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)

Palestine: Zionist State Massacre in Gaza

gaza bombing

http://www.yalibnan.com

30-05-2021: The death toll from the latest round of Israeli state bombardment of Gaza stands at 213, including 61 children and 36 women, while 23 Palestinians have been slain in the West Bank.[1] The aftermath of the blitzkrieg by the Zionist Israeli state will be as difficult to deal with for the Palestinians as the unconscionable loss of life. The 11-day assault, which temporarily ended with a ceasefire on May 22, resulted in 800 000 in Gaza lacking access to clean water due to 50% of the water infrastructure being damaged by guided missiles. The United Nations’ (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that nearly 17 000 residential or commercial units were damaged or destroyed by air strikes, with 769 of them rendered uninhabitable. Schools in Gaza were closed, affecting 600 000 children.[2]

The conflict was partially sparked by Israeli police being sent to arrest protestors in the Al Aqsa Mosque, who they claimed were throwing stones. In response, Hamas – the militant Islamist party which rules Gaza – requested the removal of police. When this did not materialise, Hamas began launching rockets on Israeli targets. It is claimed that Hamas launched 3300 rockets towards Israeli cities and towns, which took the lives of 10 people.[3] Another trigger for the conflict were the forced expulsions by Israeli settlers in the East Jerusalem area of Sheikh Jarrah, with the tacit approval of the Israeli authorities. Since 2020, eviction notices have been served to 13 Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. These evictions are based on a 1970 law which exclusively allows Jewish Israelis to take back land they claim to have lost before the state of Israel was established in 1948.[4] The fact that the Palestinian families have lived there ever since is virtually dismissed.

One sided war

The Israeli state attacks on Palestinians is the worst since the war of 2014, but this time there are additional factors – such as Israeli settler pogroms. In some of the towns of ’48 Palestine, such as Lydd (Lod), armed Israeli settlers have been patrolling the streets with the protection of the police, looking for Palestinians to harass or harm.[5] There were scenes of these mobs shooting at Palestinian homes and vandalising and destroying property, including Mosques. In Bat Yam, Israeli mobs lynched a Palestinian man, who was lucky to escape with his life.[6] In one incident in Haifa, an Arab driver found himself in the midst of a mob chanting “Death to Arabs”. As he tried to flee, he struck one of the rioters. He was later detained by police.[7] Even though Israeli President Netanyahu denounced the Israeli rioters, there appears to be efforts to use the Zionist mobs as auxiliary forces to the military assault.

Regardless of the launching of some crude rockets by Hamas, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is not one of “two sides”, but rather a one-sided war against an essentially defenceless population. The Zionist state of Israel has the backing of the entirety of US imperialism, with the assistance of the European Union (EU) and other Western allies. The US government supplies Israel with $3.8 billion in “aid” each year, and in 2019 all but 0.2% of this money went to the Israeli military.[8] Without this material financial/military backing, the Zionist state of Israel effectively ceases to exist, as it would be overrun the Arab masses. Palestine, on the other hand, has no military to speak of, and does not have its own state. In this unjust and one-sided war, elementary justice is on the Palestinian side, and workers the world over should stand with them against US/EU imperialism.

At the same time, there is much to be desired politically from the Palestinian resistance. Hamas’ mixture of Islam and nationalism offers no political solution, and no way forward. Firing rockets in response to the assault of the Israeli state may win it sympathy amongst suffering Palestinians, but these salvos also give the Israeli state political ammunition for their murderous acts. The conservative Fatah and the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas cancelled Palestinian elections in late April, probably concerned that Hamas may perform strongly. Hamas labelled the indefinite postponement a “coup”,[9] which is not far from the truth. The bitter rivalry between Hamas and Fatah obscures the fact that both parties ultimately base themselves on Palestinian nationalism, which creates a barrier to Israeli and Palestinian working-class co-operation before a match has been struck.

Covid allies?

In addition, the vast majority of the Palestinian solidarity movement, especially that in the West, is mired in multiple and cascading levels of hypocrisy which beggar belief. One could well ask whether they are in fact as “pro-Palestine” and “anti-Israel” as they claim to be. For example, many of the Palestine solidarity organisations and self-proclaimed left parties who lead “Free Palestine” demonstrations do not question the risible claim that the world is enduring a “pandemic”. The very existence of SARS-CoV-2 is scientifically disputed,[10] let alone “Covid-19”. It is more likely a cover for capitalism devolving into a cruel fascism, throwing millions of workers into unemployment, and driving down living standards alongside the elimination of basic civil rights. Many left parties became known as the “lockdown left”[11] for ably assisting the state crushing innocent and healthy workers via lockdowns, facemasks and experimental vaccines. Their forceful backing of authority they otherwise claim to oppose was stark – but no more so in the case of the Israeli state. The Israeli state was arguably the most aggressive in enforcing lockdowns, as well as attempting to all but mandate the dangerous Covid “vaccine”. They enforced a Covid Green Pass which is so absolute it nearly prevents unvaccinated Israelis from being able to participate in society.[12] So if the Zionist Israeli state is over the top with Covid, according to “progressive” Palestine solidarity activists – why is it not an ally?

Axis of Resistance and Palestine

Pro-Palestine and “left” Covid practitioners ignore this obvious contradiction, which only adds another layer to their stunning sanctimony in opposing the “Axis of Resistance” (Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and others) during the imperialist war on Syria from 2011 onwards. Palestinians themselves and much of its international solidarity movement was split during the dirty war waged by the US Empire for regime change in Syria. Some Palestinians and their backers inexplicably backed the proxy war on Syria, while some Palestinian militia based in the Yarmouk refugee camp actively fought on the side of the Syrian Arab Republic,[13] Iran, Hezbollah and others against the US/EU led assault. The Islamic Republic of Iran covertly supplies Hamas with weapons and funding to resist the offensive of the Zionist Israeli state, for which Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh offered public thanks.[14] Yet many pro-Palestine solidarity organisations and left parties effectively bloc with the US Empire with their dangerous regime change provocations towards Iran.

What is more, the Zionist Israeli state has bombed Syria more than 400 times[15] since 2011, without a peep of protest from almost all of those now raising their voice against the latest Israeli bombing of Gaza. The real agenda of some Palestinian solidarity stands exposed when they vociferously oppose the Israeli state bombing Palestine, but barely lift a finger when the Israeli state bombs Syria. But it goes further. The Israeli state was exposed as providing material support, medical aid and air strike support to ISIS and Al Qaeda affiliated groups waging war against Syria for several years.[16] The Zionist Israeli state was effectively coordinating efforts with the murderous barbarian mercenary terrorists the US Empire falsely claimed to be combatting – yet none of this warranted a sprig of condemnation from most pro-Palestine left parties. Israeli state repression of Palestine is wrong, but Israeli state aid, assistance and material back up for ISIS and Al Qaeda is fine and dandy?

The Lebanese Hezbollah is likewise known for its support for the Palestinian resistance. Recently Hezbollah sent a delegation to meet with Hamas and Islamic Jihad commanders, during which they pledged “complete support” to the Palestinian resistance to the Israeli enemy.[17] Hezbollah inflicted a severe military defeat[18] on the Israeli state in 2006 when it invaded Lebanon with the express aim of wiping out Hezbollah. As decisive as the military victory was, it was also a political defeat for the US government, which backed Israel to the hilt. Despite this, many supposedly pro-Palestine leftists not only ignore Hezbollah’s deeds, but undermine it by backing anti-Hezbollah uprisings in Lebanon.[19] In short, without Hezbollah, Syria and Iran, the Palestinian resistance would not exist. Unfortunately, for many Palestinian solidarity types, acknowledging this would mean breaking with their de-facto overall backing of US imperialist foreign policy – something they are not prepared to do.

The liberal trap of BDS

Even though some Western leftists are sheepish about it, many of them abjectly fail to put forward a Marxist critique of the liberal Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. Every element of BDS is an appeal to non-working class elements, and even implore the direct class enemy to “join” the campaign. “Boycott” refers to consumer boycotts of Israeli produced goods and services – which assumes that people can change the functioning of not only corporations, but capitalism itself, by choosing to consume different products. It also assumes that working class people have the time and the disposable income to investigate the source of a product, when many of them only have time for a once-a-week grocery run, let alone a shop for expensive treats.  The middle and upper classes have the luxury of time and spare wads of cash, but most workers generally do not.

“Divestment” refers to pleas direct to corporate vultures themselves to invest their millions anywhere else apart from Israel. It implies that if a corporation divests their financial interests from Israeli businesses, they are therefore no longer “bad” corporations, but very “good” ones. This is petty-bourgeois nonsense. A capitalist corporation operates by exploiting the labour of the working class and the natural environment. Its function is plunder, which is why socialists organise to expropriate corporations, or at least initially the largest ones, for public benefit. BDS “divestment” inherently recognises the right of capitalists to enrich themselves, which is anything but progressive.

“Sanctions” refers to plaintive entreaties aimed towards not only capitalist states, but the very imperialist states which provide the material, political, financial and military aid to the Zionist state itself! Its as if the open and organised imperialist states – the US, the EU, Canada, Australia etc. – can somehow be fraternal allies (!) in the struggle against “Israel”. A better definition of liberalism cannot be found. Such demands reinforce nationalist claptrap (“our government”!) amongst workers when its precise opposite – working class internationalism – is most sorely needed. If “our own” bourgeois class can improve their image by applying sanctions on “Israel”, why bother with class struggle?

Every political tactic used by Marxists must seek to raise the level class consciousness amongst workers, domestically and internationally. BDS does the direct opposite – it marshals the “people” of the world against “Israel”, when the aim should be to co-ordinate joint action by Israeli, Palestinian and international workers against capitalism and against imperialism. As much of a problem as Zionism (the ideology of an exclusively Jewish state for Jewish people) is, it can only be overcome by the removal of capitalism in Israel and Palestine. Zionism is not at all threatened by Palestinian nationalism, even when it is backed by millions of misguided solidarity activists worldwide. This is because the nationalism of a small state automatically leads to the recognition, in turn, to the nationalism of a large state. In fact, it recognises the “right” of even imperialist states to exist.

Neither the nationalism of Hamas, Fatah or BDS offers the smallest possibility of liberating oppressed Palestinians. What is required is a bi-national Arab-Hebrew workers’ state, as part of a socialist federation of the Middle East. Key to this task is the forging of Leninist vanguard parties throughout the region, which seeks to prepare a socialist revolution. As far away as that prospect now appears, the barriers of nationality and religion cannot be overcome without it.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/05/18/Death-toll-in-Israeli-attacks-on-Gaza-rises-to-213-including-61-children (23-05-2021)

[2] https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/05/22/UN-says-50-pct-of-Gaza-water-network-destroyed-in-recent-Israeli-raids (23-05-2021)

[3] https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/05/17/world/middleeast/israel-palestine-gaza-conflict-death-toll.html (23-05-2021)

[4] https://www.businessinsider.com/sheikh-jarrah-palestinians-challenge-evictions-and-the-repeat-of-history-2021-5?op=1 (23-05-2021)

[5] https://mondoweiss.net/2021/05/this-isnt-a-civil-war-it-is-settler-colonial-brutality/ (23-05-2021)

[6] https://twitter.com/4noura/status/1392582500359319555 (23-05-2021)

[7] https://www.timesofisrael.com/jewish-arab-violence-rolls-through-cities-like-wildfire-with-police-overwhelmed/ (23-05-2021)

[8] https://usafacts.org/articles/how-much-military-aid-does-the-us-give-to-israel/ (23-05-2021)

[9] https://apnews.com/article/hamas-middle-east-elections-religion-government-and-politics-e88636bc919f8aab455e01fbbd4b4391 (26-05-2021)

[10] https://off-guardian.org/2021/01/31/phantom-virus-in-search-of-sars-cov-2/ (26-05-2021)

[11] https://redfireonline.com/2021/03/31/year-one-of-the-lockdown-left/ (26-05-2021)

[12] https://www.timesofisrael.com/how-israel-plans-to-operate-a-covid-green-pass-and-prevent-forgeries/ (26-05-2021)

[13] https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/who-are-pro-assad-militias-syria (26-05-2021)

[14] https://townhall.com/tipsheet/spencerbrown/2021/05/22/hamas-leader-thanks-iran-for-providing-weapons-n2589853 (26-05-2021)

[15] https://ejmagnier.com/2020/02/27/israel-bombs-syria-how-long-can-this-go-on/ (26-05-2021)

[16] https://21stcenturywire.com/2015/02/19/un-report-reveals-how-israel-is-coordinating-with-isis-militants-inside-syria/ (26-05-2021)

[17] https://en.abna24.com/news/sheikh-naim-qassem-hezbollah-completely-supports-palestinian-resistance (26-05-2021)

[18] https://www.counterpunch.org/2006/10/13/how-hezbollah-defeated-israel-2/ (26-05-2021)

[19] https://redfireonline.com/2020/05/09/lebanon-colour-revolution-redux/ (26-05-2021)

Biden Bombs Syria: The First Covid War?

