy protests – The Maravi Post (03-07-2021)

[17] Eswatini PM denies King Mswati III fled country (the-star.co.ke) (03-07-2021)

[18] eSwatini protesters vow to ‘match the violence unleashed by the govt’ (ewn.co.za) (03-07-2021)

[19] eSwatini protesters’ bodies ’tossed in fire’ – CPS (iol.co.za) (03-07-2021)

[20] Solidnet | CP of Swaziland, Communist Party of Swaziland 4th National Congress Declaration (03-07-2021)

[21] Solidnet | CP of Swaziland, Communist Party of Swaziland 4th National Congress Declaration (03-07-2021)

[22] (20+) Communist Party Of Swaziland – CPS | Facebook (04-07-2021)

[23] http://www.trotsky.net/trotsky_year/permanent_revolution.html (04-07-2021)

[24] Pro-democracy protests continue to rock #Eswatini – YouTube (04-07-2021)

[25] 21 Killed As Pro-Democracy Protest Intensifies In Eswatini | The Lafete Magazine (04-07-2021)

[26] Eswatini protests turn deadly as police intensify crackdown – The Citizen (04-07-2021)

[27] eSwatini and Taiwan, a friendship that will last? – Young Diplomats (young-diplomats.com) (04-07-2021)

For A Permanent End To Lockdown Terror!

no lockdown pic

Image from youtube

02-07-2021: As at June 30, more than 12 million Australians are in lockdown – reportedly with 2 people in intensive care units (ICU) and no one on a ventilator. Nearly 18 months after “two weeks to flatten the curve”, the Covid narrative barely has a leg to stand on. Whether or not the SARS-CoV-2 virus exists, there is no “pandemic”, and there is no “health emergency”. If there was, world governments would not have to even try to convince people of the presence of danger. The spurious claims of a suspiciously named Delta variant, which is allegedly both more deadly and more contagious than the original, are farcical to those who possess a scintilla of critical thought. Rather, the latest phase of the Covid-19 psy-op has been wheeled out to justify more lockdowns, forced facemasks, border closures, economic shutdowns, job cuts, vaccine passports and a dangerous “Covid vaccine” rollout.[1]

Devastation of lockdowns

Arguably the worst impact of lockdowns is the drastic damage to the mental health of the most vulnerable, and to those who are losing hope for the future. A recent study found that 1 in 10 Victorians seriously contemplated suicide during the height of the lockdowns enforced in that state during 2020.[2] Young people, unpaid carers and those with a disability were found to be among the most affected. When young people have little or no expectation that their lives will be fulfilling, we can be rest assured that the entire system is rotting alive, and desperately needs replacing. The sudden impact of on again, off again lockdowns, with all the uncertainty it brings – is the major factor in creating a situation where masses of working people are seeking immediate solutions. In such conditions, revolution no longer appears as a wild or romantic idea, but one worth serious consideration.

The cleavages in society have become palpable. We are now dealing with divisions over the very interpretation of reality itself. The evidence is now overwhelming that Covid is a cover for a political agenda of mass repression and economic destruction from which billionaires benefit. Yet as CJ Hopkins has advised, we are not currently in a rational debate with both sides considering evidence for their respective cases.[3] We are not dealing with the sober assessment of facts. We can show the Covid proponents scientific studies which find that facemasks offer no discernible protection and are even harmful. We can point to innumerable studies showing the skyrocketing incidences of domestic violence under lockdowns. We can point to doctors noticing the terrible psychological effect on children that occurs when they are prevented from going to school and seeing their friends. We can show figures which outline how many workers have been thrown out of employment and are struggling to feed themselves. Covid advocates are immune to all of this. This is not a debate or a discussion – for they will not allow it. This is totalitarianism, which brooks no dissent. Even if its subscribers view themselves psychologically as humanitarians, social practice demonstrates the opposite.

Covid is the class line

This is because Covid has defined the class line. Despite all the various shades of opinion on both sides, those who uphold lockdowns and a Covid vax stand on the side of the ruling elites, and those who oppose or even just resent lockdowns and the Covid agenda, stand on the side of the oppressed masses. In other words, those backing Covid defend big capital, while those exposing the Covid fraud defend the well-being of toiling humanity. The political rule of big capital has coincided with the rise and now rapid decline of liberal democracy. The descent of liberal democracy into today’s lockdown lunacy is the most dramatic expression of the fact that capitalism is now so outdated and outmoded, it has devolved into a form of fascism in a dire attempt to save itself. To survive today, capital must attack the wages and living conditions of the working class. To carry out the sheer scale of the assault, capital enlists the most extreme form of political repression ever enacted – lockdowns.

Even if the ruling class has lifted lockdowns in some places, or impose only “snap” short lockdowns, the Covid agenda has an entire scheme attached – tracking and tracing, vaccine passports, mass vaccination with an experimental and highly dangerous injection, state and national border shutdowns, border passes or visas to move or travel domestically, and on and on. This is an insidious program, which if not stopped will create a two-tier society – the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, or the clean and unclean. The ruling class is deliberately fostering and fomenting conflict amongst the masses. The “enemy” becomes the “unclean”, rather than the government and the oligarchs themselves.

The most willing foot soldiers of the wealthiest billionaires in history have been Union officials (not members) and parties of the fake left. In contrast to the 20th Century, big capital has opted to use the existing establishment parties of liberalism to impose lockdown fascism. Bourgeois Labor parties, the Democrats in the US, Union officials and organisations making risible claims to be “socialist” have combined to enforce the Covid agenda on disoriented and dismayed workers. As a result, those resisting lockdowns have largely – but not entirely – turned to the right for leadership.

