Model motion: No cooperation with the imperialist drive to war

Only the collective action of workers has the power to stop the war drive in its tracks. This demand must be taken up in every trade union at every level.

Proletarian writers

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The 78-year US occupation of south Korea has not only kept the south Korean people in misery and the entire Korean peninsula on a war footing, but has also provided the USA with a base from which to terrorise the whole of east Asia. The constant escalation of provocations against the DPRK and China, as well as the remilitarisation of Japan and its inclusion in the ‘eastern Nato’ alliance show clearly that in east Asia as in eastern Europe, US imperialism is set on provoking a new and even more catastrophic war, and is preparing the peoples of the region to become its proxies. And, obedient to the demands of finance capital, British politicians and media are cheering on these efforts and competing with one another in their displays of reckless belligerence.

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This model motion for use by trade unionists and others is included in our upcoming pamphlet Manifesto for the Crisis, which will be available to buy soon in the party bookshop.


This [conference]* notes Britain’s continued involvement in the war in Ukraine and its drive towards war in China and Korea, and calls for the immediate recall of all British troops stationed abroad. Whether in eastern Europe, east Asia, Latin America, Africa or the middle east, these troops are not ‘defending Britain’, but are instead engaged in stirring up conflicts and destabilising governments that are not to the liking of British and US finance capital.

While the City of London’s financial elite hope to benefit by joining arms with the US imperialists to seize the mineral wealth and superexploit the workers of Russia, China, Korea and elsewhere, this conference affirms that such wars are absolutely against the interests of the vast majority of British workers.

Congress notes that in 2014, when a bloody coup d’etat was carried out by the imperialist powers, led by the USA and enthusiastically assisted by Britain, to depose Ukraine’s legally-elected government and replace it with their hand-picked fascistic proxies, the new regime immediately showed its true colours by launching an all-out assault against trade unions and trade unionists, including a massacre where at least 48 (officially acknowledged) but likely over 100 trade unionists and antifascist protestors were burned alive in the trade union house of Odessa. The fascist regime followed this with an eight-year-long military assault, including non-stop bombardment of civilian targets, on the heavily industrialised, heavily unionised, Russian-speaking areas in the eastern Donbass region where a strong anti-coup and antifascist resistance movement had been successfully organised.

Congress further notes that the ensuing eight-year conflict in the Donbass was almost unreported in British media and unremarked by British politicians, although daily shelling of residential areas left 14,000 people dead, most of them civilians. Meanwhile, we now have confirmation from Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande themselves that the peace process they signed up to in Minsk was nothing but a subterfuge – a stalling mechanism aimed at ‘buying time’ for further arming and training Ukraine’s military forces.

During these eight years, the growth of ultra-nationalist and Nazi-ideology-aligned organisations, already developed by US-funded organisations (to the tune of $5bn) for two decades before 2014, went into overdrive. Small private fascist militias became private armies. New fascist militias arose, espousing openly Nazi ideology and heredity. These were all financed, armed and trained by the west, including by British instructors, and were absorbed into the ranks of the national army. Their stated goal was the ethnic cleansing of the majority of Russian speakers and the creation of a two-tier ethnic apartheid state in which Russian-speakers (who accounted for 30 percent of the population in the territory of the former Ukrainian Republic) were second-class citizens, where the Russian language was banned from public life, including education, where Russian literature and culture were likewise vilified, and where history was falsified to present the Red Army liberators of Europe in WW2 as criminals and the genocidal Nazi-affiliated Banderites of Ukraine as heroes.

Conference notes that the only possible reason for arming Ukraine to the teeth and inducting it into Nato is as a battering ram to be used against Russia. Many documents, whether from the German Third Reich of the 1930s or the CIA planners of the 1950s and beyond, show incontrovertibly that western imperialist powers, including Britain, have long held this ambition, doing everything in their power to foster and manipulate elements within Ukrainian society that will allow them to transform the country into a weapon in their drive to loot the resources and crush the resistance of Russia.

Conference further notes that the many attempts by Russia to find a peaceful means for coexistence with the imperialists in Europe were consistently rebuffed.
Precisely because of these developments it was obvious to all those who were paying attention that a conflict was unavoidable, that those in the west who planned this conflict had no intention of stopping, and that the conflict would not stop at the Donbass. The Communists of Russia, having seen exactly this, had been calling on President Putin to send in the Russian army since the beginning of the war in 2014.

