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Workers' Weekly Internet Edition: Article Index : ShareThis
Fighting For the Rights Of All:
Racism: A Preferred Policy of the Rich and their State
The Battle for the Future Direction of the NHS:
Junior Doctors Say No to Jeremy Hunt's New Contract
Building Resistance against Austerity:
Capital-Centred Proposals Do Not Signal the End of Austerity
Never Again! Hiroshima Day & Nagasaki Day 2016
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The funeral service of Dave Hopper, Secretary of the Durham Miners' Association, took place on Friday, July 29, at the Miners' Hall, Red Hill, Durham, starting at 9.45am.
The funeral and celebration of Dave Hopper's life was a wonderful and dignified occasion imbued with that militant social love characteristic of the best of the working class movement. It was attended by more than a thousand people from the workers' and people's movements, including Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, and several prominent trade union leaders, as well as representatives of the northern region of RCPB(ML). The mourners packed into the historic Redhills Miners' Hall with many sat in the marquee outside as well. The funeral cortège arrived to the very moving Gresford, known as "the miners' hymn", played by the Durham Miners' Association Brass Band. The beautiful wooden coffin was carried inside the hall by the sons and marras - friends and comrades - of Dave Hopper. The service was taken by Rodney Bickerstaffe, former leader of Unison, and friend of Dave Hopper for over 30 years. The eulogies were delivered by AlanMardghum, a marra of Dave's at Wearmouth pit and fellow union fighter, Geoff Shears, who joined with Davey and the DMA as the leader of Thompsons in the very risky undertaking of fighting test cases, Jeremy Corbyn MP, leader of the Labour Party, and Alan Cummings, President of the DMA who had been, with Davey, part of the left discussion forum in the union that had led the 1984-85 miners strike in the Durham area when the leadership at that time opposed the strike.
The memorial service lasted for two hours but passed very quickly with so many wonderful tributes to Dave Hopper, the DMA, and the Durham Miners' Gala. Jeremy Corbyn described the legacy of Davey, David Guy and others as a wonderful legacy for the entire working class and people that is necessary to take forward. He united with this legacy that of the Tolpuddle martyrs, farmworkers, steel workers and all workers. This is something that it is necessary to strengthen, Jeremy Corbyn said, and called on all to work for the better society and future that Davey fought for to the end.
What also came across was not only Davey's socialist principles but his unswerving internationalism and his unwavering spirit of optimism. This was reflected in his stand of never giving in to set backs but instead overcoming the obstacles in the darkest moments faced by the DMA both during and after the strike when the pits had closed. It was this indomitable spirit of the best of the working class leaders that so marked the speakers' contributions and remain in the personal memories of those who knew him in the cause of advancing the working class movement.
It might also be mentioned that this spirit was manifested when he welcomed the comrades from the DPRK's London embassy, showing them around Redhills and discussing with them. This paved the way for contact between the DMA and the miners' and energy sector trade union of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), which Dave Hopper was committed to strengthening in the future.
At the finish of the funeral ceremony, Paul Robeson's outstanding recording of Joe Hill rang out through the hall, followed by the collective and dignified singing of the Red Flag. Under Rodney Bickerstaffe's guidance the ceremony concluded, and all applauded as the hearse and family mourners left for a private funeral in Sunderland.
The evening before, on Thursday, July 28, there was a celebration of Dave's life at Sacriston Workingmen's Club in Durham, which included live music and a buffet. The pervading spirit was that although these are sad times the DMA and the Gala will carry on and flourish. Included among those attending were Alan Cummings, President of the DMA, Jeremy Corbyn and Rodney Bickerstaffe. Jeremy Corbyn gave a short appreciation of Dave Hopper's life and work.
from the Order of Service remembering Dave Hopper
Dave Hopper was born on April 8, 1943, the first son of Timothy and Barbara, in a small colliery house directly opposite the gates of Wearmouth Colliery, Sunderland, where his father worked. His primary education was basic and, at a time when fewer than ten percent of Sunderland's children were awarded a place at a grammar school, Dave spent a year in the local secondary modern before passing the entrance exam for Villiers Street Secondary Technical School. He was an able pupil, a keen footballer and was already honing that legendary acerbic wit that delighted his classmates and annoyed the teaching staff in equal measure.