Kataib Hezbollah fighters on the march. Image from RT.com

05.03.2021: Just two weeks after declaring the US would not return to forever wars under his administration[1], fraudulently installed President Joe Biden rained bombs on Syria, targeting Iranian supported militias fighting US backed Al Qaeda terrorists operating in the region. Biden was only 36 days into his first term before ordering the bombing of the Middle East[2], once again risking the escalation of an even more catastrophic regime change war. This comes hard on the heels of Biden’s re-invasion of Syria just two days into his Presidency, where 200 US troops and 60 military vehicles crossed the border[3] into Syria to “assist” US backed Kurdish separatist rule in northern Syria. Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby stated that the US airstrikes targeted facilities used by Iranian backed militias including Kataib Hezbollah and Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada. Stretching the limits of plausibility, Kirby claimed that the strikes were in response to rocket attacks on US troops but were deliberately calibrated to de-escalate the overall situation in eastern Syria and Iraq.[4]

US Empire uses Covid to reignite regime change war on Syria

The US government claimed it gave notice to the Russian government before the strikes took place. It did – but the notice was only four minutes. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared that “This kind of notification does nothing when the strike is literally already on its way”.[5] Transparently, US imperialism is hell bent on attempting to reverse the defeat it suffered during the regime change war it attempted in Syria from 2011 onwards. The combination of resistance from the Syrian government, with military backing from Russia and Iran, arguably dealt US imperialism its first defeat since the Vietnam War. The Pentagon did not succeed in toppling Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, despite spending $500 million, at the very least, funding and arming deranged mercenary forces[6] to do so. The superiority of Russian air power, combined with the considerable skills of Iranian backed ground militias and heroic Syrian army martyrs – delivered a crushing of ISIS and, by extension, Wall Street.

Washington was stung by this defeat and has never accepted it. Now, their assault on the world’s working and oppressed people under the code name of “Covid”, opens a small window to re-start the regime change war on Syria. While the governments of Russia and Iran performed heroics to stop US imperialism in its tracks in Syria, during 2020 both entities unfortunately marched in lockstep with the US Empire by entertaining the Covid plot.[7] The coronavirus charade was always going to be used by US/EU imperialism against their opponents, and the Russian and Iranian governments’ acquiescence to the fear “pandemic” nonsense only slightly delayed a direct broadside from Washington. Russia and Iran’s mimicking of Western government lockdowns, forced facemasks and forced vaccines was never going to be accepted as currency for respect for their national sovereignty, or much else. Nothing less than regime change and substitute pro-US satrap governments in Syria, Iran and Russia would appease the ruling classes of the US/EU. Indeed, the war on Syria was arguably a stepping stone on the road to regime change in the Islamic Republic of Iran, by first eliminating one of Russia’s key allies.

Liberalism accelerates political disintegration

When capitalism enters a steep decline, parliamentary democracy soon becomes insufficiently repressive for the tasks the bourgeoisie needs to carry out to ensure the maintenance of its rule. Basic democratic and civil rights become an obstacle and need to be sidelined. This was one of the goals of the various forms of lockdown fascism initiated by capital in the West during 2020. This particular form of fascism, which was covered with the excuse of “Covid”, was NOT led by a far-right ultra-nationalist stormtroopers but by “left-wing” anti-socialists such as: Antifa, Black Lives Matter (BLM) and the lockdown left who tailed the mind-bogglingly conservative Union bureaucracy. This liberal pro-corporate set heavily endorsed the fake pandemic and even – believe it or not – campaigned for longer and stricter lockdowns. While there is no doubt that these forces dragged along some youth and working people who believed they were doing something progressive, their leading lights knew exactly what their task was – to defend capitalist imperialism using any means up to and including violence.

The identity politics, the faux anti-racism, the disingenuous refugee rights activism of Antifa, BLM (which has conveniently disappeared from the streets now that there is a Democrat in the White House) and the lockdown left – combined with Union officialdom – has only strengthened finance capital. All of these forces endorsed and enforced the fake pandemic with its brutally anti-working class lockdowns, forced facemasks, forced vaccines, and tracking and tracing. The Covid ruse enabled the fascistic repression the ruling class required to savage the cost of labour power – through hundreds of millions of job cuts, economic shutdowns and border closures. The extreme Covid political repression also enables the bourgeoisie to wage imperialist war, such as the one being reanimated in Syria. For working people can scarcely organise political opposition to a war when they are separated from each other, when meetings have been banned, and when state borders are barricaded.

What is required is political action which demands US troops exit Syria immediately, and a prompt end to US/EU sanctions and provocations against Syria, Russia and Iran. The threatened imperialist wars against Syria, Russia, Iran and even China are bound up with the Covid war on working people at home. This is despite the deceitful Covid cooperation with Washington by Moscow, Tehran and Beijing. Wars can only be stopped by overthrowing the government waging it – this is the cardinal lesson of the October Revolution of 1917. Then, as now, Marxist leadership of the working class is a critical first step towards the end of imperialist wars and the socialist liberation of humanity.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] Biden Bombs Syria Just Two Weeks After Promising Not To Go Back To Forever Wars In The Middle East….. (thefolliesofdistributism.com) (28-02-2021)

[2] It Only Took Joe Biden 36 Days to Bomb the Middle East – 19FortyFive (28-02-2021)

[3] US Convoy Reported Moving Into Syria From Iraq – News From Antiwar.com (28-02-2021)

[4] ‘Joe Biden Just Dropped Bombs on Syria. Here We Go Again’: US Responds to Rocket Attacks With Airstrikes | Common Dreams News (28-02-2021)

[5] Mismatch: Biden bombs Syria while pushing progressive economic bill at home – People’s World (28-02-2021)

[6] https://abcnews.go.com/International/video/us-approves-500-million-fund-arm-moderate-syrian-25633715 (28-02-2021)

[7] https://redfireonline.com/2020/04/18/covid-19-savage-assault-under-the-guise-of-health/ (28-02-2021)

Theses on Lockdowns and Political Tasks for Socialists

Adopted by the Workers League  29-12-2020

1.After almost a year of lockdowns imposed by the ruling classes of the West, it is becoming more and more clear to many workers that the lies used to justify brutal totalitarian measures will continue throughout 2021. It is no longer credible, if it ever was, that the world is faced with a deadly plague which threatens humanity. This was never about a virus. Rather, “Covid-19” is part of a civil war launched by finance capital against workers and oppressed people.

