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Party Statements – 2011

Reactionary turn of events in Libya

International Department

September 2011

Triumphant reports in the media about the fall of a “dictator” in Libya and the victory of “rebel” forces mask a dramatically different reality. The US, Britain and NATO have notched up a major geo-strategic objective in the region through long-term planning, including the cultivation of opposition forces in Libya.

Military and political advisers were in the country guiding events even before the outbreak of protests in what was portrayed as the continuation of the “Arab Spring” that had previously broken out in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and elsewhere.

Then came the reckless NATO bombardment of the country under the deceitful guise of the imposition of a “no fly zone”. In a piece of cynical disinformation and perverted logic it was claimed this was to “protect civilian lives”.

The people of the world should harbour no illusions about the reactionary turn of events in Libya.

Unless the favoured forces now claiming government of Libya shift allegiances and assert their country’s sovereignty against the wishes of their imperialist backers – a very unlikely scenario – Libya, its resources and strategic assets will be handed over to the former colonial and neo-colonial powers that once held them.

Syria and Iran are now squarely in the imperialists’ sights. Another extremely negative precedent has been set with this exercise that carries grave implications for anti-imperialist governments elsewhere, including Latin America.

The government of Muammar Gaddafi unquestionably had a chequered record. The protests that were hijacked and used as a pretext for a NATO-sponsored and supported military uprising had legitimate demands.

The government of President Assad is also flawed, as is that of the repressive theocracy holding power in Iran. Nobody, however, should entertain the idea that NATO forces will foster a democratic flowering in Libya or any other country that becomes subjected to its military might. The opposite is the case.

The peace movement internationally was well aware of this reality before the US and its allies invaded Iraq in 2003. But it appears, even though events have proven the movement right in the case of post-Saddam Iraq, that many have been deceived by the imperialists’ spin doctors concerning events in Libya. The peace movement must not repeat this error as the US and NATO move onto their next military objective.

There are many lessons to be learnt from events in Libya. An important one is that the people of the world must demand more of the United Nations in protecting the sovereignty of nations.

This may not happen until the UN’s structures are democratised to stop the globe’s military and economic giants calling the shots in international affairs.

Countries who reject the self-interested intervention of imperialist powers must not sit on the sidelines. An abstention on these issues is not enough.

They must join the peace movement throughout the world in rejecting the increasingly aggressive behaviour of imperialism.

Bob Briton
Secretary – CPA International Department
international@cpa.org.au

 


Solidarity with Chile’s students and teachers

International Department

August 2011

The Communist Party of Australia denounces in the strongest possible terms the campaign of intimidation being waged by the government, police and extreme right-wing elements against the youth, students and teachers of Chile. The wave of repression has included attacks on the offices of the Communist Party of Chile and its youth organisation. Death threats and other forms of cowardly abuse have been directed at student leaders. Protests have been broken up by police.

The youth, students and teachers of Chile have every right to protest the lamentable conditions existing in the education system in that country. The inadequate, exclusive and privatised system left by the Pinochet dictatorship and devised by the Chicago boys under the late Professor Milton Friedman is a shameful legacy of a shameful time. The government of President Piñera and the Interior Minister should heed the calls of the students, their teachers and broad sections of the community for progressive social change and put an end to the ugly and unworthy attacks.

Bob Briton
Secretary – CPA International Department
international@cpa.org.au

 


Greeting to workers organised in the – All Workers Militant Front (PAME) in Greece

Dr Hannah Middleton – CPA General Secretary

June 2011

Dear Comrades,

On behalf of the Communist Party of Australia I wish to convey the strongest greetings of solidarity to the workers organised in the All Workers Militant Front (PAME) as they prepare for their great strike on June 28 and 29. We wish you every success and we are ready to lend whatever assistance we can because it is our internationalist duty as Communists and because your fight is our fight.

All over the world, in response to the economic crisis of capitalism, the ruling class is seeking to take back the gains made through decades of struggle by the working class. This is true in Australia as it is in Greece. Exploited people did not cause the crisis besetting the world capitalist economy but the demand from neo-liberal governments is that they must pay, that their public assets must be taken from them.

We are inspired by your example to the people of the world and your reiteration of the message that the working class holds tremendous power to reverse the current attacks and to move forward to a more just society – a socialist society. A breakthrough by the popular front led by workers in Greece will be an advance for all the exploited of the world. We will win, because no gear turns without us!