However, lockdowns and the Covid agenda will not be permanently ended without the overthrow of the governments imposing them. This stark reality faces the heroic sections of the masses which have mobilised in their millions around the world for freedom. This movement is critically important and workers must join and build this movement irrespective of different interpretations of what “freedom” means in practice. ALL aspects of lockdowns must be defeated: the injection, job cuts, deliberate economic collapse, tracking and tracing, facemasks, border closures, quarantine camps and so on. Yet the anti-lockdown movement must move in a pro-working class direction to achieve its aims. A popular movement is bound within certain limits. To this end, we advance the demands for:

  1. A six-hour work day
  2. Public ownership of energy, infrastructure, banks
  3. A workers’ government

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


[1] https://www.globalresearch.ca/towards-a-third-wave-combating-d-the-dangerous-delta-variant-the-mathematical-lockdown-model/5748695 (30-06-2021)

[2] https://hotcopper.com.au/threads/1-in-10-people-in-victoria-considered-suicide-due-to-chos-health-advice.6128417/ (30-06-2021)

[3] https://off-guardian.org/2021/06/21/manufacturing-new-normal-reality/ (30-06-2021)

Myanmar: “Anti-Coup” Incendiaries Unleash Terror

pyu saw tee demo

Above: Defenders of Myanmar rally with banners and flags in Yangon on February 25, 2021. Image from http://www.cbsnews.com

29/06/2021: According to Western corporate media, the military forces of Myanmar (Tatmadaw) made false claims of electoral fraud with the results of the 2020 November 8 election, and carried out a coup on February 2 2021, restoring military rule. Apparently in response, hundreds of thousands across Myanmar have engaged in peaceful protests demanding the restoration of democracy, only to be met by severe repression. The peaceful protestors are determined to uphold “human rights”, and re-instate their democratically elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. Allegedly, Myanmar citizens exercising their right to protest are being gunned down in the streets, while the world looks on. Reportedly, world powers are under pressure to intervene to prevent wholesale massacres of pro-democracy protestors.

Fictional narrative

The only problem with this picture is that it bears an inverse relation to elementary facts. In reality, what is occurring in Myanmar today is an imperialist engineered Libya/Syria style proxy war of regime change weighed against the world’s most powerful socialistic state – the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Far from “peaceful pro-democracy protestors”, Myanmar’s “anti-coup activists” are directly linked to the decades of subversive “NGO” funding[1] poured into the country by the governments of the United States of America (US)[2] and the United Kingdom (UK)[3] and other corporations with which they work hand-in-glove. And just as in Libya and Syria, these foreign funded militants are prepared to use extreme violence to achieve their aims. If these “anti-coup” yahoos are “activists”, then the very meaning of the term “activism” has lost all meaning.

The “anti-coup protestors” are in effect not protesting anything. If they were, they would be putting forward a series of demands, and attempting to win significant portions of Myanmar’s 54 million[4] citizens to support them as part of a political movement. Instead, the “anti-coup protestors” are joining forces with many of Myanmar’s long running ethnic separatist armies to bring down the state through violence, terror and appeals to imperialism to directly intervene, i.e., wage war under the rubric of the “Responsibility to Protect” or R2P.[5] The ethnic separatist armies themselves have been covertly backed by US and UK imperialism ever since WWII, and especially since the independence of what was then Burma. The Karen, Chin and Kachin ethnic groups were consciously built into Britain’s colonial army,[6] in order to maintain divisions within Myanmar.

Today, these ethnic separatist armies merge under faux tags such as the “People’s Defence Forces” (PDF) and use their weapons to launch armed attacks on government infrastructure, and inevitably the Tatmadaw has to respond with heavy weapons. In the Kayah state which borders Thailand, the United Nations (UN) claims that up to 100 000 people have had to flee “attacks by security forces” in the area.[7] However, as in the ten-year failed war of regime change waged by the US Empire and their allies on Syria, what is plainly occurring is that civilians have little choice but to flee the fighting or be caught in the crossfire. In the town of Mindat in the Chin state, it was reported that 8000 people had to flee for their lives during clashes between the newly formed PDF and the Tatmadaw.[8] The Tatmadaw retook the town after days of fighting.

“Peaceful protestors” attack schools

If anyone is still prepared to give the “anti-coup peaceful pro-democracy protestors” a chance, their actions towards schools should give pause for thought. The “peaceful protestors” have carried out bombings of schools and have targeted students and teachers who are even suspected of supporting the State Administration Council (SAC – the body set up by the Tatmadaw as an intermediate governing body until genuine elections can be held). Due to the school bombings by the misnamed “Civil Disobedience Movement” (CDM), some security forces stood guard at some schools, and also brought students from home under armed escort. Some teachers are so concerned about being physically targeted by the CDM that they wear plain clothes to school, and only change into their uniforms once inside.[9] The bombings and arson attacks on schools and educational institutions are not a handful either. Between May 1st and May 26, the SAC stated there were 115 bombings or bomb attempts and 18 arson attacks.[10]

Liberals in the West complain that 125 000 (out of 430 000) schoolteachers had been suspended by the SAC for backing the “Civil Disobedience Movement”.[11] But is it any wonder, given that there is a possibility that these teachers could assist the bombing of their own schools in cahoots with the “anti-coup” protestors – which could take innocent life? The PDF disingenuously claim that they have not carried out the school attacks, and that they are in fact carried out by Pyu Saw Tee groups which have formed to assist the SAC. The PDF claims that the Pyu Saw Tee carry out bombings and arson attacks on schools in order to blacken the name of the “civilian resistance”.[12] However, given this is reported by The Irrawaddy, which admits receiving its funding almost entirely from outside Myanmar, and from “donors” in Canada, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Holland and the United States of America[13] – it should be taken with a large pinch of salt. It rather indicates that Myanmar’s citizens are mobilising against the “anti-coup protestors”, as they are not fooled by the extreme violence which is covered with “democracy” and “human rights” falsity.

US/UK government backed “independent media”

In fact, as The Grayzone has reported, “independent media” such as The Irrawaddy and Myanmar Now actually receive extensive funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED),[14] the regime change arm of the CIA. In addition, Myanmar Now is also bankrolled by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, which has partnered with the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to advance covert operations of British government foreign policy.[15] To say the coverage of the violent and armed “anti-coup” protestors is skewed by imperialist funded media is to understate the situation. Rather, imperialist funded media such as The Irrawaddy and Myanmar Now in practice work hand in hand with the “anti-coup” mercenaries in order to subvert/collapse the state and create chaos so that the economic, trade and investment ties with the PRC will be disrupted.

This “independent media” in Myanmar – which is actually funded via Washington and London – also works in parallel with the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), which is based in Thailand, not Myanmar. The AAPP provides a daily update of the supposed number of “political prisoners” in Myanmar after February 2.[16] Yet this tally includes just about everyone who engages in any activity against the SAC, especially those who are armed with sub-machine guns and who have assaulted schools, police stations and government infrastructure. So the tally is false, and yet another mechanism used plead for intervention (i.e., invasion) by the West to take on the PRC. The AAPP’s founder is none other than Ko Bo Kyi, who fled to Thailand in 1989, and is so trusted by Washington that he is an NED fellow.[17] The AAPP, The Irrawaddy, Myanmar Now, the NED, the UK FCDO, armed ethnic separatist armies, the CDM – all are strings in the same regime change orchestra.

