Sep 22 2015

THE REFUGEE CRISIS – AN OUTCOME OF CAPITALIST BARBARISM

THE REFUGEE CRISIS – AN OUTCOME OF CAPITALIST BARBARISM

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In response to the current refugee storm a Palestinian activist remarked that, if pictures of dead children changed anything, Palestine would long have been free.

The bitterness is understandable. However it would be wrong to write off the response to the refugee crisis as light-headed liberalism. Rather it is better understood as the potential to, as Marx said, transform from quantity to quality and become a broad opposition to the crimes of imperialism.

The capitalist powers have been exhibiting an increasing barbarism. Mass penury is imposed on their own populations. The wars they direct and provoke grow increasingly bloody. As refugees flee devastation they slander and criminalise them, applying a policy called “pushing the rope” – making conditions at holding centres so hellish that new refugees will not come. It is bare months since they withdrew rescue services from the central area of the Mediterranean, leaving thousands to drown. They constantly refer to migrants, because refugees are meant to be offered refuge and dismiss “economic migrants,”  as if fleeing starvation was bad and only war can be advanced as a legitimate reason for flight.
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Sep 04 2015

LET THEM IN

The world has been alerted to the horror of the current refugee crisis by the photograph of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year old Syrian Kurd from Kohane, on the beach at Bodrum in Turkey, drowned after trying to make it with is family across to the Greek islands. In 1972, another photo of a young girl, this time from Vietnam suffering from napalm burns inflicted after a US airstrike, caused similar outrage, and contributed to the turn of public opinion against that war.

Today it is Cameron’s UK government which stands exposed in its utter callousness towards the refugee crisis. Yet, British imperial involvement in the Middle East has contributed to the exodus of many of the refugees fleeing the consequences of successive UK government’s (both Labour and Conservative) military interventions.

Below we are posting an article by Mary McGregor (RCN), from the current issue, no.24, of Emancipation & Liberation, which makes the simple humanitarian call – “Let them in.”

LET THEM IN 

A young Vietnamese girl suffering USAF inflicted napalm burns in 1972

A young Vietnamese girl suffering USAF inflicted napalm burns in 1972

The drowning of 3 year old Kurdish Syrian refugee, Aylan Kurdi found on a Turkish beach

The drowning of 3 year old Kurdish Syrian refugee, Aylan Kurdi found on a Turkish beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this article I intend not to use the following terms: migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. The media and establishment have successfully imbued each of these terms with negative connotations. They are conflated, misrepresented and fed into the narrative that is seeking to portray anyone trying to come to this country as people to be reviled and feared.
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Jun 29 2015

THOUSANDS MARCH IN BELFAST FOR GAY MARRIAGE

The impact last month’s successful gay marriage referendum in the 26 Counties has spilled over into the 6 Counties, with 10,000 attending a demonstration in Belfast. The fact that the ‘South’ can act as a beacon for the ‘North’ highlights the reactionary nature of the local UK state set-up, which is a barrier to progress in these islands. This article was first posted on the Socialist Democracy (Ireland) blog.

 

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Gay marriage march in Belfast on June 12th

 

On Saturday, 13th June, over ten thousand people gathered in Belfast city to show their support for marriage equality.  This demonstration, which was organised by Amnesty International, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and the Rainbow Project, saw people marching from the Arts College to the City Hall where they were addressed by a number of speakers.
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Jun 05 2015

LBGT RIGHTS IN IRELAND – A BEACON OF LIBERATION FOR US ALL

Following the inspiring referendum vote in support of gay marriage in Ireland, E&L is posting the article below from Socialist Democracy (Ireland).

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Celebrating victory in the streets of Dublin

 

The 22nd of May was a truly historic day. The population of the Irish state, long seen as a bastion of Catholic conservatism, voted in an overwhelming majority to amend the constitution to support LBGT marriage.
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Jun 02 2015

WHAT DO WE MEAN WHEN WE TALK ABOUT GALLIPOLI

E&L is posting this  article, written by New Zealander, Rory MacKinnon, about the tragic Gallipoli Campaign  launched just over a century ago on 25th April, 1915.

 

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Today I will be speaking primarily about the New Zealand perspective rather than the Australian or Turkish one, because it’s the history I’m most familiar with. I won’t be trying to convince anyone that the soldiers at Gallipoli were bad people, or challenging their reputation for carrying out impossible orders in nightmarish conditions, and I won’t be arguing that what they saw and did should be forgotten.

I will be talking about the suffering and damage that the campaign wreaked on New Zealand’s people, so massively out of proportion with any perceived reward, and I’ll talk a little about how people look for meaning in such a crisis and how political institutions turned a betrayal of the public’s trust to their advantage.
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May 29 2015

SPIRIT OF REVOLT

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Document Film Festival

Spirit of Revolt – Archives of Dissent

Scottish Peace Network

and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)

 

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May 28 2015

SUPPORT THE STRUGGLE FOR MEANINGFUL SELF-DETERMINATION IN A SCOTTISH DEMOCRATIC AND SECULAR REPUBLIC

At our RCN aggregate held in Dundee on May 23rd, we re-examined our  platform for working in the campaign for Scottish self-determination. Some of these issues have already arisen within the Radical Independence Campaign, particularly in RIC-Edinburgh (see http://radicalindyedinburgh.blogspot.co.uk/), the three RIC national conferences, and Trade Unionists for Independence (East Coast) (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/10/24/after-september-18th-bring-real-democracy-into-our-trade-unions/).  Now that there are plans for a Scottish Left Project (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2015/03/23/the-scottish-left-project/), there will also need to be further discussion over such issues.

Some will oppose, whilst others will want to amend some of these demands. There will be other issues that people will want to raise. The RCN welcomes such debates. It is vital that we create democratic forums where issues can be discussed.

 

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SUPPORT THE STRUGGLE FOR MEANINGFUL SELF-DETERMINATION

IN A SCOTTISH DEMOCRATIC AND SECULAR REPUBLIC

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The SNP currently only supports the ending of Westminster control over law making in Scotland, and continues to support the wider UK and the British monarchy. We call for:

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Apr 13 2015

ANTI-WATER CHARGES CAMPAIGN: FROM PROTEST TO ELECTIONS

Our blog has been chronicling developments in one of the most important socio-economic struggles in these islands since the Anti-Poll Tax campaign (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2015/03/27/sinn-fein-under-pressure-from-irish-workers/http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2015/03/01/water-charges-independent-mobilisation-new-state-repression/ and http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2014/12/16/defying-water-charges-in-ireland/).

The Irish government is attempting to collect specific water charges from the Irish people (water is already paid for out of general taxation), preparatory to privatising Irish water in line with Troika imposed austerity demands. The massive grassroots Anti-Water Charges campaign in Ireland has destabilised the current Fine Gael/Labour coalition government.

 Until the recent massive show of opposition, Sinn Fein and the trade union bureaucrats were opposed to a campaign of non-payment and non-collection. The following article examines not only the role of the trade union bureaucracy and Sinn Fein, but the illusions being created by some on the Left, in the possibility that these two forces might create a Left Irish government, which can end the water charges, whilst ignoring their cooperation in setting up Irish Water in the first place.

This article by J.M. Thorn of Socialist Democracy (Ireland) addresses the current situation.

 

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ANTI-WATER CHARGES CAMPAIGN: FROM PROTESTS TO ELECTIONS

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The 21st March anti-water charges demonstration in Dublin is clear evidence of the continued widespread opposition to the establishment of Irish Water and the imposition of charges.
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Mar 27 2015

SINN FEIN UNDER PRESSURE FROM IRISH WORKERS

On Friday, March 13th six unions representing public sector workers in the north of Ireland took joint strike action to resist the austerity programme being pushed through by the Sinn Fein / Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) coalition government. John Mc Anulty, a member of Socialist Democracy in Belfast explains the background.

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The more optimistic socialist commentators hope to see new Left parties in Europe push back the ongoing austerity offensive. The most daring wave expansively … Greece … Spain …Ireland???

The inclusion of Sinn Fein is partly an echo of their past struggle against imperialism and a legacy of support among socialists, partly because they expend considerable energy in presenting themselves as left -wing.

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Mar 23 2015

THE SCOTTISH LEFT PROJECT

Allan Armstrong (RCN and RIC activist) provides the following initial assessment of the proposed Scottish Left Project. This is the final part of three articles, the first of which examines the role of the UK state and SNP in attempting to derail Scotland’s ‘democratic revolution’ (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2015/02/24/british-unionists-and-scottish-nationalists-attempt-to-derail-scotlands-democratic-revolution/) and the second which looks at the inadequate response of the Left across these islands (see http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2015/03/16/the-left-in-the-uk-the-2015-general-election-campaign-and-the-wider-impact-of-scotlands-democratic-revolution/).

 

The Scottish Left Project (SLP) has been mooted in the context of the impact of Scotland’s ‘democratic revolution’, and the success of RIC as a movement within this. There is now a concerted effort by the unionist and nationalist parties to roll back this ‘democratic revolution’ [1]. Therefore, the success of the SLP will depend upon whether it takes up the baton bequeathed by these momentous events, or lets itself become a bit-player in others’ political projects.

 

a) the role of the International Socialist Group (ISG)

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As with RIC, the ISG has been the SLP’s prime mover. It is therefore useful to examine the way the ISG operated within RIC, to come to some better understanding of how it could see its role in the SLP.

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