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Year 2009 No. 61, September 7, 2009 ARCHIVE HOME JBBOOKS SUBSCRIBE

Condemn the NATO Atrocities in Afghanistan! Britain Out of Afghanistan! Dismantle NATO!

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Condemn the NATO Atrocities in Afghanistan! Britain Out of Afghanistan! Dismantle NATO!

Successful Blockade Makes Vestas Think Twice About Moving Its Blades

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Condemn the NATO Atrocities in Afghanistan! Britain Out of Afghanistan! Dismantle NATO!

WDIE condemns the war crimes committed in Afghanistan, as well as Pakistan, by the Anglo-US imperialists, and calls on all British troops to be withdrawn from Central Asia and elsewhere, and for the dismantling of the aggressive NATO military alliance.

            At least 65 civilians died in the September 4 NATO air strike against what are being described as “Taliban insurgents” in northern Afghanistan, according to reports by the Afghanistan Rights Monitor (ARM) based on more than a dozen interviews with local residents in the Char Dara district of Kunduz province. ARM said, "Even if all the victims were supporters of the Taliban the fact that most of them were unarmed and were not engaged in any combat activity does not warrant their mass killing." A telling feature at this time of the 70th anniversary of the start of World War Two was that German troops had been the force that had called for the air strike, and German Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, "The air strike was absolutely necessary. I can't comprehend how some can so quickly criticise the military action without knowing what the situation was or the background information."

            Well, the history of the Second World War shows above all that the aggressors are not a force for peace, and that occupation under the pretext of “protection” is a crime against humanity. US-imperialist-led NATO forces in Afghanistan are committing crimes which run counter to all the norms of international law and conduct established in the wake of the Nazi atrocities of World War II. So far from these norms are the military actions of US, British and other NATO troops, that, for instance, Gordon Brown can blithely say that Britain is not going to walk away from Afghanistan as though morality was on his side. The world’s peace-loving people are telling the likes of Gordon Brown that the norms of international behaviour that outlaws the use of force, and that respects the right to existence of peoples and nations, must be established anew, and that the people, through making their own history, will judge such wanton killing as is occurring in Afghanistan as the actions of war criminals, as with the legacy which these same criminals have bequeathed to the people of Iraq.

            The September 4 atrocity was only the latest such incident since the occupation of Afghanistan began in 2001 in the teeth of the opposition of the people who were calling on Britain and the US not to use the Hitlerite pretext of “revenge” against whole peoples and countries. As in Iraq, so in Afghanistan, the deaths of civilians has been to the Anglo-US imperialists a “price worth paying” for so called “security and stability”, and indeed is in fact a premeditated policy which will continue as long as there is resistance to occupation and aggression by the people of Afghanistan, as well as Pakistan. After every mass killing, politicians such as Brown and Angela Merkel call for an urgent investigation, but the reality is that for these champions of double standards, the end justifies the means. The great tragedy for the peoples of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, as well as of Yugoslavia and elsewhere is that the imperialists geo-political strategies are not achieving the ends that they seek and the war crimes continue, yet all the while they churn out the same disorientating disinformation about the high ideals they are supposedly acting on, and falsify history to attempt to blot out and vilify the people’s cause. Yet even so, the people’s opposition is growing to the crimes against humanity and the disinformation which backs them up.

            On the same day as NATO planes were strafing the Afghan fuel trucks, Gordon Brown was outlining the British government’s “long-term strategy” in Afghanistan at the Institute of International Strategic Studies. The Prime Minister bravely spoke of British troops speeding up their training of Afghan forces and moving to a so-called partnership role, “living, training and fighting alongside them”. However, it is stretching the meaning of the term “partnership” when the forces involved were themselves brought to power illegally by the occupying forces. Brown’s aim in putting forward this justification for the continued presence of British troops is to cover over its policy of trying to consolidate a proxy state that is dependent on the Anglo-Americans and NATO. It is a tragedy too, not only for the British troops who are being killed in increasing numbers, but for political life in Britain which is witnessing sordid manoeuvres and sophistry, increased repressive legislation to criminalise dissent and a “fortress Britain” mentality from the British state which aims to keep serious discussion out of political life and foster chauvinism and make racism respectable under the tattered banner of making “Britain and the world a safer place”.

            Gordon Brown said on September 4: “In Afghanistan last week I was further convinced that despite the challenges we face a nation emerging from three decades of violence can be healed and strengthened; and that our country and the whole world can be safer; because together we have the values, the strategy and the resolve to complete our vital task.” This extremely self-serving rhetoric sums up the government’s failed and failing strategy – the archaic and crisis-ridden justification for naked occupation and aggression to fight to achieve control of this extremely strategic region of Central Asia. In the 19th century, Britain was contending with other big powers for the control of Afghanistan. Gordon Brown is still seeking to settle old scores in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, when US imperialism is seeking to dominate the world, other big powers are seeking a multi-polar world and the world’s peoples are the force for peace and progress. It is doomed to failure, but in the course of it, and in the struggle for resources and raw materials, for domination and annexation, and under justifications such as the “clash of civilisations”, “making the world a safer place”, and so on, the Anglo-Americans, NATO and other big powers are determined that the people will pay the price. This cannot be allowed to pass!

