Friday, February 08, 2013

Down with France’s colonial war in Mali! Solidarity with the Resistance!

The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) invited us and other Marxist tendencies to discuss, endorse and modify a joint statement against the French Imperialist assault on Mali. While we had already initiated an internal discussion to draft a statement, we found the RCIT statement essentially correct and modified it to more closely reflect our understanding of the events in Mali. The draft which follows, was finished too late for a deadline the RCIT had proposed, but our statement is timely as the imperialist assault is on going.


Let’s transform Mail into another defeat for imperialism!

Fight for a workers government based on the peasants and poor! For socialist revolution in North Africa and the Middle East!


1.   French imperialism has started a new war in Mali – one of its former colonies in Western Africa. Since 10.1.2013 the “socialist” government of François Hollande has ordered its army to bombard the North of Mali and deployed 750 soldiers. The French intervention force should increase soon to 2.500 soldiers. British imperialism has already announced its readiness to support the French troops with its air force and the US will assist them too with its murderous drones. The Merkel government has committed special forces and tanks to the effort. Spain has committed troops we would say the EU has jumped in with both feet without polling the masses who they hope to distract from privations of record unemployment and austerity with “humanitarian” war hoopla! In addition, the bloc of Western African states, ECOWAS, plans to send 3.300 soldiers. Together with the Mali government’s army they want to crush the Tuareg and Islamist rebels and re-conquer the North of the country.   

2.   Let us spell out the truth: This is no “humanitarian” war – this is a reactionary colonial war! The real goal of French imperialism and its allies is to strengthen its control over Mali and the Western African region and to suppress the revolution which is sweeping through North Africa.

3.   Mali and most of its 14.5 million people are living in extreme poverty which is mainly the result of imperialism’s control over the world economy and the super-exploitation by the multinational corporations. However, monopoly capital and imperialist power are greedy for the rich raw materials of Mali. The country is Africa’s third largest gold producer. It is also believed to be filled with oil and gas as well as uranium and phosphate. French imperialism already depends on Uranium from Tuareg populated areas in Niger, to sustain its “clean energy” solution while the local people must scrounge for cooking fuel/fire wood.

4.   The Uprising of the Tuareg people in the North of Mali who are fighting for their own state Azawad has added another rebellion to the wave of revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East. Socialists support the struggle of the Tuareg people for national self-determination. We combine the support for the Tuareg’s national liberation struggle with the perspective of a “Socialist Azawad”.

5.   Both in Mali as well as in the Tuareg areas, the way forward for the workers and peasants is to take power and to expropriate the multinational corporations (like AngloGold) and local capitalists without compensation. For the control of all natural resources by the workers, expel the multinationals and their greedy managers! For massive wage rise for the miners!

6.   We oppose bourgeois and petty-bourgeois forces like the Islamist Ansar al Din, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and MUJAO (Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa) as well as the bourgeois nationalist MNLA (National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad) and the FLNA (National Front for the Liberation of Azawad). We call on the exploited of Mali and West Africa to militarily defend ALL factions in the Tuareg nationalist struggle against imperialism, the dictatorship and their African including Arab proxies. We also defend Asawad and the main Tuareg organisation MNLA from attack by the Islamist/Jihadist factions that seek to impose Sharia law in Asawad and the whole of North Africa.

The workers, peasants and poor in Mali need to organize independently in action councils (like the Soviets in Russia in 1917) and armed militias to fight for their own interests. The recent heroic workers struggle in Marikana in South Africa as well as the bold struggle of the armed workers and peasants in Syria fighting against the jackal Assad are inspiring examples of how we need to fight.

