Tendance Coatesy

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Statement from the left-wing collective Ta’amim al-Masaref in Lebanon: ‘It is time for rage’

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Les dirigeants prévenus en juillet des risques dans le port

(Picture from L’Orient du jour.)

A statement from left-wing collective Ta’amim al-Masaref in Lebanon: ‘It is time for rage’

Comrades, we are trapped.

We are trapped between the barbarism of capital accumulation and the subsequent nonchalant greed it enables.

As our lives become more worthless by the hour, we are trapped between the military machine deployed to defend private property at all costs, and the ruling class it has vowed to uphold.

We are trapped between the death cult that is capital accumulation and its tendency to accumulate, store, bargain for better deals, negotiate and accumulate further, even at its own risk. Especially at our expense.

The August 4 blast is an immediate and irreversible ramification of the ruling class’ deliberate indispensability of the masses. The capitalist, neoliberal system was built at our expense, and always – without exception – seeks to serve the interests of the ruling class. It will never be more evident and salient than it is today the extent to which our lives are regarded as expendable and worthless.

But the blast does not propagate evenly. It rips apart working-class neighbourhoods relentless and with impunity. Wave after wave, we can feel our precarity laid bare as our windows and doors shattered, and our buildings collapsed. The explosion both accelerates our condition and decelerates business as usual. It is in this spatio-temporal reality that we are trapped.

Our livelihoods are closest to the epicentres of destruction. How could they not be, when our livelihoods depend on reproducing chaos, zombie capitalism, and our destitute condition? It slows uncovers their violence and their gentrifying displacement. As their interminable towers merely tremble, their children are kept safe by our comrades, domestic workers.

This regime functions precisely as it was constructed to: to exploit us, displace us, crush us and kill us, unapologetically and without hesitation.

They are untouchable even in defeat. They are indestructible even in catastrophe

But they are unreachable no more.

As thousands of families remain stranded and homeless, it is now our duty to occupy their luxurious homes. The ones purposefully kept empty as a form of class war, as an undying bourgeois sneer. We must occupy what they think is theirs. We must occupy what is, in fact, ours.

As this catastrophe steadily becomes militarized, it is our duty to fight against the unfolding military coup that is going to be perpetually imposed on us.

As we are living through famine, hunger, and poverty, it is our duty to supply for our comrades. To fight for food sovereignty. To divorce dependency from our bellies.

We must demand justice for our dead. For our victims.

We do not need any investigations. We know who the culprits are. Structurally, yes it is the ruling class, its third-party tradesmen, middle-men, technicians of doom, and trades of destruction.

We must form neighbourhood committees, and workers must control their own destiny, both in the production and reproduction of wealth. We must rebuild our own homes. We must share them with our comrades.

We must open public schools. Transform them into temporary hospitals for the wounded.

We must honour our dead. Celebrate their lives. Continue their fight.

We must not let them force us into normalisation. Nothing that we have lived through in our lifetimes, and in the last year, has been ‘normal’.

As we look at Palestine and Syria, we know that our struggles are intertwined, as are our regimes. Millions of Syrians, Palestinians, Sudanese, Algerians and Arabs have fought their regimes in an open war of manoeuvre that has not said its last word. We are nothing if not a continuation of this war.

We must gather the strength to emulate our comrades in 1982 who fought against the Israel onslaught of Beirut. We will fight capitalism at home as we have previously fought imperialism.

We must be inspired by our Syrian comrades who have lived through thousands of the regime’s barrel bombs and Islamist occupation.

We must draw inspiration from our Sudanese comrades in their organising and from our Algerian comrades in their perseverance.

Comrades, the time has come for us to organise and obliterate capitalism and its enablers.

It is now time for rage. For revenge. For justice. It is time to obliterate this regime, by any means necessary. We need to organise, and we need to organise now.

And with that, death to the system that kills our comrades.

Ta’amim al-Masaref in Lebanon

Beirut, 11 August 2020

This statement does not necessarily reflect the views of the Alliance of MENA Socialists.

