WORKERS, students and pensioners marched through the streets of London last Saturday to send a message on jobs, justice and climate to Gordon Brown and the G20 leaders meeting in the capital this week. Tens of thousands of people, including a many union contingents, took part in the protest which passed over peacefully, despite lurid predictions of anarchist violence emanating from the police and the reactionary press over the past few days.
Threatening to “eat the rich” may be inspired by the spirit of Michael Bakunin and Peter Kropotkin but it’s hardly in the same league as the anarchist terror of the 19th century which claimed the lives of a Russian Czar, the kings of Greece and Italy, an American and a French president, a Spanish prime minister and many others with their daggers, guns and bombs.
Smashing the windows of a hated former Scottish bank boss may give the perpetrators some sort of feeling of power and importance but it accomplishes nothing apart from unleashing a wave of hypocritical condemnation from a bourgeois media that routinely ignores the daily racist abuse and violence on our streets.
The Group of 20 summit will include the leaders of People’s China, Indonesia, Brazil and Saudi Arabia but it will be dominated by American, British and Franco-German imperialism. Whatever the great and the good of the G20 decide at their secret conclave in London’s Docklands to deal with the world-wide slump, there’s no doubt that the imperialists will want to make working people pay the price for the “recovery” they say is on the horizon. And we will be expected to bear the brunt of the capitalist crisis in mass unemployment, welfare cuts and short time to ensure that the rich continue to live their lives of pleasure and ease unscathed.
Resistance is growing throughout Europe and the rest of the world and the unions have a crucial role in setting the agenda for the fight-back against this new offensive against the working class. Communists must fight to ensure that the socialist alternative is once again raised in the factories, offices and streets of Britain. It is the only answer to the crisis.