Targeting Red China

Not only do the “anti-coup protestors” engage in wanton violence, they are also viscerally anti-socialist which manifests in extreme hostility to China based investment and business activity in Myanmar. In March, several Chinese owned factories were looted and set on fire in the Halangathaya District of Yangon. During these attacks, Chinese citizens working in factories which were set ablaze were trapped and unable to escape, causing serious injuries.[18] According to the Tatmadaw, four Chinese-financed garment factories and a fertiliser plant went up in flames after being targeted. When fire engines came on the scene to deal with the emergency, a crowd of around 2000 “protestors” blocked the fire engines from reaching the burning factories.[19] Whatever one may think of the Myanmar military, China-Myanmar economic co-operation, or even the government of the PRC, such acts are patently anti-human. Notwithstanding the position of the PRC as a bureaucratically deformed workers’ state headed by a conservative caste, these are vile acts of racist and anti-socialist terrorism.

Myanmar’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative, via the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC) is vital for Myanmar’s economy. The oil and gas pipelines which allow the PRC to bypass the Straits of Malacca for export are jointly owned by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), which are both state-owned entities.  The largest project in the CMEC is the 431-kilometre Muse-Mandalay Railway, which will connect Myanmar to the Chinese railway network.[20]  These projects will not only provide much needed economic development for Myanmar, it will permanently link Myanmar to the PRC economically, commercially, and even politically. Destroying these links is the real aim of both US/UK imperialism and “anti-coup” terrorism.

Was it a coup?

Even referring to the events of February 2 as a “coup” by the Tatmadaw is grossly misleading. After the November 8 election last year, story after story emerged in Myanmar of overt fraud and deceit by those working for the US/UK created National League for Democracy (NLD) – which claimed to have “won” 83.2% of the seats contested.[21] Yet in a press conference in March, Tatmadaw spokesperson Zaw Min Tun gave details on how the NLD had manufactured thousands of extra ballots by inventing voters, even in Aung San Suu Kyi’s own constituency. He also showed videos of people saying they were paid by NLD representatives.[22]  In the Hmawbi township in Yangon region, which is one of the largest military townships in the country, the NLD garnered 50 000 more votes in the 2020 election than the pro-military Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) – whereas the NLD did not receive a single vote in Hmawbi in 2015.[23]

In the Hlaing Tharyar township, the country’s most heavily populated constituency, the NLD “won” a thumping electoral victory. Yet here, tens of thousands of Myanmar citizens were simply turned away from the polling booths, with the local electoral commission blaming a “software error”.[24] Some victory! One can imagine the indignity of not being allowed to vote in an election in your own country. In May, when the SAC formed Union Election Commission (UEC) reviewed voter lists, they found mass voter registration had taken place without the National Registration Card (NRC), and some names that had been registered with the NRC appeared two or three times[25] – all organised under the auspices of the NLD. After repeated and blatant electoral duplicity, it is little wonder that the UEC is now considering disbanding and dissolving the NLD.

One can see how, in this political environment, the Tatmadaw’s “coup” was in fact a belated measure to prevent Myanmar from being totally overrun by Western backed intrigue. It is also no wonder that the Tatmadaw moved to arrest the executive director of the George Soros created Open Society Foundation (OSF) and 11 other OSF staff in Myanmar – as their role in the deceit became clear.[26] In fact, the Tatmadaw’s “coup” may well have – for now – staved off a military incursion by the US Empire and their allies, justified either as a “humanitarian intervention” or the “restoration of democracy”.

This is why workers internationally must defend Myanmar against all moves by US/UK imperialism to sacrifice the nation as part of its New Cold War against socialistic China. Western backed violence and terror – not to speak of electoral fraud – is of course the polar opposite of a bona fide political movement, and all “pro-democracy” incendiaries must be thoroughly exposed. If the PRC was led by genuine Marxists, it would assist with this unmasking and encourage a class struggle towards socialism throughout South-East Asia. Instead, the vital task of forging Leninist vanguard parties based on Permanent Revolution falls to the most politically advanced workers of the Asia-Pacific and beyond.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] https://21stcenturywire.com/2021/03/30/arab-spring-redux-is-myanmar-next-libya/ (26-06-2021)

[2] https://www.mmtimes.com/opinion/20720-bringing-democracy-to-myanmar.html (26-06-2021)

[3] https://burmacampaign.org.uk/about-us/ (26-06-2021)

[4] https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/myanmar-population/ (26-06-2021)

[5] https://www.globalr2p.org/publications/myanmars-deadly-coup-and-the-responsibility-to-protect/ (26-06-2021)

[6] https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2018/07/militants-threaten-chinas-obor.html#more (26-06-2021)

[7] U.N. says 100,000 flee fighting in Myanmar border state | Reuters (26-06-2021)

[8] Demonstrations, defiance as Myanmar marks 4 months since coup (millichronicle.com) (26-06-2021)

[9] https://www.thestar.com.my/aseanplus/aseanplus-news/2021/06/02/boycott-and-bombings-mar-myanmar039s-new-school-year (26-06-2021)

[10] https://www.bangkokpost.com/world/2125803/boycott-and-bombings-mar-myanmars-new-school-year (26-06-2021)

[11] Myanmar’s military rulers suspend more than 125,000 teachers for opposing coup | Myanmar | The Guardian (26-06-2021)

[12] https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/myanmar-school-attacks-unacceptable-says-unicef.html (26-06-2021)

[13] https://www.irrawaddy.com/about (26-06-2021)

[14] https://thegrayzone.com/2021/04/27/us-government-media-myanmar-propagandize-western-intervention/ (27-06-2021)

[15] Reuters, BBC, and Bellingcat participated in covert UK Foreign Office-funded programs to “weaken Russia,” leaked docs reveal | The Grayzone (27-06-2021)

[16] AAPP | Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (aappb.org) (27-06-2021)

[17] https://www.ned.org/fellows/ko-bo-kyi/ (27-06-2021)

[18] Chinese factories burn in Myanmar: Video: Angry with China in Myanmar, arson and looting in 10 factories, many Chinese injured – China 10 factories burn down and loot in Myanmar Many Chinese injured Watch video – BCFocus (27-06-2021)

[19] Chinese-Financed Factories Set On Fire, 39 Killed In Myanmar: Report (ndtv.com) (27-06-2021)

[20] https://www.silkroadbriefing.com/news/2021/02/02/belt-and-road-projects-in-myanmar-likely-to-progress-in-light-of-military-coup/ (29-06-2021)

[21] Amid Coup Fears, Myanmar’s Election Commission Rejects Army Election Fraud Claims – The Diplomat (29-06-2021)