Sunderland's many shipyards and engineering factories were enjoying a post-war boom and there were ample jobs for Dave to choose from. However, he decided, at the age of 15, to follow his father down the pit.
As a teenager, he enthusiastically embraced the age of rock n' roll - Edwardian "drapes", beetle crushers and all. One night, on the dance floor of the Seaburn Hall, he met Brenda Lough, fell in love and after a short courtship they married on December 1 1962 - he was 19, Brenda, 18.
At the pit, Dave's first job was stone picking on the surface screen amid the din and dust, a job he detested. When 16 and allowed down the pit, he first worked at the shaft bottom loading tubs into the cage. From there, he progressed in-bye and finally, at the age of 19 and fully face-trained, he began hand-filling on a three-foot-high coalface - the most physically demanding job at the pit. In Durham, the men picked the face teams and the whole team shared piece-rate earnings equally. Comradeship and co-operation were essential and Dave forged bonds that lasted his lifetime.
Gary, his first child, was born in March 1963 and eighteen months later Brenda gave birth to their second child, Deborah, in September 1964 and their third child, Beverley, in March 1966.
With a growing family to feed, Dave moved on to drilling in the development drifts and later operating a Dosco road-header in the new 15 70 horizon that was heading for the high coal reserves under the North Sea.
In 1967, the introduction of the National Power Loading Agreement replaced piecework and halved Dave's take home pay. By the time Jason, the fourth child, was born in April 1970, large-scale dissatisfaction was spreading throughout the British coalfields. Miners who had been so compliant since Vesting Day 1947 were at breaking point and, in January 1972, they struck for seven weeks for higher pay and won substantial increases.
Dave now began to take a keen interest in the union, encouraged by his father, Timothy, who was a union safety inspector and a member of the lodge committee. He read avidly about the history of the labour and socialist movement and became convinced that capitalism was the enemy of working people the world over, never wavering from this view.
His growing militancy brought him into conflict with the moderate area leaders and after the Incentive Scheme was introduced in 1977, by stealth, after twice being rejected by national ballot, Dave and a group of young miners decided to form a discussion forum - called the Durham Left - dedicated to creating a more combative area leadership.
By 1981, they had succeeded in changing the rules governing the election of the union's Area Executive Committee making it more democratic, enabling Dave to be elected in 1982. Most importantly, in 1983, the Durham Left was instrumental in getting the first Durham rank-and-file miner elected to the National Executive Committee, giving the left a vital majority of one. This was to prove decisive in the coming struggles. In that year, the influence of the left was further strengthened when Dave was elected secretary of Wearmouth's 3,000-strong lodge.
In 1984, the Wearmouth Lodge was among the first to strike against pit closures. Throughout the strike, Dave remained dedicated to achieving a successful conclusion while Brenda, an active trades unionist herself, worked tirelessly raising money and feeding miners and their families.
When the strike ended, Dave was elected General Secretary of the NUM (Durham Area) and with Dave Guy, the newly-elected President, formed a strong area leadership in the most difficult of circumstances. They opposed all the subsequent pit closures, the new draconian discipline procedures and the attempts to lengthen shift times underground. Above all, they stood by all those miners who had been sacked during the strike, getting many reinstated and supporting the others financially.
When the last pit in Durham closed in 1993, all appeared lost. The union's resources had been consumed in the strike, there were no miners to pay subscriptions and it would have been easy to have walked away. However, that was not how the two area leaders saw it. The building assets of the Durham Area were put up as collateral and the union fought a court battle for compensation for members suffering from the industrial disease vibration white finger. When they won, £1.7 billion in compensation was paid to miners throughout the coalfields of Britain. A similar success with bronchitis and emphysema was to follow.
