Archive | August 23rd, 2020

Haftar rejects GNA’s call for Libya ceasefire

LNA dismisses ceasefire announcement as ‘marketing’ stunt, says GNA is planning a Turkish-backed offensive on Sirte.

A member of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) commanded by Khalifa Haftar stands on a military vehicle at one of their sites west of Sirte, Libya [Esam Omran Al-Fetori/Reuters]
A member of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) commanded by Khalifa Haftar stands on a military vehicle at one of their sites west of Sirte, Libya [Esam Omran Al-Fetori/Reuters]

Renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar’s forces have dismissed a ceasefire announcement by Libya’s internationally recognised government as a “marketing” stunt.

Ahmed Mismari, spokesman for Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), said on Sunday rival forces from the war-torn country’s west were mobilising around front lines in the centre of the country.

In a media briefing, he said the eastern-based forces were ready to respond to any attempted attack on its positions around the coastal city of Sirte and Jufra, further inland.

Mismari’s comments were the first by the LNA after the announcement on Friday of a ceasefire and a call for the resumption of oil production by the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.

“The initiative that al-Sarraj signed is for media marketing,” Mismari said. “There is a military build-up and the transfer of equipment to target our forces in Sirte,” he added.

“If al-Sarraj wanted a ceasefire, he would have drawn his forces back, not advanced towards our units in Sirte.”

Mismari made no reference to a parallel ceasefire call also issued on Friday by the head of Libya’s eastern-based parliament, Aguila Saleh. Saleh has gained influence compared with Haftar since Turkish military support for the GNA forced the LNA to retreat from a 14-month offensive on Tripoli in June.

Al Jazeera’s Malik Traina, reporting from Misrata, said: “Previously in any negotiations or any peace talks in Libya, Haftar was a very significant member and very involved in these kinds of talks – and he’s feeling sidelined now.”

Traina noted this was not the first time Haftar had rejected a ceasefire agreement. In January, Turkey and Russia also tried to support a truce that was signed by the GNA in Moscow, but not by Haftar.

“If Haftar’s foreign backers stop supporting him, does this mean that the GNA will be able to make advances? Does this mean that Saleh and al-Sarraj will be able to come to a peaceful agreement and bring about a lasting peace in Libya? That remains to be seen,” Traina said.

 Meanwhile on Saturday, Libya’s High Council of State, an advisory body to the GNA, vehemently rejected any dialogue with Haftar.

In a statement, it underlined the need to seriously work to end the “state of insurgency” in the country through an immediate ceasefire and the need to enable the government to take control over all of Libyan soil.

“Any dialogue or agreement should be under the Libyan political agreement, which regulated the mechanism of dialogue to be only between elected bodies,” it added.

With Haftar loyalists blocking oil facilities in the country in recent months, the council also called for resuming the production and export of oil – Libya’s main source of income – and holding those responsible for the closure of the facilities accountable.

Libya splintered into rival political and armed groupings after the uprising that toppled and killed longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The oil-rich country remains deeply divided between factions based in the east and west that back rival governments and parliaments.

The conflict has become an arena for regional rivalries, with Haftar being supported by Egypt, Russia and the United Arab Emirates and the GNA having the backing of Turkey and Qatar.

There has been little fighting since June. In the past, both sides have accused each other of quickly violating truces and using them to rearm.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, Libya, UKComments Off on Haftar rejects GNA’s call for Libya ceasefire

Nazi missile fell in Zionist-owned land during Gaza strike

By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

A missile fired from Nazi warplane striking the besieged Gaza Strip fell yesterday in an Zionist-owned land due to technical error, the occupation military said in a statement.

The Nazi occupation Forces Spokesperson’s Unit said that the missile did not explode and the incident is being investigated.

The Nazi fighter jets struck Tuesday night different areas in the besieged Strip. No casualities were reported.