In solidarity

Dr Hannah Middleton
CPA General Secretary

 


Israel boycotts

International Department

March 2011

This meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Australia, held on March 12 - 13, 2011, reaffirms the CPA’s commitment to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

Our Party will actively back the BDS campaign and work to win support for it by other organisations because we believe it can be a valuable tool in the fight to win the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

We cannot tolerate the brutality, illegality and racism of the Zionist government of Israel. We believe ways must be found to pressure Israel to lift the siege of Gaza, implement the right of Palestinian refugees to their homes, to recognise East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, to restore the 1967 borders, and to dismantle the Wall and the illegal settlements.

The BDS is one form of putting political and economic pressure on the Zionist regime in Israel.

We call on all our Party organisations to find ways to become involved in the BDS campaign at a local level. This is not a one-off campaign but a call for on-going activities that Party organisations can undertake over time, either as a CPA Branch or in co-operation with other organisations by any of the following actions:

  • Target your local Council with the aim of getting them to adopt a BDS resolution (as Marrickville Council in Sydney has done).
  • Organise small boycott activities as regularly as possible at appropriate local sites (eg Motorola, Seacrest cosmetics, Max Bremmer chocolates, etc) and/or support BDS activities in your local area.
  • Remember that April 30 is a global BDS day.
  • Raise the issue of endorsing the BDS campaign in other organisations where you work and/or have contacts (eg unions [21 have already signed up], student, environmental, etc)
  • Contact and build good relations with Palestinian support groups if they exist in your local area.

In all these activities, comrades can contact the CPA International Department at international@cpa.org.au for assistance with resources go to Campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).

 


“No” to invasion, interference in Libya

International Department

March 2011

While supporting the democratic demands of the Libyan people, the Communist Party of Australia opposes imperialist interference in Libya. The national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Libyan people are threatened by the possibility of an invasion by the US, Britain and NATO.

We condemn western efforts to foment a civil war in Libya in order to pave the way for military intervention and the eventual control of Libya. The reported seizure of entire cities reflects a high degree of military sophistication and is unlikely to be just the result of “peaceful protests”.

The United States has positioned its warships off the coast of Libya. There is talk of imposing a ‘no fly zone’ over Libya. This would require extensive bombing raids with inevitable deaths, injury and destruction.

We have witnessed how blatant lies and cries of “democracy” were used by the US and its allies to fool the world before their attack on Iraq. That imperialist intervention has cost hundreds of thousands of innocent lives and untold suffering. We must not allow the Libyan people to suffer the same fate.

Hundreds and even thousands are reported to have been killed on both sides in Libya but the human cost of a US-NATO invasion would be far higher.

The CPA stresses that only the people of Libya can decide what political system they require. The US and its allies have no right whatsoever to violate Libya’s sovereignty, especially since their claims of acting for democracy and humanitarian aid are a smokescreen for their determination to seize control Libya’s considerable oil and gas wealth.

There are also calls for the indictment of the Gaddafi family for crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court. However, there are no calls for the US and NATO governments and corporations to be held accountable for arming the most brutal dictators in many parts of the world.

The CPA expresses its support for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s proposal to send a mission, including former US President Jimmy Carter, to mediate in Libya and seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

The CPA welcomes this constructive approach and repeats our strong opposition to Western political and military intervention in Libya.

The CPA supports building an active solidarity movement strong enough to prevent the Australian government sending troops as part of any US-NATO intervention and to oppose any Australian political or military interference in Libya.

In socialism,

Bob Briton
Secretary – CPA International Department
international@cpa.org.au

 


Regarding attacks on the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia

International Department

March 2011

The Communist Party of Australia condemns in the strongest possible terms the renewed efforts on the part of right-wing sections of the government of the Czech Republic to ban the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (CPBM). This manoeuvring is not an isolated or idiosyncratic development; it is the latest in a series of such threatening moves across Europe to try to neutralise the most clear-headed and consistent opposition to the austerity measures required by the planners of capitalism. Their intention is to make workers and other innocent victims pay for the current crisis of capitalism and to protect the wealthy culprits.

While it is a logical act by legislators loyal to the wealthy elites and the monopolies to seek to suspend the activities of the CPBM or to ban it, we are, nevertheless, disgusted that the government of the Czech Republic would attempt to limit or destroy a party with such an important role in the country’s political life on behalf of the working people. It is offensive to equate, as the Czech government has done, the activities of dissidents in the former socialist Czechoslovakia to those of the brave anti-fascist resistance carried on with great vigour by Communists and other progressive forces before and during WWII.

The CPA believes there is a warning for progressive people the world over in the events taking place in the Czech Republic. During periods of crisis of capitalism, subservient governments will take the most extreme measures in order to survive. This includes the banning of Communist parties, trade unions and other progressive forces in society as Hitler did in Germany before WWII. We should be alert and prepared to fight the rise of fascism in all its expressions.

