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Year 2005 No. 93, July 12, 2005 ARCHIVE HOME JBBOOKS SUBSCRIBE

121st Durham Miners Gala & Big Meeting:

A Magnificent Manifestation of the Working Class that Demands A Fighting Programme to Safeguard the Future

Workers' Daily Internet Edition: Article Index :

A Magnificent Manifestation of the Working Class that Demands A Fighting Programme to Safeguard the Future

London Bombings:
Statement of Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), July 7, 2005
Do Not Permit Wanton Killings to Disrupt the People's Political Unity in Action Against Imperialist Plunder and State Terror!
Statement of the US Marxist-Leninist Organisation, July 8, 2005
Do Not Permit London Killings to Justify US War and State Terrorism

"Suspect Communities: The Real War on Terror" Conference
Research to Launch on Muslim/Irish Parallels
The Danger of the State Acting with Impunity

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121st Durham Miners Gala & Big Meeting:

A Magnificent Manifestation of the Working Class that Demands A Fighting Programme to Safeguard the Future

Parade passes the County Hotel

On Saturday, July 9, the 121st Durham Gala and Big Meeting took place. The Durham NUM hailed the event as the largest for 40 years with an estimated 70,000 people crowded into the streets of Durham and onto the racecourse. On one of the hottest days of the summer working people from all over the northeast, organised by their workplaces and communities and behind their bands and banners, came to Durham Miners Gala setting out early in the morning to start the parade at 9am. Beside the 60 miners’ banners and 30 miners’ bands, trade union banners of workers from all sectors came from across the region. Pitmen from Poland, Belgium and as far as New Zealand and Australia joined the miners’ parade through Durham and onto the racecourse for the Big Meeting. A contingent of miners from Ellington Colliery, Northumberland, the last mine to close in the North East in January, were among the marchers and proof that the miners and other workers attend the Durham Miners Gala each year to demand a fighting programme for the working class to safeguard the future.

It was this spirit of the miners of Ellington Colliery to fight on for their livelihood and their industry that was taken up by Ian Lavery, National Chairman of the NUM in the Big Meeting. He said that this was the first time that the Durham Miners Gala has taken place without a pit in operation in the great northern coalfield. He pointed out that with the privatisation of the coal industry UK Coal had taken over 50,000 hectares of prime land and their intention is to sell it off make the men unemployed and use that land for property deals.

He spoke about the need for the working class to fight for investing in the mining industry and said that what the miners demanded was what the country needed. They needed energy and security of supply and the development of a proper energy policy. But investment in such a vital energy project for the country has been denied, he said to tremendous applause, exposing the policy of the New Labour government on energy as one of launching "their illegal war for energy in Iraq and the bombs that maimed and killed". He said that with the money that they use to occupy and keep their troops in Iraq they could build a whole new programme of clean coal technology and new generation of power stations across the country.

He said for the year 2030 the world’s consumption of coal in one year will be 7.5 billion tons but Britain is closing down its coal industry. He quoted Tony Blair, who attended the NUM Conference in 1989, to emphasise the importance of the miners’ case and to expose Tony Blair as the unprincipled champion of big capitalist interests, as saying: "These great public services that once had public ownership are monopoly controlled, monopoly owned and no longer operate as a public service for the benefit of the people as a whole." And further on: "Coal is too important a resource, its strategic importance to industry it too great, we face a very stark choice in this country we either run our energy policy according to the short term needs of the market or the long term needs of the country."

Rodney Bickerstaffe, President of War on Want, after speaking about the serious situation facing pensioners, spoke about the Make Poverty History campaign. He compared the situation where hotels and private hospitals doubled and trebled their charges in Thursdays bombing outrages in London to the fraudulent "aid" given to Africa where these countries are forced to privatise their infrastructure whilst the global companies reap even bigger profits.

During the speeches, the speakers tried to take account of the growing consciousness of the working people for a fighting programme to build the new society and the new world that they aspire to. Billy Hayes, CWU General Secretary, said that the Gala symbolises the optimism and the future. He said we are on the cusp of the revitalisation of the trade unions and labour movement and he said we must build solidarity and we must build society. Rodney Bickerstaffe said that the Gala and Big Meeting has stood for solidarity at home and internationalism and after 121 big meetings this gala is about loyalty, about standing firm and people adorn history simply by coming here. Dennis Skinner, MP for Bolsover, reflecting on the history of the Gala said that 121 years makes it older than the modern Olympics, and the Labour Party. He said that it had carried on when New Labour came in 1994 and it will still be here when New Labour has gone.

However, whilst the speakers presented their ideas within the limits of the old consciousness, as a shadow of the militant traditions of the past, the sentiment apparent in the response of the participants of the Big Meeting was to go beyond that old consciousness. It is to break with what is holding their movement back and openly refuse to conciliate with any apology for privatisation, fascism and war and to apply their militant traditions to the present and demand a fighting programme that will build the workers’ opposition to safeguard the future of society.

