jimmy , Apr 2 2002, reposted I | 03.04.2002 09:32
Globalise Resistance - which styles itself as the anti-capitalist movement, but has been dubbed by others Monopolise Resistance has teamed up with the London May Day Organising Committee, which is linked to the Greater London Trades Union Council and South East Region TUC, to host an event called United for Mayday. The announcement from Globalise Resistance proudly boasted that: This is also the first time a march will go to Trafalgar Square while Parliament is sitting. May Day is building up to be another incredible event.
The London May Day Organising Committee was more honest: Marches to Trafalgar Square are forbidden on days when Parliament is in session, under a Sessional Order dating from 1829. Despite this, the Mayor of London has made the Square available to us and the Metropolitan Police have agreed to the march, on the understanding that this does not set a precedent and that the march will be disciplined and orderly.
Of course, Trafalgar Square is simply an empty space. If Globalise Resistance, the London May Day Organising Committee or anyone else wanted to hold a demonstration there they could simply do so without seeking permission. Numerous anti-capitalist events have been held in London and elsewhere, without the state being consulted.
Behind the Globalise Resistance bluff, what is planned is the usual boring march, taking much the same route as in 2000, followed by a rally at which the speakers will include Tony Benn, Barry Camfield (T&G), Ruth Winters (FBU), Mark Serwotka (PCS), Diane Abbott MP plus other MPs. trade unionists,environmentalists and anti-capitalists [i.e. Guy class traitor Taylor and other Globalise Resistance members]. Excitement indeed!
Having begged the state for permission, Globalise Resistance obviously have good reason to be grateful. But behind this ridiculous posturing lies the serious problem of the lack of a revolutionary critique of the state. We can not forget how last Mayday the state waged an unprecedented campaign against those anti-capitalists, revolutionaries and others who wanted to gather in central London to celebrate Mayday. The press was used to disseminate misinformation, lies, smears and threats. The cops made open threats of violence, whilst Lord Harris, the Labour peer and Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, called for the cops to shoot protesters. Mayor Livingstone, the enfant terrible of the labour camp (who Globalise Resistance
and their parent SWP had supported in his election campaign), placed paid-for adverts in newspapers warning people to stay away. Even the Home Secretary and Blair got in on the act. On the day itself Globalise Resistance marched straight into the cops trap by turning up at Oxford Circus
We need to consider the nature and purpose of the United for Mayday alliance and question the nature of the unity. The minor trade union bureaucrats in the London May Day Organising Committee have for years organised a pointless and boring traditional march in London. Over the past two years they have lamented the attention given to anti-capitalist actions: If you read or watched the mainstream media you would have
thought the only things going on were the protests of the anti-capitalist coalition. The coverage ranged from the death of civilisation as-we-know-it to sorting out your fashion statement as a WOMBLE or spikey. No attention was given at all to, what has been characterised as, the boring old trade union May Day March which went from Highbury Fields to Clerkenwell Green. (Statement of the Organiser of London May Day Organising Committee, carried in Voice of the Unions see the similar article in The Morning Star 2/5/01)
For them the link up with Globalise Resistance offers a
perceived route to credibility. The trade union and labour hierarchy, who for years paid at best lip service to Mayday, fears the growing militancy amongst some sections of the working class and the possibility of a genuine link up with anti-capitalists, which may lead to the adoption of the tactics of direct action and the rejection of sterile trade union and electoral politics. No doubt they have an eye on the local elections on
May 2nd. They are backing United for Mayday as a safety valve.
Globalise Resistance also wants a safe alternative to openly defiant actions. Last year they discovered anti-capitalism and joined the actions in Oxford Circus. However, the illegal nature of the action obviously proved to be too much, so a safer form of protest had to be found. Globalise Resistance is, we should
remember, a front for the Socialist Workers Party. In the guise of another front, the Socialist Alliance, they too will contest the elections on May 2nd. Last year the sigh of relief amongst Globalise Resistance/SWP activists when the election was
postponed was all too apparent, but it will not happen this year. They cannot risk trouble on Mayday and present themselves as good bourgeois democrats the next day, particularly when they have real hopes of picking up a few council seats and being allowed to participate in the rationing of local services. At the
same time however they must dress up their Mayday proposal as the radical alternative, to satisfy those who do not share their electoral
The third party to this alliance is the state. The state's interest is all too obvious. Last year, despite the huge campaign, the state failed to deter a significant minority from coming to central London. Since then we have witnessed Genoa, the uprising in Argentina, the war on Afghanistan and, in the run up to Mayday, preparations are in full swing for a renewed war against Iraq. This year, having sanctioned a demonstration in central London, in Trafalgar Square, the state will be use this to justify state violence against anyone who dares to defy the false unity and takes action elsewhere in London. However, anyone wanting to consider the risk of being in Trafalgar Square needs to look no further back than Mayday 2000, when large numbers of people were attacked by the cops. As last years Mayday Monopoly Game Guide warned: Remember this is their territory, the place they want us!
related link: www.schnews.org.uk/mr.htm
jimmy , Apr 2 2002, reposted I