WDIE Masthead

Year 2001 No. 135, August 3, 2001 ARCHIVE HOME SEARCH SUBSCRIBE

Meeting of London Political Forum Condemns State Violence and Terror

Workers' Daily Internet Edition : Article Index :

Meeting of London Political Forum Condemns State Violence and Terror

What Really Happened in Genoa

Racist British Immigration Policy at Prague Airport

Britain Criticised for Child Soldiers

National Day of Actions over Iraqi Sanctions

Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Energy and Globalisation

Daily On Line Newspaper of the
Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)

170, Wandsworth Road, London, SW8 2LA. Phone 020 7627 0599
Web Site: http://www.rcpbml.org.uk
e-mail: office@rcpbml.org.uk
Subscription Rates (Cheques made payable to Workers' Publication Centre):
Workers' Weekly Printed Edition:
70p per issue, £2.70 for 4 issues, £17 for 26 issues, £32 for 52 issues (including postage)

Workers' Daily Internet Edition sent by e-mail daily (Text e-mail):
1 issue free, 6 months £5, Yearly £10

Meeting of London Political Forum Condemns State Violence and Terror

A special meeting of the London Political Forum took place on Wednesday, August 1, to condemn the state violence against the movement against neo-liberal globalisation seen at the Genoa G8 summit. As well as hearing the views of a long-time campaigner and opponent of neo-liberal globalisation, the meeting at London’s Conway Hall also heard the testimony of a UNISON delegate present at the Genoa demonstrations.

Charlotte Monro, a health worker and long-time campaigner to safeguard the future of the Health Service, drew parallels between the issues raised by the anti-globalisation movement and the attacks on social programmes in Britain which are seen as having a source in neo-liberal globalisation. She said that the people who protested in Genoa had taken a stand on critical issues. Similarly the aim of the violence was to terrorise people into not taking a stand in favour of the issues which are of concern to them. In this way the attempted repression of the protests and the violence used by the Italian state’s force had exposed the methods used to uphold neo-liberal globalisation.

The speaker also highlighted many issues which emphasised that the G8 Genoa summit and similar events before are used to further the aims of the multinationals to restructure the economies of the world in their favour. The results had been the greater widening of the divide between the richest countries and the poorest and the strengthening of the potency of the multinationals and financial oligarchy to interfere in a country’s direction.

Drawing attention to the effects of globalisation in Britain, the speaker pinpointed that the multinational corporations and financial oligarchy were seeking out and attaining, with the complicity and encouragement of the New Labour government, new sources of profit – seen in the sell-off and creeping privatisation of the education and health services and other social programmes. With such examples the link between the international impact of neo-liberal globalisation and its effects nationally were cogently revealed.

Having drawn attention to the supranational international organisations whose who aim was to further the agenda of the multinational companies and the financial oligarchy, and in doing so supersede national laws, then Charlotte Monro noted the growing national and international opposition to these plans. The opposition, she said, was integrated by efforts to prevent the complete domination of life by multinational companies in ways that trampled over people’s human rights. Examples of campaigns and struggles in Britain and in India against use of GM crops, and water privatisation in Bolivia were given. The speaker said that the thread that tied these campaigns together was the vision of a democratic world order.

The diminishing credibility of the claims to democracy of those countries that adhere to the Paris Charter version of democracy based on a free market economy, human rights based on private property and representative democracy based on multi-party elections was also underlined. The international campaign and movement against the effects of neo-liberal globalisation had raised the issue of democracy and exposed the version the G8 and similar countries defended – in that increasingly they were seen to represent the interests of the multinationals. In this way the different strands of opposition to neo-liberal globalisation – environmentalists, trades unionists, and others – were being awakened against governments increasingly seen as representatives of the financial oligarchy and multinationals.

