Archive | May 15th, 2017

“Democracy Now” Runs Interference for Imperialism in Syria

One of the most peculiar features of the United States is the presence of a rabidly pro-war leftism that poses as “independent” politics. Ever since the Obama Administration made it fashionable for so-called liberals to strike a “Grand Bargain” with the GOP, anti-war politics have been non-existent in public life. The non-profit industrial complex hasn’t helped the situation. Democracy Now, as the best known non-profit “independent news” organ, is the perfect example of pro-war leftism in motion. The organization’s recent coverage of Syria has only encouraged imperialism’s war narrative despite the presence of a GOP-led Administration, House, and Senate.

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On May 3rd, Democracy Now interviewed Anand Gopal, former fellow at the New America Foundation from 2012-2014. That Democracy Now describes itself as “independent media” yet associates with figures such as Gopal raises question marks about the source’s credibility on the issue of war and peace. The New America Foundation can hardly be considered an impartial source. As is the case for most think-tanks in the US and West, the foundation receives patronage from sources directly invested in war. Such sources include the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundation, and a consortium of corporate-backed foundations associated with the Wall Street firms CitiGroup and JP Morgan Chase.

Gopal received his political training from the primary benefactors of war, that being the profiteers of finance and monopoly capital. He spent a number of years in Afghanistan embedded in the Taliban and now specializes as the journalistic mouthpiece for terrorists in Syria. His efforts have won him a Pulitzer prize and numerous work opportunities in the NGO industry. According to a recent report in the Moon of Alabama, Gopal has been caught on social media distributing ISIS documents on how to join the organization. His interview with Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh verifies his allegiance to US imperialism’s proxies currently wreaking havoc in Syria and the region at large.

Gopal’s claims paint Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad as the cause of all suffering in Syria. He cites “conversations” had with ISIS fighters who reported that they turned to terrorism in response to Bashar Al-Assad’s brutality. Syria and Russia are not only failing to fight terrorism, he claims, but the US also possesses no plan for regime change in the region. The YPG is the only force fighting ISIS.  Of course, none of Gopal’s assertions were supported with concrete evidence beyond talking points.

Yet facts on the ground suggest otherwise  The “Assad brutality” narrative has been disproven countless times by independent journalists, especially in relation to allegations of the Syrian government’s use of chemical agents. Journalist Seymour Hersh traced the chemical weapons used to attack Ghouta, Syria in 2013 back to Turkish and Saudi rebel stations and supply chains.  The 2017 chemical weapons attack occurred when the UN had already confirmed three years earlier that the Syrian government had given up all of its chemical weapons in the deal brokered by the US and Russia. If Gopal and his think-tank employers lie about allegations as serious as those involved in chemical weapons disputes, what makes them reliable sources of information about Syria at large?

Image result for democracy nowA bigger question is why Democracy Now would host Gopal on its program at all. Why would Democracy Now allow Gopal to run interference by painting Russia and Syria as mass murdering nations and the US as an arbiter of peace? It has been well-documented since 2011 that US involvement in Syria has always been about overthrowing the Syrian government. Defense Intelligence Agency documents confirm that the US willingly aided ISIS in Syria and created the conditions for its rise during the occupation of Iraq beginning in 2003. It is public record that the US and its allies funded and armed the original “revolutionaries in Syria with the explicit aim to rid of Assad. These foreign, sectarian fighters number in the tens of thousands and have come from places as close as Turkey and as far as the European mainland. All of them are guilty of committing head-chopping crimes in the name of “democracy.”

Gopal and Democracy Now do not mention the numerous examples that show the Syrian government’s broad support among the people. In 2012, amidst the proxy invasion, the Syrian government amended the national constitution. It was approved by nearly ninety percent of the Syrian population. In 2014, Bashar Al-Assad was reelected as President with 88.7 percent of the vote. Reputable polls show that the Syrian government is the most popular force in the country. Meanwhile, the likes of Gopal and Democracy Now  continuously fail to mention the atrocities committed by the invading terrorist forces and the aid that they have received from imperialist countries.

Democracy Now runs interference for imperialism because it is beholden to funding sources, as are all non-profits and non-governmental organizations. Just as Gopal is a product of the New America Foundation, so too is Democracy Now a product of the Pacifica Foundation’s benefactors. An analysis conducted in Critical Sociology found that the Pacifica Foundation received upwards of 148,000 USD between the years of 1996-1998 from the Ford, Carnegie, and other foundations to launch Democracy Now. The Lannan Foundation gave Democracy Now an additional 375,000 USD packaged in a number of grants, according to the foundation’s IRS 990 forms since 2008. Patrick Lannan, the capitalist mogul who founded the organization, sat on the board of ITT corporation in the late 70s and early 80s. The ITT corporation was instrumental in the CIA-backed fascist coup that overthrew the democratically elected socialist Salvador Allende in 1973.

So-called international non-profits such as the Ford Foundation have a long history of receiving enormous donations from the wealthiest individuals and corporations to achieve imperialism’s objectives around the world. Foundations wield a form of “soft power” on behalf of US imperialism. Their main purpose is to provide a “civil society” infrastructure in targeted nations capable of fomenting conditions of regime change. This has been a general condition throughout Latin America. Foundations such as the National Endowment for Democracy and the Ford Foundation have been caught supporting right-wing opposition groups waging destabilization campaigns against Left governments in VenezuelaEcuador, and Bolivia.

So it should come as no surprise that Democracy Now lends legitimacy to the imperialist narrative in Syria. Democracy Now is “independent” in name only. Democracy Now’s staff is beholden to funding sources that hold a large stake in the creation of a humanitarian face to imperialism. So while the outlet may present news and facts on US domestic issues largely left out of the corporate press, it remains a dangerous source of misinformation on the international front. Only a distorted worldview can arise from the lies presented by Amy Goodman’s coverage of Syria.

Real independent journalists based in the US exist, but have little financial or political support. Journalism and media must be placed in the context of the generalized struggle against US imperialism. Independent media thrives in periods where peoples’ movements are vibrant and strong. When movements are weak, so too is independent journalism. The corporate media landscape in the US will remain dominant as long as the alternative is conceived within the bowels of corporate foundations. These are radical times, and they require a radical break from the levers of control wielded by both “hard power” and “soft power” mechanisms of imperialism. That includes challenging the narratives put forward by Democracy Now.

