Our Say

After G8 and the London bombings - the way forward

London terror attacks condemned

After Live 8:
from pressure to action

The G8 summit and political power

Make the G8 leaders history

A sham election

10 good reasons to boycott May 5

Don't be blackmailed into voting

Reject ‘dependency’ politics

No votes for New Labour!

Parliament seals its own fate

A secret policeman's government

Vote for "none of the above"

How to remember the victims of the tsunami

A state of crisis

New Labour and the big lie

Yasser Arafat - a revolutionary life

After the US election

Blood on New Labour's hands

Butler and weapons of mass deception

With 'leaders' like these, who needs enemies?

How to meet the threat from the right

Barbarians at the gate

Torture, values and lies

The silence of the lambs

War crimes in Iraq

The slaughter in Madrid

The unfinished business of the miners’ strike 1984-85

L’état – c’est New Labour

The death of liberal democracy foretold

Hutton washes the state whiter than white

Top-up fees and the market economy

Our challenge for 2004

New Labour's march to a police state

Bush & Blair - partners in crime

London Region revolts against FBU leaders

Postal workers in the front line

No turning back

Where we go from here

Stop the War Coalition leaders and political fabrication

Regime change begins at home

Blood on New Labour's hands

There's more involved than just Blair

New Labour, lies and spies

Firefighters should reject deal and disown leaders

BECTU vote on New Labour link a step forward

Time runs out for FBU leaders

New Labour's one-party state

The blind alley of crude anti-Americanism

Occupation of Iraq - time to move beyond protest

War is a test for principles

Iraqi defiance shocks and awes

FBU leaders who backed capitulation should resign now

Down with New Labour's war - for regime change in Britain

FBU at war with New Labour

New Labour, not just Blair, is the target

50 years since the death of Stalin - an assessment

FBU finds itself in Precott's trap

War is Peace - Blair's fictitious 'push for peace'

15/2: Global marches put power on the agenda

Crisis of globalisation behind attack on Iraq

Tell it how it is

An injury to one is an injury to all

War plans expose fraudulent 'democracy'

A 'regime change' in Britain is the answer to war on Iraq

FBU needs a new strategy

Challenging New Labour

A moment of truth in the fight against New Labour

Gilchrist says it how it is

Time to defy the anti-union laws in support of the FBU

FBU must ask for solidarity strikes

FBU leaders must ask for support now

New Labour provokes confrontation

Italian police attack No-Global movement

New Labour declares war on FBU

Don't let the FBU fight alone

UN writes a blank cheque for war

Blood on Putin's hands

Unions must support firefighters with action not words

Support the firefighters - defeat New Labour

Bush-Blair war agenda revealed

Seeing through New Labour's weapons of mass deception

The US media and the new garrison state

The BEGINNING of Politics

How technology could
free humanity

'Terminator' engineering: A threat to humanity

The future is socialist

Asylum legislation fuels racist attacks

Road map to the future

E-mail to hear about site changes, placing 'update' in body of message



15/2: Global marches put power on the agenda

15 February 2003, the day that millions and millions of people around the globe, marched against an Anglo-American invasion and occupation of Iraq, will come to be seen as a turning point in world history.

In Europe alone, more than six million demonstrated against the warmongers led by Bush’s White House and the New Labour government under the increasingly demented Blair. The million and more who marched in Britain made it the largest protest of its kind in the country’s history.

In 600 cities and towns across the world, ordinary people came out to reject the lies and propaganda that Bush and Blair have used to try to “justify” an invasion of Iraq. The significance of what happened on the streets will reverberate in government circles everywhere.

What will frighten political leaders is a willingness shown by masses of people to act independently in order to shape the course of history. It is not a revolution, but neither is it just an anti-war movement. The message rang out loud and clear: people will not sit back and allow regimes in Washington and London to start a war for the basest of motives with totally unpredictable consequences for humanity.

For all Blair’s talk about a “humanitarian” war to save the Iraqi people from the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, or the need to disarm Iraq, people know that the true reasons behind an invasion concern access to markets and energy resources. The aim is to make Iraq safe for corporate-led globalisation.

As for bringing democracy to the country, even the American-financed Iraqi opposition have condemned this as a fraud. The United States government intends to impose a series of military governors in the country’s administration while retaining the present structures of the Iraqi regime.

What happened on 15/2 was itself a reflection of the globalisation process. A global consciousness has emerged as a result of the closer integration of economic and political processes internationally. That is why we have a truly global response to the threat of war.

Neither was this a protest in the traditional sense. Instead it was a political statement by millions that they reject the authority and legitimacy of national governments, particularly in Britain and America but also in Spain and Italy, where far-right governments back the war plans. Three million took to the streets in Spain and more than a million marched in Rome.

In countries like Britain, people are questioning the democratic value of a political system that blatantly ignores the views of the vast majority. It is clear that fewer and fewer people believe what New Labour says on a whole range of issues. Most, for example, think that the presence of the army on the streets of West London last week was part of an orchestrated campaign to scare people rather than stop a terror attack.

War cannot be halted by protest and marches, however big they are. For war is a symptom of a deep-going crisis within the capitalist social system itself. Profit and war go together, especially at times of economic and political crisis like we have today. Bush and Blair are determined to have their war, come what may. The talk among capitalist construction corporations, for example, is of who will win the lucrative contracts for “reconstructing” Iraq after America and Britain have finished bombing the country to pieces.

The potential clearly exists for going further than protest. When people take to the streets in the numbers seen, it is a clear indication that the old political order is in difficulties. This breaking point is even reaching into international institutions like the United Nations and Nato. We have to turn our minds to what should replace a political and economic system that is essentially undemocratic and based on exploitation for profit.

Answers to these pressing issues do not emerge spontaneously out of marches. But the ground is fertile for going beyond the status quo. Many of those who marched in London voted New Labour in 1997, anticipating a radical change. Disappointed with what actually happened, huge numbers stayed at home in 2001. Two years later and they are on the streets demanding that their voices are heard.

To achieve this means going beyond New Labour and the fraudulent political system that passes for democracy. It requires a new political movement that aspires to transfer political and economic power to the majority, removing it from the unaccountable elites that have it now. The scale of the demonstrations indicates how power can actually be won. The authorities are powerless to resist such numbers.

This movement will not go back into the bottle. At the same time, huge social movements have developed in South America against the policies of global capitalism imposed on Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador by the International Monetary Fund. In Brazil, a new president was driven into power by masses who rejected the IMF.

In Britain, as elsewhere, the issue is one of leadership. There are those on the left who want to restrict the great movement that has emerged. Instead of calling for the removal of the Blair government, the Socialist Workers Party, for example, is content to hold debates called “Where is New Labour going?” As if the warmongering isn't proof enough that the've got there already. Others who reject New Labour, like the rail union leader Bob Crow, say that workers have only their unions to fall back on.

This all very conveniently leaves us where we are, speculating if New Labour has a future or ignoring the building of an alternative. This is to miss the real significance of 15/2. The issue is one of power: who shall decide questions of peace or war – governments that are pawns of the corporations or the mass of the people? When elected leaders are exposed the way Bush and Blair are, their removal, along with their governments, becomes both a possibility and a necessity.

In Britain, the first step is to open the discussion about what replaces New Labour in terms of political representation and what objectives such an organisation should have. That is the agenda for the 12 April conference sponsored by a number of organisations and leading trade unionists. Make sure you attend it. 

Movement for a Socialist Future
16 February 2003