Concluding her talk, the speaker said the state violence and terror used in Genoa would strengthen the opposition and make it more determined. Such resolve should be accompanied by more discussion and thought into how the movement can be developed. In doing so the room to manoeuvre and achieve success would be increased whilst the space of the forces that defend neo-liberal globalisation would be restricted. Tactics, forms of organisation, strengthening unity – no bar should be imposed on any discussion and neither political affiliations nor false labels imposed on people should be allowed to divide the movement.

The testimony of Bill Lehm, a University College London UNISON delegate to the Genoa protests, reflected the determination of the movement to take a stand – it also depicted the viciousness used by the state machinery of those governments who promote neo-liberal globalisation.

Devoting much of his presentation to the events surrounding the arrest and unjust conviction of his colleague and UNISON member Paul Robinson, who was present at the recent Gothenburg protests, the speaker showed how laws were being manipulated and misapplied with the intention of preventing further protest and intimidating those who do participate. The speaker also gave an insight into the personality and character of Paul Robinson, and of the events in which he had been involved immediately prior to his arrest, which showed why he could not be guilty of the crime for which he had received a 1-2 year jail sentence. According to the speaker UNISON and Amnesty International had intervened positively in the case and this action had supplemented the efforts of Paul’s colleagues to ensure he received a fair trial. As well as these efforts letter-writing campaigns had been initiated as an effective way of publicising the case.

Describing the participation of a UCL UNISON contingent at the Drop the Debt action at the Genoa G8 Summit protests, the speaker recalled the atmosphere of militancy accompanied by the support of Genoa residents. In contrast to this positive experience the speaker went on to detail the experiences of his contingent, which had faced police attacks and witnessed the brutality and repressive measures used against the demonstration – and even against lawyers attempting to represent detained people.

Summing up the events, Bill Lehm described the support given by Italian trades unions in interpreting and translating for arrested and detained people. All of these actions were positive he said and should be developed by, for example, establishing support groups for people left behind having faced detention or violence from state forces.

Ending his talk, and referring to the issues about which the G8 summit protests had focused on, he said the world has gone mad – for which the politicians were responsible.

The floor was then opened to discussion, questions and comments. In further comments, Bill Lehm described the current democracy as an elected kingship in which the Prime Minster can initiate any repressive law, on the basis of the Royal Prerogative, without any debate in Parliament. Such laws were being used to repress dissent and opposition.

It was highlighted that different political strands are being brought together and that political leaders have lost the argument. The political leaders are determined to implement an agenda which the people do not agree with. They have failed to convince democratic people that their programme is correct. The movement against neo-liberal globalisation is a genuine movement amongst the people with different strands and its own motion. In this context all views count, all are of equal worth, no question or issue should be off of the agenda.

The G8 protests and those before it were and are inspiring examples of the people’s opposition to neo-liberal globalisation. The contradiction between people who want a different type of society – one which takes care of its members – and between those forces who are prepared to use fascism to defend the present system is becoming more clear. The movement which is developing should be under no illusions about the nature of the struggle to oppose neo-liberal globalisation and the type of force being used to repress the movement against it.

The meeting recalled that the initial statements of Tony Blair and International Development Minister Claire Short were hostile and condemnatory – but they had to retreat when the nature of the state violence was exposed. It was recalled during the discussion that the state is an instrument for the repression of one class by another.

The Chair of the meeting pointed out the breadth of the opposition to manifestations of the neo-liberal agenda in Britain. Farmers, car workers, health workers and others were in struggle against the agenda of the rich. There is a common cause for which people are struggling and a common adversary represented by the politicians of neo-liberalism and globalisation. Within this, questions are raised as to what type of society is it we live in and the type of society that the people want. The monopoly controlled media present globalisation as if it is a phenomena which is abstract or "out there" and unrelated to the situation in Britain, whereas the nature of the problems people encounter in Britain are being shown to have their source in the same globalisation.

A participant said that the state violence and terror seen in Genoa were not divorced from the problems of the system and the state, which supports that system. It was being presented by many as a police problem but in actual fact the methods used in repressing and attacking the protests at Genoa and elsewhere were part of the tactics of the state in protecting their economic order. The issues in the struggle against globalisation were often defined as being against the power of the multinationals – and whilst it is the case that the supranational organisations were culpable for the problems of globalisation it is a fact that these companies use the state of the bourgeoisie, in the G8 countries and others, to implement their programme.

