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Volume 54 Number 9, April 27, 2024 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Prime Minister goes to Poland to announce military aid to Ukraine

Dangerous and Desperate Attempts to Escalate the Conflict Between Russia and Ukraine

Workers' Weekly Internet Edition: Article Index :

Prime Minister goes to Poland to announce military aid to Ukraine:
Dangerous and Desperate Attempts to Escalate the Conflict Between Russia and Ukraine

NATO proxy war against Russia:
Ukraine Used as Laboratory for US Military

World standing with Palestine:
University Protests against Gaza War in the US, Britain and Across Europe

May Day standing with Palestine:
Preparing for May 1st - International Day of Working Class Unity and Struggle

Prime Minister goes to Poland to announce military aid to Ukraine

Dangerous and Desperate Attempts to Escalate the Conflict Between Russia and Ukraine

On Tuesday, April 23, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on his visit to Warsaw, Poland, claimed that the government had announced the largest-ever military aid package to Ukraine, just days after the US released some $60 billion in funds and loans in another attempt to prop up the Anglo-US/NATO proxy war in Ukraine against Russia. The government press release said that £500 million additional funding [1] takes Britain's military support for Ukraine to £3 billion this financial year - it "will be used to rapidly deliver urgently-needed ammunition, air defence, drones and engineering support. The drones will be procured in the UK and the funds will support a scale-up in domestic defence supply chains." In other words, much of the procurement will go to profit British war industries and furthering the unacceptable dominance of British- and Israeli-owned war industries in the British economy.

Also, the government press release only mentioned at the end that the Prime Minister was to have "his first in-person meeting with new Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk", and "will seek to deepen UK-Poland ties across a range of issues". However, these ties were clearly on Britain's terms and not those of the Polish people when it was outlined that "he will offer to deploy an RAF Typhoon Squadron to carry out Nato Air Policing over Poland next year" and to "further boost trade and support UK companies looking to invest in Poland", with an announced intention to "triple UK Export Finance funding available for Poland from £5 billion to £15 billion" in loans to back up British exports which Sunak called a "generous offer".

In other words, Britain's real intentions in Sunak's visit to Poland was to escalate war preparations and British interests in Poland and Britain's dangerous attempts to try and shore-up NATO's failing proxy war in Ukraine against Russia. Reports further revealed that this was the justification for the Prime Minister announcing on his visit that "he would lift" the UK "defence spending to 2.5% of GDP a year by 2030", saying that the British arms industry must be on a "war footing". Standing alongside NATO leader Jens Stoltenberg in Warsaw, according to the news reports Sunak said that Britain would spend an additional £75 billion over six years to increase the production of munitions and drones, making Britain the second-largest military spender in NATO. Sunak had previously said that the 2.5% goal would be met when the economic conditions allow. Not discussed, of course, was the deteriorating situation for Polish and British farmers as well as Polish and British workers, accompanied by the wrecking of both economies by diverting huge resources of the economy to military spending and war preparations.

Polish farmers block Ukraine border.

Rishi Sunak, speaking to reporters travelling with him, was reported as boasting that Britain had been the first to supply Ukraine with main battle tanks and storm shadow missiles during the period of the failed Ukrainian "counter-offensive" against Russia last year. Now, just days after the US House of Representatives and then the Senate approved a $61 billion (£48 billion) military package for Ukraine, with Biden subsequently admitting to sending in secret more than 100 ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile System) long range missiles there, Sunak himself said that Britain was sending more than 1,600 "strike" and "air defence" missiles to Ukraine.

Clearly, Britain's desperate escalation of their proxy war in Ukraine has no concern for the deaths of Ukrainian and Russian people. The more the Ukrainian regime fires these British and US missiles into Russian territories, the more the Russian forces respond. It is now widely reported that as a result of these missile exchanges, Ukraine's missile defence system has been destroyed. Recent appeals of the Zelensky regime for an increased supply from their sponsors for US Patriot defensive missile systems has been met with marked reluctance from these sponsors of war. The US and many EU countries do not want to deplete their own defensive missile systems and send them to Ukraine.

When asked about this by reporters travelling with him, Sunak was forced to admit that "air defence was one of the critical areas where Ukraine needs support" and he said that he would "talk about Ukraine's air defences in meetings with NATO General-Secretary Jens Stoltenberg and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and also discuss the issue with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday". However, reports emerging from Sunak's meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz do not mention such discussions. On the contrary, Sunak and Scholz announced joint "plans to develop remote-controlled Howitzer 155mm wheeled artillery systems to be fitted to Boxer armoured fighting vehicles" as well as increasing joint shell production and other war preparations. Thus, the crisis is deepening in these leading NATO countries as they strive to direct their economies into further militarisation and war escalation.

