Just as LALIT’s long struggle to get the Mauritian State to go to the United Nations system in order to complete the decolonization process by reuniting Chagos including Diego Garcia into the Republic of Mauritius was reinforced by 40 years of international solidarity, so we in LALIT over the years express our solidarity with struggles in other countries. And while in the early years, all communications were through the postal service – by air and even by ship – and in emergencies by telegrams, today this solidarity is expressed most of the time via the internet. However, as well as regular publications from France, the UK and the USA, we from time to time receive, with a certain excitement, an envelope, with copies of newspapers and magazines recounting an event held abroad a few months earlier – and last week we got one like that – to which we have sent a message. The envelope was delivered by the fakter via sea-mail all the way from Japan. It was from a political organization in Japan, the Japan Revolutionary Communist League – RMF, a group that LALIT members linked up with while at a Lutte Ouvriere event outside Paris a few years back, which is also part of the common front there against war and againt military bases.
Eighteen organizations from twenty countries sent message of solidarity on the occasion of the 58th Japan International Antiwar Assemblies, held on August 2nd in Tokyo and six other cities in Japan, via this political organization. And LALIT was one of them. One year one of our members, Ragini Kistnasamy, was a speaker at events in Japan, including at military bases outside Tokyo and in Okinawa, protesting against militarism.
The messages, including that of LALIT, were translated into Japanese and read in the different assemblies attended by militant workers and university students.
The reports in newspapers and magazines, duly published in Japanese with English translations, which LALIT received last week mentioned that ‘Participants listened to every message with great internationalist interests and enthusiasm. From the messages, they learned how the respective organizations were fighting amid the pandemic and how they were viewing the current international situation. Receiving these messages of solidarity from comrades fighting in other countries, Japanese workers and students strengthened their resolve to build international solidarity.’
Messages of solidarity were from the following organizations and individuals
Revolutionary Marxists in Britain
Russian Communist Workers Party
Lotta Comunista (Italy)
News and Letters Committees (USA)
The International Secretariat of the Fourth International
Tavini Huiraatira no te Ao Maohi (French Polynesia)
Workers International League (WIL – Zimbabwe)
Organization of Communists Internationalists, Greece (OKDE)
Fracción Leninista Trotskista Internacional
Prospettiva Marxista (Italy)
Organising Committee for the Reconstitution of the Fourth International
union Pacifiste de France
War Resisters League (USA)
Left Radical Organization of Afghanistan
Revolutionary Workers Party (DIP) (Turkey)
Workers Revolutionary Party (EEK) (Greece)
Russian Party of Communists.
Hereunder is the message from LALIT:
LALIT in Mauritius expresses solidarity on the occasion of the 58th International Antiwar Assemblies to be held in Japan on 2nd August 2020.
This year, the Antiwar assemblies are being held in the exceptional circumtances of a pandemic of Covid-19 affecting the lives of workers and poor people across the world in a disproportionately hard way.
This major health crisis has been, and still is, followed everywhere by the long-term, existing capitalist crisis now diving into more severe depths with the halt of many parts of the economy world-wide. The consequences of the combined health-and-economic crises on working class lives are drastic: there are jobs lost, wages cut, and a marked deterrioration of work conditions, including having to work from home, besides having to pay for rises in the prices of basic needs.
In Mauritius, the Government brought major changes in legislation, with more repression on working people including even new work sectors where strikes are now completely illegal, not just during the lockdown period but without any end-date. There are harsher labour laws. The working class and poor people are being made to carry the burden of the economic crisis, while government is heavily subsidizing the bosses to saveguard their profits.
At the international level, imperialist states are not spared the virus and its effects either. Many, like the USA, have a galloping epidemic inside their territory, and also at the level of their military bases, even those abroad, where the virus has flared up, as well as on war-ships, which become like prisons, while the virus rages. For instance, we learnt that some of the US military bases on Okinawa are now under lockdown following cases of Covid-19, while in Okinawa, we understand, local new cases were down to zero. Military bases, thus represent threats not only against peace in the world, but also of spreading the deadly virus. It shows how “bases” are bits of the imperialist country, in this case, the USA, that are outside their borders, in this case part of Japan. Warships are, similarly, bits of imperialist countries that roam the seas.
Our struggle for closing down of the US military base in the Indian Ocean has moved a step forward last year, with the U.N. Resolution compelling UK to end its illegal occupation of the Chagos Islands, stolen from Mauritius in 1960’s and then one of the Chagos Islands was leased by the UK to the US imperialists to set-up the Diego Garcia Military base. This UN Resolution followed the judgment of the International Court of Justice against Britain the previous year.
The Diego Garcia military base, over which we need to gain proper democratic control, was used as a trampoline for the USA to wage wars against Iraq and Afganisthan. The military base was where B-52 bombers took off from, while nuclear submarines are repaired there. It was also used by CIA agents for interrogations and illegal torturing of international prisoners, what was known as “rendering”.
In Mauritius, LALIT together with workers’ organisations and women’s associations, is involved in an ongoing campaign to build international support for the dismantling of the military base on Diego Garcia, for the rights of return for the Chagossians, those Mauritians who were forcibly removed from Chagos Islands, and for the complete decolonisation of the African continent. We have noted with great excitement how the struggle in the USA and elsewhere against violence of police towards working people, has moved a step forward to denounce colonialism and all its left-overs.
Our struggle cannot be separated from other international struggles to close military bases in the world, to end wars and to send the troops back home.
LALIT supports the International Antiwar Assemblies intitiative in Japan. We admire your persistence in the fight against imperialist wars and against capitalist exploitation of the working class.
At the time when a world-wide wave of an epidemic, provoking a world-wide wave of new capitalist crises, causes so much suffering, it is also a time when we must challenge the “old order” that existed before the pandemic. The old normal, we find, was just not good enough.
Long live workers’ international solidarity! Towards a revolutionary change!
Long Live the struggle for socialism!
19 July 2020
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