Communists around the world must now rally

On 8–10 October 2004, 64 communist and workers’ parties met in Athens at an
international meeting on Resistance to Imperialist Aggression – Fronts of
Struggle and Alternatives. Several parties who were unable to participate
because of the situation in their countries sent greetings and written

In the three-day meeting, there was a creative exchange of viewpoints on
the international situation. Significant experiences were shared on the
development of the peoples’ movement, of the mass movement and the
movements of the communist and workers’ parties.

Many speakers referred to the situation that has developed following the
military interventions of the United States and its allies against the
peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq and the occupation of those countries. The
participants categorically condemned the dangerous heightening of
imperialist aggression and the complete violation of the principles and
regulations of international law that has led to further crisis in the
United Nations and its role in safeguarding peace and promoting peaceful
settlement of disputes between states.

Below we print the contribution made by ANDY BROOKS, the general secretary
of the New Communist Party of Britain:

Dear Comrades,

WE HAVE MET many times before to exchange views, co-ordinate our campaigns
and strengthen our solidarity with peoples in struggle across the globe. We
have seen good times and bad times but this time we meet in an atmosphere
of optimism and hope.

The remaining bastions of socialism – People’s China, Democratic Korea,
Cuba, Vietnam and Laos – stand firm politically and economically while the
capitalist world sinks into decadence and economic stagnation.

The Venezuelan people have closed ranks to defend the democratic Bolivarian
Revolution against United States imperialism, the African countries are
developing their own independent institutions and the masses in Africa,
Asia and Latin America are demanding change. The flames of resistance burn
bright in Palestine and Iraq. And in the developed capitalist world, the
imperialist heartlands of North America and Western Europe, a massive
anti-war movement has arisen to challenge the neo-colonialist conspiracies
of the ruling circles in Britain and the United States.

The primary contradiction in the world today is between United States
imperialism and the rest of the world it seeks to dominate. George W Bush’s
administration represents the most reactionary and aggressive sections of
the American ruling class.

The last Republican administration, headed by his father, presided over the
counter-revolutions in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, encouraged the
revisionists and traitors who destroyed socialist society in Europe and
openly declared its ambition – world domination, which they called the “new
world order”.

The new Bush administration came to office in 2000 determined to continue
along the same path under the banner of “globalisation” and “human rights”.
Countries that refused to surrender their independence together with the
remaining revolutionary strongholds were demonised as the “axis of evil”
and targeted for destruction.

Afghanistan and Iraq have been invaded. The economic blockades against Cuba
and Democratic Korea have been tightened and new sanctions have been
imposed on Syria. Zionist Israel has been armed and encouraged to crush the
Palestinian uprising and separatist movements in the Russian Federation are
being covertly supported to undermine the efforts of the Putin government
to restore its economy and break up the Russian federation.

But wherever there is oppression there is resistance – and no more so than
on the streets of the towns and villages of Iraq. The heroic resistance,
drawn from all sections of Iraqi society including the patriotic communist
movement, has taken up the gun to drive the Anglo-American garrison out.
The puppet regime is on its knees and the US-led army of occupation has its
back against the wall.

The hideous crimes of the invaders, their concentration camps and slaughter
of innocent civilians have fired the anger of the peoples in Europe and the
United States who have built a consistent anti-war campaign that led to the
defeat of the reactionary Spanish government and the withdrawal of all
their troops and movements that are challenging the leadership of Tony
Blair and George W Bush in Britain and the United States.

The primary contradiction today is between United States imperialism and
the peoples of the world. This includes the growing rift between the most
aggressive sections of the US ruling class and those sections of the
bourgeoisie in the rest of the world who are not prepared to accept the
permanent second class status implicit in Bush’s “new world”.

The Putin regime in Russia is strengthening its relations with the
socialist countries, India, France and Germany to try and preserve its
independence. French and German imperialists combined with some of their
allies within the European Union to oppose US imperialism’s attempt to
control the entire Middle East and through that the global oil market when
they opposed the drive to war against Iraq at the United Nations.

They detached Turkey from the Anglo-American camp and their stand has
helped exacerbate the crisis over Iraq within the British ruling class that
has divided them in a way not seen since the great divisions over Free
Trade and the Corn Laws in the 19th century.

