CPGB-ML » Posts in 'Europe' category

Spanish workers take the initiative against austerity

This article is part of the industrial report that was presented at the 21 October meeting of the CPGB-ML central committee.

In Andalucia, where over 30 percent of workers are unemployed and austerity is becoming a euphemism for semi-starvation, the SAT union has responded by organising ‘expropriations’ of supermarkets, with liberated basic foodstuffs distributed amongst the poor.

According to Bloomberg Business Week, 30 union activists in Ecija stormed Carrefour and Mercadona on 7 August, piled the trolleys high with cooking oil, salt, sugar, pasta and rice, and wheeled them out.

Another raid in Cadiz stalled when staff locked the activists inside the store. A compromise was then negotiated: 12 carts of unpaid-for food and permission to leave for all. And when Angela Merkel came to Spain, activists marked the occasion by occupying Lidl.

Lacking the guidance of our brave TUC, these activists did not think to preface their actions with an Early Day Motion asking for shoplifting to be made lawful.

Support Libya’s green resistance fighters

This motion was passed unanimously at the recent CPGB-ML party congress

This congress recognises that the imperialist beasts of the USA, Britain and France planned, financed and played the major role, assisted by their various middle-eastern puppets, in the overthrow of the popular Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi.

This congress notes that they, through the trickery of a UN resolution to impose a ‘no-fly zone’, supposedly to ‘protect’ the Libyan people, used the combined air power of Nato member states to carpet-bomb and destroy Libyan airports, military bases, media stations, hospitals, schools, electricity and water supplies, general infrastructure and residential areas alike.

Congress further notes that, even with the great military advantage that this onslaught from outside gave the rats of the Transitional National Council (TNC), they were so numerically weak and lacking in any support within Libya that they could not make decisive use of this advantage. So it was that Libya was flooded with military ‘advisors’ from the imperialist regimes and elite troops from all the neighbouring states that were under the sway of imperialism.

This congress applauds the heroic struggle that the Libyan people and their army waged against Nato’s proxy forces on the ground, despite the horrendous effects of the imperialists’ all-out air war, noting that they held out for more than six months until the capture, torture and public murder of the leader of Libya’s green revolution, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Congress also sends a red salute to the brave green fighters in Libya, who are continuing to put up resistance to imperialism and its puppets today.

Closer to home, this congress condemns the disgusting role played during the war on Libya by the ‘left’ supporters of imperialism – the social democrats, revisionists and Trotskyists. In Britain, the worst of these enemies of the international proletariat once more proved themselves to be the Labour party, the SWP, Counterfire, the CPB, and the ‘anti-war’ umbrella group in which many of those parties’ spokespeople play a leading role: the Stop the War Coalition (StW). StW held a single nationally-organised demonstration over the issue of the overthrow of the sovereign state of Libya by imperialism – but they held it outside the Libyan embassy supporting the imperialist-backed TNC and opposing the anti-imperialist leadership of Colonel Gaddafi!

This congress affirms that imperialism is the main enemy of the international working class, and that US imperialism, as the biggest and most powerful imperialist state, is the biggest enemy to world peace.

Congress further affirms that in an imperialist war the duty of the working class in an imperialist country is to work for the defeat of its own government. And an essential part of that process must be exposing and leading workers away from the misleadership of social democracy and its revisionist and Trotskyist hand-maidens, who will try with all their guile to keep workers tied to the imperialist war machine through revolutionary-sounding phrases and lies.

This congress resolves to continue working to show our class that we do have the power to stop the imperialist war machine by starving it of all the necessary supplies for its wars of brigandage, whether those supplies be weapons, transport or soldiers!

Congress further resolves to use all means at the party’s disposal to disseminate information about the ongoing battle in Libya, in order that British workers should understand that there is a popular resistance movement fighting to rid the country of imperialist forces. Our party will continue to expose the vile and rapacious doings of the TNC rats who now hope to rule Libya (with imperialist troops stood at their shoulders). These villains have murdered, kidnapped, raped, looted and evicted from their homes those supporting or suspected of supporting the green resistance. From the earliest days, even before coming to power, it was well known that the TNC rats were lynching black Libyans, as well as other black Africans working in the country, and our party will continue to remind the world of this fact.

