Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 49 Number 20, November 9, 2019 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Actions in Furtherance of an Anti-War Government
and People's Empowerment

Workers' Weekly Internet Edition: Article Index : ShareThis

Actions in Furtherance of an Anti-War Government and People's Empowerment

102 Anniversary of the Great October Revolution:
On the Great October Socialist Revolution

Actions in Furtherance of an Anti-War Government
and People's Empowerment

NATO is an aggressive alliance of 29 member countries which threatens the security and well-being of the entire world. Britain itself was a founder member in 1949, and up to now successive governments have been enthusiastic supporters of NATO, the Cold War and the use of force which NATO represents. Indeed, the forces of the establishment have been only too ready to allege that to oppose this aggressive institution and Britain's membership of it amounted to treason. Peace-loving and democratic people vigorously oppose this travesty. Among other events, two national actions are taking place in London demonstrating that the people demand that Britain get out of NATO, and that furthermore this force for war and aggression be dismantled.

These actions to condemn NATO, and further build and strengthen public opinion that an anti-war government is urgently needed in Britain, assume even greater importance in the context of the General Election campaign. Scores must be settled with Britain's warmongering role, and the people have put on the agenda to work for an end to pro-war governments. It is further important as the conception of an Anti-War Government is one where the people themselves are empowered to set the agenda for the direction of society, thus putting a nail in the coffin of British imperialism once and for all.

No to Trump - No to NATO: International Counter Summit

Saturday, November 30 | 10:30-17:30
Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8EP
Free Entrance. Register Here.
Organised by: Stop the War, CND and No To NATO, No To War Network

The organisers write:

On December 3 and 4, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) will mark its 70th anniversary with a Heads of State Summit in London. With Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Recep Tayyip Erdogan set to attend this gathering of the world's largest nuclear-armed military alliance, it is vital that the peace and anti-war movements are mobilised to full capacity to oppose what John Pilger calls an "American invention designed to impose American power on Europe". In advance of the protests being organised around the Queen's reception for NATO leaders on December 3, we are hosting a counter-summit in Central London. The event will bring together anti-war voices from across Europe and beyond, to discuss NATO's nuclear warmongering, its interventionist wars, and set out how civil society can work to abolish NATO and create a more peaceful world.

NATO is by design a powerful arm of US foreign policy, and increasingly dangerous in the hands of the reckless Donald Trump. We must take action against NATO - Join us in saying "No to NATO" on November 30.

No to Trump - No to NATO Demonstration

December 3, 2019
Assemble: Trafalgar Sq, London - 4PM
March to Buckingham Palace
Facebook Event »
Organised by: Stop the War Coalition & CND

The organisers write:

Donald Trump is coming to London in December for the NATO Heads of State summit. On Tuesday, December 3, the Queen will be hosting a reception for NATO leaders at Buckingham Palace and it is crucial we raise our voices against the world's largest nuclear-armed military alliance which is overseen by one of the most reckless US Presidents in history.

Donald Trump is a racist, a misogynist and a climate change denier who threatens communities at home while destabilising the rest of the globe.

NATO, as an aggressive and expansionist nuclear and military alliance, plays a dangerous global role - it is still in Afghanistan 18 years on and is expanding further into Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.

The summit is a crucial opportunity for our movement to oppose Trump, his nuclear warmongering, interventionism and destructive social and political agenda. Let's unite against war and military aggression and ensure President Trump's visit to Britain will be met with the response that it deserves.

Assemble at 4PM in Trafalgar Square on December 3 for music and speeches before we march to Buckingham Palace saying loud and clear: no to Trump, no to NATO!

Article Index

102 Anniversary of the Great October Revolution

On the Great October Socialist Revolution

March to mark the centenary of the Great October Revolution in Moscow

November 7 this year marked the one hundred and second anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, in which the working people of Russia, led by the Communist Party headed by V I Lenin, overthrow the existing political system of capitalists and feudal landowners, established their own state and political power and began the construction of a new socialist system. The October Revolution of 1917 showed that the workers and peasant farmers, those who were the producers of wealth, could be their own liberators and models. The Revolution also showed the importance of the new organisations of popular power, the soviets, comprising delegates of workers, farmers, soldiers and sailors.

