"Philosophers have only interpreted the world, the point however is to change" - Karl Marx

This blog is my interpretation, I will do everything I can to change the world along those line

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Where now?

On the 17th of October the Fascist English Defence League attempted to march through the streets of Swansea. Fortunately this did not materialise and there was a very good reason for this.

400 anti-fascists turned up in Castle Square which is exactly where the EDL wanted to be. Due to the fact that they were outnumbered by atleast 10-1 they were easily prevented for getting anywhere near the square and were forced to hide away in a near by pub.

It was clear when they emerged that the idea of an actual demonstration was no the intention at all, they had no placards, no banners, no megaphones or anything else to highlight any kind of demonstration. It was clear that all they aimed to do was cause racial tension and have a punch up.

However as they were outnumbered by 10-1 once the police attempted to march them on everyone surrounded them and the police instantly they were unable to do anything for a whole hour and once that time was up they had no choice but to except a police escort to the train station and out of Swansea with their tale between their legs!

After the humiliation in Swansea, the EDL 'officially' called of the demonstration in Newport. I went on the EDL forum and whilst it also said that it was called off many EDL members said they still intended to come to Newport and it appeared that calling it off was simply just a tactic to damage the turnout of the Newport Communities Against Racism demonstration.

Luckily this tactic failed completely and several hundred anti-fascists turned up in John Frost Square where various organisations participated. When the time came the EDL did not show their face at all. So victory was ours on the day!

There was a rally throughout the day in John Frost Square with various speakers in between music, life performances and chanting. I was one of the speakers at the rally and I think its important that I mention what I said because I think it really sums up the situation facing us now and how we can effectively fight it.

I spoke about how it was not enough to just oppose fascism, how It isn't enough to organise counter-demo's everytime the EDL announce a demonstration. The EDL came out of no where and started organising demonstrations not long after the BNP gained two MEP's. The 2 organisations are clearly linked. The fact they have those MEP's has obviously given them the confidence to feel they can get away with racist marches on our streets.

Unfortunately Griffin did come across well on Question Time because despite the panel attacking him at the begining and in general Griffin made a fool of himself. When it came to the issue of immigration and jobs all the main parties were quick to blame immigration for unemployment, none of them were willing to acknowledge the problem was the mainstream parties, the bankers, and capitalism in general. That without a real political challenge the BNP will continue to grow.

I said that the BNP was a political entity and they need to be taken up politically. If there was a New Mass Workers' Party it could have effectively exposed the BNP's scapegoating of immigrants and for that matter the all three of the main parties who are responsible for the rise in the BNP by using the same tactics. It is only by exposing the main parties and capitalism, it if only by offering a positive alternative and articulating in the correct manner the concerns of working class people about job losses, unemployment and public service cuts that we can stop the growth of the BNP and send them back to the gutter! 

I finished by urging everyone to come to the Youth Fight for Jobs demonstation - For Decent Jobs, For Free Education. To Actively take up these issuesand expose the capitalist system and fight for our future!

We won the battles of Swansea and Newport but the war continues.


  1. The demonstrations in Swansea and Newport proved that fascists can be defeated by communities standing together, and I think the EDL will think again before mobilising in South Wales.
    Although the BNP and EDL are attracting the same rank and file members, they aren't directly linked, and the EDL appear to be mercenary group for someone else with different intentions, as an article will reveal in the near future.

    Did Griffin's appearance on Question Time change things? Not much, as the panel spent most of the programme arguing over immigration figures, and avoiding discussion over any real issues. Then again, banking scandals and expense fraud might be uncomfortable subjects for the politicians. I did notice a member of the audience brought up unemployment, but the subject was quickly changed (or edited out of the broadcast). Not even a comment on the matter.
    It's not just the BNP blaming immigration though - all the other main parties are at it as well. Since nobody has the slightest idea how many immigrants are in this country anyway, all the politicians have to do is blame them and come up with random figures to make it look as if they are doing something. Never mind that the bankers are the ones draining tens of billions from this country and driving the rest of us deeper into poverty.
    I'm surprised Griffin hasn't thought of claiming £300,000 for a moat to keep immigrants away from his farm house in Wales. He could have made a few quid there.

  2. You link to the Campaign for a New Workers Party in your article. What on earth happened to it? The SP regularly mentions the need for such a thing, however has only half-heartedly built the CNWP. What happened to the membership based structure that was supposed to happen?
    The fear is that it is merely an SP front to turn on and off at will, binned when the opportunistic No2EU turn was made.