[22] Myanmar military blames protesters for arson and violence – Nikkei Asia (29-06-2021)

[23] NLD receives more votes in military constituency of Hmawbi | The Myanmar Times (mmtimes.com) (29-06-2021)

[24] Huge voter list failings mar NLD win in largest township | The Myanmar Times (mmtimes.com) (29-06-2021)

[25] UEC Chairman declares to dissolve NLD party | Burma News International (bnionline.net) (29-06-2021)

[26] Myanmar: Military regime cracks down on George Soros’ OSF, seizes bank accounts (opindia.com) (29-06-2021)

Nigeria: Buhari Blocks Big Tech’s State Subversion

buhari

President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari.  Image from http://www.sunnewsonline.com

22-06-2021: In early June, President Muhammadu Buhari announced the indefinite suspension of Big Tech titan Twitter for its operations in Nigeria.[1] This was triggered by Twitter deleting some of President Buhari’s tweets in relation to the destabilisation of “protests” where dozens of buildings were set ablaze, ostensibly to highlight the accountability of police actions. Buhari had obliquely referred to the violence that engulfed the country during the Nigerian Civil War, when Biafra launched a separatist struggle, and warned involved youth of what they were getting themselves into. Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, commented that the role of Twitter in Nigeria is very suspicious. He questioned why Twitter did not delete tweets of Biafran separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu but deleted the tweets of President Buhari. He highlighted the gross hypocrisy of Twitter in fuelling the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria in 2020, where “protestors” were burning police stations and killing police officers, and implying it was about the “right to protest”. Twitter loudly proclaims its support of the right to free speech in other countries, but itself terminated the Twitter account of former US President Donald Trump at home,[2] which played a huge role in his defenestration.

US govt stumps for “free speech”

Apparently unaware of the dripping hypocrisy, the US government immediately demanded Nigeria reverse its ban on Twitter. Samantha Power, who as former US Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) assiduously urged the world to wage regime change war against Syria,[3] pressed Nigeria to reinstate Twitter. Now as a director of the US Agency for International Development, Power claimed that Nigeria’s suspension of Twitter was “state-sanctioned denial of free speech”. Donald Trump, for his part, commended Nigeria for its actions and encouraged other nations to also ban Twitter and Facebook for NOT allowing free speech.[4] It appears ironic, but ever since his election in 2016, Donald Trump has largely steered a course to the left of what might be termed hyper-liberal imperialism. Big Tech is a central pillar of the liberal wing of imperialism, which engages in regime change operations overseas as a matter of course. In 2020 however, regime change came home to Washington.[5]

Needless to say, the US Empire cares not one whit about free speech anywhere on the planet. “Democracy”, “Free Speech” and “Human Rights” are simply rhetorical shrouds which dress up all facets of the imperialist proxy wars and covert subversion it practices all around the globe. The US Empire is backed in this mission by its allies in the leading governments of the European Union (EU), and its lackeys in Australia, Canada, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others. Imperialism is driven into regime change frenzy due to the utter inability of finance capital to expand at home, which also results in open attacks on the working class – currently through the madness of a patently false “pandemic”.

Attempted recolonisation of Africa

With its population topping 211 million,[6] Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation, and is thus the chief target for Washington’s multiple sided proxy wars of regime change throughout the continent. In effect, it is an attempted recolonisation of Africa by Wall Street, in an effort to block mutual co-operation between Abuja (the Nigerian capital) and the non-imperialist powers of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Washington reacts with fury to any nation in Africa, Asia or Latin America which takes the rather obvious option of signing military and security pacts with Russia, and economic and infrastructure agreements with the PRC. The US ruling class, with its EU allies, will resort to any method – up to and including the fomenting of fratricidal chaos and regime change war – to prevent Africans from looking even half favourably towards Russia and China. Twitter was patently fostering murderous destablisation within Nigeria, and thus it was entirely within Nigeria’s sovereign right to prevent its operation within the country.

In fact, one could argue that some of the nations that have also banned Twitter – the PRC, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or “North Korea”) and the Islamic Republic of Iran[7] – have NOT been overthrown precisely because Twitter and other imperialist Big Tech platforms have been disallowed. As some businesses within Nigeria operated on the basis of Twitter, Nigeria is reportedly losing $250 600 for every hour of the ban.[8] Yet this is a small price to pay for Nigeria to retain its independence and to curtail the internal devastation and destruction which could be  unleashed on Nigeria by all agents of Western finance capital – including US based Big Tech liberalism.

With capitalism globally in a state of utter decline, Nigeria and other African nations have no choice but to co-operate with the PRC, if they are to have any chance of reaching even modest development. The PRC’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI or “New Silk Road”) offers critical opportunities for economy boosting infrastructure building which is sorely needed in Africa. Nigeria signed on to the BRI in 2018,[9] and has benefitted handsomely in terms of new railways and airports. Popular BRI projects completed in Nigeria include a standard gauge railway from the capital Abuja to the trade centre and transportation hub of Kaduna in Northwest Nigeria, and a standard gauge railway line from Nigeria’s economic capital of Lagos to Ibadan in the Southwest. PRC based firms have constructed new international airport terminals in Abuja, Port Harcourt (in the oil rich Niger delta) and the ancient city of Kano.[10] Undeniably, this infrastructure will stimulate much needed economic activity.

This mutually beneficial Nigerian/PRC friendly co-operation will only continue in coming years. The PRC, despite being a bureaucratically deformed workers state, operates on a planned economy, complete with 5-year plans. PRC officials have emphasised that Nigeria will be one of the beneficiaries to the PRC’s 14th Five Year Plan, to be implemented from 2021 to 2025. China’s Consul General in Lagos, Chu Maoming, stressed that “China’s new journey to fully build a modern socialist country is also a new journey for countries around the globe to enjoy win-win results and common prosperity….China will forge greater synergy of the BRI with African countries national development strategies…”[11]  Hearing this, one can only imagine the tearing out of hair amongst the corridors of power in the US White House and the Pentagon. China is clearly offering Nigeria an economic pathway out of underdevelopment, which will vastly boost the image of China internationally.

Boko Haram/ISWAP terror

With Nigeria beset by the terrorism of Boko Haram, security remains an all-important issue. Russia’s superior military power offers the only possible option for an African nation being plundered by what is most likely an imperialist backed genocide headed by Boko Haram and now the split off, Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP). At the very least, it is plausible that some of the fighters that make up Boko Haram and ISWAP simply marched across the Sahel region from NATO’s destruction of Green Libya in 2011, taking their weapons with them. NATO then sends in troops to fight “against” Boko Haram/ISWAP – a clearly self-serving agenda.[12] In the same way, the US government claimed to be fighting “against” ISIS during its failed regime change war against the Syrian Arab Republic.

