Resolution of Study Commission 1 for the 4th International Assembly of the ILPS
Crisis and resistance
The protracted depression of the world capitalist system continues to wreak havoc on the lives of oppressed peoples worldwide. The crisis has given rise to heightened political disorder involving state terrorism and fascism, wars of aggression and all kinds of imperialist intervention.
Yet in the midst of the worst global crisis since the Great Depression, there is the resurgence of mass struggles in Europe, Asia, the Arab world, Africa, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. Amid the darkness and disorder, there comes hope in the form of collective, militant and revolutionary struggles of workers, peasants and other oppressed peoples of the world.
Despite claims of recovery, the global capitalist system remains in a protracted depression caused by the unresolved crisis of overproduction. Even as public money is being used to bail out financial markets and firms, there remains high unemployment, low wages and rising food and fuel prices.
The demands for genuine freedom, democracy and social justice ring clearer and louder than ever. Workers and students are waging general strikes in the advanced capitalist countries even as national liberation movements in the oppressed countries intensify armed resistance to imperialism. There is the upsurge of mass protests in the Middle East and North Africa against long-running corrupt, authoritarian and client regimes that have aggravated poverty and backwardness with neoliberal economic policies and programs.
In the light of the current world situation, the ILPS Commission 1 reaches out to and links arms with people’s organizations and formations worldwide to further strengthen and raise the level of the global struggle against imperialism and reaction.
Protracted depression and global disorder
The world capitalist system is plunged in “protracted depression” because of the moribund character of monopoly capitalism. The crisis worsens with the policies of neoliberal globalization that are intended to open up new markets, push down wages, plunder resources, accumulate more profits and intensify exploitation through the workings of finance capital.
None of the measures of imperialist powers have been able to resolve the crisis because none of them have addressed the crisis of overproduction that is the result of the basic contradiction between the social character of production and private appropriation of wealth.
Quite the opposite, the imperialists wish to heighten the concentration and centralization of capital by using public money to bail out banks and corporations while production remains at a standstill and the working people lose their jobs, houses and can barely survive.
The meetings of the G8, G20 and APEC have failed to come up with solutions to the protracted depression. The imperialist countries have pushed for the further opening up of the markets of Third World and dependent countries while pursuing protectionist measures for themselves. Their only “way out” of the crisis is to increase the plunder of neo-colonies, push down wage levels worldwide, cut back on social spending, attack the hard-won rights of working people and heighten the use of speculative capital.
The incessant finance speculation and drive for super-profits have also resulted in the recent spike in global oil and food prices. The rapacious financial oligarchs care not for the inflationary effects of price speculation and their extremely adverse affects on the world’s peoples, so long as they reap super-profits.
The US has not recovered from the protracted depression as unemployment remains high, with unemployment claims even increasing. The US government’s bail-out of the financial markets has not spurred recovery and has increased the budget deficit and public debt. The US capitalist class and government have attacked wages in the private sector and have also cut back on jobs, wages, pensions and health care for the public sector. The courageous resistance of the public workers of Wisconsin against state efforts to curb collective bargaining serves as a beacon for working people worldwide.
The US government has increased military spending in a futile attempt to use militarist Keynesianism to stimulate its economy and is projecting its military might in various parts of the world. The US along with its partners in NATO has embarked on barefaced military intervention in Libya. The US continues to back the Israeli occupation of Palestine as a lynchpin in US intervention in West Asia. The US is provoking North Korea through war exercises with South Korea and goads the South Korean government to oppose reunification efforts. The US continues its occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan in the face of armed resistance from the people. The US has launched military actions in Pakistan in violation of its sovereignty. Imperialism has also sought help from so-called emerging economies, such as India, to impose neo-liberal globalization and counter-insurgency on other oppressed nationalities. The US has used military force to grab vast oil resources in the West Asia and now threatens to do the same for North Africa.
The US, Britain, France and Canada have used the United Nations to justify armed intervention in Libya. This has resulted in continuous bombings resulting in a civilian death toll of more than 700 and extensive damage to physical and social infrastructure, according to Libyan officials.
The US and NATO allies hypocritically justify military intervention against the violence in Libya while glossing over and exonerating the violence committed by Zionist Israel and its puppets in , Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. The US is motivated by the drive to control and profit from the oil resources in North Africa and is preparing to make Libya the next Iraq.
The US and its allies will stop at nothing to have Qadaffi removed from power so that they can install a government that is subservient to imperialist dictates. The imperialist gang in NATO have shunned peace efforts in Libya and are escalating its all-out war of aggression.