  3. The Socialist Party is working on building the new workers' party by backing and supporting Bob Crow's RMT/socialist alliance to fight in the coming general election, so it's not just an abstract or a half-hearted effort, but a work in progress.

  4. You correctly refer to the need to expose capitalism and offer a positive alternative to it but you propose the CNWP as the force that can do this.

    The problem with this is that CNWP gives as it's model the old Labour Party.

    The Labour Party has always been a reformist party that sought accomodation with the capitalists. It has never sought to expose capitalism or offered a positive alternative to it - that is the role of a revolutionary party.

    It is a serious political mistake to promote the illusion that the Labour Party ever did this.

  5. There also seems to be a related idea of "the" new workers' party.

    Clearly there can be different types of workers' parties - broadly separated into the categories of reformist and revolutionary.

    It has been part of the communist perspective since the historic betrayal of the mass Social Democratic parties in August 1914 that revolutionaries need to build a revolutionary party separate from, and in political opposition to, the reformists.

    Putting forward the idea of "the" new workers' party and looking to reformists as allies to build this party would seem to be a fairly explicit rejection of those historical lessons.

  6. I think that any genuine workers' party be it reformist or revolutionary would be able to cut across the rise of the BNP and would therefore be extremely progressive at this stage.

    I agree that we need a revolutionary party, I do not see any contradiction between that and the CNWP however

  7. No contradiction between the CNWP project and the idea of a revolutionary party?

    The CNWP explictily looks to the reformist Labour Party as the model and concretely looks to support reformist trade unionists on developing a joint platform (that will necessarily be reformist) in next year's elections.

    I know I'm just a dogmatic Bolshevik but the tradition of revolutionary Marxism is full of the need to keep the distinction between reformist and revolutionary politics clear (starting perhaps with Rosa's "Reform and Revolution") - the CNWP clearly isn't doing that so why no contradiction?

  8. "If there was a New Mass Workers' Party it could have... "
    hmm and if the workers of Leeds had a battalion they might have completely mashed up the EDL there on Halloween!

    There ISN'T a "new mass party" there's an old mass party to which the workers' organisations are affiliated and which is the political pinnacle of the workers' movement, most unfortunately.....!
    There IS an obvious need for anti-fascists to organise seperately from the TU-bureaucratic stranglehold of UAF, but to couch it in sectarian terms isn't helpful

  9. Committees, TUC, conferences, national executives, etc....

    Meanwhile the BNP have roughly 60 councillors around Britain and a number of potential MPs lined up for the election.
    Just thought I'd mention it.

  10. the Labour party clearly is not a workers party Steve to argue it is, is to ignore the facts

  11. In one sense the Labour Party has never been a workers' party as its reformism has always placed it within the framework of capitalism and its political institutions. In that fundamental sense it is a bourgeois party.

    But it clearly is a special type of bourgeois party because at times it can project the idea of the class defending itself from the attackes of the bosses and indeed can, and has, participate in, or even lead, those actions. This is of course true of its rank-and-file membership as opposed to the parliamentary leadership who have a consistent history of betrayal of the interests of the workers' movement.

    At other times, like now, it does not project the idea of working class independence in any way. But this is largely a reflection of the weakness of the workers' movement as a whole (and of course feeds back in to maintaining that weakness - primarily through the trade union leaders). I would therefore urge caution in writing the Labour Party off as a bourgeois workers' party and potential site for revolutionary intervention.

    Given the historical strength of reformism in the British workers' movement, most often expressed in and through the Labour Party, revolutionaries need to be sensitive to developments in the LP, especially if the expected electoral defeat occurs next May.

    But this is not because a left-turn might see the LP become a potential vehicle for the socialist transformation of society (as groups like the CWI imply) - it will remain a roadblock to socialism that needs to be politically removed by a revolutionary party.

    That would involve much joint activity with the rank-and-file membership in campaigns to defend and extend the interests of the working class and possibly even entry to continue that engagment with those left-ward moving sections of the workers' movement.

    But this should not come at the expense of political adaptation like promoting the myths of an "Enabling Act" being able to establish socialism or that the core repressive apparatus of the capitalist state is actually made up of "workers in uniform" who are our brothers and sisters in the workers' movement.

  12. That last reference to "brothers and sisters" should be read as a sarcastic comment...


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