Editorial of WorkersWildWest no.3 - A workers/ paper from West-London: Basic position on the Paris attacks, the war in Syria and the state of emergency
Things were pretty grim in 2015. The attacks in Paris, thousands of people drowning in the Mediterranean in their attempts to reach safety from war and poverty, tension between NATO-states and Russia, police state measures in France and Belgium, more austerity announcements by the UK government… what to make of it all?
Don’t trust the powers!
When it comes to war and (anti-)terrorism we can't trust any nation state, religious or business leader, because they have all helped to create this mess! The US-state supported the Taliban during the 1980s and the Bush and Bin Laden families were brokering business deals in the run-up to Bin Laden being named global enemy number 1. Now, while Turkey’s elite is formally part of the NATO and supposed to be fighting against ISIS, at the same time they’re making good money buying cheap oil from them. The billionaires in Saudi Arabia back Islamist militias and run the country in a similar fashion, while the British state and weapon industry sells missiles to the Saudi army. Like the Gulf wars in 1991 and 2003, the current attacks by Russian and NATO army lay the groundwork for future terrorist attacks: Russian bombs slaughtered over 2,000 civilians during the last three months 2015. We won’t gather behind French state leaders and their flag - a flag under which thousands of people were killed even after the Second World War in their attempt to oppress their colonies in Algeria and elsewhere…
It’s not just about religion, and not only about oil
Ever since the British and French states were colonial powers, all big states and corporations have wanted a piece of the oil cake in the Middle East. Their political and military leaders were happy to kill thousands of civilians to get it. This is still true, and can explain the Gulf wars in the 1990s and early 2000s. Since 2008 the economic system has gone into a deep crash and movements in all countries started which questioned those in power – the 1%, governments and big business - and their blatant corruption. During 2010-11, the Occupy movement saw people taking over squares in the USA, in Spain, in Tunis, in Aleppo, in Cairo, in Istanbul. They said, “Enough is enough, we want a fairer society” and, “No to corruption and austerity!” All of these governments gave orders to come down hard on the protestors. Tear gas and water cannon became a familiar sight on the news. Western and non-Western governments helped each other out: the US sent ship-loads of teargas to the Egyptian military to repress protestors in Tahrir Square, and the UK government trained the police in Greece to try and control the people on the streets there. The state repression in Syria has now led to civil war. The fact that the movements ‘for a fairer society’ were beaten down opened up more space for the (religious) fundamentalists: if there is no future on earth, there must be in heaven. ISIS and other religious wannabe leaders want to isolate 'Muslims', by putting suicide belts on poor guys from the suburbs to blow up other poor ‘infidels’. They hope that islamophobic attacks will polarize society and push people further into their hands.
Their system is in crisis: war and (anti-) terror helps them maintain their power through fear
Since the global financial crisis in 2008 those in power have wanted to save their profit system – at all costs. While pumping money into companies and banks, they have nothing to offer to the poor unemployed and employed workers but wage freezes and cuts to social benefits. And this during a time where new technology and knowledge could provide a good life for every single one of us on this planet. They are facing increasing discontent ‘on the home front’. The only way to attach us to their state again is through fear and war. Both sides of the current 'war' - the Islamist leaders and the state leaders in France, Turkey, Britain... - want us to live in fear. State leaders in Europe try to use both the attacks like the ones in Paris and the ‘refugee crisis’ against us.
A permanent state of emergency: not becoming paranoid, while they are out to get us!
After the Paris attacks the French and Belgian state has tried to enforce a state of emergency, which has meant e.g. banning people from gathering in public. Nevertheless, in Belgium planned strikes against austerity took place despite the state lockdown. And in France people continued to demonstrate for the rights of refugees and migrants and against the destruction of the environment. We can see how surveillance and other ‘anti-terror’ measures are slowly being extended to curb social discontent of the poor, be it in the form of ‘blacklisting’ of ‘trouble-makers’ or small cases like the Lidl worker who got sacked after posting critical comments about Lidl on Facebook.
Using the ‘refugees’ to excuse the housing crisis, the crisis of the health system, the low wages, the floods in Cumbria…
‘Refugees’ are people who don't want to fight and die - for Assad nor ISIS, or other power hungry warlords. Instead of becoming killers, getting killed or starving to death, they try to get away. We would try and do the same. This is why we should support them. The state tries to use them to create pressure on us: ”They’ll cost you money", "They’ll work for peanuts”. In Germany, in the shadow of the politicians’ ‘Welcome’ media show, the bosses association (led by the fraudster management of Volkswagen) are demanding the lowering of the minimum wage to 'finance' the refugees. The 'refugee crisis' becomes a smoke screen behind which the state continues the attack on our work and living conditions: in the UK the plan is to extend the housing and unemployment benefit restrictions from EU-migrants to UK-citizens under 25, while at the same time working tax credits are under attack...
Although it smells like an old sock lost behind the sofa: Workers of the world unite!
It matters that we refuse to help dig our own graves - they can get lost with there national and religious propaganda! We have to break down the barriers where we live and where we work. This starts on the job and wherever else poor people come together: a basic, daily solidarity between all those who have to sell their hands and minds for money and struggle to survive. Let’s struggle for higher wages and freedom for all, instead of allowing bosses and the state to create an ‘illegal labour market’ for the new migrants (maintained through the occasional police raid)! We won't accept their high-security minimum wage regime nor their zero-hours future! We can struggle for and create a better society without exploitation, stock market crashes and bomb(ing) scares! No to sharia law! No to a law-and-order police state!