Conditions are exceedingly favourable for the rise of progressive, anti-imperialist and democratic movements, parties and people’s organizations that will fight for national and social liberation.
West Asia and North Africa have become storm centers of protests after the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt toppled long-standing dictators and imperialist puppets.
In Egypt, protests have erupted even after the removal of Mubarak. The people desire fundamental reforms and the prosecution of Mubarak and his cohorts. They have become frustrated with the US-backed military junta ruling Egypt. The protest movement has once again taken to historic Tahrir Square to wage huge demonstrations calling for fundamental reforms and the prosecution of officials of the past regime. Some soldiers and junior officers have also joined demonstrators in Tahrir Square. The government has violently cracked down on the resurgent protest actions.
In Yemen, the US-backed government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh is violently suppressing the protest movement with soldiers firing on civilians, resulting in huge casualties. Protesters have rejected the proposal by the Gulf Cooperation Council for Saleh to step down in exchange for protection. The Yemeni people demand democratic and economic reforms and an end to Saleh’s 32-year regime.
The oppressed and exploited Tunisian workers, farmers and youth were successful in their struggle to oust Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, overcoming severe repression by the regime. The people have formed “committees for the defense of the revolution” to advance reforms in the economy and government.
The US-backed regime of Bahrain has also committed massacres, abductions and torture among the civilian population as a response to the mass uprisings for reforms in the island state. Foreign troops from neighboring Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, through the Gulf Cooperation Council, have violated Bahrain’s sovereignty and have interfered in the country’s internal affairs. Despite the most repressive conditions, protests have continued.
In addition to the popular uprisings in North Africa, there have been people’s uprisings in numerous states across Africa. In Senegal, a youth movement held mass protests against the current President Abdoulaye Wade. In Uganda, there have been mass protests against the US-backed dictatorship of Yoweri Museveni. Similar protests have taken place in Djibouti, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Mauritania, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Mozambique, and others that have gone unreported in the mainstream press.
The Palestinian people continue to fight for an end to the US-armed and funded Israeli apartheid and for the right to return to their entire homeland. The Zionist state tries to crush this struggle by shooting down unarmed Palestinian refugees marching to return to their homes by blockading and starving the people of Gaza and attacking those trying to break the blockade. The Palestinian people continue to fight for their rights until they win the right to return and achieve national liberation.
Armed struggle against US occupation is raging in Iraq and Afghanistan while resistance continues in Pakistan against US drone attacks and other forms armed intervention. Armed struggle for national and social liberation is also being waged in Turkey.
The imperialist powers have sought to contain the spread of the mass protests by propping up their puppets or failing to do so, by ensuring transition regimes that are pliable or at least friendly to the US. They have also sought to undermine genuine and thoroughgoing democratic reforms through various forms of intervention and maneuvring as in Egypt.
General strikes swept across countries in Europe last year as workers, public sector employees and students fought back against austerity measures, social cutbacks on pension and education and attacks on unions. The working people of Europe are protesting massive unemployment, the lowering of wage levels, the attack on pensions and the cutting back of social services as a result of austerity measures. They have gained success in mobilizing hundreds of thousands across the continent. Workers in the private and public sectors are outraged at the bailouts for big banks while social spending is being reduced to a pittance.
Massive demonstrations, sit-ins, and blockades were held in France, Greece, Spain, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Portugal, Poland, Slovenia, Lithuania and Britain in 2010. These actions peaked during the Europe-wide coordinated protest actions in September 29, 2010.
In Greece, massive protests and general strikes involving hundreds of thousands of workers and students have become the expression of people’s fury over EU-IMF imposed austerity measures and tax increases. The protests have been sustained for more than a year now and have resulted in calls for the ouster of the ruling party. The people resolutely oppose the idea of having to shoulder the debt crisis caused by government and the monopoly capitalists. The Greek government has responded to the protests through the use of violence.
In Spain, where the youth unemployment is at 43%, protesters have held sit-ins, camp-outs and other protest actions against chronic joblessness, social spending cuts and government austerity measures. Tens of thousands have sustained three weeks of protests, sending a message to the EU and the multilateral lending agencies that the people will not shoulder the debt burden of the imperialists.
The general strike in France paralyzed rail and air transportation and schools as workers resisted raising the retirement age to 62 to that the government can reduce spending for pension. The massive protests in Greece continued up to this year as the country faces a prolonged debt crisis and a new round of austerity measures.