This theme was taken up in the call of the Northern Region of RCPB(ML) distributed at the Durham Miners Gala entitled Together Let’s Build the Workers’ Opposition and Fight to Safeguard the Future! It highlighted the success of the alternative and anti-war candidates in the recent general election and the need to build on that work. It emphasised the need for the working class to have its own political programme and unite all of the people around that programme and to take up the fight for the rights of the people, a movement that the call summed up as the movement of the working class and people for an anti-war, pro-worker and pro-social government.

Article Index

Do Not Permit Wanton Killings to Disrupt the People's Political Unity in Action Against Imperialist Plunder and State Terror!

- Statement of Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)
on the London Bombings, July 7, 2005 -

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) condemns the wanton acts of violence in London, England today in which, once again, it is the innocent who are injured and killed. What is the reason for targeting innocent civilians on their way to work? Who perpetrates such wanton crimes and whose interests do they serve?

The leaders of the main imperialist countries meeting at the G8 Summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, especially the war criminals George W Bush and Tony Blair along with all major imperialist media outlets, were quick to blame "Al Qaeda", "Muslim extremists", "sleeper cells" and the like. Bush and Blair pledged to step up their "war on terror". Far from believing these simplistic accounts, CPC(ML) holds the imperialist states and their agencies responsible. CPC(ML) condemns the imperialists and their news agencies for using the occasion to detract attention from the peoples' united opposition to the imperialist agenda and international state terrorism against the peoples of the world.

Such acts of wanton violence are and always have been the preferred method used by the imperialists to sabotage the peoples' struggles. At a time the peoples are politically expressing their determination to deal with the serious problems which face their societies and the entire world, the imperialists are creating a climate of anarchy and using state terrorism to cover up their refusal to deal with these problems as the peoples are demanding. The first object is to have people draw the conclusion that whosoever is capable of ending this state of anarchy and confusion should be supported. According to this logic, any measure, including the outright massacre of people, is justified. Another aim is to create an atmosphere in which every uncalled for act of violence, including cold-blooded killings and mass murder, can take place so that people who exercise no control over their lives become indifferent. Another aim is to create a climate in which it is permissible to target entire communities and under certain circumstances incite people to kill one another on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender or ideological differences.

Such methods were developed during the 19th century to sabotage the peoples' struggles, especially in France and Czarist Russia. During the 20th century these methods were perfected in the fight against communism and the national liberation struggles. After the Great October Revolution and prior to the Second World War, they were used by the British, French and others in their attempt to egg on Hitler to attack Soviet Russia. These methods were used by Hitler and Mussolini to set up the communists, people of Jewish origin and oppressed peoples and on this basis justify committing atrocities against them.

In Canada, it is proven that violence targeting the people has the hand of the state and its agencies behind it. So too in Ireland; the battle between Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants was the policy of the British imperialists to divert the people and obstruct their unity against British rule and the establishment of a united Ireland under their own rule. In Europe, the political wing of NATO confessed to setting up terrorist groups throughout Europe to carry out bombings, kidnappings and create a general climate of terror against the population. Such events were then used to justify the persecution of progressive forces, as well as the policy of state terror on the part of individual governments and the imperialist powers as a whole. The same is the case in India and all other countries where the state and its agencies act with impunity against the people's forces. The crimes against the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean through the dirty wars, Plan Condor, the blockade against Cuba, etc., are all exercised in the name of high ideals.

This being the case, why do the media and "experts" remain silent about humanity's experience with the use of such methods? Recalling this experience would assist people to shed light on what is taking place at this time. It clearly shows that the people must pay utmost attention to drawing the warranted conclusions. They must provide themselves with a guide to action which consolidates their political unity in action against the growing fascism and danger of imperialist war.

CPC(ML) calls on the Canadian working class and people and the peoples of all countries to take their own stands and persist in their opposition to the narrow interests of the imperialists for which the peoples are paying a terrible price. CPC(ML) hails the successful actions carried out in Scotland against the G8 Summit and its nefarious agenda to increase the plunder of the long suffering African continent and divert attention from the deeds of the imperialists and their henchmen in Iraq, Palestine and other countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the fascist measures they are taking in their own countries. CPC(ML) also opposes all attempts to divert attention from the serious issues facing humankind. We condemn the hypocrisy of the likes of George W Bush, Tony Blair, Paul Martin and other so-called leaders whose pathetic attempts to promote "pop diplomacy" seek to fool the gullible into believing that their sole aim is to solve the problems of the African peoples for which they and they alone are responsible.

Imperialist Marauders, Get Out of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean!
Do Not Permit Wanton Killings to Disrupt the People's Political Unity in Action Against Imperialist Plunder and State Terror!