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Anti-DPRK Propaganda War – a Cavalcade of Comedy


dprk 123

People living in western Europe and North America are bombarded with stories about north Korea – often centred around rumour, mysterious ‘intelligence’ sources, or the south Korean and US governments.

Most stories are nothing but rumours, spread to portray the DPRK as crazy and unpredictable, but now, more and more often, we are seeing major news sources such as the Guardian, the Telegraph, and the Independent being forced to apologise and write retractions after these blatant lies have been exposed.

This writer’s favourite example is a story published this year by Yonhap news agency (a south Korean news company) claiming that south Korea had ‘captured a spy drone’ from the north.

The ‘drone’ was examined by the south Korean military and, upon closer inspection, was revealed to be the door of a portable toilet and not, after all, a piece of sophisticated military hardware.

RT wrote a story in response titled ‘Truth flushed out:”Crashed drone” near Seoul is portable toilet door’.


Think about this for a second.

The USA can fly heavily-armed bombing or hi-tech surveillance drones over foreign countries with no objection from imperialist politicians and media. It can blow up weddings and kill scores of innocent people in countries where it has no jurisdiction without consequences. But if the DPRK is suspected of fling a single unarmed drone within its own borders then the world needs to be alerted to its ‘criminal’ activity.

The emperor can light entire villages on fire but the people are forbidden from lighting a single candle.

But not only did the ‘drone’ turn out to be the door of a portable toilet, but YTN (a south Korean news channel) superimposed an image of the ‘drone’ onto a photograph of Kim Jong-un.

Now we’ve established the level of desperation that the bourgeoisie media go to ridicule the DPRK, let’s have a brief look at some of the other ludicrous stories that have emerged in the last few years – this cavalcade of comedy is a gift that keeps on giving.

1. North Korea discovers a unicorn lair

In 2012, a story spread which asked us to believe that the DPRK was claiming to have discovered the lair of a unicorn and this was a conformation that the people there believe the creatures really exist.

In reality, DPRK archaeologists had reported the discovery of a rock with engravings that translated to “unicorn lair” and that this was an important archaeological site that referred to an ancient legend of a unicorn ridden by King Tongmyong – one of the founders of the kingdoms of Korea 2,000 years ago.

One of the first western media sources to report this was a media source called USnews, and the Guardian was among the many papers that repeated the story. It later printed a retraction, blaming the original on a mistranslation.


Guardian repeat:

Guardian retraction:

2. Execution by pack of dogs

Following the arrest of DPRK political official Jang Song-thaek on charges of corruption, the media went wild with stories that he had reportedly been fed to a pack of starving dogs.

The British Independent spread the story that Kim Jong-un’s uncle had been fed to a pack of hungry dogs, but later published a retraction admitting the story was satire.

According to the Independent, “The story was nonetheless reported by the English-language Singapore daily Straits Times, and from there quickly made headlines around the western world.


Independent retraction:

Explanation on RT with George Galloway and Keith Bennet from the CPGB-ML:

3. Executions for watching foreign films

This was another satire story that was shared by the Independent as fact.

The Independent said “Seoul’s Joong Ang Ilbo daily reported that the killings were carried out in seven separate cities on 3 November, with an alleged 10,000 people forced to attend one group execution held in a sports stadium in the eastern port city Wonsan.

This story might seem solid on the front – that is, if we didn’t live in the information age, where a quick YouTube search for Pyongyang’s 13th International Film Festival can prove this story false.

The festival featured films from countries including France, Indonesia, China, Pakistan, Egypt, Russia and Switzerland (and a joint film was made by artists from Britain and the DPRK called Comrade Kim Goes Flying).

Germany won Best Actor for Daniel Brühl in a film called Der Ganz Grosse Traum des Konrad Koch, a movie about an English teacher in a German boarding school who upsets the strict rigged order of the school to teach the children football.

He also played parts in films such as The Fith EstateInglorious Bastards7 Days in Havana,Eva, and Goodbye Lenin.


Pyongyang 13th International Film Festival:

Daniel Brühl and his movie, Der Ganz Grosse Traum des Konrad Koch:

4. Kim Jong-un executed his girlfriend

The Chosun Ilbo published a story saying “Sources in China said singer Hyon Song-wol as well as Mun Kyong-jin, head of the Unhasu Orchestra, were arrested on 17 August for violating north Korean laws against pornography and were executed in public three days later.

The article went on to say they were accused of videotaping themselves having sex and selling the videos. The tapes have apparently gone on sale in China as well.

The Huffington PostBusiness Insider and the Telegraph repeated the story that Hyon Song-Wol had been executed.

However, after some time had passed the Telegraph published a retraction admitting that Ms Hyon had actually appeared alive and well on television.

Business Insider wrote that the reported ‘sex tape’ was actually a video of a woman dancing to Elvis Presley’s, Aloha Oe.

Chosun Ilbo:

Business Insider:

Huffington Post:


Telegraph retraction:

5. How Americans live

In 2013, a short film entitled How Americans Live spread on YouTube.

The film featured film scenes from the USA with an English narrator making over-the-top claims about how the people there were forced to eat snow for sustenance.

Spencer Ackerman of WIRED called the film evidence of a “north Korean propaganda video” while the Washington Post, in its ‘analysis’, declared that the video’s “message is consistent with north Korean propaganda“.

The film actually turned out to be satire posted by the British travel writer Alun Hill.

Huffington Post:

There are far too many such stories for us to dismantle them all, but these are just a sample of the most prominent.

If you would like to get behind the hostile imperialist propaganda barrage and understand a little more of the truth about the DPRK, we recommend this short interview with CPGB-ML member Keith Bennet on George Galloway’s RT programme Sputnik:

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Message of Greetings from CPGB-ML to JVP May 1st Rally


CPGB-ML address May 1st demonstrations held by the JVP in Sri Lanka

At the invitation of the Peoples Liberation Front – Sri Lanka (JVP), the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) sent comrade Sammi Ibrahem to give a message of solidarity to the May 1st demonstrations in Jaffna and Colombo.