In October 2019, President Buhari travelled to the Black Sea resort of Sochi to sign multiple agreements on military and economic co-operation. Buhari and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on further co-operation between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Russian oil company Lukoil, plus Russian gas company Gazprom, for the development of Nigeria’s considerable oil and gas reserves. Russia would also help Nigeria develop a zero-carbon nuclear power plant and move to forgive 20 billion dollars’ worth of African debt.[13] Needless to say, neither the US state nor US oil and gas companies can offer anything in the ballpark of these deals.

Also in October 2019, the Buhari administration moved to cement military co-operation and security ties with Russia. This was an urgent necessity given the murderous campaigns of Boko Haram and ISWAP across Nigeria. Deals signed at that time included the Nigerian purchase of Russian Mi-35 attack helicopters, planes, tanks and other military equipment. It would also include the training of the Nigerian military in the use of this equipment. At the time, Nigerian envoy Steve Ugbah stated, “We’re sure that with Russian help we’ll manage to crush Boko Haram, given Russia’s experience in combating Islamic State in Syria”.[14] Arguably, the defeat of US imperialism in Syria by a combination of the armed forces of Syria, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah was their first defeat since the liberation of Saigon in 1975. Russia’s far superior air power – especially the SU-35 jet fighters – was critical in this victory.

With Nigeria openly hailing Russia’s success in defeating ISIS, it is little surprise the NATO powers grind their teeth at the prospect of African countries seeking Russian assistance. Yet the situation is so critical Nigeria has little option. The violent and life-threatening marauding of Boko Haram and ISWAP has caused the displacement of 2.2 million people fleeing the mayhem.[15] The origins of Boko Haram and its deployment across the African Sahel are extremely suspicious. Former Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir claimed that the US and Israel, in the form of the CIA and Mossad, are behind Boko Haram and ISIS attacks in Africa[16], as “no Muslim would carry out such acts”. One thing is clear: just as ISIS and Al Qaeda could not carry out extreme mercenary violence across whole countries without the backing of large imperial states, Boko Haram and ISWAP cannot just be a rag-tag bunch of self-funded zealots committed to an obtuse strand of Islam. Their heavy weapons come from somewhere.

Soros/NED funded internal subversion

Washington does not just use the military option to destabilise Nigeria – it also uses externally funded internal political subversion. As in many other countries around the world, the deadly duo of the Open Society Foundation (OSF) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) run rampant through Africa’s largest nation. Liberal anti-socialist hedge fund billionaire George Soros and his OSF death-star like empire are behind Nigerian media fronts such as Brekete Family Radio,[17] while the NED brags about its Nigerian partners resisting “government repression” and popularising “democratic values”.[18] The very suggestion that George Soros and the NED are even remotely concerned about democracy in Nigeria (or anywhere else) should provoke peals of laughter throughout the globe. The OSF and the NED are but two arms of the imperialist octopus desperately trying to block the sovereign actions of Nigeria which are taken to protect itself from yet more colonisation.

Just as the rioting and burning carried out by Black Lives Matter (BLM) in the US in 2020 was not about fighting racism, the rioting and burning of the #EndSARS and anti-Buhari “protestors” in Nigeria is not about “police brutality”. Rather, they are false rhetorical covers for an African proxy war waged by Washington against Beijing and Moscow.[19] It is little wonder that the tactic of using violence such as burning buildings under the guise of protesting police brutality was replicated from the streets of the USA to the streets of Nigeria, as both BLM[20] and today’s anti-Buhari protestors[21] are financially backed by the OSF. Even the demand for “good governance” in Nigeria is cut and pasted from the very mission of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa.[22] In short, the “pro-democracy” protests in Nigeria are not at all about what they claim themselves to be.

Twitter, the NED, the CIA, BLM, OSF, #EndSARS, #BuhariMustGo, Boko Haram, ISWAP – all of them play a role in the current push for regime change in Nigeria. To that extent, all are component parts of the US Empire itself. The key task for workers internationally is to defend Nigeria against all wings of the imperialist assault. Nigeria’s sovereign right to protect and/or develop itself via mutually beneficial partnerships with Russia and China must be upheld. Ultimately, what is required is the painstaking assembly of Marxist vanguard parties based on Permanent Revolution which can lead workers of the region towards a Socialist Federation of West Africa.

WORKERS  LEAGUE
E: workersleague@redfireonline.com
http://www.redfireonline.com

[1] https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2021/06/04/nigeria-Nigeria-President-Muhammadu-Buhari-Twitter/4941622845081/ (16-06-2021)

[2] https://pmnewsnigeria.com/2021/06/04/buhari-govt-suspends-twitter-in-nigeria-via-twitter/ (16-06-2021)

[3] https://www.undispatch.com/samantha-power-makes-the-case-for-war/ (16-06-2021)

[4] http://saharareporters.com/2021/06/09/us-counters-trump-asks-buhari-reverse-twitter-ban (16-06-2021)

[5] https://redfireonline.com/2021/01/16/when-exactly-was-the-fascist-coup/ (16-06-2021)

[6] https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/nigeria-population/ (19-06-2021)

[7] https://www.forbes.com/sites/joewalsh/2021/06/05/nigeria-has-banned-twitter—along-with-these-other-countries/?sh=7651a44f1d96 (19-06-2021)

[8] Twitter ban: Nigeria loses N24.72bn in 10 days (withinnigeria.com) (19-06-2021)

[9] Nigeria and China’s belt and road initiative – The Sun Nigeria (sunnewsonline.com) (19-06-2021)

[10] Belt and Road Initiative projects ramp up Nigeria’s favourable perception of China · Global Voices (19-06-2021)

[11] How China’s new development plan will benefit Nigeria, other African countries, by Envoy ` | The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News — Nigeria — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News (19-06-2021)

[12] NATO and the Irony of Its “Everyday Fight Against Terrorism” – Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization (19-06-2021)

[13] Nigeria Signs Military Cooperation Pact with Russia (breitbart.com) (19-06-2021)

[14] Nigeria looks to sign military cooperation deal with Russia this month | Reuters (19-06-2021)

[15] http://www.fao.org/3/cb4586en/cb4586en.pdf (19-06-2021)

[16] https://www.globalresearch.ca/intelligence-operation-in-support-of-terrorism-the-u-s-and-israel-are-behind-both-boko-haram-and-isis-president-of-sudan/5436385 (19-06-2021)