Article Index

Do Not Permit London Killings to Justify US War and State Terrorism

- Statement of the US Marxist-Leninist Organisation, July 8, 2005 -

The US Marxist-Leninist Organisation condemns the wanton killings in London July 7th and rejects terrorism of all kinds. We oppose the targeting of innocent civilians and convey our condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed. We also vigorously reject the brutal crimes and state terrorism of US imperialism, in Iraq and worldwide. We hold the US responsible for the violence and chaos being unleashed on a world scale as it seeks world domination.

Bush proclaims that it is the "war on terrorism" that will bring security. But Americans have experienced otherwise and are drawing the conclusion that it is an end to US aggression and repression that will provide greater security. Were Bush to proclaim the end of the occupation in Iraq today, there would be greater security for all. This is the demand of the vast majority and it is by increasing united resistance to US war and terrorism that peace and security can be achieved.

We call on all Americans to resist efforts by Bush to use the London bombing to justify far more ruthless war and repression against the peoples, at home and abroad. We Americans now have more than three years of experience of the imperialists using September 11 to justify crimes and atrocities against humanity. We have experienced the mass jailing and detentions, the collective punishment of Arab communities, the many police state measures, all in the name of "stopping terrorism". We have also experienced the profound unity achieved by taking our stand with the peoples of the world against US imperialism and all its destruction. Through numerous actions, the calls to impeach Bush, the demand to end the occupation of Iraq, we are saying to the world that we do not want or need a war president and we do not want or need the "war on terrorism".

At a time when anger and rejection of Bush and war in Iraq is growing and widespread, at a time when the peoples are demanding that their rights be defended not trampled on, at a time when hundreds of thousands are rallying against the big imperialist powers and fighting for Another World, the London bombing is being used to divert people and disrupt the rising resistance. It must not be permitted!

It should also be recognised that when Bush says the "war on terrorism" will go on, it means far greater military repression at home as well as abroad. This was readily apparent by the response of the government and its monopoly media. The news media simultaneously broadcast Homeland Security experts saying it is "impossible" to protect mass transit systems and showed the massive police presence, with their machine guns at the ready, at subway stations in New York City and nationwide. We are at once to be terrorised at the thought that bombings can occur and accept that the military occupation of the cities is the only solution.

US imperialism has no solutions and every day shows that it is the main source of war and fascism today. It is by persisting in building united resistance and relying on the people themselves to achieve Another World that progress can be gained. USMLO salutes the successful actions carried out in Scotland against the G8 powers, which are led by the US. We salute the struggles of the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America to determine their own affairs free of US interference. We salute all those across the country today condemning the US crimes against the people.

Let No One Be diverted! Step Up United Resistance to US Imperialism!

Article Index

"Suspect Communities: The Real War on Terror" Conference

On May 21, over a hundred academics, lawyers and activists from all over Europe took part in the "Suspect Communities: The Real War on Terror" Conference in the Liebskind Building in London Metropolitan University.

The aim of the conference was to draw together European experiences of Anti-Terrorism Legislation introduced over the past few years, and find ways to oppose these laws and support the communities under attack by these laws.  The conference focused on the areas of Terrorism Lists, Intelligence Agencies, Policing, Detention, Asylum and Migration and Global Politics.

Discussion was led by many lawyers who represent those accused of Terrorism offences, including Imran Khan, Mark Muller, Frances Webber, and European lawyers Julen Arzuaga, Vainer Burani and Wolfgang Kaleck. As well as contributions from Martin Mubanga, Ex-Guantanamo detainee, Asfaq Ahmed, (Babar Ahmad's father) Tony Bunyan, Director of Statewatch, James Welch, Legal Director at Liberty and academics; Professors Paddy Hillyard, Bill Bowring and Mary Hickman.

The conference resolved, amongst other decisions, to  

  1. Oppose the broadened definition of terrorism, bans on organisations and crimes of association, supporting defiance of such laws, and press governments to clarify the basis of the bans.  
  2. Globalise protest against detention powers and oppose the control orders and other forms of detention-lite, and support those detained by these laws through publicly and welfare.
  3. Put a positive light on community activities and international links which help to resist oppression, especially those which are targeted by ‘anti-terror’ measures.

Conference papers are available at http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/research-units/hrsj/ 

There follow two articles written on the conference and the issues that were discussed.

Article Index

Research to Launch on Muslim/Irish Parallels

by Paul Donovan, Universe, June 12, 2005

The London Metropolitan University (LMU) is hoping to launch a new research initiative to compare the treatment of Irish Catholics under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the way in which the Muslim community and others are being treated today.