            WDIE calls on the working class and people to step up their determined resistance to Anglo-US imperialism’s aggressive and medieval strategy of aggression and occupation. The challenge of the times is to build the movement for an anti-war government, to bring forward worker politicians who can establish a Workers’ Opposition to the government’s pro-war strategy being carried out in the name of safety and security, and end aggression abroad and establish the kind of social system in Britain which unites with all peoples defending their sovereignty and their right to be, and which will be a major factor for world peace and progress.

Fight for an Anti-War Government!
Withdraw British Troops in Afghanistan! No Troops on Foreign Soil!
End the Occupation of Afghanistan! Dismantle NATO!




National Demonstration: London
Troops Out of Afghanistan Now
Saturday 24 October Central London

Called by Stop the War Coalition, CND and BMI.



Article Index

Successful Blockade Makes Vestas Think Twice About Moving Its Blades

Interview Friday, September 4, with Robin outside Vestas, Newport, Isle of Wight, about the blockade that day, which has prevented Vestas taking the remaining blades from the factory. savevestas.wordpress.com

What happened today?
I would say 25-30 supporters from the mainland were present at the Marine Gate for the blockade today; plus the hard core of the workers. A few other Islanders – certainly a few people walking their dogs along the cycle path took an interest! We were gathered from about 7am. We made a new banner which says ‘Whose factory?’ and hung it up by the jetty.

            A lot of the camp that was on the roundabout has moved to the Marine Gate which is where the blades go out from the factory to the River Medina. At our meeting in the evening we decided to maintain both camps, on the roundabout in front of the factory and at the back by the Marine Gate.

            Four blades were removed by barge from the factory at Venture Quays, East Cowes, possibly a mould for making blades. We have definitely stopped them from removing the blades from Newport, because they had sent two barges, one can take about 6 blades, the other 4 blades. Our thinking is that, seeing the size of the mobilisation today, Vestas decided not to come to Newport.

            Today we tested our systems for getting information and on today’s evidence that was spot on. We had information about the barges leaving Southampton; we had two hours to mobilise. In the future, we will get two hours’ notice. Then we have people at Cowes who can see what the barges do once they arrive there; we will know if they come down the Medina.

            There was a good meeting this evening. We discussed moving the whole camp to the Marine Gate but decided to keep a presence at both, partly for symbolic value. The main kitchen is at the front, but we will soon have a stove for the Marine Gate camp too.

What are the next steps in the campaign?
We are writing a press release this evening announcing the launch proper of the blockade, which began today and showed it is effective. We are calling on people to come and join the blockade. If anyone wants to confirm that they are coming, they could text one of us: for now, try Ed 07775 763750 or Bob 07843 945005.

            These were not special tides that made Vestas act today. Basically, the barges could come any day, twice a day. It has been normal practice in the past for the barges to come and collect blades during the night. The only things that can affect whether the barges come are our presence and the wind – they don’t move the blades when it’s windy. All we know is that we will get our two hours’ notice.

Was there more security about today?
There were noticeably more police, including a police patrol boat on the River Medina, with a big camera. Having said that, we were clearly, 10-15 of us, milling about by the jetty – which I think is out of bounds – and no one did anything.

            Gurit [a neighbouring factory] security were complaining to the police about us using a hole in the fence near their factory as a shortcut to the Marine Gate, but the police are not taking their side in that.

Has the normal routine been disrupted today by the need to blockade?
No, the picketing of the workers going in to clean up the factory went ahead this morning; and the activities that the workers do on Saturdays around the Isle of Wight are continuing. Tomorrow they are taking part in the Ryde Carnival in the evening.

            We have plans ready for when the barges do come. I won’t say anything about that, but only say that we are satisfied that our plans are in place.



Whose Blades? Our Blades! Whose Factory? Our Factory!

PeterPannier, 05.09.2009: "We have definitely stopped them from removing the blades from Newport. 25-30 supporters from the mainland plus the hard core of the workers set up a camp to blockade the Marine Gate today. Our thinking is that, seeing the size of the mobilisation today, Vestas decided not to come to Newport. Both this camp, and the 'Magic Roundabout' camp in front of the factory will be maintained - and will have kitchens, running water, and power. Join the blockades!"

National Day of Solidarity with Vestas Workers

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