#NowWeRise – 9 Dec Day of Action on Climate Justice 12.30pm Scottish Parliament Edinburgh

From the Climate Justice Coalition:

Temperatures are rising. Corporate profits are rising. Now we’re rising.

The hottest summer on record. Politicians backtracking on climate commitments. Continued corporate profiteering fuelling the climate and cost of living crises. It’s time for us to take action.

As world leaders gather for the UN’s climate negotiations at COP28, a climate summit presided over by an oil executive, we’re coming together on 9 December to demand climate justice.

COP28 Day of Action for Scotland

Start: Saturday, December 09, 202312:30 PM

Outside Scottish Parliament Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP

Host Contact Info: info@climatefringe.org

Temperatures and waters are rising.
Injustices are rising.
We are rising!

At a time when the UK Government is rolling back on climate and nature policies, and the Scottish Government has delayed its vital new climate plan (which sets out the steps to achieve legally set targets), it’s more important than ever for us to come together to show people in Scotland want the urgent and fair climate action that they’ve been demanding for decades.

Join us at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on 9th December to send a strong message to decision makers that we are united for action, to tackle the climate and nature crises, secure sustainable jobs, a fairer, greener, healthier society for everyone in Scotland and justice for those impacted by the climate crisis.

There will be inspiring speakers, the opportunity to send a message to the Scottish party leaders with your wishes for action on climate and nature in 2024, kids activities, and more!


In 2021 over 100,000 people took to the streets of Glasgow to tell world leaders at the COP26 climate talks they wanted action on the climate and nature emergencies.

Since then, despite record breaking temperatures and increasingly devastating climate impacts, we have seen a lack of progress on action to reduce emissions, protect nature, or make the biggest polluters pay for the damage they are causing.

Temperature and Waters are Rising

2023 will be the hottest year on record. As the world heats up, extreme weather events on every continent – from floods in Brechin to wildfires in Greece – are causing mass devastation, loss of life and livelihoods in communities around the world.
The evidence is right in front of our eyes: our climate is breaking down. And, if we’re to have any hope of a liveable planet and tackling the climate crisis, we must deliver a just transition and dramatically and immediately reduce the use of fossil fuels.

Injustices are Rising

The cost of living crisis and climate crisis are driven by our reliance on dirty fossil fuels, and by the excessive emissions of the richest people. The climate crisis disproportionately affects ordinary people and communities in the global south, while those most responsible profit. In 2022, the five biggest oil and gas companies made record profits of over £150 billion. As corporations make billions, we struggle to make ends meet. Energy prices in Britain are still double what they were two years ago, soaring above wages and benefit levels and many thousands will be cold in their homes this winter.

Now We Rise!

People in Scotland from all walks of life are coming together to say we know the solutions, and we want our leaders to take robust and urgent action to implement these. We can replace the destructive fossil fuel economy with a real alternative. We can take advantage of cheap renewable energy, insulate homes, reduce energy waste and implement accessible and affordable public transport. We can create an economy that meets the needs of communities, creates secure and sustainable jobs and places the wellbeing of both people and nature at its centre.

We will stand with communities in the Global South who are suffering from the climate crisis which they did not create, and which does the greatest damage to countries already burdened by unjust debt. Rich nations must provide urgent climate finance and grants for loss and damage.

At a time when the UK Government is rolling back on climate and nature policies, and the Scottish Government will soon be publishing its new climate plan, it’s more important than ever for us to come together to show people in Scotland want action.

Join us at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on 9th December  to send a strong message to decision makers that we are united for action, to tackle the climate and nature crises, secure sustainable jobs, a fairer, greener, healthier society for everyone in Scotland and justice for those impacted by the climate crisis.

For other actions taking place across the UK check this interactive action map by the Climate Justice Coalition.

Source: https://climatefringe.org/cop28-scotland/

Ukrainian Letter of Solidarity with Palestinian people

The following letter of solidarity has been published by the Ukrainian journal ‘Commons’.  

We, Ukrainian researchers, artists, political and labour activists, members of civil society stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine who for 75 years have been subjected and resisted Israeli military occupation, separation, settler colonial violenceethnic cleansing, land dispossession and apartheid. We write this letter as people to people. The dominant discourse on the governmental level and even among solidarity groups that support the struggles of Ukrainians and Palestinians often creates separation. With this letter we reject these divisions, and affirm our solidarity with everyone who is oppressed and struggling for freedom.