  1. This attack, which may well have been planned and premeditated, is primarily aimed at lowering the cost of labour power. That is, it is a method used to increase capital returns of the largest private corporations at the expense of working class. This is carried out through massive job cuts and the deliberate shutting down of whole sectors of capitalist economies. While the operators of small and medium sized capital are also dramatically affected or driven out of business, this is another brazen assault on workers employed in these industries.
  1. The vast increase in unemployment is used to frighten and cower workers still employed into playing along with the false coronavirus narrative. Unemployment incorrectly attributed to “Covid-19” takes the focus away from the real culprits – the collusion between big capital and the politicians and governments who serve them. The creation of poverty through the intentional shutdown of whole sections of the for-profit economies is used to prevent the remaining employed workers from demanding decent wages and conditions – which had been under siege for the last 30 years through the “normal” functioning of capitalism in any case.
  1. The unprecedented assault on workers’ jobs, wages and working and living conditions under the guise of a “pandemic” requires the virtual elimination of elementary and basic bourgeois democratic rights. Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement as well as written and unwritten constitutional rights have in many cases been ignored or abolished. In some states, entire parliaments and elections were suspended. The right to invite friends and/or family into your own home is now subject to governmental approval. The right to go to a pub/tavern, to a restaurant or to a church is often prohibited or likewise subjected to a dictate. Lockdowns and other restrictions are enforced by the capitalist state – either by the police or military, or both. This is a new and particular form of fascism.
  1. Even if lockdown measures are temporarily lifted or suspended, the imperialist states can re-apply them at any time. Tracking and tracing, and a litany of ever changing and illogical rules are imposed on all apart from the wealthy elite, trashing any semblance of civil liberties. Scientifically groundless social-distancing and facemask rules are enforced and are used as another threat against working people. Workers are also being threatened with a “Covid” vaccine, “Covid” passports and national and state border closures which have no medical or scientific justification whatsoever.
  1. The main political reason for lockdowns, social-distancing, the shut-down of venues, “health” directives, the prevention of physical and social human interaction, the prevention of gatherings of any kind etc., is to prevent working people from resisting the tyrannical onslaught of big capital. The imposition of draconian dictates backed by pseudo-science has removed some political and protest movements which provided some level of systemic challenge from the streets almost entirely, e.g. the Yellow Vest movement in France. In some cases, lockdowns and other “health” restrictions have been found to be illegal and unconstitutional even by judges interpreting bourgeois law. Political parties and workers’ Unions cannot effectively operate if they are prevented from gathering by the capitalist state – arguably one of the express intentions of the ruling elite. The capitalist ruling classes want workers to become accustomed to no longer enjoying the fragments of democratic rights they enjoyed in the 20th
  1. The Union bureaucracy – largely overpaid officials – have betrayed workers on a scale which has no precedent. We do not know of any Union officials who have opposed capitalist politicians or any part of the mainstream media on the irrationality of lockdowns. In fact, Union officials have been the most ardent enforcers of the ideology and physical dictates of the capitalist state. They, above all, are aware that capitalism in crisis today requires extraordinarily repressive measures such as lockdowns – and so they are more than happy to enforce them. Due to this, Union members are split: some Union members follow the ultra-conservative leadership, while others are dissatisfied and/or confused as to why their Union leadership is openly siding with the authorities.
  1. Almost all ostensibly “socialist” parties have carried out a betrayal of workers on Covid which arguably surpasses that of August 4, 1914. At that time, socialist parties the world over – apart from the Bolsheviks – automatically backed “their own” ruling class as it led the charge into the slaughter of World War I. Today, almost all so-called left parties virtually in unison have signed up enthusiastically with “their own” capitalist governments and the entirety of world imperialism, to aid the driving of workers into the dust through brutal lockdowns and mass unemployment. They accept the bourgeois ideology of lockdowns, social-distancing, facemasks and forced vaccines without question, and act as police auxiliaries by doing everything they can to prevent workers from questioning the suppression measures. The “lockdown left” join with the Union officials in openly serving billionaire capital.
  1. The betrayal of workers by the Union officials and the lockdown left is more than matched by the conservative and nationalist political leaderships of the deformed workers’ states. The partially “communist” and “workers” parties which have usurped political power from the proletariat in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV), the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (LPDR) and the Republic of Cuba (RoC) have not hesitated to assist US/EU (European Union) imperialism implement near worldwide lockdowns. They have not apologised for politically aiding the same US/EU led imperialism which seeks to overthrow and destroy them, in a classical example of the betrayal of “peaceful coexistence” and “socialism in one country”. These distorters and vulgarisers of Marxism have not even blinked while assisting the ruling classes of the West implement a savage attack on “their” workers. While they have not fully imposed the same attack on the proletariat domestically, they have played up to a scientific and medical fantasy to deceive and mislead working people within their borders.
  1. With a few exceptions (e.g., Belarus), the governments of the non-imperialist states have also betrayed their own workers by allying directly with US/EU imperialism on the fake coronavirus narrative. The governments of the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran have entertained lockdowns, facemasks and even vaccines in the same way as US/EU imperialism has spun the deception. While operating on a different political basis to the deformed workers’ states, the political leaderships of Russia and Iran have played a role which is just as treacherous as that of the allegedly “Marxist-Leninist” administrations of the five remaining deformed workers’ states.
  1. The attempt by the government of the deformed workers’ states and the non-imperialist states to mollify and appease US/EU imperialism by proclaiming and implementing the same coronavirus lies has increased, not decreased, the extreme danger of imperialist war being launched against them. Imperialism will strike no permanent bargains or permanent deals with any state and will continue to seek to destroy non-imperialist states until and unless it is overthrown by the workers of the world. While there may be some minor disagreements amongst the ruling classes of the US and the EU, they still seek “regime change” in Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Venezuela etc. – and are prepared to risk world war to do so.
  1. The “election” of Joe Biden/Kamala Harris and the Democrats in the US – through monumental fraud – has likewise vastly increased the danger of imperialist war being launched by the Pentagon. This may be a continuation of the regime change war against Syria, or a new regime change war against a smaller non-imperialist state, or it could be a global confrontation with Russia and/or China. Liberal pillars of imperialism such as the key leaders and organisers of the lockdown left, Black Lives Matter, Antifa and the officials of the conservative Union bureaucracy are extremely likely to defend the instigation and prosecution of these wars on behalf of US imperialism, even while claiming to be “progressive” and “left-wing”.
  1. To indulge the ideology of a “pandemic”, or facemasks, or social-distancing, or tracking and tracing, forced vaccines or any Covid restriction, is the ultimate betrayal of the working class. To attempt to ensure that other workers “follow the rules” is to assist billionaire capital maintain its death grip on the world’s workers and oppressed. For alleged socialists to capitulate in any way to the fictitious Covid narrative is an open and irrevocable rupture with the basic tenets of Marxism. No socialist can claim to be left-wing in any sense while doing the bidding of the imperialist ruling classes, their politicians and the corporate media.
  1. Therefore, the position of anti-lockdown versus pro-lockdown is the class line between labour and capital. Moreover, given the dire circumstances of world capitalism, the anti-lockdown movement can be characterised as anti-fascist, while the pro-lockdown position can be characterised as pro-fascist. This remains the case irrespective of the appearance of the anti-lockdown movement largely consisting of the “right-wing” and “conspiracy theorists”, while the irrational pro-lockdown fanatics are predominantly composed of “left-wing” and liberal elements. In reality, pro-lockdown fanatics are not in any way left-wing or progressive. They have simply found themselves in a position of being more right-wing than the “right” due to liberalism politically moving to the right over the last 20 years.
  1. This is why Marxists have the perspective of building the anti-lockdown movement as deeply and as broadly as possible. Despite appearances, the vanguard of the insurgent working class is currently contained within those forces who are prepared to go to great risk to publicly defy the entirety of the ideology and politics of lockdown fascism. This is even despite large sections taking up politically misguided notions such as nationalism, spiritualism, “globalism”, and “anti-socialism/anti-communism”. Despite the prevalence of these and similar ideas, the political direction of the anti-lockdown movement directly and powerfully confronts the political and ideological decay of capitalism as it descends into lockdown fascism.
  1. Hence, the Workers League urges the building of the anti-lockdown movement as a united front. That is, we advise workers to energetically assist and participate in all meetings, demonstrations and mobilisations of the anti-lockdown movement shoulder to shoulder with all those opposed to lockdowns, forced facemasks, forced vaccines, nonsensical restrictions, economic shutdowns, border closures, state surveillance and so on. Within this united front, all political and semi-political organisations and parties should have the right to distribute their material and win others to their viewpoint and perspective. However, by no means should socialists or any other tendency subordinate their politics to any other grouping within the bloc. The united front is built for the achievement of common aims, not the political perspective of component groups or individuals.
  1. At the same time, Marxists within the anti-lockdown movement have the task of seeking out and winning over the most class aware elements to socialism. This is difficult, and must be carried out with tact, given the unfortunate fact that many workers confuse socialism with Stalinism and/or confuse globalism with socialism. The United Nations (UN), the World Economic Forum (WEF), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and so on, are multi-national capitalist institutions, and do not have one iota of pro-working class content. The Stalinist political apparatuses of the deformed workers’ states – principally the PRC – distort socialism beyond recognition even if they partially defend their socialist economies at home. It is vital to impress upon anti-lockdown proponents that socialism does not in any way mean political repression (a la Stalinism), but in fact means the liberation of the working class from tyranny.
  1. No united front is permanent, and socialists should not view the anti-lockdown movement as permanent either. At each stage, Marxists need to assess and evaluate its political direction and political achievements. If, at any moment, the anti-lockdown movement adopts radically anti-working class positions (overt racism, overt anti-Union views, overt anti-China or anti-socialist positions), then socialists should confer and decide on whether to combat the development of such views within the movement, or to leave the movement altogether.
  1. Currently, there are no significant indicators of the anti-lockdown movement developing in an anti-working class direction. Most participants come from varied political backgrounds and are motivated by anti-war and peace issues, civil liberties and democratic rights, freedom of medical choice issues, for the restoration of common law rights, for freedom of movement and so on. However, there is a possibility that the anti-lockdown movement could at a certain stage split into left and right (or more than two) wings under the impact of political developments or through repression from the capitalist state. If this were to occur, again socialists should assess the political reasons for such a split and proceed from there.
  1. For working people, there will be no permanent escape from lockdowns, or “The Great Reset” or “The New Normal” without the overthrow of capitalism in the imperialist centres, combined with proletarian political revolutions in the deformed workers’ states. At the very least, this will require the establishment of democratic workers’ councils. After a year of hammer blows from a declining and thus lawless and dangerous capitalism, there is a dire need for a working class offensive.  A vital task to help provide working class leadership now and for the coming period is the forging of internationally linked Leninist vanguard parties, sworn to uphold Permanent Revolution. To help form a bridge to workers’ councils, the Workers League will continue to propagate three demands:

(i) A six-hour work day
(ii) Public ownership of energy, infrastructure, banks
(iii) A workers’ government.

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

West Papua: Separatists Declare Fake Government

23-12-2020: Perhaps taking their cue from the declaration of a fake coronavirus pandemic[1], some Papuan separatists have recently self-declared a fake “government in exile”. From the leafy green surrounds of Oxford in the United Kingdom – where he has become a citizen – Benny Wenda declared himself the President of the Provisional Government of West Papua[2], under the effective protection of British imperialism. Not amused, immediately following the December 1 announcement from Wenda in the name of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP), the Indonesian government in Jakarta summonsed the British Ambassador with a request for the British Government to clarify its position of the declaration of a “Provisional Government” of West Papua.[3]  In the announcement Mr Wenda stated that the ULMWP now declares the Indonesian state’s presence in West Papua to be illegal, and it rejects and will not comply with any law issued by Jakarta.

“United” separatist movement?

Yet even the Papuan organisations pushing for separation from Indonesia, at whatever cost, are not all behind the ULMWP, nor behind Benny Wenda. Both the TPNPB (West Papua National Liberation Army) and the KNPB (West Papua National Committee) have rejected the declaration of self-government. Sebby Sambon from the TPNPB stated that the declaration was made in a foreign country (which it was – the UK), and that Benny Wenda could not be the President of West Papua because he is a citizen of a foreign country (which he is – the UK).[4] In addition, Benny Wenda’s self-declaration has likewise been rejected by the OPM (Free Papua Movement).[5] The TPNPB and the OPM are armed and militarised separatist organisations, while the KNPB is not.

Despite their apparent lack of arms, the KNPB, like the armed separatist forces, is not shy on issuing threats to any Papuans who work with the Indonesian government, or do not support separatist independence, or simply wish to live in peace alongside non-Papuan Indonesians. Victor Yeimo, the international spokesperson for the KNPB, recently posted a virtual death threat on Facebook aimed at the Chief of Police of Papua, Irjen Pol Paulus Waterpauw. Yeimo blamed the Indonesian military for recent deaths in the Puncak Jaya regency, but the local police chief stated that unidentified armed attackers shot two of the students.[6] Yeimo dismissed this and posted online: “Paul Waterpau…you and we are the same…you and I will die tomorrow. Death is for sure…the blood of the country boy you shed in these days is being accommodated into vengeance and curse for you….”.[7]

Dishonest independence movement

One can only imagine the response of the police of the Western governments of the US, Australia, and the UK if anyone had posted virtual death threats against high-ranking police chiefs on Facebook! They would be extremely lucky not to be arrested and detained immediately. Yet armed or unarmed Papuan separatists not only threaten the lives of police chiefs. They actually use physical violence – up to and including manslaughter – against Papuans who wish to live in peace with other Indonesians, and other Indonesians simply on the basis of their ethnicity. For example, during the riots in Wamena in September 2019, Papuan separatists turned against and began to physically attack other Papuans and Indonesians who attempted to calm them down, seeing that things were beginning to get out of hand. The attempts to placate separatist crowds unfortunately failed, and in the ensuing riot 33 people were killed, including 25 non-Papuans and 8 Papuans. 82 people were injured, including 38 Papuans and 44 non-Papuans. The separatists set ablaze 10 government offices, 351 shops, 15 motorcycles, 100 cars, 27 residential houses and the Mission market.[8] Understandably, many Wamena residents were left traumatised by the separatists’ extreme violence.

