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Re: The London bombings

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  • bobgould987
    By Bob Gould I m in considerable sympathy with Rohan Pearce s post in the last hour or so. Socialists in Australia should study carefully the brief statement
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 7, 2005
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      By Bob Gould

      I'm in considerable sympathy with Rohan Pearce's post in the last hour
      or so.

      Socialists in Australia should study carefully the brief statement by
      the British Socialist Worker cancelling the Marxism event for the day.

      The bombings are a particular concern for Rohan Pearce because he has
      family in London, and it's also no doubt a concern for the British SWP
      because the Marxism event attracts thousands of people from all over
      Britain and the world to central London. It's clear that many
      intending participants in Marxism would have been travelling on public
      transport at the time the bombs went off.

      The point made in the Socialist Worker statement is important: London
      is the centre of antiwar and anti-capitalist sentiment in the British
      Isles and it's a particularly vicious anti-working-class act for
      anyone to engage in indiscriminate bombings against the working
      population.

      I've just watched Ken Livingstone speaking about the bombings in
      Singapore before he boarded a plane for London. His shock and anger
      was quite clear, and he made the same point as Socialist Worker: that
      it was a political act directed not at prime ministers, high
      politicians, military figures or kings, but against ordinary working
      people going about their business in central London.

      It's not absolutely clear at this point who the perpetrators are. In
      the mysterious interpenetrated world of terrorists and different state
      apparatuses, things aren't always exactly as they seem.

      Whether this turns out to be some kind of Byzantine state provocation
      or a totally misguided "political" act by some group, socialists
      should condemn it unreservedly and explain that this kind of action is
      thoroughly counter-revolutionary and an attack on the working class.

      My political instinct says to me that while the masses are grieving
      about this event we should concentrate mainly on condemning it and its
      perpetrators, and avoid drawing too long a bow about the ultimate
      responsibility of imperialism, etc.

      Like Rohan Pearce I've been glued to the television this evening as
      I've sat in my shop working, and I haven't done much work. I
      automatically try to put myself in the place of ordinary people going
      about their day-to-day work, and or the socialist comrades on their
      annual holidays going to Marxism, who may have been killed or seen
      others killed.

      Those who have carried out this event are barbarians and opponents and
      enemies of the working class.
    • jordi1917
      ... though the British SWP refuses to use the word condemn as they refused to use it after S11
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 7, 2005
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        --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "bobgould987"
        <bobgould987@y...> wrote:
        > By Bob Gould
        >

        > Whether this turns out to be some kind of Byzantine state provocation
        > or a totally misguided "political" act by some group, socialists
        > should condemn it unreservedly and explain that this kind of action is
        > thoroughly counter-revolutionary and an attack on the working class.
        >

        though the British SWP refuses to use the word condemn as they refused
        to use it after S11
      • Rohan
        Like many Australians, for the last hour (hour-and-a-half? Two hours? I can t for the life of me tell) I ve been watching the TV coverage of the explosions in
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 8, 2005
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          Like many Australians, for the last hour (hour-and-a-half? Two hours? I
          can't for the life of me tell) I've been watching the TV coverage of the
          explosions in London. Every channel except for 7 (which has kept on
          broadcasting the cricket interspersed with the news) and 10 (which seems
          to still be showing whatever inane program it had scheduled for tonight)
          are broadcasting reports of the attacks.

          At this stage it seems almost definite that the series of seven, perhaps
          more, blasts were the result of coordinated terrorist attacks on buses
          and train stations.

          Most media outlets report two dead, although apparently an ITV report
          claimed there were 20 fatalities. Some 90 people have been confirmed
          injuried, some having severe damage to limbs and others being in a
          critical state.

          Socialists mourn any tragedy that kills and maims working people. In
          this case, however, the tragedy is biting particularly keenly -- my
          brother, his partner and his partner's child live in England and I
          haven't yet been able to get in contact with them. Of course I'm far
          from being alone in this situation -- tens of thousands of Australians
          have relatives or friends in the UK (I know at least one other member of
          the Green Left staff has relatives over there; probably more do).

          The reality is that it's almost inevitable that some of us will be
          affected by these reactionary attacks in a very personal and immediate way.

          The mobile phone network in Britain is swamped with calls and who knows
          how long before we can confirm whether our friends and family are
          alright. In the meantime we're treated to the visage of Tony Blair
          (looking, as a comrade pointed out, as if he was trying to cry and
          failing) -- fresh from the G8 meetings where the rulers of the most
          industrialised countries have been plotting how to make sure that
          capitalism goes on going on -- declaring: ``It's important ... that
          those engaged in terrorism realize that our determination to defend our
          values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause
          death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism
          on the world.''

          At a time like this, what can one say? We could talk about Farqad
          Khinaisar, shot to death by occupation forces in Baghdad on May 29, we
          could talk about Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay and the misery and
          violence visited daily on the majority of the world's population by
          imperialism, but what's the point.

          Working class people's lives have been shattered by this attack --
          through grevious injury, through the loss or maiming of loved ones,
          through the terror of not knowing a loved one's fate.

          So instead let's talk about those bastards Blair, Bush and Howard, for
          whom this will be not a tragedy but an opportunity. For them there will
          be no self-reflection, no soul-searching. Instead, they'll publicly
          greet this latest tragedy, like the Madrid train bombing and like 9/11,
          as a sign that we need to ``stay the course'' that ``we've got them on
          the run'' and that drawing any connection between their imperial designs
          and what happened today would be abetting the atrocities in London.

          To even question their failure to protect working people from terrorism
          -- by pursuing policies that make such attacks more likely -- will, from
          this point onwards, no doubt be considered a mortal sin by capitalist
          politicians and the corporate media that have collaborated with the
          crusade of the ``coalition of the killing''.

          I think I've had all the TV coverage I can deal with for a while -- I've
          already had to deal with the spectacle of the UK House of Commons'
          hollow rhetoric, all of the politicians no doubt champing at the bit to
          make political capital out of today's tragedy. So instead I'm going to
          switch off and wait by the phone hoping that my brother will call.

          I apologise for such a rambly and self-indulgent post, but it's been a
          long night.

          Rohan Pearce
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