SOVIET UNION: Imperialism confident

Mikhail Gorbachev and George H W Bush

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! No 101, June/July 1991

The Soviet people are confronting an unprecedented economic and political crisis. In the first quarter of 1991 production dropped by 6-10 per cent and the budget deficit stood at 31.1bn roubles – larger than the 26.7bn planned for the whole year! In April, massive workers’ strikes, demanding improved conditions and the resignation of President Gorbachev, warned that the working class will not passively shoulder the burden of this crisis. Meanwhile national republics are striving for ‘independence’ amidst a resurgence of bloody national clashes and fierce political battles between Gorbachev, Yeltsin and the ‘conservatives’. EDDIE ABRAHAMS analyses the crisis.


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Legacy of the Bolshevik Revolution

Nevsky Prospekt 1917

FRFI 103, October/November 1991

The Russian revolution of 1917, born amid the hope of millions, has finally collapsed. That this colossal and noble effort consciously to seize and control human destiny should have lasted 74 years in the beleaguered Soviet Union is almost miraculous. In the entire history of humanity, it was the first sustained attempt to create a society in the interests of the majority rather than a dominant minority class. EDDIE ABRAHAMS and MAXINE WILLIAMS argue there is much to learn from its successes and failures.


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ENGELS AT 200: the torch still burns

A protest in support of Fenian prisoners, Hyde Park 1872

In Lenin’s eulogy after the death of Frederick Engels in 1895, he wrote: ‘What a torch of reason ceased to burn! What a heart has ceased to beat!’ Lenin considered Engels ‘one of the two great teachers of the modern proletariat’. Marx and Engels, he said, were the first to formulate the theory of scientific socialism as a weapon for the working class. Engels’ lifelong correspondence and collaboration with Marx provided the spark for some of the greatest works of socialist theory that communists rely on today: in 1867, on finally checking off the last proof of Capital, Marx wrote to Engels: ‘Dear Fred… This volume is finished. I owe it to you alone that it was possible’. Engels’ own writings encompassed everything from military theory to anti-colonial struggles, housing, religion, ecology and women’s oppression. 200 years after his birth, they remain as resonant as ever.


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The Paris Commune today

A barricade during the Paris Commune

18 March 2021 marks the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune. We reprint an edited article from FRFI 18 (April 1982) written for an earlier anniversary. What makes the Paris Commune so important? First, it was the first successful working class insurrection in history. Second, it was the working class which defined the key characteristics of the state it established; there had been no blueprint or plan to follow. Third – crucially – it had Marx to document its colossal achievements despite the brevity of its existence. In The Civil War in France, Marx ensured that the lessons of the Commune were recorded so that a later generation could build on its achievements. It fell to Lenin in The State and Revolution to retrieve those lessons for the Russian Revolution. Today, the Commune continues to live through the forms of democracy assumed by Cuban socialism. 


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We must have socialism!

Germany: the realities of the free market are biting

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! No 132, August/September 1996

In 1989, when one by one the East European communist states began to collapse in disorder and to be replaced by ‘free enterprise’ societies, we were told that communism/socialism had finally failed, and that capitalism was the way forward. This message, eagerly taken up by the popular press, seemed perfectly reasonable to many ordinary people at the time. After all, the old Soviet Union had been associated with totalitarianism, secret police, informers, labour camps etc - all of which seemed a rather telling argument against communism. PROFESSOR THEODORE MACDONALD, a noted educationalist, argues that socialism is now more relevant than ever.


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Nazi-Soviet Pact - Reactionaries rewrite history

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! No. 89, September 1989

In recent weeks the bourgeois press and various Trotskyite rags have joined forces in a resounding chorus of anti-sovietism and deceit. It all concerns the 50th anniversary of the German-Soviet pact of 23 August 1939, and the plight of those ‘oppressed’ nationalities in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. In the Independent, a certain LSE professor, Donald Cameron Watt even suggests that the Soviet Union’s act of ‘treachery’ impelled the world to war (see the Independent 21 August 1989). DALE EVANS clarifies the issues.


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Frederick Engels on New Unionism

One of the mass dockers’ marches through the City of London in 1889

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! No. 130, April/May 1996

The 100th anniversary of the death of Engels was marked in most journals of the ‘left’ in Britain with articles looking at his life’s work and collaboration with Marx. However, none of them moved from the abstract celebration of his ideas to the concrete application of them by Engels in the last decade of his life. For the British ‘left’ to have done so would have meant confronting their own tired and discredited political practice.