As activists committed to freedom, human rights, democracy and social justice, and while fully acknowledging power differentials, we firmly condemn attacks on civilian populations – be they Israelis attacked by Hamas or Palestinians attacked by the Israeli occupation forces and armed settler gangs. Deliberate targeting of civilians is a war crime. Yet this is no justification for the collective punishment of Palestinian people, identifying all residents of Gaza with Hamas and the indiscriminate use of the term “terrorism” applied to the whole Palestinian resistance. Nor is this a justification of continuation of the ongoing occupation. Echoing multiple UN resolutions, we know that there will be no lasting peace without justice for the Palestinian people.

On October 7 we witnessed Hamas’ violence against the civilians in Israel, an event that is now singled out by many to demonize and dehumanize Palestinian resistance altogether. Hamas, a reactionary islamist organization, needs to be seen in a wider historical context and decades of Israel encroaching on Palestinian land, long before this organization came to exist in the late 1980s. During the Nakba (“catastrophe”) of 1948, more than 700,000 Palestinians were brutally displaced from their homes, with entire villages massacred and destroyed. Since its creation Israel has never stopped pursuing its colonial expansion. The Palestinians were forced to exile, fragmented and administered under different regimes. Some of them are Israeli citizens affected by structural discrimination and racism. Those living in the occupied West Bank are subjected to apartheid under decades of Israel’s military control. The people of the Gaza Strip have suffered from the blockade imposed by Israel since 2006, which restricted movement of people and goods, resulting in growing poverty and deprivation.

Since the 7th of October and at the time of writing the death toll in the Gaza Strip is more than 8,500 peopleWomen and children have made up more than 62 percent of the fatalities, while more than 21,048 people have been injured. In recent days, Israel has bombed schools, residential areas, Greek Orthodox Church and several hospitals. Israel has also cut all water, electricity, and fuel supply in the Gaza Strip. There is a severe shortage of food and medicine, causing a total collapse of a healthcare system.

Most of the Western and Israeli media justifies these deaths as mere collateral damage to fighting Hamas but is silent when it comes to Palestinian civilians targeted and killed in the Occupied West Bank. Since the beginning of 2023 alone, and before October 7, the death toll on the Palestinian side had already reached 227. Since the 7 of October, 121 Palestinian civilians have been killed in the occupied West Bank. More than 10,000 Palestinian political prisoners are currently detained in Israeli prisons. Lasting peace and justice are only possible with the end of the ongoing occupation. Palestinians have the right to self-determination and resistance against Israeli’s occupation, just like Ukrainians have the right to resist Russian invasion.

Our solidarity comes from a place of anger at the injustice, and a place of deep pain of knowing the devastating impacts of occupation, shelling of civil infrastructure, and humanitarian blockade from experiences in our homeland. Parts of Ukraine have been occupied since 2014, and the international community failed to stop Russian aggression then, ignoring the imperial and colonial nature of the armed violence, which consequently escalated on the 24th of February 2022. Civilians in Ukraine are shelled daily, in their homes, in hospitals, on bus stops, in queues for bread. As a result of the Russian occupation, thousands of people in Ukraine live without access to water, electricity or heating, and it is the most vulnerable groups that are mostly affected by the destruction of critical infrastructure. In the months of the siege and heavy bombardment of Mariupol there was no humanitarian corridor. Watching the Israeli targeting the civilian infrastructure in Gaza, the Israeli humanitarian blockade and occupation of land resonates especially painfully with us. From this place of pain of experience and solidarity, we call on our fellow Ukrainians globally and all the people to raise their voices in support of the Palestinian people and condemn the ongoing  Israeli mass ethnic cleansing.

We reject the Ukrainian government statements that express unconditional support for Israel’s military actions, and we consider the calls to avoid civilian casualties by Ukraine’s MFA belated and insufficient. This position is a retreat from the support of Palestinian rights and condemnation of the Israeli occupation, which Ukraine has followed for decades, including voting in the UN.  Aware of the pragmatic geopolitical reasoning behind Ukraine’s decision to echo Western allies, on whom we are dependent for our survival, we see the current support of Israel and dismissing Palestinian right to self-determination as contradictory to Ukraine’s own commitment to human rights and fight for our land and freedom. We as Ukrainians should stand in solidarity not with the oppressors, but with those who experience and resist the oppression.

We strongly object to equating of Western military aid to Ukraine and Israel by some politicians. Ukraine doesn’t occupy the territories of other people, instead, it fights against the Russian occupation, and therefore international assistance serves a just cause and the protection of international law. Israel has occupied and annexed Palestinian and Syrian territories, and Western aid to it confirms an unjust order and demonstrates double standards in relation to international law.