We shall be urging all our members, supporters and other progressive and democratic forces to protest these actions of the Czech government to their representatives in Australia and to raise awareness of the issue in the Australian community.

In socialism,

Bob Briton
Secretary – CPA International Department
international@cpa.org.au

 


Egypt: No to a military coup! – All power to the people

Central Committee Executive Statement

February 2011

The Communist Party of Australia shares the elation of progressive people all over the world at the victory of the Egyptian people marked by the resignation of President Mubarak. The brave uprising suffered heavy blows of death and injury among the millions who took part but the achievement is magnificent. A break has been made with the regime that ruthlessly oppressed the poverty stricken people of Egypt. A space has been created for further advances of the movement seeking democracy and social justice.

US imperialism has been shaken by the dramatic course of events in the Middle East. Its strategists have been scrambling to deploy an alternative strategy of co-opting the leadership of the forces that struggled so valiantly for change. While the Obama administration has formally welcomed developments, the world has learned much about the duplicity and hypocrisy of US policy in the region in the course of the 18 days of determined protest in Egypt.

The Egyptian military remains a dominant force in Egyptian society. The solidarity of the peoples of the world – so well expressed in recent weeks – must be continued so that the victory of the national democratic revolution is not turned into an effective military coup. The demands of the movement – including for the freeing of all political prisoners, the bringing to trial of those responsible for the deaths, imprisonment, torture and expropriations suffered during the 30-year Mubarak dictatorship – must be supported.

The international trade union movement has played an invaluable role in supporting the progressive forces in Egypt and this assistance must be maintained. Egypt’s workers and their long-persecuted unions played an increasingly important role in the uprising as it unfolded. Their strengthening is key to the consolidation of recent gains and progress towards higher stages of democracy and national sovereignty.

There are many lessons to be learned from the recent experiences of the Egyptian people for the other oppressed and exploited peoples of the world. One is that, while the precise trigger for the explosion of the anger of affected people is difficult to predict, the global economic, environmental and social crisis of capitalism has left the global capitalist system vulnerable to change.

The movement for an end to dictatorship and the imposition of the neo-liberal agenda has spread, as has been noted in the media, from Tunisia to Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Yemen and beyond. The harder hit economies of Europe are still seething with discontent and tensions arising from unemployment, cuts to services, living standards and democratic rights are growing worldwide – including in the US and Australia.

The victory in Egypt should give all of us the confidence that determined, united action will bring about the changes so urgently needed in our communities. It should inspire optimism in our youth whose future has been put in jeopardy by the reckless capitalist system. The role of youth in developments in Egypt demonstrates that the necessary response to unemployment and other expressions of social exclusion is not apathy but action. Events in Egypt have proven once more that the people make history. All power to the people of Egypt!

 


In solidarity with heroic struggle of the Egyptian people

Central Committee Statement

February 2011

Egypt is witnessing a popular uprising against the despotic regime of President Hosni Mubarak. For over a week, tens of thousands of people have been demonstrating in the streets demanding an end to Mubarak’s rule. They have braved police brutality and attacks by organised pro-Mubarak gangs. About 300 have given their lives, many more have been injured and an unknown number may still be in jails.

The Communist Party of Australia stands in solidarity with this heroic struggle in Egypt’s political and economic life to achieve democracy, jobs and bread.

We are witnessing a national democratic revolution, a determined attempt to overthrow a corrupt reactionary, pro-imperialist regime.

For decades the peoples of Egypt, Tunisia and the whole of North Africa and the Arab world have borne the brunt of dictatorship and brutal repression. These dictatorships have been backed and sustained by the United States.

Workers and their families have experienced super-exploitation, poverty and hunger while western governments turned a blind eye to these massive abuses and continued to arm and train the military machines that have been used to keep the people down. Workers’ organisations, from their trade unions to their political parties, have been savagely suppressed.

The 30-year period of the Mubarak regime has been marked by authoritarianism, suppression of democratic rights, corruption and merciless neo-liberal economic policies pushed by the World Bank and IMF since the 1990s. Nationalised industries and public services developed by Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser with Soviet support in the 1950s are disappearing.

A devastating IMF program imposed in 1991 brought deregulation of food prices, sweeping privatisation and massive austerity measures which led to the impoverishment of the Egyptian population and the destabilisation of its economy. Almost half of all Egyptians live at or below the poverty line, and prices for basic items like bread have soared.