The CPGB-ML has a good working relationship with the JVP in Britain. It is the opinion of the CPGB-ML that all workers who reside in Britain constitute a part of the British working class, regardless of how long they have been in the country or how long they intend to remain. Whilst working in Britain it is incumbent upon revolutionaries and those who call themselves communist to be active in the revolutionary movement of the country they are resident in. For that reason, members of the JVP fulfil their internationalist duty as supporters and members of the CPGB-ML. They set an example to many others who for sectarian reasons continue to back the revisionists and their support for the imperialist Labour Party.

As the rot sets in ever deeper for the revisionists, it will come to pass that all sincere communists who reside in Britain, regardless of the affiliations which their organisations back home may have with aging revisionist groups here, will be faced with the choice of either undertaking no communist work, or working with the CPGB-ML. As the Trotskyites liquidate their organisations to infiltrate Labour, and the revisionists quietly fulfil the logic of their own discredited programmes of self-annihilation, only the CPGB-ML has an independent programme for the growth and development of a truly Marxist-Leninist organisation in Britain.

In Sri Lanka comrade Sammi addressed JVP rallies in both Jaffna and Colombo, along with international communist guests from PAME & the Communist Parties of Greece and Cuba. We reproduce below Sammi’s greeting to the May 1st rally in Colombo along with a few photographs of the inspiring work of the JVP this May Day 2017.

“Dear comrades,

I bring greetings from the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) – Happy 1st May!

Our Party is extremely proud to have good relations with the JVP – Peoples Liberation Front, and we can see from the banners today that the struggle against imperialism and for socialism is being waged by the comrades of the Peoples Liberation Front. Comrades, workers in Britain have a lot to learn from your example.  Red Salute to the JVP!

Comrades, the billionaires who control the world keep the masses in abject poverty. In the oppressed and economically backward countries the conditions for the working classes are especially hard. Value is created by human labour, but that which is produced through the blood and sweat of Sri Lankan workers is stolen by Sri Lankan capitalists and their friends, the imperialists, who channel billions back into their own pockets. Workers can only improve their lot through class struggle. There is nothing so hypocritical than the bourgeois class who assert the equality of rich and poor, the well fed and the hungry. Capitalism drives the workers to sell their labour power to the capitalist, workers have no other choice but wage slavery under capitalist conditions. The workers in Sri Lanka struggle bravely for a dignified life and set a great example to the working class of Britain, but struggle must be for socialism, for a revolutionary change. Leninism teaches that we cannot do this without leadership by genuine socialists, the Sri Lankan workers are fortunate to have the JVP leading them in their struggle.

Any proletarian Party which hopes to take state power and build socialism must understand how to adapt, how to change their method of struggle whilst continuing to advance on the road to Socialism. Sometimes it is necessary to fight with your fists and the Sri Lankan workers have heroic chapters written into their history when they were led in fearless armed struggle. As Marxists we understand that state power means more than capturing the parliamentary power, but when legal methods of struggle are open to revolutionaries, they must exploit them as best they can. The six members of the JVP inside the Sri Lankan parliament have won this opportunity to demonstrate to the masses the corruption of the ruling parties and can make use of the platform of parliament to inspire the people to make socialism their goal. Rather than claim that the JVP has “sold-out” because it stands in the election we sincerely hope that the JVP can build on the success of the 2015 Parliamentary elections whilst building up the struggle of the masses in the cause of socialism!

In Britain our struggle for socialism has been greatly retarded by the influence of Trotskyites and revisionists who work in the service of our ruling class. They are always quick to cry that revolutionaries have “sold out”. In Sri Lanka you are also cursed by the presence of Trotskyists who speak in revolutionary language to hide from the workers their counter-revolutionary aims. Trotskyists are everywhere the same, counter-revolution is in their blood. We must combat all attempts by Trotskyists to split the ranks of the revolutionary workers in Sri Lanka just as we must fight them at home in Britain. We must fight all attempts by enemies to split and damage the JVP whose historic mission it is to bring about the socialist revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Today 100 years after the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia, the example of the Bolsheviks is as valid as ever, the best weapon we have is the science of Marxism-Leninism, the teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. This is the best defence against Trotskyists and splitters, and it is the blue print for making socialist revolution.

Long live the 1st of May!

Long live Marxism-Leninism!

Long live proletarian internationalism!”

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Communists attend May Day, Labour Party shocked


John McDonnell is receiving a roasting this year for speaking at Trafalgar Square to our May Day Rally – as Corbyn did last year for speaking to a gathering in Clerkenwell green before the march set off from atop a double-decker bus!


It never fails to amaze us that the attacks from the capitalists are so weak – and yet the pusillanimous social democrats reel under their blows, unable to fight them off!

Deep in their ill-fated election campaign, Labour struggle to dissociate themselves from any pretence of radicalism, by editing out our flags from their photos and videos, yet they are criticised for appearing in the same street with us anyway – even tainted with the alleged communist penchant for ‘air-brushing history.’image003

Precisely because there is not a radical bone in their body, these servants of imperialism are unable to deal with these pathetic criticisms. And yet the Labour Party false-promises to solve workers problems within capitalism are so deeply unpalatable to the imperialists, mired in financial crisis, that they will spare no efforts to scupper Corbyn and McDonnell’s electoral hopes.

In any case, 20 points behind in the polls, having totally failed to purge the Labour Party of the Blairite dominance in the PLP, and gain control of the labour party despite apparently being its ‘leaders’, and particularly in view of loosing Scotland to the SNP, it is desperately unlikely that the ‘left wing’ social democratic Labour party of Corbyn and McDonnell will be able to win this election – even with the momentous support of the dwindling bunch of CPB revisionists!

So sadly, we will not have the spectacle of Corbyn and McDonnell running British imperialism, perhaps also, like Trump, being forced by the logic of their position to send a few tomahawk cruise missiles raining down on the ‘barbarian lesser nations’ to prove themselves to imperialism, in order to finally shatter workers few remaining illusions in the Labour Party.

Despite this, we trust that the entire spectacle of Corbyn and McDonnell, ‘Momentum’ and their motley crew of Trotskyite and revisionist hangers on, ‘reclaiming’ (for whom?) the Labour Party is educational enough for British workers to desert the entire ill-fated Labour party project and build a real alternative.