Yet, Benny Wenda and Co make the specious claim that their movement is a movement for the liberation of all Melanesians, or all Melanesians resident in West Papua. Commenting on Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Mr Wenda stated that he cannot be trusted, and that Papuans are “better off going back to where we came from. We are demographically, culturally, linguistically, part of Melanesia.”[9] Yet the dishonesty soon becomes apparent, as the example of the Wamena riots illustrate. Papuan separatists are not about uniting all Melanesians, for many of them are not at all prepared to injure or kill other Melanesians who do not support a separate state, nor those who wish to live side by side non-Papuan Indonesians. In effect, all Papuan separatist groups present all West Papuans and Indonesians resident in Papua, with an ultimatum: politically back “independence” or you could face what happened in Wamena: being burned alive or stabbed to death.[10]

The dishonesty of the West Papuan (in reality, the Indonesian provinces of Papua and Papua Barat) independence movement stems from the top. Benny Wenda himself has to re-hash ongoing lies about his background, which he uses to deceive Western liberals, and many left parties. Mr Wenda spins a deceptive narrative that he is an innocent exiled independence leader, who cannot return to his homeland because of his dedication to his political cause. The reality is not so saleable to hand-wringing humantarians in the West. Mr Wenda cannot return to Indonesia because he faces a jail term of 25 years if he does so. Why? He incited a mob to attack a police station and set of shops in Abepura in 2000, which killed one policeman and injured three others. One month after his first trial, he escaped from prison in Jayapura and fled to neighbouring Papua New Guinea, and from there fled to the UK.[11] Due to this history, Mr Wenda very carefully avoids mentioning it, or just blatantly lies, during instances such as being invited by high society to conduct an essentially bogus TED talk.[12]

Left parties bedazzled by “Free West Papua” slogan

One can possibly forgive Jennifer Robinson, who hosted Benny Wenda’s TED talk, for being spellbound by a heist such as the Papuan separatist movement. One the one hand, Jennifer Robinson, as a human rights lawyer, has served the working class by defending Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. On the other hand, Robinson has been beguiled by the tales of Papuan “oppression” allegedly at the hands of the Indonesian government, when she filed an appeal to the United Nations (UN) after the ULMWP’s declaration of a “Provisional Government”.[13] Jennifer Robinson is a lawyer accustomed to high-end clients, and thus her career ultimately demands loyalty to the establishment. However, the same could not be said for a slew of “socialist” parties who make claims to be fighting the capitalist elite, yet cannot see how they are being snared by Papuan separatists who know how to push their buttons.

Virtually all Australian left parties are transfixed by the deceptive slogan of “Free West Papua”. This includes the Socialist Alliance,[14] Socialist Alternative[15], Solidarity[16] and the Communist Party of Australia[17]. Yet Marxists do not support a separatist movement just to jump on a bandwagon. Every separatist movement must be examined carefully and weighed on its merits. For, generally speaking, socialists are in favour of larger states. In terms of economic and political development, and under both capitalism and socialism, a larger state offers economies of scale which small states cannot. Agitating and acting for a smaller separate state needs to have a mighty justification. Firstly, there has to be intractable oppression occurring on a wide scale. But is this the case in West Papua?

Rather than “oppress” West Papuans, the Indonesian government has, on the contrary, made extensive efforts to include West Papuans within the unitary state of Indonesia. Far from committing a “genocide”, the Indonesian government in fact provides free health care to all Papuans – where it is at all possible. In 2014, the Indonesian government launched Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional (JKN) – the largest single payer health care system in the world. It currently provides around 80% of Indonesians with health insurance[18] and aims to cover all Indonesians, including Papuans. Workers in Australia, and certainly in the USA, would more than welcome government provided health care.

Further, education is compulsory and free across all of Indonesia up to Year 9.[19] Secondary and Tertiary education is offered, but it is said to be competitive to enter. Papuans, along with the 300 other different ethnicities that make up Indonesia’s 275 million strong population, face no discriminatory basis for entry. While fees are charged for the higher levels of secondary and Tertiary education, there are no other barriers which prevent Papuan students from accessing any of this. Indeed, many Papuan students studying at Indonesian Universities are often the ones who agitate for West Papuan “independence” – while having their education at least partially subsidised by the Indonesian government. Given this, one can understand Indonesians feeling aggrieved that some West Papuan students then use this education to urge others to protest, or even take up arms, against Indonesia.

What is more, the Indonesian government is well into the process of striving to provide electricity across the 17 000 islands that make up the country – including West Papua. Hundreds of villages across West Papua have never previously had any access to electricity.[20] This means of course that everything closes when the sun goes down. Access to electric power also opens up the possibility of the starting of industrial and commercial activity, leading to economic development. Some of the physical terrain of West Papua is impenetrable jungle, yet the Indonesian government has prioritised the electrification project – spending millions doing so. It can scarcely be denied that the delivery of electric power enables a better standard of living across West Papua.

For independence or against transmigration?

The fine-sounding and exalted aims of “freedom” and “independence” are, in the case of Papuan separatism, part of an elaborate ruse to cover their real motivating factor – bitter opposition to Indonesian transmigration. Transmigration from Java, Sulawesi and other parts of Indonesia into West Papua is significant and causes some issues which can inadvertently disadvantage West Papuans. Yet there is no systemic or intentional attempt to drive out indigenous Papuans, nor eliminate their cultural traditions. At the time when the Indonesian government began “Special Autonomy” for West Papua, the government removed the former name “Irian Jaya”, and established regional parliaments. At that time, the flying of the West Papuan Morning Star flag was not banned. It was only later, when the flying of the flag marked armed separatist militia provocations, i.e., open war, that the Indonesian government took the step of prohibiting the display of the Morning Star flag. What appears to be an example of political repression is in fact a measure which is in place to prevent further violence.

There does appear to be some environmental problems, and problems of involuntary socio-economic marginalisation of Papuans due to the large influx of Indonesian transmigrants over many years. However, such problems can scarcely be addressed, and in fact can only be magnified, if some Papuans embark on a campaign of separatism which uses any and all means to whip up further antagonism towards Indonesia in general. For socialists, such a path is completely at odds with efforts to politicise workers in a progressive direction. Ethnic conflict, combined with hostility to those of your own ethnicity who hold a different perspective, only creates a toxic environment. It can only drive other Papuans and Indonesians further away – into the arms of the Indonesian government. Verbal denunciation, let alone threats of violence, to others who are skeptical of “independence” can only be counterproductive. Left parties internationally who cannot see this danger, and fan the flames of this self-destructive course, are being played like a deck of cards.

For Marxists, the key concern is the political and ideological development of the working class towards socialism. Needless to say, this cannot occur in West Papua if they are effectively being urged to turn against the Indonesian proletariat, which numbers in excess of 200 million workers. Issues with the Indonesian government can only be addressed through a firm alliance with Indonesian workers, and the workers of the Asia-Pacific. This can be done without unnecessarily disrupting the economic development of West Papua, which is currently being carried out by the Widodo administration. Ultimately what is required, however, is socialist development of regions such as West Papua as well as Indonesia, Australia and beyond. This posits the necessity of building Leninist vanguard parties linked internationally in a determined struggle to end all ethnic and national conflict.

WORKERS   LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012

[1] https://www.globalresearch.ca/coronavirus-epidemic-who-declares-a-global-public-health-crisis-can-we-trust-the-who/5702360 (17-12-2020)

[2] Benny Wenda: Provisional Government of West Papua won’t bow down to Jakarta – United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) (19-12-2020)

[3] Press Release: Benny Wenda ready for talks; British Ambassador summoned in Jakarta; Indonesian police and military threaten action against President Wenda – Office of Benny Wenda (19-12-2020)

[4] Free Papua Movement’s military and urban civil factions reject Benny Wenda’s government-in-exile – National – The Jakarta Post (19-12-2020)

[5] Indonesia – Declaration of new Papuan government in exile will have limited impact – Falanx Assynt (19-12-2020)

[6] Young Papuans killed in attacks in Puncak Jaya | RNZ News (19-12-2020)

[7] Victor Yeimo Minta Kapolda Paulus Waterpauw Hentikan Kejahatan Kemanusiaan – Jurnal Patroli News (19-12-2020)

[8] Update: Riot in Wamena – Chronology of events and consequences of the riot (humanrightspapua.org) (20-12-2020)

[9] Hope On the Horizon For A West Papua Free Of Indonesian Abuses – New Matilda (20-12-2020)

[10] More than 16,000 flee unrest in Indonesia’s Papua region | Indonesia News | Al Jazeera (20-12-2020)

[11] Kapolri Sebut Benny Wenda Dalang Penyerbuan Polsek di Papua (cnnindonesia.com) (20-12-2020)

[12] Chat With Jennifer Robinson & Benny Wenda – TEDxSydney (20-12-2020)

[13] Urgent UN Appeal Filed after serious escalation in threats by Indonesian government against the West Papua movement | Doughty Street Chambers (20-12-2020)

[14] West Papuan provisional government-in-exile formed | Green Left (21-12-2020)

[15] Indonesia escalates repression in West Papua | Red Flag (21-12-2020)

[16] West Papua rises up against Indonesian occupation – Solidarity Online (21-12-2020)

[17] CPA – The Guardian – #1898 (21-12-2020)

[18] Financial Sustainability of Indonesia’s Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional: Performance, Prospects, and Policy Options (healthpolicyplus.com) (21-12-2020)

[19] Education in Indonesia (wes.org) (21-12-2020)

[20] Hundreds of Villages in West Papua Now Have Access to Electricity (westpapuaupdate.com) (21-12-2020)

No Forced Covid Vaccine! For Democratic Rights!

22-11-2020: Governments the world over are bending over backwards to either produce or obtain an alleged vaccine which will supposedly inoculate the entire world’s population against Covid-19. After around 8 months of brutal and inhumane lockdowns, mandatory facemask orders and absurd social-distancing edicts, we are being offered the chimera of the end of this madness IF you subject yourself to a vaccine which has been produced at warp speed. Usually, at least 15 years of design, testing and assessment is necessary before a vaccine is ready for human usage, but the Covid vaccine will putatively be ready to roll in six months. Skeptical? You should be.

Has the virus been isolated?

We were already aware that the Covid “pandemic” is a nothing burger,[1] and the use of the term in relation to it a linguistic travesty. Yet now there is some evidence emerging that the SARS-CoV-2 virus may not have been isolated and purified.[2] If this is true, then not only does SARS-CoV-2 not exist as such, it also means there may be no Covid-19 respiratory illness which is allegedly one result of coming into contact with SARS-CoV-2. A stunning report from Spanish medical researchers reiterated that there cannot be a test for a virus without knowing the components of the virus trying to be found. The components for the virus are not known UNLESS it has been isolated and purified. There is no hard evidence that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been isolated and purified – therefore there is no test which can detect it.[3] The RT-PCR “test” which has been used to “detect” SARS-CoV-2 is likely to pick up fragments of numerous microbes. Under some circumstances, anyone can test positive!

This raises enormous issues for the design and production of a vaccine for Covid. If the virus has not been isolated, how exactly will a vaccine work at all? Moreover, is SARS-CoV-2 still circulating? As far back as May this year, the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute was concerned that there was a 50% chance of no Covid vaccine being developed at all. Why? Because even back in May, the virus was already disappearing![4] This follows the trend of virtually all flu viruses – it spreads by “infecting” many people for 5 to 6 weeks, it reaches a peak, and then falls away rapidly as natural or community immunity is obtained. It is becoming more and more apparent that SARS-CoV-2 may well be simply a part of the combination of cold and flu coronaviruses that come around each winter.

The difficulty with producing a vaccine for Covid also stems from the fact that influenza viruses shift and drift their genomes each year, so immunity from last year’s batch may not confer immunity from this year’s. Like the general flu vaccine which does not give you any guarantee that it will stop you from getting the flu, this means that a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is difficult to develop and probably ineffective in the best case – or completely worthless.[5]  This has not stopped Big Pharma from trying – seeing billions of dollar signs. Big Pharma mega firm Johnson & Johnson, however, had to pause its Covid-19 vaccine trials due to an “unexplained” illness in one of the trial participants. Johnson & Johnson of course refused to reveal the details, claiming the need to protect privacy.[6]  In the case of the Oxford-AstraZeneca trial, though, they could not hide the fact that one of the Brazilian volunteer trial subjects died during testing. Despite this, without breaking step, Oxford-AstraZeneca continued the trial.[7] Needless to say, rushing the development of vaccines, which necessitates cutting corners by Big Pharma corporations with a track record of deception and outright criminal conduct, is literally playing Russian Roulette with human health.[8]

For democratic rights

The Covid vaccine nightmare may become a reality – and it may be mandatory. The sheer absurdity of forcing people to be injected with a vaccine that is probably useless at its claimed intention should be obvious. Add to this the possibility of injury and death that may result, and the legal indemnity of the Big Pharma producers under any circumstance – and the farce becomes diabolical. Basic democratic rights state that all people should consent to any medical treatment at any time. Unfortunately, basic democratic rights have been the first casualty of the coronavirus fear pandemic, and working people are going to have to fight to win them all over again.

