Workers and students support SEP (Sri Lanka) anti-war meeting

Indian supporters of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) recently interviewed workers and students in the campaign for the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) public meeting against nuclear war to be held this Sunday in Sri Lanka. Expatriate Sri Lankans working in the US, Italy and Qatar also voiced their support.

The meeting, which is titled, “Build an international working class movement to stop nuclear war danger” is on Sunday 16 October, at 4 p.m., Sri Lankan time. Readers are urged to register here.

Sumita Shaw, an assistant teacher at Saint Joseph’s School in Vijapur, Gujarat, India said: “By using Ukraine as a scapegoat, the United States and its NATO partners are truly at war with Russia. The Russo-Ukrainian war, after more than 200 days of ongoing hostilities, has turned into a major concern for the working class, which has far-reaching implications both locally and globally.

Sumita Shaw [Photo: WSWS]

“It will take the combined efforts of all workers around the world to quell the forces of capitalism and oligarchy, respectively. We need to be motivated by Marx who said, ‘Workers of the world unite!… you have nothing to lose but your chains.’ In this context, the SEP’s online meeting against imperialist nuclear war threats, assumes great significance.”

Akash Dev, a translator from Kolkata, commented: “The ongoing proxy war in Ukraine being waged by US and NATO forces is increasingly taking the form of a mad rush towards a third world war, with catastrophic nuclear consequences. Despite being fully aware of the destructive consequences of a nuclear war, they are heading towards it, which means they have decided to let millions or even billions be sacrificed for the sake of their profit interests.”

Balakrishnan, a sacked Motherson auto parts worker near Chennai, Tamil Nadu, stated: “America and the European countries continue to provide billions of dollars in armaments to Ukraine to intensify the war against Russia.

Balakrishnan, a dismissed Motherson auto parts worker. [Photo: WSWS]

“The US is now creating the conditions for a direct military intervention, claiming that Russia is posing a nuclear threat. A dangerous nuclear catastrophe is waiting to happen because of the American war drive for world dominance.

“I agree with the World Socialist Web Site’s analysis of the war and the revolutionary alternative program needed to stop an imminent nuclear war through the struggle for world socialism.”

Rakibul Islam, a West Bengal University of Teachers’ Training, Education Planning and Administration student in India, said: “I don’t support Putin’s invasion of Ukraine but I’m more worried by US-NATO’s aggression because all they want to do is turn this into a third world war, not find any solution.

“The people suffering are the working class while who benefits is the capitalist class. It’s very important to have an anti-war movement. The working class has to take this initiative.”

Arulsaravanan, a government law college student in Madurai in India, told campaigners that the Russian invasion of Ukraine became an imperialist war with the involvement of the US and the European nations.

“The US is trying to curtail the growth of China and Russia in order to maintain its hegemony. The only correct proletarian slogan in this situation is to transform the present imperialist war into a civil war. This should be the slogan of the Russian and the Ukrainian proletariat and it should be backed by the proletariat of the West,” he said.

A Sri Lankan working for a food chain in California said, “Many people believe that although both sides of the conflict boast about the war, no nuclear weapons will be used. This opinion dominates because the media propagates this idea. Even though I believed that this idea was correct, nuclear war is a serious situation.

“While most people understand that the coming period will be more difficult, and that economic crisis will worsen, they do not see the relationship between war and the economic crisis. Recently people couldn’t even get milk powder here in the US, and the price of many such products is now unbearable, which is connected to the war. Workers need to be clarified about these things. Even though I’ll be at work when the SEP meeting will be held, I will register for the event with the expectation of listening to it later,” he said.

A Sri Lankan worker living in Italy and employed in the ice-cream industry said he would attend the SEP’s online meeting.

“The [Italian] government closely supports the US-NATO war against Russia in Ukraine but with the onset of war, prices of goods have started to rise here. The cost of essential items, including bread, eggs and wheat flour and the items required for children’s education, such as books, have more than doubled. People cannot bear these prices…

“I came to Italy because life in Sri Lanka was difficult. But now it is difficult wherever you live in the world because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war. If this war drags on, the situation will only worsen so people need to pay attention to this and take action to stop this conflict,” he said.

A Sri Lankan in Qatar who has worked for a transport company for the past ten years told the WSWS that he previously hoped to earn enough to start a business back home in Sri Lanka. This has proved impossible, he said, because my earnings are too low.

“Life has become extremely difficult in every country due to the war. Although prices in Qatar have not yet increased, it is impacted by the war. There are American bases in neighbouring Saudi Arabia and now fuel exports from Qatar to Europe have increased. While the oil companies are making huge profits in this situation, workers’ wages have not increased.”

“I read the WSWS because the media does not report the truth about war. What you say about this war is logical and can be accepted. As a foreign worker I faced a dire situation during the pandemic, and it is certain that we will have to face enormous difficulties due to war.”