Another issue which was raised in the debate was that while ideology should not be used to split the movement, this does not mean that the issue of modern communism should be kept out of the movement. It is vital to analyse such issues as representative democracy and the need for the renewal of society, to discuss the role of the mass communist party and how the masses of the people nationally and internationally must arrive at the forms by which they set the agenda for society and make their own history.

In concluding the meeting it was announced that the next meeting of the London Political Forum would be held on Wednesday, September 26, 2001.

An important part of the work of the Forum is to build the Workers’ Opposition to Tony Blair’s "Third Way" programme, a programme which has the agenda of neo-liberal globalisation. It does so by raising the level of political culture and providing a converging point for those in struggle against the anti-social offensive. In this respect, the London Political Forum gave the call to all who have participated in its meetings to contribute to setting the agenda of the Forum on this basis to organise the next series of meetings beginning in September.

Article Index

What Really Happened in Genoa

University College London Branch of UNISON held a meeting at lunchtime on August 2. The aim of this meeting was firstly to feed back to members the experiences of the delegation of fifteen workers who went on the demonstration in Genoa, and secondly to build solidarity for Paul Robinson through linking up with other colleges and umbrella groups.

Stevie Russell gave an account to around 80 people of the importance of demonstrating against globalisation as it affects workers’ lives through privatisation of services, casualisation of jobs and undermining trade union rights. The fifteen people who went were a diverse group representing three generations. and workers as diverse as librarians, domestic workers and administrators. She described the biggest, most spectacular and diverse demonstration she had ever seen. They delegation was surrounded by peoples from all over the world; environmentalists, Cubans, Native Americans and a German Housing Co-op, to name a few. It was very peaceful and the people were in good humour and spirit. They saw the results of direct action of the previous day with banks that were smashed. The local people along the way were very supportive even as it was the day that followed the death of Carlo Giuliani and the direct action. At the sea front the demonstration was breaking up, people were running due to tear gas and action by the police. The group decided to leave and make their way back to the cars. They were directed by police towards an armoured van that then drove towards the delegation.

Oliver, one of the more senior members of the group, who was singled out for attack by the police, then spoke. He said that they went out on July 20 but he had not returned until August 2. He stated that he went to Genoa as the policies of G8 and IMF are oppressing the poor of the world and the trip was planned on the basis that they want to get things done to stop this.

The tear gas came from the armoured vehicle. The group were given water by locals. Then the police appeared. His account was very powerful in that not many words were used to describe the incident. But that made it all the more moving. His manner in recounting the event was very calm and gentle. The gesture with his arm was enough for the audience to understand the brutality inflicted by the police. He spoke of the search to find appropriate hospital care and treatment. They visited three hospitals to find eye specialists to deal with the severe injury that kept him in Genoa long after colleagues had left. At the first two hospitals the workers, although not able to provide the care he needed, were very helpful and kind. Eventually, he was treated for bleeding at the back of his eye. Once he left hospital to return home he was detained at the airport for one and a half hours and his passport seized.

Oliver was presented with a card with best wishes and a collection from his colleagues that was graciously received.

A friend of Paul Robinson, who was falsely arrested and convicted in Gothenburg, then spoke and explained that he intends to appeal and is positive about his case at the higher court. His address was circulated.

Guy from Globalise Resistance made the point that despite the horrendous stories of Genoa, there were many who went and came back in one piece. As many as 2,000 to 3,000 British people were thought to have attended this event, he said. He told of the numerous plans for further meetings and demonstrations. Among them are a meeting at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) on Tuesday, August 7, at 6.30pm, showing unseen footage of Genoa, and a meeting on Wednesday, August 8, at 7.30pm, Conway Hall on police brutality.