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Right-Wing Communism in Britain


Much ado has been made in the revisionist camp about the necessity of supporting Labour, which means, in their view, to completely abandon all revolutionary communist slogans and positions, including minor details such as the dictatorship of the proletariat.

To them the most revolutionary act is to tell the working class that Corbyn and Labour are there to solve all our problems, and that all we need to do is to vote Labour on 8 June. To justify this they frantically dredge up quotes from Marx about the situation in 19th century Britain (before the bourgeois state apparatus had been fully developed and deployed in Britain), and very select quotes from Lenin’s “Left-Wing” Communism: an Infantile Disorder.

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Unfortunately all this proves is that they are the most doctrinaire of class traitors. To paraphrase Lenin: “We want to support Corbyn in the same way as the rope supports a hanged man—that the impending establishment of a government of the Corbynites will prove that we are right, will bring the masses over to our side, and will hasten the political death of Labour.”

Let’s look at the context of that chapter. “Left-Wing” Communism in Great Britain was written in 1920, 4 years before the very first Labour government. It was written before a communist party was established in Britain. In their conferences in 1923 and 1924 the Labour Party would vote against CPGB affiliation, and bar communists from Labour Party membership and support.

Some comrades accuse us of not providing enough written or vocal support to the Labour Party. Surely the same charge must be levelled at Lenin then, on the Labour Party of the early ’20s:

“It is true that the Hendersons, the Clyneses, the MacDonalds and the Snowdens are hopelessly reactionary. It is equally true that they want to assume power (though they would prefer a coalition with the bourgeoisie), that they want to “rule” along the old bourgeois lines…”

What about the purpose of parliament, and the attitude of communists towards it?

“The writer of the letter fully realises that only workers’ Soviets, not parliament, can be the instrument enabling the proletariat to achieve its aims; those who have failed to understand this are, of course, out-and-out reactionaries, even if they are most highly educated people, most experienced politicians, most sincere socialists, most erudite Marxists, and most honest citizens and fathers of families. But the writer of the letter does not even ask—it does not occur to him to ask—whether it is possible to bring about the Soviets’ victory over parliament without getting pro-Soviet politicians into parliament, without disintegrating parliamentarianism from within, without working within parliament for the success of the Soviets in their forthcoming task of dispersing parliament.”

So do our revisionst comrades think Corbyn, or anyone else in the Labour Party, is secretly working to expose or disintegrate parliament? Is Corbyn secretly a communist, having worked within bourgeois democracy alone for decades to finally betray the true nature of Parliament and the Labour Party? If so, we must congratulate our comrades on such a convoluted long-term plan finally coming to fruition, although we are not sure they are fully prepared to take advantage of it.

“The British Communists should participate in parliamentary action, that they should, from within parliament, help the masses of the workers see the results of a Henderson and Snowden government in practice”

How many reactionary, imperialist Labour governments will it take to achieve class consciousness? We fully hope that Corbyn and the Labour Party will be able to form a government. We have already been able to use Corbyn as a fantastic example of the corruptness and bourgeois nature of the Labour Party, let’s hope he can do the same for us with parliamentarianism and social-democracy.

“The Communist Party should propose the following “compromise” election agreement to the Hendersons and Snowdens: let us jointly fight against the alliance between Lloyd George and the Conservatives; let us share parliamentary seats in proportion to the number of workers’ votes polled for the Labour Party and for the Communist Party (not in elections, but in a special ballot), and let us retain complete freedom of agitation, propaganda and political activity. Of course, without this latter condition, we cannot agree to a bloc, for that would be treachery; the British Communists must demand and get complete freedom to expose the Hendersons and the Snowdens in the same way as (for fifteen years—1903–17) the Russian Bolsheviks demanded and got it in respect of the Russian Hendersons and Snowdens, i.e., the Mensheviks.”

Of course the Labour party has rejected this, while the doctrinaire communists have fully embraced the idea of supporting the Labour Party without any of the sensible conditions set out by Lenin, and have ignored the past several decades – almost a century – of history since then.

“Let us retain complete freedom of agitation, propaganda and political activity…without this latter condition, we cannot agree to a bloc, for that would be treachery; the British Communists must demand and get complete freedom to expose the Hendersons and the Snowdens”

We treat socialism as a science, we develop theories, test them, and update them based on a dialectical and historical materialism understanding of the world. To repeat an experiment again and again, each time expecting a different result, is madness.

The CPGB worked under the revisionist British Road to Socialism for decades. The CPB and others still put forward the idea to their members and readers that the most important thing for them to do, still, is to support Labour. Perhaps buy the Morning Star on occasion, maybe even join the Communist Party if you really think you want to. But definitely vote Labour, definitely campaign for Labour, and definitely tell everyone else to vote Labour. This is the most sacred duty of a communist according to these wretched class traitors.

And what has it achieved? Anti-communist wars and social welfare sops, and now, thanks to revisionism, a historically weak working class movement with the bourgeoisie running rampant across the world.

Our party views Corbyn as an excellent tool to develop the class consciousness of workers. He has inspired tens of thousands of people, otherwise uninvolved in politics (while the ones involved in politics have been plotting to get rid of him), to start asking “what can we do?” and “what can make a change?” Unfortunately Corbyn and the Labour Party is not that change, and they will realise that, sooner or later.

When they come looking for answers, when conditions at home continue to deteriorate and the imperialists are still waging war on other countries, who will they turn to? The ‘socialists’ that told them Corbyn was the cure? The ‘communists’ who have been printing “Vote Labour!” for the past 60 years?

It is sheer fraud to claim you are educating the masses through class struggle without explaining the reality of the situation and the theory behind it, or, even worse, outright lying to them! Some comrades talk about the class struggle in vague, abstract terms, while maintaining that this concrete situation absolutely demands we work for the Labour Party, a thoroughly bourgeois, imperialist party, while retaining none of the lines or slogans that a revolutionary proletarian party requires at the present time.