After the Second World War British imperialism realised it could no longer
maintain its vast maritime Empire alone and sought to preserve its global
interests through alliance with the vastly more powerful United States. But
this was an unequal relationship and, while British imperialism generally
did the bidding of its more powerful partner, it soon realised that US
imperialism’s interests were not identical to those of Britain. The
Americans encouraged the break-up of the old European colonial systems to
open them up for exploitation by US corporations and the United States
stood aside when Britain, France and Israel invaded Egypt in 1956 to stop
the nationalisation of the Suez Canal.

A section of the British ruling class increasingly saw the merits of
partnership in Europe in the 1950s and 60s but few were prepared to
wholeheartedly endorse the European project because they realised British
imperialism would never be more than an equal partner to Germany and France.

The US alliance, called the “special relationship” was maintained to defend
British imperialism’s remaining global interests and the international
standing of sterling while Britain acted as a “bridge” across the Atlantic
into Europe. By these means: having a foot in two camps, and possessing a
nuclear arsenal second only to that of the United States, British
imperialism believed it could continue to maintain its Great Power status
and play off one against the other.

During the Cold War this policy appeared to work. British imperialists like
Tory premier Harold Macmillan flattered themselves at playing the “Athens”
to America’s “Rome”. Labour premier Harold Wilson tried to solve Britain’s
balance of payments problems through IMF and World Bank loans but was still
able to resist US pressure to send troops to Vietnam. Margaret Thatcher won
US support during the war with Argentina over the Malvinas islands but
still defied Washington when it came to selling Rolls Royce engines for the
Soviet oil pipelines.

The Iraq crisis destroyed all these assumptions. Tony Blair’s Labour
government, like all previous Labour governments ultimately served the
interests of the ruling class. But the Blair government has aligned itself
to the most venal and craven elements of the British ruling class – those
who believe that British imperialism cannot survive without the United
States and those who think that the Americans will give them a share of the
spoils if they act as America’s chief running dog throughout the world.

Consequently the Blair government has backtracked on its pledge to join the
European single currency. It has reneged on its promises to Sinn Féin and
the Irish people in the Good Friday Agreement and it actively sabotaged the
moves towards the EU constitution favoured by France and Germany.

Other sections of the ruling class – those representing manufacturing
industries, banking and commerce committed to European integration – have
been horrified at the breach with Paris and Berlin. Needing mass support
for their efforts they have supported the anti-war campaign and are working
to harness it to their own class interests. The issue of the “weapons of
mass destruction” and the “dodgy dossier” that Blair used to justify his
lies about the Saddam Hussein government will not go away.

Public outrage at the war has even extended to those Neanderthal elements
within the ruling class who object to the use of British troops as sepoys
to do America’s dirty work in Iraq but are as opposed to the European Union
as they are to the US alliance.

The bourgeois press is divided almost equally between the two camps. The
Liberal Democrats, the smaller bourgeois party that has long embraced
Euro-federalism, has used its opposition to the war to great effect in
recent local and parliamentary elections. Labour is deeply divided with a
significant minority of backbench MPs opposed to Blair. The Conservatives
are also divided, though to a much lesser degree.

This has created favourable conditions for a sustained anti-war campaign
millions-strong that has committees throughout the country that can
mobilise hundreds of thousands for mass demonstrations in London.

It has engaged vast sections of the working class and the new generation of
young people in a campaign that has a distinctly anti-imperialist nature.
This was reflected in this year’s TUC and Labour Party conferences, that
had until recently been dominated by Blair’s followers. Though the Blair
leadership remained dominant, it was forced on the defensive for the first

Of course no section of the ruling class can ever represent the interests
of working people. Those opposed to Blair are not opposed to all war – only
this one in Iraq. Like Chirac and Schröder they all supported the bombing
of Serbia and the destruction of the Yugoslav federation. The Liberal
Democrats want workers’ votes but they can never act of their behalf. Their
attitude to the unions and public ownership differs little from that of the

Liberals like to call Lord Beveridge the “father of the welfare state”, and
indeed this Liberal academic did draw up the blueprint for the “Welfare
State” for Churchill’s wartime coalition government in 1942. But only a
Labour government could have implemented it – and it did after Labour’s
landslide victory in 1945.

The fringe left social-democratic platforms, like Respect and those that
have gone before them like the Socialist Alliance and the revisionist
communist parties in Britain, garner a small protest vote but they are not
an alternative to Labour and their influence in the labour movement as a
whole is marginal.

