l’islamophobie est le racisme de jour.

Charlie3

We defy anyone to say this is not a vile racist, Islamophobic, sexist piece of French imperialist propaganda. It has a double meaning which suggests that the young women are ‘finally’ angry because their benefits are being removed and did not mind being kidnapped and repeatedly raped.

Déclaration du Comité de Liaison pour la Quatrième Internationale sur Charlie Hebdo: l’islamophobie est le racisme de jour. Traduction française par Yao Wenyan

01/10/15

Nous défions quiconque de dire que ce ne est pas une caricature sexiste, raciste, vile, islamophobe, de la propagande impérialiste française. Il a un double sens qui suggère que les jeunes femmes sont «réellement» en colère à cause de la perte de leurs allocations et qu’elles ne se soucient pas d’être enlevées et violées à plusieurs reprises.
Le CLQI affirme que les racines de fond des décès dans les bureau de Charlie Hebdo à Paris le 7 Janvier sont les guerres impérialistes dans les terres musulmanes. Afghanistan, Irak, Libye, Mali, Syrie, etc. Les marxistes n’égalisent pas la violence de l’oppresseur avec celle des opprimés, nous ne faisons aucun jugement moraux sur les personnes qui ont effectué ces attaques et nous reconnaissons les décès causés par l’impérialisme dans ces terres, qui comptent dans les centaines de milliers, sinon presque des millions.

2216d-brandonduncan

Brandon Duncan: The state of California wants to affirm in law that freedom of speech is a privilege, not a right. If we are to compare the case of Brandon Duncan and Charlie Hebdo ‘gross hypocrisy’ is the only phrase that springs to mind.

Déjà le 12 mai 1996, en réponse à la question de Lesley Stahl, «Nous avons entendu dire que un demi-million d’enfants sont morts. Je veux dire, c’est plus d’enfants morts à Hiroshima. Et, vous le savez, ce prix là, en vaut la peine? “Madeleine Albright, alors ambassadrice américaine aux Nations Unies a répondu:« Nous pensons que le prix en vaut la peine. ”
Nous n’avons pas le droit de dicter aux représentants militants des opprimés la façon dont ils mènent leurs luttes, ni à l’IRA ni aux Palestiniens ou à ceux qui luttent contre l’impérialisme au Moyen-Orient aujourd’hui. Mais en tant que marxistes, nous nous opposons aux actes individuels de terrorisme de ce genre par des raisons politiques car ils ne peuvent pas atteindre leurs objectifs de vaincre l’impérialisme par ces méthodes et en fait ils finissent par faire le contraire; renforcer les mains de l’Etat contre eux et s’aliéner de leurs l vrais alliés potentiels, la classe ouvrière française et internationale, comme nous le discutons ci-dessous

.NoNegros

These notices were common in the ‘Deep South’ of the US; Jim Crow still ruled until the 1950s.
Comme l’a dit Trotski:

“A nos yeux, la terreur individuelle est inadmissible précisément parce qu’elle diminue le rôle des masses-, les réconcilie à leur impuissance, et tourne leurs yeux et leurs espoirs vers un héros vengeur et libérateur qui un jour viendra accomplir sa mission. Les prophètes anarchistes de la «propagande par le fait» peuvent argumenter tout ce qu’ils veulent sur l’effet stimulant sur les masses des actes terroristes. Des considérations théoriques et l’expérience politique prouvent le contraire. Le les actes terroristes le plus «efficaces», plus grand leur impact, plus ils réduisent l’intérêt des masses dans l’auto-organisation et l’auto-éducation. Mais une fois la fumée de la confusion dissipée, la panique disparaît, le successeur du ministre assassiné fait son apparition, la vie prends à nouveau la vieille routine, la roue de l’exploitation capitaliste tourne comme avant; seule la répression policière devient plus sauvage et dure. Et par conséquent, à la place des espoirs allumés et l’excitation artificiellement suscitée vient la désillusion et l’apathie “. [1]

La Liberté d’expression et la Grande Hypocrisie

Le grand cri de l’impérialisme aujourd’hui est «la liberté d’expression”. On ne est pas autorisé à crier «au feu» dans un théâtre bondé parce que bien que cela tombe sur le principe de la liberté d’expression, cette liberté est restreinte en raison des responsabilités sociales. En tant que tel il ne faut pas crier ‘scrounger’ à un groupe minoritaire qui souffre de manière disproportionnée du chômage, car cela peut causer un agitation disproportionnée et faire battre quelqu’un dans la rue.

Le site WSWS a commenté le 9 Janvier

:
“Dans son utilisation de caricatures grossières et vulgaires qui véhiculent une image sinistre et stéréotypée des musulmans, Charlie Hebdo rappelle les publications racistes bon marché qui ont joué un rôle important dans l’agitation antisémite qui a balayé la France lors du célèbre affaire Dreyfus, qui éclaté en 1894 après qu’un officier juif a été accusé et faussement reconnu coupable d’espionnage pour l’Allemagne. En fouettant la haine populaire contre les Juifs, La Libre Parole, publié par l’infâme Edoard Adolfe Drumont, a fait un usage très efficace de dessins animés qui employaient les poncifs antisémites habituels. Les caricatures ont servi à enflammer l’opinion publique, incitant les foules contre Dreyfus et ses défenseurs, comme Emile Zola, le grand romancier et auteur de « J’accuse » “. [2]

JakTheIrish

The Jak anti-Irish racist cartoon in the Evening Standard which led Ken Livingstone to withdraw all GLC advertising from the publication

La liberté d’expression n’est pas un droit abstrait, sans lien avec la réalité mais doit être utilisés en conjonction avec elle, et il doit être correctement située au milieu du contexte social, historique et politique du moment. Dans ce grand bastion de la “liberté d’expression”, en Californie, de loin l’Etat le plus riche et le plus «libéral» des US, Brandon Duncan, connu aussi comme Tiny Doo, sans casier judiciaire fait face à la prison à vie pour l’album Paroles. Et voici la «logique» alambiquée derrière l’accusation:

“Nous ne parlons pas seulement d’un CD de rien du tout, de chansons d’amour. Nous parlons d’une couverture du CD… il y a un revolver avec des balles “, a déclaré le vice procureur Anthony Campagna, justifiant ses poursuites inconstitutionnelles contre le musicien. Duncan est accusé de «complot de gangs» parce que son « gang a gagné en status” venant des crimes, et cela – soutiennent les procureurs – ” lui a permis de vendre plus d’albums” [3]

L’État de Californie veut affirmer par une loi que la liberté de parole est un privilège, pas un droit. Apparemment, les procureurs croient que l’écriture des paroles au sujet du crime est un crime lui-même – et punissable d’une peine de prison à vie. Si nous ne comparons pas le cas de Brandon Duncan et de Charlie Hebdo ; hypocrisie est le seul mot qui vient à l’esprit.
Bien sûr, la “liberté de parole” de Charlie Hebdo se attaque aux aux chrétiens des classes dominantes, aux juifs etc. mais cela n’est pas une raison pour justifier l’assassinat en masse de centaines de milliers. Alors, vous pouvez défendre le racisme contre les Irlandais parce que ce ne sont que des blagues et ne pas comprendre comment il justifie les assassinats de l’armée britannique en Irlande?
Et ces dessins animés antisémites des années 1920 et 1930; ne sont que juste un peu de plaisir et non la préparation idéologique de l’Holocauste ?

NaziAntiSemitism

Nazi anti-Semitic and racist (anti-American) cartoon to appeal to ‘ordinary’ Germans.

La liberté d’expression et le racisme

Charlie Hebdo est un magazine libertaire de droite qui promeut le racisme, l’islamophobie, le sexisme et l’homophobie. Quels que soient les origines de ces journalistes dans le gauchisme de 1968 et après 2001 depuis l’attaque du 9/11, ils sont devenus de plus en plus les porte-parole de l’impérialisme français.
Au plus fort de la guerre en Irlande, les blagues anti-irlandaises et les caricatures racistes étaient partout. L’Evening Standard a publié une appelée, ‘The Irish “, par JAK, le 29 Octobre 1982 et Ken Livingstone a retiré toute la publicité du GLC de leur journal.
L’affiche a été confectionné avec des figures grotesques brandissant une variété d’armes horribles et faisant partie d’une série plus large d’images et écrits qui sont apparus au Royaume-Uni depuis plus de cent ans qui ont dépeint les Irlandais comme des singes stupides violents, etc.
La bande dessinée a entraîné des protestations de la communauté irlandaise en Grande Bretagne et a abouti à l’interdiction de la publicité du GLC dirigée par Ken Livingstone (une valeur de quelque £ 100 000 par an) dans le Evening Standard. Ken Livingstone a déclaré:

“Le message clair de la bande dessinée est que les Irlandais, en tant que race et comme une communauté, sont des meurtriers, des voyous sans cervelle. . . Je ne crois pas à la liberté d’expression pour les racistes. . . Nous n’allons pas mettre un sou dans le Standard tant qu’ils continuent à vilipender les Irlandais “.

