The second anniversary of the Anglo-American aggression on Iraq saw once again an impressive international mobilisation for the withdrawal of the occupation troops from Iraq. See the list of places where protest actions took place below (1).
Important to notice not only that despite the unavoidable reflux and outright political crisis the movement remains a substantial force; but also that it experienced a clear polarisation which is an expression of a certain maturation. For example in many places like in Rome, Italy, the political platform of the demonstration affirmed the legitimacy of the Iraqi resistance.
On the other side the social-democratic character of the leaderships of the Social Forums becomes clearer and clearer. They insist on the reactionary formula "neither war nor terror" which not only equates resistance with terror but also supposes that the US war drive is actually directed against terror and not a pre-emptive war on the resistance against the US-led capitalist and imperialist world system. Together with the mainstream European governments they hailed the elections in Iraq set up by the US as a step towards "democracy". Thus they not only retrospectively lent legitimacy to the aggression but also reached out to bridge the gap to Washington. Their main concern seems to be to take distance to "anti-Americanism" which is displayed as the new evil. For example in Vienna, Austria, the Social Forum therefore refused to march to the US embassy. The European Social Forum is an instrument to recycle the worn-out social-democratic apparatuses. It is nothing less than an auxiliary force to the European imperialist powers. This is why they invited a representative the "Iraqi Communist Party", which forms part of the US quisling regime, to its meeting in London. And in the central European demonstration on March 19 in Brussels they even tried to hide away the occupation of Iraq all together and focused instead on social problems as if one would not be related to the other.
Some words on anti-Americanism: This growing "spectre" expresses nothing else than the anger and opposition to the crimes of the emerging US empire. It is the contemporaneous form of anti-Fascism spreading not only in the popular masses of the oppressed countries but also in the poor classes and sections of the middle classes while the European ruling classes strictly stick to Americanism. Popular anti-Americanism is based both on the wish to defend the acquired democratic rights which are being endangered by the Patriot act and its European copies as well as on the refusal of savage economic liberalism. As anti-Fascism was not directed against the German people as such, anti-Americanism is not directed against the US people us such. The democratic (not to be confused with the Democratic Party) and anti-imperialist opposition in the US is part of the anti-Americanist movement fighting the US empire.
The Anti-imperialist Camp actively participated in the mobilisations promoting as its common platform "Troops withdrawal, legitimacy to the resistance". At the same time we organised anti-imperialist blocks calling for the open und unconditioned support to the Iraqi resistance and to fight the US empire. In this sense we are looking for the unity of the movement as long as it does not fall into the trap of the equidistance between imperialism and resistance. This was possible in Rome because the Social Forum was absent as it was calling for the demonstration in Brussels in order to avoid a defeat on the street at home. We were participating in the demonstration and holding an anti-imperialist closing rally where a representative of the Iraqi resistance addressed the crowd. In some places the pro-imperialist and pro-Zionist forces split the movement like in Vienna. Nevertheless the anti-imperialist block could redirect the march to the US embassy taking about the half of the demonstration with it. Anti-imperialist protests in support of the Iraqi resistance took place in nearly every European county let alone in the oppressed world. All this shows the growing gap between the neo-reformists and a radicalising current within the movement which regards imperialism with the US as its main pillar as its prime enemy.
As the next step the European network of forces in support of the Iraqi resistance, which was constituted last February in Frankfurt, Germany (2), calls for an international conference in support to the Iraqi resistance. The event is scheduled to take place on the occasion of the anniversary of the Palestinian Intifada on October 1/2 in Rome.
At the same time we submit the proposal to the movement to promote the weekend before the conference – September 24/25 – as an international day of action for the global popular resistance against the US empire exemplified by the Iraqi resistance.
March 25, 2005
2 See the press release of the meeting in Frankfurt: