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London Political Forum 23 July 2003:
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London Political Forum 23 July 2003:
The Youth Are Determined to Take Control of their Future
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London Political Forum 23 July 2003:
At the latest in its regular monthly meetings the London Political Forum gave its space to a discussion led by youth on the problems faced by their peers and the solutions they are developing to solve them. That this is the case was seen in the recent actions organised by the anti-war movement in which the participation and energy of the youth inspired militant actions especially on the day after the aggression against Iraq began. Discussions focused on the experiences of young political activists, student organisers, an editor of a youth magazine and a participant in the recent actions opposing the EU Summit in Thessaloniki in Greece.
The targeting of militant youth was an apparent policy of the police at actions in Parliament Square on the day the aggression began against Iraq according to one participant. One of his friends had been targeted, arrested and prosecuted in what seemed a deliberate policy of the Metropolitan Police.
Another participant described his experiences as a student organiser at Sussex University. This experience had drawn his attention to the diversity and the factions and types of organisers in the movement. In his work he had helped in establishing a Marxist-Leninist Study Group, actions in solidarity with Cuba, anti-student fees political action and "Culture Move" described as an initiative to "educate the masses to become their own liberators". This work had included activity at local schools amongst secondary school youth. The experiences had led to the mobilisation of many in his circles all interested in politics, Marxism-Leninism and political activity. In his work he had been conscious of the importance of studying the classic of political theory as well as contemporary personalities such as Huey P Newton and Gerry Adams. The vigour and readiness for action, he thought, was exemplified by Rachel Corrie who was martyred in occupied Palestine and Tom Hurndall, who is an a coma as a result of the violence of the Israeli Defence Force.
The editor of a magazine aimed at young black people and which combined history and current affairs with features and news of music and culture was concerned with the disconnection of young people from what is considered mainstream. Bringing young people into political forums, activity and creating the awareness that being politically active is part of everyday life was one of her main themes. Being the editor of a magazine that focussed on music had also led her to explore its influence on young people. After discussing some of the positive and negative aspects of the musical genres of hip hop and garage and the culture of violence and depoliticisation sometimes associated with them, the effect of a lack of culture and the symptoms of low self-esteem and its perpetuation was highlighted.
Simon Chapman was arrested at the recently held EU Summit in Thessaloniki in Greece. His violent arrest included the planting on him of incriminating evidence. He remains in prison pending trial with a possible lengthy sentence. One of his friends read from a letter he had recently sent and called on support for his case which was being publicised on Indymedia website and other media.
In a discussion that focused on the many-sided problems youth face in school, at college and university and in other areas of life one thing was clear. The youth are political missing are structures in society to give their voice a platform and for their participation as equals in the political sphere as the ones who have responsibility for the future of society.
The forum ended with two poems in rap style. One highlighted the respect youth hold for this form of music, which exists alongside frustration at its corruption by an exploitative music industry the other denounced the cruel aggression of the imperialist powers.
In further conversations, there was vigorous enthusiasm to involve youth in forums of this kind, as well as to further organise young workers and other vulnerable youth and to deepen the conception that the youth should take control of their future and take up responsibility together for the future of society. In particular, the meeting gave an impetus to organise youth on their own terms to participate in the coming one-day conference of the London Political Forum on September 21, Bringing the Alternative into Being.
A leaflet produced in solidarity with Simon Chapman condemning his attack and arrest by police in Thessaloniki, Greece, on June 21 points out that despite the blatant violence and corruption of the police, the demonstrators terror did not end on the street of Thessaloniki. On arrival at the holding centre, the prisoners were beaten up again: kicked, punched, hair pulled, and subjected to threats of further violence. Simon also had his glasses smashed by police, leaving him virtually unable to see. He was left without glasses for nearly a week until his friends, who have remained in Greece, were finally able to get replacements as well as clean clothes and other items brought into him.
Simon and seven other activists from across Europe, America and Syria (who all have similar stories to tell) were refused bail and are facing the three charges of: riot, resisting authority, and possession of explosives. They have now been moved to a maximum security prison and Simon has had his head shaved.
Photographs of the attack on Simon Chapman show him on the ground, being beaten by riot police, one of whom appears to be kicking him in the head. Simon is wearing a bright blue and purple rucksack. A photo taken several minutes later shows Simon sitting up nursing serious head injuries. The rucksack is missing. Eyewitnesses said that the police continued to beat him until he accepted a black rucksack, full of Molotov cocktails. This bag appeared out of nowhere. Moments after the second picture was taken, Simon was arrested on the charges mentioned above, which carry sentences of between seven and 25 years, and if refused bail all eight prisoners will face the horrifying prospect of between 12-18 months in prison before their cases come to full trial. They would all be tried together.
The leaflet stresses that it is vital that we continue the actions of international solidarity that have started in other European cities. We need to mobilise ourselves and continue to take action in our demand that all charges against the prisoners are dropped and they are immediately released. To receive regular email updates and for information on forthcoming solidarity actions in Britain email: email@example.com.
In a call to write to Simon, the leaflet says that letters of support can make all the difference to keep up his spirits as he waits for a decision on bail from the panel of judges. Knowing that others are out there thinking about you is vital to remaining strong while inside, the leaflet says. The email address can also be used to obtain advice on letter writing. Simon Chapmans address is c/o Dikastikes Filakes Thessalonikis, Diavata, Greece.
Write or email letters of protest to the Greek Ambassador to the UK, Embassy of Greece, 1A Holland Park, London W11 3TP. Tel: 020 7229 3850; fax: 020 7229 7221; emails: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Theyre Inside For Us. Were Outside for Them.
Free Simon Chapman! Free the Saloniki 8!