Le but de ces attaques était de dépeindre les Irlandais en tant que sous humains sauvages et ainsi de faire leur mise à mort par l’armée britannique acceptable. C’est vraiment pathétique que ces hommes de gauche qui ont soutenu la position prise par Livingstone ne puissent pas le faire maintenant sur le Charlie Hebdo d’aujourd’hui.

En Amérique des années 1930 quand on brûlaient les noirs sur des arbres, les Blancs pourraient également utiliser l’argument qui, comme Charlie Hebdo, ils attaquaient toutes les religions également. Après tout, il y avait même des dessins animés contre le président américain! Cependant, faire des caricatures insultantes sur les blancs qui contrôlaient les structures du pouvoir n’était pas la même chose que diaboliser les noirs – une sous classe impuissante.

L’imagerie que les Noirs étaient bornés, violents, voleurs et paresseux ; qui ressemblaient à des singes – confirmait une réalité politique, l’image très renforcée des préjugés de ceux au pouvoir et des noirs asservis. Jusque dans les années 1950, des pancartes indiquant « ni chiens, ni les Noirs, ni les Mexicains » étaient des enseignes habituelles qui lois de ségrégation raciale en Amérique.
La loi Frank contre les femmes musulmanes utilisant le voile/hijab suit les mêmes lignes.

De même avec les juifs en Allemagne Nazie. Imaginez aujourd’hui qu’un journal allemand pourrait se masquer derrière le sinistre argument fallacieux et prétentieux utilisé par les nazis, qu’il s’est aussi moqué des blancs Allemands? Comment ce serait ‘injustifié’ que seuls les Juifs se plaignent de cela! Après tout, les Allemands ne se sont pas plaints quand ils ont été moqués par ces Juifs attardés et leur religion avide qui n’ont pas compris la liberté d’expression!…
Ceci sont les souvenirs d’une personne juive de comment c’était dans l’Allemagne nazie: “Ma première rencontre personnelle avec l’antisémitisme étaient les horribles caricatures de Juifs dans les documents de propagande nazie officielles,” Das Schwarze Korps “, un document SS, et “Der Beobachter Volkischer”, affichés derrière une vitre dans des vitrines fixes au niveau des yeux sur les murs des coins de rue. Ils montraient les juifs le plus laids avec les nez le plus énormes, vêtus soit des uniformes bolcheviques russes ou avec un chapeau haut de forme de l’”Oncle Sam” et appelés Ploutocrates, les deux apparemment en train de dominer le monde, ou d’essayer de le faire, profitant d’exploiter des beaux allemands innocents. Comment c’était contraire à la vérité! “[4]
Les musulmans de France et d’autres pays européens souffrent le même type d’attaques aujourd’hui. Comme les musulmans du Moyen-Orient et en Afghanistan ont été abattus par de centaines de milliers par les armées impérialistes dans le dernier quelques décennies le racisme contre les musulmans a justifié ce massacre de masse. Nous identifions le racisme antimusulman aujourd’hui en face avec la boucherie impérialiste au Moyen-Orient et en surface semblable aux types antichrétien et anti sémite, répulsive et réactionnaire comme elle est.

La classe ouvrière française doit défendre les musulmans opprimés

Le blogueur Asghar Bukhari l’a mis de cette façon:

“Les Blancs ne aiment pas l’admettre, mais ces caricatures ont confirmé leurs préjugés, leur racisme, leur suprématie politique et prenez-le comme vous voulez – des images comme ça soutienent un ordre politique fondé sur la discrimination. Les musulmans d’aujourd’hui sont une sous-classe diabolisée en France. Un peuple vilipendé et attaqué par les structures de pouvoir. des pauvres gens avec peu ou pas de pouvoir et ces caricatures infâmes leur rendirent la vie pire et accroissent les préjugés racistes contre eux. Même les blancs lib éraux ont agi de la manière la plus préjudiciable. C’était comme si les blancs avaient le droit d’offenser les musulmans et les musulmans ne avaient pas droit de se sentir offensés? »[5]

Mais nous avons vraiment besoin d’une «mise en garde» au sujet de cette approche. Les “Blancs” ne sont pas le problème, mais l’impérialisme lui-même dont l’idéologie a déteint profondément dans la classe ouvrière française, c’est vrai. En ligne avec cette vision non de classe Asghar Bukhari confond souvent «sioniste» avec «Juif» et reste ouvert à la charge d’antisémitisme donc. Et en tant que représentant instruit des musulmans opprimés, il n’est vraiment pas acceptable de confondre les deux. La tâche des marxistes est de forger un programme d’action pour défendre les musulmans de France et d’Europe contre l’Etat et l’extrême droite en forgeant l’unité avec la classe ouvrière. En cela, nous partageons entièrement la déclaration du RCIT:
“Une des tâches principales pour les socialistes en France et en Europe est maintenant d’organiser des unités d’autodéfense afin de défendre les mosquées et les quartier des immigrés contre les attaques chauvins. Il est tout aussi urgent de construire un large front uni contre le chauvinisme antimusulman. Enfin, il est urgent de construire un fort mouvement anti-guerre contre la dérive de propagation de la guerre impérialiste dans le Moyen-Orient et en Afrique ». [6]

De même, nous partageons leur condamnation de la gauche française dont le chauvinisme national les a amenés à soutenir leurs propres attaques de la classe dirigeante contre les musulmans. Le NPA et Lutte ouvrière, tout en défendant courageusement les musulmans, ont également tort de ne pas mettre cette attaque dans son contexte historique et politique :

“Le RCIT condamne sévèrement le Parti communiste français (PCF) et bien d’autres groupes soi-disant « de gauche » pour leur soutien de l’appel pro-impérialiste de Hollande pour” l’unité nationale”. Alors que les forces centristes le NPA (dont les principales forces font partie des mandéliens de la «Quatrième Internationale») et Lutte Ouvrière – dans leurs déclarations du 7 Janvier n’ont pas rejoint réactionnaire “unité nationale”, de Hollande et ils ont tous deux condamnés l’attaque contre Charlie Hebdo comme une attaque contre «la liberté d’expression”. Au même temps, ils ont failli de mentionner, même avec un mot du lien entre cet événement et les guerres impérialistes de la France contre les peuples musulmans, ou de l’oppression et de la super exploitation des immigrés. Dans leurs déclarations, ces deux groupes centristes se réfèrent à leurs relations étroites avec les journalistes de Charlie Hebdo, révélant ainsi leur affiliation avec le milieu bourgeois-libéral. “[7]

Cette collaboration et le silence de la gauche est d’autant plus effrayante compte tenu de l’histoire d’exploitation de l’impérialisme français en Afrique du Nord et des massacres à la fois des musulmans en Afrique du Nord et à Paris lui-même.
Nous résumons et citons l’article de Mawuna Remarque Koutonin dans Wiki:

« Encore à ce jour, quatorze pays africains sont obligés de payer la taxe coloniale pour les avantages de l’esclavage et de la colonisation. Les affrontements étaient cruciaux de De Gaulle avec la Guinée, le Togo et le Sénégal, le reste ont été contraints de suivre le mouvement. En 1958, les français laissèrent la Guinée et détruisirent toutes les infrastructures quand ils sont partis, écrasant des voitures et des bâtiments en une orgie de destruction. Le prochain fut le Togo, qui fut forcé d’accepter de payer une dette annuelle en France pour les soi-disant avantages de la colonisation française. Le Sénégal avait peur des conséquences de son choix d’indépendance de la France; Léopold Sédar Senghor, le premier président du Sénégal a déclaré: “Le choix du peuple sénégalais est l’indépendance; ils veulent qu’elle ait lieu dans l’amitié avec la France, pas en litige.” Dès lors la France a accepté une « indépendance sur le papier » pour ses colonies, mais a signé des instruments contraignants, des “accords de coopération “, détaillant la nature de leurs relations avec France, avec des liens particuliers avec la monnaie de la France coloniale (le franc), le système éducationnel français, des préférences commerciales et militaires. [8]

Papon

Nous rappelons le massacre de Paris de presque 200 Algériens le 17 Octobre 1961, pendant la guerre d’Algérie (1954-1962). L’article Wiki nous donne une image fidèle de la nature de la police française même d’aujourd’hui:

“Sous les ordres du chef de la police parisienne, Maurice Papon, la police française a attaqué une manifestation interdite de quelque 30.000 Algériens pro-FLN… De nombreux manifestants sont morts quand ils ont été violemment parqués par la police dans la Seine, avec une certaine nombre jetés des ponts après avoir été battus jusqu’à perdre conscience. Autres manifestants ont été tués dans la cour du siège de la police de Paris après avoir été arrêtés et il livrés par des autobus de la police.
… Maurice Papon, décédé en 2007, était le seul fonctionnaire de Vichy France à être reconnu coupable pour son rôle dans la déportation des Juifs pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Selon l’historien Jean-Luc Einaudi, un spécialiste dans le massacre de 17 Octobre 1961, quelques-unes des causes de la répression violente de la manifestation 17 Octobre 1961 peut être mieux comprise en termes de la composition de la force de police française elle-même, qui inclue toujours de nombreux anciens membres de la force en place du régime de Vichy au cours de la Seconde Guerre mondiale qui avait collaboré avec la Gestapo pour détenir des Juifs, comme par exemple dans la rafle du Vélodrome d’Hiver les 16-17 Juillet 1942.
… Encouragé par le député d’extrême droite Jean-Marie Le Pen, (en Mars 1958) 2000 d’entre eux ont tenté de pénétrer dans le Palais Bourbon, siège de l’Assemblée nationale, aux cris de « Sales juifs! A la Seine! Mort aux fellaghas!. Avec la recommandation du ministre de l’Intérieur Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury, Maurice Papon était, le lendemain, nommé préfet de police “. [9]

B52Vietnam

A US B-52 drops its 750-pounds bombs over Vietnam Nov. 5, 1965, the real ‘butchery by cowards’ of some 1.5 – 3.5 million Vietnamese and others in the region.

Boucherie faite par des lâches

“Boucherie faite par des lâches” est-ce comment on a appelé en Facebook l’attaque de Charlie Hebdo. Mais “la boucherie faite par des lâches” est le lancer des bombes à partir de 20 000 pieds d’hauteur sur des civils sans défense parce que vous ne avez jamais vu leurs visages ou regarder ce que « votre boulot » fait sur ces endroits. Le plus grands lâches et bouchers se trouvent à la Maison Blanche, à Downing Street, au palais de l’Élysée et à Tel Aviv. Les parents de leurs victimes indignés ne savent pas souvent comment politiquement renvoyer en justice ces meurtriers de masse. Ils assassinent et ciblent des travailleurs des pays impérialistes qui n’ont pas de responsability sur ce qui les arrive. Et les agences d’espionnage de la CIA, du MI5, DGSE, le Mossad, etc. encouragent et favorisent ces méthodes par des opérations «sous fausse bannière» qui sont calcul »es pour enflammer les tensions sectaires et renforcer la mainmise de l’Etat contre les opprimés.
La cause de la violence est l’impérialisme pas les religieux fondamentalistes. Bien sûr, un gouvernement révolutionnaire aurait à s’attaquer à ce problème de sensibilité réelle pour séparer les oppresseurs secondaires de leurs victimes, défendre les paysans des propriétaires, les femmes de l’imposition du voile etc. Mais jamais, jamais comme un allié de la «mission civilisatrice» de l’impérialisme, jamais prenant en charge des conneries sur la paix et la démocratie qui mettent des chaînes doubles sur ces personnes oppressées. C’est impardonnable en Ukraine, en Palestine, dans l’ensemble du Moyen-Orient et dans l’ensemble du monde semi-colonial. Le contraste entre l’approche impérialiste / stalinien / libéral-bureaucratique sur la religion et l’approche marxiste telle qu’elle est pratiquée par le début Kominterm est présente ici dans le document écrit par Gerry Downing en 1997: « Afghanistan: la méthode marxiste contre la méthode bureaucratique ». La citation suivante indique les tâches auquel serait confronté une quatrième Internationale reforgée dans ces terres et comment y faire face:

«Il a fallu quinze années de guerre pour mater les soulèvements dans les républiques soviétiques d’Asie centrale causés principalement par e les méthodes bureaucratiques staliniens et mencheviques. Certains conflits sont et étaient inévitables si le pouvoir des mollahs, Khans et fondamentalistes doit être brisé à nouveau dans les pays d’Asie centrale soviétique et en Afghanistan, de l’Iran à l’Algérie. Quel prix terrible doit payer l’humanité pour la marginalisation de la méthode transitoire des bolcheviks et le triomphe des méthodes bureaucratiques contre-révolutionnaires dans la lutte contre la réaction du stalinisme et du nationalisme petit-bourgeois dans ces Etats. “[10]

Nous défions quiconque à dire que le dessin animé des femmes nigériennes enlevées, n’est pas raciste et vile, islamophobe, et un échantillon sexiste de la propagande impérialiste française. Il a un double sens qui suggère que les jeunes femmes sont «après tout» en colère à cause que leurs allocations sont retirés et sont indifférentes au fait d’être enlevées et violées à plusieurs reprises.
Islamophobie est le «racisme du jour” dans le climat politique actuel. Et Charlie Hebdo lobé dans l’étoffe antirusse sur la question ukrainienne pour se assurer que personne ne doute où leurs loyautés politiques pro-impérialistes fidèles, restent.

Notes

[1] Trotsky, Leon. Pourquoi les marxistes s’opposent au terrorisme individuel, (Novembre 1911), http://www.marxists.org/archive/ trotsky / 1911/11 / tia09.htm
[2] WSWS, «Liberté d’expression” de l’hypocrisie à la suite de l’attaque de Charlie Hebdo, http://www.wsws.org/en/ articles / 2015/01/09 / pers-j09.html
[3] Artiste Rap sans casier judiciaire affronte la prison à vie pour album Paroles, le 19 Novembre 2014, http: // countercurrentnews.com/2014/11/rap-artist-with-no- du casier judiciaire faces-vie en prison pour-album-paroles /
[4] Le Brichta famille, http: // http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/survivor/brichta1.html [5] https://medium.com/@asgharbukhari/charlie-hebdo- cette attaque était-rien-to-faire-avec-sans-speech-il-est-propos -war-26aff1c3e998.
[6] Déclaration de la Tendance Internationale communiste révolutionnaire (de RCIT), 09.01.2015, http://www.thecommunists.net
[7] Ibid.
[8] Koutonin, Mawuna Remarque, 14 pays africains forcé byFrancetoPayColonialTaxFortheBenefitsofSlaveryandColo- nisation, http://www.siliconafrica.com/france-colonial-tax/ [9] Paris massacre de 1961, http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki / Paris_massacre_of_1961
[10] Downing, Gerry, Afghanistan: Méthode marxiste contre méthode bureaucratique, http://socialistfight.com/2014/08/15/ afghanistan-marxiste-méthode-vs-bureaucratique méthode par Gerry-downing- 1997 /

The framing of Michael McKevitt – By Michael Holden IRPSG

McKevitt2

The framing of Michael McKevitt – By Michael Holden,  Irish Republican Prisoners Support Group

“Tell me what to do, make it worth my while, and as long as the benefit overrides the risk in my view, it will be done to the best of my ability.”

These were the words uttered by informer David Rupert in reply to a question put to him by his MI5 and FBI handlers.
Two years earlier in August 1998 a bomb exploded in the small market town of Omagh, County Tyrone, killing 29 people and injuring scores of shoppers. The bombing was claimed by the Real IRA – which subsequently declared a cease-fire. The Irish and British media immediately linked the 32 County Sovereignty Movement (32CSM) to the Real IRA. The 32CSM denied any such link, and issued a statement which said : “We are deeply saddened and devastated by the terrible tragedy in Omagh. We share the grief and sorrow of everyone on the island of Ireland and offer our sincere sympathy to the injured, the bereaved, their families and friends at this moment in time. The killing of innocent people can never be justified in any circumstances.” The statement went on to say the 32CSM was a political movement and not a military group, and rejected categorically any suggestion publicly made that the 32 County Sovereignty Movement was responsible in any way.
Founded in 1997 following a rift within Provisional Sinn Fein, the 32CSM had Bernadette Sands-McKevitt as one of it’s founding members. Bernadette was the sister of Bobby Sands, the poet and revolutionary, who died in 1981 following 66 days on hunger-strike – endeavouring to gain political status for he and his comrades in Long Kesh concentration camp. Bernadette Sands was also the wife of Michael McKevitt whom the media wrongly accused of being the “leader of the Real IRA.”
Arrested in May 2000 (long after the Omagh tragedy) he was questioned about membership of an ‘illegal organisation.’ He was released without charge. He was never questioned about the Omagh bombing, neither was he ever a member of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement.
However the wheels were now well and truly set in motion to find a scapegoat – someone to find responsible, someone to blame for Omagh. What was lacking was evidence, hard evidence. This ‘difficulty’ was soon put right when in the summer of 2000, members of the British MI5 and the FBI met in Washington. The sole purpose of this meeting was to implicate and frame Michael Mckevitt.
Several years earlier the FBI had supplied MI5 with a paid tout by the name of David Rupert. Rupert was a career informant of 30 years. He was also a petty criminal involved in fraud of every description – and suspected of being implicated in white slavery.
But Rupert’s criminal background was no obstacle! As far as MI5, the FBI and the Irish Intelligence Agency was concerned, Rupert had an even more important role to play in the framing of Michael McKevitt.
Michael and Bernadette were arrested in a blaze of publicity. He was told his arrest was ‘a political decision’! When Bernadette was told her husband was charged, the Guarda (Irish police) mocked her, telling her she would no longer be able to continue with her political work. In March 2001 she was released without charge, but Michael McKevitt was taken before the no-jury Special Criminal Court (SCC) in Dublin and charged with “directing the activities” of an illegal organisation, and membership of the same organisation – namely the Irish Republican Army. He was refused bail and told that an MI5 and FBI informant by the name of Rupert would give evidence against him in any future trial.
However – and here is where the twist is in the tail – Michael McKevitt was made an offer by the Director of Public Prosecutions. The offer was – if he agreed to plead guilty to the ‘IRA membership’ charge, then the charge of ‘directing terrorism’ charge would be dropped! But despite the offer to drop the ‘directing terrorism’ charge (which would have resulted in a far less sentence) Michael refused on the basis it was an attempt by the prosecution to conceal the stitch-up and thereby bolster the civil case against him.
The stage was now set for the framing of Michael McKevitt!