The October Revolution also demonstrated in practice the full validity of the science of Marxism, which had been developed in the previous century, and had been enriched and further developed by Lenin in the new era of imperialism and the concrete conditions of Russia. The October Revolution showed the necessity of revolutionary theory and a revolutionary party armed with this theory to organise and guide the working class to victory. It showed that Communist Party had to use this theory to analyse the concrete situation within the country, to raise the consciousness of the working class regarding their interests, aims and historic mission, the perfidy of those who wished to conciliate to maintain the status quo, and the necessity of the working class itself seizing political power.

Meeting of the Petrograd Soviet, October 22, 1917

The October Revolution demonstrated that only the revolutionary path could empower the working class and people, resolve all the contradictions inherent in the capital-centred system and usher in the alternative. Only by taking this path could the majority empower themselves and place their interests and needs at the centre of society. It demonstrated the need of the workers to negate the state apparatus of the existing capitalist system and build the state apparatus which favours their interests, the empowerment of working people. In Russia, this was based on the soviets of workers, peasant farmers and the new Red Army. The Revolution was the act of the soviets led by the Communists, which placed power in the hands of the soviets.

Far from being a coup, as those who disparage the October Revolution claim, it developed out of a revolutionary crisis in Russia produced by the demands of the working people to end their economic exploitation and political oppression, a situation exacerbated by the severe conditions of the First World War. Its first major manifestation was the revolutionary events of February/March 1917, when the army mutinied and refused to suppress demonstrations by women and other working people demanding food, land redistribution and an end to war. Though the revolutionary crisis led to the collapse of the Tsarist regime, it continued throughout the remainder of the year as the representatives of the rich, who attempted to replace the Tsar, were unable or unwilling to meet the demands and needs of the people.

Painting: Long Live the Revolution - V Serov

The October Revolution came in midst of war. The first acts of the new Soviet power demonstrated the nature of an anti-war government, a government that acts in the interests of peace and the working people of all countries. The new government immediately withdrew from the predatory First World War, even though this meant ceding territory, and exposed the imperialist character of that war by publishing the secret treaties established between Russia and its allies, including Britain, for the re-division of the world between the major powers. The Soviet government also proposed an end to the war and a negotiated peace, a proposal rejected by Britain and the other big powers. The existence of this anti-war government was a great blow to the major imperialist powers. Its principled stands became known to the armed forces of all the belligerent countries and led to more general demands for peace. In some countries, this even gave rise to mutinies and strikes, and in Germany, a revolutionary crisis.

The October Revolution was the first break in the chain of imperialist states. It showed that the working and oppressed people could empower themselves, opening up the prospect of liberation for all the oppressed, not just those in the economically developed capitalist countries. The Revolution established a base from which global struggle for national liberation and social emancipation could be supported, in those nations that had been oppressed in the Russian empire as well as in other countries. It was a great inspiration to all those struggling for liberation; in its immediate aftermath, there were also revolutionary uprisings in Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria and other countries. The October Revolution was hailed by oppressed and exploited people all over the world, in African, Asia and colonial countries, as well as amongst the organised workers in Europe, North America and other economically developed countries. It led to the creation of new Communist Parties in many countries including Britain.

Liberated women build socialism

In Britain, the revolutionary events in Russia were immediately supported by the workers' movement and progressive people and bitterly opposed and attacked by the government, monopoly-controlled media and reactionaries. For its part, the British government refused to recognise the existence of the new Soviet government or to have any diplomatic or trade relations with it. Furthermore, it led military intervention in Soviet Russia and an economic blockade of that country, alongside thirteen other countries including France, Japan and the United States, with the aim of aiding the counter-revolutionary forces, instigating civil war and overthrowing the gains of the Revolution. The working class in Britain rallied to support Soviet Russia and established what became known as the "Hands off Russia" campaign, which demanded an end to military and all external intervention in Russia and that normal diplomatic and trading relations be established between Britain and Soviet Russia. Such was the support for the October Revolution in Britain that both the Labour Party and TUC were compelled to support the demands of the campaign.

The October Revolution demonstrated that the working class could take power and establish its own people-centred political and economic system; it demonstrated that there was an alternative to the capital-centred system. Marking the anniversary of the revolution is however not just an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on an important historic event. The question for the working class and for all progressive people is how to learn from this event in 2019. It points to the need to begin from the present, learn lessons from history so that, in the twenty first century, we too are able to open up the revolutionary path to progress, establish an anti-war government, create the conditions where the working class can empower itself and build the new people-centred society which puts the needs of the working class and people in first place.

Article Index

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