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Year 2001 No. 197, November 16, 2001 ARCHIVE HOME SEARCH SUBSCRIBE

NCP and RCPB(ML) Issue Joint Statement

Workers' Daily Internet Edition : Article Index :

NCP and RCPB(ML) Issue Joint Statement

Step Up the Struggle to Stop the War! Oppose the Anglo-US "New World Order"!

Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Bill:
Enshrining Exceptional Measures as Permanent Law

Celebrating the October Revolution

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NCP and RCPB(ML) Issue Joint Statement

The two Communist Parties, the New Communist Party of Britain and the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), have issued a joint statement on the occasion of the second major national march and rally called to stop the war in Afghanistan. The anti-war demonstration takes place on Sunday, November 18.

The statement calls on all workers and peace-loving people to step up the struggle to stop the war and to oppose the Anglo-US "New World Order". The two parties call on the working class to take centre stage in putting an end to state terror, aggression and war. NCP and RCPB(ML) are also holding a joint public meeting entitled "Stop the War!" on Thursday, November 22, at 7.30 pm, in Marx House, 37a Clerkenwell Green, London EC1 (nearest tube: Farringdon). Speakers include Andy Brooks of NCP and Chris Coleman of RCPB(ML).

WDIE hails the issuing of the statement, which we are publishing in this issue and which forms the lead article in Workers’ Weekly of Saturday, November 17, as an important step in achieving the historic task of restoring the unity of the communists in Britain.

As the political report to the RCPB(ML)’s 3rd Congress, The Line of March to a New Society, says, "It is now more than ever crucial that the working class and people of Britain unite in a consistent programme against Tony Blair’s ‘Third Way’. At the same time, all serious groups and individuals should work to strengthen and consolidate the communist and workers’ movement in Britain." The political report continues: "This new historical basis must include challenging in concrete form the very political forces which are organising the anti-social offensive … As a matter of course, communist parties will have to carry out discussions with each other on questions of concern. All questions of revolutionary theory and practice must be discussed in the course of the work to create the subjective conditions for revolution."

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Communist Call to All Workers and Peace-Loving People:

Step Up the Struggle to Stop the War!

Oppose the Anglo-US "New World Order"!

Joint Statement of NCP and RCPB(ML) —

Our Parties join together and join with all workers, youth, women and all democratic people to condemn the aggression against Afghanistan and its people by Anglo-US imperialism. On the occasion of the second major national march and rally called to Stop the War! NCP and RCPB(ML) hail the anti-war movement which is gathering in strength and in scope. We call on all workers and peace-loving people to step up the struggle to bring an end to the war so that the anti-war movement actually achieves its aims.

There is no justice in the bombing and aggression against Afghanistan. It is being undertaken contrary to established norms of international legality, of warfare and against fundamental tenets of humanity. Our Parties utterly condemn these acts of war.

The problems facing the Afghan people can only be solved by the Afghan people themselves. They have the right to choose their own government and way of life without outside interference. Imperialist intervention can only lead and is leading to more bloodshed and civil strife in a country already devastated by nearly 30 years of civil war.

Workers must reject the justifications that the Blair Government is giving for the Anglo-US aggression. Working people cannot accept that the war is being carried out to eliminate terrorism, nor that there is no alternative to warfare and barbarism. Workers must aim their struggles against the "New World Order" of US imperialism, the imposition of which is the driving force behind the tragic events in Afghanistan. US imperialism has been seeking ever since the Gulf War to impose its dictate on the entire world. Anglo-US imperialism views Central Asia as a crucial region to control in its quest for global domination. In doing so it is threatening to plunge Asia and the entire world into war.

Workers must reject the propaganda that is being given that the aggression is somehow necessary to protect "our way of life". The working class and people live in a society that does not guarantee their rights as human beings to a livelihood, health care and education, nor their rights as workers, women, youth or national minorities. The neo-liberal agenda of imperialism and the British model of democracy does not provide a guarantee of such rights at home or abroad. It has become even clearer since September 11 that the British state does not respect the rule of law and gives itself the right to act with impunity, with acts of state terror.

