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The 132nd Durham Miners’ Gala :
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The 132nd Durham Miners’ Gala :
Statement of the Northern Region of RCPB(ML), July 9, 2016
This year's Durham Miners' Gala and Big Meeting is being held when the vote to leave the EU has created a deep political crisis for the ruling elite. It comes when the vital question is for the working class to chart a new path to build a Workers' Opposition and bring about a change that favours the working class and people in the new situation.
The result of the EU referendum was a blow to the existing arrangements, and to those establishment forces who had been siding with the status quo of the EU of the monopolies. The space that has opened up for the workers is the opportunity to fight for a new direction for the economy and for society. It is an opportunity for the working class and people to build a united movement to establish sovereignty over the economy and go for political power. It is an opportunity to fight for manufacturing and public services that serve the needs of the whole population and not the interests of the rich and the monopolies.
Rightly, today the Big Meeting will be talking a lot about the dictate of the ruling elite and the attack on Jeremy Corbyn and how to defend the anti-austerity programme he stands for. This raises in sharp relief the importance of the working class sticking to its independent programme and politics in the face of the desperate attempts to usurp them. But the working class must go further and launch its own offensive to constitute itself the nation. This means it must use its numbers, organisation and wisdom to work to deprive the vested neo-liberal interests of power and instead vest sovereignty in the people. This goes for the project to establish modern sovereign states of Scotland and Wales, as well as for Britain as a whole. Democratic renewal of the political system must become part of a fighting programme of the working class to increasingly deprive the ruling elite of their ability to marginalise the people and deprive them of power. This is the historic mission of the working class.
Working people in their majority “Leave” vote have dealt a blow the programme of monopoly-dominated “free trade” and the concentration of political and economic power in the hands of a supranational neo-liberal elite. The destruction of the manufacturing base, poverty, unemployment, privatisation and other deep wounds in society must be reversed by the working class challenging the orthodoxy that those who produce the wealth cannot be the decision-makers. The opposite is the case.
The watchword is that the rights of all should be defended. The British state’s policy towards citizenship and immigration, which has been racist and aimed to divide people, must be opposed and blocked. The interest of the EU, British, US and other monopolies is to keep everyone subservient to cheap labour schemes.This must be opposed whilst the working class fights for the rights of all to be recognised. The starting point is the necessity for inviolable rights simply by virtue of being human and upholding collective rights, such as the right of working class and people to organise.
The agenda of austerity, racism and war must itself be blocked, and the working class and people unite around charting a path for a pro-social and anti-war government. It is not a question of siding with any other force. It is essential that an independent path is taken by the working class and people. It has become clear with the publication of the Chilcot Report that the warmongers are unfit to govern. The vital questions of war and peace, as well as other questions of the public good such as building a sovereign national economy and accountable public authorities, must become the responsibility of the working class.
As a we take part in the Durham Gala and the Big Meeting, let us all unite around the need to build a Workers' Opposition to fight for the alternative, to defeat austerity and defend the rights of all. Let us adopt the programme for democratic renewal so that the people are increasingly empowered to make all the decisions in society. The movement of the workers can be built which will bring about change that favours the people and the nations which at present constitute Britain. Grasp the opportunity to bring about a new direction for the economy and society!
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