Neo-liberal policy, grinding poverty and repression are the backdrop to this strife. The uprising is rooted in the social and economic grievances of the working and middle classes.

It was organised initially by young Facebook and Twitter activists inspired by the success of Tunisians in overthrowing Ben Ali. They came from the Kifaya (Enough) movement – a coalition of government opponents – and the April 6 Youth Movement. Formed three years ago, this takes its name from a April 6, 2008 general strike that itself stemmed from a year-long strike by textile workers in Ghazi el-Mahalla. Key issues in the general strike were the soaring cost of bread and other basic necessities, and demands for increased wages.

However, what seemed initially to be a movement of Egyptian young people demanding change drew in workers, opposition political parties, civil society groups and other forces to become a popular uprising.

The popular mobilisation we are witnessing on the streets of Egypt also has its roots in the courage and persistence of the organisations representing the workers and other progressive forces – among them the Communist Party of Egypt – who have worked for many years under very difficult conditions to rebuild the workers’ movement, weakened by successive cycles of repression and political persecution.

The Communist Party of Egypt has experienced decades of repression. Its members have suffered imprisonment and death at the hands of this regime. They have shown great courage and have succeeded in mobilising tens of thousands of workers in recent years in waves of strikes that have contributed to weakening the regime.

Egypt occupies a highly strategic position, straddling Africa and Asia, and it controls the Suez Canal, the vital shipping link for oil and other products moving between Asia and Europe and beyond.

The US and its European and Israeli allies will fight to prevent the Egyptian people controlling their nation’s military and energy policies, and what passes through the Suez Canal. The threat of military intervention hangs over the nation. Imperialism has invaded Egypt once before to maintain control of the Suez Canal.

The US has given Mubarak military aid worth US$1.3 billion per year. This has funded the largest army in the Middle East and helped maintain Mubarak in power. In addition most of the millions have gone straight back into the coffers of US corporations. The biggest winners over the last decade have been Lockheed Martin ($3.8 billion); General Dynamics ($2.5 billion); Boeing ($1.7 billion); Raytheon ($750 million); and GE ($750 million).

The ultra-conservative Fox TV raised the spectre of Islamic fundamentalism, reporting: “If Mubarak falls, the United States and its other principal ally in the Middle East, Israel, could have to face a government of the Muslim Brothers in Cairo, and a turn towards anti-western sentiment in the North African country.” But this is not an Islamic-led movement.

The Obama administration has had to abandon Mubarak and find alternative ways of propping up its strategic interests.

While the US has supported Mubarak over the last 30 years, US foundations have quietly supported sections of the political opposition. This “political leveraging” or “manufacturing dissent” is an old tactic of imperialism.

Posing as defenders of “democracy” and the “right of peaceful dissent” and promoting an “orderly transition”, the US is trying to control the popular movement and achieve cosmetic changes to preserve the interests of monopoly capital and imperialism.

The national government is the target of the protest movement. The slogan is Mubarak must go. There have been no reports of anti-American chants or slogans.

However, to win its aims the people’s movement will have to deepen, targeting not only the puppet but also the US puppet master.

US imperialism and its allies are desperately concerned that the Egyptian national democratic and anti-imperialist revolution will succeed and spread to other parts of the Arab world, threatening other client regimes and undermining US-Israeli hegemony in the region.

What is happening in Egypt is already affecting Jordan, Yemen, Algeria, Morocco as well as other states. The balance of forces, the political map is changing in a process which may be diverted or delayed but cannot be stopped.

A new Egyptian government could break the blockade of Gaza.

The events sweeping Egypt in recent days, as well as the heroic uprising of the Tunisian people show that the days of the oppressive Arab regimes are numbered and that the will of the people for democracy, freedom and a decent life cannot be denied.

The Egyptian uprising demonstrates the power and the potential of the people .to bring about real change. The masses make history.

Current events in Egypt and across the Arab world challenge the domination of the US dictatorship of capital, they challenge its murderous wars of economic, political and cultural domination, and they challenge the oppression and destruction of the Palestinian people.

Regardless of the immediate outcome, the mass uprising in Egypt marks a turning point not only for Egypt, but for the Middle East and surrounding countries, and for US foreign policy. Imperialism and the reactionary, Zionist state of Israel have a lot to lose.

 


In condemnation of the regime of torture and execution – Statement in solidarity with Iranian workers

February 2011

Iranian people continue to protest against the Islamic Republic – a dictatorial and repressive regime, a regime, which in thirty two years of its rule has not respected the basic rights of the people of Iran while responding to any protest with bullets, torture, executions and imprisonment.