There were a number of inspiring and encouraging contributions from the audience. People recalled exchanges with other demonstrators and talked of the vibrant crowds, the chants of "Our World" and the sheer numbers of young people, as well the sea of red banners filling the streets.

One person said the violence against protesters is on increase as the struggle is winning, and the response is to intimidate, criminalise people and discredit demonstrators.

In a positive end to the meeting, a UCL student spoke of the growing consciousness of the youth.

Article Index

Racist British Immigration Policy at Prague Airport

The British government, as part of their racist immigration policy under the pretext of preventing suspected "illegal immigrants", has installed immigration officials at Prague’s Ruzyne Airport. They began checks on July 18. The EU countries have already formalised a policy at the Tampere European Council summit in October 1999 whereby their programme of "refugee reduction" would be achieved at the point of departure from outside Europe, via pre-embarkation checks. These arrangements to prevent "refugee flows" and "asylum seekers" are now being utilised by the British government to prevent Czech Roma people from flying to Britain.

Czech President Vaclav Havel issued a statement on July 31 expressing his concerns about the screening of London-bound passengers by British officials. Spokesman Martin Krafl said that Havel "is aware of the reasons that prompted the British side to introduce this temporary, technical measure", but that he "considers some of the circumstances that accompany its implementation disturbing". Human rights and the protection of personal data had to be respected, he said. "Should these principles be violated, the procedure (at the airport) would no longer be acceptable."

Roma representatives have complained that British officials are discriminating against them. After meeting with the Czech president of the International Romany Union, Emil Scuka, Foreign Minister Jan Kavan said he would submit a report on the checks to the government by the end of August. Amanda Sebastian of the Europe Roma organisation said on July 19 that the treatment of Roma by British immigration officials at Prague's Ruzyne airport is open discrimination. Czech Romany groups have blamed the Czech government, with Mikulas Horvath of the Ostrava Romany Civic Initiative saying that it is willing to sacrifice its Romany population to join the EU. Foreign Minister Jan Kavan said the measure is aimed at preventing the imposition of expensive visas on all Czech citizens. Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Palous added that the checks do not deny anyone the right to apply for asylum in Britain, which can be done at the British Embassy in Prague.

Czech Communist Party leader and MP Zuzka Rujbrova last week criticised the hypocrisy of the British government’s decision to install immigration officials to prevent the Roma exercising their "post-communist" freedom to travel. She also criticised the Czech Republic’s government for submitting to pressure from the British government and allowing British immigration officials, under the guise of "consular officials", to vet passengers before they are allowed to board a plane to Britain. The 1975 intergovernmental agreement on the basis of which the checks are being made only permits consular officials to work in the other country.

Sources in Prague have reported that the Czech government agreed to allow the British officials to operate on their soil only because they were given an ultimatum by the Tony Blair government: "Accept them so that we can stop the flow of gypsy asylum-seekers, or we will reintroduce a visa requirement for all Czech citizens wishing to enter the UK."

Freedom Union Chairwoman Hana Marvanova called on the Czech Foreign Minister to inform the public on the details of the February agreement with Britain that enables British officials to check passengers at the airport. "We consider it extremely undignified for Czech travellers bound for Britain to undergo the checks by foreign officials on our territory," she said, adding that it is debatable "whether this solution is more humiliating than the possible introduction of visa requirements". Freedom Union deputy Monika Horakova, a Rom, said that a public appeal by the government would be more useful than "restrictive measures only provoking distrust and having a discriminatory effect".

In one case, a hidden camera filmed a British immigration officer as he rejected a Romany would-be traveller’s application for the document allowing him to fly to London. In fact, the applicant was an undercover Czech TV reporter. He and his non-Roma colleague had submitted identical documents and were carrying the same amount of cash on them. They both said they were planning to visit a friend in London. The non-Roma reporter was given permission to fly.

Czech citizens do not require a visa to travel to Britain. But before they can board a plane to Britain they must produce a document stamped by a British immigration officer based at Prague Airport confirming in advance that the bearer will not be denied entry to Britain. Until Friday, July 27, and the storm over the British official’s conduct, every application by a Romany traveller for the document had been turned down.