Read More: Zionist settlers poison 54 goats owned by a Palestinian farmer

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Gaza, Human RightsComments Off on Nazi missile fell in Zionist-owned land during Gaza strike

Terrified migrants who paid thousands for boat to UK left stranded in Channel after running out of fuel

Michelle Clifford

Sky News has filmed migrants attempting to cross the English Channel from France
Seventy to a boat as migrants try to reach UK

Through the darkness of the early hours we spot what looks like a small boat, not heading out from Calais, but towards the beach where we are hidden in the sand dunes.

It moves slowly, there is no sound from an engine, and it takes time to reach the shore.

With his night vision lens, our cameraman is able to count the people as they exit the inflatable, which has landed on the sand west of Calais.

There are at least 10, possibly 11. He cannot be certain if some are men or women. Who are they and what are they doing?

Image:A group of migrants tried and failed to cross the Channel

We manage to move a little closer, undetected, and see some of the group disappear off along the beach below us.

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Others carry the boat’s motor and huddle behind a group of huts on what is a busy stretch of beach for tourists and locals by day.

They stay until dawn pushes its light into the sky before heading away from the beach, which is when we follow, catching up with a group of four men.

More from Migrant Crisis

I call out and they stop to talk despite looking exhausted, and it is then we learn they tried and failed to cross the Channel.

One – a Sudanese man – tells us they were far out at sea when the motor developed problems and they ran out of fuel. Adrift and terrified, they say they called for help but none came.

Image:Migrants are told to head to a certain spot at night

The wind and current brought them to Bleriot beach, where you can see the ships and ferries passing in the darkness.

With no power on the boat, they were lucky not to have been struck by a large vessel during their more than two hours at sea.

They had each paid smugglers 1,200 euros (£1,082) for a place on a boat (cheap by local standards).

They thought they would make it to England, but local fishermen tell us they regularly see boats packed with people running out of fuel in the Channel.

The smugglers calculate the migrants and asylum seekers don’t need to make it to the UK’s shores – just into British waters. But they expose those on board to serious danger.

Migrants are brought ashore in Dover
Border Force meets migrants in Kent

The smugglers don’t care. They are simply in the business of making money. And that means cutting fuel costs and packing as many into the boats as possible.

In woods to the east of Calais, we find a makeshift camp that dozens of Iraqi Kurds call home. In recent days, people tell us the police tried to break up the encampment, destroying tents and leaving people to sleep in the open.

We meet Karzan along with his wife, four-year-old son and one-year-old daughter, who days ago thought their chance to get to England had come.

Image:Karzan and his family have tried to reach England

They gathered on a beach at night waiting for the cue from the smugglers that a boat was coming. When it arrived, Karzan said as many as 70 people crammed into a boat designed for less than half that number. He was scared for himself and his family.

He was desperate to go but decided it was too dangerous and took his family back to the forest. He says he will try again, but the smugglers are not the kind of people who offer refunds and he will likely have to pay again.

With some handing over as much as 3,000 euros (£2,703) to get in a boat, this a lucrative business for those who trade in people.

Image:A makeshift camp in Calais where dozens of Iraqi Kurds call home

Demand from migrants and asylum seekers is growing and the smugglers supply the goods. French police told us recent days have been more difficult than ever.

But over the two nights we spent on the beach, we saw police cars in the towns known for launches but no sign of police patrols or surveillance on the beaches.

What we did see was plenty of evidence that the cross-Channel trade is not slowing. In our final hours, again hidden in the darkness, our cameraman’s heat-seeking camera picked out six men waiting it out on sand dunes nearby.

Our local guide – a fishermen – tells us that after handing over the cash, migrants are told to head to a certain spot at night and simply wait for a cue from the smugglers that a boat is coming. They may have to return for several days before the opportunity to travel comes.

Witness describes seeing the arrival of migrants in a dinghy on a beach in Kent
Migrants landing was ‘a mad show’

For the men we watched for hours, this would not be their night. No boat arrived and they melted away into the early morning light, probably to return this evening.

The potential dangers of the journey ahead takes second place for so many to a desperation to get to England. Desperation the smugglers exploit.