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“But the Labour Party represents the British masses, we must work within them!” some cry. Perhaps these comrades may find our publication Class Society in Britain in the 21st Century of interest. “The terrible reality [is] that the well-paid skilled workers who make up the backbone of the trade-union movement and the Labour party are a potent source of opportunism, as their comfortable living conditions undermine the sense that it is necessary to overthrow capitalism.” Besides that, the Labour party consists of some half a million members (for now), or 1.24% of the 41.7 million workers in the UK.

We maintain that capitalist ministers must be forced, as much as is possible, to provide whatever they can to make the condition of the working class, in Britain and internationally, better, and steel the working class in theory and tactics via this struggle. However, under no circumstances should a communist party disguise the truth, that our real aim is revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat, and that only this will deliver respite, and eventually prosperity, to the working class.

“Revolutionaries must always support and encourage struggles for reform, since they are committed to seeking better living conditions for all workers. When the working class is strong, inevitably the bourgeoisie will be forced to make concessions. When these concessions are made, it generally buys the bourgeoisie some time – and may even enable them to regain the upper hand. It is the role of revolutionaries to imbue the working class with the idea that the only way of ensuring these reforms are not withdrawn at the earliest opportunity is to get rid of the exploiting class that constantly seeks to reduce the wages and benefits available to the working class as much as is practicable in the given historical situation.”

  • A class analysis of British society at the start of the 21st century, CPGB-ML

The Labour Party does not need the communists to cheerlead for it – more than that we know that the social democrats do not bargain with communists, they bargain with capitalists. Rather than support those who would just as much have our head, and the entire welfare of the proletariat in Britain and internationally, on the chopping block as any other bourgeois party, we must recognise the present situation and take the correct course

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British Nuclear Submarines, Microsoft and That Ransomware Attack

The BBC has reported that the recent ransomware attack hit 100 countries. Cyber-security firm Avast said it had seen 75,000 cases of the ransomware – known as ‘WannaCry’ and variants of that name – around the world. Russia was hit the worst. State owned organisations such as health care, railway systems, water and electricity seemed target of choice. This along with telecoms infrastructure and energy suppliers, postal services, educations services and financial institutions.

The infections seem, by all accounts to be deployed via a worm – a program that parasitically spreads by itself between computers with alarming speed and effectiveness. So fast, that this cyber-attack had the potential to hit critical infrastructure that supports human life and disable it in under one day to over 3 billion people. The demands by the cyber-criminals were simple – they wanted electronic money such as BitCoin to unlock the data.

Microsoft was the only fully vulnerable operating system and said it was pushing out automatic Windows updates to defend clients from WannaCry.

Who are culprits? The BBC blame hackers known as ‘The Shadow Brokers’, who made it freely available in April, saying it was a “protest” about US President Donald Trump.

Related image

But let’s not forget who the really big culprits are here. The American and British government’s are at total fault. They both fund the NSA and GCHQ. Both advocate government snooping and spying into every citizen of the world, let alone their own. Both advocate the banning of secure encryption communication services and both have spent millions on developing tools to hack and crack these systems at will.

The NSA in America lost all of these hacking tools, specifically the one that caused this attack and subsequent mayhem across the world. The hackers exploited a piece of NSA code known as “Eternal Blue.”

From Wikileaks Vault7 Files:

Recently, the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized “zero day” exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation. This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA. The archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.”

British Ex ambassador Craig Murray:

The arms race between major powers to develop cyber warfare and cyber surveillance capacity is a massive threat to the security of the internet. It is the very governments who most like to claim they need to intervene to protect us, who are in fact creating the dangers they cite. This is NSA software; WikiLeaks “Vault 7” leak has revealed the similar massive effort at the CIA in developing destructive software.

That is not to say the NSA or US government is behind this worldwide attack. But it is to say that western governments are spending billions of pounds on developing malware, which they cannot themselves keep safe. This should be viewed in the same light as chemical weapons programmes. Urgent international action to outlaw weaponised malware development should be a priority for the international community, as the danger to increasingly IT dependent services is extreme. The United States is the biggest aggressor and the biggest danger.

I have stated for some time now in numerous articles that our own government are becoming our biggest enemies today. Far from being killed by a crazy swivel-eyed black flag waving extremist brandishing a scimitar with a Semtex vest, the likelihood is that a cyber-attack will disable critical services or that your personal data will be stolen causing absolute chaos to normal life.

In Britain, Theresa May was Home Secretary for 6 years. She was, and as PM still is responsible for the cyber-defences of the country. The mainstream press have not mentioned once that Theresa May has failed to protect Britain in any tangible way from this attack.

And as Craig Murray continues:

Underfunded NHS Trusts have privatised IT management and outsourced the control and security of their computer systems to contractors, as part of the general rip-up of the NHS to provide private profit. These companies are more interested in maximising profits than safeguarding against contingent attacks. Very few NHS Trusts now employ their own NHS team of dedicated computer specialists maintaining and caring for their systems, including their defences.

Corporate profits have been great though. Remember that extraordinary numbers of MPs have financial links to private healthcare firms. If the Tories win a landslide, doubtless the numbers of MPs personally profiting from NHS privatisation will increase still further.

But it gets potentially worse than cancelled operations and emergency ambulances being sent in the wrong direction. It’s possibly worse than people dying in corridors of hospitals when, metaphorically speaking, the lights go off.

Image result for uk nuclear submarineIn 2008, the UK’s nuclear submarines were fitted out with exactly the same systems that have just been involved in this cyber-attack.

From a 2008 article – The Register:

Royal Navy completes Windows for Submarines™ rollout

“The programme is called Submarine Command System Next Generation (SMCS NG), and uses varying numbers of standard multifunction consoles with two LCD screens, hooked up on an internal Ethernet network installed on each sub. Initial reports as the programme developed suggested that the OS in question would be Windows 2000, but those who have worked on it have since informed the Reg that in fact it is mostly based on XP.”

Windows were so chuffed at “Windows for Submarines” they even advertised the fact to the entire world (HERE)

“Windows for Submarines is the programme undertaken by the Royal Navy and BAE Systems to equip the nuclear-propelled and nuclear-armed warship fleet with a Windows-based command system.  The transition to the Windows for Submarines command system on HMS Vigilant, a Trident nuclear missile submarine, was completed in just 18 days.”

