Monday, December 18, 2017

Anger at Trump’s Jerusalem move

MASSES OF protesters gathered in London’s Grosvenor Square last Friday to express their anger at US President Donald Trump’s announcement of his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and of his intention to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
The protesters in London were amongst many thousands around the world who were also protesting at US embassies at this outrage against the rights of Palestinians, for whom Jerusalem has been their capital city for centuries.
The London protest was organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB), Friends of Al Aqsa (FOA), Stop the War Coalition (STW), Muslim Association of Britain (MAB).
It was also supported by: Muslim Voices, Stand up to Trump, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, War on Want, Association of Palestinian Communities in the UK, Olive and Europal Forum.
Cities around the world have risen up in solidarity protests whilst occupying Israeli forces attack Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for standing up for what they refer to as "an act of aggression against the Palestinian people" and the end of the Palestinian–Israeli peace process.
"America has always been a part of the problem when it comes to Palestine; Trump has only highlighted this," said Ida Rosida, from Indonesia, outside the US embassy on Friday evening.
"Saudi Arabia's response has saddened me. I'm here as a Muslim in support for Palestine and I really think Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia, which has the moral responsibility to step up, should do more."
Fashion model Bella, who was passing from one engagement to another, jumped out of her car to join the protest, deciding to add her voice to the protest. Bella’s father is Palestinian and she has spoken of her support for the country before this.
In an Instagram post, she wrote: “I’ve been waiting to put this into perfect words but I realised there is no perfect way to speak of something so unjust. A very, very sad day. Watching the news and seeing the pain of the Palestinian people makes me cry for the many, many generations of Palestine.”
Another Palestinian protester, Salah Abu al-Kas, originally from Gaza, said he is determined to teach his children that they are Palestinian – no matter what happens to them or where in the world they go.
"Jerusalem is our city, and it is our capital, and we will not give up a grain of sand for anybody else," he said. "I hope by the time my son is an adult, there is a liberated Palestine but, no matter what, I will teach him that he is Palestinian. He will know his country and he will not give it up for the world."
Robert Borba, an American at the protest, described himself as a revolutionary activist. He joked about the way that he has been protesting for Palestine longer than many of the young people at the demonstration had been alive.
"As an American, I think this is a long sting of aggression," he said. "Trump has the capability to destroy the planet; he is a very dangerous man."
Despite this, he still has hope. "I would say to Palestinians that it is always darkest before dawn. People have been rallying for decades and solidarity movements are constantly growing. Palestine will never be forgotten."
Just before the protest Ben Jamal, the PSC director, told the press: “The essential message Trump wanted to deliver to the world was that it was time to accept reality. It is indeed, but not in the way he suggests.
“President Trump creates his own reality. Climate change is a myth because he thinks it is. Targeting Muslims travelling to the US is not discriminatory. And now he wants us to believe that declaring Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, overturning decades of US policy that reflects the international consensus, will advance peace.
“But it is what he didn’t say yesterday that spoke volumes about his position on the status of Jerusalem. In particular, there were two crucial things missing from his White House announcement: first, any recognition of international law; second, any acknowledgement of the rights and legitimate claims of the Palestinian people.
“In 1980, when Israel attempted to legitimise its annexation of East Jerusalem by passing a Bill through the Knesset, the international community acted swiftly to condemn its actions as illegal. UN Security Council resolutions 476 and 478 identified the annexation as a violation of the 4th Geneva Convention and resolved that no states should locate their embassies in Jerusalem.”

Sunday, December 17, 2017

A Christmas school for the comrades

Theo Russell, Andy Brooks and Alex Kempshall at the school
by New Worker correspondent
London comrades defied snow and ice to take part in a school on contemporary topics at the Party Centre on Sunday. The day’s event, organised by the London District of the NCP, was chaired by Alex Kempshall. Theo Russell opened on the NCP’s United Front policy, and NCP leader Andy Brooks dealt with communist solidarity and proletarian internationalism in the afternoon session on imperialism.
Although train cancellations prevented some comrades from coming, those who made it certainly thought the effort was worth it. Both sessions provoked lively discussion and £36 was raised for the {New Worker} fighting fund.