Posted in Human Rights, UKComments Off on Terrified migrants who paid thousands for boat to UK left stranded in Channel after running out of fuel

The Nazi occupation army arrested 5 young men from the West Bank


By: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

Expressive image

The Nazi occupied West: The Nazi occupation forces arrested a number of young men, during raids in the cities of the Nazi occupied West Bank, at dawn today.

According to local sources, the occupation forces arrested the young man, Muhammad Amin Lahlouh, after storming his family’s home, in the town of Arraba, south of Jenin.

While the occupation forces arrested two young men from Nablus governorate, at dawn today.

The sources said that the Nazi occupation forces arrested the liberated prisoner, Badr Hussam Al-Raza, from Al-Makhfiya area in Nablus.

She indicated that the force that arrested al-Razza entered disguised as sanitation workers and carried sterilization tools.

The Nazi occupation forces also arrested Muhammad Walid Sawalmeh, after they raided his home, in the northern town of Asira.

The Nazi occupation arrested the two young men, Yaqoub Abu Lawy, and Ihab Al-Kalouni, from Ain Al-Sultan camp, west of Jericho.

It is noteworthy that the occupation forces launched arrests and raids campaigns in the occupied West Bank on a daily basis.

While the Nazi occupation forces arrested a number of young men, in the town of Al-Issawiya, northeast of occupied Jerusalem, at dawn today.

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Head of the Mossad in the occupation: Turkey poses a greater threat than Iran

Erdogan calls President Abbas and meets with Haniyeh in Istanbul .. What happened between them?

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human RightsComments Off on The Nazi occupation army arrested 5 young men from the West Bank

Bayer AG forced to pay over $10bn to settle cancer claims

A US court has unexpectedly agreed that Roundup does indeed cause cancer – and awarded unprecedented damages to victims.

Proletarian writers

Monsanto has managed to shuffle off its toxic liabilities onto German company Bayer, leaving the latter to carry the Roundup can as US courts are suddenly motivated to teach capitalism a lesson.

In June this year the German pharmaceutical and chemical giant Bayer AG agreed to pay out over $10bn (around £8bn) to settle almost 100,000 lawsuits brought against it in the USA.

This followed over a year of talks during which the agritech giant had attempted to wriggle out of accepting responsibility for its weedkiller Roundup causing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in regular users.

“The deal, announced Wednesday, is among the largest settlements ever in US civil litigation. Negotiations were extraordinarily complex, producing separate agreements with 25 lead law firms whose clients will receive varying amounts.

“Individuals, depending on the strength of their cases, will receive payments of $5,000 to $250,000, according to two people involved in the negotiations.”

Of this massive sum, £1.25bn (£1bn) will be set aside for the 30,000 as yet unresolved claims. Part of the figure “will be used to establish an independent [!] expert [!] panel to resolve two critical questions about glyphosate: Does it cause cancer, and if so, what is the minimum dosage or exposure level that is dangerous?”

It will come as no surprise that Bayer itself has said that “the settlement included no admission of liability or wrongdoing”. (Roundup maker to pay $10bn to settle cancer suits by Patricia Cohen, New York Times, 24 June 2020)

Roundup, a glyphosate-based herbicide, is the most well-known product made by notorious US agritech multinational Monsanto. After Bayer acquired and merged with Monsanto in 2018, at a cost of around $63bn, it also acquired Monsanto’s enormous liabilities.

Although Bayer knew that legal action was being taken in connection with Roundup, it was presumed that this could not possibly be successful given ‘expert’ advice, including from the US’s Environmental Protection Agency, that there was insufficient evidence that Roundup caused cancer. (EPA reaffirms glyphosate safe for users as court cases grow by Ellen Knickmayer, Associated Press, 30 April 2019)

So Bayer was caught on the hop when, quite unexpectedly, not only did three separate US courts award damages to plaintiffs who claimed that their cancer was caused by Roundup but also awarded damages far in excess of anything that would have been entertained in a European court, whether the defendant were European or not.

