Tamil Solidarity strongly condemns the horrific attack that took place outside the parliament at Westminster. The attacker indiscriminately killed many civilians and has caused a wave of shock across Britain. Acts of individual terror should always be opposed. They are not an effective means to struggle against the establishment.
While expressing our anger at such an indiscriminate act and feeling sorrow for the victims, we oppose the right-wing media and politicians who attempt to sensationalise the events and also to divide working people based on religion or race.
Following the attack a massive attempt to whip up of divisive propaganda is taking place. Channel 4 news was forced to backtrack on the false news that it started to spread about the identity of the attacker. Guardian columnist Simon Jenkins accused the BBC of “opting with terrorists” through the enormous coverage it gave the incident, full of speculation and intrigue.
The Telegraph and many national newspapers gave headline news to the openly racist EDL leader and reported his claim that the country is “at war”
The English Defence League is a puny racist organisation with extremely little support among the working class in Britain. Many organisations, including national unions with hundreds of thousands of members, condemned the atrocity. That, however, got no publicity whatsoever from the right-wing media. Another tiny racist outfit, which also thrives on islamophobia, called Britain First, has called a ‘protest’ in London. No doubt this will also be given national coverage.
War for profit should also take the blame
While propagating the empty rhetoric of ‘we shall not be divided,’ etc, the right-wing media and the political establishment continue their divisive policies. That parliament appears to be the target suggests that the policies of the government were part of his motivation. The ruthless policies of Western capitalist governments have created enormous discontent in the Middle East and across the world. These governments have acted to ensnare enormous profits for their big business allies, such as out of the brutal war in Iraq. Many have enriched themselves too.
Tony Blair, who took Britain to war in Iraq after lying to the British public and the two million protesters who took to the streets, is a millionaire now. After the destruction of Iraq, in which tens of thousands lives perished, the FT reported that contractors for security and rebuilding had reaped a $138 billion- reward (https://www.ft.com/content/7f435f04-8c05-11e2-b001-00144feabdc0 ). There is little information available to the public on the extent of looting by western companies who have been profiting from the wars in the Middle East.
Recently the Canary news website reported that Britain secured £3.3 billion worth of export licences to Syria. It also pointed out that the government only spends £371.5 million in aid. The current government is refusing to take in just 3,000 children who are at Calais. It is sickening that accepting just 300 refugee children had sparked a national “debate”.
The foreign policies of these governments are in a way an extension of their domestic policies. Enormous cuts in public services and constant attempts to privatise services such as the NHS have created enormous anger. Austerity policies are punishing the most vulnerable people in the country. The young, the elderly and disabled people are picked on as victims by these policies. Those who need help for mental health problems also don’t get adequate aid due to cuts in services. Ethnic minorities, in particular, bear the brunt of these attacks. It is on this fire they pour the oil of racist and divisive rhetoric indirectly promoting islamophobia and the likes. The right-wing UKIP is consistently promoted.
Don’t use terrorism as cannon folder to attack our rights
These rotten conditions and injustices are the background of this attack. Attacks like this may have been influenced by the horrendous policies of religious fundamentalists, but were “home grown”. They are not “imported” from beyond this planet. It would be wrong to ignore the massive discontent that exists in Britain. Without major change there is no “readymade” solution available to permanently stop or counter these types of terroristic attacks. The Tory government will undoubtedly use the opportunity to inject more tax payers’ money into undemocratic measures to take away our rights. Fundamentally, without a change in government towards running society in the interests of the overwhelming majority and against war, there will be no change.
So-called ‘brave’ rhetoric of the likes of Theresa May and Sadiq Khan such as, “we will not give in to the terrorists,” has no meaning whatsoever for the working class who generally bear the brunt of such attacks. Not only do ordinary workers lose their lives, but they can also lose their liberties as a result of the counter reaction by the political establishment. What’s more, such horrendous terrorist attacks do nothing to weaken the establishment but strengthen them.
Refugees are punished as a result
In the aftermath of the attack police were particularly stopping black and Asian young men, already more likely to be stopped and searched. Tamil Solidarity has also learned that a number of asylum seekers were held for hours at the Home Office signing centres and intimidated. They were asked to sign lost document forms, apply for new travel documents (to obtain from respective countries from where they are fleeing persecution), and other documents. They were intimidated by the staff who threatened that they will all have “negative records” put in their file if they don’t comply. Of course this will not be covered in the right-wing media. The refugees were held in limbo for hours not knowing what is going to happen to them. This is inhumane treatment. It is not long ago that the killing of a young black man, Steven Lawrence exposed the institutional racism of part of the metropolitan police.
Tamil Solidarity strongly condemns this ill treatment and divisive propaganda. Our lives should not be dictated by war, terrorism, racism and continuous exploitation. We must unite together regardless of color, religion and ethnicity to create a just world that will do away with war for profit and divisive ideology once and for all.