In 1997, disaster struck Dave's family when Brenda, after a four-year battle with cancer, died on November 23 at the age of 53. The family was heartbroken and Dave struggled to face life without his wife to whom he had been devoted for 31 years.
Dave was passionately against the British intervention in Afghanistan and, when Tony Blair took the country to war in Iraq, he was incensed and left the Labour Party in which he had been an active member and office holder for over 30 years. He was totally opposed to the policies of New Labour and saw its refusal to reverse Thatcher's anti-union legislation as a betrayal of the very people the party was formed to protect. He referred often in his Gala messages to the disgrace that, after 13 years of Labour Government, the gulf between rich and poor had actually widened.
Under Dave's leadership, Durham miners played an important role in providing aid for Cuba, donating money to buy ambulances for its health service and computer equipment for schools. It was during a visit to Cuba that Dave met and fell in love with Maria Zarzabal whom he married in the Cuban Embassy in 2006 and became a stepfather to her two children, Samuel and Esther. This gave Dave a new lease of life that they enjoyed for 11 happy years together.
Dave was a passionate internationalist and anti-fascist who hated racism of all kinds. He supported all working people fighting oppression and was widely admired for his straight talking. Above all, he believed that the capitalist system, based on the exploitation of working people for the enrichment of the few, is not and can never be the highest level of civilisation that humankind can achieve. Whatever the difficulties and problems, he was adamant that we have to strive to replace it with a socialist system under which the weak are protected and everyone can enjoy the full fruits of their labour.
The Durham Miners' Gala, which under his leadership has grown and developed into Europe's largest celebration of community and trade union values, is his legacy and he leaves it to us all to cherish and guard with all the passion he demonstrated throughout his life.
Dave leaves behind his beloved wife Maria, four children and two stepchildren, eleven grand children and six great-grand children.
The family have asked that donations in Dave's memory be made to: The Friends of Durham Miners' Gala. www.friendsofdurhamminersgala.org
With great sadness we received the news of the death of our dear and close friend Dave Hopper.
Dave, who served as General Secretary of the Durham Miners Association for 30 years, was an active and fervent fighter for the rights of miners in Durham and Great Britain and for trade unions unity. For his perseverance in this struggle won the recognition and affection of the British trade union movement.
For many years he understood the struggle of the Cuban people to defend its revolution and socialism, which he dedicated many years of his solidarity and support against the US blockade and the struggle for the freedom of the Five.
The Cuban workers, the Workers' Central Union of Cuba and its unions, will remember him for what he was, a great friend, a great fighter for the rights of the working class, a man with high sensitivity to the problems of labour and social injustice.
The man of the mines has gone, but his example will remain in our struggles forever.
Receive, on behalf of our organisation and Cuban workers, our deepest condolences, which we wish you to convey to his wife, friends and family.
According to recent media reports, in the period just before and following the EU referendum in June, there was a 57% increase in the reporting of what are referred to as "hate crimes" to the police online reporting portal, compared with the same period in the previous month, with eighty-five reports made between Thursday, June 23, the day of the referendum, to Sunday, June 26.
Figures released on July 22 by the National Police Chiefs' Council suggest that over six thousand reports of such crimes were made in the week before and the three weeks following the EU referendum. This is said to indicate a 20% increase on similar reports made in the first two weeks of July in 2015. In addition, the media was full of reports of racist attacks and other racist incidents perpetrated against people of Polish and other Eastern European heritage, as well as those of African, Caribbean and Asian heritage. Such incidents, which in some cases appear to be the work of the organised fascists, were often presented as in some way connected with the result of the EU referendum, rather than the racism and chauvinism that often characterised the campaign and climate that preceded and accompanied it. There was a clear inference that the vote to leave the reactionary EU was in itself somehow a reactionary act that had encouraged an atmosphere of chauvinism and racism. In this way an insidious campaign was promoted to create divisions and to promote confusion as to the source of racism in society.