Monsanto is a past master of dodging responsibility for the devastating social consequences of its activities. During the Vietnam war it manufactured Agent Orange for the US military – a notoriously toxic defoliant spray that is still causing birth defects amongst the population today.

Shrugging off all responsibility, Monsanto has boasted that “US courts have determined that wartime contractors … who produced Agent Orange for the government are not responsible for damage claims associated with the chemistry”. (Vietnam to seek compensation from Monsanto for Agent Orange victims after US court found co. liable in lawsuit over allegedly cancer-causing weedkiller, Business and Human Rights Centre, 26 August 2018)

This is how monopoly capitalism operates. Nothing is allowed to stand in the way of its mad desire to realise the absolute maximum profit, at whatever cost to the environment – or to the profitability of rival interests.

Now Monsanto has managed to shuffle off its toxic liabilities to the German company Bayer, leaving the latter to carry the Roundup can as US courts are suddenly motivated to teach capitalism a lesson – provided that it is not US capitalist concerns that are in the dock.

It is yet to be seen whether this decision will impact the attitude of Britain’s local councils and agribusinesses, most of whom routinely soak vast areas of Britain’s parks, pavements and fields in glyphosates, preferring to repeat the ‘expert’ mantra that this practice is ‘perfectly safe’ than to employ gardeners and farm labourers to do the work of removing weeds in a way that is demonstrably safe to the environment and the public.

Posted in USA, Health, Human RightsComments Off on Bayer AG forced to pay over $10bn to settle cancer claims

Statues and the crimes of imperialism

It is widely accepted that the imperial powers committed terrible crimes in the past, but is the past really so different from the present?

Proletarian writers

While workers are arguing amongst themselves over the rights and wrongs of slavers from history, the present-day slave-masters continue to loot the world’s wealth unhindered.

Protests that have sprung up across the western world recently directed a lot of energy towards the destruction of statues and memorials celebrating various slave owners and colonial statesmen.

While their removal is not to be lamented, we cannot but note that capitalist imperialism and all the filth it drags in its train – slavery, mass poverty, inequality, hunger and destitution – are not at all things of the past, the memories of which can be consigned to a museum, but a continuing plague on humanity that needs to be fought tooth and nail. Symbolic shadow-boxing is not going to cut it.

Divide and conquer: racism, sexism, religious intolerance

The foul murder in broad daylight of black working-class American George Floyd has prompted much urgent debate about the history and reality of racism in our society.

Racism is a tool that our rulers use to divide workers along national, racial or ethnic lines (much in the same way as the pitting of man against woman or the promotion of religious intolerance), with the aim of weakening us as a class through confusion and in-fighting.

Communists cannot allow the working masses to be divided along these artificial lines, which are so played up by the capitalists and their lackeys. Instead of taking the bait, we must fight strictly along the line of class.

We have witnessed the pathetic spectacle of politicians, in particular of our degenerate Labour party and the Democratic party in the US, hotfoot from sponsoring racist imperialist wars, scrambling to self-identify as anti-racist heroes by the cost-free and empty gesture of ‘taking the knee’ in supposed solidarity with oppressed black workers. So meaningless has this me-too posturing become that even the brutal thugs of the US police have joined in.

Meanwhile imperialism continues to commit, aid and abet all manner of atrocities all over the globe, as we will now review.

Open slavery in Libya

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, backed by the popular masses of Libya, sought to break the vice-like grip of North America and Europe on Africa, and for his efforts was brutally murdered.

The disgusting deed was broadcast across the world and held up as a grotesque trophy by the imperialists who had organised it. Hillary Clinton watched the murder on television, memorably gloating “We came, we saw, he died!”

And it was upon this dire landscape that the hideous, shameful sight of an open trade in black African slaved reared its ugly head – presided over by United Nations ‘peacekeepers’.

War in Yemen

Even before the war, Yemen was the poorest country in the middle east. The situation is now even more dire after five years of aggression by the feudal marionettes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, whose entire existence is dependent on oil exports to the centres of imperialism, predominantly the US.