“Covid-19” is in practice a civil war launched by the billionaire class against working and oppressed people. In this sense, a Covid-19 vaccine is neither scientific nor medical, but ideological and political. A Covid vaccine may well be used for surveillance, and evidence of vaccination may be required to travel, to use public transport, or even to gain employment. The ruling class is deliberately fostering and fomenting conflict between the Covid believers and Covid skeptics, between lockdown fanatics and lockdown resisters. The class lines are now crystal clear – for Covid and with imperialism, or against Covid and with the resistance.

Imperialism has employed rabid and willing assistants – some paid, some unpaid. Big Tech, Big Pharma, Union officials, liberals, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, Hollywood, Extinction Rebellion, and left parties who unironically claim to be “socialist” – all now stand on the wrong side of history. Unfortunately, they are joined by the governments of the non-imperialist bloc (Russia, China, Iran, DPRK, Vietnam, Cuba etc.), who have likewise betrayed their own working class by entertaining Covid and even enforcing their own lockdowns. The Covid resistance, on the other hand, stands on the side of hope, progress, and the survival of human civilisation. Forced vaccines, lockdowns, facemasks, social-distancing – to say nothing of the millions of job cuts and the virtual abolition of democratic and civil rights – will not end until this particular form of fascism is overthrown. Real socialists must be a part of the Covid resistance, despite the heterogeneity of political forces involved. The stakes are too high to be concerned about unlikely alliances. NO FORCED VACCINE! FOR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS!

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

[1] https://redfireonline.com/2020/06/06/covid-19-the-corruption-of-science/ (21-11-2020)

[2] COVID19 – Evidence Of Global Fraud – OffGuardian (off-guardian.org) (21-11-2020)

[3] The scam has been confirmed – Dsalud November 2020.pages (philosophers-stone.info) (21-11-2020)

[4] Project leader: Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine trial has 50% chance of success – Telegraph | Reuters (21-11-2020)

[5] The Rocky and Potentially Costly Road to a SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine — Health & Wellness — Sott.net (21-11-2020)

[6] Coronavirus Vaccine: Johnson & Johnson Pauses Trials over Participant’s ‘Unexplained Illness’ | National Review (21-11-2020)

[7] UK scientists confirm efficacy of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, day after one volunteer reported dead in Brazil — RT World News (21-11-2020)

[8] Hazardous to Human Health Vaccines – Stephen Lendman (21-11-2020)

US Elections: Left-Wing or Right-Wing Coup?

Pro and anti Trump demonstrators clash in Berkeley, USA. Image from dailymail.co.uk 

25-10-2020: The 2020 US Presidential Elections could well be the catalyst for more political violence, and some say a civil war. On the surface, it appears that both the “left” and the “right” are accusing each other of instigating mayhem. Yet if this year has demonstrated anything, it is that the so-called “left”, via Black Lives Matter (BLM), Antifa and the lockdown left (parties and groups which claim to be socialist while giving full backing to capitalist state enforcement of inhumane “Covid” lockdowns) are overwhelmingly the initiators and the perpetrators of verbal and/or physical violence against those who may have a different opinion to their own. They have been whipped into such a frenzy, that many of them do not now hesitate to use the threat of verbal or physical violence against anyone they perceive has differing political views, let alone opposing views. Unfortunately, it does appear as though BLM/Antifa/lockdown left are being prepped to unleash mass rioting, looting and chaos should US President Donald Trump and the Republicans win the election on November 3.

Political switch

The “right”, on the other hand, are only becoming increasingly more prepared to defend themselves and their community against the threat or actuality of violence from the “left”. This is only part of a response to riotous BLM/Antifa/lockdown left behaviour such as launching nightly raids on the Oregon Courthouse in Portland[1], vandalizing (or tearing down) statues of Abraham Lincoln,[2] and even desecrating a statue of Mahatma Gandhi.[3] There is no denying that Lincoln and Gandhi had their political contradictions, but Lincoln helped end slavery in the US, and Gandhi helped India win its independence from colonial British rule. This is lost on BLM/Antifa/lockdown left, whose extreme focus on the need to overcome racism has virtually turned into its opposite.

BLM, (that is, the organisation, rather than the movement), at least in 2020, is a defacto campaigning arm of the US Democrats. This is not only because donations to BLM were exposed as being funneled to the Democrats via “ActBlue”.[4] Their political agenda is transparently pro-Democrat, even if they try to deny it. In fact, BLM has been rolled out not just to campaign against Trump and the Republicans in an election year, but also as shock troops to reinforce the “Covid-19” attack on the working class on behalf of big capital.[5] Antifa and the lockdown left then work as back-up for BLM, providing them with “progressive” cover even as they riot, burn and loot their way across the US. These violent outbursts – which have the aim of electing Joe Biden to the White House – are then interpreted by whole swathes of the working class as the antics of the “left”. It drives some workers right into the hands of Trump and the Republicans, and almost permanently tarnishes the very mention of socialism and/or progressive politics.

BLM/Antifa/lockdown left continue to focus on campaigning against “racism” for two main reasons. Firstly, extreme identity politics (the prioritisation of gender, ethnic background, sexual preference etc., over and above the critical class divide) is one result of the liberalism of the so-called left. To actually be a real left, they would have to abandon identity politics and focus on uniting the working class against the assault from finance capital. In 2020, this assault has taken the form of a pseudo-pandemic. The Covid-19 plot has been used as a cover for the throwing of millions of workers into unemployment and the accompanying extreme levels of political repression.[6] BLM/Antifa/lockdown left, on the other hand, remain true believers that the world supposedly faces a deadly plague of biblical proportions. This leads to the second reason: BLM/Antifa/lockdown left campaign against “racism” in order to cover up their role as police auxiliaries of lockdown terror. That is, by campaigning on an issue previously associated with progressive politics (anti-racism), they obscure their actions in support of the lockdowns, and by extension, their ultimate backing of the capitalism they rhetorically oppose.

Anti-racism?

The claims of BLM/Antifa/lockdown left that they are carrying out a struggle for racial justice are disingenuous. The civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s was worlds away from their actions today. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, in their day, did not have anything like the corporate backing that BLM enjoy in 2020. The left cannot seriously expect the working class to join a movement which has the financial endorsement of some of the largest capitalist corporations on Earth. Corporations which are a part of this alleged “anti-racist” movement include: Amazon, Gatorade, Microsoft, Airbnb, Unilever, Nabisco, Dropbox and Fitbit.[7] A cause which has such unashamed backing of several billion dollar corporations cannot by definition contain a shred of pro-working class politics. In and of itself, the struggle against racism is legitimate and, in many cases, necessary. However, anti-racism can only contain progressive politics if it is integrated into the struggle of the working class against the rule of the banks and the stock market. A movement which attempts to unite all those who rhetorically oppose racism, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, and just about every bought and paid for politician, is plainly not interested in the liberation of workers and the oppressed.

Regardless of their intentions, BLM/Antifa/lockdown left are being used as cannon fodder to remove President Trump from the White House, by fair means or foul. While Trump and the Republicans are no friends of the working class per se, a Biden/Harris Democratic administration after November 3 could potentially be a far larger setback for working people, and would not even be a win for “Black Lives Matter”. For one thing, Joe Biden is an arch segregationist[8], and Kamala Harris willingly enforced the sending of African Americans to prison during her 27 year former role as a cop prosecutor.[9] The class structure of the US, which consigns at least 40 million of its people (black and white) to abject poverty, would not be altered in the slightest way. The marginalisation and deportation of migrants from decidedly non-white and under-developed countries – one real source of racism – may even get worse with the Democrats in the White House. It remains the case that the previous Democratic administration of Barack Obama deported more people from the shores of the US than the Donald Trump administration in its first term.[10]

Just who is planning a coup?

While working people should not be absolutely bound to the outcomes of bourgeois elections, socialists cannot currently ask workers to entirely disregard the results. Unless we are approaching a situation of dual power between something like elected workers’ councils and a capitalist parliament, the left will not be able to win workers to their cause if they enact riots when a “conservative” candidate wins office. Unfortunately, some on the left seem to be preparing their members and periphery to do just that. In the US, the Workers World Party (WWP) latched onto a resolution passed by the Rochester Labour Council which called for the AFL-CIO to call a general strike if Donald Trump refuses to leave office.[11] They wield the slogan “If Trump won’t quit, Shut It Down!”. Ominously, there is no mention of calling off such action if Trump and the Republicans actually win the Presidential election itself. Are they planning to strike and shut the country down only if the Democrats lose?

We know that ultra-reactionary Democrat and former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has stated that Joe Biden “should not concede the election under any circumstances”.[12] Is this a not-so-subtle call on the Democrats (and, by extension, BLM/Antifa/lockdown left) to simply ignore the results of the election if they do not win? It is not outlandish to imagine that the Democrats and even “Never Trumper” Republicans are colluding to prevent Trump from continuing the presidency even if he wins convincingly. In fact, there is even a body set up which appears to plan for a “transition” without Trump. The Transition Integrity Project (TIP) is co-founded by a Rosa Brooks, a former Pentagon advisor and the Hilary Clinton state department under the former Obama administration. She was also a previous leading member of the Open Society Foundations (OSF), the body established by controversial billionaire George Soros. Zoe Hudson, a director of TIP, is likewise a former top figure of the OSF.[13]

The OSF has notoriously been heavily involved in orchestrating “colour revolutions” in the former socialist-type states of the former USSR, and others. Examples include the Bulldozer Revolution in Serbia in 2000, the Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004, and the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyrzstan in 2005.[14] The process involves funding and often creating an opposition, rallying people against a “dictator”, and then using international pressure from liberals and imperialist governments to force a leader to step down. Needless to say, the installation of capitalist “liberal democracy” in the former deformed workers states of the USSR and Eastern Europe has in practice been a disaster for working people. It now appears that the OSF, the Democrats and even some Republicans are determined to re-start the colour revolution playbook at home. The OSF itself even admits to recently funneling $220 million to “Building Power in Black Communities”.[15] It is barely conceivable that at least some of this funding will not find its way into BLM. To be sure, there would be many who are drawn into BLM/Antifa/lockdown left actions who do not receive a cent from anyone, and who are misled into believing they are “fighting racism”, or even “fighting capitalism”. However, unless they defy the politics of BLM/OSF, they are being tragically deceived.

Pseudo-Pandemic the critical class issue

Irrespective of the general right-wing politics of Donald Trump, ironically he remains a very partial ally of workers on the main issue – the ruling class attack under the guise of Covid-19. Trump has resisted some of the egregious lockdown measures demanded by big capital, and most enthusiastically carried out by the Democrats when in a position to do so. Even though Trump has gone along with the insane rush to fast track what will almost certainly be an ineffectual Covid-19 vaccine, he has made comments that Biden is going to “lock you down”. And it is Biden, not Trump, who is threatening US workers with a “national mask mandate” if elected to office.[16] It barely needs to be said, at this stage, that facemasks are useless at preventing transmission of respiratory viruses, and are in fact quite dangerous in a psychological[17] and physiological[18] sense. Facemasks, hand sanitiser and social distancing are measures which are meant to obscure the political repression that the ruling class is enforcing on workers. The lockdowns and house arrest of workers are used to prevent resistance to the largest assault – the termination of millions from their employment.