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Crisis of World Socialism

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism No. 89, September 1989


Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! has consistently focused upon the achievements of the Cuban revolution, and the contributions of its leader Fidel Castro. We do this because Cuba and Castro provide the clearest expression of revolutionary principles in practice. Furthermore, Fidel Castro’s intervention in the global debate about socialism is the most creative and thorough defence of Marxism-Leninism in the midst of barely disguised liberalism and revisionism everywhere. For this Castro and Cuba are vilified in the bourgeois press. Imperialism knows what it is doing: for 30 years it has sought to destroy the Cuban revolution.

In these selections from Fidel Castro’s speech made on 26 July, the 36th anniversary of the attack on Moncada Garrison, he discusses developments in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union and how they affect Cuba. One of these consequences is the increased confidence of imperialism and its mounting belligerence against Cuba. This is illustrated by the US government’s response to Cuban offers of cooperation against the drug trade. Another consequence is the dissemination of anti-Marxist, anti-Cuban propaganda within the socialist countries themselves. These selections from the Cuban weekly newspaper Granma show the Cuban communists fighting back against those who would peddle imperialism’s message from within the socialist camp.


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German communism and resistance in Nazi Germany

Soviet troops hoist the Red Flag over Berlin, May 1945

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! No. 130, April/May 1996

Despite the fall of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in 1989 and the new ‘united Germany’, the ideological battle of the class war continues. An important element of this centres on Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union in World War Two. Conservative historians now argue that it was Germany’s ‘right’ to ‘defend’ itself against Soviet ‘aggression’; that Hitler’s attack on the USSR pre-empted a ‘planned’ Soviet attack on Germany. This debate has inevitably given rise to a discussion of the role of German communist resistance in Nazi Germany with reactionary commentators seeking to write them out of history. Yet a cursory examination of the facts shows that, within Germany, members and supporters of the German Communist Party (KPD) were the most consistent and self-sacrificing of all the opponents of the Nazi regime.


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If You Want Peace Fight Imperialism

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! No. 28, April 1983

The imperialists hypocritically pretend to support peace, yet throughout the world they butcher the oppressed — in Ireland and El Salvador; in Palestine and South Africa; in the Falklands/Malvinas. Imperialism has ensured that the world has become a slaughter-house. This century imperialism has forced upon us two world wars and hundreds of colonial wars — quite apart from the daily butchery by the exploiting classes, everywhere struggling to maintain their rule against the rightful anger of the risen people. Imperialism needs war to maintain its exploitation, to safeguard its profits, to protect its investments: imperialism and war are inseparable. And so, as its power to exploit is threatened, imperialism grows more aggressive.


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Poland Left and Right Unite to Fight Socialism

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no. 16, February 1982

The imposition of martial law in Poland on 13 December was a decisive blow to imperialist plans against the Polish socialist state. Whilst the imperialists prepare their next moves, they have unleashed a flood of anti-communist and hypocritical denunciations of the Polish Government and the Soviet Union.


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Review:  The Leninist ‘Communist Theoretical Journal’

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no. 16, February 1982

Amidst a stream of 'left' journals all competing to revise Marxism and bury Leninism it is refreshing to come across a journal such as this. Much of its content is a defence of Leninism against its enemies. As the authors are clearly members of, or associated with the CPGB they concentrate on attacking the anti-Leninism of that organisation. And it is a pleasure to read a thorough critique of the reformist Left Alternative Strategy and a restatement of the basic Marxist position on the Irish question. The RCG has already understood and written about many of the questions dealt with by The Leninist.* Nevertheless it is a cause for optimism that others should be treading the same ground and coming to some of the same conclusions.


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The Communist Tradition on Ireland: Part Four - The Irish Revolution

The Irish Citizen Army, led by James Connolly, was the first workers' militia in Europe

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no.10 May/June 1981

The first imperialist war gave revolutionaries in Ireland the opportunity they had been waiting for. England’s difficulty was again Ireland’s opportunity to free itself once and for all from the stranglehold of its brutal oppressor, British imperialism. By taking decisive action in this period, the Irish national movement could begin the process which would destroy British imperialism and lay the basis for the socialist revolution in Europe.