McKevitt

Michael McKevitt is a political hostage framed by MI5 with the assistance of the FBI and senior members of the Irish Gardai. Michael was sentenced to 20 years and has been incarcerated in Portlaoise Prison for almost eight years now.

“Reasonable people will read this account of what is happening to Michael McKevitt with a mixture of sadness and anger. People who value good legal systems and appreciate the courage of those who struggled to create them will read it with deep disappointment as well.
The treatment and trial of Michael McKevitt will outrage all of them.
Some of us who attended the Green Street Court in Dublin any time during the hearing of his trial will always remember the grip of cold fear we felt at how similar this trial was to what we had read about years ago – the show trials of the dictatorships.”
So wrote Desmond Wilson, clergyman and human rights exponent in his foreword in the booklet The Framing Of Michael McKevitt. Wilson is not a republican, and what he wrote illustrates the anger and frustration felt by many honest ordinary people in Ireland at the time of the McKevitt trial.
There isn’t any doubt whatsoever that Michael McKevitt was framed and is today a political hostage in the real sense of the word.
Prior to the McKevitt trial there was a campaign of vilification, slander and intimidation. The Irish media sadly were only too happy to join in that vilification. There was a relentless barrage of accusations accusing the family of involvement in the Omagh bomb tragedy – thereby putting their lives at risk! All visitors to their home in Dundalk were harassed by the Gardai (Irish police) who had taken up permanent residence outside their home. Even the local window-cleaner was stopped, thrown across the bonnet of a Gardai car and searched. Neighbours who approached the McKevitt home were warned they might be arrested ‘as IRA sympathisers’ – and so it went on. Even on Christmas Day the ERU (Emergency Response Unit) sat in a van outside their house with a loud hailer shouting obscenities.
From the outset there was on an-going stream of leaks through the Irish media prior to the McKevitt court case. Several such reports claimed Michael was video recorded meeting informer David Rupert.
These reports were completely false but it turned out later in court that no Gardai officer or journalist was ever threatened or charged with sub-judice prejudicial reporting.
Throughout the trial the (non-jury) Special Criminal Court was packed with FBI agents and members of the INSU (Irish National Security Unit) – and in addition – a backroom in the court was given over to MI5 for their exclusive use! Earlier Bernadette Sands-McKevitt had challenged the then Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern about the presence of MI5 and CIA officers operating in Ireland. Ahern denied all knowledge of their presence! Yet there they were in a Dublin High Court after being wined and dined by their Gardai colleagues!
David Rupert took the stand and was cross-examined by the McKevitt defence. His responses were vague and very limited. He did however admit he had been coached and trained by MI5 prior to his arrival in Ireland and it became abundantly clear during the trial that he was directed, influenced and financed by MI5 and the American FBI. He admitted openly in court he was a career informant since the 1970s and financially motivated. The media ignored this. One would have thought that the blatant abuse of the rule of law would leave a considerable sense of unease amongst those who profess to value the ‘independence’ of the rule of law in Ireland – but in Michael McKevitt’s case their silence was deafening – and still is!
No evidence was produced in court linking Michael McKevitt to Omagh – or to any other bomb. The ‘hard evidence’ espoused earlier by the media never materialised. It never existed. However a number of Gardai from the NSU (National Surveillance Unit) perjured themselves over and over again. They claimed for instance that they had observed Rupert, Michael McKevitt and others enter a house in a local authority housing estate in Oaklands Park. The purpose of their ‘evidence’ was to corroborate and give credence to Rupert’s lies
However, and this is on record, each of the Gardai continually contradicted Rupert (and their own) evidence! Under cross-examination it was confirmed they did not make their original statements – which as a matter of interest were identical(!) – until a year after the alleged meeting took place – and over a month since Michael McKevitt’s arrest! Another member of the NSU team stated had observed the “… comings and goings of Rupert and Michael McKevitt” – but it was shown his view was hidden by a wall and a tree – yet he claimed he could see clearly!

He also admitted under cross-examination he wore no watch that night, had no pen and paper to record accurately! This coming from the (elite?) National Surveillance Unit who – according to them – had ‘prior knowledge of the meeting taking place’ – yet came unprepared! Furthermore the senior member of the NSU confirmed there was no photographic evidence because they didn’t have a camera that could take photographs in the dark – another lie!

McKevitt3

Michael Holden and Gerry Downing
This man became visibly embarrassed when the McKevitt defence team produced copies of the same street – taken at night by a photographer employed by the Gardai and the NSU! Furthermore – and this is particularly relevant – the court also learned that the ‘supposed’ Oaklands Park observations were short and did not correspond with the elaborate detail described in the Gardai log-book – which in fact placed Michael McKevitt in the front-room of his own house – at the same time that David Rupert, stated categorically, he was meeting with him at an ‘IRA Army Council’ meeting!
Rupert also claimed on oath he had been picked up at the McKevitt home that evening by Stephen McKevitt (Michael’s son) but the Gardai surveillance report did not record Rupert anywhere near the McKevitt home that evening! In fact it logged Stephen McKevitt driving alone in a southern part of the county – at the time Rupert claimed Stephen had taken him to a house north of Dundalk! More contradictions, more lies! It was obvious to the court that as far as David Rupert was concerned there had been one blatant lie after another, and in the words of Rupert’s handler Gardai Assistant Commissioner Dermot Jennings – ‘Rupert is a bullshitter and a liar.’ But was the court impressed? Of course not.
One major problem the McKevitt defence team faced was seeking disclosure. The court claimed it had no jurisdiction to compel agencies outside the state – MI5, FBI, CIA – to disclose any of their files! Yet the same court had no difficulty accepting evidence from a witness supplied by these very same agencies’!
Simultaneously, it was conceded both ‘foreign police agencies’ had conspired with the Irish Gardai in framing an Irish citizen. Michael also requested full disclosure from the Irish authorities. One disclosure document he sought was the document that detailed who exactly was responsible for authorising the external agencies to operate within the Irish jurisdiction? This request was refused on the grounds ‘of national security.’
But this was not on the grounds that no external agencies operated openly and clandestinely in Ireland in furtherance and defence of their own national interests! Non-disclosure of vital documents resulted in Michael’s defence team being greatly disadvantaged and handicapped. They were met with obstacle after obstacle – with only ONE result likely to emerge.
Stephen McKevitt, who had been helping his father with his case, was arrested and all vital documents pertaining to his defence were seized. Stephen was held for two days during which time he was offered inducements to give evidence against his own father! The trial had become a farce and a travesty of justice.
Michael dismissed his legal team. They had done their best but were not meant to win. He addressed the court detailing his reasons citing the proceedings as nothing other than a ‘show trial.’ He stated he was told by a senior Gardai officer at the time of his arrest, that the decision to frame him “… was a political one”.
Dublin’s (non-jury) Special Criminal Court, under the direction of Mr Justice Richard Johnston found Michael McKevitt guilty and sentenced him to twenty years imprisonment – principally on the evidence of David Rupert.
As for David Rupert. He was paid handsomely by the CIA and FBI. It is estimated his total take at around $5 million – this consists of $1.5 million from the FBI, plus a similar payment from MI5 – with a pension-plus of a reported $50,000 per month for life! All of those payments were dependent on the conviction of Michael McKevitt.
The case of Michael McKevitt will eventually go to the European Courts and when it does our European friends may well be shocked. We who are already shocked need not feel helpless. Michael McKevitt and his family need – and deserve – our help – and that help should be given for the sake of justice for all of us.
Further information can be had from the McKevitt website – http://www.michaelmckevitt.com

McKevitt4

Foreward to ‘The Framing of Michael McKevitt’

Marcella Sands’ booklet, The Framing of Michael McKevitt, is launched in Dublin today.

