Mumbai: All out in support of the Iraqi resistance!


Appeal by the Anti-imperialist Camp to the anti-war and anti-globalisation movement

Mid January the different forces of the international anti-war and anti-globalisation movement will meet in Mumbai, India. But this time the World Social Forum (WSF) does not go unchallenged. In parallel there will take place Mumbai Resistance 2004 (MR2004), a gathering called for mainly by Indian revolutionary and anti-imperialist forces.

Why those forces felt constrained to organise their separate meeting? The leaders of the WSF are quick to pronounce a generic accusation of sectarianism while in India itself they even physically attacked MR2004. However, there are more then serious reasons for a separate anti-imperialist pole:

The WSF remains under the leadership of the so-called French-Brazilian axis of moderate forces who want to humanize capitalist globalisation. In the last WSF meetings in Brazil they excluded all those anti-imperialist forces who see themselves forced to resort to the means of arms to defend the popular interests. While the no global leaders oppose the US preventive war, they substantially affirm the US justification, namely the equation of armed resistance with terrorism. The WSF leaders are not ready to take side with the resistance struggle of the wretched of the world against the imperialist onslaught neither in Yugoslavia, nor in Palestine or Iraq. They cannot accept the people´s right to self-determination against imperialism including the choice of the means of struggle. They claim to counter the US attempt to impose their empire by brute military force with a neutralist pacifism only appropriate for the well-off middle classes called "civil society". They downplay the deadly threat of the American empire to humanity. According to them the preventive war should be opposed by an utopian version of Clintonianism. Behind all this stands the question whether to preserve or to attack the imperialist-capitalist world system led by the US.

Eventually the Workers´ Party of Brazil (PT), having taken governmental office, is showing the world that humanizing capitalist globalisation is impossible. No significant social reform is about to be implemented. The reason why imperialism consented to the PT´s access to power was that only the PT could avert severe unrest and rebellion in South America´s biggest nation. Devastated by decades of ultra-liberalism the US feared the repetition of the Argentinean collapse on a much vaster scale possibly adding a new focus of resistance to the US empire.

In India the record of some of the forces supporting the WSF is even worse. In the states of West Bengal and Kerala the mainstream communists have been holding senior governmental offices for decades with only slight ameliorations for the popular masses. Since the early 90s they also embarked on neo-liberal programmes. As they have been all through the post-colonial period in a more or less open block with the Congress bourgeoisie, they did not tackle the burning questions of the vast popular masses: the land reform which is inextricably linked to the caste system. They even helped in crushing the agrarian insurgencies of the Naxalite movement building a tradition of counter-insurgency which today expresses itself in the "Prevention of Terrorism Act" (POTA) implementing draconian measures against any antagonist force. The bourgeoisie´s counter-attack after the fall of the USSR took the form of the fascist-like Hindu chauvinist Hindutva movement. The elite castes succeeded in building a mass movement based also on Hindu lower classes and castes against the Muslims and Dalit (the lowest caste of untouchables) fighting for their rights. The settled communists as well as a wide range of NGOs close to the WSF failed to take a clear stance on the side of Muslims and Dalits against the fascist-like communalist frenzy that saw its preliminary climaxes in the destruction of the destruction of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya in 1992 and in the Gujarat massacre of 2002.

However, MR2004 did not set out to frontally attack the WSF. Its idea is to provide a forum for the anti-imperialist forces to get together in order to open up dialogue with the left wing of the WSF. Within the WSF that proved to be impossible as the "anti-authoritarian network-like" character of the WSF provided for a dictatorship of the French-Brazilian elite having exclusive access to the imperialist media machine. As a formalized system of democratic representation and decision is refused as hierarchical, all power to decide rests exclusively with the moderate elite close to the French institutional left endowed with unmatchable financial resources. Therefore a democratic anti-imperialist alternative forum is necessary also to take international decisions to common action.

Some might say that the "European Social Forum" (ESF) which recently took place in Paris did call for an international day of action against the occupation of Iraq on March 20th, the first anniversary of the US aggression on Iraq. Indeed, we regard this decision as an important step forward as the left wing could counter and beat the pressure of the right wing to equate the resistance with terrorism. However, this is not enough. We will only be able to stop and eventually defeat the US war, their empire and imperialism all together if we do not forge a steadfast alliance between the anti-imperialist popular movement of the oppressed nations and the antagonist opposition in the West. That means the anti-war and anti-globalisation movement has to take side, has to openly support the resistance movement of which Iraq and Palestine are the highest points.

Therefore we propose to MR2004 as well as to the anti-imperialist forces within the WSF a global alliance on following rough platform:

1) Imperialism must be fought in all its forms, but especially US imperialism which represents the pillar of the world capitalist system and therefore the main enemy of all oppressed people, of all revolutionary and democratic forces.

2) The decisive battle against imperialism is carried out today in Iraq. The possible victory of the Iraqi resistance would have catastrophic consequences for the US and for their imperial doctrine of preventive war.

3) The anti-imperialists must therefore focus in this period all their efforts on the support to the resistance until its complete victory: to drive out the invaders.

4) The support to the resistance must be total, regardless of its current political composition, regardless of the leading groups. It is obvious that as anti-imperialists we will help first of all those tendencies which beyond being anti-imperialist and patriotic are also socialist.

5) The occupation of Iraqi is inextricable linked to the Zionist one of Palestine. The only solution is to smash Zionism and to build a democratic anti-imperialist state in entire Palestine.

6) The US preventive war is led against any opposition to the their intended American empire and especially as a crusade against the Muslim resistance. We therefore have to defend the elementary democratic rights of the popular masses such as to national self-determination, free political expression and organisation and free exercise of religion. Resistance including armed one against the US empire is not terrorism but a democratic right.

As for the concrete action which should be taken:

1) Fund raising campaign for the incipient Iraqi resistance front
2) Solidarity delegation to the incipient Iraqi resistance front
3) International conference of all forces in support of the Iraqi resistance

On this basis the anti-imperialist alliance must participate in the international day of action scheduled for March 20.

Anti-imperialist Camp
Rome-Vienna-Cologne, January 2004