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The Communist Tradition on Ireland: Part Three - The right of nations to self-determination

Irish Citizen Army parading outside Liberty Hall

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no.9 March/April 1981

The attitude of British socialists to the Irish liberation struggle over the years until the Partition of Ireland confirmed the strength of opportunism in the British labour movement. Time and time again, so-called socialists betrayed the revolutionary wing of the national movement in Ireland and in so doing undermined the struggle for socialism not only in Britain but also in Ireland. For this reason it is vital that communists draw the lessons of these years in order to fight for a revolutionary programme on the national question today. To do this, we first need to understand why the attitude of socialists to the national question is such a decisive factor in determining the outcome of the socialist revolution. And why the revolutionary struggle for socialism has to be linked up with a revolutionary programme on the national question.


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Editorial: Uphold the banner of communism

Karl Marx

FRFI 103 October/November 1991

The August 1991 counter-revolution in the USSR was a massive blow to the international working class and to the vast majority of humanity. Only hardened anti-Soviet dogmatists and middle-class intellectuals of the imperialist countries, living in affluent conditions afforded them by imperialist plunder of the Third World, could argue otherwise. The collapse of the socialist bloc, for the time being, leaves the imperialist economic and political system without rivals, all the more able to subjugate challenges to its aggressive and expansionist drives.


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For Lenin

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no.99 February/March 1991

Lenin brought communism into the 20th century. Leader of the Bolshevik Party and the Russian proletariat, inspiration of the first-ever successful socialist revolution in October 1917 and of the Communist International, Lenin's contribution to the cause of the working class and oppressed is immense. But, ANDY HIGGINBOTTOM argues, social democratic ideologues are determined to destroy every vestige of Leninist influence.

Last year a stream of 'Marxists' were elevated to near celebrity status in bourgeois media. Their brief was not praise Lenin, but to bury him:

‘Lenin, the man, died in 1924. But Lenin, the icon of Soviet power, is meeting its end today . . . Thanks to the revolutions of Eastern Europe, time has run out for Lenin.' (Orlando Figes, The Guardian 30 April 1990)


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The Soviet Union and Baltic nationalism

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no.100 April/May 1991

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.gif 

A nationalist upsurge in Soviet republics threatens the break-up of the Soviet Union. In this discussion article, TED TALBOT assesses the communist position on movements for national independence as it applies to the Soviet Union today.

In December 1922 the First All-Union Congress of Soviets declared the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Such a Union was necessary both to combat the threat of internal counter-revolution and external intervention. They believed that it would have been hard to safe-guard Soviet power and the independence of the country, surrounded as it was by militarily strong capitalist powers. This would require uniting to the fullest extent the fraternal Republics’ military, political and diplomatic efforts. The vital interests of all the Soviet peoples and the struggle for socialism demanded the formation of a united multinational socialist state.


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Land and Freedom – a distortion of history

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no.128 December 1995/January 1996

land and freedom 

With its subject, the Spanish revolution and civil war of 1936-1939, and its radical socialist director Ken Loach, the urge was to welcome Land and Freedom* and even overlook its weaknesses. After all, in this period of reaction and cynicism, a work of art with a potential mass audience that claims to openly uphold the ideals of socialism is akin to a miracle. But against all wishful expectations, Land and Freedom is an artistic and a political disaster. EDDIE ABRAHAMS argues that it fails to recreate an authentic, living picture of the revolution with its awesome political conflicts and its moving human dramas. It is no tribute to those who fought and died for a noble cause. Nor is it the stuff for a serious discussion of the future of socialism.


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Karl Marx 1818-1883: Before all else a revolutionary

Karl Marx

On the bicentenary of the birth of Karl Marx on 5 May 1818, we will no doubt see many reflections on the relevance and legacy of his work. Some will claim serious scholarship, others, like a recent Financial Times skit on the Communist Manifesto (‘Life and Arts’, 10 March 2018), will pour scorn on his work.

In the imperialist countries it has become the norm to concede that Marx made an important contribution to economic thought but to deny the Marx who would destroy the capitalist system. It is our hope that at least some of these bicentenary contributions will have the political courage not to separate Marx the revolutionary from Marx the social and economic critic of capitalism.


