Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Red Salute to Kim Il Sung!





John McLeod speaking
By New Worker correspondent

FRIENDS of Korea met at the John Buckle Centre in London last Saturday to celebrate the birth of great leader Kim Il Sung with a panel of speakers who have all visited Democratic Korea over the years.
Kim Il Sung advanced and developed Marxist philosophy throughout his long and active life – a theme taken up by the panel, which included Michael Chant of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), NCP leader Andy Brooks, John McLeod of the Socialist Labour Party and John Rainsborough from the UK Korean Friendship Association.
Born on 15th April 1912, Kim Il Sung dedicated his life to the emancipation of the Korean people, which he did until his last breath in 1994.
Kim Il Sung developed and advanced Marxist-Leninist theory and led the struggle against Japanese colonialism and US aggression. He was a fighter, a thinker and a leader, Kim Il Sung was an outstanding communist of the 20th century whose name will forever be remembered as the founder of the modern Korean communist movement that began amongst the patriotic youth of Korea when he was a student in the 1920s.
 Kim Il Sung founded the communist movement that liberated the country from Japanese colonialism, defeated the might of US-led imperialism in the Korean War and led the drive to build the modern, socialist republic that exists today in the north of the divided peninsula.
Kim Il Sung was a great commander in war and a great leader in peace. In the north of Korea, so brutally partitioned by imperialism, he built a modern communist movement dedicated to serving the working people of Korea and he led the people in the mass struggle to build a new life after they had won their freedom in 1945.
The Workers’ Party of Korea, with Kim Il Sung at the helm, led the battle for land reform, education and socialist construction in the 1950s and 60s and then pushed forward on the engineering, technical and scientific fronts to raise living standards and the quality of life for the millions of workers and peasants who had fought for a better tomorrow.
In western Europe communists understood the economic case for scientific socialism but ignored the philosophical aspects of the teachings of Marx and Engels. Though the role of mass action was clearly understood, the role of the individual was often ignored. Though the achievements of the Soviet Union led by Lenin and Stalin were studied, they were often not properly understood.
Kim Il Sung not only grasped Marxism-Leninism but he applied it to the concrete conditions of the Korean people. He knew that once the masses realised their own strength they would become unstoppable. He knew that serving the people was the be-all and end-all for the Korean communists and for the Workers’ Party of Korea that he launched in 1945. He developed Korean style socialism and the Juché idea – which elevates the philosophical principles of Marxism-Leninism as well as its economic theories – and focuses on the development of each individual worker, who can only be truly free as part of the collective will of the masses.
In the western world Juché is simply described as “self-reliance” but it is much more than that. Kim Il Sung said that working people could only become genuinely emancipated if they stood on their own feet. But the Juché idea doesn’t negate proletarian internationalism. The Soviet Union, People’s China and the people’s democracies of eastern Europe all closed ranks behind Democratic Korea during the Korean war.
The Korean people responded with their trade and assistance whenever they could, while Korean experts and advisers helped the Vietnamese, the Arabs and the Africans struggling to break the chains of colonialism and they continue to do so today. And Kim Il Sung’s successors, dear leader Kim Jong Il and leader Kim Jong Un are following his footsteps to build a modern socialist republic, where every individual worker is master of his or her own life.
The Friends of Korea committee consists of the New Communist Party of Britain, Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (ML), Socialist Labour Party, European Regional Society for the Study of the Juché Idea and the UK Korean Friendship Association. The committee organises friendship meetings throughout the year in London, which are publicised by the supporting movements and on the Friends of Korea blog.

Down with US war-games in Korea!




 
By New Worker 

correspondent

ANDY BROOKS joined other friends of the Korean revolution demonstrating outside the American embassy in London last week to protest against the latest US provocations on the Korean peninsula.
The NCP leader, along with other comrades and friends, picketed the US embassy in Grosvenor Square to call for an immediate halt to the "Foal Eagle" and "Key Resolve" exercises of the US imperialists in occupied south Korea and the hostile policy against the DPR Korea including the "human rights" racket.
The banner of the UK Korean Friendship Association (KFA), which organised the event, was draped over the hedge facing the US embassy while the demonstrators waved the Democratic Korean flags and gave loud-speaker addresses throughout the 90-minute afternoon protest action.
KFA members and supporters of the Juché Idea Study Group took turns with the microphone to denounce the south Korean puppets and their US imperialist overlords for launching the war-games that simulate the seizure of the nuclear facilities of the DPRK and a “regime change” invasion of the DPRK. They were followed by academics and other friends of Korea including Andy Brooks and other NCP members.
The 90-minute afternoon picket closed with rousing chants of  "US out of Korea", "Korea is One", "Yankee Go Home", "Long Live the Workers' Party of Korea" and  "Long Live Kim Jong Un" by the demonstrators undeterred by recent hysterical media attacks on the KFA in the bourgeois press. 
The UK Korean Friendship Association (KFA) regularly organises solidarity meetings and protest pickets in London throughout the year. The KFA also works side by side with the Friends of Korea committee which also holds regular events in London.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