Fr. Des Wilson • 22 June 2006

Reasonable people will read this account of what is happening to Michael Mc Kevitt with a mixture of sadness and anger. People who value good legal systems and appreciate the courage of those who struggled to create them will read it with deep disappointment as well.

The treatment and trial of Michael Mc Kevitt will outrage all of them. Some of us who attended the Green St. court any time during the hearing of his trial will always remember the grip of cold fear we felt at how similar this trial was to what we had read about years ago, the show trials of the dictatorships.

Bringing in a witness who admitted he was motivated by money, opening the court to free passage of police and government agents, the complacence of judges and state lawyers faced the clear presumption that the safety of the state is more important than justice for the individual. We had heard it all before. In the past however, news media and church and universities and all kinds of people had condemned what was happening in those countries which they described as under dictatorship or communist rule. Now we were witnessing in our own people’s courts the misuse of a system which we believed was so superior, so basically just, so presided over by people of such integrity that it would always be found better to set the guilty free than to convict even one innocent. This trial has been one of the most frightening and revealing of the past forty years in Ireland’s courts north and south.

The case of Michael Mc Kevitt must go to the European courts and when it does our fellow Europeans may well be shocked. We who are already shocked need not feel helpless. Michael Mc Kevitt and his family need our help and that help should be given for the sake of justice for all of us. In no circumstances must we allow political needs to dictate how our courts will work. And if there is one prisoner unfairly treated then every one of us should feel honoured to make justice rather than political opinion prevail. If any prisoner needs help we are bound and privileged to give it.

Please read this document. Please do what you can to make clear that the safety of the state can never be served by the suffering of even one of its citizens.

The Framing of Michael McKevitt

The Blanket is serialising the booklet, starting this week.

Global inter-capitalist struggle; the United States against the Eurasia nations in the Argentinean Nisman case

Nisman

Pro-US demonstrates against President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner after the death of Nisman.

Global inter-capitalist struggle; the United States against the Eurasia nations in the Argentinean Nisman case

Irrespective of whether it was murder, suicide or assisted suicide and who it was that killed or drove Nisman to suicide the pro-imperialist opposition and the left pseudo Trotskyist are seeking to use the Nisman case to destabilize the ‘cristinismo’ (supporters of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner), today the government of South America most linked to Russia and China. [1]
We must now examine the context in which the Nisman case occurs.
The cristinismo need to ensure the political and economic conditions in their last year of Government that will promote the candidacy of a reliable successor. For that is the key to ensure that they deepen the trends linking Argentina with the Russian-Chinese Centre. In this context it is central to the cristinismo to put limits to the SIDE,[2] the current Secretary of Intelligence which operates a real ‘parallel government’ linked to the CIA and the Mossad, and therefore has strong ties to the United States and Israel. It was suggested that they have targeted even a member of military intelligence, Milani, as head of the army, even paying the political cost of accusing Milani of involvement with the crimes of the dictatorship. [3]
It must be clarified that the expectation of the cristinismo in Milani as someone more interested in links with Russia and China in practice has not yet passed any litmus test. In this manoeuvre, the cristinismo hopes to set limits on those sectors of the repressive apparatus most linked to imperialism, like SIDE, that certainly could be and is an instrument of imperialism itself against Argentinean links with the Russian-Chinese Centre. It should be noted that for the cristinismo this manoeuvre is limited because it comes into conflict with the coexistence pact which the kichnerismo (including her husband, former President Néstor Kirchner) had for a decade with the SIDE, having participated in the manoeuvres of imperialist intelligence on behalf of kichnerismo which they made before 2011 involving Iran and the AMIA even before the United Nations case. [4]
In this context of the cristinismo wanting to put limits to the parallel Government of the SIDE, changing its headquarters, moving heads in the shadow but mostly relying on the intelligence military. It is under these conditions that are registered to the current “appliances war” of which it forms part to the death of Attorney Nisman, a man linked to the US State Department. Therefore, the death of Attorney Nisman, as part of a confrontation of the bourgeois pro-imperialist State intelligence, is not a death of our class; we neither cry for nor claim it.
The manoeuvre of the bourgeois opposition has all the features of Islamophobia driven by imperialism against the oppressed peoples, who are after the greatest wealth of energy on the planet, as they are in Iran and the Hezbollah attacks through the media. What is to see which is an attempt to move to Argentina of the Russian-Chinese Centre. Workers should reject imperialism campaign mounted by the opposition bourgeois and followed by the left pseudo Trotskyists such as PO (Workers’ Party (Partido Obrero, leader, Jorge Altamira), IS (International Socialists), CS (Socialist Convergence, Convergencia Socialista), PSTU (Unified Socialist Workers’ Party (Partido Socialista dos Trabalhadores Unificado).
The cristinismo in still bourgeois party who is not able to give a real battle against imperialism because it fears to mobilize the proletariat. Is therefore unable to disrupt the opposition sepoys. [5] Workers must get rid of the influence of Peronism and of all bourgeois tendencies. They should primarily rely on their own independent class methods to fight the battle against imperialism, his national actors and also against the Government of Cristina, thus establishing a government of the working class and all who toil.
● For the dismantling of the repressive apparatus!
● Defeat the opposition pro-imperialist sepoys!
● No confidence in the Government of Cristina!
Notes
[1] Argentina Prosecutor Alberto Nisman, 51, was found slumped in the bathroom of his apartment on Sunday night (18-1-15) with a bullet wound in his head and a .22 calibre handgun beside his body. Four days before, he had given a judge a 289-page report alleging President Cristina Fernandez had secretly reached a deal to prevent prosecution of former Iranian officials accused of involvement in the 1994 car bombing of the country’s largest Jewish centre… Nisman had spent 10 years investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people, the worst terror attack in Argentine history. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ 2015/01/21/argentina-prosecutor-albe_n_6519600.html
[2] Wiki: Secretaría de Inteligencia (Secretariat of Intelligence, S.I.) is the premier intelligence agency of the Argentine Republic and head of its National Intelligence System. Even though the official acronym was renamed to S.I. as the new intelligence system became active, during most of its history it was called Secretaría de Inteligencia de Estado (Secretariat of State Intelligence, SIDE) and it still is referred to as SIDE by the public, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secretar%C3%ADa_de_Inteligencia
[3] Iconic member of Mothers of Plaza de Mayo Founding Line Nora Cortiñas yesterday (26-12-14) renewed her criticism against controversial Army Chief César Milani, who was charged on Tuesday (23-12-14) with crimes against humanity committed during the last military dictatorship. Cortiñas insisted that Milani had to be dismissed from his position and the human rights leader said she wanted him to be questioned for the forced disappearance of her son Gustavo Cortiñas, which took place in 1977. http://buenosairesherald.com/article/178133/iconic-mother-calls-for-milani%E2%80%99s-dismissal
[4] The foreign ministers of Iran and Argentina met on the sidelines of the summit meeting of the African leaders in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on January 27, 2013. During the meeting, the governments of Argentina and the Islamic Republic of Iran signed a memorandum of understanding on the terrorist bomb attack against AMIA (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina) building in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994. http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Iran-Argentina-Agreement-on-AMIA.htm
[5] Sepoy, an indigenous soldier serving in the army of a foreign conqueror, especially an Indian soldier serving under British command in India, hence a politician in the service of foreign imperialist powers.

The Transitional Programme its relevance and application today

By John Barry 20/1/2015

Leon Trotsky at work.

Introduction

The transitional programme is the method which was employed by the pioneers of scientific socialism Marx and Engels in the ‘Communist Manifesto’ and was used successfully by the Bolsheviks to become the method of the first four congresses of the Third International (AKA the Communist International). After the Third International suffered bureaucratic degeneration it abandoned the transitional program and regressed to the old minimum (day to day achievable reforms) and maximum (some vision of organization in an unspecified socialist future) demands of the Second International (AKA the Socialist International) expressed in reformism and sectarianism, just as social democracy had done decades previously.