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Imperialism, war and the socialist movement

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no. 100, April/May 1991

The brief span of the imperialist war against Iraq rekindled some interest in the Marxist position on war, especially as it was developed by Lenin during the first imperialist war. ROBERT CLOUGH examines Lenin’s position and contrasts it with the positions advanced by the British ‘left’ during the Gulf War.

First, the position of revolutionaries vis-à-vis any war depends on a concrete analysis of the political content or substance of that war. How do we disclose and define the substance of a war?

‘War is the continuation of policy. Consequently, we must examine the policy pursued prior to the war, the policy that led to and brought about the war . . . The philistine does not realise that war is “the continuation of policy”, and consequently limits himself to the formula that “the enemy has attacked us”, “the enemy has invaded my country”, without stopping to think what issues are at stake in the war, which classes are waging it, and with what political objects.’ (Collected Works (CW) Vol 23, p33)

In other words, Marxism requires:

‘ . . . an historical analysis of each war in order to determine whether or not that particular war can be considered progressive, whether it serves the interests of democracy and the proletariat and, in that sense, is legitimate, just, etc.’ (CW Vol 23, p32)


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Anniversary of the Paris Commune

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no. 18 - April 1982

On 28 March 1871 the Paris Commune was proclaimed. For two months the Parisian working class ruled themselves in the first organised attempt at workers' power. Ever since then the Commune has been a model of revolutionary heroism rich in lessons for all future generations.

The chauvinism and expansionism of the French regime had caused a war with Prussia. Prussia was winning and advancing into France, and the Paris ‘deputies' (MPs) formed a 'Government of National Defence'. The working class stood firmly behind them, in full force since the great majority of the men were in the National Guard and armed to defend their city.


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The Communist tradition: fighting imperialism

The Baku Congress

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no 6, September/October 1980

Baku: Congress of the Peoples of the East (New Park Publications £2.10)

As the imperialist crisis threatens the whole world once again with a new and even more dangerous conflagration, as the imperialist countries ‘hot up’ the cold war against the Soviet Union and the communist movement, it is important for us to know the issues at stake. The working class of the imperialist countries led by their social democratic parties and trade unions have been brought up with the smug anti-communist ideology of the cold war – an ideology fostered by the relative prosperity of the working class of the imperialist nations in the post-war years. Now that that prosperity is being threatened by the worldwide crisis of the capitalist system, the working class will be forced to reassess its position – it will be forced to take sides.


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The Communist Tradition on Ireland - Part One - Marx and Engels on Ireland

The rescue of the Fenian leaders

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no 7, November/December 1980

The article below is the first of a series of three. Today with the hunger strike in the H-Blocks, the need to understand and act upon the revolutionary significance of the Irish war is more urgent than ever. The communist tradition on Ireland holds a wealth of theoretical, political and tactical lessons for us today. For communists the question of Irish self-determination stands at the heart of the British revolution. This is as true today as it was when Marx first stated it over hundred years ago. Now as then Irish liberation is the pre-condition the British revolution. Communists, as these articles will show, have always stood for the fullest freedom for the Irish people and have waged a determined struggle against those opportunists in the working class movement who have repeatedly betrayed that struggle. This series of articles is therefore of immense importance for communists and revolutionaries in Britain.

‘The policy of Marx and Engels on the Irish question serves as a splendid example of the attitude the proletariat of the oppressor nation should adopt towards national movements, an example which has lost none of its immense practical importance ...’ (Lenin)

Over 100 years ago Marx and Engels laid the foundation for a consistent communist standpoint on Ireland. Through their work on Ireland in the First International they were able to develop a proletarian policy towards national liberation movements not only for the British working class but for the international working class movement as a whole. That policy as we shall see, has lost none of its practical importance for the struggle to build a communist movement today.


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Marcus Garvey: communists assess his political outlook as a guide for action today

garvey haywood

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no 85 - March 1989

In the first part of this century, Marcus Garvey (left) built a powerful black organisation in the United States. Harry Haywood (right) of the Communist Party of the USA called Garvey's UNIA the 'first great nationalist movement', but criticised its diversion 'into reactionary separatist channels'. Today, the debate continues. Labour opportunists and black nationalists are promoting Garvey's outlook as a guide for anti-racist action today. EDDIE ABRAHAMS and SUSAN DAVIDSON examine the communist standpoint on the heritage of Marcus Garvey.


