Congress reaffirms our solidarity with the struggle of the Irish people for self-determination, independence and reunification, as expressed at our founding congress and subsequently. The Irish people have struggled for centuries to restore their legitimate national rights and still do so today. Their unyielding spirit in the face of overwhelming odds has inspired freedom fighters throughout the world and continues to do so.
Through a masterful combination of political and armed struggle, the Irish people, led by the republican movement, forced the incomparably stronger forces of British imperialism into a state of strategic stalemate. Since then, Sinn Fein has skilfully built on the gains of the previous period of struggle to advance a political process aimed at reconciling the historic antagonisms fostered between Irish people by British imperialism through its strategy of ‘divide and rule’.
Congress welcomes the further step towards a united Ireland represented by the Hillsborough Castle Agreement (HCA) signed on 5 February 2010. This agreement, effective from 12 April, transfers the control of policing and justice in the six counties from British to Irish soil, brings parades legislation under local control and clears the way for the long-awaited implementation of the Good Friday and St Andrew’s agreements.
This tactical achievement is the fruit of lengthy political struggle led by Sinn Fein, whose growing political strength both in the occupied north east and in the rest of the country has obliged even the hard-line unionist sectarians of the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) to bow to the inevitable. That is why the DUP dropped their arbitrary precondition that the Orange Order be given carte blanche to march up the Garvaghy Road – only the latest in a long line of delaying tactics dreamed up by these unionist diehards, doubtless encouraged in their pathetic obstinacy by reactionaries in the Northern Ireland Office itself.
Congress reiterates the demand that British imperialism and its unionist stooges stop all further foot dragging and immediately and fully implement all provisions of the Good Friday and St Andrew’s agreements as a step towards full British withdrawal from Ireland and the affairs of the Irish people, national reunification and independence.
It is well known that Karl Marx and Frederick Engels repeatedly taught that the British working class must support the Irish not only as a matter of justice for Ireland but above all in their own class interest. It absolutely remains the case that the British proletariat will remain slaves to capital unless and until they learn to support the struggle of the Irish, the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Palestinians and every other oppressed nation that rises up to challenge imperialist domination.
For that reason, our party will continue to support and campaign with Irish community and anti-imperialist organisations standing for national reunification and an end to British interference in Irish affairs, including the Wolfe Tone Society and the Troops Out Movement. In particular, we will support the international campaign to “put Irish unity on the agenda”, which Sinn Fein has launched in Canada, the USA and Britain in recent widely supported rallies.
Iraq and Afghanistan
This congress reaffirms its support for the resistance in Iraq and Afghanistan, its opposition to the puppet administrations in those countries and the undemocratic stage-managed so-called elections through which they come to power, and calls for the immediate withdrawal from both countries of all imperialist forces of occupation.
Gaza Freedom Flotilla
This congress notes with outrage the massacre of an as-yet-unknown number of peaceful aid volunteers aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla on 31 May 2010. In an act of piracy that violated international law and the Geneva conventions, as well as all norms of human decency, Israel sent hundreds of fully-armed commandos in a night-time raid to hijack ships that were travelling in international waters and posed no threat whatsoever to Israel’s security.
Congress notes that although the number ‘nine’ has been much publicised as the total of slain victims in this atrocity, many volunteers are still unaccounted for, and organisers believe that the death toll may in fact be closer to 20.
Congress also notes with sadness that it took international peace activists to be killed in large numbers to bring the siege on Gaza into the western media spotlight and make it a high-profile issue on the world political stage, in a way that the deaths of 1,417 Palestinians in the Gaza massacre last year failed to do.
This congress believes that, far from constituting the ‘provocation’ that Israeli zionist politicians have described them as, the volunteers were in fact responding to calls from within the UN itself that, since Israel was not being brought to book for its crimes against Palestine, nor the siege of Gaza being lifted through official channels, then efforts must be made by non-governmental organisations to break the blockade and uphold international law.
This congress further believes that, while this particular aid mission may have been stopped, Israel has utterly failed in its attempt to thereby crush the rising international solidarity movement, but has, on the contrary, only helped it to grow and become more determined. Not only are more ships already being bought and filled, but activists and organisations from all over the world are stepping forward to man them. Far from making itself more secure, Israel’s rabid actions have only succeeded in bringing the day of its own demise closer.