After the film was shown on Czech TV, the Czech Foreign Minister, who was born in London in 1946 and was a member of the Labour Party from 1982 to 1990, summoned British Ambassador David Boucher to the Czech Foreign Office. On the basis of what the Ambassador told him about the incident, Jan Kavan excused the British official’s conduct by saying that the address in London given by the Romany journalist was "at the very least badly written, incomplete and therefore false". Although David Boucher refused to provide documentary evidence of this, Jan Kavan declared himself "convinced" by his explanation.

Speaking on Czech television on July 23, the British Ambassador denied that the checks discriminate against Roma. He said British consular officers are forbidden to make judgements on the basis of race, colour or ethnicity, and that the officers ask passengers the same questions they would ask them upon their arrival in Britain. However, some 50 passengers, mostly Roma, have been turned back since the programme was initiated.

The Czech state itself is not innocent of racist attacks and racial discrimination against the Romany communities, as is also the case in Slovakia and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Roma in the North Moravian city of Ostrava last week decided to set up their own patrols. Similar patrols are also under consideration by Roma in the town of Svitavy, following the murder of 30-year-old local Romany Oto Absolon on July 20. He was stabbed to death by a neo-nazi skinhead with a long record of convictions for racist violence. When he murdered Oto Absolon, he was awaiting trial on yet another charge of racially motivated violence. Despite his record, the court ordered that he be set free pending trial rather than remanded in custody. The local police have also refused to give protection to a key witness of the murder, despite the obvious threat of intimidation by neo-nazi thugs.

The Roma people are seeking to emigrate because of the racist attacks, the discrimination against them and their conditions of life. Despite this, following the Labour government’s immigration policy championed by former Home Secretary Jack Straw, they do not fit in with the migration management criteria for recruiting skilled labour to Britain while classifying other sections as "bogus asylum seekers". The British government in this case evidently miscalculated on the extent to which the government of the Czech Republic would be compliant to Britain’s arrogant arrangements and surrender its sovereignty over matters which pertain to it. The officials’ racist treatment of the Roma is also arousing the indignation and opposition of a wide spectrum of democratic opinion within the Czech Republic.

WDIE condemns the racist immigration policy of the British Labour government and in particular its racist treatment of the Czech Roma. WDIE demands an end to all racist criteria regarding immigrants and people seeking asylum in this country, which are being carried out by New Labour under the pretexts of opposing "illegal immigrants", "bogus asylum seekers" and "economic migrants". These racist criteria are politically motivated and anti-democratic, promoted as a means to divert people from opposing the anti-social offensive in the conditions of growing crisis, and they betray the deep chauvinism of the British ruling circles. It is ironic when Tony Blair is so vehemently trying to convince the broad masses of the people of the virtues of "globalisation" and unrestricted movement of capital, inward investment and the like, that the government is so keen to restrict the movement of those whom it considers "undesirable". The racist policy further exposes the "tolerance" of the British ruling circles, and must be ended forthwith.

Article Index

Britain Criticised for Child Soldiers

A report published in June criticises Britain for using "child soldiers" in armed combat. The practices of Britain's Armed Forces are put on a par with those of Sri Lanka, East Timor and Iran.

The International Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers' Global Report calls on the Ministry of Defence to review its recruitment procedure. A spokesman for Anti-Slavery International, one of the organisations involved in distributing the report, said: "It is an absolute scandal that the UK continues to deploy in battle under-18s while lecturing other countries about their use of child soldiers. A change in the MoD's recruitment policy is urgently required."

Anyone wanting to join the RAF and Navy can do so from the age of 16. Recruitment to the Army can begin at 15 years and nine months – but nobody is accepted before the age of 16. According to the MoD, there are currently 5,500 serving members of the armed forces under the age of 18.

