On Saturday 20 December the Birmingham branch of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) held a meeting in solidarity with the Korean people and the Workers Party of Korea which also coincided with the anniversary of the passing away of comrade Kim Jong Il who died in 2011. The Birmingham meeting heard a message of solidarity from Red Youth and another from June Kelly from an Irish friendship organisation, comrade Thae spoke on behalf of the Embassy of the DPR Korea and comrade Paul Cannon spoke on behalf of Birmingham CPGB-ML. Expressing solidarity to the Korean people and the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League comrade Philip from Red Youth said that: “After the successful liberation and socialist reconstruction of Korea under comrade Kim Il Sung, the Workers’ Party of Korea and the Korean masses continued to wage a brave fight against imperialism, and comrade Kim Jong Il was in the front line. Of particular importance in the DPRK’s ongoing struggle against imperialist aggression and interference was the development of its nuclear deterrent – a crowning achievement of Democratic Korea’s scientific progress. The importance of the DPRK’s nuclear capability has been clearly demonstrated by world events in recent years; with US and NATO imperialists invading, bombing and seeking to subjugate those nations who dare to stand up to imperialism’s plunder of the world – Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria are just the latest victims of imperialism’s destructive deeds… “… The Korean People’s Army has proven to be a capable defender of socialist Korea’s sovereignty and the freedom of the Korean people. Without a doubt the imperialists will not dare to raise a hand against the DPR Korea, fearful as they should be of a strong rebuke… … Red Youth will continue to educate our members on the history and present-day reality of Korea, teach them about the achievements of the Korean masses led by the Workers’ Party of Korea and explain how they represent the victories of progressive humanity as a whole! The history of the DPRK is yet another living proof that workers and peasants can overthrow their oppressors, seize power and take control of their lives. Imperialism is a decaying system; ripe for being placed in the museum of antiquities.” Comrade Philip was warmly thanked by the Korean delegates for the solidarity message and comrade Yu from the embassy promised that it would be conveyed to the comrades in Pyongyang. On behalf of the Birmingham branch of the CPGB-ML comrade Paul welcomed the Korean delegation and made a few remarks, ” The Korean people are once again the target in the corporate media of a determined propaganda campaign waged by imperialism, this time over the issue of the ‘hacking scandal’ surrounding Sony Pictures”. In his comments on the furore Paul pointed out that it was ” not the hackers (whoever they might be) who emerged in a bad light from this week’s revelations, but on the contrary, Sony Pictures and the United States government. With a well targeted shot the hackers have shown that the most senior management at Sony Pictures were thoroughly racist and in extraordinary close contact with the highest echelons of the US government. Amy Pascal, the co-Chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment was exposed in leaked emails suggesting that US President Barack Obama might only be interested in the movies Django Unchained or 12 years a Slave . Furthermore she had taken an active part in discussions around the graphic end scene for an anti-DPRK ‘comedy’ which used various CGI and computerised techniques to show Kim Jong Un having his head blown to pieces by a tank shell. “The relationship between Hollywood and the United States military and state department is once again shown to be symbiotic. Although communists are well aware that Hollywood in general plays the role of propaganda organ for the US military, the recent leaks will cause many more innocent cinema goers to question the relations between the ‘harmless entertainment industry’ and the more sinister motives of US imperialism. “The constant drip feed of racist hyperbolic ‘comedy’ of this nature is designed to psychologically prepare the masses in the imperialist countries for their governments’ aggressive warmongering against the oppressed countries and those who are targeted for ‘liberation’ and ‘freedom’ by America, the CIA, Britain and NATO. It must be the job of communists and progressives in the imperialist countries to expose this crude propaganda for what it is.” Comrade Paul spoke about the recent UN ‘Resolution on human rights’ in the DPRK which had the backing of all the major imperialist powers and their stooges but was opposed by China, Russia, Syria, Cuba, Zimbabwe and many of those in the front line of the fight against imperialist world domination. Addressing this question of ‘human rights’, the sheer hypocrisy of the USA was pointed out and juxtaposed to the record of US imperialism at home and abroad, with particular reference to the recent behaviour of the US government in Fergusson and elsewhere. Paul reminded the audience: “The United States, although accounting for a mere 5% of the world’s population, accounts for 25% of world’s total prison population! In the USA over 1% of the population is actually incarcerated in a US gaol, a massive 2.3 million people. The incarceration rate is more than 3 times that of Iran and 6 times that of China – two nations US imperialism and stooges like Amnesty International want us to believe are prison states! In the USA one in every 15 black men are languishing in gaol and, whilst the black population accounts for only 13% of drug users in American society, it accounts for 60% of all drug related convictions…” In explaining the nature of the US state, comrade Paul said that the barbarity, cruelty and violence used by the United States government against its own people and the people in the oppressed world is to be expected. “How can it be otherwise?”, he asked, and pointed out that the state is itself a tool by which one class holds down another, it is an instrument of violence by which the ruling class maintains its privileged position at the expense of the vast masses of workers and oppressed people; expecting it to behave otherwise would be as logical as expecting the sun to rise in the west and set in the east! It is in imperialism’s very nature to behave as a brute. Expanding on the question of the state, Paul explained that only the socialist state can behave in a truly humanitarian way for it is the only state in the history of human civilisation which actually does away with the exploitation of man by man. The socialist state is the first state in the history of the world which substitutes the rule of a minority with the rule of the majority – the working class become masters of their own future and use the State as the means by which to suppress the exploiting tendencies of the vanquished bourgeois class and its agents and hirelings. The masses become the masters! Many comrades made important contributions in the last hour of the meeting and expressed solidarity with the DPRK and the Workers Party of Korea. By way of understanding the Marxist teaching on the State and in an attempt to understand the rot that sets in on this question many copies of Revisionism and the demise of the USSR were sold afterwards along with Proletarian and Lalkar.