[17] A People’s Court, Live and On the Air in Nigeria – Open Society Foundations (20-06-2021)

[18] Africa – NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY (ned.org) (20-06-2021)

[19] Nigeria: Black Lives Matter Aids US Meddling in Africa | Red Fire (redfireonline.com) (20-06-2021)

[20] https://forbiddenknowledgetv.net/who-is-funding-black-lives-matter-and-why-the-answer-may-shock-you/ (20-06-2021)

[21] What We Do – OSIWA (20-06-2021)

[22] Mission and Vision – OSIWA (20-06-2021)

No To Vaccine Passports!

covid pass

http://www.abc57.com

13-06-2021: “Papers Please..” This infamous phrase now needs updating in the dystopian world emerging from the on-again, off-again lockdowns imposed the world over since 2020. Now it may be a digital pass which is required to travel, to catch public transport, or even to shop at your local supermarket. Vaccine Passports have been launched in Australia,[1] following the lead of the Zionist Israeli state, which issued a Green Pass. Israel’s “immunity” pass enables users to access supermarkets, theatres, concert halls, indoor restaurants and bars.[2] While it will be difficult in a legal sense to mandate injections with the Covid-19 “vaccine”, there are other ways of forcing people to subject themselves to the dangers of an experimental gene manipulation system, which already has thousands of adverse reactions – including death – being reported.[3] These include: No jab no job, No jab no school or university, no jab no sport, no jab no entry to cultural events, and on and on.

Vaccine Apartheid

It is notable that in Australia a “vaccine passport” was renamed as a “digital certificate”,[4] due to a potential public backlash. This is because many people can see – even if they fall for a version of the fear pandemic – that vaccine passports will seriously divide society into hostile camps. Dr Clare Wenham recently expressed the fear that many hold: vaccine passports are totally unethical, and they create a two-tier society which inevitably leads to civil unrest – “Vaccine Apartheid”.[5] Dr Mike Yeadon concurs, and warns about a “Medical Apartheid”, which hands enormous coercive power to the state to wield against unvaccinated people.[6] Indeed, vaccine passports appear to be deliberately designed to cleave society into two – those who blindly (or reluctantly) comply with government dictates, and those who refuse (or think for themselves). The latter can then be characterised as “Covid deniers” – the modern-day equivalent of a Holocaust denier.[7] The possibility that the extreme divisions fostered by Vaccine Passports could well lead to another Holocaust does not seem to figure.

Just as the Covid-19 fear pandemic was never about healthcare, vaccine passports are not about a vaccine or a virus. During an interview, Naomi Wolf stated that “Covid-19” vaccine passports are really about your personal data. Almost any other digital functionality can be loaded onto a platform, not just a vaccine history. Financial history, payment plans, all of your medical history can be added – as has already happened in Israel. This has led to activists being ostracised and placed under constant surveillance.[8] The prognosis is ominous. Vaccine passports build on the bitter conflict which has been deliberately inflamed by soulless politicians through the use of state power to enforce lockdowns, curfews, facemasks and a litany of ever-changing rules which make no logical sense whatsoever. Without exaggeration, vaccine passports are another dire step towards the “train to Auschwitz”.

Covid passport fightback

Many who have been swept up in the hype of the Covid vaccine are unaware that injection does not prevent infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (assuming it exists), nor does it prevent transmission.[9] It does NOT confer immunity to anything, let alone the dubious coronavirus which allegedly causes “Covid-19”. It MAY reduce the severity of what are most likely to be cold and flu symptoms – while posing a huge risk to your health and even longevity. If the Covid vaccine does not prevent infection or transmission, it is patently obvious that Covid vaccine passports have another purpose entirely. Nor is the Covid vaccine itself exclusively about cold profit for Big Pharma – although there is plenty of that. Pfizer will take home a cool $15 billion in profit from 2021 alone.[10]

Above all, a vaccine passport is part of the lawless political repression accompanying the largest assault on the working class in history – under the code name of Covid-19. The virtual abolition of freedom of movement signified by a vaccine passport is also aimed at working people, as any number of exceptions will be allowed for the wealthy elite. The longer the socio-economic system of capitalism has its life extended, at a certain point its regression into fascism becomes inevitable. The outbreak of the first World War in 1914 was the first clear sign that capitalism no longer served any historically progressive function and had begun to destroy itself. More than 100 years later, capitalism is lurching from crisis to crisis, as it is unable to pull itself out of the latest slump which began in 2008. This is the real material basis of lockdown fascism which reared its ugly head at the beginning of 2020.

While it is true that the nationalist bureaucracies leading the deformed workers’ states (principally the People’s Republic of China – PRC) have also played along with the coronavirus pantomime, it does not follow that lockdown tyranny is part of some kind of “socialist” oppression, taking place via the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations (UN). Nor does it follow that the political leadership of PRC is jointly pushing the march towards the “New World Order” in partnership with the ruling classes of the imperialist West. The Communist Party of China’s (CPC) behaviour in this sphere is merely part of the double deception of “peaceful coexistence” and “socialism in one country”. Under these mistaken theories, the CPC bends over backwards to preserve the status quo – even to the extent of assisting and facilitating political repression both at home and in the West.

This betrayal of the CPC is matched by the treachery of Union officials and the lockdown left (parties which claim to be “revolutionary”, but have in practice enforced lockdowns). Yet there is no reason for despair. Millions of workers energetically reject vaccine passports, reflected in the fact that many church leaders have openly stated that they will not prevent an unvaccinated person from entering their congregations. Mass protest can have the effect of rolling back vaccine passports, even if the ultimate battle against lockdown fascism is yet to be decided. This is why workers must strive to construct organs of workers’ power – with and alongside the anti-lockdown movement.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com


E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


[1] https://tottnews.com/2021/06/10/vaccine-passports-launch-in-australia/ (12-06-2021)

[2] https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/03/01/1020154/israels-green-pass-is-an-early-vision-of-how-we-leave-lockdown/ (12-06-2021)

[3] https://www.globalresearch.ca/alarming-casualty-rates-mrna-vaccines-warrant-urgent-action/5746343?print=1 (12-06-2021)

[4] Why would we need a certificate if they weren’t planning to outcast us? – Reignite Democracy Australia (12-06-2021)

[5] https://tottnews.com/2021/01/22/vaccine-apartheid-immunity-passports/ (12-06-2021)

[6] Halt Vaccine Passports! – OffGuardian (off-guardian.org) (12-06-2021)

[7] “No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs, No Unvaxxed” – OffGuardian (off-guardian.org) (12-06-2021)

