Dear comrades and friends
FREEDOM FOR THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
Israel’s war on the people of Gaza casts a long shadow over the dawn of a new year. From the outset, the Communist Party condemned the bombardment of Palestinian towns and villages, which soon turned into the wholesale mass slaughter of Palestinian civilians.
We also condemned the attack on Israeli civilians by Hamas which gave the Netanyahu government its excuse for the massacres in Gaza which followed. Of course, these events have happened in a much longer historical context, which is why the Communist Party – in step with our comrades in the Palestine, Israel and the Middle East – emphasises the demand not only for an unconditional ceasefire but also for the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state on pre-1967 borders, the liberation of all political prisoners and the right of return to their original homeland for all Palestinians.
The genocidal agenda of the Netanyahu regime is to destroy the basis for any such Palestinian state and to impose a single-state ‘solution’: a Greater Israel.
All Communist Party of Britain members and friends are urged to do everything they can to support the work of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Palestine Action and Medical Aid for Palestinians. In particular, we must intensify the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against economic, cultural and military links with Israel, putting the maximum pressure on the British, Scottish and Welsh governments and the Labour Party leadership. Go all out for the Palestine solidarity protests on January 6 and 13!
THE HOLOCAUST … NEVER FORGET
Holocaust Memorial Day on January 28 should serve as a reminder to us all of where racism can lead when unchecked. As always, the main focus will be on the extermination of more than six million Jews at the hands of the Nazis and their helpers.
Although the other victims of genocidal mass murder should not be forgotten, the genocidal destruction of many of Europe’s Jewish communities remains a crime unique in world history, in scale and method. Moreover, it was fuelled by old murderous myths and hatreds that persist to this day.
That is why the Communist Party can never tolerate antisemitism in any form. Our members must be on guard against the use of anti-Jewish formulations and images and challenge them wherever they arise.
This uncompromising approach strengthens the fight against racism, the far right and fascists. It also blunts the unscrupulous use of bogus charges of antisemitism to discredit the left – including the Communist Party – and the movement in solidarity with the Palestinian people (which includes many Jewish people in Israel, Britain and around the world).
STRIKE DOWN THE ANTI-UNION LAWS
The Tory government’s anti-strike Minimum Service Levels legislation is now in place. In order to frustrate this new law, Communists and all workers should draw inspiration not only from the recent and continuing strike wave, but also from the lessons of history.
In the late 1960s and 1970s, united mass defiance of anti-union laws defeated the Industrial Relations Act and freed dockers’ leaders from Pentonville dockers. Key to that victory was Broad Left and Communist leadership in the trade union movement. Such leadership has to be built and earned again today, on the basis of fighting unity across and at every level of the unions.
Wherever they can be active in their union and local trades council, socialists and Communists must play their part in making the new Tory law unworkable through mass defiance and unity
The new edition of our pamphlet The Fight of Our Lives draws lessons from the current strike wave and puts the case clearly for greater militancy, unity and strengthening broad left alliances within and across unions.
An immediate priority is to mobilise for the ‘Defend the Right to Strike’ TUC demonstration in Cheltenham on January 27 and to intensify the struggle to commit an incoming Labour government to the repeal of all anti-strike, anti-union and anti-worker legislation.
LEARN FROM LENIN
The great revolutionary Vladimir Lenin died on January 21, 1924. Communists and socialists should use this Centenary Year to study and discuss his life and ideas. Leninist theory and practice has still much to teach us, as applied in a Marxist way to present-day conditions.
In particular, Lenin’s analysis of imperialism, the state, alliances, socialist revolution, the national question and the revolutionary party has much that is fresh and relevant for today.
For its part, the Communist Party of Britain and its newly-elected Executive Committee will be considering how to mark this centenary and strengthen the Leninist character of our growing party.
The middle weekends of March promise to be a busy time for Communists. On Saturday, March 9, together with comrades domiciled here from Iran, Iraq, India, Cyprus, Sudan and elsewhere, our party will be celebrating International Women’s Day with a major event in London.
The following Saturday will see major mobilisations to mark International Anti-Racism Day, while on Sunday the CP executive will decamp from its weekend meeting at Ruskin House to join the Marx Oration at Highgate Cemetery, hosted jointly with the Marx Memorial Library. Let’s make this the biggest commemoration yet!
75 NOT OUT …
Mao Zedong proclaimed the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949. The Communist Party of Britain, our friends and allies will be organising events to celebrate the historic and contemporary achievements of the Chinese people and their ruling party. Watch this space …
FLY THE RED BANNER!
Local elections will be taking place in many communities across England on May 9. There is also the possibility that the General Election that must be held before the end of January 2025 will be held on that same day.
Communists will not be standing aside in either set of elections. Party organisations at local, district and national level are urged to consider urgently where they can field candidates who will fly the red banner of socialism and communism!
Last November, our party’s 58th Congress decided that a Labour victory in the General Election would be preferable to the continuation of this racist, neoliberal, war-mongering Conservative regime. However, we also understand that, in itself, a Labour win guarantees nothing unless we continue to build a militant mass movement.
We will not be calling and campaigning for a Labour vote everywhere. Our Executive Committee may conclude that other left candidates should be supported instead. But most of all, we want to see more Communists standing, especially where the Labour alternative supports Starmer’s purge of the left, privatisation, austerity, nuclear weapons and Israeli war crimes.
On every front, Communists and the left must come to the fore as champions of the working class, social progress, democratic rights, anti-racism, peace and a sustainable future for humanity!
For Communist advance in 2024