Socialist Equality Party members campaigned in north London this weekend, winning support for a mass international anti-war movement rooted in the working class and based on a socialist strategy.
SEP campaigners gave out leaflets and sold literature outlining a socialist programme of action for the working class, in opposition to the relentless drive to war, “let it rip” pandemic policies and the brutal imposition of austerity amid a worsening cost of living crisis.
Posters calling for “No To World War III! —Unite Ukrainian Russian and British workers!” won a warm response, prompting serious discussions.
Sylvia, who works in languages and is originally from Italy, purchased Socialism and the Fight Against War—the SEP (UK) 2014 congress resolution calling for a new anti-war movement based on international unity of the working class and struggle for socialism. She said, “The possibility of a third world war is deeply concerning. I have followed the news from the onset and this is the worst time for a war to break out after a pandemic; a pandemic we do not talk about any more but still exists.
“People are dying and cities are being bombed because this country, Ukraine, does not belong to NATO so the world sends weapons and armies. It feels like we are living in a dystopian society, it is worse than Big Brother.”
On the Conservative’s right-wing agenda to clampdown further on the rights of asylum seekers and refugees, in contravention of international law, Sylvia said, “I have always supported the right for refugees to come into this country especially when you are desperately seeking refuge from a place that is being destroyed by war and famine. It would be an absolute crime to take away our right to demonstrate, which is the freedom to speak and the freedom to be seen and heard.”
Responding to the SEP’s call for international workers unity to stop the war, Sylvia said, “This would be a solution that is going back to the core of socialism, workers supporting and looking out for each other. It feels like we are going backwards almost to feudalism; the economy is in a mess making the workers poorer and poorer while the rich are getting richer. So yes, I am interested in uniting workers and to read the World Socialist Web Site and would like to find out more about the SEP’s work.”
Rosalina, who works in shipping, said, “I felt very uneasy when the war began because there is always a lot of hatred and then people start hating other countries. It is always the innocent people who suffer when really it is the politicians who are instigating all of this. So, there is never peace for the civilians. It is one disaster after another, with COVID running out of control around the world, the economy in serious decline, and now the possibility of a world war.”
An Iraqi worker who had witnessed his own country destroyed twice by the NATO powers behind the proxy war against Russia said, “The war in Ukraine is a complete fabrication being instigated by America. They want to destroy the Russian economy so Russia will lose the war and America will dominate. They think they can repeat the same as they did in Europe after the Second World War and become the superpower so they can attack and control Russia and China. Workers urgently need to develop their consciousness because the mass media prepare us for war with propaganda and lies. I will visit the World Socialist Web Site.”
Jamal, a worker from Palestine, had extensive discussion with the campaign team and was keen to read the World Socialist Web Site. He said, “I am really suspicious about the driving force of this war. All we get here is propaganda. If the war spills over it will be the poor fighting the poor while the rich benefit, or there will be nuclear war. All the old systems and parties are corrupt. We need something new. NATO aggravated Russia into invading Ukraine by their continuous expansion. I am very interested in the World Socialist Web Site.”
A Serbian worker who spoke to the team explained that she had seen at first hand the real role of NATO as a resident of Belgrade during the NATO bombing campaign of 1999. She described the horrors NATO put the population through and the accompanying campaign of lies and disinformation. She described NATO’s actions in Ukraine as part of an “imperialist agenda” adding, “What we are seeing in Ukraine is NATO expansion and aggression. NATO are doing to Russia what they did to Yugoslavia.”