General Strike in Great Britain (was horrors on an unimaginalbe scale)

Rob Ryan robryan at rogers.com
Mon Mar 31 08:01:55 MST 2003


Here is a draft of a letter that I would like to send as an appeal to the
leaders of the central labour organizations in Great Britain. It may be in
its central core and from a purely tactical point of view, dreaming in
technicolour. But I submit it for your consideration anyway, more or less
out of sheer desperation:

To the British Working Class

It may seem to be completely amazing. It may seem to be completely beyond
the realm of the real. But recent events have placed you in an unprecedented
situation - a situation with perhaps truly world-historical consequences.
With one concerted effort, lasting perhaps two to three weeks, you can
accomplish what millions even billions of people around the world can only
dream of. You can stop the war on Iraq and save the lives, not only of
British, American and other terribly young men and women, but also the lives
of millions of Iraqis.

Great Britain has already played a critical role in this war. While the
United States has developed into the world's only superpower and, relying on
its overwhelming and brutal air superiority, has launched a reckless,
illegal and immoral war -it could not have started this war without the
support of Great Britain.

Virtually no one in the world outside the United States would have believed
the lurid tales coming out of the White House without the "confirmation"
provided by Prime Minister Blair and his Cabinet. It is truly bizarre, but
Prime Minister Blair and the Cabinet of the Labour Party to their eternal
shame, have functioned as a kind of inverted truth commission for the
profoundly racist U.S. Ministry of Paranoia and Hysteria.

No one else in the world would have even contemplated supporting the United
States and sending miliarty and other aid, without the commitment of British
troops by your Prime Minister and his Cabinet.

If Great Britain had opposed this war, the United Nations and International
Law as well peace, security, stability and harmony around the world would
have been strengthened, rather than shattered.

It is hard to believe that it is as simple as that, but it is. And the
millions of protesters who filled the streets of London knew this and said
this and people all over the world applauded them as they marched with them.

Now the war is going badly. The Iraqi working class and people, whatever
they think of the regime of Saddam Hussein, are defending their country and,
in the face of hopeless odds, are resisting heroically with whatever  means
they have at their disposal - even if that is only their lives. Now British
and U.S. soldiers in Basra and throughout Iraq, are slowly but surely being
turned - against their will - into war criminals. Now the bombs are starting
to fall on working-class districts in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities. The
electrical power and water infrastructures have been targetted. There is,
already, very little food in these cities. It doesn't take a public health
official to know what the consequences of all this will be.

But -  without the support of Great Britain, this war cannot last another
day.

History has not only placed the working class of Great Britain in an
unprecedented situation. History has also placed in the hands of the British
working class a weapon -  a weapon not of war, but of peace - a weapon that
is more powerful than all the satellites, than all the supersonic planes,
precision-guided bombs, computer driven tanks, guns and terribly young
soldiers - a weapon that must always be wielded carefully and with due and
appopriate consideration, but, a weapon which nonetheless at this time, can
bring the war in Iraq to an end. And that weapon is a general strike. And
that weapon will save millions of lives, end the war and restore and
strengthen the United Nations and International law, as well as peace,
security stability and harmony around the world.

I urge you at this time, to initiate a discussion of this question amongst
your members, with a view to an appropriate and speedy decision.

Robert Ryan
Ottawa





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