We oppose the new wave of Islamophobia, such as the brutal murder of a Palestinian American 6-year old and assault on his family in Illinois, USA, and the equating of any criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. At the same time, we also oppose holding all Jewish people all over the world accountable for the politics of the state of Israel and we condemn anti-Semitic violence, such as the mob attack on the airplane in Daghestan, Russia. We also reject the revival of the “war on terror” rhetoric used by the US and EU to justify war crimes and violations of international law that have undermined the international security system, caused countless deaths, and has been borrowed by other states, including Russia for the war in Chechnya and China for the Uyghur genocide. Now Israel is using it to carry out ethnic cleansing.

Call to Action

  • We urge the implementation of the call to ceasefire, put forward by the UN General Assembly resolution.
  • We call on the Israeli government to immediately stop attacks on civilians, and provide humanitarian aid; we insist on an immediate and indefinite lifting of siege on Gaza and an urgent relief operation to restore civilian infrastructure. We also call on the Israeli government to put an end to the occupation and recognise the right of Palestinian displaced people to return to their lands.
  • We call on the Ukrainian government to condemn the use of state sanctioned terror and humanitarian blockade against the Gazan civilian population and reaffirm the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. We also call on the Ukrainian government to condemn deliberate assaults on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
  • We call on the international media to stop pitting Palestinians and Ukrainians against each other, where hierarchies of suffering perpetuate racist rhetoric and dehumanize those under attack.

We have witnessed the world uniting in solidarity for the people of Ukraine and we call on everyone to do the same for the people of Palestine.

For a full list of signatories, see the original article on the web https://commons.com.ua/en/ukrayinskij-list-solidarnosti/

Copies of the new English language edition of ‘Commons’ are available in the UK state for £10 each from Resistance Books, London – info@resistancebooks.org  www.resistancebooks.org – and in Scotland from Ukraine Solidarity Campaign Scotland uscscotland@gmail.com.

Internationalism Beyond the Geopolitics of States and Principled Solidarity in “Complex” Situations: Kurdish and Palestinian Solidarity

The ongoing war in Gaza has overshadowed global awareness of the situation not just in Ukraine but in Kurdistan too.  Under cover of the Gaza invasion by Israel, Turkey’s President Erdogan has used the opportunity to attack the Kurdish liberated region in north and east Syria.  There are complex interrelationships of international solidarity movements that are explored in the following article published in October 2023 from a US-based academic, which raises important issues about internationalism that is framed within the confines of the nation-state. ecosocialist.scot is publishing this article as part of a contribution to discussion on the issue of international solidarity and principled internationalism in Scotland.


By : Ozlem Goner

On 4 October Turkey started yet another series of attacks into the Kurdish-majority region of Rojava (North and East Syria) and destroyed 80% of the civilian infrastructure, including fifty schools and two hospitals. Dozens have died so far, and millions have been left without electricity and water. Turkey’s excuse this time was a bombing undertaken by two members of the Workers’ Party of Kurdistan (PKK) against the General Security Forces of the Turkish state in Ankara, which injured two security officials. Turkey has long claimed that the People’s Protection Units in Rojava (YPG) is the same organization as the PKK and claimed without proof that the actual attackers have come from this region. As I am writing this, Turkey continues to wipe out the region with its airstrikes and the world once remains silent again.

Two days after the re-escalation of Turkey’s ongoing attacks, the world was shaken by the killing of over a thousand Israeli citizens by Hamas and other organizations that have joined forces with Hamas despite their ideological and political differences from the former. Israel, like Turkey, produced a lot of fake news and used the attacks as an excuse to wipe down the entire Gaza strip, an open-air prison, created in the first place by Israeli settler colonialism. The attacks targeting Israeli citizens are a symptom of ongoing colonial violence, which has left colonized Palestine without any other means of self-defense. Instead of rethinking the context of the Hamas attack, Israel, assisted by Western politicians and the media, embarked on a full-scale genocidal project of further dehumanizing Palestinians through openly racist discourse and calls for torture.


The distancing of segments of Kurdish activists from Palestinian solidarity through a critique of Hamas at this moment is a symptom of a particular form of internationalism that is centered around states, an internationalism that seeks purity through politically correct actions from the colonized without due attention to the ongoing conditions of colonization and oppression.


The first colonial reaction was from Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, who ordered a “complete siege on the Gaza Strip.” He said, “there will be no electricity, no food, no fuel. Everything is closed. We are fighting human animals, and we will act accordingly.” Tzipi Navon, Sara Netanyahu’s advisor, openly advocated torturing Palestinians, saying Israel should “save their tongues for last, so we can enjoy his screams, his ears so he can hear his own screams, and his eyes so he can see us smiling.” As I am writing this, at least 2,383 Palestinians have been killed and 10,814 Palestinians have been injured, according to Palestinian health ministry sources. The world is watching, and while autocratic leaders in the Middle East are instrumentalizing a certain rhetorical support for Palestine, they remain silent not only about the oppressive nature of their own governments against dissidents and minorities, but also about their complicity in Israel’s settler colonialism given their ongoing business ties with Israel.

