On 29 July 2017 the CPGB-ML held its annual anti-imperialist solidarity barbecue which especially marks the victory of the Korean people in the Fatherland Liberation War against US-led imperialist aggression, as well as the attack on the Moncada Barracks by Fidel Castro and his comrades, which signalled the start of the Cuban Revolution.
In attendance this year were the diplomatic representatives of the DPRK (Comrades Kim Song Gi and Ryu Kyong Jun), the Republic of Cuba (Comrade Jorge Luís García), the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (Comrades Marcos García and Helena Menéndez), and the Republic of Laos (Comrades Keo Vongxay and Moungkhoun Chansavath). Also present was Comrade Tian Yuan Qim who attended on behalf of the New China News Agency, Xinhua.
Following the excellent lunch, during which CPGB-ML comrades had the opportunity to talk to, and change views with our esteemed guests, a spirited rally was held in Saklatvala Hall. It started with a short film from the DPRK which gave substantial proof that it was the US that started the Korean war, which claimed the lives of 3 million Korean people, in addition to the losses suffered by the Chinese people’s volunteers.
Harpal Brar chaired the meeting. His introductory remarks can be accessed on Proletarian TV via the CPGB-ML’s website. Ella Rule and Rob Amos spoke on behalf of the CPGB-ML and Red Youth (the CPGB-ML youth wing) respectively. Ella Rule’s speech made similar points to those set out in an article in the May 2017 issue of LALKAR, and Rob Amos’s speech is reproduced below.
Our guests delivered messages of solidarity, as indeed did a representative of the JVP of Sri Lanka.
In view of the high tense situation on the Korean peninsula, thanks solely to US imperialist provocations and attempts at intimidation and blackmail of the DPRK, we reproduce first of all the speech delivered by Comrade Kim Song Gi:
“July 27 – Victory day for the DPRK
“On 27 July 1953, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea emerged victorious in the Korean war.
“When the US unleashed the war, few believed that it would end with the defeat of the US which was a victor in the Second World War and had emerged as the leader of the imperialist forces. And no one believed that the 2-year-old DPRK would win the war. It was by no means accidental that the US predicted at the time of unleashing the war that it would wind up the war within 72 hours. However, they miscalculated. As it said, the longer the war lasted, the deeper it found itself in a dilemma: though it kicked the door open, it could neither go into the room nor get out of it.
“When it became aware of the DPRK, the Korean people and the Korean people’s army, it was too late. It had to pay dearly for the crime of unleashing the war.
“It hurled into the war over 2 million-strong forces, including one-third of its ground forces, one-fifth of its air force, most of its Pacific Fleet, some of its Mediterranean Fleet, as well as troops from 15 vassal states, the south Korean puppet army and even the remnants of the former Japanese army, but it sustained a loss nearly 2.3 times greater than it had suffered in the 4-year war in the Pacific.
“US News and World Report deplored the fact that the US sustained a loss twice as great as it had suffered in five great wars – the War of Independence, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the US-Spanish War and war in the Philippines.
“Driven into a tight corner by the might of the unity of the Korean army and people rallied behind their leader as one and the might of an all-people resistance, the US could not but sign an armistice agreement, no better than a surrender document.
“Ever victorious July 27
“The US, instead of drawing a lesson from its miserable defeat in the Korean War, continued to station its troops in south Korea, and resorted to endless military provocation against the DPRK with the ambition to occupy the whole of Korea.
“Typical examples were the incident of the Pueblo, a US armed spy ship, and the incident of EC-121, a US large espionage plane, in the 1960s respectively, the Panmunjon incident in the 1970s and the Korean peninsula nuclear crisis that started in the 1990s. However, all these incidents ended in defeat for the US and victory for the DPRK.
“The US conducts joint military exercises with the south Korean army every year, bringing the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of war. It mobilised over 300,000 troops and various strategic nuclear assets in the Key Resolve nuclear war games conducted this year; it also hurled special operations troops three times more than last year, and dispatched the Carl Vinsson-led carrier strike group to the waters off the Korean peninsula by changing its course. It even spread a rumour about an ‘April war’.
“However, it faced a hard-line response in the form of the DPRK ballistic rocket launching drills by Hwasong artillery units of the Strategic Force of the Korean People’s Army, static firing test of new-type high-thrust motor and Tankmen’s Competition of the KPA-2-17. In the face of successive displays of the political and military might of the DPRK, the US could not but end the nuclear war games with no tangible result.
“True to the line of promoting economic construction and building up the nuclear forces simultaneously, the DPRK ushered in a golden age in strengthening its military capabilities, putting an end to the US threat of aggression and nuclear blackmail. The epoch-making events demonstrating its nuclear attack capabilities frustrated the enemy’s provocative moves at every step.
“Recently a western newspaper wrote an article entitled ‘North Korea wins confrontation with the Trump administration’. The confrontation, which continued early this year, ended with north Korea’s victory. Trump shot his own foot. If the US provokes North Korea again, it would also end in north Korea’s victory.
“The V day, July 27, of the Korean people will be eternal.”
Comrade Rob Amos from Red Youth made the following rousing speech:
“Comrades and friends, I’d like to speak briefly about the CPGB-ML, Red Youth, and why now, at this point in time, the work we are carrying out is so vitally important, with regard to the political situation in Britain, and also the wider struggle for progressive solutions to humanity’s problems all over the world.
“When a person is looking around for information – For answers, about socialism, about communism, for ideas about how to improve the world we live in, one is met with a confusing array of interpretations regarding our history and our future.