This is why the defeat of the fear pandemic and the reversal of its abolition of basic democratic and civil rights is crucial. The working class will not be able to defend itself against the historically unprecedented attack inflicted on them unless and until all of its logic defying rules and restrictions are junked, from facemasks to the freedom to travel. Currently, the anti-lockdown movement is the only resistance to the onslaught of pandemic lies, and is the only factor preventing Western governments from triggering harsher and longer lockdowns. In some places such as Melbourne, the bravery of the anti-lockdown protestors eventually ended most of the severe restrictions. “Second wave” lockdown measures have been reimposed in Ireland – but even there anti-lockdown protestors continue to mobilise.[19]

Meanwhile, the notion of Trump launching a “fascist coup” to remain in power is little more than liberalism imploring workers to vote for the lesser evil.[20] The problem, though, is that in the 21st century, often the “social-democratic” bourgeois parties are more “evil”, or more right-wing, than the conservatives. The Biden/Harris team certainly fits this bill. While workers’ interests in the US are ultimately not served by the Republicans or the Democrats, workers may find themselves tactically allying with Trump supporters if the Democrats unleash BLM/Antifa/lockdown left riots after an unfavourable election result. This seemingly crazy situation may be yet more proof that liberalism is no longer progressive – if it ever was – and its bankruptcy pushes it towards lashing out with violence.

2020 has revealed itself as the year that capital waged arguably its most concentrated attack on working people in history, via a fake health scare. The good news is that a significant minority of workers have heroically resisted, and have vastly undermined bourgeois ideology by doing so. Marxists need to ensure that the anti-lockdown movement does not stop half-way, but continues on to eliminate the source of the ruling class onslaught – the anarchic and unplanned capitalist economies. The forging of internationally linked vanguard parties based on genuine Leninism is the key task for reversing lockdown terror, and guiding workers to erect states and governments of their own.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012

[1] https://www.rt.com/usa/494519-portland-protest-street-barricade-courthouse/ (24-10-2020)

[2] https://www.sott.net/article/435862-Abraham-Lincoln-statue-vandalised-during-Londons-BLM-protests (24-10-2020)

[3] https://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2020/jun/04/gandhi-statue-outside-indian-embassy-in-washington-desecrated-during-blacklivesmatters-protests-2152070.html (24-10-2020)

[4] https://redstate.com/elizabeth-vaughn/2020/06/12/854023-n241617 (24-10-2020)

[5] https://redfireonline.com/2020/06/21/black-lives-matter-friend-or-foe/ (24-10-2020)

[6] https://redfireonline.com/2020/04/18/covid-19-savage-assault-under-the-guise-of-health/ (24-10-2020)

[7] https://www.dailysignal.com/2020/07/07/these-18-corporations-gave-money-to-black-lives-matter-group/ (24-10-2020)

[8] https://gellerreport.com/2020/06/biden-segregation-sponsor.html/ (24-10-2020)

[9] https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2019-10-24/kamala-harris-california-crime (24-10-2020)

[10] https://thehill.com/latino/470900-deportations-lower-under-trump-than-obama-report (24-10-2020)

[11] https://www.workers.org/2020/10/51942/ (25-10-2020)

[12] https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/hillary-clinton-says-biden-should-not-concede-2020-election-under-n1238156 (25-10-2020)

[13] https://unlimitedhangout.com/2020/09/investigative-reports/bipartisan-washington-insiders-reveal-their-plan-for-chaos-if-trump-wins-the-election/ (25-10-2020)

[14] https://www.attac.hu/2017/06/george-soros-open-society-foundations-and-their-role-in-color-revolutions/ (25-10-2020)

[15] https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/newsroom/open-society-foundations-announce-220-million-for-building-power-in-black-communities (25-10-2020)

[16] https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/biden-would-mandate-wearing-a-mask-as-president/ar-BB160f56 (25-10-2020)

[17] https://thebolditalic.com/mask-induced-anxiety-is-real-82a26b2dc7ec (25-10-2020)

[18] https://healthandmoneynews.wordpress.com/2020/10/09/brain-damage-from-masks-cannot-be-reversed/ (25-10-2020)

[19] https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/further-anti-lockdown-protest-held-in-dublin-city-centre-1.4390608 (25-10-2020)

[20] https://www.mintpressnews.com/specter-of-trump-fascism-coup-haunting-us/270514/ (25-10-2020)

West Papua: Independence or Ethnic Conflict?

A bus which was set ablaze by Papuan “independence” supporters outside the Manokwari Parliament building in August 2019. Image from sbs.com.au

West Papua: Independence or Ethnic Conflict? 

23-09-2020: One year ago, dangerous riots led by West Papuan supporters of “independence” spread across Indonesia. The trigger was said to be racist insults being hurled by Indonesian soldiers at Papuan students studying at a university in East Java. The governor of East Java apologised for the insults at the time, stating that these are not the views of the people in general. Even though racist insults are of course unacceptable, one can understand the Indonesian soldiers being incensed at a report on social media of a defaced Indonesian flag at the dormitories where the Papuan students were staying – at the very time of the marking of Indonesia’s Independence Day of August 17.[1] This is especially the case if the Papuan students are studying at a Javan University courtesy of the Indonesian government.

In response Papuan independence supporters (who in reality are separatists) went on several rampages throughout the country. Parliament buildings were set ablaze, vehicles were set on fire, power poles were torn down, a market in FakFak was torched, an airport was vandalised and shops were looted.[2] Following this violence, two months later armed Papuan separatist militia launched a vicious attack on the town of Wamena, in which 30 people perished, with 22 of them being Indonesian transmigrants.[3] The armed Papuans targeted Indonesian transmigrant workers such as motorcycle taxi drivers and hospitality staff. Yet it appears that some Papuans who do not support separatist independence were also caught in the crossfire of the reckless intent of the homicidal Papuan militia. Others who wish to live in peace with their Indonesian counterparts tried to make it to the airport in an effort to flee for their lives.

Left parties fall for the three-card trick

As we have previously reported,[4] almost all Australian and many international left parties sign up to the basic fraud of “Free West Papua”. Most left parties fall for a three-card trick. All they see is 1. An indigenous people. 2. Oppression/occupation by a colonial power, which means 3. A struggle for “freedom”. This is such a distortion of reality it is difficult to know where to start. For one thing, socialists should not automatically throw their weight behind a political movement comprised of an indigenous people just because they are the original inhabitants. Marxists always need to make a basic assessment of the aims, politics and tactics of any movement, and determine whether it is either a cause of elementary justice OR a progressive step forward for working people internationally, before beginning to champion it. Left parties should not simply jump on bandwagons when they hear someone agitating for “freedom”.

For example, while racism against African-Americans in the US is wrong, it does not follow that the Black Lives Matter (BLM) organisation or movement in the US necessarily has progressive politics. In fact, the recent rioting, looting and intimidation which BLM has carried out ostensibly in response to police violence cannot be an effective answer, let alone lead to equality between Americans of whichever colour. The current iteration of BLM is being used, whether consciously or not, to bolster the Democratic party in the run-up to the Presidential election. It is being used in an attempt to prevent Donald Trump and the Republicans from being re-elected in November, but with politics that are in many ways more right-wing than the Trump presidency.[5] Democratic party Presidential Nominee Joe Biden has a history of strongly backing segregation, and Vice Presidential Nominee Kamala Harris is a former police prosecutor with a record of unjustly incarcerating African-Americans! BLM is also being used to further the “Covid-19” assault on working people, to say nothing of the fact that BLM is totally silent about the imperialist wars being waged on all kinds of people of colour by the Anglo/US/EU Empire. BLM is the ultimate example of how identity politics serves ends which are the opposite of those that it claims to stand for.

In a similar way, the separatist violence – often waged against innocent Indonesians – of the Papuan independence “fighters” is the culmination of what could be described as Papuan identity politics. They appear to be aware that such a movement could gain backing from major imperialist powers, with some Papuan separatists using the slogan “Papuan Lives Matter” following the response to the loss of George Floyd in Minnesota earlier this year.[6]  The Socialist Alliance, a left party which fuels Papuan separatism, interviewed Veronica Koman, who fled to Australia to avoid an arrest warrant being issued for her in Indonesia for inciting the race riots in 2019. She commented that the “uprising” contributed to increased Papuan “negritude” – a feeling of pride in being black, in their ethnicity and identity.[7]  This rather gives the game away – Papuan separatism is based on ethnic identity, and the armed Papuan separatists are more than prepared to use ethnic violence to achieve their ends.

Misapplication of Leninism

Needless to say, a movement which uses separatist ethnic violence as a key component CANNOT be backed by anyone on the left, let alone Marxists. In fact, intimidation and occasional murder is also used by armed Papuan militias even against other Papuans who prefer to live in peace with their Indonesian neighbours. So, in effect, Papuan separatism is not at all based on allegedly freeing Melanesians from the supposed repression of Austronesians (the majority ethnicity of Indonesia). Rather, it is about the promotion of a fraudulent narrative of discrimination against Papuans, combined with political lobbying of the ruling classes of actual colonial and imperialist powers (Australia, the United Kingdom, Holland etc., and its controlled United Nations), using any tactics up to and including the use of armed terrorism against anyone who does not agree with separatist independence. Again, this approach scarcely makes for a wholesome political movement.

The Bolshevik-Leninist group (BL) are a new left organisation in Australia and have taken some laudable pro-working class positions in the time they have been established. They correctly criticise other sections of the reformist left (such as the afore-mentioned Socialist Alliance) for positions such as endorsing the imperialist war on Syria. Yet they then join with these same organisations by chiming in with the call for “independence” for West Papua (and also on the false Coronavirus “deadly plague” deception – a topic best broached elsewhere). To do so, they misapply the position of Russian revolutionary leader VI Lenin on the issue of Marxist support for national liberation struggles. It should be noted that other petty-bourgeois and bourgeois national movements totally distort Lenin for their own ends, and unfortunately BL do likewise.

In an article posted in June this year, BL correctly state that Marxists are opposed to all forms of nationalism in the process of struggling for international socialism.[8] They quote Lenin with his well-known statement that the national struggle of an oppressed nation against an oppressor nation has a general democratic content, and it is this content which Marxists “unconditionally support”. They go on to say that Marxists must recognise the right of nations to self-determination in its efforts to achieve the fullest possible equality between nations.[9] Yet there is one small problem with this contention – “West Papua” is not a nation according to Marxist criteria.

The pamphlet “Marxism and the National Question” was written in 1913 by JV Stalin but was edited line by line by Lenin. The first lines of the first chapter clearly state that “a nation is not racial or tribal, but a historically constituted community of people.”[10] In those times, the concept of ethnicity was not as prevalent as it is now. Yet it shows that any attempt to forge a West Papuan “nation” based on Papuan or Melanesian ethnicity, not to speak of Papuan or Melanesian tribes, directly contradicts the established Marxist position. And in practice the Marxist position on the national question is simply a means to work towards the ultimate surpassing of nations on the road to socialism.

Further, the pamphlet goes on to list the renowned four criteria for a nation to be recognised – to determine IF Marxists can in some circumstances, add their backing to a movement for self-determination. It lists: 1. A common language 2. A common territory 3. A common economic life or cohesion and 4. A common psychological make-up manifested as a common culture. It stresses that it is only when all four characteristics are present, a nation can be recognised. One or a couple of these characteristics is insufficient – they must have all four.[11]  And keep in mind that Marxists only recognise nations in order to take the national question off the agenda, so as to clear as many obstacles as possible to enable a working class struggle for socialism.

Common language?

