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Interview with the Anti-imperialist Camp

12. November 2002

by Che-Leila Youth Brigades, USA

Interview of the Che-Leila Youth Brigades, USA, with the Anti-Imperialist Camp on Political Questions of the Day, and Anti-Imperialist Movement Building

Q..Comrade Alfred, perhaps you could explain to the people of the United States of America, what the Anti-Imperialist Camp is, who it is, and what role it plays in the greater movement? For example, what sets it apart from other organizations, ideologically?

A. The Anti-imperialist Camp has been founded in the mid 90ies in order to unify the dispersed anti-imperialist forces around the world in our common struggle against imperialism. It is not a party neither a front but so far a loose co-ordination of about hundred organisations from all continents. As our movement keeps ideologically fragmented the base of unity is concrete anti-imperialist struggle such as the defence of Yugoslavia, the Palestinian people or now Iraq.

Q. Recently, the Anti-imperialist Camp made waves through out Europe for setting up a more militant anti-imperalist bloc, at anti-war demonstrations such as in Florence ,Italy. Also, at the annual conferance, Leila Khaled, (for whom the Che -Leila Youth Brigades are co-named in honor of) from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, an outstanding revolutionary freedom fighter and feminist, was invited to speak but was not allowed to attend per the dictates of reaction. This clearly shows that the Ant-Imperialist Camp not only in theory, but in practice, is committed to supporting legitamite National Liberation Movements, not just calling for “peace from all sides”. How does this effect the strategies and tactics differently than the traditional left centrist peaceniks and pacifists? Does it make things difficult when forming United Fronts on broad themes such as stopping a potentially eminant war on Iraq? If You could comment on this Comrade Alfred this is important as this seems to be a key issue in the United States, as well.

A. Today the main part of the movement against the impending war on Iraq is based on the three slogans “No war, no embargo, no European support”. We fully endorse these slogans and therefore participate in this broad movement. However, the mainstream forces are not ready to take side. They hope that the UN could provide for a solution while the UN is responsible for the genocide of the Iraqi people caused by the embargo. It is not to be excluded that the UN will legitimize an attack on Iraq. Already they have accepted a resolution 1441 which strongly resembles an ultimatum. So the anti-imperialist camp clearly takes side with Iraq and is striving for the defeat of the US and its allies. Therefore we also organized the anti-imperialist contingent in the giant Florence demonstration.

Q. Within the last year or so, The United States and its puppets in the European Union have labeled many Armed Revolutionary Groups as terrorists .The events of September 11th have no doubt made this task much easier, yet what is ironic is that so many of them are not in any way Islamic Fundamentalists, and not only that, are Marxist in some variant or another? What do you make of this? Are the National Liberation Movements, such as those in Colombia, Palestine, Philippines, Peru, etc succeeding? What would you say to people that consider them terrorists, and for those in Imperialist Countries that see them as an extention of the resistance movement, what would you say to people that want to support them regardless of reaction`s catagorizations?

A. The struggle against the black list of both the US and the EU is a top priority for us also in the frame of the movement against the war. The “war an terror” is in reality a war against all opponents of US imperialism also within the West. First of all we have to stress that this war is destroying our most elementary rights of free expression. Anybody criticizing the war can be considered as supportive to terrorists.

Liberation movements are not terrorist. They are fighting for elementary social, democratic and national rights which are constantly violated by the local oligarchies backed by imperialism. In fact it is them to be terrorist like Israel, the Colombian or the Peruvian state.

Q. It is well known that Professor Jose Maria Sison along with the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People`s Army, and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, have been recently added to the European Union`s list of terrorist organizations and individuals. Would you please explain this tragic event to progressive and revolutionary forces in the United States, and clarify what we can do to correct this grave insult to justice?

A. Comrade Sison is the historic leader of the democratic, revolutionary and anti-imperialist movement in the Philippines. He was leading the struggle against the pro-Western dictatorships and most prominently against Marcos. He found political asylum in the Netherlands from there he conducted peace talks. The listing of the anti-imperialist forces as terrorists does not only endanger the personal safety of Jose Maria but is the end of the peace talks and a declaration of war against the progressive forces in the Philippines. In fact the war against the Moro liberation forces has already started. Like in the dirty war in the 70ies and 80ies in Latin America the US also intervening in the Philippines with about 1000 troops located there.

Q. Their have been some Islamic groups added to the United States and the European Union`s list of terrorist organizations, but the bulk of them are from Palestine and Lebanon were there is a legitamite need for armed struggle against Zionism. Under these circumstances, do you think that such organizations should be seen as Progressive or Revolutionary in any way by anti-imperialist forces in Imperialist countries? Why or Why not?

A. Anybody who is fighting Zionism and imperialist objectively plays a progressive role including the Islamic organizations. As revolutionaries we have to defend the right of the Palestinian people to fight against occupation including by means of arms. (By the way, this is a right clearly stipulated by international law.) Obviously this is including the Islamic organization, which we consider as integral part of the Palestinian resistance.

Whether the Islamic organizations are revolutionary is, however, another question. Actually there is a wide range of different forces ranging from conservative, to social reformist to revolutionary. We are ready to co-operate with anybody fighting imperialism, however, we will always preserve the independence of revolutionary anti-imperialism striving for socialism.

Regarding Islam in the West, we regard those people as an oppressed minority and defend their democratic right including the right of free worship.

Q. Very little is mentioned of the situation in Yugoslavia after NATO`s invasion that was sadly hearlded as a success by many leftist. Do you see the situation both in the former Yugoslavia and the Trial of Slobodan Milosevic in particular, as an extention of the greater struggle against Imperialism and Globalization? Why or why not?

A. The Anti-imperialist Camp spent many years in the defense of Yugoslavia. From the very beginning we were fighting against the aggression which started as early as 1991 with the break up of the federative republic. We anticipated NATOs attack and in 1997 held a demonstration in Belgrade and an anti-imperialist camp in Montenegro against the aggression.

Today we have to support Slobodan Milosevic brave defense against the completely illegitimate inquisition tribunal of the Hague. Its only aim is to turn the aggressor into the victim and hear the victim accuse itself as the perpetrator. But Slobodan will not let pass this dirty spectacle.

The resistance against the aggression was not in vane though today a puppet regime is in place in Belgrade. Imperialist normalization has not been successful in Serbia and there are still forces of resistance which we have to support and link up with.

Q. What do you make of North Korea, in particular its economic model, the issue of potential human rights abuse, and the expressed concern that it has weapons of mass destruction? After all, recent news has brought reports, that President Bush has been taking a very militarist stance on North Korea. Their is much in the imperialist press about North Korea Breaking some sort of a treaty. What sort of treaty was this, and is it in fact the United States that broke this bargain, as Pyongyang is reporting?

A. Bush has designated North Korea and Iran as part of the “axis of evil”. There is not very important to examine the pretexts for a future aggression. They will be as arbitrary as those reproached against Iraq. However, an attack is not imminent as the US is not able to wage to wars at the same time. But we have to stay vigilant.

Q. The British chapter of the Che-Leila Youth Brigades are making their fourth trip to Ramallah, Palestine. Also these Individuals have traveled or will travel to Colombia, Algeria, Cuba, Ireland, Libya, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, and are planning other solidarity trips. Also You mentioned to me recently of a solidarity tour to Iraq? What sort of role do these kinds of solidarity actions play in the greater Movement against Imperialism and Reaction? Would you like to explain to people, also while we are on the subject ,what it is the Anti-Imperialist Camp hopes to accomplish by visiting Iraq?

A. We believe that solidarity delegation can play an important role in the development of an international anti-imperialist movement. They help to force the strategic link between the popular masses of the oppressed countries with the antagonist minority of the imperialist world. Solidarity delegations are showing to the people of those countries that there are actually supportive forces in the West while they help to explain in the West to whose who have kept critical spirit the real situation on the ground and the need for solidarity. Furthermore it will help us to explain a global revolutionary perspective.

A. Regarding the delegation to Iraq, we simply intend to put sand into the war and propaganda machine of the West.

Q. Do you have any objective analysis on what needs to be done in Imperialist countries, particularly the United States, to create both short and long term gains in the struggle against Imperialism and the phenomenon that is commonly referred to as “globalization” or “neo-liberalism”?

A. This is not easy to answer in a few sentences. However, we believe that the anti-imperialist struggle is the motive forces in the construction of a revolutionary force also in the West. We have to learn of the grave errors of the 70ies to hope for a quick victory and therefore choose shortcuts. Today we patiently have to explain and fight within a broader movement. We have to try to link it with social interests of the lower and laboring classes. But it is decisive to keep political independence and not to support one side of the bi-party system which is being spread from the US to most of the European countries. This is our main problem with the anti-globalization movement which is in one or the other way supportive to left liberalism being one pole of the imperialist system (a pole which is in no way better than the conservative one as was clearly displayed by their leadership in the war against Yugoslavia).

Q. Is their any thing further you would like to add? Perhaps you can mention to people how they can contact the Anti-Imperialist Camp, or involve themselves in any of the anti-imperialist campaigns we have spoken about?

A. The most important thing is always to develop your own forces on the ground and to co-operate with those already engaged there. That includes international co-operation and the participation in the international campaigns of the anti-imperialist camp such as against the war Iraq or the struggle against the black lists. We invite the Che Leila Youth brigade to integrate itself into the Anti-imperialist Camp while fully preserving its integrity.


Why the name Che- Leila?

The names comes from Che Guevara and Leila Khaled. Two names which are on the lips of revolutionary youth around the world. These names we have seen everywhere in Ramallah and occupied Palestine, on flags, on streets and in peoples names themselves. Che Guevara is the legendary revolutionary who fought with Castro in Cuba for freedom and also a great internationalist who also fought in other parts of Latin America and in Africa against imperialism. Leila Khaled, living in Jordan today, is probably the most famous Palestinian revolutionary woman whose Che Guevara Unit conducted many historic and world shaking actions for the Arab and Palestinian masses.

Che-Leila represents the unity of young men and women against imperialist oppression and exploitation.

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The Che -Leila Youth Brigades can be reached at

In North America

The Che- Leila Youth Brigades can be reached at