Finally, this congress resolves to continue pointing out that this bloody war was brought upon the Libyan people in order to grab the country’s oil, to remove its anti-imperialist leadership, and to kick open the door to the re-conquest of Africa. The freedom and protection of the Libyan people was never a real reason for waging the war – except, perhaps, in the minds of a few simple souls who simply cannot, or will not, see the jackboot an inch from their face, even when it is pointed out to them.

This congress remains confident that the Libyan masses will rise again to rid their land of the imperialist puppets and bring the imperialists’ dreams of world domination to nought.

Long live the memory of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, hero of the Libyan and African peoples!
Victory to the anti-imperialist peoples!
Death to imperialism!

Russian elections displease the West

From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 4 March.

Russia is holding presidential elections today, which Putin can confidently expect to win, notwithstanding the western imperialist financed attempts to rally a ‘democratic’ (ie, western poodle) opposition.

Naturally, the results will be declared to be fraudulent, with various western imperialist agents no doubt engaged in creating the ‘evidence’ to ‘prove’ this allegation as we speak! It would seem that Putin is standing firmly against the Russian bourgeoisie accepting to be vassals to the West, and it has just been announced that he will be increasing Russia’s defence budget from 3 percent of GDP to between 5-6 percent over the next 10 years.

Anti-Franco judge targeted by Spanish fascists

From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 4 March.

The well-known Spanish judge, Baltasar Garzon, has been targeted by fascist sympathisers as a result of his attempts to reopen cases of human rights abuses committed during the Franco era. Various right-wingers have brought no fewer than three criminal prosecutions against him, alleging various kinds of misconduct, and decisions have now been made in all three cases.

The most serious charge was a charge of corruption, arising out of the fact that the Santander Bank financed a university course on which Garzon was hired to lecture. That case was thrown out and Garzon found to be innocent.

The second case involved the accusation that Garzon illegally ordered wiretaps on confidential discussions between accused persons and their legal representatives. This he was found guilty of and was disbarred for 11 years, effectively ending his professional career as a judge. His purpose had been to ensure that proceeds of crime were not spirited out of the country, but this did not apparently excuse his breach of lawyer-client confidentiality.

Finally, he was accused of improperly taking action against suspected perpetrators of human rights abuses during the Franco era. The impropriety of this arises from the fact that all those guilty of such abuses were given immunity against prosecution by law, a law by which Garzon is bound. Garzon’s argument is that such a law is illegal under international law and he was therefore not bound by it.

The Spanish court, however, decided that Garzon was bound by it, but that he had not committed any offence as he had acted in good faith.

It is probable that these various cases will be appealed to the European Court of Human Rights.

Austerity and resistance as Greece moves towards default

From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 4 March.

A condition of releasing sufficient bail-out funds from the EU for Greece to be able to avoid default has been that even more stringent austerity measures should be implemented. The measures have been duly passed by the Greek parliament, and so the Greek people have been rising up in rage as their living standards are being mercilessly and sharply forced downwards.

As the Greek people put up a spirited fight against austerity, and opinion polls suggest that they will use their votes in April’s parliamentary elections to vote against austerity and, subject to leftist parties being able to cooperate for the purpose, perhaps even return a government that will resist the demands of Greece’s creditors, the inclination among politicians from other EU countries is developing towards letting Greece default and leave the euro. This is seen by many as the cheaper option, although others are still more worried about how much their own banks will lose if this happens and consider it is worth while attempting to turn the screw even harder on the Greek people for at least a little while longer.

An article on this subject appears in the latest Lalkar.

Greek communists on the economic and political crisis in their country

Communists unfurl their banners from the Acropolis in Athens on Saturday 11 February 2012, day two of a general strike

Communists unfurl their banners from the Acropolis in Athens on Saturday 11 February 2012, day two of a general strike

Regarding the Expressions of Solidarity with the Greek People
Communist Party of Greece (KKE), 20 February 2012

Recently, demonstrations have been held in many countries across the world under the ‘umbrella’ of slogans of “solidarity with Greece” and “we are all Greeks”. Working-class and popular solidarity are powerful weapons in the struggle of the peoples. But the workers must deal with any attempt to mislead them.

Which Greece needs solidarity? The Greece of the capitalists, who seek to acquire new loans from the EU and the IMF in order to strengthen the profitability of their capital, to reinforce their position against the people, or the Greece of the working class and the other popular strata, who are suffering due to the consequences of the capitalist crisis, for which they bear no responsibility?

At many of these events this issue remained unclear. And this is the case because there is an effort by certain forces (mainly of social democracy, the opportunists of the party of the European left and the ‘greens’) to use vaguely the idea of ’solidarity with the Greek people’ to whitewash the support that they gave in the past to the Maastricht Treaty, to the other Euro treaties, to the EU of capital itself, which is reactionary and can in no way be ‘democratised’, as they are even now claiming.

In addition, there is an attempt to use the issue of Greece in the inter-imperialist rivalries, inside and outside the EU.

Yes, the workers in Greece want the solidarity of the workers in Europe and all over the world! But solidarity with their struggles, their strikes, their militant demands, the KKE, and the class-oriented trade-union movement, PAME which is in the front line of the struggle, not the ’solidarity’ that seeks the continuation of capitalist exploitation and the squeezing of the workers.

Regarding this issue, the Press Office of the CC of the KKE issued the following statement:

The KKE addresses a message to all the workers of Europe: It is not necessary for you to ‘become Greeks’ in order to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Greece.

We call on you to join us on the same road for the contemporary rights of the working class and the poor popular strata, in order to impede and overthrow our common enemy: the dictatorship of the monopolies, the EU, and the parties that serve them.

Their overthrow in every country or group of countries, the socialisation of the monopolies, disengagement from the EU and Nato, with working-class people’s power, will be the greatest contribution to the struggle of the peoples of Europe and the whole world.

The newest and most contemporary slogan, which is more timely than ever is: “Workers of all countries, Unite!”

********************

. Down with the coup of the Bailout Agreement, down with the illegal Papadimos’ government
. Overthrow the whole rotten political system
. Democracy, Independence, Productive Reconstruction, Emancipation

Communist Organisation of Greece (ΚΟΕ) statement, 13 February 2012

The Communist Organisation of Greece salutes the hundreds of thousands of people who swamped Athens yesterday and protested throughout Greece, resolutely opposing the new bonds that the IMF-EU-ECB troika is imposing.

The Greek people proved their advanced readiness for combat, and showed increased endurance and courage facing the ruthless attacks of the ’special police’ forces. Despite state terrorism and the blackmail of the establishment, the fighting spirit of the people against the new occupation and tyranny is raging.

The new bailout agreement is being imposed entirely as in a coup, by an illegal government, and ‘approved’ by a parliament that has lost any legitimacy. The Papademos puppet government, the three bourgeois pro-agreement parties, and the politicians who voted for and supported the new disastrous bailout agreement are continuously violating their own constitution and the country’s sovereignty.

Their whole political system is hence entirely illegitimate. They have definitively divorced themselves from the people, and must leave immediately.

Since the appointed ‘prime minister’-banker Papademos and his entourage didn’t manage to terrorise the people with the threat of default (besides, the bailout agreement leads to default with mathematical certainty), they took sole refuge in ruthless police violence and terror. They suffocated Athens with chemicals, not hesitating to use their ‘weapons’ in the most ferocious way even against two emblematic figures like our national resistance hero Manolis Glezos and the internationally famous composer Mikis Theodorakis.

The illegal and completely illegitimate government, with the full support of most mainstream media, resorted to violence and invested in terror. The ‘journalist’-parrots of the system and the apologists of the troika talked systematically only about the damage done to buildings. They ‘forgot’ to mention the hundreds of thousands of people who, despite the barbarous police attacks and the chemicals, remained in Syntagma square and the rest of Athens’ centre for five hours.

For what happened yesterday, as well as for what’s coming, the illegal government must take full responsibility. In full contrast to the will of the people, and with repeated coups, it is delivering the country, the life and the future of its people to its patrons.

The political system that robbed and destroyed Greece, that leads it to default and is now delivering it as a colony to foreign commissioners and foreign ‘courts of justice’, is crumbling in front of our eyes.

They cannot even convince themselves any longer: 45 MPs from the bourgeois parties, under popular pressure, voted against the bailout agreement and were immediately expelled from their respective parties. For the first time since the fall of the dictatorship in 1974, fewer than 200 MPs voted ‘yes’ at a decision that had the support of both the two big bourgeois parties.

The intensified crisis of the political system is an opportunity for the promotion of a social and political front that will put a stop to this illegal regime and set the country in a different course, bringing into being what the people want and demand. A social and political front that will pave the way for the salvation of the people and the country: real democracy. Independence. Productive reconstruction.

Stop the payments NOW! Not one more euro to the loan sharks. We can break the chains; the fight continues! Forward to a radical political change led by the people!

Syria: Russia and China standing firm

From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 4 February

Russia and China continue to frustrate attempts by US imperialism to establish a no-fly zone over Syria that would be aimed at obliterating its independence in the same way as was done with Libya.

A spokesman for the Russian government said that in the case of Libya it had made serious mistakes. These lay not in backing Gaddafi but in not backing him nearly strongly enough. Dimitry Medvedev, the Russian president who made the decision to abstain on the UN vote imposing the no-fly zone on Libya, has been heavily criticised within Russia for that decision.

The Russians have made it quite clear that no amount of pleas from the Arab League, manipulated as it is by western imperialism, is going to stop it from wielding its UN Security Council veto in Syria’s interests.

In the meantime, violence is intensifying in Syria as Turks and others get themselves involved in the assaults on Syria’s sovereignty.

It has become clear even to the blind that, for the most part, the opponents of the government in Syria are not innocent people peacefully expressing their disagreement with government policy but disparate armed thugs who are unable to win any substantial internal support for their various policies and are therefore bent on destabilising Syria by whatever means, happy to court the support of imperialist countries determined to put an end to Syria’s independence

France brings forward Afghanistan withdrawal

From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 4 February

France has announced that it will be withdrawing its 3,900 troops from Afghanistan by the end of next year, a year earlier than planned; and this year it will be pulling out 1,000 troops rather than the 600 originally planned.

The announcement to that effect was made by Sarkozy as part of his presidential re-election campaign, in response to the killing of four French soldiers and the severe wounding of eight others by a member of the Afghan puppet forces. These deaths aggravated public anger at a war in which most French people believe the country should never have become involved.

Eurozone crisis spreads to Hungary

From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 3 December

Hungary is yet another European country in extreme financial difficulties. As it tries to refinance its debt, it is being forced to pay high rates of interest, and its currency, the florint, has tumbled to record lows.

This is causing severe difficulties for thousands of Hungarians who took out mortgages in Swiss francs when the florint was much stronger and are now facing massive mortgage repayments.

Credit ratings for Hungary have dropped close to junk status as Hungary’s biggest market – the eurozone – finds itself in trouble.

Greek people fight new poll tax

From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 3 December

The Greek authorities have launched a poll tax in an attempt to increase the government’s tax revenue. The tax makes no exceptions for the unemployed or the elderly and is almost triple the amount paid in property tax previously.

The new tax, levied on people who have already suffered massive cuts in pay and pensions, is based on square footage, the age of the building and the average value of a neighbourhood, and has nothing to do with the taxpayer’s income. To ensure effective collection, the state-owned power company will be required to cut off electricity to anybody who has not paid.

The Greek people are fighting back, however, with electricians being recruited to restore power to people who have been cut off, and workers occupying the power company’s billing centre to prevent bills from being issued.