While the boots on the ground were initially provided by the Saudis, alongside various mercenaries, the strings are being pulled and the armaments supplied by the US and its British and French side-kicks.

The US, as the most powerful imperialist power, masterminds the whole affair, relying on feudal monarchies and the zionist state of Israel to act as a check upon the development of independent, anti-imperialist nations in the middle east.

Britain, through the Royal Air Force and British Aerospace, plays its sordid part by training Saudi pilots, providing key logistical support, supplying expertise to command and control centres and selling munitions. Our ruling class is doing its best to help keep the failed war going, inflicting unimaginable suffering to the civilian Yemeni population in the process.

French state-owned ‘defence’ company Nexter, based in central France, has been cashing in by selling its Caesar truck-mounted howitzers, Leclerc tanks, Aravis armoured troop-carrying vehicles and many more weapons of death and destruction to the Saudis, with a lucrative contract to supply over 120 of such war machines between 2018 and 2023. (The itinerary of a secret shipment – made in France, Disclose, 15 April 2019)

Of course, the official line is that these machines are “placed for the most part in defensive positions, outside of Yemeni territory or under coalition control, but not on the front line”. Who believes such rot? There is no ‘defensive position’ for the aggressors in a rapacious war like this.

Terrorism in Syria

Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad earned the undying hatred of the imperialists, alongside the respect and admiration of the progressive, anti-imperialist world, by insisting on a path of independent economic and foreign policy for Syria, by allying with Iran and with Lebanon’s Hezbollah, by opposing the war on Iraq, by supporting the Palestinian resistance and other such courageous and admirable acts of resistance against the imperialists’ insane drive for total domination of the world’s resources.

Maddened with rage that any should stand up to their rule, the imperialists launched a dirty proxy war against the sovereign nation of Syria.

The war was fought initially by bands of jihadi mercenaries. Openly terroristic organisations were billed as ‘moderate rebels’ by the imperialist media, although the only way they could possibly have been considered ‘moderate’ was by comparison with their imperialist paymasters, who are themselves the greatest sponsors and enactors of terrorism on the planet.

The aggression was stopped in its tracks by the Syrian Arab Army backed up by Russia, the latter knowing full well that Syria was just a stepping stone towards direct confrontation with itself. Yet the US won’t admit defeat, continuing to loot Syria’s oil for as long as it can maintain a shaky military presence on Syrian soil.

The looting of Africa, Asia and Latin America

Imperialist aggression is not just a military affair, it is also an economic one. Formed towards the end of WW2, the US-controlled World Bank and International Monetary Fund (the latter described by David Graebner in his book Debt as “the world’s debt enforcers … You might say the high finance equivalent of the guys who come to break your legs”) work hand in hand in order to keep poor countries chained in shackles of economic bondage – a system impeccably documented by John Perkins in his Confessions of an Economic Hitman.

“The World Bank was supposed to make loans for what they call international development. Development was their euphemism for dependency.

“The World Bank was supposed to provide infrastructure loans that other countries would go into debt to American engineering firms for, to build up their export sectors and their plantation sectors. So there would be roads, port development for imports and exports. Essentially, they would make long-term capital investments in the foreign trade sector.

“The IMF was in charge of foreign currencies. The aim of the IMF was quite explicitly to prevent any country from imposing capital controls to protect its balance of payments.

“Many countries had a dual exchange rate, one exchange rate for trade in goods and services, the other exchange rate for capital movements. The function of the IMF was essentially to make other countries borrow, not in their own currencies, but in dollars, and to make sure that if countries could not pay their dollar-denominated debts, they had to impose austerity.

“And the IMF developed a plan, saying any country can pay any amount of debt to the creditors if it just impoverishes its labour enough.” (The IMF and World Bank: partners in economic backwardness by Prof M Hudson and B Faulkner, Global Research, 6 July 2019)

It is through such mechanisms that AfricaAsia and Latin America are looted. African governments “received $32bn in loans in 2015, but paid more than half of that – $18bn – in debt interest, with the level of debt rising rapidly”.