Professor Mary Hickman, the Professor of Irish Studies and Sociology at the LMU, stated that in the present climate of "the war on terror" it was crucial that "links be made between the two communities." Queens University Belfast Professor Paddy Hillyard told the conference how the recently instituted control orders have their origins in the exclusion orders first used under anti terror law in Northern Ireland. Professor Hillyard, who wrote the book on the PTA Suspect Communities, said: "the exclusion orders that saw 100s excluded from Britain to Ireland led directly into control orders."

Professor Hillyard claimed that anti-terror laws placed the police and security services above the law which in the Irish context had led to Bloody\Sunday, brutal interrogation techniques and the type of collusion that led to the death of Pat Finucane. He pointed out how that the abrogation of the rule of law with internment in the early 1970s in Northern Ireland led directly to 100s of young Catholic men joining the IRA. "Looking back on Ireland the actions taken regarding terror laws were ineffectual in preventing terrorism and actually prolonged the conflict," said Mr. Hillyard. "Rather than talk about the prevention of terror it would be more accurate to talk about the terror of prevention."

Richard Harvey, a barrister who represented a number of the Bloody Sunday families at the Saville Inquiry highlighted how as a result of the war on terror pressure is mounting to establish juryless Diplock style courts in Britain. "It is true that Muslims in Britain today are the "New Irish," it is equally true that the techniques used 30 years ago to criminalise an entire community (the Irish) have changed little," said Mr. Harvey. "If you can jail people more easily by implementing non-jury trials for terrorist offences then there's no need to intern them, by sleight of legal hand they have been turned from detained suspects into convicted criminals."

Article Index

The Danger of the State Acting with Impunity

by Paul Donovan, Irish Post, June 6, 2005

For many years Northern Ireland was an arena of conflict where successive British Governments could test out laws and procedures to later be used in the remainder of the UK. Today that process appears to be ongoing and accelerating. Some of the first signs of the process came with the policing of the miner's strike in 1984. Many of the methods used in the coal fields had been tried and tested in Northern Ireland with the police enjoying similar impunity from prosecution. So not one police officer was convicted of an offence during the strike despite incredible brutality being meted out against striking miners.

Since then plastic bullets have also become a standard issue for police forces across the UK. The surveillance towers that looked out over cities like Derry have come to the remainder of the UK in the refined form of CCTV cameras. The widespread use of informers under the new aegis of intelligence led policing began in Northern Ireland but is now part of every day policing in the UK. Supergrass trials have been seen in different forms on both sides of the Irish Sea. Emergency anti terror legislation was first introduced in Northern Ireland during the early 1970s bringing with it judge only Diplock Courts.

Elements of those laws such as the removal of the right to silence have been downloaded into the ordinary criminal law in Britain. As Professor Paddy Hillyard has pointed out the present control orders being imposed on "terror suspects" in Britain have their origins in the exclusion orders first made available under emergency law to exclude people from Britain to Ireland or vice-versa. In Northern Ireland, the Diplock Courts effectively replaced internment without trial. The judicial process was tampered with to such a degree that the courts simply became conveyor belts to process people into prison. The rule of law and justice were effectively dead. It has taken longer to get the judge only style Diplock Courts in Britain, though the tide does seem to be turning in that direction with the abolition of jury trials being touted for fraud and terror cases. Once in place the category of crimes to be tried by judge only courts will vastly expand.

Today, the unknown terrorist threat is constantly referred to as a justification for the ongoing destruction of civil liberties. The extradition process between Britain and the US and EU countries provides a good example with a foreign power now able to specify that it wants an individual to be tried in its own country. No prima facie case has to be established it is simply a case of stating that an individual is wanted. Some years ago the dangers of such a process were shown in the case of Belfast man Gerry Power. He was wanted in Germany in connection with an IRA bombing there. No such extradition treaty existed with Germany at that time and it turned out Power had nothing to do with the bombing. Extradition was denied. Today he would just have been handed over with few questions asked.

A worrying thing about the transfer process and the growth and the diminution of liberty generally is the lack of questioning that goes on. Why do we need these measures? What is the threat? More people are killed on the road or as the result of DIY accidents or pollution each year than die due to terrorism but these threats are not given the same priority. It is difficult not to see the use of the terrorist threat as a means of social control of the population. The measures are always used in a discriminatory way against minorities like the Irish.

The main beneficiaries of the climate of fear are the police and security forces. In the Northern Ireland they became above the law as was evidenced in cases like Bloody Sunday and Pat Finucane. The police and security services simply cannot lose. If there is an atrocity they can demand more powers and more resources, if there is not they can demand more power and resources on the basis of continued prevention. The danger is that unless this ongoing degradation of civil liberties is stopped the end result is a police state. British people would do well to look at what happened in Northern Ireland and ask whether they want the same type of society here. A society where police and security services are above the law, a society where the state runs deaths squads and kills its own citizens with impunity.

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