A well-attended meeting to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the armistice which ended the Korean War, known to Koreans as the Great Fatherland Liberation War, was organised by the UK Branch of the Korean Friendship Association on July 26 in London.
The KFA is an international mainly website-based organisation. Guests of honour were Ri Si Hong and Ha Sin Guk, respectively charge daffaires and second secretary at the recently opened Embassy of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea in London. International delegates of KFA from as far apart as Finland and the USA were also present. The main address was given by Ri Si Hong.
Mr Ri emphasised, among other things, the injustice of the 50 year refusal of the USA to honour the terms of the armistice as well as of its present criminal threats against the DPRK, including that of a nuclear pre-emptive strike. He pointed out that the DPRK was quite justly and in accord with international law developing a powerful deterrent force to counter these threats and defend its sovereignty and was demanding a non-aggression pact with the USA to resolve the current tensions.
His address was followed by a speech by Dermot Hudson of the UK Branch of KFA. Further speeches were given by Chris Coleman of RCPB(ML), Andy Brooks of NCP and Shaun Pickford of the Juche Ideas Study Group. All of these speeches hailed the victory won in fighting the imperialist invaders to a standstill 50 years ago, condemned the escalating US threats against the DPRK and supported the just stands of the DPRK in its defence. They demanded talks leading to a non-aggression pact as well as the complete withdrawal of US forces from the Korean peninsula.
The July 2003 Bulletin of CILRECO, the International Liaison Committee for Reunification and Peace in Korea, carries an article explaining that on June 25, 1950, the US carried out military aggression against the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, thus triggering off the 1950-1953 Korean War. On July 27, 1953, after three years of a very dramatic conflict for the Korean nation, the Korean people, at the expense of incredible sacrifices, beat the US imperialists hands down.
The Tragedy of the Divided Korean Nation
In the days following the second world war, the Koreans, who had played a decisive role in the liberation of their country from the terrible Japanese colonial domination (1906-1945), and had contributed to the defeat of the "fascist axis", found themselves refused by the US their legitimate right to independence of their country.
The US armed forces occupied the southern part of Korea after the liberation of the country, within the framework of the accords reached between the Allies, and according to which they were only authorised to disarm the defeated Japanese forces. Overstepping its authority, the US not only maintained its troops after the accomplishment of their mission, but it used them to repress the south Korean population that demanded sovereignty in its liberated country.
After it had installed by force a government totally devoted to it, in order to establish its political, economic and military ascendancy over South Korea, the US considerably reinforced its troops and weapons, thus revealing its true objective: spread its domination over the entire Korean Peninsula, which would play a key role in its strategic plans directed against socialist countries and peoples in this region in order to accomplish its desire for global hegemony.
When, on September 9, 1948, President Kim Il Sung, the leader of the armed struggle against the Japanese occupying forces, and the architect of the liberation of the country, founded in the north the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, this dealt a terrible blow to American imperialistic plans.
It could not tolerate the existence of an independent Korea, with its authentic popular government and its determination to create an original socialist society, which, sooner or later, would guarantee the sovereignty of the Korean nation over the entire reunified country.
Therefore, the US, in co-operation with the South Korean puppet government, went to great lengths to prepare in minute detail a plan of invasion in order to nip the young Peoples Republic in the bud.
The Korean War (1950-1953)
On June 25, 1950, after a whole series of incursions and military provocation against the DPRK, the South Korean forces, placed under US command, crossed the 38th parallel, which separates the north from the south, with an objective to "disperse and disarm North Koreas Peoples Army" in order to "take Pyongyang in three days" (to cite Syngman Rhee, "President" of the South Korean puppet government at the end of 1949).
But, the events took an unexpected turn for the Pentagons strategists and their South Korean henchmen: the Koreans gave a massive support to their Peoples Army to defend their freedom and independence, and the invaders were thrown out of the country and chased all the way to Seoul.
On the very day of the aggression, which they themselves had plotted out, the USA referred the matter to the Security Council of the United Nations, and, in the absence of the USSR and China, regardless of the facts, the north was designated as the "aggressor".
Three hours after the meeting of the Security Council, which called for a "cease-fire", the US forces what a coincidence were present and intervened in all combat zones.
As the United Nations at the time was mostly pro-American, the US obtained a shameful support of the international organisation, in violation of the basic principles of the Charter of the United Nations, in order to create an illusion that its military intervention was legitimate.
American-Korean troops encountered a series of setbacks, and the US decided to mobilise huge forces, including mercenaries from 15 countries, to try to bring the Koreans to their knees. They did not hesitate to use terrible chemical and biological weapons, and even thought of using nuclear weapons, provoking a wave of indignation throughout the world.
During all these terrible years for the Korean nation (the death toll was more than two million and the country was completely devastated), its resistance did not weaken, supported by an immense international movement of solidarity, demanding the withdrawal of the American aggressor, peace in Korea, and the right of the entire Korean nation to self-determination.
Defeats on the battlefield and political isolation on the international level forced the US to abandon its ambitions and accept defeat by signing, on July 27, 153, an "Armistice Agreement", which put an end to the war.
To pay tribute to the heroic struggle of Koreans and their victory over the most important imperialistic power, which was a significant example for the struggle of people for their emancipation, the anti-imperialist forces of the world proposed in 1960 to turn the period of June 25 July 27 into a Month of Common Struggle against Imperialism and of Support to the Cause of the Korean People.
The International Liaison Committee for Reunification and Peace in Korea (CILRECO) decided in the very first days of its existence to turn this Month of Solidarity every year into a period of intensive activity of support for the cause of the Korean people by ensuring a convergence of initiatives of all progressive forces during this period of particular importance for the expression of the peoples demand for the independent and peaceful reunification of Korea.
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