A spokesperson for the MoD said: "Comparisons between the UK and countries like Sri Lanka are quite ludicrous. No one can join UK armed forces at the age of 16 without the consent of a parent or guardian and it is very clear what they are getting in to. There is no suggestion, as in other countries, that people are press ganged into joining."

Measures are taken to try to ensure that recruits under 18 are not involved in armed combat, but the spokesperson said that in "rare" cases, this could not be avoided.

The report was compiled using information from governments and statutory bodies as well as local voluntary groups. It is being promoted by a coalition of groups including Amnesty International and UNICEF.

Article Index

National Day of Actions over Iraqi Sanctions

August 6 will be the 11th anniversary of the imposition of sanctions on Iraq (and the 56th of the Hiroshima bombing). It will be a National Day of Action, with actions around the country concentrating on the effects of depleted uranium, 300 tons of which were deposited in southern Iraq during the Gulf War.

The Day of Action will also mark the beginning of a 40-day fast by members of Voices in the Wilderness and others, in New York (in front of the UN) and London. At least nine people will go the whole 40 days with only juices. The people on the fast will be joined by Denis Halliday.

Iraq on July 16 accused the United Nations of hindering the study of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the devastating impact of depleted uranium (DU) on the health of the Iraqi people. During its meeting in Geneva last March, the WHO accepted Iraq's request for the study and decided to set up joint committees to investigate the impacts on Iraq of the DU used in the 1991 Gulf War. The Health Minister of Iraq, Umid Medhat Mubarak, according to the official Iraqi News Agency, said that the decision of the United Nations Secretariat to delay the visit by a WHO mission to Iraq to study the impacts of the DU in Iraq under the pretext of "security reasons" reflects clearly "the US hegemony over the UN, so as to promote the US hostile policy against Iraq".

Among many other studies on the biological effects of DU, the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI) in the US is investigating health effects of embedded fragments of DU. The Gulf War resulted in injuries of US Coalition personnel by fragments of DU and the fragments not immediately threatening the health of the individuals were allowed to remain in place, based on long-standing treatment protocols designed for other kinds of metal shrapnel injuries. However, questions were soon raised as to whether this approach was appropriate for a metal with the unique radiological and toxicological properties of DU. Results of studies employing rodents implanted with DU pellets as well as cultured human cells exposed to DU compounds have indicated that uranium from implanted DU fragments is distributed to tissues far-removed from implantation sites, including bone, kidney, muscle, and liver. Levels of uranium in the kidney were toxic to that organ after acute exposure. DU was found to cause gene mutations, and it caused bone marrow leukaemia. It also altered neuro-physiological parameters in rat brains, crossed the placental barrier, and entered foetal tissue.

Article Index

Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Energy and Globalisation

Open letter by Major General Kostas Konstantinidis (retired) and Andreas Toupadakis, PhD

It is no longer a secret that nuclear weapons have been used to intimidate the world and to prepare the road for global domination. The latest signs of popular resistance all over the world clearly show that the dreamers of globalisation will find themselves soon in the difficult position of answering to the rest of the world why they are still leading the world toward a final and total catastrophe, i.e. nuclear holocaust, environmental catastrophe, social degradation, etc.

It is very interesting that this same state of world affairs was seen 4.5 thousand years ago by the Greek philosopher Isiodos. He described the "Iron Generation" of his days: "Brother will not be friend to his brother. Parents will not be respected when they become old, but will instead be blamed with strong blasphemies. Each will destroy the city and the country of the other. There will be no grace for the one who keeps his vow for justice and good. Whoever does evil will be praised with more titles, positions, and benefits. Finally self-respect and justice will abandon the people." What then should we predict about our own future, now that we are in the generation of Uranium and Silicon?

Materialistic and authoritarian religions that claim to have improved the soul of humanity created instead the basis for the disrespect of harmony and balance in nature and society. Despite this, even today, there is still some harmony, balance, beauty and justice left in the world, which is in total opposition to the present human behaviour.