One such autocratic leader is the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has condemned Israel’s violence against Palestine, and has been playing the peacemaker role promoted even by progressive networks like Democracy Now, which gave extensive coverage of Erdoğan’s speech on Palestine, ignoring completely that the same Erdoğan has been wiping down Rojava at the very same time. Turkey’s hypocrisy, and the fact that some progressive circles have cherished this double-faced “peace-maker,” have frustrated Kurdish activists, some of whom have distanced themselves from Palestinian solidarity at this crucial moment. For example, the progressive all women’s Kurdish news outlet Jinnews published an article with the unfortunate title of “Are peoples confined to choosing either Palestine or Israel?” Although this article and many other Kurdish progressive venues framed their distancing as having to do with Hamas and rightly argued that Palestine is much larger than Hamas, one should not forget that framing this particular context around a critique of Hamas has legitimized ongoing settler colonial violence as it enters a new stage of complete genocidal annihilation.

I suggest that the distancing of segments of Kurdish activists from Palestinian solidarity through a critique of Hamas at this moment is a symptom of a particular form of internationalism that is centered around states, an internationalism that seeks purity through politically correct actions from the colonized without due attention to the ongoing conditions of colonization and oppression. This type of internationalism has been prevalent among many progressive circles. I will focus here on Kurdish solidarity with Palestine, and US progressives’ solidarity with broader Kurdistan, especially with Rojava, which is currently being wiped out by the Turkish state.

Problems with Geopolitical Internationalism

Certain segments of the Kurdish movement have rightly problematized Hamas from a geopolitical angle. Hamas has historically been close to Turkey. Khaled Mashal, former Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau, once celebrated Turkey’s settler colonialism and ethnic cleansing in Afrin of North and East Syria, saying “Turkey’s success, especially in Afrin, sets a serious example. Hopefully, we will all be blessed with the victories of the Islamic Ummah in many parts of the world, as in Afrin.” Moreover, around 14,000 people in Rojava died fighting against the Islamic State backed by Turkey, which makes Kurdish populations rightly wary of other religious fundamentalist organizations. Similarly, Hamas is rhetorically, if not materially, supported not only by Turkey but also by the Islamic Regime of Iran, which, like Turkey, has been notoriously oppressive against the Kurdish populations and organizations, as the ongoing Jina uprisings have revealed. Finally, the Turkish state has even placed some Palestinian refugees in the region of Afrin as part of its population exchange campaigns to rid the area of its indigenous Kurdish populations, an act of ethnic cleansing. These realities on the ground create difficult emotions, which result in some segments of the Kurdish political movement distancing themselves from Palestinian solidarity.

I argue that even though it is easy to understand the feelings that lead to this distancing, it is politically damning to base organizational solidarity politics around feelings. Crucially, these are feelings of geopolitical internationalism centered around nation-states, where progressives relate to countries and groups based on how their “own” or “oppressor” (evil) states feel about a given conflict. For example, a dissident from Turkey feels the need to distance themselves from all states and groups that Turkey provides support to. This dynamic is especially prevalent in solidarity politics in the United States. Large segments of progressives in the US approach internationalism as necessitating solidarity with countries and groups the US seemingly opposes, and denying solidarity to countries and groups the US seemingly supports. Even though this stance might have proved useful, especially given historical and ongoing US imperial violence, it is based on a priori geopolitical demarcations, as well as a frequent valorization of other imperial and colonial states and dictators just because they seem to be in opposition to the United States. Although this stance feels like internationalism at first, especially given the violent imperial role of the United States throughout the globe, it actually prevents an analysis of the material realities of oppression and colonization on the ground and hinders the development of potential alliances with oppressed populations and dissident organizations in places where the United States seems to be in support.

As an alternative, internationalism from the ground is based on a material analysis of relations of colonialism and oppression; it advocates for standing in solidarity with the colonized and the oppressed in all contexts and for developing alliances with actual grassroots organizations. If, for instance, one focuses on networks of global capitalism, then one sees that geopolitical demarcations and instrumental uses of solidarity by state actors are often a façade. For example, behind Erdoğan’s rhetoric of solidarity, there are deep and ongoing business and military connections between Turkey and Israel. During the UN General Assembly of September 2023, Erdoğan reported that the two countries plan to raise their trade volume from $9.5 billion to a minimum of $15 billion and even to develop some shared ministries, to increase cooperation in energy, tourism, and technology. Even the Islamic Republic of Iran has historically worked with Israel, purchasing much of the weaponry used during the Iran-Iraq War from a country they otherwise call the “evil.”