This Microsoft blog is an open forum and even then an incredulous audience were questioning such a decision. Here are the first four reactions of dozens of responses.

OMAR AMER December 18, 2008 at 4:27 am: I have to ask in all seriousness – why was windows chosen over unix or linux? Granted a nuclear sub is a very mission critical operation – which is exactly why I’m bewildered at the choice of windows operating system. please shed some light on this.

Russell Quinn December 18, 2008 at 6:31 am: 18 days? You guys tested this right?

MJOO December 18, 2008 at 7:56 am: And what about the future when Windows 2000 and XP security is no longer supported? (Which by the look of it is right around the bend)

Posted in UKComments Off on British Nuclear Submarines, Microsoft and That Ransomware Attack

Ukraine: US-Installed Fascist Rule in Europe’s Heartland. Will Donetsk Rejoin Russia?


The Obama administration bears full responsibility for replacing democracy in Ukraine with an illegitimate Regime integrated by Nazi parties. .

The nation shares a near-1,500 mile land and sea border with Russia. Stop NATO’s Rick Rozoff earlier explained Ukraine is “the decisive linchpin in plans by the US and its NATO allies to effect a military cordon sanitaire, severing Russia from Europe” – a sinister plot perhaps intended as prelude to nuclear war.

Under Kiev’s rule, Ukraine is a hotbed of militarized extremism, waging war on its own people, committing appalling human rights abuses – with full support and encouragement from Washington and key NATO countries.

Since putschists usurped power in February 2014, around 2.8 million Ukrainians fled Donbass to escape conflict unleashed by Kiev, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ Russian office.

Around 1.5 million are internally displaced. Most others left for Russia where they now reside as refugees.

Image result for President Alexander Zakharchenko

On May 12, Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) President Alexandr Azkharchenko told the Russia-Donbass Integration Committee

“(w)e have one goal, the reunification with the motherland, and the motherland is Russia – and this is the ultimate goal of this committee.”

“All the work is aimed only at one thing – homecoming.” Minsk is effectively dead because Kiev refuses to observe its principles. Instead it’s at war with the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.

Both may pursue integration with Russia. Over three years of conflict likely convinced most of their people. Their future lies with Moscow, not Kiev.

If a referendum was held on reunification with the motherland, it’s hard imagining it wouldn’t pass overwhelmingly.

Instead of continuing to beat the dead horse of Minsk with no success, integration with Russia seems the most effective way forward – perhaps the only way to end conflict.

If agreed to by Putin and Russia’s parliament, what should have happened earlier, Kiev isn’t likely to shell cross-border, other than perhaps occasional incidents, risking confrontation with Moscow if they persist.

On Monday, Sergey Lavrov accused Kiev of

“sabotaging…the political process and arranging armed provocations on the contact line on a regular basis…”

Russia still calls Minsk the way to resolve conflict, knowing Kiev continues violating its terms, with support from Washington and NATO.

Image result for Eduard BasurinAccording to DPR’s vice commander Eduard Basurin, Ukrainian armed forces committed 51 ceasefire violations in the past 24 hours, 331 in the past week, firing 2,122 shells, mortar rounds and other projectiles at Donetsk – flagrant Minsk violations, continuing regularly.

“(T)he atrocities of the Ukrainian Nazis do not end,” Basurin stressed. They’re using banned munitions, including 8.6 mm caliber Lapua magnum expansive bullets – prohibited by the “Declaration on the use of bullets that are easily opened or flattened in the human body.”

On impact, they open like flowers, most often inflicting mortal wounds, nicknamed “flowers of death.”

Donetsk investigative bodies continue collecting incriminating evidence of war crimes by Ukrainian forces.

Russia’s Investigative Committee initiated criminal cases against Kiev military and political officials responsible for high crimes in Donbass, causing civilian deaths, injuries and destruction.

Russian law permits prosecutions if its citizens are harmed or if actions by a belligerent violate international human rights laws.

Last August, Moscow charged Ukraine’s defense minister and several military commanders with war crimes, additional cases launched in September and later in the year, likely more coming given endless Kiev aggression.

What’s ongoing followed putschists in Kiev usurping power, orchestrated by Washington, a sinister anti-Russia plot.

Moscow seeks mutual cooperation with all countries, conflict resolution to restore peace and stability to war-torn nations, and respect by the world community it deserves.

Commenting on Europe and America days earlier, Sergey Lavrov used uncharacteristically strong language, saying

“(w)e hope that Europe(an) (countries) will see that the era of a master-pupil relationship is long over.”

Improved relations with Russia depend on it.

Posted in UkraineComments Off on Ukraine: US-Installed Fascist Rule in Europe’s Heartland. Will Donetsk Rejoin Russia?

Leaked: The UK’s Secret Blueprint with Telcos for Mass Spying on Internet, Phones – and Backdoors


Real-time full-blown snooping with breakable encryption


The UK government has secretly drawn up more details of its new bulk surveillance powers – awarding itself the ability to monitor Brits’ live communications, and insert encryption backdoors by the backdoor.

In its draft technical capability notices paper [PDF], all communications companies – including phone networks and ISPs – will be obliged to provide real-time access to the full content of any named individual within one working day, as well as any “secondary data” relating to that person.

That includes encrypted content – which means that UK organizations will not be allowed to introduce true end-to-end encryption of their users’ data but will be legally required to introduce a backdoor to their systems so the authorities can read any and all communications.

In addition, comms providers will be required to make bulk surveillance possible by introducing systems that can provide real-time interception of 1 in 10,000 of its customers. Or in other words, the UK government will be able to simultaneously spy on 6,500 folks in Blighty at any given moment.

According to the draft, telcos and other comms platforms must “provide and maintain the capability to disclose, where practicable, the content of communications or secondary data in an intelligible form and to remove electronic protection applied by or on behalf of the telecommunications operator to the communications or data.”

The live surveillance of individuals will require authorisation from secretaries of state, overseen by a judge appointed by the prime minister. And there are a few safeguards built into the system following strong opposition to earlier drafts of the Investigatory Powers Act.

Closed doors

What will concern many, however, is how the draft paper and its contents are being handled.