An anti-racism day in London





By New Worker
 correspondents

AROUND 10,000 anti-fascists and anti-racists gathered in and around Old Palace Yard, opposite the Houses of Parliament, last Saturday to mark United Nations Anti-Racism Day with a march to Trafalgar Square and a rally, organised by Unite Against Fascism and the TUC.
            There were scores of union banners from all over the country as unions Unite, PCS, Unison and many others joined the noisy and cheerful march.
There were also contingents from EU migrants, faith communities as well as the Woodcraft Folk, the Dale Farm support group, disability groups and many community campaign groups, including the Save Lewisham Hospital campaign. and a contingent of London communists marching under the banner of the Central Committee of the New Communist Party.
United Nations Anti-Racism Day originates from the Sharpeville massacre of 1960 when South African police shot dead 69 peaceful demonstrators protesting against apartheid. And Saturday was the first Anti-Racism Day following the death of anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, who passed away on 5th December 2013.
The themes of this year’s event were against discrimination, against Islamophobia and against the scapegoating of immigrants for the effects of austerity cut imposed in the wake of the 2008 banking crisis.
These themes were also prominent in similar demonstrations taking place in dozens of major cities around the world, including New York, Athens and Sao Paulo.
As the march made its way to Trafalgar Square, a small group from the Islamophobic English Defence League wandered around the literature stalls of the various participating organisations in the Square. Police did not recognise them but UAF stewards did and made it very clear to them that they were not welcome.
A well-known EDL photographer and his partner were also spotted photographing marchers.
At the rally in Trafalgar Square, reports Adrian Chan Wyles,
the dozens of police officers present had to quietly look on as speaker after speaker attacked the police for their part in the killing of a number of young people detained in police cells.
Grieving relatives took their turn to explain the tragedy of how they had been vilified by the police and by the Independent Police Complaints Authority whilst fighting through the hostile bourgeois legal system that supports feral police officers by default, usually by absolving the culprits of all charges before promoting them and returning them to duty.
These included Mark Duggan’s aunt Carol Duggan, Christopher Alder’s sister Janet Alder and Sean Rigg’s sister, Marcia Rigg. Carol Duggan explained how the police led a smear campaign against their family.
Also at the rally in Trafalgar Square a long list of speakers addressed the colourful crowd, as the threatened rain mercifully held off. They included MPs Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott, TUC president Mohammad Taj, UAF joint leader Weyman Bennett, and Searchlight editor Gerry Gable.
Diane Abbott said: “We are here today to say to the Leaders of all the parties, Conservative, Lib-Democrats and Labour, ‘no to racism and fascism’. We want the political parties to say ‘no to anti-immigrant politics’. We don’t want gutter politics in the run up to the election this May. It is not immigrants that cause low wages; exploitative employers cause low wages. It is not immigrants that are a drain on the NHS, without immigrants we would not have an NHS.”
Many spoke out against the United Kingdom Independence Party’s scapegoating of immigrants and called on the leaders of the main parties not to be drawn into trying to play the race card in the coming European elections in May – or in next year’s general election.
Another common theme from many speakers were words of tribute to those two giants of the anti-fascist movement, Bob Crow and Tony Benn, who died earlier this month.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tony Benn 1925-2014