Similarly, despite the fact that the United States has worked with Kurdish-majority security forces in North and East Syria to prevent the regrowth of ISIS activity, it has long supported Turkey’s war against Kurdistan with material means such as military aid, sharing of intelligence, and the sale of weapons, including the war planes being used in broader Kurdistan at this moment. And the alliance with Kurdish security in the region cannot even come close to the depth of capitalist networks developed between Turkey and the United States since World War II.  Hence, much of the emotional geopolitical stance, whether by certain dissidents in Turkey and Iran distancing themselves from Palestine, or by progressives in the US distancing themselves from the Kurdish-majority region of North and East Syria, is not based on the actual material relationships between their oppressor states and other regions, countries, and groups.

Once we move beyond geopolitical internationalism and focus instead on material relationships of global capitalism between state actors, as well as on regional relationships of colonialism and oppression, internationalist solidarity with peoples and political organizations on the ground becomes much less “complicated.” This form of internationalism does not operate at the level of states, but from the ground created through solidarity networks with grassroots organizations. To achieve this form of internationalism, we need to be critical of expectations of purity from the oppressed, be it in a liberal sense of victimhood that “condemns” all “violent” action, or in a more progressive sense of political correctness, which demands a purity of political motivations and alliances without an attention to the simple needs of survival.

The Conundrum of Purity and Internationalism from the (Messy) Ground

The first form of purity discourse is a liberal one that expects only “victimhood” from the colonized and the oppressed. Any action of self-defense is easily “condemned,” without an attention to the ongoing structural violence of colonialism and the agency of the oppressed to self-defend, with whatever methods available to them. Even those who are more conscientious of political agency, and aware of the limited availability of means of self-defense, sometimes fall into this liberal trap. From the site of any so-called “violent” action emerges a false discourse of “two sides,” a condemnation of violence from “both sides,” which not only obscures the structural and systematic reality of colonial violence, but also the fact that the colonized have very limited methods of self-defense available to them. In the case of Palestine, it is because the Palestinian opposition does not have a violent military force with airplanes and tanks to defend themselves against Israeli settler colonialism that they resort to actions like the killing of civilians. Somehow, the latter appears to be “more brutal” than decades of settler colonial violence at the hands of a gigantic military force funded by multiple states. This is not a defense of Hamas or its actions, but a call to realize that Hamas and the particular actions it undertakes are a product of Israeli settler colonialism, not vice versa.

Those who are aware of the problems with this false discourse of “two sides,” quickly separate Hamas from the Palestinian people and condemn the former, while showing some nominal solidarity with the latter. Of course, it would be a mistake to reduce Palestinian movements, let alone Palestinian people, to Hamas and its actions. The Israeli state was involved in the creation of Hamas and Israeli and Western media have used such reductionist discourses equating Hamas and Palestine to legitimize Israel’s settler-colonialism in Gaza and the rest of Palestine for decades now. However, one should not forget that many other organizations in Palestine acknowledge the latest action as an act of self-defense, and that a “condemnation” of Hamas in this particular context, as well as analyses based on the so-called “violence by two sides,” legitimizes the genocidal violence Israel uses on Palestine. These depictions feed into a false liberal notion of “two sides” that renders the colonial reality invisible and frames colonial violence as a “conflict.” Although the Palestinian opposition is much larger than Hamas, and support for Hamas is limited among the Palestinian people, these discussions should not be relevant to our solidarity with Palestine against Israeli settler colonialism.

A second form of purity discourse, prevalent among more progressive circles is an expectation of political purity in the alliances formed by the geopolitical framework explained above. For example, in order to be in complete solidarity with Palestine at this moment, some Kurds might expect the Palestinian opposition to avoid alliances with Turkey. Similarly, large segments of progressives in the United States, such as the DSA International, distanced themselves from the revolution in Rojava and have remained mostly silent to Turkey’s ongoing genocide and femicide in the region due to the United States’ tactical military involvement in the region against the Islamic State.

In simplest terms, it is crucial to understand that the politics on the ground is messy given ongoing colonization and the very lack of internationalist solidarity itself. The colonized have a right to self-defend, to survive by whatever means available to them. And when international solidarity is not available to stop the actions of colonizer states, the colonized have a right to procure the means of self-defense from whomever makes it available to them. Those who believe in anti-colonial internationalism need to stand with the colonized and not make blanket condemnations of the pragmatic relationships they need to form for survival.