Further: “African countries received $162bn in 2015, mainly in loans, aid and personal remittances. But in the same year, $203bn was taken from the continent, either directly through multinationals repatriating profits and illegally moving money into tax havens, or by costs imposed by the rest of the world through climate change adaptation and mitigation.” (World is plundering Africa’s wealth of ‘billions of dollars a year’ by K McVeigh, The Guardian, 24 May 2017)

Thus, countries that are home to immense natural resources, potentially capable of generating tremendous wealth and a wonderful standard of living for their inhabitants, are reduced to a state of perpetual and extreme poverty.

The atrocities above detailed are far from a complete list, as witness the unending war in Afghanistan, the utter devastation of Iraq, the sanctions against north KoreaCubaIran and Venezuela, all of which also face constant military provocations and threats of open military assault … to name but a few.

Wage-slavery in capitalist countries

Many would like to think of slavery as an ill of the past, never to be repeated. However, as we have seen, not only does slavery exist today in its ancient historical form, it is also very much alive in the heartlands of imperialism in the modern, disguised form of wage slavery.

The development of capitalism, with the industrial revolution, the rise of factory production and the seizure of state power by the rising bourgeoisie, brought into existence a new form of slavery: wage slavery. The toilers were ‘freed’ – that is, freed from the land, freed of property; unlike the peasant they had no land from which to live but only their labour-power, their ability to work, to sell, and no fall-back plan if no buyer could be found.

Unlike the slave or serf, the new class of workers were not sold individually. The individual toiler was no longer owned by another individual, but the class of workers was effectively owned by the class of capitalists.

The working class, the exploited proletariat, must work for the capitalist class in order to live under this economic order. This is how most of the world lives today, dependent for our survival on the whims of anarchic capitalist production.

Of course, the trafficking of people with black skins was an utter abomination. But so was the way that the white traffickers and others of their class treated workers with white skins during the same period.

One has only to read such works as Friedrich Engels’ Condition of the Working Class in England, or novels like Robert Tressell’s The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, to know that life for many millions of ‘free’ white-skinned English workers was a living hell, and continued to be so even after slavery was officially ‘abolished’.

The issue of slavery must not be used as a ploy to set black and white workers against one other, but, on the contrary, to strengthen their mutual solidarity against all forms of modern slavery – including and especially wage slavery.

Only socialism can abolish the exploitation, and hence the enslavement, of man by man. It does this by making the working class the collective owners of the means of production, which are used to meet the workers’ needs.

Today, although its reign is faltering, imperialism continues to run rampant across the globe and to heap untold misery upon the world’s people. Workers, rather than resting satisfied with the symbolic destruction of statues of long-dead exploiters, or being fooled into fighting along racial lines, will surely learn to direct their rage against the present-day masterminds of global terrorism and piracy – the ruling capitalist-imperialist class.

And once the bourgeoisie has been overthrown, workers will be free to set about building a world that serves the interests of the many, not the few, consigning capitalism to the dustbin of history – statues and all.

Posted in Politics, UKComments Off on Statues and the crimes of imperialism

Look, balloons! Another migrant scare distracts attention from corona and crisis

With the worst covid outcome and deepest recession in Europe, our rulers are keen to divert workers’ anger from themselves and their failing system.

Proletarian writers

Four refugees use spades to paddle a tiny dinghy across the Channel. The increase in numbers via this particular route has been vastly overhyped. It is still insignificant in relation to the total number of refugees in Britain, never mind in the world. Britain takes a tiny fraction of the world’s refugees in comparison with Germany and France, and an even tinier fraction compared with the middle-eastern and African countries that are closer to imperialist warzones. The vast majority of refugees are only able to make it across a single international border.

There is a meme on social media that has been doing the rounds for a while now. Beneath a picture of dark-skinned families walking with what scant belongings they can carry are the words: “We’re not running for your benefits, we’re running from your bombs!”

