Friday, November 15, 2019

No state solution in Gaza

Once more Israel employed its overwhelming military power to bomb Gaza. This article from anarchist group on a previous onslaught against Gazans is a useful read. 

Statement distributed by the Manchester and Sheffield Anarchist Federation groups on the conflict in Gaza, in solidarity with the victims of the conflict, and for internationalism.
One thing is absolutely clear about the current situation in Gaza: the Israeli state is committing atrocities which must end immediately. With hundreds dead and thousands wounded, it has become increasingly clear that the aim of the military operation, which has been in the planning stages since the signing of the original ceasefire in June, is to break Hamas completely. The attack follows the crippling blockade throughout the supposed ‘ceasefire’, which has destroyed the livelihoods of Gazans, ruined the civilian infrastructure and created a humanitarian disaster which anyone with an ounce of humanity would seek an end to.
But that's not all there is to say about the situation. On both sides of the conflict, the idea that opposing Israel has to mean supporting Hamas and its ‘resistance’ movement is worryingly common. We totally reject this argument. Just like any other set of rulers, Hamas, like all the other major Palestinian factions, are happy and willing to sacrifice ordinary Palestinians to increase their power. This isn’t some vague theoretical point – for a period recently most deaths in Gaza were a result of fighting between Hamas and Fatah. The ‘choices’ offered to ordinary Palestinian people are between Islamist gangsters (Hamas, Islamic Jihad) or nationalist gangsters (Fatah, Al-Aqsa Martyrs brigades). These groups have shown their willingness to attack working-class attempts to improve their living conditions, seizing union offices, kidnapping prominent trade unionists, and breaking strikes. One spectacular example is the attack on Palestine Workers Radio by Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, for “stoking internal conflicts”. Clearly, a “free Palestine” under the control of any of these groups would be nothing of the sort.
As anarchists, we are internationalists, opposing the idea that the rulers and ruled within a nation have any interests in common. Therefore, anarchists reject Palestinian nationalism just as we reject Israeli nationalism (Zionism). Ethnicity does not grant “rights” to lands, which require the state to enforce them. People, on the other hand, have a right to having their human needs met, and should be able to live where they choose, freely.
Therefore, against the divisions and false choices set up by nationalism, we fully support the ordinary inhabitants of Gaza and Israel against state warfare – not because of their nationality, ethnicity, or religion, but simply because they're real living, feeling, thinking, suffering, struggling human beings. And this support has to mean total hostility to all those who would oppress and exploit them –the Israeli state and the Western governments and corporations that supply it with weapons, but also any other capitalist factions who seek to use ordinary working-class Palestinians as pawns in their power struggles. The only real solution is one which is collective, based on the fact that as a class, globally, we ultimately have nothing but our ability to work for others, and everything to gain in ending this system – capitalism – and the states and wars it needs .
That this seems like a “difficult” solution does not stop it from being the right one. Any “solution” that means endless cycles of conflict, which is what nationalism represents, is no solution at all. And if that is the case, the fact that it is “easier” is irrelevant. There are sectors of Palestinian society which are not dominated by the would-be rulers – protests organised by village committees in the West Bank for instance. These deserve our support. As do those in Israel who refuse to fight, and who resist the war. But not the groups who call on Palestinians to be slaughtered on their behalf by one of the most advanced armies in the world, and who wilfully attack civilians on the other side of the border.
Neither one state nor two states, but no states
Whoever dies, Hamas and the Israeli state win

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

We want a new society...

"In today’s society we are reduced to working in whatever job we find, without much say in how things are run. Although we depend on the work of many others, we have no relationships with them. A small group of people at the top make decisions, but as we have seen, they themselves are not really in control of this system.
We can easily imagine a different society. A society where we don't work for someone else's profits, but for a good life with everyone. Most of the jobs in the current society only exist because of the need to increase and defend profits: through advertising, insurances, stock-markets, useless goods, military interventions. If we abolish these jobs and focus on what we need for a good life we would have to work much less. Working less means we have more time not only for joy, creativity and inventiveness, but also for making decisions about life together. We would not have to let politicians and pen-pushers decide our fate, who might send us to war or announce another round of cuts.... Movements against austerity, against corruption, for better living conditions will erupt again and again, no question - in the current system this is like a law of nature. We have to help these movements find a direction. Instead of banging our heads against the walls of town halls and government buildings we have to prepare ourselves to take things over. In the end it all boils down to the old question: revolution, or waiting for things to get worse."

  Full pamphlet can be read here

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Our Election Leaflet

For distribution outside the two constituencies that we are contesting (Cardiff Central and Folkestone & Hythe).

Monday, November 04, 2019

Profit or Needs?

Profit or Needs, not Leave or Remain, is the real issue
This election, we’re told, is about Brexit. Whether ‘we’ will be richer or poorer, freer or more subservient if we stay in or leave the European Union, with or without a deal.
But does anyone seriously expect that Leaving or Remaining will end child poverty? Homelessness and food banks? Collapsing health and social services? Unemployment – or the mass insecurity of zero-hour-contracts? War and forced migration? The destruction of the Earth’s wildlife and natural resources? The threat of disastrous climate change?
The Brexit ‘debate’ simply obscures the real issue: a failed economic system where nothing is produced unless a profit can be made from it. Where human needs are everywhere subject to the inhuman demands of market forces. And this system will continue to rule our lives whether our new leaders are based in Brussels or London, Belfast or Edinburgh.
The Socialist Party stands for putting an end to this profit system. For replacing it with a society based on the common ownership and democratic control of the world’s natural and industrial resources.
We live in a world of potential plenty, where we could meet our needs by freely cooperating on the basis of ‘from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.’ There is no need for anyone anywhere in the world to go without what they need to live a happy, healthy and fulfilled life. What prevents this is the ownership of resources today by a privileged few and production for sale with the aim of making a profit.
The parties committed to running the market system – and that includes the Labour Party and the Greens – are making empty promises. A vote for them is a wasted vote as this system operates on the basis that making profits must always come before meeting needs, whatever those in government might want or have promised.
You can show that you reject the profit-driven market system, and want a classless society of equal men and women geared to directly satisfying people’s needs, by casting a write-in vote for “WORLD SOCIALISM” on your ballot paper.”