In the US, mass protests have taken place against government bailouts of banks, growing unemployment, social cutbacks, education budget cuts, and attacks on union rights. People in the US have protested US military aggression in Libya at a time of the prolonged economic depression. Public sector workers, especially in Wisconsin, have shown the way in resisting legislation that is designed to destroy hard won rights. Their protests have inspired other demonstrations and actions in many other states.
Millions of migrant and immigrant workers are protesting and organizing against the racist anti-migrant and immigrant laws and the mass deportations which have intensified under the Obama administration.
There have also been strikes launched by prisoners forced to labor in prisons, as well as actions against the massive criminalization and incarceration of oppressed peoples and nations who are fighting police brutality, police occupation and oppression and state repression in general. These actions include the demand for the freedom of Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu Jamal, and all political prisoners and against the recent crackdown by the US government on dissenters with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducting raids against anti-war and other activists, which is reminiscent of Counter Intelligence Program of the 1960s and 1970s and the McCarthyist witch hunts in the 1950s.
Throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, the peoples of Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Uruguay, and Brazil are opposing US impositions and meddling. US imperialism threatens these countries asserting national sovereignty. The people of Cuba continue to assert its national sovereignty despite imperialist attacks and the US-imposed economic embargo. Armed resistance meanwhile continues in Columbia. Resistance to mining aggression and “development” projects that affect the sovereignty of peoples in Latin America is growing particularly among peasants and indigenous peoples Popular and economic movements continue to grow throughout the region.
In Asia, oppressed people are waging armed and unarmed struggles for national and social liberation. At the forefront of these efforts are the revolutionary movements in India, Nepal and the Philippines. National liberation movements in India include those in Kashmir, Manipur, Nagaland, and Assam that are fighting against human rights abuses, landgrabbing and state terror. Anti-imperialist movements are also advancing in Indonesia. The workers and students in Japan are continuing the struggle against US military bases in Okinawa, Iwakuni and Kanagawa, while also protesting the nuclear power plants in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster.
China has become the largest producer of industrial goods in the world after about three decades of capitalist development. Amid intense exploitation and poor working conditions, tens of thousands of workers have engaged in ever increasing scale of struggles such as to strikes and road blockades.
North Korea continues to assert its national sovereignty against clear provocations by the US and its puppet government in South Korea. The current regime of South Korea has put obstacles to the Korean people’s aspiration for reunification. The US seeks greater intervention and influence in Asia and has indicated interest in the ongoing Spratlys dispute involving China, the Philippines and Vietnam. The people of Taiwan are opposing US arms sale to its government and US intervention in its affairs.
Action plan for Commission 1
It is the duty of the ILPS to seize these opportunities for advancing the peoples’ struggles against imperialism and reaction, for national and social liberation.
As members of Commission 1, we resolve to commit ourselves and our respective mass organizations and other allied groups to engage in the following activities in the next three years (2011 – 2013):
Intensify mass protest actions and various forms of struggle against the ongoing global crisis of monopoly capitalism and imperialist armed aggression, state terror and fascism. Members of the commission should strive to arouse, organize and mobilize the broadest number of oppressed peoples from the different continents and regions and build a broad anti-imperialist front. The commission should foster solidarity among the various struggles and movements worldwide.
Protest the US and NATO war of aggression in Libya. Demand an end to the US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Support the movements for national and social liberation in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America.
Share information, experiences and updates on struggles taking place in different regions. Widely propagate these updates to generate awareness and support. Launch solidarity actions in support of particular national and regional issues and actions. Towards this, the Commission can create an online information hub using social networking sites. The hub will contain latest updates of different mass actions and struggles.
Hold fora, discussions and studies on the current global crisis and popularize and disseminate the ILPS line and analysis. Tap different experts and help disseminate their analysis to the widest audience. Take advantage of online technology and social media for raising public awareness on issues of imperialism and the socialist alternative. Explore the possibility of an online publication to support the dissemination of information and analysis.
Coordinate an international campaign against US bases and US military aggression. The Commission supports the Ban the Bases network and will work towards expanding its scope. Continue to press for the end of US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and for the dismantling of US military bases and abrogation of Visiting Forces/Status of Forces Agreements. Mark March 20 as an international day of protest against US military occupation and aggression.
Aggressively link up with other mass organizations, unions and associations in Europe, Latin America, North American, Africa and East Asia, West Asia and South Asia and invite them to the ILPS. Promote the ILPS as a global anti-imperialist alliance especially among different mass organizations in countries where mass struggles and liberation movements are emerging.
Strengthen Study Commission 1 to carry out its tasks and immediate plans. Create mechanisms for the active participation of its member organization and work to expand its membership.