Moreover, it is not the responsibility of the colonized, but of those groups and organizations in relatively more privileged positions, to look for ways to procure and sustain the means of self-defense that would afford the colonized other options than sitting at the devil’s table. An internationalism from the ground requires that we study the material context deeply to understand the relationship of coloniality and oppression, and that we side with the colonized and the oppressed irrespective of the purity of their actions and the political alliances they form to survive. All the while, we can develop actual internationalist alliances from the ground so that our movements can sustain each other and we can break free of relationships with and dependencies on oppressive states.

Kurds and Palestinians in this particular context have suffered various forms of colonial violence at the hands of Turkey and Israel respectively, and it is our alliance, together with all the other colonized and oppressed populations of the Middle East and beyond, that can bring justice and peace. From learning to self-defend together, to invaluable moments of solidarity, such as Leyla Halid’s visit to Leyla Güven, a hunger-striking Kurdish political activist kept hostage in Turkish colonial prisons, our history is full of lessons in solidarity against the same global system of capitalist and colonialist oppression. At this moment when Rojava and Palestine are going through ethnic cleansing, it is more urgent than ever to find a principled anti-colonial internationalism from the ground.

Ozlem Goner is an Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the College of Staten Island, and the Middle Eastern Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her book entitled Turkish National Identity and its Outsiders: Memories of State Violence in Dersim was published by Routledge in June 2017. She is a steering committee member of the Emergency Committee for Rojava.

Originally published at https://www.jadaliyya.com/Details/45428  Photo author via original article

Fight the Racist Campaign Against Palestine Solidarity by Heckle Editors

Suella Braverman’s smearing of the huge and diverse Palestine solidarity movement as “hate marchers” bringing violence to the streets of cities like London and Edinburgh is not merely, as some have suggested, a provocative preamble to her future Conservative leadership campaign — it is yet another example of a wider turn to authoritarianism in the UK and other European states in order to forcibly suppress democratic and progressive challenges from below.

It is significant and welcome that those organising marches and rallies for Palestine in towns and cities north and south of the border have so far refused to be cowed. They have maintained their determination not only in defiance of the Westminster government and virtually all of the mainstream media, but also frivolous arrests and violent threats from police and far-right networks.

The sheer size of these demonstrations over the past month, across these islands, Europe and the world, has already succeeded in greatly amplifying the voice of the occupied and blockaded Palestinian people and robbing the extremist Israeli government of the moral authority it claims in its military campaign against Gaza. We should recognise this enormous achievement.

Still, it is clear that these massive mobilisations alone will not be enough to stop the bombs falling on Gaza and the tanks rolling in, much as millions taking to the streets just over two decades ago could not stop the criminal Iraq War. This is why large parts of the renewed movement have embraced radical tactics including civil disobedience – as seen in train station occupations, university student walk-outs and trade union boycotts – as well as direct action targeting arms manufacturers and other institutions complicit in Israeli apartheid and genocide. These bold actions are justified and must continue. The Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions also remains extremely relevant (even if regularly misrepresented).

That this movement is so large, broad, increasingly militant and willing to break the law to prevent a greater injustice is a powerful combination. This is why there has been such a sharp state response from western governments who have, for 75 years, ranged from sponsors to allies of Israeli settler-colonialism for their own economic and geopolitical advantage. This is another expression of the same anti-democratic impulse which has seen, for example, the criminalisation of the climate justice movement. The blocking of a Scottish independence referendum by the UK Supreme Court is also, in fact, part of this campaign against popular sovereignty.

The suppression of Palestine solidarity, however, has a unique racialised character. Across Europe, ostensibly liberal and right-wing governments alike have smeared millions of Palestine supporters as ‘Islamists’ to justify harsh restrictions on immigration, weaponising citizenship against protesters. The UK is far from an outlier in this regard; a looming threat is a likely expansion of the racist Prevent programme. Building strong community networks to protect our neighbours from all forms of racism, including Islamophobia and antisemitism, will be a crucial challenge in coming months.

Overcoming all of these obstacles necessitates unity and bravery. We saw an extraordinary example of this last week when the Ukrainian left journal Commons published its statement of solidarity with Palestinians, rejecting those – including the Ukrainian government – who have counterposed solidarity between one of these peoples and the other. We will need many more principled initiatives like this, that forge links between all those asserting the power of people against the power of states, to eventually win a democratic, peaceful and free world.]

Originally published by Heckle: https://heckle.scot/2023/11/fight-the-racist-campaign-against-palestine-solidarity/

Heckle is an 0nline Scottish publication overseen by a seven-person editorial board elected by members of the Republican Socialist Platform.