“The starting point for much contemporary theorising about how to change the world for the better has been, broadly speaking, the idea that progressives need to ‘start again’ – that all humanity’s attempts so far at building a social system free of oppression and exploitation have failed to achieve the aims they hoped to reach.
“Obviously, living in the shadow cast by the apparent ‘collapse’ of socialism in the USSR means we live in a situation in which our job as communists is difficult – over a century of reinforced anti-communist, anti-socialist propaganda exists as a cultural resource, which the servants of the ruling class employ constantly in their efforts to warn the inquisitive away from considering socialism as anything but a failed project.
“The content of this immense archive permeates all aspects of our literature and visual language in the west, to the extent that we have a popular culture that is, however subtle it may sometimes be, imbued with an inherently anti-communist outlook. And this resource it not only available to the bourgeois class in Britain, but also to the most reactionary elements of the pro-imperialist comprador classes all over the developing world, providing ideological fuel to the often extremely right-wing movements backed by imperialism to oppose popular, progressive governments which lean towards a socialist or anti-imperialist direction.
“As we all know, this has created a situation where the imperialists’ view of history has a great deal of influence when it comes to the way alternatives to our current reality are presented, and this brings me to some points I’d like to make about our Party, and the work we’re doing to re-establish a Marxist-Leninist approach to understanding society and the forces which shape its development.
“When I began trying to make sense of history for myself in my late twenties, I found myself trying to understand where socialism ‘went wrong’, and I was confronted with all the contradictory and confusing explanations that bourgeois culture has to offer.
“When dealing with the history of the USSR, and the history of the communist movement in general, the entirely negative approach towards Josef Stalin in particular serves effectively to re-write and obscure the real history of socialist construction in the Soviet Union, and enables bourgeois historians to reduce the fact of the Soviet victory over fascism to a battle between two opposing totalitarian states.
“However, despite the juvenile triumphalism which has characterised the attitude of the main imperialist countries since the 1990s, and the heaps of anti-Soviet propaganda which already existed, clear and convincing explanations for what ultimately caused the Soviet Union’s end are not to be found in great numbers in the ‘political’ section of your local Waterstones – while the cold-war propaganda works of Solzhenitsyn and Robert Conquest are always available.
What I found with the CPGB-ML, which I had not found on offer from any other aspect of the left in Britain, was evidence of years and years of gruelling work on the part of its founding members, to establish, understand and explain the process by which capitalism was eventually restored on the territory of the world’s flagship socialist state.
“But the point of this work has not been to simply set the record straight for the benefit of the academic historians of the future, but to carry out a much needed Marxist analysis of the process by which revisionism led to counter-revolution, and ultimately to the dissolving of the once great Soviet Union, and also to scrape away the layers of imperialist propaganda, so as to allow the younger generation of class-conscious workers to approach the critical questions from a scientific perspective.
“The work of Red Youth, and our cadre development programme, is crucial to the process of training young members to apply Marxist-Leninist analysis in their political work.
“The nature of the imperialist system, and of Britain’s specific role within it, are subjects which, while occasionally given lip service by the broad morass of leftist organisations in Britain, are not appreciated as the absolutely vital lynchpin of understanding which workers in Britain need to grasp fully, if we are ever going to get rid of capitalism and its decayed system for good.
“Our cadre courses aim to develop members with the understanding needed to employ Marxism-Leninism properly. The balance of forces in the world is a constantly changing quantity which requires unceasing attention and analysis if we are to apply ourselves usefully in the struggle against imperialism.
“While the liberal-orientated anti-war movement can’t help but focus on the emotive and the superficial aspects of conflict and struggle, we need cadres who are capable of understanding the seismic undercurrents which actually cause these eruptions to occur. Only then can we hope to have enough force and volume behind us to enable us adequately to mobilise people, and to mobilise with decisive aims beyond simply exercising the right to protest.
“Our party attaches great importance to study, and while others might like to criticise us for placing such value in theoretical work, we believe that an understanding of Marxist-Leninist theory is vital to making the way we approach our practical work yield results.
Building a Communist Party in an imperialist country like Britain has its own particular issues.
“We often hear bourgeois parliamentarians talking about how Britain needs to ‘live within its means’ – but this seldom implies removing Britain’s ruling class from their position as the overseers of the global money-laundering system which goes by the euphemistic name of our financial sector.
In order to have a hope of finally breaking apart this country’s links in the international chains of exploitation, we need to ensure people fully appreciate the nature of British imperialism and the way it continues to act as a destructive force, often in tandem with the US, around the world.
“Workers must go beyond the aim of installing a mildly left-wing bourgeois government which seeks to shift the economic burdens of capitalist crisis elsewhere, so while it may be unpopular at present to keep reminding people of the imperialist nature of the Labour party, as it enjoys its current place dancing seductively under a radical spotlight, it is absolutely crucial to do so.
“In order to do this effectively, and without alienating and confusing the young and energetic workers and students who aspire to socialist ideals, and who take right-wing commentators at face value when they denounce Corbyn as ‘Marxist’, we need our cadres to become fully capable of applying actual Marxist-Leninist theory to anti-imperialist practical work, in order to demonstrate clearly that there is a difference, and a large one at that, between a social-democratic system attempting to soften the shocks of capitalist crisis whilst greasing the wheels of imperialism, and a socialist planned economy, which, in a way that British workers so far have only dreamt of, can be adjusted to meet the changing needs of the population.
“We have a lot of work to do, so please support us in any way that you are able.
Thank you comrades.”
The meeting ended with the singing of the Internationale – the hymn of the international proletariat.