Thursday, March 30, 2017

Defending the DPRK in Belgravia!

KFA Chair Dermot Hudson and Andy Brooks with other comrades

 by New Worker correspondent

NCP leader Andy Brooks joined other Korean solidarity activists outside the Malaysian embassy in London’s Belgrave Square last week to demand an end to the hostile actions of the Malaysian government against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
 The picket, called by the Korean Friendship Association (KFA), gave out leaflets pointing out that a DPRK citizen called Kim Chol collapsed and died in Kuala Lumpur airport on the 13th February. The Malaysian authorities initially said that this was due to a heart attack. Subsequently the Malaysian authorities, in violation of international law:
         Carried out an autopsy without the permission of the DPRK and without the presence of the DPRK side;
         Refused a request for a joint investigation;
         Refused to hand over the remains of the dead man;
         Spread false accusations and allegations, and wrongfully arrested a DPRK citizen

It is claimed that VX nerve agent was used to kill the man – but clearly it would be impossible to use VX Nerve agent at the airport without killing scores of other people and rendering the terminal unusable for years if not decades to come. The two women arrested are not from the DPRK and are not even ethnic Koreans. They had, however, visited south Korea several times in the past.
            The KFA calls on Malaysia to return the body of the dead DPRK citizen to the DPRK and ends its campaign of false allegations, lies and slanders against the DPRK.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Standing up to racism in London, Cardiff and Glasgow

Socialist Fight's Gerry Downing on the march

by New Worker correspondent

UNITED Nations Anti-Racism Day traditionally marks the anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre in South Africa on 21st March 1960. And on Saturday 18th March it was marked by tens of thousands of people in Britain in marches in London, Cardiff and Glasgow — as well as by millions of others around the world.
In London around 30,000 people gathered around the BBC headquarters in Portland Place — even so the BBC failed to register the event as a news item. At 1pm they began to march down Regent Street towards Parliament Square.
The event, organised by Stand Up To Racism (SUTR), attracted hundreds of banners, several bands and contingents from all the major unions, dozens of trades councils, community and faith groups. and progressive political groups.
The crowd was noisy, colourful and good humoured, but with a very serious message about rising levels of racism in Europe and in the United States. In particular, many placards were directed against President Donald Trump for encouraging racism and sexism. and against those who used Brexit as an excuse to go on a racist rampage.
There were also many messages directed at the Government for its refusal to allow refugees from the wars in the Middle East and Africa into Britain, especially because British Imperialist manipulation is behind many of those wars.
As the marchers passed Piccadilly Circus they noticed the usual gang of neo-Nazi counter-protesters from Britain First — but not in their usual place draped around the plinth of the Eros statue.
Before the march a large group of young anarchists from Antifa had driven them away from that spot and by the time the main march arrived the remaining 11 ‘Aryan warriors’ were looking battered and dishevelled, tucked away in a corner behind a huge protective police barrier. Their leader, Paul Golding, was looking particularly battered and in a foul temper.
In Parliament Square one of the main speakers was Moazzam Begg, the former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who was held captive by the United States authorities for 11 years without charge or trial. He told the crowd: “The rise of the far-right and the Nazis and fascists has seen a new wave with the election of Donald Trump, who said when he came to power: ‘I’m going to load up Guantanamo with some bad dudes.’ So my response is: ‘When are you going, dude?’”
On the same day hundreds of people marched through Cardiff to protest against racism. Stand Up To Racism organised the march, which ended with speeches by the Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood and Swansea teacher Juhel Miah, who was denied entry into the United States.
A Stand Up To Racism Wales spokesperson said: “We see the great march today as just the first step in the creation of a mass movement against racism in Wales. But what we really want is an organisation, in every town and city, that will react quickly to knock down any attempt to scapegoat refugees as ‘foreigners’, people from diverse backgrounds, minority religions or simply people with a different coloured skin.
“We are going to create a movement that celebrates our diversity. We will have music, art and drama. We will hound any politician who plays the racist card. We will not let politicians or the mainstream media, apparently nowadays the same thing, return us to the 1930s.”
And in Glasgow 3,000 protesters gathered to take part in a massive demonstration in the centre of the city to Holland Street and George Square, to stand up against the growing culture of racism.
Stand up to Racism Scotland said: “In a situation where migrants, Muslim women and anyone considered to be ‘foreign’ are being attacked on a daily basis — and refugees are being abandoned by Britain and Europe to destitution, drowning and exploitation — there has never been a more important time in recent history to stand up to racism.”