Responsible for this situation is a small oligarchy of visible and invisible persons who want to impose their agenda for global domination. Every effort to abolish nuclear weapons and war in general is against their vision. The visible global superpower dictates every major decision in the political, economic, strategic and cultural arena in the world. Its power comes from citizens who are manipulated and misled by the mass media, which is controlled by a tiny plutocracy, the masters of the international corporations. The problem today is the substitution for democracy by a new kind of authority that is hardly visible to most people. The two opposing social systems of East and West are becoming one while the South is starving to death.

The recent events in Yugoslavia and the many other past events world-wide in regard to the abduction or assassination of political leaders (Allende, Noriega, Lumumba, Makarios, etc.) clearly show that the international power is willing to sacrifice everything at the altar of global domination. This blackmail and intervention in the politics of independent countries in the name of the UN is not legitimate, especially when the UN instruments are not representing the will of the people of the international community, for the following reasons:

1. They are violating the UN Charter regarding a nation's sovereignty;

2. They are using a double standard (why are the same standards not used for Israel and Turkey concerning the problems of the Palestinians, Cypriots and Kurds?);

3. They do not respect institutional laws, such as court decisions. They have set up their own jungle code.

We are convinced that the anti-nuclear movement cannot stay alone anymore when, at the same time, all other movements are coming together under the name of the Universal Anti-Globalisation Movement. It needs to build strong and permanent ties and solidarity with this new unified movement. Its presence must be visible in every popular demonstration of the anti-globalisation movement, such as in Seattle, Prague, Quebec, Nice, Gothenburg and Genoa. Small personal victories cannot lead us and encourage us anymore. The leaders of the peace movement now face a great responsibility to make their presence and vision very visible in the new Universal Anti-Globalisation Movement. We think that the 2001 antinuclear conference in Hiroshima needs to assume this new role, and if it has not already been included in the agenda for this year, we believe that an additional independent conference is absolutely necessary as soon as possible. At this specific conference, we propose that the most appropriate leaders, intellectuals and wise men of the Anti-Globalisation Movement must also be present, in close contact with the anti-nuclear leaders, in order to reach decisions for the future new direction of the antinuclear movement in the frame of the larger Anti-Globalisation Movement. Japan is the only country that has seen the direct result of nuclear war; therefore, it knows that it has special responsibility to redirect the movement towards the necessary direction.

Also, the Peace Movement as a whole needs to follow the same new role and direction within the frame of the Anti-Globalisation Movement. Rhetoric and unnecessary trips must be minimised. Quality must take the lead over quantity and the quantity will be manifested in the conferences and demonstrations against Globalisation. The antinuclear movement will not be undermined by joining the Anti-Globalisation Movement; it will perhaps be the strongest component of it. We emphasise the importance of an effective anti-nuclear and peace movement leadership in the new role.

We would also like to mention another very important component in the anti-nuclear movement, and this is the problem of using nuclear energy for "peaceful purposes" when the following have been clearly shown:

1. Nuclear energy creates a large amount of deadly by-products and no method has yet been found to handle them;

2. Nuclear energy is the precursor of nuclear weapons;

3. Every nuclear power plant is a military target;

4. The accidental or purposeful release of radioactive material on earth is virtually deadly to life.

We believe that the dogma of nuclear energy for "peaceful purposes" is against life, the physical environment, and the abolition of nuclear weapons. For this reason we propose that you must take initiative in the name of all the people of the world to strongly condemn the dogma of nuclear energy for "peaceful purposes". We suggest that the Nagasaki conference be specialised against nuclear energy for "peaceful purposes". We believe that such dogma operates as a negative factor for the abolition of nuclear weapons and in contrast, it helps their proliferation.

We hope that the best effort will be made to materialise the above changes.


Mr Kostas Konstantinidis belongs to the Group of ex-NATO Generals for Peace & Disarmament.

Dr Andreas Toupadakis is a former researcher at Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories.

Article Index

RCPB(ML) Home Page

Workers' Daily Internet Edition Index Page