One feature of the EU campaign was that it was dominated by the most backward representatives of the Westminster parties, indeed largely by the representatives of the Conservative Party. The racism and chauvinism of Gove and Johnson, for example, are well-known but so too is the national chauvinism of Cameron, Osborne and others. For many years, successive governments and the state in general have not only created the conditions for racism and chauvinism with the demonisation of migrants, refugees, Muslims and other minorities, but also with the promotion of so-called "British values" and the most backward views about other parts of the world which accompany attempts to realise the reactionary programme to "make Britain great again".
Moreover, the ruling elites have actually spearheaded such attacks through the media, legislation, the introduction of the so-called Prevent Strategy, the treatment of migrants and refugee seekers, the actions of the police, the criminal justice system, as well as by other means. Even the latest Home Office figures show that "a black man is still five times more likely to be stopped and searched by police than a white man in England and Wales", while in some parts of the country "black people" are "12.7 times more likely to be stopped than white people", as quoted by the statutory body the Equality and Human Rights Commission in a report released on July 12. The same report states that the latest Ministry of Justice figures show that "the rates of prosecution and sentencing for the Black ethnic group were three times higher than for the White group", and that "40% of prisoners aged under 18 were from the Black, Asian, Mixed or 'Other' ethnic groups in England and Wales during 2014 to 2015".
A cursory glance through modern British history shows that racism is the preferred policy of the ruling class and their state and is promoted and implemented to serve their interests. Racism is employed to create divisions amongst the working people, to act as diversion but also to attack one section of the people in order to attack the rights of all. It has also always been in their interests to promote the view that it is not the rich and their state but the workers who are the source of racism and that what is required is more action by the rulers, their state apparatus and governments.
It is in this context that on June 29 the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, stated that the government would "soon publish a new action plan on tackling hate crime to step up our response", including "new steps to boost the reporting of hate crime and to support victims" and other measures. The new Prime Minister has made similar claims regarding tackling discrimination and injustice, while on July 25 the new Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, also spoke about the measures which the Home Office is proposing to introduce, the so-called "Hate Crime Action Plan". It is however noteworthy that despite the organised nature of many of the recent racist incidents no arrests of the likely organisers have been made.
What experience shows is that no faith can be placed in the hypocritical words of governments, or other representatives of the state, to the effect that they wish to tackle or remove the scourge of racism, while in deeds they continue to de-humanise refugees, migrants, Muslims and other minorities, create the conditions for racism and racist attacks, or carry out such attacks through the apparatus of the state. With the increasing irrationality of the messages from Westminster and the lack of any coherent legislation defending the rights of all, it is small wonder that racism has increasingly been fostered and that the promotion of neo-Nazi organisations comes and goes.
Experience also shows that it is the working people of all nationalities that stand opposed to racism, which the working class has always seen as being inimical to its interests. What must now be resisted are all attempts to create divisions amongst people on the basis of how they voted in the EU referendum, or to demonise those who voted to leave the reactionary EU. At the present time what is required is further discussion to clarify the source of racism and to build the maximum unity in action in defence of the rights of all.
On July 5, the British Medical Association (BMA) announced that the Junior Doctors had voted to reject Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt's new contract with 58% voting against in a 68% turnout. The BMA junior doctors committee chair Johann Malawana called on the government to respect the result of the vote and said there should be no transition to the new contract until further talks had taken place. Dr Malawana, who has since resigned, said the vote was a "demonstration of just how appallingly front-line staff have been treated and undermined" and accused the government of overseeing a "fundamental breakdown in trust".
For close to a year, Junior Doctors have fought against Jeremy Hunt's attempt to impose a new contract on them under the guise of a "7-day NHS" in an attempt to hide its real aim of wholesale privatisation for the NHS. The Junior Doctors condemned Hunt's original contract as being neither safe nor fair and have fought back through strike action, including an unprecedented all out strike in April which, against all the scaremongering by the government and national press, won overwhelming public support. Hunt's second contract is merely a re-jigging of his original contract.