With this deepening crisis, the hope that the US, as well as the old European powers of the EU and Britain, could make gains by using Ukraine in this proxy war against Russia is fast receding. The fuelling of the conflict by the US, Britain and others using the Ukrainian regime and Ukrainian people as cannon fodder has not brought the outcome they hoped for of defeating Russia.

Even before Russia's military operation, the US and Britain directed the Ukrainian regime for their own ends in repeatedly refusing to implement the UN-backed Minsk agreements on Donbas. Anglo-US and NATO forces threatened Russia in the Black Sea and with their military and strategic agreements with Ukraine, egging on the Ukrainian regime in Kiev to seize the territories of Crimea and Donbas that Ukraine had never controlled since the US and EU backed the Maidan coup in 2014.

In doing so, the US and Britain dismissed the claims of the people of Crimea, Donbas and Ukraine for a peaceful resolution of these issues, a claim of the people which is backed by established international law. The sovereign rights of nations and peoples, irrespective of ethnic make-up, can only be resolved by the peoples themselves and not by this so-called "rules-based international order" imposed by NATO and particularly by the US and Britain. These powers only recognise "sovereign territories" when it suits their interests and regardless of the claims of the people who live there, and are only too willing to violate a nation's sovereignty. As the world can see, this they are doing now in supporting Israel's genocidal war against the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank and refusing to recognise the claims and sovereign rights of the Palestinian people.

RCPB(ML) calls on the working class and people of Britain to continue to condemn and step up their opposition to the warmongering actions of the British government, and to reject this latest dangerous and desperate attempt to escalate the conflict in Ukraine against the interests of the people of Ukraine and Russia. British imperialist warmongering alongside the US must be brought to an end. Such a stand is vital for the future peaceful development of the world under the control of the people themselves.

Fight for an Anti-War Government!

No to NATO! Yes to Peace!

1. The government press release says the military aid will be:
60 boats including offshore raiding craft, rigid raiding craft and dive boats as well as maritime guns
More than 1,600 strike and air defence missiles, as well as additional Storm Shadow long-range precision-guided missiles.
More than 400 vehicles, including 160 protected mobility 'Husky' vehicles, 162 armoured vehicles and 78 all-terrain vehicles.
Nearly 4 million rounds of small arms ammunition.

Article Index

NATO proxy war against Russia

Ukraine Used as Laboratory for US Military

The New York Times reported on April 23 that the US military is using the Ukraine conflict to test a new artificial intelligence technology that helps detect targets on the battlefield using drone footage.

The research into the technology was initially picked up as a government contract by Google six years ago, according to the report. However, engineers and employees into the research, "Project Maven", objected to building an AI tool for military use, and the project was picked up by other contractors.

Now, according to the New York Times, the technology is being tested on the front line in Ukraine. "Western" and Ukrainian officers, along with some of the top US military contractors, are "exploring new ways of finding and exploiting Russian vulnerabilities".

So far, the results of the testing have reportedly been "mixed." While Project Maven allows commanders to identify the movements of Russian forces and use AI algorithms to predict their next steps, it has apparently been "difficult" to bring "21st-century data into 19th-century trenches".

The NYT says that it is also unclear if the new technology would even be able to change the course of the conflict, given Russia's ability to quickly adapt to technologies being used by the Ukrainian side.

The newspaper's source points out that nevertheless the Ukraine conflict remains "a bonanza for the US military" in the minds of American officials, and a testing ground for rapidly evolving technologies.

"At the end of the day this became our laboratory," Lt Gen Christopher T Donahue, who commands the US Army's 18th Airborne Division, told the NYT.

This is a further example of US and its ally, Britain, in their proxy war against Russia, using Ukrainians as cannon fodder to further Anglo-US/NATO interests.

Article Index

World standing with Palestine

University Protests against Gaza War in the US, Britain and Across Europe

Columbia University occupation for Gaza

University and college students have militantly set up encampments at campuses across the US denouncing the US/Israeli genocide on the Palestinian people. They are following the lead of students at Columbia University in New York City, who began their Gaza Solidarity Encampment on April 17. As of April 25, students on at least 38 universities - from Massachusetts to Florida, Michigan to Texas, Minnesota to Arizona and to California - are in action to affirm their right to speak out in defence of the Palestinian people and denounce US/Israeli genocide; demand a ceasefire now and an end to US funding and backing; and for their schools to break links with Israel. At Columbia and elsewhere students and faculty together are also demanding that police get off their campuses.

