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Mumbai Resistance paves way for anti-imperialist pole

30. January 2004

Via the support of the Iraqi resistance towards Porto Alegre Resistàªncia?

From January 17 to 20 tens of thousand people gathered in the forums of Mumbai Resistance (MR) held in parallel to the World Social Forum (WSF) including some hundreds international delegates from the sub-continent as well as from the Philippines, Turkey, he Arab world and Europe to name only some. Despite the ban on the final demonstration, MR eventually culminated in a mass rally in central Mumbai with 30.000 participants. It was not only a conspicuous challenge by the anti-imperialist forces to the left-liberal French-Brazilian leadership of the WSF – also thanks to the preceding attempts in Porto Alegre, Genoa, Thessalonica and other places to raise a revolutionary voice. On all walls of Mumbai people could read: “Imperialism cannot be humanized – it must be smashed”. “Debate is not enough, we must take action”. “Support the Iraqi resistance”. The real step ahead is that for the first time since the emergence of the anti-globalisation movement the anti-imperialist forces proved able not only to raise the necessary criticism but actually to independently organise and to put forward the next steps of action.

In India the call for MR originally raised by the All Indian People´s Resistance Forum (AIPRF) fell on fertile ground. The lower classes and castes are fed up with the WSF and their Indian allies who only try to give savage capitalist globalisation a human face – an attempt which fails day by day. Both the accelerating US war drive against any opposition defending the rights of the wretched of the world as well as the inability and unwillingness of the historic left to oppose the dictates of imperialism are testifying for that failure. For example in the states of West Bengal and Kerala, governed for decades by the CPI (M) – which was one of the main organisers of the WSF –, the neo-liberal recipes are being implemented merciless. Thus hundreds of organisations of the most oppressed and exploited joined MR, many defecting from the WSF: Dalits (the caste of untouchables), landless peasants, Muslims against those the Hindutva chauvinist movement has unleashing a series of massacres culminating in Gujarat in 2002, the Adivasis (indigenous and tribal people) and the oppressed national minorities.

But also within the WSF the call raised by MR was echoed by a growing anti-imperialist sentiment. In many forums on the US war drive people pressed to support the resistance of those attacked and occupied – first of all of the Iraqi as well as of the Palestinian, Afghan and the Kashmiri people. In the war between imperialism and the oppressed people neutrality and pacifism only favours the aggressor. The legitimacy of all means of resistance including armed struggle claimed by MR is more and more recognised. Actually the moderate WSF leaders from Europe had a hard time to defend the interest of the imperialist middle class under the guise of “civil society”. When Arundhati Roy said “that we have to become the Iraqi resistance” she expressed a widespread feeling. It was not by accident that she decided not only to speak at the WSF but also to address MR. It was a deliberate political choice confirming that the unified anti-imperialist forces have become an undeniable factor and a pole of attraction.

Both the Indian as well as the global co-operate media had to reflect MR. The Indian weekly newsmagazine “Outlook” of January 26 closed its article on the WSF with following lines: “So, what will the forum achieve? Sure, there will be many lively exchanges. But will the world change? WSF supporters say yes. But its detractors see it as another Woodstock that promised an end to all wars in the world. That was in 1969.” And quoting MR´s Darshan Pal: “The big NGOs, who directly take money from corporations and governments promoting capitalism are cheerleaders of this great game. How can they promote and fight globalisation at the same time?”

In the lively discussions in the frame of MR the decisive question of the popular masses of India were unfolded before an international audience. The struggle against upper caste Hindutva fascism responsible for the outright genocide against the Muslims was linked to the demand for a radical land reform breaking the backbone of the caste system all together. The right of self-determination for the minorities was re-affirmed giving the word to leaders from Kashmir and the Northeast as well as condemning at the same time Indian expansionism on the sub-continent. The struggle against POTA, the Indian equivalent to the US Patriot Act, violating the most elementary democratic rights, must continue smashing the axis the Indian elite has been forging with the US and Israeli. Indian troops must not be deployed to Iraq!

Iraq has been recognised as today´s main battle ground against the US attempt to erect their global empire. The anti-imperialist forces have to unconditionally support and unify around the Iraqi resistance until victory. Driving out the invaders means to deliver a decisive blow the world imperialist and capitalist system of which then US are the central pillar.

On this base the anti-imperialist forces gathered in Mumbai will not only participate at the int´l day of action on March 20 against the occupation but will take further steps to be decided upon by an international anti-imperialist co-ordination. The proposals submitted ranged from an international day of action in support of the resistance on September 25 on the occasion of the anniversary of the Intifada, to a solidarity delegation to the Iraqi resistance passing by the formation of committees “Free Iraq in support of the Resistance”. In India, Pakistan, Bangladesh as well as in Italy, Germany, Denmark and Austria such committees have already been formed or are in preparation. Many others have signalled similar intentions and the idea of an international action conference was voiced.

It seems as if the WSF intends to return to Porto Alegre under the auspices of Lula´s Workers´ Party (PT) – a government which is implementing the neo-liberal agenda increasingly frustrating the hopes of the impoverished popular masses. Without attacking the imperialist interests neither a land reform nor any other serious improvement for the poor classes will be possible. Lula and the PT are teaching to the world in practice that another world within the capitalist imperialist system is impossible. A new WSF in Porto Alegre therefore might result in a veritable own goal for its left liberal leadership. It is the turn of the anti-imperialist forces of Brazil and the world to use the momentum of Mumbai Resistance to head for a Porto Alegre Resistàªncia – with the task to overtly attack the Lula government and to drag the left wing of the anti-globalisation movement into the construction of a global movement against the American Empire.