Our Parties call on the working class and people to build the workers’ opposition to capitalist reaction and the Anglo-American "new world order" and take a stand in favour of the rights of nations and peoples and for social and national liberation. A new socialist society is possible in which the people themselves are at the centre of all decision making!

The movement against the war and for a just and peaceful solution is growing. People from all walks of life, including a number of Labour and Plaid Cymru MPs and members of the Welsh Assembly, are making their voices heard against the bombing. We call on the working class to take centre stage in putting an end to state terror, aggression and war.

New Communist Party of Britain, Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)

November 18, 2001

Article Index

Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Bill:

Enshrining Exceptional Measures as Permanent Law

With the new "anti-terrorism" legislation, published on November 12, Britain is in effect to be placed under a permanent state of "public emergency" as part of the government’s unprecedented move to allow internment without trial of suspected "terrorists". The legislation is to be rushed through in the next four weeks.

The framing of the Bill is only possible by specifying that Britain will opt out of Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which bans detention without trial. The rights and freedoms guaranteed under the Convention were specifically incorporated in UK law with the Human Rights Act 1998. Once again the absolutism of parliament is underlined, the royal prerogative bestowing on the government the power to give every Act constitutional force, without reference to any fundamental or enabling legislation which would give the exercise of rights and freedoms a legal guarantee. The Bill would also enable future anti-terrorist legislation passed by the European Union to become law in Britain without having to be ratified at Westminster.

The Bill will pave the way for indefinite imprisonment of foreign nationals who the government claims are terrorists. The relevant clause in these emergency measures allows for such detentions to be reviewed every six months. Even suspects who attempt to travel through British airports can be detained under the proposed legislation. And the legislation would allow the seizing of assets of foreign nationals who the government "suspects" of terrorism. It is the first of a series of laws which are planned which contain exceptional measures closing what the government alleges are loopholes in the law. Whitehall sources said the order would not be reviewed "for at least a year".

The law also allows action against "a person whose past or proposed activities are so demonstrably undesirable that the grant or continued enjoyment of passport facilities would be contrary to the public interest". On this basis, the Home Office is also planning "to seize passports from British Muslims who are planning to travel abroad to fight for the Taliban or Osama bin Laden". The Bill would also outlaw the use of hand and face coverings, such as hoods or scarves, in certain public order situations, when a police officer demands their removal.

The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesperson said, "Britain is closed to terrorism, and we will take whatever action we can." "People will object to it, but we are absolutely determined to get the balance right between human rights, which are important, and society's right to live free from terror," he added. He said that we are living in "exceptional times".

The introduction of this Bill in Parliament underlines the necessity for the working class and people to raise their voices against such "exceptional" measures taking on the status of permanent legislation. The genesis of the Terrorism Act 2000 is another pertinent example where emergency legislation, originally introduced at the time of the Birmingham bombings in 1974, has become a permanent feature of life. The Public Order Act as well as the Criminal Justice Act and others are part of this arsenal which come under the government’s conception of "striking a balance between respecting civil liberties and ensuring that they are not exploited and abused". These facts demonstrate that serious discussion is necessary on the character of such legislation and the justifications which are being provided for it, the fact that the people have no recourse to constitutional guarantees for the exercise of their rights and freedoms, the absolute legal power of the government to introduce whatever bills it deems necessary and the consequences these measures and the legal framework as a whole have for the rule of law.

The argument that "exceptional circumstances warrant exceptional measures" is being given to justify the suppression of rights and the criminalisation of dissent. The argument provided by the government that the issue is to "strike a balance" between rights and the need to live "free from terror" is in contempt of a modern conception of rights and a modern conception of the rule of law because it is making the provision of security not a matter of rule of law but of a trade off between defending rights and negating them in the name of "freedom from terror" or ensuring that civil liberties are not "exploited and abused". In fact, the argument that "we live in exceptional times" is being used to justify overthrowing the rule of law. A rule of law can and should be devised which does not provide either government officials or security forces with powers which criminalise the right to conscience.

The Anti-Terrorism Bill, in conjunction with the bombing of Afghanistan and the government’s declarations on re-ordering the world, raises great concern as to the direction in which society is heading. The British working class and people must ensure that they themselves intervene in working out all aspects of the agenda for a just society, and press ahead with their initiatives to oppose the present retrogressive direction of society that is being imposed by Tony Blair.

