Issue 17

International workers movement news

Asia Pacific People's Solidarity Conference

Leaders of the struggle against neo-liberal globalisation in Indonesia are preparing a major gathering of activists to discuss strategies to stop the imperialist onslaught on the Indonesian economy and people.

"The gathering", Kelik Ismunanto, a conference organiser, said, "is not just for Indonesian activists. We are inviting activists from the region, the world even, to join the discussions."

Either A 'Socialist Revolution Or A Make-Believe Revolution': A Rejoinder to Doug Lorimer

By Phil Hearse

"The International of Crime and Treason [i.e., the counter-revolutionary coordination of imperialism—PH] has in fact been organised. On the other hand, the indigenous bourgeoisies have lost all their capacity to oppose imperialism—if they ever had it—and they have become the last card in the pack. There are no other alternatives: either a socialist revolution or a make-believe revolution."—Ernesto Che Guevara, Message to the Tricontinental 1967 (emphasis added).

"You must struggle for the socialist revolution, struggle to the end, until the complete victory of the proletariat. Long live the socialist revolution!"—V.I. Lenin, "Speech at the Finland Station" on arrival back in Russia, April 1917

International links

[This is the text of a draft motion adopted by the conference of the Scottish Socialist Party in February 2000.]

We actively promote international solidarity of working and oppressed people to resist the injustices and barbarism of global capitalism and imperialism. We are part of an international struggle for a peaceful, cooperative and democratic socialist system.

Global capitalism has wreaked poverty, famine and environmental devastation across the world. The gap between rich and poor has never been so wide.

Critique of the politico-military strategy

By Sonny Melencio and Reihana Mohideen

A number of party formations in the Philippines, such as the PMP (Workers Party of the Philippines), RPM (Revolutionary Workers Party), PMLP (Party of Marxists-Leninists in the Philippines), adopt the politico-military ("pol-mil") strategy as a reaction to the protracted people's war strategy of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). It is defined as a combination of political and military struggles, with the military struggle playing a secondary or subordinate role to the political struggle.

The Lessons of Prague

By Boris Kagarlitsky

The events of September 2000 in Prague marked a turning point. When the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund planned their annual meeting for the Czech Republic, they hoped for a peaceful gathering in the only eastern European country where hatred of neo-liberalism has not yet become a mass phenomenon. The outcome was that the international bankers were obliged to flee from a city whose streets had become the scene of battles between police and thousands of demonstrators from all parts of Europe. The bankers did not even manage to hold a concluding press conference.

By no means all the participants in the movement against capitalist globalisation, however, interpreted what had happened as a victory. Many were shocked by the violence on the streets, and still more were dismayed by the united attack mounted on the movement by the media.

It is thus essential to draw up a balance sheet of the events and to form conclusions. After Prague, the movement is clearly shifting into a new phase. It is not simply that disagreements have begun appearing among the protesters. The international financial organisations are not standing still either. For them, Prague was a severe defeat, in a certain sense even more serious than the "uprising in Seattle". For this very reason, the "executive committee of the ruling class" will inevitably draw conclusions from what has happened, and will adjust its course.

How an NGO-union partnership suffocated the anti-asem struggle in Korea

By Iggy Kim

On October 20 (O20) and the days before, a series of lively demonstrations against the third Asia-Europe Parliamentary Meeting (ASEM) signalled Seoul's entry into the growing worldwide movement against the global generalisation of neo-liberalism.

US labour and the new movement against capitalist globalisation

By Barry Sheppard

In the demonstration in Seattle at the close of 1999, a new generation of radicalising youth emerged to take on the World Trade Organisation. Tens of thousands of trade unionists also participated, demonstrating that there is a potential for this movement to begin to mobilise working people.

The targets of this new movement are globalising corporations and the international financial and trade organisations dominated by the rich countries, above all the United States. Clearly, these young people have deep internationalist sentiments, and wish to fight for better conditions for the world's poorest people exploited by these corporations and institutions. This anti-corporate consciousness can rapidly deepen into anti-imperialism, and can begin to question capitalism itself.

The participation of trade unionists in Seattle reflects the fact that the radicalising youth have a natural ally among working people and the trade unions. But the participation of the major US trade union federation, the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) was marred by the political line it sought to bring to the action. As the editors of the July-August 2000 issue of the independent socialist magazine Monthly Review put it:

 

Links 17: Editor's introduction

The global campaign against corporate tyranny

The previous issue of Links noted the spread of opposition to capitalist globalisation and focused on alternatives to neo-liberalism. In this issue, we examine the new international movement that has been developing since the protests in Seattle in late 1999.

In "The politics of the new movement for global solidarity", Peter Boyle notes "a smell of panic in the ruling class" in the wake of the major demonstrations

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