Our Party believes that working people can never achieve power by
parliamentary means. People’s democracy and the dictatorship of the
proletariat can only be won through revolutionary struggle. But we also
believe in the importance of winning working class reforms in the
day-to-day struggle between capital and labour.

Reformist policies are best left to reformist parties and that’s what the
Labour Party always was. But the major reforms that Labour pushed through
under the Attlee government and the later Wilson/Callaghan administrations
in the 1970s were due to mass rank-and-file pressure from the unions and
the Labour Party itself. It’s no co-incidence that, according to current
social studies, British working people enjoyed their highest standard of
living during the 1970s and the restoration of everything working people
had won from 1945 to 1979 must be the minimum demand of the British union

We believe that within the labour movement the first step must be the
defeat of the Blair leadership and its replacement by those ready to end
the war and heed the demands of organised labour.

We believe that communists must always maintain an independent communist
campaign within the broad ranks of the anti-war movement based on the
principles of proletarian internationalism.

We believe that communists in Britain and all round the world must rally in
support of the socialist states, the revolutionary movements and the
peoples of the world fighting Anglo-American imperialism and their lackeys
in Afghanistan, Palestine and above all, Iraq.

The issue is clear. The Iraq war was an illegal and unjust war. British
troops should never have been sent to Iraq in the first place. They must be
brought home immediately. The Iraqi people’s legitimate rights to
independence and the control of their resources must be upheld. The Iraqi
people have taken up the gun in a new fight for independence. Their
resistance must be supported.

Parties taking part included:

The Communist Party of Albania,
PADS Algeria,
The Communist Party of Australia,
Democratic Progressive Tribune, Bahrain,
The Communist Party of Bangladesh,
The Workers’ Party of Belgium,
The Communist Party of Brazil,
The New Communist Party of Britain,
The Bulgarian Communist Party (GD),
The Communist Party of Bulgaria,
The Communist Party of Canada,
The Communist Party of Cuba,
AKEL – Cyprus,
The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia,
The Communist Party in Denmark,
The Communist Party of Denmark,
The Communist Party of Estonia,
The German Communist Party (DKP),
The Communist Party of Greece,
The Unified Communist Party of Georgia,
The Communist Party of India,
The Tudeh Party of Iran,
The Workers’ Party of Ireland,
The Communist Party of Ireland,
The Communist Party of Israel,
The Party of the Italian Communists,
PC Refoundation,(Italy)
The Iraqi Communist Party,
The Jordanian Communist Party,
The Workers’ Party of Korea,
The Socialist Party of Latvia,
The Lebanese Communist Party,
The Socialist Party of Lithuania,
The Communist Party of Luxembourg,
The Communist Party of Malta,
PCs of Mexico,
PCs of the Republic of Moldova,
The New Communist Party of the Netherlands,
The Communist Party of Norway,
The Palestinian Communist Party,
The Palestinian People’s Party,
The Philippine Communist Party 1930,
The Communist Party of Poland,
The Portuguese Communist Party,
The Romanian Communist Party,
The Socialist Alliance Party of Romania,
The Communist Party of the Russian Federation,
CWP of Russia – PCs of Russia (RKRP-RPC),
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union,
Union CPs-CPSU,
The Communist Party of Slovakia,
The Communist Party of Spain,
United Left Spain,
The Sudanese Communist Party,
The Communist Party of Sweden,
The Syrian Communist Party
The Syrian Communist Party (two parties with the same name)
The Communist Party of Turkey,
The Party of Labour, (EMEP) Turkey (participating as an observer)
The Union of Communists of the Ukraine,
The Communist Party of the United States,
The Communist Party of Vietnam,
The New Communist Party of Yugoslavia.

Messages and written contributions were sent by:

The Communist Party of Argentina,
The Communist Party of Austria,
The Communist Workers’ party of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
The Communist Party of Chile,
The Communist Party of Ecuador,
The Communist Party of Finland,
The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist),
The Communist Party of Kurdistan-Iraq,
The People’s Revolutionary Party, Laos,
The Popular Socialist Party of Mexico,
The Communist party of Nepal (UML),
The South African Communist Party,
The Communist Party of the Ukraine,
The Communist Party of Venezuela.

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