 

More statements from the site of the The Alliance of Middle Eastern and North African Socialists

 

Founding statement,

November 24, 2017

We are an alliance of Middle Eastern socialists opposed to all the international and Middle Eastern regional imperialist powers and their wars, whether the U.S., Russia and China  or Israel, Saudi Arabia,  Iran and Turkey.  We also oppose other authoritarian regimes such as Assad’s in Syria and El Sisi’s  in Egypt as well as religious fundamentalism whether of  ISIS, Al Qaeda,  Hezbollah  or the  Muslim Brotherhood.   Although the Muslim Brotherhood and Hezbollah consider themselves gradualists and oppose the Jihadism of Al Qaeda and ISIS, all of these organizations share the goal of establishing a state based on Shari’a Law and preserving the current capitalist order.  

We oppose capitalism, class divisions, patriarchy/sexism, racism, ethnic and religious prejudice and speak to the struggles of women, workers, oppressed nationalities such as Kurds and Palestinians, oppressed ethnic and religious minorities, and sexual minorities.  We also oppose Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.  

We stand for socialism as a concept of human emancipation and an affirmative vision distinguished from the authoritarian regimes that called themselves “Communist.”

The effort to create an Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists, originally started in March 2016 as an Alliance of Syrian and Iranian Socialists with a trilingual website (English/Arabic/Persian)  to help express the aspirations of  “the Other Middle East” and to  offer analyses of critical issues and  new dialogues and bonds of solidarity between Syrians and Iranians opposed to their authoritarian regimes.

Since the destinies of people are linked across borders, important developments in the region –some terrifying and some hopeful—have compelled the formation of a broader Alliance.  

Amongst the international press Le Monde has had extensive coverage.

These are important opinion pieces calling for international solidarity.

 

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

August 11, 2020 at 11:50 am

6 Responses

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  1. That’s fighting talk! Sounds like things are coming to a head in Lebanon, lets hope they get the change they need, and justice.

    trev

    August 11, 2020 at 2:32 pm

  2. Its difficult seeing anything good coming out of it. Out of such severe crises its inevitably reaction that is strengthened not the forces of progress. Those forces that are most homogeneous, most disciplined, most organised will be the ones that take advantage amidst the rowing chaos and misery, as happened in Libya after imperialism overthrew Gaddafi, or as in Iraq after imperialism overthrew Saddam, or as happened in Iran after the fall of the Shah, or in Egypt at the fall of the military.

    In Lebanon that means either the clerical fascists of Hezbollah, or the Christian militias, or more likely the military itself. If chaos threatened to spill over, even an incursion by Israel is not impossible, but unlikely. There is no sizeable, homogeneous, disciplined working-class force capable of providing a progressive solution, and holding the ring. Pretty much the same is true in Hong Kong, and a number of other places.

    Marxists are not moralists. Its not our job to hand out platitudes and false hope that things might somehow be better, when the material realities show that they are very unlikely to be so. Telling unpleasant truths is the first step to changing those realities. What is bad for capitalism is generally very bad for workers, and what is catastrophic for capitalism is generally an existential threat for workers.

    Those who take pleasure in seeing capitalism in crises, or facing such disasters are simply crude, vulgar socialists of the type that Marx railed against. They are thoroughly reactionary.

    Boffy

    August 11, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    • It is however important to give a voice to those expressing this rage..

      The groupuscule Revolutionary Socialism in the 21st Century – rs2, a split from the SWP but which still had an anti-internationalist pro-Leave position in the EU referendum, has published the statement with this comment,

      “Edit: The standfirst has been updated to remove inaccurate wording on the role of Hezbollah.”

      https://www.rs21.org.uk/2020/08/10/it-is-time-for-rage/

      Andrew Coates

      August 11, 2020 at 9:14 pm

      • “It is however important to give a voice to those expressing this rage..”

        It depends what the expression consists of! The Nazis provided an expression of rage against the effects of the Versailles Treaty; Hamas express rage at the plight of the Palestinians. Three are always people expressing rage at something, whether the expression is reactionary, conservative, liberal or progressive is a different matter.