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Belfast-Brixton: Forces of revolution

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no. 10 May/June 1981

Every severe crisis of a social system brings forward something new. It pushes to the fore those forces which represent the future and shows ever more clearly the bankruptcy of those forces which desperately try to hold onto the past. The present crisis of British imperialism is no exception.

Bobby Sands was an irreconcilable enemy of British imperialism. By the age of 18 he had already joined the revolutionary forces of the IRA to drive Britain out of Ireland. The whole might of the British state could not break his revolutionary spirit. That is why he was slowly and barbarically tortured to death in a British concentration camp. Bobby Sands has become a symbol, a shining light to those fighting oppression throughout the world. Apologists for imperialism from every quarter, from the Pope to the European Human Rights Commission to the millionaire Irish Prime Minister Haughey tried to persuade him to give up his struggle and to betray his revolutionary cause. They failed. He knew they were hand-in-glove with British imperialism, only concerned to prevent the revolutionary anger that, with his death, would burst onto the streets of Ireland. The murder of Bobby Sands has shown once again that you cannot reason with imperialism. The massive peaceful protests during the hunger strikes, the widespread international support were of no avail. Peaceful protest will not move British imperialism. 'Democracy' in the Six-Counties is only evoked by British Governments when it strengthens British imperialist rule. Bobby Sands' election victory did not alter the British Government's position at all. The long struggle of the Irish people for freedom has demonstrated once again that imperialism only moves when it is confronted by revolutionary force. As Owen Carron, election agent of Bobby Sands said, at his funeral:

‘We must take what they will not give ... There is no way in which freedom can be obtained, and when obtained maintained, except by armed men'.


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RCG fights left sabotage

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no. 10 May/June 1981

At a time when it was more than ever both possible and absolutely necessary to build a campaign in support of political status the Labour Party and its middle class socialist allies — the SWP, IMG etc — have refused to do so.

The imperialist Labour Party and the TUC have backed the British state to the hilt. The Labour lefts have occasionally whimpered that 'intransigence' will strengthen the forces they all hate and fear the IRA. Yet for two months of Bobby Sands' agonising death the SWP, IMG etc argued for a campaign based on these 'broad forces' of the Labour left.

The result has been a campaign even smaller than during the last hunger strike. The only national event was a demonstration of less than 500 people. A demonstration in Staines mustered 50 people. And on the night of Bobby Sands' murder, the British middle class socialists in London could turn out only 300 people on a picket of Downing Street. Yet these events were organised by groups claiming a following of 10,000 people.

This failure was no accident. During the first hunger strike, the middle class socialists' strategy —appealing to Labour lefts and other dignitaries — totally failed. So this time they consciously decided not to expose their chosen allies any further by doing nothing. The RCG along with Republican flute bands and allies amongst Republican youth, Iranian comrades and Irish workers were campaigning for political status. So the middle class socialists resorted to sabotage.

In Glasgow they left the committee and refused to support demonstrations and rallies. In Bradford they voted against an RCG motion for a march to pass through black working class areas. In Manchester the SWP and IMG expelled the RCG from the local committee on the extraordinary grounds that we sold FRFI on the committee's street meetings. In North London when independent Irish workers joined the local committee and demanded some work, the IMG, SWP and TOM voted to dissolve it, and cancel a demonstration. In South London the IMG and SWP refused to join a committee the RCG formed, open to all prepared to work. At the London H-Block/Armagh Committee the SWP and IMG ensured that the April demonstration was called on a Sunday rather than a Saturday when people on the streets might actually see them. They opposed holding it in Birmingham on the grounds of Birmingham's associations with the bombings. And the CPGB, who on the day after Bobby Sands' death said too little was done by the Labour movement to save his life, themselves did next to nothing.

Even after Bobby Sands' death, the IMG/SWP opposed an RCG motion for an immediate national demonstration on 23 May. Instead they will have it on 13 June when many more Hunger Strikers could be dead.

Irish political prisoners in Wormwood Scrubs and Long Lartin prisons staged roof-top protests in support of political status. These comrades face loss of remission and vicious beatings for their courageous protests. What a contrast to the middle-class 'lefties' who face no such repression yet refuse to fight for political status.

The RCG has waged a campaign which involved all our resources, all of our members and supporters. Public meetings and rallies have been held in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Bradford, Manchester, Liverpool and North and South London. We have put the maximum energies into work in the working class and black areas. We have campaigned on the streets, on the housing estates, in the pubs. In the course of it we have suffered arrests and physical attacks in South London, Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow.