If we take West Papua, we see that not only does it not meet all four criteria for a nation – it does not even meet one! Take language. The whole island of Papua (including Papua New Guinea – PNG) is one of the most linguistically diverse in the world. It contains around 852 languages, although 12 of them have no known living speakers.[12] Language is closely related to culture, and it is estimated that there are over 1000 different Papuan cultures.[13] Even the Free West Papua campaign itself – which is not of course bound to socialism – openly states that “West Papua is home to over 250 diverse tribes, all speaking their own unique languages with unique cultures (emphasis added).”[14] Is BL aware of this? In fact, to enable the members of over 250 tribes to converse with each other, the language they use is Bahasa Indonesian! This is where the movement for separatist independence enters into impracticality, if not farce. What would be the point of separating entirely from Indonesia (if that was possible or desirable), “liberating” oneself from the supposedly oppressive and tyrannical Indonesian colonisers, only to constitute a geographical boundary in which the lingua franca is Bahasa Indonesian?

Common territory?

With regard to a common territory, the entire island of Papua may be common, but for various historical reasons, the eastern half of Papua is now the nominally independent nation of Papua New Guinea. If the “Free West Papua” campaign was to achieve its objective of separatist independence, what would be the reason for maintaining two Papuas – West Papua and Papua New Guinea? If there was a successful movement (hypothetically) for West Papuan independence, wouldn’t there be a natural pressure to “liberate” Papua New Guinea – a “Papua for all Papuans” ?

Here is where the politics of “Free West Papua” are revealed. The Free West Papua campaign consciously appeals to imperialist governments directly, especially to Australia, but also via the UN. Despite PNG having attained independence from Australia in 1975, the reality of imperialism is that Australia is still the overseer. If the Papuan separatists aimed to also “free” PNG, it would meet with universal opposition from the Australian ruling class. So the Papuan separatists are not prepared to do this – they prefer to attempt a manoeuvre to lever Australian ruling class backing for West Papua against Indonesia, in a similar way to Australian government “backing” for East Timorese independence after 1999. As events later showed, Australian government “support” for East Timorese independence was also colonialist, with Australia literally stealing oil and gas reserves clearly belonging to the new nation,[15] and being exposed as spying on East Timorese representatives during 2013 negotiations over the division of natural resources.[16]

Common economy?

There is indeed a common economy in “West Papua”, but it is not the one of the allegedly oppressed nation. The only real economy operating in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua is, not surprisingly, the Indonesian economy. For better or worse, the Indonesian government and Indonesian businesses carry out the only real economic activity in all of West Papua. Granted, there is a tendency for the public and private sectors in West Papua to be largely staffed by Indonesian transmigrants. However, this is an unavoidable result of the fact that Indonesian transmigrants are generally the ones who have had the benefit of education and/or a history of skilled administration or commercial experience. This would only be a problem if it could be established – without a doubt – that Papuans were systematically and deliberately excluded from opportunities to work in such industries.

However, the Special Autonomy Law for West Papua enacted by the Indonesian government in 2001 contains sections which mandates priority employment for indigenous West Papuans in the regional civil service, as well as special quotas for the employment of indigenous West Papuans.[17] The positions of Governor and Deputy Governor of Papua and West Papau are reserved for indigenous Papuans. Whether the special quotas for the employment of indigenous Papuans are always fulfilled in practice is a question to be investigated. Yet there cannot be a serious claim that Papuans are excluded or deliberately discouraged from public sector employment. On the contrary, there appear to be government efforts to create jobs for indigenous Papuans.

As Marxists BL would be aware of Lenin’s famous quip that socialism equals “Soviets plus electrification”. Of course, Soviets or workers’ councils are a fair way off, but how about the supply of electricity to West Papua? Electricity supply would, at least, begin to lead to a raising of living standards of West Papuans, not to speak of enabling a connection to commerce, and thus development. West Papua is largely divided between the coastal cities, where the overwhelming majority of economic activity takes place, and the rural interior, which largely operates on subsistence farming. In an attempt to address this imbalance, the Indonesian state owned electricity firm PLN last year announced its intention to connect 1123 West Papuan villages to the grid, as part of its aim to connect 100% of Indonesia by 2020.[18] Amongst other things, this would enable some indigenous Papuans to access bank accounts for the first time. We doubt that BL would oppose the electrification of West Papua in the name of “independence”.

Common culture?

In Papua there is a saying “a different culture for every village”. The island of Papua, and the land referred to as West Papua is extraordinarily rich in cultures – but it is not a common culture. Common culture is the key as far as Marxist recognition of nationality is concerned. Yet West Papua is home to at least 250 different tribes, each with their own specific cultures, customs, languages and more.[19] During Dutch colonialism, some of these tribes were relocated by force, and some of them are nomadic. BL should be aware that tribal cultures on their own, are notoriously difficult to unite into a common entity. Arguably one of the reasons for ongoing conflict and violence in Papua New Guinea is inter-tribal conflict. On the other hand, differing ethnic and national cultures can be reasonably integrated and united in a developed nation such as Australia or the USA. This is because the majority of people are working class, and the very process of working side by side someone requires co-operation and harmony. Without that base, divisions such as tribal conflict cannot be overcome.

To an extent, BL do recognise, and call for, the unity of West Papuan and Indonesian workers. They acknowledge that some Papuan nationalists are aggrieved at what they perceive to be the Indonesian government moving more Indonesian workers into Papua to solidify backing for Indonesian nationalism. They recognise that setting up Papuan workers against Indonesian workers is counter-productive, and that “closer collaboration” between the two should be the aim.[20] We would agree. But the largest barrier to Indonesian and West Papuan working class unity is the pushing of separatist independence. What material interest do Indonesian workers have in supporting separatist independence for West Papua – if they are to be excluded?  Not without reason, many Indonesian workers see West Papuan independence as being anti-Indonesian – especially if the violent tactics of the armed militia are anything to go by.

In their article, BL point to the 2011 strike at the Grasberg mine as an example of joint Indonesian and West Papuan worker co-operation in labour struggles.[21] No doubt there are any number of labour issues at a mine operated by an overseas owned multi-national. However, even during this labour unrest, the question of separatism was right in the middle of it. Direct information is difficult to come by, but there are reports that during this unrest, separatist forces were intimidating Union leaders, even while they were conducting a strike for higher wages.[22] What is more, there are other reports that work had to cease at the mine not due to the strike, but due to a pipeline being sabotaged by separatists.[23] Workers striking for higher wages and salaries only would hardly sabotage the workplace which was the basis for their employment.

Genocide?

BL state that “Since Indonesian takeover, hundreds of thousands of Papuans have been killed in a brutal occupation.”[24] BL repeat the claims of the “Free West Papua” movement that up to 500 000 Papuans have been killed by Indonesian armed forces over 50 years.[25] This is the highest “genocide” figure claimed, and it is usually done on the context of demanding the presence of an international peacekeeping force – read: imperialist intervention. If this was the case, there may be a case for urgent action. There is one small problem though: the Papuan population of West Papua has doubled in the last 50 years. If this has taken place within just two and a half generations (if a generation is 20 years), no “genocide” has occurred at all.

According to a 1971 census, the Papuan population of what is now referred to by separatists as West Papua was approximately 900 000 in 1971. By the time of the 2010 census, the Papuan population was around 1.7 million, and is estimated to have now surpassed 1.8 million.[26] There is room for debate on the exact numbers, the efficiency of census taking over different time periods and so on. Yet the trend is clear – Papuans have in fact thrived while being a part of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia. Of course, there are many political issues that need to be addressed, such as poverty and relative underdevelopment – although some of this can be put down to the at times impenetrable jungle terrain of the Papuan highlands.

One reason why Papuans have in fact expanded their population is that the Indonesian government has, to at least some extent, recognised the development gap between West Papua and other regions of Indonesia and make some effort to overcome it. This is codified in the law which the Indonesian parliament passed in 2001, granting Special Autonomy to the Papuan provinces. In addition, Article 56 of this law enables all Papuan students to receive education up to High School at the “lowest possible cost to the community”. And Article 59 of this law stipulates that all Papuans shall be provided with health care services with the “lowest charge to the community”.[27] No wonder their numbers are expanding. What is more, Australian working people do not even have this – their health care and education costs are rising as they are both being increasingly privatised! It is counter-intuitive to claim that the same government providing you with low-cost health care and education – for all residents, including Papuans – is also inflicting a “genocide”.

There is no “genocide in West Papua”. There is no “national liberation” struggle in West Papua either. There is a campaign of lies, deception and fraud which masquerades as a movement for “freedom”. A minority of Papuans seek to separate from Indonesia, no matter what the human or economic cost. A smaller minority of Papuans are prepared to take up arms and engage in ethnic conflict with other ethnicities which make up the state of Indonesia – up to and including violent terrorism. To interpret this scenario as something which is deserving of socialist support, not to speak of claiming the posthumous endorsement of Marx or Lenin for what is essentially ethnic conflict, is to expose oneself before facts and evidence. Genuine socialists do not seek to inflame ethnic tensions but seek to overcome them through joint struggle for a common class cause. The overall task is the forging of workers’ vanguard parties throughout Papua, Indonesia, Australia and internationally to help end ethnic and national tensions on the road to a socialist order.

 

WORKERS   LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012

 

[1] https://redfireonline.com/2019/09/04/west-papua-separatists-incite-violence/ (19-09-2020)

[2] Ibid, 1.

[3] https://redfireonline.com/2019/10/05/wamena-papuan-militia-terrorise-civilians/ (19-09-2020)

[4] https://redfireonline.com/2020/01/12/veronica-koman-human-rights-fraud/ (19-09-2020)

[5] https://redfireonline.com/2020/06/21/black-lives-matter-friend-or-foe/ (19-09-2020)

[6] https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-07-02/papuan-lives-matter (19-09-2020)

[7] https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/veronica-koman-war-west-papua-escalating (19-09-2020)

[8] http://bolshevik-leninist.org/independence-for-west-papua/ (20-09-2020)

[9] ibid, 7.

[10] https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1913/03a.htm#s1 (20-09-2020)

[11] ibid, 9.

[12] https://www.daytranslations.com/blog/papua-new-guinea-tongue/ (20-09-2020)

[13] https://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/36503/1/Ethnicity%20Democracy%20and%20Development%20in%20PNG.pdf (20-09-2020)

[14] https://www.freewestpapua.org/info/about-west-papua/ (20-09-2020)

[15] https://kontinentalist.com/stories/australia-east-timor-a-tale-of-oil-and-exploitation (20-09-2020)

[16] https://theconversation.com/after-a-border-dispute-and-spying-scandal-can-australia-and-timor-leste-be-good-neighbours-121553 (20-09-2020)

[17] https://westpapuaupdate.com/strategic-positions-employment-west-papuans/ (20-09-2020)

[18] https://papuastory.wordpress.com/2019/10/24/electrification-for-1123-villages-in-papua-west-papua/ (23-09-2020)

[19] https://westpapuaupdate.com/understanding-diverse-culture-west-papua/ (23-09-2020)

[20] ibid, 7.

[21] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/oct/10/indonesian-forces-striking-mine-workers#maincontent (23-09-2020)

[22] https://www.fidh.org/en/region/asia/indonesia/Grasberg-mine-PT-Freeport (23-09-2020)

[23] https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/10/18/freeport-halts-work-amid-sabotage-separatist-pleas.html (23-09-2020)

[24] ibid, 7.

[25] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/03/west-papua-un-must-supervise-vote-on-independence-says-coalition (23-09-2020)

[26] https://www.globalresearch.ca/indonesias-west-papua-settlers-dominate-coastal-regions-highlands-still-overwhelmingly-papuan/5569676 (23-09-2020)

[27] https://www.refworld.org/docid/46af542e2.html (23-09-2020)

Refuse and Resist Lockdown Terror!