Conference also notes that when Russia finally stepped in after eight years, the forces of Ukraine’s army, by then fully trained and equipped by Nato, were massing huge numbers of troops and equipment on the borders of the Donbass, preparing for a large-scale offensive operation against the people of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Taking all the above into account, it is clear that the special military operation was not launched ‘out of the blue’, but belatedly in response to real threats to Russia and Russian people, and as a result of both the intransigence of the western powers and the growing popular pressure for an intervention in Russia itself.

This conference notes with shame the role of of ‘our own’ British imperialist government as a key player in planning and perpetrating these heinous war crimes against the Ukrainian and Russian peoples, and the uncritical support given to these criminal efforts by almost every parliamentary politician, no matter what their party affiliation.

Conference also notes that many British workers have been browbeaten, by a compliant political and media establishment, into accepting Britain’s role in the Ukraine war on entirely false premises that seek to paint Russia, rather than Anglo-American imperialism and its local fascistic proxies, as the aggressor. Thus the necessary ground was laid to send British and US military experts and operatives (workers in uniform) to do the bankers’, oil magnates’ and armament manufacturers’ dirty work, to enact a regime of entirely-self-defeating sanctions against the Russian people (which have turned out to be far more damaging to British and European workers than to our Russian counterparts), and to justify a seemingly limitless stream of subsidies, amounting to uncounted billions of pounds, to British and US arms monopolies under cover of ‘standing with Ukraine’.

Conference notes that while money-printing and sanctions ‘for Ukraine’ are fuelling an inflation crisis that is already rampant, our rulers continue to insist that it is ‘unaffordable’ to pay wages that keep pace with this inflation, even as they continue to send billions in subsidies to Ukraine.

Conference further notes that we are being similarly prepared to accept and cooperate with economic and proxy wars against both north Korea (the DPRK) and China (via Taiwan), whose effects we can expect to be even more catastrophic to the livelihoods of ordinary workers.

This conference believes that responsibility for the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian lives lost and livelihoods destroyed since Russia was forced to enter the conflict in February 2022 lies wholly with the imperialists, who are directing the so-called ‘government’ in Kiev from behind the scenes.

Conference further believes that war fought to enforce subjection and servitude upon another nation is morally abhorrent; to fight and die in such a cause is demoralising, corrupting and meaningless. Moreover, when workers fight to defend the looting power of their ‘own’ imperialist rulers, they are sacrificing themselves in order to strengthen the very class enemy that keeps them poor and exploited.

Conference also believes that the possibilities of the imperialist war drive spilling over from proxy and sanctions wars into open confrontation between the world’s largest and most powerful nuclear-armed military machines is an ever-present danger.

Conference realises that, although individually powerless, collectively, British workers do have the power to stop British involvement in the war in Ukraine, and in the planned wars against Russia and China, since the government and corporations cannot fight them without us.

This conference therefore resolves that:

  1. It will be official union policy to organise mass resistance to cooperation with activity that in any way supports, directly or indirectly, the imperialist war effort of Britain, the USA or Nato; and that the union will render every support to any members victimised for taking this principled stand.
  2. Members of [this union] will do all in their power to promote a movement of industrial, political and military non-cooperation with all of imperialism’s aggressive war preparations and activities among British working people.

This conference declares that it will from now on be official union policy to organise mass resistance to cooperation with any activity that in any way supports, directly or indirectly, the imperialist war effort of Britain, the USA or Nato; and that the union will render every support to any members victimised for taking this principled stand.

Specifically, Conference will make policy that all members of [this union] will:

  • Refuse to make or move any materiel to be used by the armed forces in their aggressive operations abroad;
  • Refuse to fight in or assist Nato’s armies, whether they be direct or proxy forces;
  • Refuse to make or transmit propaganda that justifies or whitewashes the criminal imperialist war drive;
  • Refuse to assist in any way with the operation of US/Nato bases on British soil; and
  • Refuse to cooperate with or facilitate in any way the implementation of economic sanctions aimed at punishing the workers of other countries for choosing governments of whom the imperialists do not approve and cannot control.


* Change as required: eg, branch, meeting, union, etc.