The technical capability notices paper has only been provided to a select few companies – mostly ISPs and telcos – on a short four-week consultation, but a copy of the draft found its way to the Open Rights Group, which popped it online today.

According to the document, it has already passed through the UK’s Technical Advisory Board, which comprises six telco representatives – currently O2, BT, BSkyB, Cable and Wireless, Vodafone and Virgin Media – plus six people from the government’s intercepting agencies, and a board chairman.

That means that the contents have already been largely agreed to by most of the organizations that have been included in the closed consultation.

It is unclear whether the Home Office intends to make it available for public comment after that time or whether it will seek to push it through the legislature before anyone outside the consultation group has an opportunity to review it.

The rules will have to be formally approved by both houses of Parliament before becoming law.

You ain’t see me, right?

The process and the approach seem to be purposefully obscure. The rules come under Section 267(3)(i) of the Investigatory Powers Act – a one paragraph section that refers back to Section 253, which covers “Technical capability notices.”

There is no mention of the technical capability notices paper existing either on the Home Office website or on the consultation website. And the only reason we know about it is presumably because someone at one of the few companies that have been sent the draft rules decided to tell Open Rights Group about it.

But what the nine-page document does is provide the government with the legal authority to monitor anyone in the UK in real time, as well as effectively make strong and unbreakable encryption illegal.

This act of stripping away safeguards on people’s private data is also fantastic news for hackers, criminals, and anyone else who wants to snoop on Brits. The seals are finally coming off.

“This lays bare the extreme mass surveillance this Conservative government is planning after the election,” Liberal Democrat President Sal Brinton told us in a statement.

“It is a full frontal assault on civil liberties and people’s privacy. The security services need to be able to keep people safe. But these disproportionate powers are straight out of an Orwellian nightmare and have no place in a democratic society.”

The Home Office’s private consultation is open until 19 May. If you would like the UK government to know your views, then email ®

PS: The Home Office ran a short public consultation earlier this year on a code of conduct for government snoops.

Posted in UKComments Off on Leaked: The UK’s Secret Blueprint with Telcos for Mass Spying on Internet, Phones – and Backdoors

NSA Malware: Built Despite Warnings, Used in Global Cyber Attack

Disruptions reported in at least 74 countries, including Russia, Spain, Turkey, and Japan, with some reports of U.S. infiltration as well

Apparent National Security Agency (NSA) malware has been used in a global cyber-attack, including on British hospitals, in what whistleblower Edward Snowden described as the repercussion of the NSA’s reckless decision to build the tools.

“Despite warnings, @NSAGov built dangerous attack tools that could target Western software. Today we see the cost,” Snowden tweeted Friday.

At least two hospitals in London were forced to shut down and stop admitting patients after being attacked by the malware, which operates by locking out the user, encrypting data, and demanding a ransom to release it. The attacks hit dozens of other hospitals, ambulance operators, and doctors’ offices as well.

The Blackpool Gazette in the northwest reported that medical staff had resorted to using pen and paper when phone and computer systems shut down. Elsewhere, journalist Ollie Cowan tweeted a photo of ambulances “backed up” at Southport Hospital as the staff attempted to cope with the crisis.

Other disruptions were reported in at least 74 countries, including Russia, Spain, Turkey, and Japan, and the number is “growing fast,” according to Kaspersky Lab chief Costin Raiu. Security architect Kevin Beau said it was spreading into the U.S. as well.

The malware, which Microsoft tested briefly earlier this year, was leaked by a group calling itself the Shadow Brokers, which has been releasing NSA hacking tools online since last year, the New York Times reports.

Times journalists Dan Bilefsky and Nicole Perlroth wrote:

Microsoft rolled out a patch for the vulnerability in March, but hackers apparently took advantage of the fact that vulnerable targets—particularly hospitals—had yet to update their systems.

The malware was circulated by email. Targets were sent an encrypted, compressed file that, once loaded, allowed the ransomware to infiltrate its targets.

Reuters reported that the National Health Service (NHS), England’s public health system, was warned about possible hacking earlier in the day, but that by then it was already too late.

A Twitter account with the handle @HackerFantastic, the co-founder of the cyber security company Hacker House, tweeted that the firm had

“warned the NHS with Sky news about vulnerabilities they had last year, this was inevitable and bound to happen at some stage.”

“In light of today’s attack, Congress needs to be asking @NSAgov if it knows of any other vulnerabilities in software used in our hospitals,” Snowden tweeted. “If @NSAGov had privately disclosed the flaw used to attack hospitals when they *found* it, not when they lost it, this may not have happened.”

Disclosing the vulnerability when it was found would have given hospitals years, not months, to update their systems and prepare for an attack, he added.

Twitter user @MalwareTechBlog added,

“Something like this is incredibly significant, we’ve not seen P2P spreading on PC via exploits at this scale in nearly a decade.”

Patrick Toomey, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) National Security Project, said,

“It would be shocking if the NSA knew about this vulnerability but failed to disclose it to Microsoft until after it was stolen.”

“These attacks underscore the fact that vulnerabilities will be exploited not just by our security agencies, but by hackers and criminals around the world,” Toomey said. “It is past time for Congress to enhance cybersecurity by passing a law that requires the government to disclose vulnerabilities to companies in a timely manner. Patching security holes immediately, not stockpiling them, is the best way to make everyone’s digital life safer.”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Posted in USAComments Off on NSA Malware: Built Despite Warnings, Used in Global Cyber Attack

Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) Resolution of Support for Prisoners’ Strike Joins Growing Labor Solidarity for Palestinian Freedom

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national labor federation representing 3 million workers across Canada passed an Emergency Resolution at its 2017 convention in Toronto on 10 May in support of Palestinian prisoners’ #DignityStrike. The text of the resolution follows:

Emergency Resolution

CLC Supports Palestinian Prisoners’ Dignity Strike

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) will:

a) Call on the Canadian Government to pressure Israel to stop violating international law by illegally detaining Palestinians and depriving them of their basic human, civil and political rights;

b) Work with global union federations, affiliates and civil society organizations in Canada on campaigns in support of Palestinian prisoners.