Standing by the Korean people

by New Worker correspondent
Kim Song Gi speaking
 Comrades and friends returned to the Chadswell Centre in central London to mark the passing of dear leader Kim Jong Il, discuss the role of women in the Korean revolution and celebrate the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s  latest achievements in missile technology.
The meeting, called by the Korean Friendship Association (KFA), was honoured by the presence of diplomats from the DPRK embassy in London. Comrade Kim Song Gi, Minister, addressed the meeting on the subject of the centenary of the birth of Kim Jong Suk, the Korean partisan who married great leader Kim Il Sung and played a leading role in the building of the people’s government after liberation in 1945.
Dermot Hudson of the KFA paid tribute to the memory of her son, Kim Jong Il, who died at his post on the 17th December, 2011, and the achievements of Kim Jong Un, the new leader of Democratic Korea.
Theo Russell, a Politburo Member of the New Communist Party, stressed the importance of the anniversaries of the birth of Kim Jong Suk and the passing away of comrade Kim Jong Il, and called for practical solidarity with the DPRK in view of unceasing war threats from the imperialist camp.
The development of the DPRK’s nuclear deterrent is the sole guarantee of peace on the Korean peninsula given the almost daily threats of war coming from the chief war-lord in the White House.
This was followed by other contributions from the audience and a general discussion that continued over refreshments provided by the Korean and KFA comrades.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Irish border issue threatens Tory-DUP coalition

Chris Hazzard, Sinn Féin MP for South Down, addresses the meeting

By Theo Russell

 A DELEGATION of Sinn Féin MPs last week told a meeting at Westminster that a return to Northern Ireland border controls “would make the border a target for the dissident republican groups opposed to the peace process,” and said that in response Sinn Féin will be calling for a new poll on the border.
 To a question from the New Worker, Sinn Féin special advisor on the border Conor Heaney said “there is every possibility that the peace process, which is very fragile, could unravel rapidly”.
Chris Hazzard, Sinn Féin MP for South Down, added: “There are already protests about border issues, and there are fears over civil unrest. There is great anxiety across the North of Ireland, in all communities, over the border question.”
These warnings have now been backed by Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and ex-Labour prime minister Tony Blair.
The Irish border question is threatening a major crisis for the Tory-Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) coalition. It could block a Brexit deal, or even bring the Government down if the DUP ends its “confidence and supply” pact with the Tories.
The DUP says it will block any “special status” for the North-South border after reports in the Times said British and European Union officials are already working on a deal. Its leader, Arlene Foster, said the DUP would reject any deal leading to a new Irish Sea border, referring to the maritime border which would result from a special deal on the land border.
Last Thursday senior DUP MP and ex-Finance Minister in the Executive Sammy Wilson went a step further, warning that if there was any attempt to "placate Dublin and the EU… then they can’t rely on our vote”. He said the pact “was based on our votes in return for their support for the union”.
Ironically the DUP hasn’t seen a penny of the promised £1bn extra money as there has been no Northern Ireland Executive since January, and since then the Tories have allowed the DUP to block its restoration.
Piling on the pressure for Theresa May, European Council president Donald Tusk has backed Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s demand that any Brexit package “must be acceptable to the Republic of Ireland before the negotiations can move on”.
Varadkar said last week: "The border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is a symbol of cooperation, and we cannot allow Brexit to destroy this achievement of the Good Friday Agreement."
Five years ago, the British government used a Daily Telegraph poll to rule out a border poll. Since then political and demographic changes have moved in favour of abolishing the border, and in the 2017 general election the Unionist parties took less than fifty percent of the total vote for the first time.
The Tories have neglected the peace process since the collapse of the Northern Ireland Executive in January, allowing their DUP cronies to continue to block key parts of the Good Friday Agreement. Now they may have to pay a high price for leaving the other parties to the peace process, including the Irish government, out in the cold for so long.
On Sunday Tony Blair, whose government negotiated the 1998 agreement, said a hard border “puts the peace process at risk,” and poses real challenges to the peace process.
He said: “For the first time Britain and the Irish Republic will be in different jurisdictions, and pointed out that a ‘special’ border deal would have to include free movement of people. That would mean the border moving to UK ‘mainland’ ports and airports.”
Blair’s agenda is to openly campaign for a second referendum. But from the viewpoint of Ireland as a whole, border controls, and hence Brexit, objectively undermine progress towards greater integration between North and South and eventual re-unification. Hence the threat to the peace process.
It is almost impossible to see how these problems can be resolved in the post-Brexit years if the wishes of the vast majority of people and parties in both parts of Ireland are to be met.
As a veteran Irish liberation campaigner here in Britain commented to the New Worker: “As soon as I heard the Brexit vote result, I knew there could be a united Ireland in my lifetime.”