The campaign group Justice for Health, founded by five Junior Doctors in March, accused Jeremy Hunt of acting outside his legal powers in imposing the new contract saying that it is "unsafe and unsustainable". Mr Hunt tried to make out that the decision to impose his second contract "had been difficult", using the specious excuse that the vote for Brexit meant that there was a need for "certainty" in the NHS. What is certain is that the re-election of Hunt is a clear indication of the determination of the government to pursue its programme of systematically running down the NHS and for its the wholesale privatisation. As an article in Workers' Weekly Internet Edition on April 16 pointed out, the government sees the Junior Doctors as a block to their plans to impose a business model on the health service.
The long running fight of the Junior Doctors has now reached a new phase with the vote to reject the contract which the BMA had recommended, as well asJustice for Health's application for judicial review. Just 24 hours before a case management hearing to determine whether this application would proceed, Jeremy Hunt tried to thwart Justice for Health's legal challenge through his legal team's imposition of a £150,000 protection order, the amount Hunt's legal team could seek from Justice for Health if they lost the case. The figure had previously been set at £30,000. However, Hunt's disgraceful denial of any semblance of justice or democracy failed as Justice for Health were able to raise the necessary £150,000 through popular support via the fundraising website Crowd Justice.
At the time of writing, Mr Justice Green is conducting a case management hearing in London and the legal challenge case will take place in September, i.e. the month before Jeremy Hunt's threat to impose his contract in October. Meanwhile, the BMA is advising Junior Doctors not to sign any contract.
Support the Junior Doctors' Legal Challenge!
No to the Privatisation of the Health Service!
Health Care Is a Right! For an NHS Based on Fulfilling this Right!
Recently there has been much said and written speculating that changes in economic policy will signal the end of austerity. Opposition to neo-liberal austerity was a central underlying issue in the recent referendum and the tone of various developments since the result is an acknowledgement of that. What is going to facilitate charting the path to ending austerity is human-centred economic thinking based on the recognition of the role of the working class in creating social wealth, and opposing capital-centred thinking in which the working class has no role but to be a cost of production or a drain on the Treasury.
During the Conservative leadership campaign, Theresa May's rival Andrea Leadsom promised "prosperity not austerity" while May herself, before becoming Prime Minister, had said that the government would no longer try to reach a budget surplus by 2020, which meant abandoning one of previous chancellor George Osborne's central aims and was driving the austerity programme. Osborne himself made the same admission shortly before being replaced by Philip Hammond, who has been talking about "resetting fiscal policy", signalling a seeming shift in the economic approach that government will take.
Since the onset of the economic crisis in 2007-8, austerity - the severe cutting of social and cultural programmes, wages, pensions, and other claims of the working class and general population under the pretext of reducing the budget deficit and national debt - has become the favoured policy within the neo-liberal consensus, particularly within Europe. In Britain, then leader of the opposition David Cameron in 2009 infamously declared an "age of austerity". George Osborne officially made austerity a permanent feature of life at the end of 2013 when he set the aim of surplus by 2020.
In the recent period, austerity has been the all-sided intensification of the anti-social offensive in the conditions of permanent economic crisis. The argument for austerity is fully in line with neo-liberal assumptions, that investment in social programmes is a cost while the claims of the owners of capital, the creditors, is sacrosanct and ultimately good for the economy to meet. Austerity is an attempt to shift the entire burden of the crisis onto the majority population. Furthermore, it is a kind of shock method to force through and accelerate the dismantling of any remnants of the old social arrangements, to completely usurp public authority by private monopoly interests.
The economic and political consequences - increasing poverty and concentration of wealth, damage to social programmes, widespread disaffection with representative democracy, and party systems in disarray - have been such that the policy of austerity has itself gone into crisis. Even on its own terms, European countries have seen unemployment rise and debt increase relative to GDP. In Greece, which has been at the front line of the economic crisis, austerity has been so intense that it has led to social unrest and more than one collapse of government, and the country has experienced overt imposition by the institutions of the European Union.