This congress applauds the initiative of Viva Palestina and Free Gaza, who, by land and by sea, have been working to bring the siege to public attention, and who have brought together an international coalition of organisations and activists to further that aim, most notably IHH of Turkey, which made by far the largest contribution to the Freedom Flotilla.
Congress sends a red salute to all those brave volunteers who put themselves in the firing line on every one of the siege-busting missions, and especially to the slain heroes of the Freedom Flotilla, whose names will be recorded in the roll of honour as martyrs not only for Palestine, but for the entire working and oppressed masses of the world in their struggle against imperialist domination. They are the true embodiment of proletarian internationalism.
Congress also welcomes the response of the government of Turkey, which has finally shown the way to other states by offering a naval escort to the next aid ships that sail to Gaza.
This congress resolves to take up the cause of the flotilla martyrs by redoubling its efforts in support of Palestine. We call on all our members to become active in the Palestine solidarity movement: to join PSC and raise awareness of the issue in workplaces, schools, colleges and unions.
This congress calls on the British government and people to demand:
* the immediate release of all those volunteers still held prisoner by Israel;
* the severing of all diplomatic, financial and military ties between Britain and Israel;
* the complete boycott of Israeli goods and institutions;
* an end to British media complicity in Israel’s war crimes;
* an international tribunal to try Israel’s zionist leaders for war crimes committed during the siege and bombardment of Gaza, as well as against the Freedom Flotilla;
* an end to the siege of Gaza;
* freedom for Palestine.
Congress affirms that we will continue to give full support to all those who stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people, including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Viva Palestina and other community-based initiatives.
Congress recalls that when it last met it affirmed that Israeli intransigence had killed off the Oslo accords under which the parties agreed to work towards a compromise to the effect that the Palestinians would recognise Israel’s right to existence in return for having their own Palestinian state on 22 percent of historic Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Since those accords had comprehensively fallen apart, we affirmed our support for the destruction of the zionist state of Israel, to be replaced by a secular state of Palestine in which jews and Arabs would have equal rights and live side by side and in peace.
Subsequent events have served to confirm the correctness of this analysis. In particular, the subjection of Gaza to siege and genocide, the ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem, the continued expansion of zionist settlements and the apartheid wall on the West Bank and the increasingly desperate resort to the assassination of Palestinian leaders and the threats of aggression against other sovereign states in the Middle East have heaped proof upon proof that the zionists have burned every bridge via which diplomacy could have hoped to revisit the mirage of a ‘two-state solution’.
At the time of the Oslo Accords, the Palestinians, under enormous duress, made temporary concessions to the occupying forces which nobody had any right to demand of them, for the moment ceding 78 percent of their historic homeland in exchange for a promise of peace. No Palestinian doubted the intolerable historical injustice represented in this tactical retreat, or believed that a piecemeal reversion to the pre-1967 borders could ever satisfy the legitimate demand for self-determination on the whole of the national homeland. But those in the West who held the Palestinian cause dearest had respect for this agonising choice made by the liberation movement, and understood the tactical considerations which underpinned it.
Congress asserts that the world must now recognise and respect a different choice made by the Palestinian people. The mandate for the road of intifada represented first, by the landslide vote for Hamas, and second, by the continuing steadfast support for Hamas and their call for unity in the face of all Israel’s subsequent crimes in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem, can leave no honest observer in doubt as to the will of the Palestinian people. As is well known, Hamas has not insisted on the immediate reversal of the Nakba, satisfied for the moment to keep the focus on the territories occupied in 1967. But those in the West who would give solidarity to the Palestinian people need now to understand that history has moved on. Those imperialist politicians who allow Gaza to burn and starve, who egg on the settlers’ fascist land grab on the West Bank, who promote the ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Jerusalem, whilst all the time mouthing pious homilies about ‘road maps’ leading to some fantasy ‘two-state solution’ – these fraudsters with blood on their hands must be exposed and denounced.
Every day the Palestinians live under the shadow of imperialist guns, yet every day put their lives on the line in the struggle for freedom and justice. We who live in the belly of the imperialist beast do not often suffer the same consequences when we raise our voices in solidarity. It is incumbent upon communists, and indeed upon all who are sincere in their expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people, to challenge and expose the hypocrisy of our leaders whose continuing prattle about ‘two states’ has now the sole purpose of diverting attention from their complicity with zionist war crimes.