The responsibility of building the revolutionary socialist consciousness rested upon the shoulders of the Left Opposition of the communist movement after this degeneration, and then later the Fourth International founded in 1938 when it was clear the Third was beyond salvation.
The transitional programme is the only method which can build a socialist consciousness in the working class and create a bridge, as Trotsky described it between the current consciousness of the majority of workers and the final conclusion of the class struggle, that a socialist revolution is necessary to save humanity from capitalism. It is of paramount importance for a revolutionary party to have a correct method to build a revolutionary socialist consciousness in the working class, otherwise there will be no overthrow of capitalism and the transformation to socialism.
Crisis does not result automatically to revolution. Imperialism (highest form of monopolistic capital) reached a most destructive phase in the 1930s and developed into the most murderous and bloody world slaughter which ended in the industrial extermination of an entire people and mass murder through the use of atomic weapons. Yet despite the huge desire among the masses in Europe and Asia for socialism, their misleaders helped prop up imperialism and throw consciousness backwards with a massive anti-communist propaganda onslaught.
Trotsky was clear that if capitalism survived the Second World War it would see a new lease of life for world imperialism and would eventually lead to the Third World War.[1] Today US imperialism dominates the planet, it has no equal and is entering its most predatory and destructive phase, as happened with German imperialism in the 1930s. The US has in its sights the semi-oppressed nations of Russia, China, Iran, Syria and North Korea.
The next world war could quickly escalate into a thermo-nuclear conflict and destroy humanity. Therefore the need for socialist revolution is paramount. The importance of developing transitional demands is precisely because the working class as a product of bourgeois society has a false consciousness when compared with the objective situation. Kautsky when he was the main theoretician of Marxism in the second international and Lenin following him explained that a socialist consciousness comes to workers from without, that is to say it is introduced and taught to workers from the intelligentsia, bourgeois intellectuals from outside the working class. [2]
These intellectuals such as Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky develop theory. The vanguard workers then learn, and develop as worker intellectuals and train other vanguard workers. Trotsky explained how revolutionaries are distinct to others in the workers movement In the final analysis, revolutionaries are made of the same social stuff as other people. But they must have had certain very different personal qualities to enable the historical process to separate them from the rest into a distinct group. Association with one another, theoretical work, the struggle under a definite banner, collective discipline, the hardening under the fire of danger, these things gradually shape the revolutionary type. [3]
Whole sections of the class however lag in consciousness in comparison to the objective conditions and hence the necessity for a transitional programme. We must however be patient explaining and helping to develop the consciousness of the workers to connect with the objective conditions. In no way should this mean however that we should appeal to the lowest common denominator of workers consciousness, tail ending populist petty bourgeois public opinion and jumping on the latest political bandwagon. Trotsky explained:

“The mentality in general is backward or delayed, in relation to the economic development….This delay can be short or long. In normal times when the development is slow, in a long line, this delay cannot produce catastrophic results. To a great extent this delay signifies that the workers are not equal to the tasks put before them by objective conditions; but in times of crisis this delay may be catastrophic.”[4]

There is common misconception of the transitional programme by left sects which operate in an opportunist fashion. Typically left organisations with no link to the labour movement move toward opportunism to increase their membership and influence, such as the Socialist Party of England and Wales (SPEW). In their hands the Transitional Programme is presented as a list of left reformist policies (relatively unchanged for the past 50 years originating when they were the Militant Tendency) which is also the program of the latest electoral reformist vehicle they are using to gain influence, such as No2EU or TUSC, creating illusions in new reformist fronts rather than challenging and breaking workers from the reformists they look toward for leadership. Then after the reformist demands they present description of how the world should be run under socialism, in other words a maximum programme. So the SPEW is back to the Second Internationals Minimum-Maximum programme! Let us look for example at their statement of ‘What we stand for’. The introductory paragraph is very vague for a self-professed revolutionary organization:

The Socialist 840
The Socialist Party fights for socialism – a democratic society run for the needs of all and not the profits of a few. We also oppose every cut, fighting in our day-to-day campaigning for every possible improvement for working class people.[5]

The brief description does not say who the democracy in this ‘democratic society’ is in the interests of, a workers democracy or bourgeois democracy? The statement goes on to say:

The organised working class has the potential power to stop the cuts and transform society.[6]

This gives no indication of what sort of organization the working class requires (a revolutionary Leninist party, directed by Marxism of which Trotskyism is the continuation) or what type of organisations already exist and the working class are led by (trade unions, social democratic parties, Stalinist parties) or rather misled by. The cuts, and apparently this is all the working class has to fight under capitalism, have only the potential to be stopped! Then transform society (to what? How?). The working class if it is led by a revolutionary party can overthrow capitalism, never mind just stopping the current public sector cuts. We then come to what the SPEW would call transitional demands, a list composed by their leadership in advance we assume, aimed at no one it appears and not giving any direction or inspiration for the working class to organize to take over society and begin the transformation to socialism. Here is one of their demands:

“No to privatisation and the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). Renationalise all privatised utilities and services, with compensation paid only on the basis of proven need. [7]”

They are a bit late off the mark as privatization has taken place on a large scale for 30 years, and besides it transferred capitalist state direction over to stock ownership and direction, most of the economy was and banking was private capitalist ownership, they should not try to confuse state ownership in the past with socialism. Then the reformist call for renationalization, back to the ownership of the capitalist state? Just so as not to upset the bosses and big stock portfolio holders they are even going to compensate you by some means test! There are some demands which could be useful in campaigns but due to the poor reformist start of their ‘What we stand for’ would be taken for improvements of the current society and nothing more. It goes on:

● Tax the super-rich! For a socialist government to take into public ownership the top 150 companies and banks that dominate the British economy, and run them under democratic working-class control and management. Compensation to be paid only on the basis of proven need.
● A democratic socialist plan of production based on the interests of the overwhelming majority of people, and in a way that safeguards the environment [8]

So the same old call from Militant 50 years ago for taking over the top companies (only now its 150 not 200), running them under workers’ control and management, but they don’t indicate how, as if the ruling class will nationalise these companies anyway and grant workers the management of them. Even then it will be under capitalist state direction if it is just ‘renationalised’. The actual class nature of the state is never challenged in the statement. There will apparently be a ‘socialist government’ to do this.
Then thrown in at the end the ‘democratic socialist plan of production’ and all the other examples of a socialist system which is again vague, and an example of a finished maximum program without any bridge to it. They do not formulate demands to raise workers consciousness in stages of struggle. As the SPEW have abandoned work in the Labour Party and thus distanced itself from the working class with the exception of those in public sector unions, its demands are aimed at no one in particular. This obviously bore no results so now they aim their demands or rather tailor them to the demands of trade union bureaucrats, particularly in the public sector and even the repressive bodies of the state (Prison Officers Association, POA), but if, as in SPEW’s case, you’re not fighting to overthrow the capitalist state then why not support the employees who staff its repressive apparatus against the working class?

The Socialist Appeal group fares much better and does proclaim revolutionary intentions, they are also light years ahead in theory compared to SPEW. While this group professes to carry out entry work in the Labour Party they are actually standing on the side lines and refusing to get involved, their fingers still sore after being burnt in Kinnock’s witch hunt against the left in the 80s. They present a clear challenge to capitalism and for its replacement with socialism through class struggle, they also present demands which to start with are useful for raising class consciousness and explaining the action which workers should take to destroy the foundations of capitalist society. Unfortunately they then let themselves down by jumping straight into a Maximum style program of:

“A Socialist government to take over the “commanding heights” of the economy, the top 150 monopolies, banks and finance houses, which dominate our lives, without compensation and placed under democratic workers’ control and management. Establish broad committees of workers, students, pensioners, technicians and others to oversee the drawing up of a democratic socialist plan of production to answer the needs of society and protect our environment. We shall harness the wonders of modern science and technique, not to act as a burden as under capitalism, but instead to raise our living standards and oversee the abolition of class divisions.” [9]

Like the SPEW demands it places the emphasis on a ‘Socialist government’; does not France have a ‘Socialist government’? We assume, given Socialist Appeal’s focus on the Labour Party, that the Parliament with a Labour majority can form a Socialist government, not the working class. Similarly to the SPEW they say this government should ‘take over’ the top 150 monopolies and nothing else apparently. Then they usher in everything else which is included in a socialist society. Socialist Appeal have still not managed to throw off their reformist right centrist heritage, although they have done more so then SPEW. [10]

How should transitional demands be formulated?