Divisions have been opening up within the ruling elite in this context. By as far back as 2012 two lines had appeared over whether to "continue austerity" or "go for growth", personified by Merkel on the one hand and Hollande on the other, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) admitted in its World Economic Outlook that year that austerity had been far more damaging than expected. 2015, which began with the newly-emergent party Syriza being elected to government in Greece on an anti-austerity platform, was a turning-point. Greek attempts to negotiate immediately proved impossible, exposing the nature of the dictate and leading to the Greek referendum on austerity last July, the overwhelming "No" result of which was suppressed. Contradictions sharpened between the IMF and the EU, while Osborne's 2015 Autumn Statement backtracked on certain targets and was reported on by some commentators at that time as if it meant the end of austerity.
The G20 Leaders' Summit held in Turkey in November last year on "Global Recovery, Resilience and Sustainability" was preoccupied with these issues. Recognising that growth in the international economy was slow, the summit promoted public-private partnership in particular as how to increase investment in areas such as infrastructure along with opposition to "trade protectionism" as a way to contribute to growth. Further, what growth there had been was "jobless growth" in that employment had not kept pace. Bolstering the "legitimacy and effectiveness" of the IMF was also discussed.
The faltering recovery was also apparent in more recent predictions. In April this year, the IMF cut its 2016 global growth forecast from 3.4% to 3.2%, and in June, the World Bank cut its corresponding forecast from 2.9% to 2.4%.
Regardless, the constant refrain in this post-referendum period will be to blame all problems on Brexit. Indeed the referendum result has deepened and sharpened these problems and contradictions, to the extent that a shift in policy is now being spoken of. A wave of pessimistic news has provided a pretext. The rating agencies have downgraded Britain, Standard and Poors from AAA to AA and Fitch from AA+ to AA, the later citing "weaker medium-term growth and investment prospects and uncertainty about future trade arrangements", while various big banks such as Barclays and Credit Suisse have forecast recession. Such statements are political interventions. Osborne had in February 2010 promised to "maintain Britain's AAA credit rating" as a key justification for austerity.
So it was on July 1 that George Osborne dropped the commitment to budget surplus by 2020. Following that, new Chancellor Philip Hammond, who replaced Osborne on July 13, praised Osborne's "fantastic job" but told Sky News that "now we are moving into a different phase for the British economy with new challenges as we exit the European Union and new opportunities as well".
Referring to the deficit on the BBC's Today programme, Hammond stated: "Our economy will change as we go forward and it will require different parameters to measure its success. Of course we've got to reduce the deficit further, but looking at how and when and how we measure our progress in doing that is something that we now need to consider in the light of the new circumstances that the economy is facing."
Using the stronger language of a "reset" in policy, he said on July 22, "Over the medium term we will have the opportunity with our Autumn Statement, our regular late year fiscal event, to reset fiscal policy if we deem it necessary to do so in the light of the data that will emerge over the coming months."
What all of this actually represents has evoked a mixed reaction. The Telegraph characterised Osborne's announcement as "austerity measures to continue until the 2020s", while Jonty Bloom of the BBC claimed more recently that "Britain's economic policy has changed radically almost overnight" and in an article for Business Insider, Oscar Williams-Grut speculated that "Britain's age of austerity could be over".
The latter article quotes Berenberg's Senior UK Economist, Kallum Pickering: "Hammond has a reputation as a fiscal hawk, which potentially conflicts with May's pledge to ease up on the pace of austerity. As a best guess, we will likely see a compromise between these two positions at November's Autumn Statement. Looser fiscal policy in the near-term while demand is weak with the major cuts pushed to the back of the forecast when economic growth is likely to improve."
This is being commentated on as a move away from a focus on debt and deficit towards infrastructure investment funded both privately and by the state through increased borrowing.
Gerard Lyons, economist for the official Leave campaign, was reported by the BBC's Kamal Ahmed as saying "austerity should end" and that "the UK economy will actually benefit from increased infrastructure investment because the real lesson of the referendum is we're distancing ourselves from the weak growth region of the world economy", and that the government should be taking on more debt with low borrowing rates. "Higher infrastructure spending justified against the backdrop of very low interest rates will produce stronger economic growth and the stronger growth in itself will help the future public finances," he claimed.