This congress expresses its support for the steps taken by the Iranian government and people to exert Iran’s independence and sovereignty, including their programme to develop their ability to generate nuclear power by uranium enrichment.
At the same time, it denounces attempts by US imperialism and its allies to interfere in Iran’s internal affairs, both by subjecting it to sanctions and threats of war, and by fostering counter-revolutionary elements to effect a so-called ‘green revolution’.
This congress reaffirms its support for the democratic anti-imperialist movement that is now sweeping Latin America, led by Cuba and Venezuela, which is freeing that continent from the crushing grip of US imperialism and setting it on the path to independence, national sovereignty and prosperity.
The Miami Five
This congress calls on President Obama to demonstrate his self-proclaimed commitment to freedom, democracy and human rights by immediately releasing from jail the Miami Five, unjustly convicted on trumped-up charges when they had committed no crime but were merely engaged in gathering information about the activities and plans of anti-Cuban terrorist organisations with a view to preparing the Cuban nation and people to defend themselves against atrocities planned to be committed against them.
We demand that on their release they should be given ample compensation for their more than ten years of unjust imprisonment and that they should be allowed freely to return to Cuba.
In addition to our support for Cuba and the Miami Five, we also support Cuba’s fight against the US blockade and embargo of Cuba and the US attempts to interfere with Cuba’s national sovereignty.
Congress notes and reaffirms the principled and unwavering support for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) upheld by our party since its foundation and reiterated at successive congresses.
In the period since our last congress, the DPRK has scored successive achievements in socialist construction, especially in rehabilitating key sectors of the national economy and placing them on a modernised foundation, with advanced technology, in a planned way, and on the basis of independence and self-reliance. Further, despite all difficulties, the DPRK has maintained bedrock socialist policies, such as free education and free health care, for all its people.
These achievements have been scored despite the continued and unrelenting hostility of US imperialism and the reactionary forces in south Korea, whose policy of sanctions, blockade, psychological warfare, military pressure and threats are aimed at stifling the country by every conceivable means, overturning socialism and returning the people of the DPRK to the miserable position of slaves to capitalists, landlords and foreign imperialists.
Against this background, in the period since our last congress, the Korean people have not only scored impressive victories in modernising the economy and stabilising the people’s lives, but have also launched a second satellite and carried out their second test of a nuclear weapon, considerably strengthening their independent nuclear deterrent for self-defence.
Congress reiterates our party’s principled view that, in the face of the occupation of half their country, in view of the fact that the US imperialists confront the tiny DPRK, and other states in the region, with thousands of nuclear weapons, and keep the DPRK, along with its friendly neighbours China and Russia, on its nuclear first strike list, the Korean people have every right, indeed the duty, to maintain and strengthen a nuclear deterrent, despite the economic and other hardships this imposes on them. If the imperialists do not like the fact that the Korean people have nuclear weapons, the solution is very simple – all they have to do is to renounce their own nuclear and other military threats against the DPRK, normalise relations with the country and live in peace and harmony with the Korean people. The fact that they refuse to do so speaks volumes.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, a conflict of unspeakable imperialist brutality and savagery. Fifty-seven years since the fighting was concluded by an armistice agreement, there is neither a peace treaty nor the normalisation of relations between the principal protagonists; the Korean people remain divided and the DPRK remains under threat. It is against this background that the foreign ministry of the DPRK is demanding that the armistice agreement be replaced by a peace treaty, as the basis and precondition for resolving all outstanding issues among the various parties.
Congress expresses its full support for this demand of the DPRK. Further, we will campaign actively in the working-class, anti-war and peace movements to secure the broadest possible support for this most reasonable demand.
This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Britain and the DPRK. It was simply a disgrace that for decades British imperialism refused to recognise even the legitimate existence of a socialist state on Korean soil. Our party actively supports the development of people-to-people friendly relations between the British and Korean peoples, particularly among the working class, as well as through such means as cultural exchanges, so that working and progressive people in Britain can better know the reality of the DPRK and its just stands.
