Australia: Mass Resistance to Lockdown Hell

sydney freedom protest

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

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

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

This was never about a virus

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

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

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

What is the agenda?

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

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

“Left” parties uphold lockdowns

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

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

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

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

Resist lockdown terror

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

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

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

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#SOSCUBA: Code for Counter-Revolution

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

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

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

US funded sabotage

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

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

The cost of the blockade

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

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

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

Socialism on one island

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

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

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

Internationalism?

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

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

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

Hands Off Cuba!

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

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

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

WORKERS  LEAGUE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Free New South Wales!

Covid border closure

http://www.sydneynewstoday.com

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

Pandemic of lies

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

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

Class attack

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

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

Rise Up!

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

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

WORKERS  LEAGUE


www.redfireonline.com


E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


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

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

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

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

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

Ethiopia: US/EU Meddling Stokes Ethnic Conflict

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Flag of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

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

TPLF launches war

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

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

China/Russia cooperation spurs Ethiopian advance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ethiopia rising

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

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

WORKERS  LEAGUE


www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eswatini: “Democracy” Insurgents Run Riot

Eswatini flag

Above: National Flag of Eswatini

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

Burn, loot and riot

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

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

Sham narrative

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

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

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

CPS offers “left” cover

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

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

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

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

False death counts

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

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

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

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For A Permanent End To Lockdown Terror!

no lockdown pic

Image from youtube

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

Devastation of lockdowns

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

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

Covid is the class line

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

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

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

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

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

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


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

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

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

Nigeria: Buhari Blocks Big Tech’s State Subversion

buhari

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

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

US govt stumps for “free speech”

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

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

Attempted recolonisation of Africa

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

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

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

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

Boko Haram/ISWAP terror

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

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

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

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

Soros/NED funded internal subversion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[21] What We Do – OSIWA (20-06-2021)

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

No To Vaccine Passports!

covid pass

http://www.abc57.com

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

Vaccine Apartheid

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

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

Covid passport fightback

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

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

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

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

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com


E: workersleague@redfireonline.com


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Free Victoria!

victoria lockdown

http://www.betterhr.com.au

30-05-2021: For the fourth time, the Australian state of Victoria has been crushed into an inhuman lockdown by compassionless politicians with the threadbare excuse of an “outbreak” of Covid-19. The restrictions imposed on 7 million people are possibly the harshest measures enforced globally since the start of 2020. Facemasks are mandatory virtually everywhere apart from inside your own home. All public gatherings, indoor or outdoor, are banned. No travel beyond a perimeter of 5 kilometres is permitted. Workers must work from home unless they are “authorised”.  Weddings are banned, and there is a 10-person limit for funerals. No religious or church gatherings are permitted if they are in person. All schools and Universities must move to remote “learning” online.[1] The bewildering list goes on and on. Victorians are expected to check a long list of “Covid exposure sites”, recall if they have visited a shopping centre, bar, restaurant, gym etc., get tested and quarantine for 14 days, or until they test negative.[2]  This nightmare scenario goes way beyond what George Orwell envisioned in his dystopian novel about future totalitarianism, 1984.

New round of job losses

At this stage, the lockdown may be lifted in seven days – but there is no certainty about that. At the very least, many workers will lose at least a week of income, and many may again be stood down or face termination. Under “Stage 4” restrictions, employees who remain employed must carry a work permit with them to attend their workplace, which must be downloaded and printed from a government website. The penalty for not having a “work permit” is up to $19, 826 for individuals and $99,132 for businesses that do not comply. Small Business Australia estimated that the lockdown would cost the state $1 billion in revenue, while the Grattan Institute estimated the losses would be $900 million. It is the working class which pays the heaviest price for lockdowns, as business owners can retain their assets while simply laying off staff. Federal Trade Minister Dan Tehan stated that workers without work can go to Centrelink to apply for emergency payments but was unable to say whether any assistance would be offered.[3]

Professor Patrick McGorry, a former Australian of the Year, said that the Stage 4 lockdowns in Melbourne have caused a 20% increase in calls for help with mental health issues, and that “the suicide risk is very serious”.[4] Previous lockdowns in Victoria had already caused a raft of intense mental health issues, such as eating disorders amongst young people. Lockdowns remove social, work and usual exercise patterns, leaving people feeling suffocated.[5] Stress, anxiety and depression are simply turbocharged, devastating wide sectors of society. Aloof politicians attempt to feign concern, by offering platitudes such as the lockdowns are “regrettable but necessary”.

