Thursday, July 07, 2005

Left Reactions to 7/7

Searchlight (the leading British anti-fascist, anti-racist magazine/movement)

No to fascist terror

Thursday 7 July 2005 will be a day that no decent resident of London or the UK will forget. Less than 24 hours after we were awarded the 2012 Olympics, a decision made partly because London is such a multicultural and tolerant city, the heart of our capital has been ripped apart by four bombs.

It seems likely that the bombings were the responsibility of Islamist terrorists – religious fanatics who are nothing more than clerical fascists. They preach the politics of hatred and are indiscriminate in their targets. These cowardly bombings were an assault on innocent Londoners, Christian and Hindu, Muslim and Jew, black, brown and white going about their daily business.

Those who say they were responsible are using the language of European antisemitism when they talk of the "British Zionist Crusader government". They cite the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as their motives but they are liars. They took the decision to bomb ordinary people in the city that held the world's biggest anti-war demonstration because of their own twisted hatred for democracy and for the idea that people of all cultures and faiths can live harmoniously together.

In this they are every bit as evil as the Nazis of the British National Party (BNP), an organisation that has also spawned terrorists. We should not forget that the last lethal terror bombing in London was carried out by David Copeland, a former member of the BNP. He told police on his arrest that he hoped his actions would lead to a violent backlash and eventually a BNP government.

The politics of Islamic fundamentalism are the politics of hate and intolerance. This is the other side of the coin to the BNP and other Nazi groups.

Only last year, a leading BNP officer said a terrorist bombing in London would be good for the BNP. That is not the talk of a respectable or even a normal political party.

As a result of today's detestable outrage, innocent Asians and people of the Muslim faith will be targeted by racists, fuelled with propaganda from the likes of the BNP.

London cannot tolerate pogroms and witch-hunts. We appeal to the trade union movement – members of the RMT, ASLEF, the FBU and UNISON have been directly affected by the attacks – to call, together with London mayor Ken Livingstone, for a mass rally as soon as possible at which all Londoners can express their disgust at terrorism and solidarity with their fellow citizens under the slogan "London stands together against terrorism and hatred".

Socialist International

The Socialist International strongly condemns the indiscriminate acts of terror perpetrated today in London against innocent civilians who have become victims of criminal and cowardly terrorism.

We stand firm alongside the people of London who have reacted calmly and courageously in the face of these acts of barbarism, demonstrating that the values of freedom, tolerance and humanity shared by the citizens of London and all other cities of the world, cannot be destroyed, contrary to the designs of the criminals behind these attacks.

The Socialist International expresses its heartfelt sympathy and condolences to all those who have been touched by these terrorist acts, and its full solidarity with the city of London, the people of the United Kingdom and the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair, leader of the British Labour Party.

We reiterate today our commitment, pursued collectively by our member parties in all regions of the world, to eliminate terrorism everywhere and bring to justice all those responsible for acts of terror, strengthening peace, democracy and respect for human rights.

Fausto Bertinotti, Chair of the European Left Party

(ELP is mainly the old European Communist parties, minus most of what was the Italian Communist Party, which evolved into the Democrats of the Left)

"Once again violence is upsetting the world. Any place, any city, any country may become a stage for devastation and death. Women and men of any ethnic group, any age, any social condition are seeing their innocent lives destroyed. This is the atrocity of a barbarism. Today terrorism is upsetting London and the world. The spiral of war and terrorism is the terrifying background - both are the enemies of humanity. Last Saturday in Edinburgh a big white-clad march addressed poverty and war in peaceful and nonviolent language. Now the anti-war movement should become a key player in a worldwide mobilisation against terrorism and war. Only the people can stop this horrible violence."

Alliance for Worker's Liberty

The Alliance for Workers' Liberty condemns the bombings of the Underground and buses today (7 July) in London. The victims were a random selection from London's diverse population, many of them people on their way to work. The official toll as we make this statement is 37 dead and over 700 injured.

The al-Saha website has posted a statement in which "al-Qaeda in Europe" claims responsibility. "The time has come for the revenge [on the] crusading Zionist nation of Britain... a response to the massacres carried out by Britain in Iraq and Afghanistan... The heroic Mujahedeen carried out a blessed raid in London. Britain is now burning with fear, terror and fright..."

Such political Islamists have been terrorising and massacring socialists, trade unionists, feminists, democrats, and other people for many years in the countries where they are strongest. As socialists, we uphold the values of human life against this reactionary current.

We are against imperialism and against capitalism - but in the name of a democratic, socialist, human alternative, not in the name of a reactionary rage against the modern world.

We stand in solidarity with the victims of this sort of terrorism all across the world - and more especially with the labour and socialist movements at the front line of the struggle against political Islam, who work in the hardest conditions to mobilise the workers, the jobless, and the small farmers to stand up for their own rights and their own emancipation against both IMF-driven global capitalism and against the reactionary, anti-human ideologies that batten on the backlash against that global capitalism.

We pledge ourselves to redouble our solidarity with movements like the new trade unions and the Worker-communist Party in Iraq, the Labour Party of Pakistan, the FNPBI and other unions in Indonesia, and the Socialist Workers' Party of Algeria.

We call on the British labour movement to commit itself to solidarity with those movements.

It is the responsibility of the international labour movement to deal with the political-Islamist reactionaries, and it can only do that by developing its own independent politics, utterly hostile to all efforts by Tony Blair and his like to use the backlash against the terrorists to promote their own ends. The immediate effect of the atrocity will be to let Blair and Bush off the hook on debt, poverty, and climate change. The labour movement should resist that diversion.

We denounce any scapegoating of Muslim workers and youth, of the sort that was seen in some places after the 11 September 2001 attack in New York. We call on the labour movement to mobilise for physical defence wherever mosques or Muslim neighbourhoods are attacked by racists feeding on the backlash against the bombs.

We call on the labour movement to resist any attempt by Blair to use the backlash against the bombings to promote yet further attacks on civil liberties.

The attack came at the same time as London Underground is trying to cut station staff jobs. The Underground bosses should drop, right now, their attempt to pretend that the unions, in their defence of staffing levels, are exaggerating the tasks of safety and security on the Tube.

Political Islam is a political current; and the mass of people of Muslim religion or background are its prime victims and opponents. It is "anti-imperialist" only in a reactionary sense. Its hatred of US imperialism is no more progressive than fascists' hatred of Jewish finance-capitalists.

It has its own roots and its own logic, and cannot be dismissed as just the "bitter fruits" of evil US and British policies, any more than Nazism could be dismissed as just the "bitter fruits" of the US/ British/ French carve-up of the world after World War 1, requiring no special condemnation or opposition in its own right.

We condemn both political-Islamist terrorism and US and British imperialism. We stand in solidarity with the new labour movement and women's movement in Iraq, against both the US/ UK occupation and the political-Islamist or neo-Ba'thist "resistance" which inflicts on the people of Iraq's cities (especially, in recent months, the Shia people) the same horror inflicted on the people of London today.

Ken Livingston Labour Mayor of London

"This is not an attack against the rich and powerful. It is not an attack on the politicians, but on the common working people of London.

"We have seen that you are not afraid to take your own lives but what you did is just mass murder.

"I can tell you now that you will fail in your long-term objectives to destroy our free society."

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