7.   The French colonial war has again exposed the true reactionary character of the main forces of the French left. Holland’s Social Democratic government wasted no time showing its classical social imperialist colors complete with its “humanitarian” subterfuge, an old racist story the SP has been peddling since the 1890’s. The Communist Party (PCF) – a constituent party of the reformist European Left Party as well as of the Front de Gauche in France – expressed in their public statements to date that they “share the goals of the Mali government to defeat the Jihadist terrorists in the North”. These social-democratised Stalinists are cynically worried that the French intervention “might risk a war”, so they “request that the French authorities respond to questions posed by heavy military intervention” (Statement from 12.1.). In other words, they are true social-imperialists who implicitly support the war goals of its ruling class. The New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA) adopts the classic centrist line of social-pacifism. They verbally “denounce this imperialist military intervention decided by Hollande”. (Statement from 11.1.) However, they fail to support the rebels, i.e. those who are actually fighting against this imperialist intervention, nor do they call for the defeat of the French army.

8.   We call upon the international workers movement to mobilize against the imperialist intervention in Mali! We call for the defeat of the imperialist troops and the allied Mali government army! In the tradition of the Communist International in Lenin’s time and Trotsky’s Fourth International we support the military struggle of the colonial people against the imperialist forces and their allies without supporting in any way the politics of the Islamists and bourgeois nationalists. Let’s transform Mail into another defeat for imperialism!

9.   We call the international workers movement – especially in France – to mobilize for protest actions against the colonial war in order to undermine the government’s war efforts. For demonstrations and strikes against the imperialist war! Transport workers: refuse to do any work which supports the French military efforts!

10.   The activists of the Revolution in North Africa and the Middle East must see the struggle against the imperialist intervention in Mali as part of their struggle. The workers and popular struggles in Tunisia against the Ennahda government and in Egypt against president Mursi, the heroic Palestinian resistance against the colonial settler state Israel, the heroic Revolution of the Syrian workers and peasants against the murderous Assad regime – they must be combined with the anti-imperialist resistance in Mali into a single wave of permanent revolution leading to working class power and the establishment of a Socialist Federation of Workers and Peasant Republics in North Africa and the Middle East. To succeed in this task we need to build new revolutionary workers parties and a new World Party of Socialist Revolution.

  • Down with France’s colonial war in Mali! The wealth of the Sahara must be made to serve the people not imperialism its corporations or the IMF.
  • For the defeat of the imperialist troops and the allied Mali government army!
  • For the military victory of the rebels against the French/government and-coalition troops!
  • For the right of national self-determination of the Tuareg people in the North of Mali including the right to form their own state! Tuareg people live and migrate across modern borders. We defend Tuareg national rights over those of the nation states carved out by imperialism and the Tuareg’s right to migrate freely.
  • No political support for Islamism and bourgeois nationalism!
  • Break with imperialism – for the expropriation of AngloGold without compensation! For nationalization of the mines and all natural resources under control of the working class! For massive wage rise of the miners! For a joint fight with the miners of Lonmin against the imperialists and for workers control!
  • For international solidarity against the imperialist intervention! For anti-war actions by the French, European and US workers movement! Defend class war prisoners and those who take direct action against of imperialism’s war machine.
  • For a workers and peasant government in Mali! For expropriation of the multinational corporations and the local capitalists without any compensation! For socialist revolution in Mali and the whole of North Africa and the Middle East!

Liaison Committee of Communists, 
January 25
CWG(USA), CWG(ANZ), RWG (Zimbabwe)

NOTE: The RCIT statement of 19 January is here.

The modifications to the RCIT text add more information in most cases. However, in two cases they reflect probably minor disagreements. First we omit the reference to "Let's transform Mali in to another Afghanistan for imperialism", and replace it with "Let's transform Mali into another defeat for Imperialism". While clearly intended to mean 'defeat', we don't think that the long-term occupation of Afghanistan with puppet regimes installed is a defeat for imperialism. Second, while some of us are for a 'Fifth International' we have agreed that to unite our forces what is essential is the rebuilding of a new communist international based on the 1938 Trotskyist program. We encapsulate that position by adopting Trotsky's formulation of "for a New World Party of Socialist Revolution".  

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