To join the Republican Socialist Platform, visit: https://join.republicansocialists.scot/ 

Main photo: Edinburgh Gaza demo 11 November 2023, ecosocialist.scot, other photos and graphics, Heckle and Republican Socialist Platform

In solidarity with people’s struggles against unbridled imperialism, for the liberation of the peoples and saving the environment

Statement by the International Committee of the Fourth International adopted on 25 October 2023

1. The contradictions of global capitalism continue to bring forth brutal wars and occupation. Threatened by economic and political crisis, capitalist governments, bearers of racist, patriarchal and imperial ideologies, construct external and internal enemies, provoking wars and continuing oppression. Such conflicts are part of the global logic of neo-liberal capitalism, the logic of intense economic and political competition, of widening inequalities and of the chaos it brings at every level. The wars we are facing are linked to the global crisis of capitalism and the resulting headlong rush into conflict between rival imperialist powers.

2. Since 24 February 2022, with the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, aiming at the total subjugation of Ukraine, Russian imperialism led by Putin has passed a qualitative milestone in its war against the peoples, against all those who oppose its authoritarian and “Great-Russian” colonial project. Through their resistance, the Ukrainian people succeeded in containing the invasion, but Putin’s war means a prolonged war, bringing death, the destruction of towns and infrastructures, the displacement of populations, ecocide and crimes of all kinds by the invading army.

3. The Israeli state has transformed Gaza into a new and massive ghetto. Since 8 October 2023, using the attacks by Hamas as a pretext, the Israeli state has been raining down fire on the Gaza Strip while totally cutting off the Palestinians living there from outside resources, and increasing violence in the West Bank as well. Israeli colonialism, today led by Netanyahu and his extreme right-wing coalition, has reached a new qualitative stage in its project aimed at annihilating and expelling the Palestinian people from their territory. This project is at the heart of Israeli colonialism, it is a project of extreme violence that is actively supported by the governments of the United States and the European Union.

4. The new assault by the Israeli state on the Palestinian people has called forth protest in large parts of the world.  Western powers and large parts of mainstream media call the new Israeli assault a “war against terrorism” and a response to the attack by Hamas and its allies on 7 October. During this attack, which broke through the physical wall of colonial repression and surprised the army of occupation, Hamas also committed unacceptable murders of civilians. We resolutely reject such crimes as acts that are contrary to our emancipatory project. But unlike those who use “double standards”, we, like the Israeli left, can see how such violence comes from a context of extreme oppression.

5. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Israeli occupation of Palestine are different in many respects, but in both cases the Fourth International is guided by the principle of support for the right to self-determination of peoples. We reject any form of campism that favours one imperialist power over another or that would reduce revolutionary politics to geopolitical calculations. Instead, we base ourselves on solidarity with the peoples and their struggles, even if today the people are led by bourgeois and/or reactionary forces. The ruling classes refuse to recognize the right of peoples to self-determination and attempt to repress any resistance. But this repression is facing determined resistance. We support the struggle of the Ukrainian people and that of the Russian and Belarusian opposition to defeat Putin’s criminal regime and obtain the withdrawal of Russian troops as the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace. Equally, we support the resistance of the Palestinian people and recognize that only the end of Israeli colonialism can bring an end to the violence.

6. Situations of war are developing in different parts of the world where oppressive powers deny the rights of peoples and national minorities. For example, the recent military offensive by the Azerbaijani regime resulted in the expulsion of more than 100,000 Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh. This offensive was carried out in collaboration with Erdogan’s Turkish regime, which continues to wage a war of its own against the Kurds in Turkey and Syria while constantly muzzling any progressive opposition in Turkey. Elsewhere, Kashmir continues to be the victim of colonial oppression by India and Pakistan. Saudi Arabia has waged an atrocious war in Yemen over the last few years, with the support of Western arms, French arms in particular.

7. In cynical fashion, the regimes of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran and others pretend to be friends of the Palestinian people. They attempt to instrumentalize the global sympathy for the Palestinian cause to legitimize their own repressive regimes while refusing to give real meaningful support to the self-determination of the Palestinian people. Equally hypocritical are the Western governments that mouth noble rhetoric about democracy and self-determination in regard to Ukraine but simultaneously persist in their cooperation with and support for Israeli colonialism, ignoring all its violations of international law. Meanwhile, the Chinese government claims leadership over “the global south” while supporting oppressive regimes such as the murderous dictatorship in Myanmar.

8. US imperialism, still the leading imperialism in the world, has seized on the Russian war against Ukraine as an opportunity to strengthen itself. Part of this is its attempt instrumentalize Ukraine in its inter-imperialist rivalry with Russia. NATO has used the opportunity to enlarge itself and NATO member-states are using the Russian invasion as a pretext for massive increases of their military budgets. We demand the immediate dissolution of NATO and CSTO. Such military blocs of imperialist states are the enemies of social and national emancipation.