The Transitional Programme is not therefore a list of reforms all at once aimed at nothing thought up by a small group running a sect, and is not policies handed down from an enlightened ‘Socialist’ government in response to left demands. It must be a fighting program, hitting the base and structure of capitalist society, directing workers to take control of the material world and destroy the capitalist state, they would then need a new program to guide them using the material they control and can then build socialism through the workers’ state, the transitional program ‘brings the reader only to the doorstep’ of socialism. [11] Hence the original ‘Transitional Programme’ was a draft for the period it was written in and not to be used as a Gospel as some sects do.
Class consciousness is not static and is not homogeneous in all sections of the working class at the same time. Only a minority will of course have a developed class consciousness of the Marxist understanding of human social relations. The majority of the working class will develop a common set of interests to fight for and overcome, they will not develop a socialist consciousness or a higher class consciousness as the vanguard of the class does which is expressed in the revolutionary party. It is therefore necessary to develop a set of demands they can fight around and which present to them a resolution of the problems faced under capitalism. So despite the diversity in consciousness and the many other differences between workers which are fostered by capitalist ideologues, the demands if they resonate with a desire and confidence of the class to fight for them can help to unite the working class. Trotsky in a polemic against a French leftist intellectual illustrated how the moods of the masses are varied and can change and only revolutionary strategy can develop their struggle:

“Victory is not at all the ripe fruit of the proletariat’s “maturity”. Victory is a strategical task. It is necessary to utilize in order to mobilise the masses; taking as a starting point the given level of their “maturity” it is necessary to propel them forward, teach them to understand that the enemy is by no means omnipotent, that it is torn asunder with contradictions,”[12]

The demands tackle the solutions to the objective circumstances with an embryo of socialist organization of society. The demands themselves while addressed as the solutions to the crisis of capitalism cannot be fully implemented through the capitalist state and therefore even if attempted partially can only finally be achieved through conquest of power by the working class. It encourages the working class to go further, even if the capitalists and the state are forced to give partial reform then further demands must be made especially as it becomes apparent that the capitalist state and the trade union and reformist labour leaders will not go further attacking the base of capitalism, a wall will be met.
That is how the bridge from today’s understanding by the working class and the revolutionary consciousness of tomorrow is built. As Trotsky described the program as ‘an instrument to vanquish and overcome the backwardness’ .[13] Knowing when and which demands to use at a particular time is important for revolutionaries. We do not present a whole list of demands all at once and always the same for years on end (as the SPEW does), the demands can change depending on circumstance, the symptoms of capitalist crisis at a given time and level of struggle by the working class. However the demands must always be addressed as a solution to the objective conditions under capitalism, after all the understanding of the working class can alter quickly ‘under the blows of objective crisis’.[14]
One way is to put the demands into easily memorable and understood slogans, which Trotsky described as ‘the program of socialism but in a very popular and simple form’.[15] As we have said we must build on the demands the more success and penetration of the demands among the masses is achieved and their implementation until the point is reached where the working class understands and follows the revolutionary leadership to overthrow the capitalist state.

TrotTrans

Slogans and Demands

When the original draft program was written in 1938 the situation in terms of symptomatic expressions of the capitalist crisis differ to that of today, some of course remain the same such as the threat of world war. We cannot therefore use the same slogans as were used then. Trotsky drew up a ‘Program of Action for France’ when he resided there. This is one of the best examples of transitional demands and included the following:

Forty-hour week, wage increases. Workers’ control will demonstrate that the level of productive forces permits the reduction of the working day. Wage increases at the expense of the magnates of the Comite des Forges, of the Comite des Houilleres, of the Finalys, the Schneiders and the Staviskys, and to the material and moral advantage of the labouring people.
Real social security and, first of all, unemployment insurance. Annual vacation of at least one month. Retirement pensions permitting one to live after fifty years of age.
Equal wages for equal work. Abolition of the super exploitation imposed on women, young people, aliens and colonials.
For working women, the same wages and same rights as for working men. Maternity protection with supplementary leaves of absence.
For young people, wages equal to adults. Extension of study and apprenticeship at the collective expense. Special hygienic measures.
Repeal of all special legislation applying to foreign and colonial workers.[ 16]

France was in the grips of the capitalist crisis at this time and sections of the capitalist ruling class had attempted a fascist coup, only social revolution could have bought these demands then. Instead there was world war and then the capitalist upturn as there had been in the late 19th century which meant social reforms could be introduced, but today we are in crisis once again and the gains are gone or being eroded in the imperialist countries.
Some of the basic demands are the same though. Observing current struggles is important to develop demands and slogans, as they must resonate with the masses. For example there are currently various movements based on occupations including among poorer sections of the working class such as the E15 Mothers which have taken on the problems created by capitalism which have impoverished them. Occupations have always been an important part of class struggle for workers under capitalism and is also in the original Transitional Programme concerning factory occupations.
Today we could raise the demand for the occupation of empty properties to be given to families who need them and become cooperatives with public funding, or something similar, the final demands must be reached through discussion. In the labour movement demands could find wide appeal on the left and be aimed at Labour leaders and especially Labour governments. This was the tactic of support for a Labour government which the Communist Party of Great Britain adopted during the early years of the third International before its degeneration. The CPGB placed the following demands on the Labour government:

  • Full maintenance for unemployed workers at trade union rates.
  • Nationalization of mines and railways with workers’ control over production
  • .Full freedom for Ireland, India and Egypt. Revocation of the policy of armaments. Credit for Soviet Russia. Scrapping of the shameful treaty of Versailles.
  • Workers of Great Britain, no government, even with the best intentions, will be able to better your positions, to break your chains, if you yourselves do not bring pressure to bear on the bourgeoisie and compel it to realize your growing power. [17]

In the present time demands for a return to union rights which have been eroded by Tory employment acts and taxing the rich to pay for public services would find wide support, and if the rich threaten to move their wealth abroad we should demand trade exchange controls and leading from that the demand for open and transparent accounting of all finance in the country and global trade and their wealth prevented from moving. The Labour leaders can no longer even promise to nationalize utilities, so even demanding this would run up against the capitalist state, however capitalist nationalization is not the answer, the demand should be the nationalization under committees of workers and consumers control and management without capitalists.
If a demand such as this were to take on mass support in the labour movement and it became clear the leaders would betray it, which even under a left wing leadership would be the case for the reformists, and then the call for occupation of the utilities could be made. The same would be made for the banks, the demand could be made for the total appropriation of the banks and finance institutions by the state under workers’ control, in contrast to Brown’s buying of the banks with tax payers money like he did with RBS and Northern Rock to bailout the capitalists in 2008.
There is a wide desire for decent public services even among more backward workers, but also distrust of government and big business of which public services are also seen as part of or under the influence of. Therefore demands for public services without unrepresentative governments and big capitalists, would find a hearing among workers and this could develop into the understanding that we could run public services if we occupy them and make them ours. This is transcending the capitalist state and property relations.
When a revolutionary situation does develop and dual power becomes a prospect we must call on the working class and their organisations to take power from the capitalist state, as the Bolsheviks did in 1917, which exposed the political cowardice and impotence of the other parties who claimed to lead the working class such a the Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries. We would also expose the cowardice of the official labour and trade union leaders.
We must challenge the illusions in the capitalist state and the faith in bourgeois democracy especially by reformist workers, we must explain and expose how undemocratic it has become, which most workers know to a degree already. We could appeal to the memory of the Chartists and call for reforms that capitalism could never concede. Trotsky did this in the ‘Programme of Action for France’, in which he appealed to reformist socialists to be faithful to ‘the ideas and methods not of the Third Republic but of the Convention of 1793’[18] and called for ‘A single assembly’ to ‘combine the legislative and executive powers.’ [19]
A similar demand could be made for Britain today, with abolition of the Lords and the Monarchy and election of Prime Minister and cabinet by the chamber. We could add that MPs earn the average of their constituents, how many right wing Labour MPs would there be then? Also the defence of Human Rights which are currently being eroded will find wide understanding. The improvement and protection of unemployment, housing and disability benefits is also an important demand and links to the question of who controls the wealth, and how it should be spent to pick up the devastating effects of capitalism.

Internationalism: Challenging the social chauvinists

Socialism cannot be created in one country, it must be international; the struggle of workers against capitalism is worldwide. The defeat of world imperialism of the USA and the NATO block is of major importance. Therefore we must always agitate for solidarity with workers in struggle in other nations and national liberation struggles.
As we are close again to world war we must warn the masses of the danger and demand the dismantling of NATO and the other military alliances protecting the interests of the US dollar. In Britain the call for nuclear disarmament can also be linked to how public money is spent and how it can be put to socially useful projects if workers could have control of public finance. As can a call to withdraw all troops from foreign occupation, including Ireland and linked to this the freeing of all Irish political prisoners and prisoners. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq met with mass opposition. If such a situation were to develop ‘”””into a revolutionary crisis then we would begin calling for trade union rights for the ranks of the army we could raise the demand for the election of officers but only when the soldiers are mutinous during a revolutionary crisis, not in peacetime.

Conclusion

The transitional programme is not and cannot be set in stone and used as a Gospel of some kind. It must be developed through as wide a discussion as possible, taking into account the struggles of the day and consider and the objective situation and how it develops. Demands stemming from these struggles can gain an immediate understanding among workers. They must be developed in the course of struggle, building from one to another. The demands must however be a solution to capitalist crisis which must in the final analysis pose to the working class that it can only be solved by the action of the class taking power and transcending capitalist property relations. The programme can then be a bridge from the struggle today to the socialist revolution of tomorrow.