This pithy summation really needs to be borne in mind when we are confronted by a fresh deluge of “immigrants are swamping us!” sensationalism by Britain’s corporate media.

Of course, there are other reasons for mass migration (refuge seeking) besides invasions and terror meted out by the imperialist war machines. There are ‘natural’ disasters, oppression from groups and governments in the refugees’ own countries, and, of course, grinding poverty.

Once the surface is scratched on these reasons, however, we very often find that our imperialist elites are in there somewhere, grubbing around for maximum profits and domination, so that even if they are not directly causing the problem from which people are fleeing, they are certainly exacerbating it.

Channel ‘emergency’ grabs the headlines

And so we come to the latest immigration terror and ‘threat to everything we hold dear’. “It’s time to declare an emergency in the Channel” screamed the Telegraph, as three or four little boats of desperate people were intercepted by British Border Force officers on the south coast.

Nigel Farage, mindful that people were in danger of forgetting him, took to the waves to film a small, overloaded boat of refugees in the Channel. He documented the French navy shadowing the boat in case it got into trouble and he witnessed the British Border Force picking it up once it entered British waters. From this, he deduced that the French are helping to send refugees to Britain.

It may well be that the French government would like to see some of its refugee population leave France for Britain, but the shadowing of the little overloaded boats so as to be able to rescue their occupants in case of accident is hardly a crime, and anyone picked up in this way would be transported back to France, not to Britain. The French also inform British coastguards about the boats’ locations so as to allow British forces to perform the same role in our own waters.

Whatever happens, it is clear that the people in the boats are not being left to ‘run amok’, destroying our way of life (that is still a government prerogative), but will end up, on whichever side of the Channel, in some sort of ‘monitored’ situation. Many of them are in limbo for years, unable to work or build any kind of a life while various arms of the state argue about whether they should be officially allowed to stay.

The latest ‘crisis’ to be making summer headlines consists in fact of 4,300 people who have crossed the Channel by boat since January. This number is five times higher than last year because other routes into Britain (via trains, ferries and lorries) diminished with the coronavirus lockdown, and because there is a lack of legal routes for refugees trying to claim asylum in Britain.

How many make a ‘flood’?

Whilst the numbers crossing by boat are higher than usual, the overall numbers concerned are insignificant on a global scale. Britain receives far fewer asylum seekers and refugees than other European countries, which in turn take fewer than the oppressed countries do.

Before it was destroyed by Nato, for example, Libya used to be home to a significant percentage of African and middle-eastern refugees, most of them fleeing imperialist-inspired wars. Syria, likewise, was home to huge numbers of Palestinian and Iraqi refugees before many of them were forced to flee once more by the influx of west-backed jihadis.

Ever eager to grasp an opportunity to look tough, home secretary Priti Patel has appointed a ‘clandestine Channel threat commander’ (we kid you not) to take on the challenge of repelling these hostile boarders. At a cost of millions, she wants the British navy to block those little boats of misery in the Channel and force them back into French waters. The threat would be backed by a refusal to pick up survivors from boats that sink (as many do) – a clear breach of international maritime law, besides being an affront to basic humanity.

Even the French are disgusted by this proposal and have called on the prime minister to distance himself and the British government from such blatant brutality. We shall see.

In the meantime, those few refugees who are successful in making landfall on Blighty’s green and pleasant land are not being handed luxury homes or wads of cash. Far from it. In many cases, families are split up and their members are put into ‘holding accommodation’ (detention centres / concentration camps) that are a very long way from five-star.

Our advice to anyone seriously worried at the threat posed to their way of life by a handful of distraught refugees awaiting arrest on a cold south-coast beach is that they consider taking up the cudgels against British imperialism.

It is Britain’s rulers, after all, who are some of the biggest culprits in turning workers and peasants into refugees and migrants so desperate they will risk anything to escape the lands of their birth.