        The job of Marxists is to provide a scientific analysis of the material realities, and assessment of what is and what is not possible. Simply acting as moralists and offering the and sympathy or supporting solutions that are likely to make things worse for the working-class and for progress, simply on the basis that “something must be done”, is the approach of the moralist and liberal interventionist not the Marxist, and accounts for many of the dire situations that exist in the world today, and lack of development of an independent working-class alternative.

        Boffy

        August 12, 2020 at 12:16 pm

  3. I notice the pro-Hezbollah writer Ramzy Baroud, in today’s Morning Star, puts forward the discredited claim that Israel was behind the explosion – then seems to admit it’s not true, but then decides that the facts of the case don’t matter anyway:

    ‘ON AUGUST 4, hours before a massive explosion rocked the Lebanese capital, Beirut, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, issued an ominous warning to Lebanon.

    ‘“We hit a cell and now we hit the dispatchers. I suggest to all of them, including Hezbollah, to consider this,” Netanyahu said during an official tour of a military facility in central Israel.

    Netanyahu’s warning struck a sour note when, hours later, a Hiroshima-like blast devastated entire sectors of Beirut. Those who suspected Israeli involvement in the deadly explosion had one more reason to point fingers at Tel Aviv.

    ‘In politics and in war, truth is the first casualty. We may never know precisely what transpired in the moments preceding the Beirut blast. Somehow, it may not matter at all, because the narrative regarding Lebanon’s many tragedies is as splintered as the country’s political landscape.

    ‘Judging by statements and positions adopted by the country’s various parties and factions, many seem to be more concerned with exploiting the tragedy for trivial political gain than in the tragedy itself. Even if the explosion was the unfortunate outcome of an accident resulting from bureaucratic negligence, sadly, it is still inconsequential. In Lebanon, as in much of the Middle East, everything is political.

    ‘What is almost certain about the future, however, is that the political discourse will eventually lead back to Israel versus Hezbollah. The former is keen on undermining the group’s influence in Lebanon, while the latter is insistent on thwarting Israel’s plans.’

    NB:

    From USA Today’s Fact Check:

    https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/08/06/fact-check-no-evidence-beirut-blast-israeli-attack/3297756001/

    The claim: The prime minister of Israel has confirmed the Beirut explosion as an attack of their own
    Following the deadly explosion that shook Lebanon’s capital Beirut on Tuesday and killed at least 135 people and wounded 5,000, social media posts surfaced claiming the blast was caused by an Israeli attack.

    “BREAKING: PM Netanyahu of Israel has just confirmed the drone strike in Beirut, Lebanon as their own in another Attack against the vicious terrorist organization Hezbollah,” an Aug. 4 Facebook post reads as a screenshot of an Instagram post. “The location was a firecracker factory which is said to have been storing and possibly even creating weapons for the terrorist organization in multiple plots against Israel.”

    The poster updated the caption, writing, “UPDATE; Israel has just confirmed alongside with Lebanese officials they had nothing todo with these attacks.”

    In an Instagram message to USA TODAY, @keepamerica.usa said it received this information minutes after the explosion from a source who lives in Beirut.

    “He paired information which seemed at the time to show Israel admitting to the attack on the PM’s Twitter account. Later did they explain that the tweet was regarding an Hezbollah attack in Syria,” the account said, adding that they retracted the original statement a little over an hour after it was posted when officials confirmed Israel had nothing to do with the attacks.

    However, a screenshot of the original post had already been shared widely by users on Instagram and Facebook.

    The claim that the explosion was an Israeli attack was also shared by Veterans Today, a website that “generally promotes conspiracies related to the military and Israel,” according to Media Bias/Fact Check.

    The Facebook page If Americans Knew shared the claim, citing a blog post that is headlined “‘BREAKING: Israel Bombed Beirut’– Silverstein.” The Facebook post now has over 4,000 shares and over 1,000 reactions.  

    Jim Denham

    August 12, 2020 at 11:39 am

    • I suppose “in essence” it’s true…..

      Andrew Coates

      August 12, 2020 at 2:12 pm


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