Our party can take pride in its consistent, active and uncompromising defence of the DPRK. However, Congress recognises the need to make this work more dynamic, attractive and relevant to the working class and progressive movements in Britain, and especially to young people. Our party needs to exercise its own independent initiative in developing friendship and solidarity work with Korea, in producing attractive and relevant propaganda and publicity material, and in explaining the standpoints, achievements and problems of socialist Korea in a realistic and comprehensible way. Our party must seek to win more friends for Korea in the working-class movement and elsewhere and should seek to work with a broader and more credible range of united front partners, as we have been doing in such cases as Hands off China!, in celebrating the anniversary of the October Revolution, in Viva Palestina!, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War and so on.
2010 also marks the 65th founding anniversary of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK). Congress sends its warmest greetings of militant solidarity to the fraternal WPK and its respected leader Comrade Kim Jong Il. We highly value our fraternal relations with the WPK and resolve to strengthen them in every possible way.
Congress reaffirms the resolution on China passed at our fourth congress in 2008 and its support for the People’s Republic of China and the Communist Party of China.
Last year, the People’s Republic celebrated the 60th anniversary of its foundation by Comrade Mao Zedong in a grand manner that demonstrated to the entire world that the Chinese people have indeed “stood up”. The magnificent Beijing Olympics eloquently conveyed this same message in 2008.
China’s was the major economy least affected by the global international financial crisis and the first to emerge from it, continuing to sustain annual growth rates of nearly 10 percent. The credit for this should go to the socialist foundations of the Chinese economy.
In the face of a deepening imperialist crisis, alongside the resilience and steady growth of People’s China and its ever-increasing role in world affairs, especially its significant and principled support to countries and peoples throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America, the United States and other imperialist powers, including Britain, are becoming more undisguised in their hostility towards China and the Chinese people. Their imperialist nature compels them to do so.
Over recent months, major areas in which the United States has sought to confront and oppose China include new arms sales to Taiwan, to the value of $6.4bn, in defiance of several joint Sino-US communiqués; Obama’s meeting with the feudal relic, the Dalai Lama; security and sovereignty issues related to the internet, with Google acting as the stalking horse for the US State Department; currency and trade issues, principally the valuation of the Renminbi; the encouragement of terrorism and counter-revolutionary turmoil in Xinjiang and Tibet; climate change; energy security; and the nuclear issues in Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The United States is constantly manoeuvring to weaken China’s regional security environment and to encircle the country, this being one important reason behind the war in Afghanistan, behind the continued occupation of south Korea and the tragic division of the Korean nation, as well as behind US support for the most reactionary forces in Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, Australia, India and Nepal, among others.
In Britain, the Labour government has also pursued the same anti-China agenda in an ever more blatant manner, especially on the questions of Tibet, the Copenhagen conference on climate change and China’s completely justifiable execution of a British drug smuggler.
It was precisely against such a background, and noting the almost complete lack of principled and active support for China in the working-class movement, that our party launched the Hands off China! campaign.
Congress reiterates the party’s support for Hands off China! This campaign has vital work to do in defending China and in popularising the country’s achievements among the working-class movement, the minority ethnic communities, the anti-war movement and progressive people generally. The party needs to pay greater attention to this work, particularly through increased web content, more activity and printed materials, and the formation of active local groups, and we should seek to involve more friends of China beyond our own ranks.
Congress also welcomes the positive development of the friendship between the Communist Party of China and our party and resolves to strengthen friendly and fraternal relations in every possible way.
As China represents around one quarter of the world’s population, is one of the world’s leading economies, and is the principal socialist country in today’s world, not only its great achievements but also its problems and shortcomings are of global consequence and carry weighty importance not only for the Chinese people but also for the entire international communist movement and the future of humanity as a whole. It is from this perspective that Congress affirms the need for the incoming central committee and the whole party to continue seriously to study and discuss the question of China in appropriate ways.
Recognising that the people of Zimbabwe fought long and hard to liberate their country and have every right to effect a redistribution of land and other forms of wealth from colonists and their descendants to the native born from whom these assets were originally stolen at gunpoint, Congress reaffirms its support for the anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist government of Zimbabwe led by President Robert Mugabe and denounces imperialist meddling in the affairs of that country, which consists of callous and merciless attempts on the part of imperialism to stifle the lifeblood out of its economy, designed to make an example of Zimbabwe that will discourage other oppressed and super-exploited countries in Africa from seeking to throw off the imperialist yoke.
>Congress motions 1 – the way forward for our party during the economic crisis – August 2010