Article Index

Celebrating the October Revolution

At the celebration organised by the New Communist Party on November 10, 2001, to mark the 84th anniversary of the 1917 October Revolution, Chris Coleman, National Spokesperson of RCPB(ML), gave the following message.

Comrades: It is, as always, a great pleasure to participate in this celebration of the October Revolution. These events are never a formality, of course, but at this precise time it seems more than ever relevant to remind ourselves of the significance of the Great October Socialist Revolution and its aftermath. As communists, naturally, we have never ceased to recognise the path of the October Revolution as the path for the working class and people ever since. Success has followed when this path has been adhered to; disaster when deviated from. We have not stopped recognising the era ushered in by the October Revolution, the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, as the era to this day. And we have not stopped recognising the task set by the October Revolution, the transformation of capitalism to socialism through revolution, as the task up to the present and beyond. We have never subscribed to the view that the October Revolution was ultimately a failure, that there are no positive lessons to be drawn and that the Marxist-Leninists have no role to play.

As far as we are concerned, history has already given its verdict on the October Revolution and its aftermath, on the great achievements of the Soviet Union under the leadership of Stalin such as the development of the initial stage of socialism, the uniting of the nations of the former Tsarist "prison of nations" and, above all, leading the working people of the world in the glorious defeat of fascism in the Second World War. Rather, we look at the problems which arose in the course of these developments and which the communists of the times were not in the difficult circumstances able to solve. From Khrushchev on these problems, rather than being solved, were put in reverse. I refer to such issues as governance, of the working people themselves, not just their representatives, deciding all issues, including the direction and distribution of the fruits of their labour; of putting the human factor in the very centre of things. Such things are left for the communists of today still to solve. Our Soviet comrades carried out their tasks with honour. It is our honour to carry forward their legacy.

Today, in fact, we see an intensification of all the problems facing the world’s people, of great dangers and threats of unimagined disasters. Since the final collapse of the Soviet Union, we have seen the big powers, in particular the United States shamefully supported by Britain, attempt to impose on the whole world, as set down in the 1990 Paris Charter, the so-called free market economy, political pluralism, and the concept of human rights based on private property. The principles of international relations, of non-interference in other countries’ affairs, of sovereignty, laid down at the conclusion of the Second World War – and which of course the old Soviet Union played such a leading role in formulating – are not only ignored but declared obsolete in today’s world. And despite all the evidence proving beyond doubt that these policies lead only to disaster – to a widening gap between rich and poor, to whole continents threatened with terrible devastation, to the exacerbation of conflicts – yet these policies are persisted in and intensified.

Everything is now blamed on September 11. But the growing depth of the economic crisis was clear long before. One thinks only of the 1997 collapse of the so-called "Asian Tigers", of the crisis in Russia in 1999, of the beginnings of new crisis in the USA in 2000. Also of such new outbreaks in unresolved conflicts like that in the Middle East. Before September 11 too, there were signs of the working people beginning to sieze the initiative, of a growing movement among the world’s people, especially among the young, against capitalist globalisation and the attempt to create a unipolar US-dominated world. There were signs of the poorer countries, witness the Group of 77 – actually over a hundred – countries meeting at Cuba’s initiative last year, determined to make their presence felt. September 11, itself a tragic result of such policies, has been used only as a pretext to intensify the drive to world domination by the US and other imperialist powers, the use of armed force as the arbiter of all affairs, the demonisation and criminalisation of all dissent by people at home and by countries abroad. Only disaster, even world war, can result from such a drive unchecked.

The need could not be clearer not only to stop the war but to put forward an alternative – regarding the relations between countries, the resolution of conflicts by peaceful means, the guaranteeing of the rights of the people, the participation of the people in all decisions which affect their lives, and, most of all, the creation of a new society learning the lessons of and carrying forward the great experience of the society ushered in by the October Revolution. It could not be clearer either the responsibility of the communists, as then, to provide perspective and direction to the struggles of the working class and people. Finally, we say how pleased we are at the growing co-operation between our two parties – the participation of your comrades in the London Political Forums we have taken the initiative to organise and the joint meeting our two parties are holding against the war on November 22. Thank you.

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