Posted in Human Rights, UKComments Off on Look, balloons! Another migrant scare distracts attention from corona and crisis

Book: The Rise and Fall of Project Corbyn

What should British workers conclude from this four-year experiment in ‘reclaiming the Labour party for socialism’?

Proletarian writers

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Jeremy Corbyn was only included on the Labour party’s 2015 leadership election ballot to liven up the contest a little, but his insistence on championing the needs of workers and the marginalised at a time of deepening austerity, widening inequality and war sent a message of hope to the disenfranchised. A burst of socialist enthusiasm attracted a mass influx of members into his declining party and swept him to a thumping victory on a wave of ‘Corbynmania’.

Initially struck dumb at this unexpected turn of events, the Labour party grandees, along with the wider British political establishment, formulated a plan to contain and limit the influence of Corbyn and his supporters, and to neutralise his obvious and growing mass appeal.

Launching an assault on every front, they hounded him on question after question, creating one fake controversy after another. And it gradually became clear to all that no amount of pacifying, compromising or apologising was going to be enough for those whose interests were threatened by the prospect of a Corbyn-led government, no matter how reasonable and respectable its aims.

Those who flocked to his banner took Corbyn’s evaluation of the Labour party at face value. They believed that Labour was socialist, that it would champion the interests of the working class against the wealthy; that it could and would take on the British political establishment; and that a better life could be won by simple electoral means.

This pamphlet contains a selection of articles charting the rise and fall of the Corbyn project as it happened. What should British workers conclude from the four-year experiment in ‘reclaiming the Labour party for socialism’? Why and how did it fail?

And what should we do now if we want to succeed in winning a decent and dignified life for all, free from poverty, inequality and war?

Posted in Literature, Politics, UKComments Off on Book: The Rise and Fall of Project Corbyn

Thinktank warns of massive rise in destitution in the wake of Covid-19

The wonders of capitalism: five million Britons predicted to become destitute this year.

Proletarian writers

An economic thinktank, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, has warned that Britain will see a massive increase in the rate of destitution amongst the poorest workers as a result of the Covid pandemic and the 2020 economic crisis.

Its analysis suggests a 250 percent rise in destitution in Britain compared to levels in 2017, amounting to an rise from roughly 1.5 million to nearly 5 million people.

The thinktank uses data on mortality, unemployment and changes in wage income to calculate destitution, which it defines as “income that is so low that a household is likely to lack essential provision of shelter, food, heating, lighting, clothing/footwear and basic toiletries in the immediate future”.

The institute was already forecasting a rise of 133 percent in destitution for 2020 compared to 2017 before the pandemic began. Additional levels of destitution are attributed to the effect of the pandemic on the self-employed and to the increase in unemployment as the furlough scheme is wound down.

One study has suggested that up to half of British businesses will cut staff at the end of the furlough scheme.

The media are circulating unemployment predictions in the range of 10 to 15 percent of the workforce, but the true figure is likely to be much higher given the historic underreporting of unemployment in Britain.

Posted in Human Rights, UKComments Off on Thinktank warns of massive rise in destitution in the wake of Covid-19

70th anniversary of the Korean war

A world-historic and hard won victory for the socialist forces of north Korea in defending their land against imperialist aggression.

On Thursday 23 July, the Communists held this online public meeting celebrating the significance of the Korean Fatherland Liberation War, and its place in the world struggle against imperialism.

Comrade Ranjeet Brar (@Rango1917) introduced the speakers, comrade Jack and comrade Christina.

Their contributions provide inspiring insights into the internationalist legacy and lessons of the defensive struggle of the Korean people to drive the US imperialists from their land, during which the imperialists were driven to a humiliating stalemate, leading to the signing of the armistice agreement on the 27 July 1953.

Whilst this situation has left the country divided, with the south of Korea remaining under US military occupation, we celebrate the fact that the DPRK has maintained a defensive strategy that has enabled its people to develop their socialist system.

Posted in USA, C.I.A, North Korea, South KoreaComments Off on 70th anniversary of the Korean war

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