[8] Naomi Wolf: Mandatory Vaccine Passport Could Lead To The End Of Human Liberty In The West | Video | RealClearPolitics (12-06-2021)

[9] https://www.globalresearch.ca/who-no-guarantee-covid-vaccines-prevent-people-being-infected/5734693 (13-06-2021)

[10] https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/04/23/pandemic-has-shown-pfizer-obsessed-profits-not-saving-lives (13-06-2021)

West Papua: Armed Separatists Wage Terror in Puncak

Ilaga residents flee

Above: Residents of Ilaga flee from  West Papuan armed separatists. Image from http://www.en.tempo.co

06-06-2021: Throughout April and May, armed West Papuan separatist militia rampaged through the Puncak Regency, causing mayhem and leaving a trail of blood and destruction. Ostensibly claiming to be part of a “resistance” to the “oppression” of Papuans within Indonesia, the sheer cruelty of their behaviour could well be interpreted as having another dark and sinister agenda. The noble sounding aims of “independence” and “freedom” for West Papua (the Indonesian provinces of Papua and Papua Barat) remain abstract until and unless it is connected with a definite set of political ideas and, most importantly, a political program. Without concrete examples, on paper no one is opposed to “independence” and “freedom” per se. At the same time, these broad aims – if they are genuinely held – should not be used as cover or a shroud for any acts of wanton violence. The means and ends must have a feasible correlation. While it is understood that not all political struggles can remain wholly pacifist, any use of violence must be justified on the scales of history.

Terror in the highlands

In the case of West Papua, justifying the barbarity of the small handful of Papuans who are prepared to take up arms against “Indonesia” has become an impossible task. The Indonesian government refers to the armed separatist Papuan militia as KKB (Armed Criminal Group), and it is difficult to disagree with this designation. On the 8th of April, Papuan KKB entered the Julukoma Village of the Beoga District, Puncak Regency, and approached the home of Oktovianus Rayo – a local elementary school teacher. They shot him dead. The next day, the KKB entered the home of junior high school teacher Yonatan Randen, and also shot him dead.[1] This was after the Papuan separatists had burned down three local schools. Clearly, the separatists were targeting, in the most brutal manner possible, the education system which they see as “Indonesian” – but which educates all citizens regardless of ethnicity. Needless to say, the execution of school teachers is hardly a campaign of political persuasion. It is outright terror, to intimidate anyone who does not back separatist “independence”.

On Sunday the 11th of April, the separatist militia torched nine rooms of the junior high school at Beoga. After being repelled from the Beoga airport, the KKB burned the local school and several houses at Dambet Village. Here, they were engaged in a firefight with Brigadier General Gusti Putu Danny Nugraha and seven other soldiers. General Putu was shot dead in this exchange.[2] It took 100 military personnel to re-take Beoga airport from the armed separatists, from where 42 “migrants” (transmigrants from other parts of Indonesia) had to be evacuated to Mimika for their own safety.[3] The fact that the transmigrants (who are generally Indonesians from Java, Sumatra or Sulawesi) had to flee for their lives under the protection of the Indonesian security forces speaks volumes. Advocates of “Free West Papua” will not admit it, but this extreme anti-internal migrant racism appears to be the central rationale for Papuan separatism. It is acknowledged that some tensions can be caused by an influx of non-Papuans over time, but threatening to kill them is something else entirely.

More Terror

The KKB separatists did not let up during the month of May. On Monday May 3rd, the militia attacked in the Ilaga District of Puncak Regency. They set fire to the Mayubwri Elementary School, the teachers’ residence and the Puskesmas Building, which was used as a community kiosk. The separatists also sabotaged a number of local roads, as well as the Kimak Bridge.[4] They didn’t stop there. A few days later, the KKB burned down a public community centre, used locally for learning activities, in the Ilaga Kimak Village.[5] Tracing the trail of destruction illuminates the clear intent of the separatists. Attack, burn down, destroy or sabotage any public infrastructure provided by the Indonesian government. In fact, even attack and kill public school teachers as a “warning”. Again, the terror and intimidation towards the local community is obvious. Papua will be “free” – or else. Workers internationally cannot offer one iota of support to this blackmail.

Claims that the Papuan separatists only target Indonesian police and military forces are false – they also target civilians. On the 28th of May, residents from the Oksamol District reported that the community revolted against the attacks from the separatists which threatened civilians and also took the life of officer Mario Sanoi. They affirmed that they took up traditional weapons against the KKB – who did not reside anywhere in the local area – and drove them away, even as they fired at them with guns.[6] So much for separatism being a popular choice amongst the community!

NKRI declares KKB to be “terrorist”

Not without reason, in response the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) declared the armed Papuan separatist groups to be terrorists according to Indonesian law. In a press conference on April 29, the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, stated that the acts of the KKB and all organisations and persons affiliated with it are now regarded as terrorist under Law No. 5 of 2018 and associated amendments. Terrorists are people who plan, instigate and organise terrorism. And “terrorism” is “…any act that uses violence or threats of violence that creates a sense of terror….that can cause mass casualties…cause damage or destruction….[to the] environment…public or international facilities, with the motive of ideology, politics and security.”[7]

When armed Papuan separatists execute public school teachers, set fire to elementary and junior high school buildings, attack and damage roads and bridges – it can hardly be argued that such acts are not terrorist. While workers internationally cannot offer the Indonesian government political support, especially its energetic campaign to inject almost all of Indonesia[8] with experimental Covid “vaccines” in response to a pandemic of lies, there can scarcely be opposition to its moves to prevent separatist violence in West Papua. After being officially declared “terrorist”, the onus is now on Papuan separatist groups and their supporters to declare their real position in relation to terrorism. Further, they must utterly repudiate the killing and/or targeting of non-Papuan civilians, as well as Papuans who do not support separatist independence. If they do not, we are entitled to view West Papuan “independence” as a campaign of ethnic violence and terror with the most unsavoury of intentions.

Left parties alibi racial violence

The knee-jerk reaction of liberals the world over is to bow down before an indigenous population and excuse their misdeeds no matter how heinous. Self-proclaimed socialist and “Marxist” parties, on the other hand, should know a lot better. Unfortunately, many of them display a championship level of credulity when it comes to West Papua. While being the first to shout to the heavens about real or imagined racial discrimination against black/indigenous/”people of colour” in the First World, they often fall silent or shift uneasily when shown examples where Melanesian Papuan militia have targeted or killed Austronesians or others from the approximately 1300[9] non-Papuan ethnicities who transmigrate into Papua. Many of these “transmigrants” have in fact lived in peace in Papua alongside everyone else there for 30 years or more. Yet racial violence targeting transmigrants in Indonesia should not be overlooked when it is carried out by separatist Papuans, indigenous or otherwise.