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Defending the DPRK at LSE

leafleting outside the hall
by New Worker correspondent

Korean solidarity activists were outside the London School of Economics (LSE) last weekend to leaflet a seminar that purported to “provide a platform for detailed discussions on various aspects of North Korea, from North Korean society to the prospects for, and challenges of, Korean unification”. What they mean by ‘unification’ is really south Korea absorbing the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). So basically this was a regime change conference organised by those hostile to the socialist system of the DPRK and the Juche Idea.
Last Saturday Korea Friendship Association (KFA) Chair Dermot Hudson and NCP leader Andy Brooks joined student supporters of the Korean revolution putting the record straight with KFA leaflets and presenting the other side of the story in face-to-face discussion with participants entering and leaving the building. 
The conference was, in fact, simply a propaganda forum organised by the south Korean puppet regime and sponsored by the Doosan Group, a south Korean manufacturing and construction conglomerate that employs 41,400 workers in 38 countries. The speakers were drawn from the usual circle of pro-imperialist academics and journalists, along with a number of south Korean diplomats and former ministers. Needless to say, no DPRK representative or representative of the KFA was asked to attend the conference.

Communists honour Karl Marx

NCP comrades with DPRK and Chinese diplomats at the cemetery
by New Worker correspondent 
MORE than 100 communists from all over the world gathered in Highgate cemetery last Sunday to mark the anniversary of the death of Karl Marx with a ceremony beside his grave.
There were ambassadors and diplomats from People’s China, Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Venezuela. There were communists from Malaysia, Iran and Italy, as well as a large contingent from Akel (the Cypriot communist party) and many others including the New Communist Party, the Communist Party of Britain and other British communists.
The event was hosted by the Marx Memorial Library, whose trustees are also the trustees of the massive granite monument to Karl Marx that stands over his grave.
The oration at this annual event this year was given by Rocio Maniero, the Venezuelan ambassador in London.
She told the assembled communists: “In Venezuela especially, Marxist ideas were rooted deep in the soil of our revolutionary tradition, which goes back to the struggles against slavery and oppression, and the War for Independence which in Venezuela became a civil war.
“In present times, as you may know, the legacy of Marx is at the core of the Bolivarian Revolution and more specifically in the policies of our Government.
Our social programmes are inspired by the ideas of Karl Marx, giving priority to the inclusion of poor people into health, education and housing systems.
“Our Revolution also has been playing a crucial role in integrating Latin America into a regional project for Unity. In the last decade we had played a key role and we had also been deeply involved in the formation of to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of America (ALBA).
“These great efforts towards the construction of our unified Homeland are at risk. These great efforts towards a development of socialism in a unified Latin America are at risk.
“In 2006 in the World Social Forum in Caracas, President Ch├ívez warned us that there was not much time left to implement the socialism envisaged by Karl Marx, saying, and I quote: ‘I think that time is short, I think that there will be nothing beyond the 21st century if we do not change the world’s course in this century, I think that the phrase of Karl Marx is today more valid and dramatic than ever, there is hardly any time left: socialism or death, but real death – of the entire human species and of life on planet earth, because capitalism is destroying the planet, capitalism is destroying life on earth, capitalism is destroying the ecological equilibrium of the planet; the destructive development of the capitalist model is putting an end to life on earth. I believe it’s now or never’.”
She went on to speak of the great efforts being made by Chavez’s successor, President Maduro, to overcome an avalanche of attacks from United States’ imperialism – a struggle that continues every day.
After the speech flowers were laid on the grave and Dermot Hudson presented the floral tribute on behalf of the NCP at the ceremony. Finally the Internationale
was sung by all – in several different languages – and the comrades departed.