9. The French state has waged its own so-called  “war against terrorism” in the African Sahel, a war which has not solved any problems. This French war has provoked an anti-imperialist response among the peoples of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, a response which has been used by military adventurers to seize power through coups d’état that offer no prospect of a progressive alternative. In Sudan, the military putschists are waging a war against their own peoples who are challenging their power.

10. This world of militarism and wars, of the use of weapons banned by international conventions, of the denial of fundamental rights, particularly those of women, and massacres of civilians; this world of refugees pushed around the global and dominant classes refusing to tackle the climate crisis, this world seems to be losing all sense. Sadly, this is not new: previous decades have seen wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Syria and elsewhere. But the situation seems even more difficult today: a catastrophic logic of a “clash of civilizations” is being implemented by both so-called “Western” governments as well as those of Putin and Xi Jiping. This logic provides a stepping stone for the racist and sexist far-right, which is on the rise everywhere. At a time when the climate emergency has us by the throat, precious resources are squandered in wars of aggression and occupation.

11. And yet we are witnessing a massive worldwide aspiration for dignity and the defence of basic rights, for democratic, social and environmental justice, and for protecting the environment. People’s movements against imperialist and colonial domination, feminist movements, movements for LGBTIQ and minority rights, environmental movements, movements for social rights. In the face of current wars, we urgently need to take the offensive again through mass movements. Peace can only be just and lasting if it puts an end to oppression, occupation and militarism. This means rejecting any logic of sharing zones of influence between military blocs, neither NATO nor CSTO! Peace can only be just and lasting if it is anti-imperialist; if it is democratic, respects the rights of all and allocates the means necessary for ecological solutions. What is urgently needed is the mobilization of all energies, intelligence and means on a global scale. We need an ecosocialist transition to satisfy the fundamental needs of people everywhere!

12. In the face of the barbarity of war, we need to mobilize in concrete solidarity from below, with peoples fighting for their rights, in complete independence from governments, global or regional powers and reactionary political forces. We insist on the universality of principles such as the right of self-determination and the right to resist, whether in Ukraine, in Palestine or elsewhere. We support resistance against oligarchs and capitalists wherever they operate and have no illusions in reactionary and right-wing leaderships. We support the fight against the ultra-liberal agenda of the Zelensky government, and against its alignment with US imperialism. We condemn the reactionary world-view of Hamas and reject its criminal tactics. We do not forget how the repression of progressive forces favoured religious fundamentalist forces such as Hamas.

13. Today we must do everything we can to mobilize a massive worldwide movement in solidarity with the Palestinian people, together with their allies in Israel. The Palestinian people are isolated and occupied. They stand alone, with almost no material support from outside. This makes our solidarity all the more necessary. We must prevent the expulsion of people, the “ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinian people by the Israeli state and a second “Nakba”, we demand an immediate end to the bombing and blockade in Gaza, a ceasefire, and humanitarian aid. We demand the release of prisoners on all sides. We stand in solidarity with Palestinian civil society and support its call to strengthen the Boycott Disinvestment Sanctions (BDS) movement.

14. Our goal is a political solution that puts an end to colonization and guarantees the right of return of those expelled and equal rights of people of all origins on the land. Mobilizations in solidarity with Palestine are facing major obstacles such as rhetoric aimed at isolating the mobilizations and the forces building them, and in other countries the physical repression of demonstrations and other expressions of solidarity. Despite such repression, the Palestine solidarity movement continues and, by overcoming such obstacles, the movements also fight for democracy in their own countries.

15. We know that Hamas or other religious fundamentalist forces will not be allies in the search for a progressive Palestinian solution. The idea that the Palestinian people can achieve their national emancipation through a military defeat of the Israeli state, a state with overwhelming military superiority, is an illusion. In a Middle Eastern context of a mosaic of peoples and minorities, peace is possible only through the democratic emancipation of all.

The solution to the current worldwide crises can only come through mass international mobilization of the working people against imperialist occupation, for the right of peoples to self-determination, against the restriction of democratic freedoms, and for concrete solidarity, including humanitarian solidarity.

It is the role of the organizations of the workers’ movement and and popular movements to mobilize a broad section of the working class and the oppressed to contribute to these internationalist mobilizations, build concrete links with organizations of the oppressed and change the global balance of power.

End the Israeli attacks against the Palestinian people, ceasefire now!

Russian troops out of Ukraine!

Dissolve NATO and CSTO!

Against all forms of imperialism, international solidarity!


Originally published at https://fourth.international/en/510/asia/548

Photo:  Demonstration in Liège (Belgium). © Fourth International