The Socialist Alliance (SA) very selectively reports on incidents such as the one that took the life of Indonesian General Putu. In their Green Left newspaper, SA claim that General Putu was shot “while travelling” near Dambet Village in Puncak Regency.[10] They do not mention that General Putu and his group of security forces were not “travelling” but were in fact in pursuit of the separatists which had torched the local schools and executed two school teachers. They go on to claim that there are around 5000 IDPs (internally displaced persons) in the Nduga Regency, who had to flee “Indonesian security operations”.[11] They do not mention that these particular security operations were a response to armed Papuan separatists murdering 31 road workers in cold blood who were constructing bridges on the Yigi and Aurak Rivers in December 2018,[12] and subsequent clashes since that time. Needless to say, the slaughter of any Indonesian – civilian or military – will naturally force the security forces to respond. Moreover, one can only imagine the response of the police and security forces in Australia, the US or Europe, if armed separatists attacked and killed anyone they saw as representing or working with the governments of those states.

Socialist Alternative (SAlt) likewise wave the flag for West Papuan “independence”, regardless of the consequences. In an article in Red Flag, SAlt decry the denial of parole for five Papuans charged with treason in relation to riots which erupted across West Papua and Indonesia in 2019.[13] While initially claiming the charges related to a “peaceful protest”, the article later admits that in fact the rioters had burned down the local parliament in Manokwari, as well as prisons in Sorong and Jayapura. Again we must ask – what exactly would be the response of the authorities in Australia, the US or Europe if rioters torched a parliament building and a couple of prisons? Anyone who attempted this in the first world would themselves go to prison for a very long time. Why should it be any different in Indonesia? Moreover, as we reported at the time, these riots were sparked by reports of Papuan university students desecrating the Indonesian national flag on the eve of Indonesia’s national Independence Day of August 17. While it can be acknowledged that hurling of the label “monkeys” at the Papuan students by some soldiers was wrong, it is understandable that they were incensed by the gross disrespect displayed by separatist students.[14] This is after the Indonesian government goes to some length to ensure Papuan youth have the opportunity to access various levels of education.

Human Rights?

The Spartacist League (SL) are usually the last of the self-affirmed Trotskyist parties to fall for the “human rights” false flag, but they make an exception in the case of West Papua. After the riots of 2019, they even fell for the fake charms of Veronica Koman, who they hail as “courageous” and a “defender of Papuan activists”. They claim that Ms Koman “fled” to Australia after sharing videos of police brutality on social media.[15] This is a distortion which could have been sourced from the corporate media. As we reported at the time,[16] what actually occurred is that Ms Koman was spreading fake videos online, in an effort to whip up the protests which certainly did flare partially in response to her social media posting. It is an offence under Indonesian law to spread hoaxes online, and the penalty could be six years in jail and a $US 70 000 fine. What is more, the riots that occurred with the help of Ms Koman’s incendiary videos took the lives of 40 people – both Papuan and non-Papuan. After this, she refused to come forward for police questioning several times, and then fled to Australia. So in reality, Ms Koman fled to avoid a charge of racial incitement. So much for the principles of a “human rights” lawyer!  The SL seriously needs to check with whom it is aligning itself.

The Bolshevik-Leninist organisation uses extensive quotes from Lenin in an effort to justify their support for what they see as a West Papuan struggle for “national liberation”.[17] They recognise more reality than others on the left in relation to Papua and Indonesia, and yet still come up short. They can see that West Papuan nationalism is a barrier that workers need to overcome, and propose that cross-national class unity between West Papuan and Indonesian workers should be the goal. This appears to align with “Marxist” theory, IF the reality of the basis of the “independence” movement is ignored. The unfortunate circumstance is the fact that the central pillar of separatist independence – armed or not – is racial tension and antagonism by Papuans against non-Papuans. In essence, Papuans want the transmigrants (mainly Indonesians of multiple ethnicities) out, so a Papuan only “state” can be formed. To achieve this, a small minority of Papuans are prepared to enact murderous racial violence.

This is why socialists cannot extend one iota of support to the notion of “Free West Papua”. ANY form of racial and ethnic hostility cannot be excused, regardless of who carries it out. Working people also have no interest in fostering and fomenting a national conflict, unless it is a rare case of using the methods of class struggle to combat national oppression in order to advance towards socialism. Papuan separatism has no such aims. The unity of Papuan, Indonesian and international workers is  certainly needed; but only to ensure basic justice regardless of nationality, race and ethnicity.

WORKERS  LEAGUE
www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] Immediately Arrest KKB Killer 2 Teachers in Papua! – (realpapua.com) (05-06-2021)

[2] Tragedy of the Fall of Brigadier General Gusti Putu: The Sacrifice of Lives Against the Cruelty of Papuan KKB – Good Morning Papua (05-06-2021)

[3] Ibid, 2.

[4] KKB Burns Community Health Center and School in Ilaga Papua | Papua Daily (05-06-2021)

[5] Papuan separatists burn down public learning activity center in Puncak – ANTARA News (05-06-2021)

[6] Berita Otonomi Khusus Papua – West Papua Press – The Courage of Papuan Oksamol Residents, Against KKB Terrorists Using Traditional Weapons (05-06-2021)

[7] Armed Criminal Groups in Papua Categorized as Terrorists: Minister – Medcom.id (05-06-2021)

[8] Indonesia permits private COVID-19 vaccination scheme | Reuters (05-06-2021)

[9] https://jakartaglobe.id/culture/unity-diversity-indonesias-six-largest-ethnic-groups (06-06-2021)

[10] https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/west-papua-crackdown-feared-following-indonesian-intelligence-chiefs-death (06-06-2021)

[11] Ibid, 10.

[12] https://westpapuanow.com/2018/12/04/papua-separatists-group-killed-31-civilian-workers-in-nduga/ (06-06-2021)

[13] https://redflag.org.au/article/imprisoned-papuan-activists-denied-parole-indonesia (06-06-2021)

[14] https://redfireonline.com/2019/09/04/west-papua-separatists-incite-violence/ (06-06-2021)

[15] https://www.icl-fi.org/english/asp/239/indonesia.html (06-06-2021)

[16] https://redfireonline.com/2020/01/12/veronica-koman-human-rights-fraud/ (06-06-2021)

[17] https://bolshevik-leninist.org/independence-for-west-papua/ (06-06-2021)