BECAUSE More than 1600 Palestinian prisoners have been on a hunger strike since April 17, 2017; and

BECAUSE Key demands of the hunger strike include: end to the denial of family visits, the right to appropriate health care, the right to education in prison and an end to solitary confinement and “administrative detention”; and

BECAUSE The CLC supports the right of the Palestinian people to national self-determination and an end to the illegal Israeli occupation as the basis for a just peace in the region.

This important resolution follows on strong, growing international labor movement and trade union support for Palestinian prisoners and the Palestinian struggle for justice, self-determination and liberation.

On 12 May, the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO), which represents nearly one million workers in Norway, endorsed a full international economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel as a necessary means to support fundamental Palestinian rights.

The Congress of LO unanimously supported some form of boycott of Israel, as 193 delegates voted for a full boycott and 117 voted for a limited boycott of Israeli settlements. The strong majority of the LO congress embraced a full boycott of Israel, emphasizing the importance of meaningful international action in the face of impunity and apartheid.  The LO vote escalated the existing position of the labor confederation in support of the boycott of settlement products.

This important action came as 1500 Palestinian prisoners have been engaged in a hunger strike since 17 April for their basic human rights, including an end to the denial of family visits, proper medical treatment and health care, the right to pursue distance higher education, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial.

A number of trade unions and workers’ organizations have been vocal in their support for the Palestinian prisoners. 26 European trade unions and labor organizations endorsed a collective statement in support of the hunger strike:

“We believe that as trade unionists and conscious citizens of this world, we have duty and power to take a stand. We stand in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in their demand for fair treatment and justice. We commit to working within our respective unions not to renew contracts with corporations like HP and G4S profiting from the imprisonment of Palestinians. In addition we call on the EU and European member states to end their complicity and hold Israel accountable for its gross violations of human rights,” emphasized the unions, including labor organizations in Belgium, France, Ireland, Norway, the UK, Galicia, Basque Country, Valencia, Scotland, Ireland, Poland, the Netherlands, Catalonia, and Luxembourg.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Teachers in the UK has joined several other international labor unions in being an HP-free zone.  Kevin Courtney, general secretary with the National Union of Teachers, said in the Electronic Intifada thatImage result for HP printer

“the NUT does not buy or use HP products or services as a gesture of solidarity with the Palestinian people.”

HP provides services and technologies to the Israeli military as well as the Israel Prison Service, and the boycott of HP is a priority for BDS campaigns in support of Palestinian prisoners.

These statements followed declarations by the World Federation of Trade Unions, representing 92 million workers in 162 countries, and the International Trade Union Confederation, representing 181 million workers in 163 countries, in support of the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike.

The WFTU statement

expresses its firm internationalist solidarity with the more than 6700 Palestinians, including 389 children and 56 women, currently imprisoned by the Israeli occupation forces.

We strongly denounce the imprisonment of the Palestinian people by Israel, the inhumane detention conditions and the acts of abuse like the violent beatings against our Palestinian brothers and sisters and we demand the immediate release of all Palestinian prisoners and the end of Israel’s arrest campaigns, aggressiveness and occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Image result for pizza hutThe WFTU also issued a statement condemning the Pizza Hut Israeli advertisement – later pulled – mocking Palestinian hunger strikers, emphasizing again that

“The World Federation of Trade Unions and the international class oriented trade union movement stand on the side of the heroic Palestinian people and prisoners, express their solidarity and support to their fair struggle.”

ITUC also expressed its solidarity with

Palestinian prisoners who have declared an indefinite hunger strike to protest against violations of human rights inside Israeli Prisons. We also support the ‘general strike for freedom and dignity’ held in solidarity with hunger striking prisoners and call for wider international solidarity…

We add our voice to the demands of the hunger striking Palestinian detainees calling for the lifting of restrictions on family visits, improved overall detention conditions and access to medical care, including easing restrictions on access to education materials and food, as well as the installation of telephones to communicate with their relatives. We also recall that under international humanitarian law, detainees from occupied territories must be detained in the occupied territory, not in the territory of the occupying power, as enshrined in the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

In South Africa, among the endorsers of the South African Campaign for Palestinian Political Prisoners is the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) as well as the South African Municipal Workers Union.  Sidubo Dlamini, the President of COSATU, is joining in the broad one-day hunger strike in South Africa in support of Palestinian prisoners, alongside government officials, anti-apartheid struggle veterans and former political prisoners.

This support comes amid a growing campaign in the international labor movement in support of Palestinian rights, including an end to occupation and apartheid, full equality for all and Palestinian refugees’ right to return to the homes and lands from which they were expelled. Unions endorsing BDS include COSATU, CUT in Brazil, CSN in Quebec, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, the Irish Confederation of Trade Unions and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (UE) in the United States. Unions in Scotland, Canada, the UK, Sweden, Belgium, the Basque Country, Uruguay and many other countries have also taken a stand in support of Palestinian rights and the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions. Workers’ struggles and popular movements like the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) in Brazil have been strong supporters of the Palestinian struggle – including that of the Palestinian prisoners – for many years.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes all of the labor unions taking a stand with the Palestinian people and the Palestinian prisoners. We echo the call of Palestinian trade unions:

“We also take this opportunity to call on trade unions yet to join the BDS movement to: implement boycotts of Israeli and international companies that are complicit with violations of Palestinian rights, divest trade union funds from companies and institutions complicit in Israel’s occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid, and apply pressure on governments to cut military and trade relations with Israel. We reiterate our call for a boycott of Histadrut, Israel’s general trade union, for its complicity with Israel’s violations of international law and its refusal to take a clear stand in support of comprehensive human rights for Palestinians.”

We urge all labor organizations and workers’ movements to express their solidarity and support for the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike, for the Palestinian people’s struggle for liberation and for the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. The majority of Palestinian prisoners are Palestinians of the popular classes: workers, from the villages, the refugee camps and the cities. The international workers’ movement is engaged in a battle confronting capitalist exploitation, oppression and austerity around the world. The Palestinian prisoners in their battle for dignity and freedom are on the front lines not only of the struggle for Palestinian freedom, but for social justice and human liberation in the world today.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, CanadaComments Off on Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) Resolution of Support for Prisoners’ Strike Joins Growing Labor Solidarity for Palestinian Freedom

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