Defiant anti-lockdown “protests” in Melbourne. Image from the Daily Mail

Refuse and Resist Lockdown Terror!

05-09-2020: It needs to be repeated – this was never about a virus.[1] If anyone has lingering doubts as to what the Covid-19 “pandemic” is really about, one need only view the desperate resistance of the brave young men in Melbourne who are risking arrest, prosecution by the state and their potential futures to defy the inhuman lockdowns which have virtually abolished civil rights won over centuries of struggle. In one instance, the group of mainly young men wore Guy Fawkes masks – creatively observing scientifically unjustifiable mandatory facemask orders while protesting against them. In unimaginable scenes, police chased down some of the men, detaining and arresting them – even as they formally abide by the absurd one hour of exercise per day rule, by walking around their neighbourhoods in spaced groups.[2] These heroic young men are going to great risk to provide a lead to the anti-lockdown movement, and helping to liberate society from a totalitarianism that many never expected to see in their lifetimes.

Covid-19 is a class attack

Now that the full horror of the extreme lockdowns in Melbourne is known, there is barely anyone who will raise their head to defend them – even amongst the most craven pro-government lackeys. The liberal left still adheres to the fantasy of a supposed universal danger, yet even they mumble about the heightened danger of lockdown-induced domestic violence and suicides. Sycophantic Union officials fully back the government even as it inflicts pain and suffering on their own members and the working class generally. The abandonment of working people by Union officials and the so-called “left” has resulted in the lead being taken by the young men defying lockdowns in daily walks in Melbourne. This courageous and instinctive resistance to lockdown terror is certainly needed and will play a significant role in future struggles. Yet due to the fact that Covid-19 is being used as a cover for an assault on the working-class[3], what the anti-lockdown movement requires is political leadership.

It can scarcely be denied that lockdown terror is a form of fascism – albeit one that differs in significant ways from 20th century fascism. In the US, UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, the “New Normal” fascism is politically led by the mainstream capitalist parties and is strongly backed by ostensible “left” parties. It can thus appear that New Normal fascism is an example of the “left” in power. On this (mistaken) basis, some in the anti-lockdown movement view the extreme repression of the lockdowns as a form of “socialism” or “communism” – and even claim that Dictator Dan Andrews, other state Labor premiers, NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and even Australian PM Scott Morrison are therefore “socialists” or “communists”. This is a striking misconception, but it is one that is unfortunately fueled by the fact that the nationalist caste leading the People’s Republic of China (PRC) imposed their own lockdowns, and played up to the fake “pandemic” narrative.[4]

“New Normal” is capitalism in decline

New Normal or lockdown fascism is delivered by capitalist imperialism, NOT by any form of socialism or “communism”. Capitalist ruling classes resort to fascism when the existing forms of supposed liberalism become barriers to the amount and extent of repression “needed” to annihilate working-class political opposition to their rule. While millions of workers lose their jobs, or have their wages and conditions frozen under lockdowns, finance capital expands the wealth of the billionaires.[5] Under “normal” conditions, there would be some fightback against millions of job losses, and the immense downward pressure on the price of labour-power, i.e., wages. Hence the lockdowns, mandatory facemask orders, social-distancing and New Normal fascism. Ditto for the concomitant and invasive surveillance of contact tracing, proposed mandatory vaccinations and border shutdowns.

In the same way in which 20th Century fascism could not be effectively combatted without wholesale political opposition to the capitalism from which it spawned, New Normal or lockdown fascism in the 21st Century cannot be seriously countered without working-class political opposition to the declining capitalism of the Anglo/US/EU Empire. Regardless of the current political make-up of the anti-lockdown movement, it represents foremost opposition to the nightmarish future of capitalist rule. Therefore, despite the political or non-political viewpoints of its component parts, the anti-lockdown movement is intrinsically anti-fascist and anti-capitalist. It is a contradiction born of the times, but this remains the case even if some of its leading elements consider themselves to be in a battle against “socialism”.

The anti-lockdown movement is gathering steam internationally, and Australia needs to emulate the hundreds of thousands who have mobilised recently in Germany, the UK, Ireland and New Zealand. It is possible that with an amalgamated movement which is prepared to mobilise again and again, government lockdowns could be rolled back. For this to come to pass, however, all wings of the anti-lockdown movement need to form a united front for common action. Currently the anti-lockdown movement is comprised of several detachments. Without pigeon-holing any individual, there is a moderate wing which favours lobbying parliamentarians, a President Trump supporting wing which includes QAnon followers, a wing concerned about forced vaccinations and the potential effects of 5G telecommunications infrastructure, and a wing rightly concerned about civil liberties and privacy.

Revolutionaries are faced with the dual task of uniting all wings of the anti-lockdown movement, while simultaneously seeking to win the most pro-working class elements over to the side of socialism – despite prevalent suspicion as to its historical and current forms. Marxists must also be alert to the possibility of exploiting the differences amongst the ruling class, with some parts pushing for a one or two year lockdown, and others pushing to re-open the economy. While lockdowns may be partially lifted without systemic change, the “Great Reset” with its attendant political repression will not be defeated without the building of a workers’ party which fights for a workers’ government.

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66   NUNDAH  QLD  4012

 

[1] https://www.sott.net/article/436327-Everything-You-Think-You-Know-About-Coronavirus (31-08-2020)

[2] https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/three-men-arrested-after-broadmeadows-anti-lockdown-protest-20200830-p55qr0.html (31-08-2020)

[3] https://redfireonline.com/2020/04/18/covid-19-savage-assault-under-the-guise-of-health/ (31-08-2020)

[4] https://redfireonline.com/2020/06/06/covid-19-the-corruption-of-science/ (31-08-2020)

[5] https://www.mintpressnews.com/super-rich-see-wealth-rise-282-billion-three-weeks-coronavirus/267027/ (31-08-2020)

Freedom Day: All Out on September 5!

The anti-lockdown movement will mobilise on September 5 for Freedom Day. Image from http://www.news.com.au

Freedom Day: All Out on September 5!

27-08-2020: When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty. This age-old axiom has never been more relevant than to the barbarous enforcement of lockdown fascism in 2020. Scientifically groundless lockdowns, the deliberate but needless sacking of millions of workers, and state and national border shutdowns form just part of the totalitarian nightmare facing working people in Australia, the US, Europe – the supposedly advanced countries of the West. The house arrest of entirely healthy people, on pain of prosecution by the police and/or the armed forces, quite obviously has nothing to do with a respiratory virus which MAY represent some concern for the well-being of the elderly and the immune compromised. Yet the enforced separation and isolation of healthy men, women and children through lockdowns is precisely what creates the most danger for the elderly and immune compromised – via the physical prevention of natural or herd immunity. The brave few scientists who have spoken out name the “human catastrophe” of lockdowns and quarantine.[1]

Covid-19 code for war

For ten years, the dark forces of capitalist imperialism have been doing their utmost to start a new World War against Russia and China. The wholesale destruction of living capital (working people) and dead capital and the rebuild afterwards is arguably the only scenario which can rebuild the dire crisis of the profit system, based on private ownership of the means of production – yet using social labour which is appropriated for private gain. The Anglo/US/EU Empire has thus far been thankfully blocked from launching such a global conflagration by the skillful use of both diplomacy and occasional military action by Russia, to a lesser extent China, and by non-imperialist allies such as Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Venezuela, the DPRK, Zimbabwe, Belarus and so on. Unable to precipitate an international war, the ruling classes of the West instead unleashed a devastating war on “their own” workers. To gain the backing of the liberal left[2], and to leave workers without leadership, this war was discharged under the false guise of a “pandemic”. The “global health emergency” is anything but.[3]

The Australian state of Victoria, under Labor Party Dictator Dan Andrews, is unfortunately a laboratory for the most extreme venture of big capital’s descent into lockdown fascism. Nightly curfews, confining people to their homes, mandatory facemasks, restricted exercise times, and 5 kilometre travel restrictions are just some of the repressive measures implemented by the state. Most civil rights have been abolished, with police now able to enter any premises without permission or a warrant. Elementary democratic rights – always tenuous under the profit system – have been all but removed without explanation. Daily propaganda about death numbers, devoid of any context whatsoever, saturate TV and online media. Daily threats of being injected with a mandatory vaccine – likely to be useless, and potentially causing harm – abound. The stifling oppression is intense, and is undeniably causing immense physical, psychological, economic and social suffering.

To resist is to be free

Despite the apparently grim scenario, workers should not despair. An optimistic outlook is gained if it is acknowledged that resistance to lockdown fascism is growing through many forms. Not everyone has been scared into submission. Not everyone simply obeys the logic-defying rules, which change by the hour. Not everyone swallows the gratuitous grim reaper scenario politicians and the corporate media pump out 24/7. Critical thinkers read, study, observe and analyse information which contradicts the official narrative – where it is not censored by Big Tech. Under lockdown conditions, people are separated from each other, with little chance to discuss and debate such issues. Physical separation largely prevents political opposition from organising – which points to the real reason for lockdowns.

This is why the “Freedom Day” demonstrations planned for September 5 are vital. Mass, public defiance of lockdowns and all of the political repression associated with Covid-19 (forced facemasks, forced vaccines, forced social-distancing) is a central component of the what will need to be the political defeat of the Western ruling classes and their war to save the staggering inequality generated by their system. Freedom Day actions are planned for Melbourne, and in many other centres around Australia, for September 5. Due to mass political censorship by Google, Facebook, Amazon etc., actual plans for the day cannot be circulated openly. Workers need to stand by and be ready to mobilise, as organisers plan to release some details in the 24 hours before September 5.

Due to the treasonous actions of Union officials and so-called left parties – who have been exposed as police auxiliaries – leadership of the anti-lockdown movement has fallen into the hands of elements who are not usually associated with working-class struggle. Regardless, what is urgently required is a united front of ALL sections of society that can see through lockdown mania – irrespective of their political ideas on other issues. This is likely to result in a combination of left and right, of nationalists and internationalists, of so-called “anti-vaxxers” and those concerned with 5G telecommunications infrastructure, of civil libertarians and followers of QAnon, of privacy and anti-war activists, and more. But the majority are likely to be those who simply have legitimate concerns about the vast expansion of state power, from its powers of surveillance up to the ability to forcibly quarantine those who quite rightly refuse to be tested and tracked and traced. The anti-lockdown movement is one framework where there can be a temporary alliance of otherwise opposing political viewpoints.

Revolutionaries must assist the anti-lockdown movement even despite the rejection of what is interpreted as “socialism” among some of its participants. Unfortunately, the governments of several non-imperialist and even workers’ states have played their own role in fanning pandemic hysteria and have even imposed their own lockdowns. Russia, China, Iran and Syria are examples. Marxists need to explain the need for defence of these states against US imperialism, while offering not a shred of political support to the governments of these countries which fruitlessly seek to co-exist with the US Empire. Resistance to inhuman lockdowns must be combined with resistance to imperialist war. A better world is on offer for those prepared to stand strong. ALL OUT ON SEPTEMBER 5!

WORKERS  LEAGUE

http://www.redfireonline.com

E:workersleague@redfireonline.com

PO  Box  66  NUNDAH  QLD  4012

[1] https://www.collective-evolution.com/2020/04/29/leading-scientist-claims-lockdown-quarantine-is-a-human-catastrophe-new-interview/ (26-08-2020)

[2] https://redfireonline.com/2020/08/25/the-labour-lieutenants-of-lockdown-terror/ (26-08-2020)

[3] https://jbhandleyblog.com/home/lockdownlunacy (26-08-2020)