Pandemic of lies

The claim that lockdowns and associated restrictions are about healthcare is preposterous. Lie after lie from politicians and the corporate media attempt to excuse the inexcusable. Lockdowns obviously cause immense suffering, and it is the working class that cops the brunt. While the existence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is disputed,[6] there can be no doubt that the only “pandemic” is a pandemic of lies. Australia’s mortality rate has hovered around 7 deaths per thousand for the past two decades, including the year 2020.[7] There never was, and is not now, a “pandemic”. What has occurred is a deliberately triggered recession so as to “reset” global capitalism.[8]  Bar none, it is the most savage attack on the working class in history. Paraphrasing Russian revolutionary leader L Trotsky, capitalism can only survive by drastically reducing the living and working conditions of the proletariat. Patently, this cannot be done without severe political repression – hence the lockdowns.

We do not hesitate to label lockdown mania as a particular form of fascism. Fascism becomes inevitable the longer the life of capitalism and imperialism is extended. The list of bourgeois democratic rights which capitalism brought in its train during its heyday is significant. Freedom of speech, the right of assembly, the right to protest, the right to a free press, the right to free expression, the right to a civil trial – all of these and more were won alongside the bourgeois struggle against feudalism. Now the system of private production for private profit is in terminal decline, so all of these rights and much more are junked as if they were so much human refuse. For these rights to return, and for humanity to survive, nothing less than the overturn of the profit system through a workers’ revolution will suffice.

For this, clear working-class political leadership is key. The traditional avenues workers have deferred to – the Trade Union officials and left parties – have so betrayed workers it is difficult to find words of description. All Union officials and almost all left organisations[9] have universally backed, and even enforced, barbaric lockdowns together with the very capitalist state they disingenuously claim to oppose. The staggering perfidy and base treachery of these “left-wing” functionaries is epoch making, for all the wrong reasons. They must be unmasked as capital’s gendarmerie.

Despite this, there is no reason to succumb to despair. The vast majority of working people detest lockdowns, facemasks and unrestricted dictatorial power waged against them. The anti-lockdown movement has been, and still is, the only thing standing between the ruling class and an even worse fate. Therefore, it is crucial that workers join and build the anti-lockdown movement as a matter of urgency. It exists in Melbourne, other states of Australia, in Europe and other parts of the globe. Within this movement, Marxists must argue for a pro-working class orientation, as a “people’s movement” is self-limiting. FREE VICTORIA!  FOR A PERMANENT END TO LOCKDOWNS!

WORKERS  LEAGUE

www.redfireonline.com

E: workersleague@redfireonline

[1] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-27/victoria-lockdown-restrictions-on-masks-gatherings-travel-school/100169450 (30-05-2021)

[2] https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/exposure-sites (30-05-2021)

[3] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-30/dan-tehan-tells-out-of-work-victorians-to-head-to-centrelink/100176828 (30-05-2021)

[4] https://www.news.com.au/national/mental-health-cases-surge-in-victoria-amid-stage-four-lockdown/video/60aa3d37f79bbd519c24b6f4f6af2a8c (30-05-2021)

[5] https://www.smh.com.au/national/surge-in-eating-disorders-reveals-tragedy-of-lockdown-20201212-p56mwy.html (30-05-2021)

[6] https://yukonfreedom.com/1-2-m-reward-to-anyone-providing-an-isolated-sample-of-the-covid-19-virus/ (30-05-2021)

[7] https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/AUS/australia/death-rate (30-05-2021)

[8] https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-2020-worldwide-corona-crisis-destroying-civil-society-engineered-economic-depression-global-coup-detat-and-the-great-reset/5730652 (30-05-2021)

[9] https://redfireonline.com/2021/03/31/year-one-of-the-lockdown-left/ (30-05-2021)

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)