To cover up the massive financial pressure imposed on ordinary people by eliminating subsidies on a number of essential goods and services, the regime continues with arrests, torture, prolonged imprisonment and ever more executions of the young generation of this land either political or non-political. According to official statistics, more than 50 human lives have perished last month at the hands of death squads.

The Iranian people rejected the whole Islamic regime many years ago. Thirty two years of Islamic rule in Iran has proved that various factions of this regime are anti-people and undemocratic, and have the blood of freedom and justice seeking people on their hands. The Islamic Republic cannot and will not attempt to make any reform either.

Indeed, it continues with the exploitation of working people, and violation of human rights and repression of any demands for democratic freedom and social justice, a rejection justified under “national security”. This repressive and inhumane policy is taking place at the same time that the regime has ratified and is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. However, the year 2010 has seen numerous political prisoners executed on false charges without having access to a lawyer or a fair trail.

Five Kurdish political and human rights activists were executed on May 9, 2010 followed by further death penalties.

Tens of thousands of intellectuals, workers, student and women activists and even ethnic and religions minorities died in Iran during 1980 to 1988 as a result of mass execution and torture. The following years have seen continued human rights violations, discriminatory laws and daily arrest, detention, torture and execution including Afghan residents. The Iranian people want to build a new and better world, a decent life in which the people are not oppressed and humiliated on the basis of gender, ethnic and religious differences and preferences. It is impossible to achieve these under this medieval regime.

The workers, students, lawyers, journalists, teachers, women and all other freedom seeking people are systematically harassed, abused, arrested and jailed, or freed later on heavy bails. One recent example is the lawyer and activist Nasreen Sotoudeh who is detained and sentenced to an 11 years prison term and 20 years exclusion from her job for exercising her rights as a lawyer and campaigner for freedom of speech.

According to a recent statement released by the Amnesty International:

“Lawyers have been the latest victims of this ongoing clampdown on human rights defenders and activists. In addition to Nasrin Sotoudeh, Mohammad Olyaeifard, a lawyer and board member of the Committee for the Defence of Political Prisoners in Iran, a human rights organisation, is currently serving a one-year prison sentence for speaking out about the execution of one of his clients, a juvenile offender. The UN High Commissioner urged the Iranian authorities to review her case urgently and expedite her release.”

(http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE13/007/2011/en/68de9b9e-082f-4155-a660-416e18028b65/mde130072011en.html)

In Iran today, the ever more political and class polarizations reflect both the intensifying of the social and economic contradictions and crisis, and also the dilemma of the Islamic Republic regime and various factions of the capitalist class over economic and political power and influence at domestic and international level.

However, on the one side are the ruling powers, and on the other the masses of people who are coming together to fight for their democratic rights and fundamental changes in political and social conditions.

They have risen up and are challenging the armed Islamic regime and its reactionary policies and violation of human rights such as torture, capital punishment (including children), stoning of women and attacking independent unions and associations and more. Our people are determined to overthrow this regime and thus to bring about a bright future, freedom, democracy and socialism.

We call on the world’s progressive forces and working people to express their opposition and protest and to not let this murderous regime commit further crimes. The Solidarity Committee with Iranian Workers’ Movement-Australia condemns the death penalty and any form of torture, and demands the perpetrators of violent crimes committed against people including the 2009 post-election political protesters in Iran be brought to justice. All political prisoners and activists of labour movement must be released immediately and unconditionally. The Islamic regime must end repression, and abolish torture and execution.

Execution and torture must be abolished!

Political prisoners must be released!

Down with the Islamic Republic of Iran!

The CPA demands the release of political prisoners in Iran immediately and unconditionally.

Solidarity Committee with Iranian Workers’ Movement-Australia, proletarianunite@gmail.com

 


Statement on the Queensland floods

National President

January 2011

On behalf of the Communist Party of Australia I wish to express our deepest sympathy for those who have lost family members and friends in the flood crisis in Queensland. We also feel for those made homeless and all those who must live with uncertainty about the future. Our own Party members have not been spared this hardship.

We have been inspired by the solidarity and collective spirit shown by the people of Queensland and the generosity of the rest of the country during this emergency.

Our Party believes that the severity of the weather events in Australia and around the world at present, which have left loss and destruction in Australia, Brazil, Colombia, and elsewhere are related to the neglect of the environment by the social and economic system that dominates the globe.

The floods in Queensland strengthen the need for a strong public sector, a health system capable of providing mental and health care to the people of Australia.

We must strengthen our efforts to bring about a society based on social justice and respect for the natural environment.

Yours in solidarity,

Vinnie Molina
National President

 


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