THE NEW WORKER is saddened by the death of Tony Benn, a political giant of the Labour Left who worked tirelessly for many decades for the causes of the working class, peace and internationalism.
He was born in 1925 into a political family; his father William Wedgewood Benn was a Liberal MP who crossed the floor to become a Labour MP in 1928 and became Secretary of State for India. In 1941 William Wedgewood Been was given a peerage by the war Coalition government.
Two years later in July 1943 the young Tony Wedgewood Benn joined the RAF first as an aircraftman and was then given an emergency commission and became a pilot.
After the war he entered politics, becoming an MP in 1950 and then having to fight to reject inheriting his father’s peerage because he wanted to stay in the House of Commons. In the end he won a change in the law, the Peerage Act of 1963, which enabled him to remain an MP.
Tony Benn served as Post Master General in Harold Wilson’s government from 1964 to 1970 where he oversaw the opening of the Post Office Tower, and later as Minister of Technology during Wilson’s “White heat of technology” period.
As Benn aged he became more and more left wing — just the opposite of most Labour MPs who all too easily take the opportunist path to career advancement at the expense of their principles. During that time he reversed his attitude to nuclear power and was always the first to admit when he had got something wrong
He was a man of immense integrity, which won his great respect and a great campaigner on dozens of vital working class issues. He has helped to keep the ideas of social justice alive in an era when these things are derided by the media and culture of the ruling class and been an inspiration to young people.
His death, like that of Bob Crow last week, is a serious loss to the working class in Britain and internationally. We call on comrades, and especially younger comrades, to redouble efforts to fill the gaps and take the movement forward. The strength of our class is in its numbers but that strength can only be exerted through collective organisation. So we must organise, organise, organise!

Remembering Fukushima



by New Worker
correspondent

SCORES of peace activists marched through Westminster last Saturday to mark the third anniversary of the Fukushima disaster in Japan.
The marchers assembled at Hyde Park Corner before marching past the Japanese Embassy and one of the buildings housing the Tokyo Electric Company and ending near the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.
The organisers aimed to send a message to people warning of the dangers of nuclear power as well as remembering the victims of the Fukushima disaster on 11th March 2011.
One of the organisers, David Polden, said: "We're here because it's the third anniversary of the Fukushima disaster. We're trying to remember the victims and point out that the damage is still continuing with water (used to cool reactors) flowing into the Pacific and the main buildings are in a very bad state.
"It's still very dangerous. There are spent fuel rods at the top of the roofs (of reactors) and if the building collapses, it would be terrible and it would let out their radioactive contents."
Protesters held placards and banners calling for "no nuclear power", "protect mountains, rivers" and "no new nukes" with signs in English, French and Japanese.
Polden, a London region worker for CND, added: "They're (the Tokyo Electric Company who owns the Fukushima plant) taking the rods out now, and we haven't heard any problems yet.
"The message we want to send is stop nuclear. There are plans in Japan to reopen nuclear power stations but the majority of Japanese people are against them and there are plans for power stations here in the UK."
He added that the danger of nuclear power was illustrated by the Chernobyl, Fukushima and the Three Mile Island disasters.
As the march continued, the crowd chanted "no more nuclear" and "no more Fukushima" and more people joined including the Bromley branch of the Green Party. Numbers grew to more than 100 as they passed the Ritz Hotel in London.
Margaret Toomey, a member of Bromley and Bexley Green Party, who has been giving out leaflets for campaign group Japanese Against Nuclear UK for the past 18 months, said: "We're here today because it's the third anniversary.
"The four nuclear reactors are emitting 400 tonnes (of dangerous waste) per day into the North Pacific and the company is using poor people to try and repair the nuclear reactors but things are the same as they were three years ago. There was another leak three weeks ago in a storeroom. That waste was pushed into the North Pacific."
During the march, there were individuals dressed as nuclear waste barrels which they hoped would highlight the fact that nuclear power created nuclear waste.
As the march continued towards Piccadilly Circus, the fluorescent yellow banners and flags dominated the road and tourists looked on with amazement.
Members of the public who took leaflets could be heard agreeing that change was needed with regards to attitudes towards nuclear power.
Leaflets produced by Japanese Against Nuclear UK (JAN) gave a winter update about deadly spent fuel rods being removed from reactor number four at Fukushima.
According to JAN, 1,553 bundles of rods have to be removed which will take a year to complete if the rate of 44 bundles a week continues.
But the leaflet warns: "And if something 'unfortunate' does happen, it is quite likely to lead to Tokyo having to be abandoned, and a few million extra cancer cases around the world."
A Japanese marcher said it was important to say no to nuclear everywhere and said it was not the "right decision" in the UK to have nuclear plants.
Atsuko Kamura, a member of JAN, said: "We're calling on the Japanese government to take appropriate measures at Fukushima.
"It's a complicated issue and it's not solved yet. According to German magazine, [Der Spiegel], within seven years seafood from around the area cannot be eaten."