Former Business Secretary Sajid Javid also called for the government to fund an extra £100bn of infrastructure spending over the next five years.
Williams-Grut points out: "While deficit reduction may take a back seat at the Treasury under Hammond, it does not necessarily mean the end of austerity in terms of welfare spending. Hammond may simply decide to emphasise spending on infrastructure and other large projects to boost economic growth."
What is clear is that, while touted by some as the end of austerity, the essence - continued underinvestment in welfare and social programmes, further privatisation and rule through imposition - is to remain.
It could be said to be a change in the form of austerity from one that ostensibly targets debt and deficit to a form of austerity that does not, so that more funding is put into projects, particularly infrastructure, demanded by the monopolies. In other words, an end of austerity for big business.
By attempting to label this change as the end of austerity in general, it could also be seen as an attempt to nullify austerity as an issue, which has become the key issue of the time and a focus for the growing movement for the alternative expressed, for example, in the support for Jeremy Corbyn. However, it by no means signals a change in the direction of the economy but a consolidation of that direction in the current conditions.
Such a situation of flux riddled with contradictions is an opportunity for the working class to break with the prevailing conceptions, neo-liberal ideology and capital-centred outlook and develop its own views, politics and agenda to open a path to progress and solve the problems of the economy in its own interests, from a human-centred perspective, and truly end austerity once and for all.
This year marks the 71st anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in Japan on August 6, 1945, and on Nagasaki on August 9. About 140,000 people were killed in Hiroshima in the initial blast, with total deaths estimated at more than 237,000. At Nagasaki, an estimated 70,000 people were immediately killed, with more than 140,000 people dying in total from the initial blast, burns, injuries and radiation sickness.
August 6 and 9 are now days when people worldwide commemorate those who were killed in these horrendous acts of terrorism by the US imperialists. On these days people express the determination of the peoples of the world to say Never Again! to such crimes against humanity and reaffirm the demand for complete and total nuclear disarmament. There must be an end to the nuclear blackmail of the United States, which is the only country to have used these weapons of mass destruction.
Humanity's fight to rid the world of nuclear weapons requires stepping up the struggle to uphold the sovereignty and independence of all nations, and the elimination of the threat or use of force to settle conflicts. The working class and people must themselves organise for an anti-war government that rejects the use of force as a means of settling conflicts between nations and peoples.
Memorial events are planned across Britain for Hiroshima Day.
For details, see: http://cnduk.org/get-involved/events/item/2532-hiroshima-day
US Arms Build-up Aimed at Reducing Korean Peninsula to Field of Nuclear War
Rodong Sinmun, August 4
The service personnel and people of the DPRK will never overlook the United States' ceaseless arms build-up in south Korea, but will clear it and its vicinity of all US military bases for aggression and thus fulfil their historic mission of protecting the peace and security in the region and the rest of the world.
The US is massively introducing its strategic nuclear assets into south Korea and its vicinity.
What should not be overlooked is that the US Air Force recently decided to forward-deploy on Guam its B-1B supersonic strategic bombers capable of dropping nuclear bombs.
The prevailing situation indicates that a nuclear war may break out on the Korean peninsula owing to the ceaseless arms build-up in south Korea by the US.
The moves of the US to deploy THAAD [Terminal High Altitude Area Defence] in south Korea have plunged it into a whirlwind of conflict and discord among the big powers. Consequently there is such a danger on the peninsula that it may become a theatre again of the big powers' fierce scramble.
The above-said arms build-up in south Korea indicates that the US, dreaming of dominating the world through the pursuance of the "pivot to Asia-Pacific" policy, is having no scruple in turning the peninsula, a strategic vantage point, into a shambles of a nuclear war to achieve its objective.
The distress-torn history of the last century, which brought such unbearable disgrace to the Korean nation, can never be repeated no matter how much water may flow under the bridge.
Chae Il Chul
Hiroshima by John Hersey, August 31, 1946, The New Yorker
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