Notes

[1] Leon Trotsky, “The World situation and Perspectives”, Writing of Leon Trotsky (1939-40) (Merit Publishers, 1969), pp 23-24
[2] V.I. Lenin, “Dogmatism and ‘Freedom of Criticism’”, What is to be done? Burning questions of our movement (New York, International Publishers, 1986), pp 39-41
[3] Leon Trotsky, “Lenin’s death and the shift of power”, My Life: An attempt at an autobiography , 1930, http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1930/mylife/ch41.htm
[4] Leon Trotsky, “Discussion on the Transitional Program”, Writings of Leon Trotsky (1939-1940), (Merit Publishers, 1969), p 43
[5] This introduction to ‘What we stand for’ appears on the back of every edition of ‘The Socialist’, newspaper of the SPEW.
[6] ibid
[7] ibid
[8] ibid
[9] http://www.socialist.net
[10] For more about the history of SPEW and Socialist Appeal see In Defence of Trotskyism No. 8, The CWI and IMT: Right Centrist Heirs of Ted Grant, published by Socialist Fight Group 2014
[11] Leon Trotsky, “More Discussion on the Transitional Program”, Writings of Leon Trotsky (1939-1940) (Merit Publishers, 1969), p49
[12] Leon Trotsky, The Class, the Party and the Leadership, (Cambridge Heath Press, 1982) p6
[13] Leon Trotsky, “Discussion on the Transitional Program”, Writings of Leon Trotsky (1939-1940) (Merit Publishers, 1969), p43
[14] Ibid, p44
[15] Ibid
[16] Leon Trotsky, “A Program of Action for France”,(1934), http://www.marxist.org/archive /Trotsky/1934/06/paf.htm#n22
[17] Ian Angus, “Communists and the British Labour Party”, Appendix: 1924 Statement on the Labour Government, Socialist History Project, Documenting the revolutionary socialist tradition in Canada, http://www.socialisthistory.ca/Docs/1961-/NDP/British_LP_4.h
[18] Leon Trotsky, “A Program of Action for France”,(1934), http://www.marxist.org/archive /Trotsky/1934/06/paf.htm#n22
[19] ibid

Socialist Fight Comment on the statement by the freed Borotba activists

The following statement by the freed Borotba activists raises several questions. If the Vostok Brigade are solely responsible for the kidnapping why did it take so long for the government of the Peoples Republic to free them? Under whose authority does Alexander Khodakovsky operate?
What gives him the authority to deport Borotba activists (all Borotba members?) from the ‘territory of the DNR and the Lugansk People’s Republic’ as they tell us in their statement. Surely if Khodakovsky was acting outside the authority of the governments at the very least they would be free to operate in those parts of the Donbass NOT controlled by him?
It has long been speculated that Khodakovsky is simply an agent of Putin and it is he that calls the shots in the Donbass. Did Putin ok the kidnapping and detentions? And why can senior government officials Denis Pushilin and Boris Litvinov not tell Khodakovsky who rules in the Donbass?
Instead of speculating on the machinations of Putin it would be better to begin to make a class analysis of the forces leading these Popular Front governments. “Apparently, there is a view that as representatives of the communist movement, we could start an opposition to the activities of the DNR leadership” they write and here we see the truth.
They carry a picture of Trotsky on their banner, they are young and uncorrupted militants, at some point they might reach the conclusion that the bourgeois nationalist forces leading the ‘Peoples Republics’ were not really interested in fighting this war in a way that could win. Only a revolutionary mobilisation can inspire the masses in the East, win the workers in the West and in Russia to their side.
That is only the organised working class has this political interest in expropriating the capitalists and running industries under workers control and spreading the revolution region wide and world-wide. But that’s Trotskyism, that’s Permanent Revolution, that’s modern day revolutionary Marxism itself. Afraid so! And clearly that movement has begun on the ground.

Statement by Maria Muratova, Maxim Firsov, Alexei Albu and Victor Shapinov about our detention in Donetsk

We — Borotba activists Muratova, Albu, Firsov and Shapinov — arrived in Donetsk on December 18 to establish contacts with representatives of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and provide all possible assistance in the anti-fascist struggle of the people of Donbass. We also had information that at the end of December a prisoner exchange would take place, which would include our comrades trapped in the dungeons of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) on charges of “creating a terrorist organization” — Vlad Wojciechowski and Nikolai Popov. We held a series of meetings with DNR activists, in particular with the Communists Alexander Smekalinym and Andriy Yakovenko. We were also scheduled to meet with DNR Foreign Minister Alexander Kofman, head of the Communist Party of Donbass Boris Litvinov and deputy chairman of the People’s Soviet of the DNR Denis Pushilin.
On Sunday, December 21, three of us — Muratova, Firsov and Shapinov – set off to see areas of Donetsk that suffered from the shelling of the Ukrainian army. In the district of Marshal Zhukov Boulevard, we were stopped by a car carrying soldiers of the “Essence of Time” division of the Vostok Brigade. Having checked our documents, they demanded we get into their car. Complying, we were taken to the headquarters of the Vostok Brigade in the vicinity of the Donetsk airport. There we were handed over to the commandant, who took us to the Special Division of the Vostok Brigade (4th base of Vostok in the area of St. Elevatornaya). The staff of the Special Division confiscated our mobile phones and personal belongings, and said that after checking we would be released.
In the Special Department we were not allowed to contact friends or relatives to inform them about where we were, and the staff also refused to inform them. As it turned out, the staff of the Special Division did not admit our detention even in response to direct requests from DNR officials. After a few days of detention, we managed to secretly inform our comrades of our whereabouts.
Learning about our arrest, Alexei Albu wrote to the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Denis Pushilin and head of the parliamentary committee Boris Litvinov. Albu went to the Special Division with a letter written by Boris Litvinov to release the Borotba activists, but instead of releasing the detainees, Albu was arrested.
Requests to the Vostok Brigade leadership for the release of the Borotba activists came from DNR officials (Denis Pushilin, Boris Litvinov, “Gloomy”), well-known anti-junta public figures (Boris Rozhin (Colonel Cassad), Oleg Tsarev, Konstantin Dolgov, Igor Dimitrov, Alexander Vasilyev, Vladimir Rogov, Daria Mitin, Anatoly Baranov, Boris Kagarlitskiy, Victor Tyulkin and others), Russian left-wing politicians and social activists (Yulia Polukhina, members of the Communist Party Valery Rashkin, Kazbek Taisaev, etc.). But their testimony that we are activists in the resistance to the Kiev regime made no impression on the staff of the Special Division.
Throughout our detention, we were not shown any charges. The staff were limited to the bizarre claim that “we need to check.”
After two weeks of detention in the Special Division, members of the Ministry of State Security of the DNR came. They told us that we would be immediately taken to the Russian border and deported from the DNR. They also reported that we are forbidden to enter the territory of the DNR and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LC). In response to a question about the motives of deportation, Ministry officers said that “now you are with us for one thing, and then we do not know what you want to do.” Apparently, there is a view that as representatives of the communist movement, we could start an opposition to the activities of the DNR leadership.
At the moment we do not have enough information to make an unambiguous conclusion about what is behind our arrest and expulsion from the DNR — banal excessive vigilance of intelligence agencies of the Republic, political denunciation or some kind of political order. In any case, such actions with respect to sincere friends of the Donbass rebellion only harm the reputation of the People’s Republics.
Despite this unfortunate incident in which we were unwitting participants, we have not changed our attitude to the People’s Republics and the anti-fascist uprising in the Donbass. We remain bitter enemies of the Kiev regime of oligarchs and Nazis, and friends of all who oppose fascism. However, some recent developments, including our arrest and deportation, give rise to legitimate concerns — whether the original spirit of the anti-fascist and anti-oligarchic revolt will continue, or will it be buried in favour of commercial and political interests of various groups operating in the republics?
During the time of our arrest, members of the Special Division and militia showed us the best attitude. We did not witness any ill-treatment or force used against prisoners, including soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (APU) and punitive “territorial” battalions. We were fed three times a day, the same as the militias. We had the opportunity to bathe and wash our clothes. APU prisoners and militias who have committed offenses are held in the same conditions, and the prisoners are allowed to visit relatives. We saw them trying to educate APU soldiers about the aggressive nature of the war in Donbass and the regime in Kiev.
We are going to fight to lift the ban on entry of Borotba activists to the territory of People’s Republics.
We thank all the friends and comrades who sought our liberation.
Maria Muratova, Alexei Albu, Maxim Firsov, Victor Shapinov

http://borotba.su/held_captive_in_donetsk.html