Demonstration in support of Palestine, Sanaa, Yemen - 19-04-2024

In the second week of protests calling for a ceasefire in Israel's war on Gaza, which has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians and injured over 77,000, thousands of students are calling on dozens of universities to divest from Israel. Some universities have been forced to cancel their graduation ceremonies, while others have seen entire buildings occupied by protesting students. Dozens of students and staff at several US universities have been arrested while protesting against Israel's war on Gaza.

More than 100 students were arrested at Columbia University on April 18 for their protest actions after the New York Police were unjustly called in by the university's president Minouche Shafik. More than 50 students were suspended, evicted from their dorms, denied access to dining halls, medical insurance and financial aid. Despite this and because of this, the students are undeterred and continue to win public support.

A notable aspect of the many actions is the participation of Jewish students who are prominently defying the attempt of the US administration and Zionists to equate being Jewish with being Zionist and the claim that pro-Palestinian demonstrators all over the US are extremists, anti-Semitic and hate-mongers. At Columbia University on the evening of April 19, the Jewish students held a Seder meal at the encampment alongside many Muslim students. Nonetheless, various Zionist organisations on and off campus continue to declare that pro-Palestinian protests are anti-Semitic.

One of the latest to join the movement is The City University of New York (CUNY), where hundreds of students have set up an encampment on campus with banners with slogans like "No More Investment in Apartheid". Gabby Aossey, a student organiser at the CUNY protest told Al Jazeera the mobilisation of young pro-Palestinian people in the US is "beautiful to see". "Young people are really starting to show up and demand that schools are held accountable for their relationship with the Israeli colonisation," Aossey said.

Across the US, university leaders have tried, and largely failed, to quell the demonstrations. The police have intervened violently, with videos emerging from different states showing hundreds of students - and even faculty members - being forcefully arrested.

Early on Saturday, police in riot gear cleared an encampment on the campus of Northeastern University in Boston. Several dozen students shouted and booed at them from a distance, but the scene was otherwise not confrontational.

Chile Santiago, Palestina Football Club Embajada del Estado de Palestina

Youth are taking their place worldwide in actions to demand a ceasefire now in Gaza and that the US and Britain stop arming Israel. As well as the actions at the US universities and on European streets, student demonstrators have gathered at universities across Britain, such as University College London, and similar scenes were seen across Europe, Australia and elsewhere.

In Berlin, activists set up a camp in front of parliament to demand the German government stop exporting arms to Israel. At the renowned Sciences Po university in the French capital Paris, protesters on Friday blockaded a central campus building, forcing classes to be held online.

The latest pro-Palestine rally in Sweden on Saturday saw people marching in the streets to chants of "Free Palestine" and "Boycott Israel".

In Britain, the University of York has been forced to divest from weapons and arms manufacturers tied to Israel after a series of protests from a student-led coalition. York University stopped its investments in weapons and arms manufacturers tied to Israel following prolonged pressure from its students and staff. The University confirmed that it has divested from arms companies linked to Israel following protests, rallies, marches and action from the institution's student-led coalition.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and the University of York Palestinian Solidarity Society announced the news in a joint Instagram post. "After prolonged protests, rally's, marches and direct action by students, the University of York has been forced to complete full divestment from weapons and arms manufacturers and announced this through a public statement on 11th of April 2024," the post said, adding that they will continue with their campaign to hold the university to account and call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

According to PSC's research, a freedom of information request revealed that the university has invested a total of £33,251 into two tech companies, Cisco Systems and Smiths Group. PSC says Cisco design technologies used by Israel to facilitate its occupation of Palestinian territories. Smiths Group applied for 32 arms export licenses to Israel to the British government and has supplied many components to the F-35 Lightning programme, which has been used in Israel's 2021 strikes on Gaza. PSC found that UK Universities collectively invest over £420 million in companies linked to Israel's violations of international law.

Students from the University of Warwick set up an encampment in its piazza, calling for the institution to divest from companies they say are linked to Israel's war on Gaza. At University College London, students staged a rally calling for a free Palestine and an end to the occupation.

In fact, student actions have been developing at universities in Britain for some time.

For example, Roar reports that on March 12, students from King's College London (KCL) staged a sit-in protest in the entryway to Strand campus. Protestors sat on the ground in front of the security gates at the main entrance to the Strand building, bearing flags, placards and megaphones. The students delivered speeches to the students going into and coming out of the building, chanting slogans like "KCL you can't hide, we charge you with genocide" and "Israel is a terrorist state".

The protesters carried placards including a list of demands for the university. These read:

Call for a permanent ceasefire
Divest from funds that directly and indirectly profit from 'Israeli' occupation and war crimes
Re-issue a statement addressing the genocide
Establish 50 funded scholarships for Palestinians
End 'Israeli' educational ties
Revoke IHRA antisemitism definition & make a working group for a new one

The determination of students across the country is increasing as they step up support for Palestine, and demand an end to the funding and complicity of universities in the Israeli genocide.

(TML, Roar, The New Arab, Al Jazeera, other news sources)

Washington, USA

Occupations at Leeds University and Warwick University

Article Index

May Day standing with Palestine

Preparing for May 1st - International Day of Working Class Unity and Struggle

GE Aviation protest, Cheltenham

This May Day comes amid the developing movement to oppose the genocide in Gaza, which is backed by the British state and its cartel party system. With the growing chaos internationally and the outbreak of increasingly dangerous open warfare, there is a burning need for a government that stands against war, about a government not founded on civil war. An anti-war government is not simply a matter of policy objectives, but the expression of the modern democratic personality, a form of government founded on the harmonisation of the interests of individuals, collectives and society as a whole.

Workers for a Free Palestine, Cheltenham

The prevailing and deepening chaos in the world is characterised by global turmoil, aggression, militarism and open wars of destruction; a crisis in the provision of social programmes, and disruption in production, distribution, and exchange including markets and prices. It is affecting all aspects of the social and natural environment, including the psychology of the people, manifested as a generalised anxiety. Social programmes, such as the NHS and schools, face issues of retention, pay, funding, and falling morale. Long-running disputes, such as the longest strikes in NHS history, reveal that the solutions lie with the workers themselves.

In the world today, oligopolies manipulate markets while conflicts are closing markets, restricting trade, and stifling supply chains. All of this is leading to a cost of living crisis and food production crisis. The deterioration of the natural and social environment is a direct result of the division of society and wars in the age of oligarchy, and points to the urgent need for the humanisation of the natural and social environments.

The working class movement in Britain, as a contingent of the movement world-wide, is focusing on defending their rights and interests and upholding the dignity of labour; their determination to make their claims is expressed in the rallying call that Enough is Enough! Their struggle is in harmony with fighting for the rights of all, and demanding a change in the direction of the economy. They are defending themselves and the future of their essential services and social programmes, and are resisting attacks on their livelihoods. They are also resisting the anti-social offensive and restructuring of the state around the most powerful oligarchic interests. In this fight the working class movement is putting on the agenda the issue of workers speaking in their own name. They are fighting for their rights and interests as one with fighting for the rights of all, and for a society where the guarantee of these rights is the norm.

The coronation of King Charles III was used to attempt to perpetuate the Covenant-based model of power with its conception of a necessary indivisible power to prevent civil war, placed in a fictitious person of state - in Britain embodied in the King - to give the ruling elite legitimacy. However, this system is itself subject to the prevailing chaos and is in crisis as oligopolies hold sway over all forms of public authority at every level and have restructured the state to this end.

Politics has descended into factional infighting, while the mode of rule has become openly one of police powers. The government has enacted new anti-strike legislation to impose Minimum Service Levels on workers in various sectors to prevent them acting in their self-defence. Imposition, such as that in the recent doctors' strikes, with the government declaring its offer "final", has forced the issue of who decides and has blown away the last vestiges of accommodating the voice of labour.

The state, its cartel parties, and the media are aimed at wrecking public opinion through disinformation so as to block people forming an independent outlook. All of this, and the dysfunctionality of parliament, as highlighted by the recent Commons fiasco surrounding the SNP motion calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, has led to a loss of credibility and trust in the old form of "representative democracy".

Manchester May Day march

The issue today is a new conception of power, replacing absolutism with a human power at the foundation of society. This requires new mass democratic forms and mechanisms of decision-making, ensuring equal rights and duties for all members. The movements against war and genocide condemning these atrocities as "Not in Our Name", and the workers smashing the silence on living and working conditions, are asserting the need to speak in their own name. This gives rise to the requirement of participating directly in decision-making, to bringing the new democratic personality into being.

The fight workers are taking up is as much to do with ending their marginalisation as it is immediately about their claims and conditions. Fighting in the court of public opinion, they are refusing to be ignored and are building their resistance and defence organisations in a manner that is in step with the times and not bound by old forms.

The struggle on all fronts is between the New and the Old, with the New having fidelity to the ensemble of human relations, and what these relations are revealing, particularly the need for political power. The burning need of the present is for an Anti-War Government, the expression of a modern democratic personality opposed to police powers and executive rule, and the use of force to settle conflicts.

It is the working class that will lead society out of the crisis by becoming worker-politicians themselves, aiming for a new situation where decision-making involves all workers, communities, and people as a whole, speaking and acting in their own name and as one, without the mechanisms of disempowerment blocking their direct decisions from being realised.

Workers and Oppressed Peoples of the World, Unite!

Article Index

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