If all organisations claiming to be socialist had done likewise the campaign in Britain could have placed great pressure on the British state. They chose not to do so and thus acted like criminals. The RCG will continue the work. And we invite anybody who has the interests of the Irish and British workers at heart to join us in this work of building a real campaign for

Victory to the Hunger Strikers! Political Status Now!



International support

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no. 10 May/June 1981

In contrast to criminal British middle class socialism, international anti-imperialist and progressive forces responded to the murder of Bobby Sands with massive protest actions, demonstrations and military operations against British institutions.

In France two demonstrations of 3000 and 8000 were organised in Paris, whilst in Toulouse a Dunlop warehouse was bombed. In Italy protests were organised in Rome, and Milan where 5000 youths gathered to denounce the murder of Bobby Sands. In Milan the British Chamber of Commerce was bombed by the Red Brigades. In Portugal a militant demonstration of thousands of people led by placards saying ‘We are all members of the IRA!' marched on the British Embassy in Lisbon, while in Oporto a British owned club was firebombed. In Greece, the British Embassy was besieged by 1000 demonstrators chanting slogans in support of the hunger strikers. In Spain 300 youths fought the Spanish police in the town of Pamplona during a demonstration against British imperialism. In Switzerland a showroom displaying British cars was bombed in the capital Zurich. In the USA there have been demonstrations of thousands of people in New York, Los Angeles and other cities, while the dockers union boycotted British ships for 24 hours.

Statements and messages of support for Bobby Sands and condemnations of British imperialism flooded in from all corners of the world from the Socialist Countries, from India, from Iran, Mozambique and other countries.

In Mozambique, the semi-official daily Noticias said Bobby Sands died because the British Government refused to accept: ‘The simple and indisputable fact that he was a political fighter. Sands and the IRA were fighting for a united and independent Ireland.'

Radio Moscow broadcast:

‘London would like to drown in blood the movement against repression and discrimination and for human rights and liberty.' In Iran, a street adjacent to the British Embassy has been renamed Khiyaban-e-Bobby Sands 'to honour the heroic death of the IRA freedom fighter.'

These demonstrations of international solidarity after the murder of Bobby Sands followed a growing international campaign in support of the hunger strikers battle against British imperialism.


Iranian solidarity

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no. 10 May/June 1981

In the name of God and

In the name of the Heroic people of

Ireland and Iran

Sinn Fein (political wing of the Irish Republican Army) Daring and militant Bobby Sands, member of the IRA and representative of the heroic people of Ireland! Heroic and militant people of Ireland!  

With revolutionary salutations, the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran offers its most profound revolutionary congratulations to the heroic people of Ireland and the Irish Republican Army, as well as the heroic Bobby Sands, for the magnificent electoral victory of the captive revolutionary militant Bobby Sands. This deserving election shows the revolutionary growth of people who have risen up under the leadership of their revolutionary vanguards, and are fighting a firm and decisive battle against British Imperialism for their indisputable and ignored rights. This brilliant victory is witness to the rightfulness and the popular base of the IRA and is a punishing blow to the cunning old British Imperialism and dependent reactionaries who have always tried with their raving to misrepresent the heroic struggle of the Irish people and to call IRA terrorists.

The People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran sees this victory as the vanguard of the eventual military and political victory of the Irish people and the complete annihilation of Imperialism throughout the world and wishes a decisive victory for the revolutionary and heroic Irish people.

The People's Mojahedin of Iran congratulate this revolutionary son of the Irish people for this heroic resistance and his relentless struggle whether outside prison or during captivity and during the present hunger strike. The People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran declares his support for the demands of this captive militant which are the crystallisation of all the demands and hopes of the Irish people and asks all revolutionary and progressive forces throughout the world, especially groups, organisations, personalities, workers' unions, lawyers and other progressive and militant institutions in Britain to continue in their support, and to take necessary measures until all the demands of the valiant Bobby Sands are met, so that his heroic hunger strike ends fruitfully and victoriously with full safe-keeping of this heroic son of the Irish people.


Peoples' Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI)

17 April 1981

Translation and Distribution by: Moslem Students Society (UK)


May 1968

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no 78 – May/June 1988


May '68: the year of street fighting men, France in turmoil, the black movement in the USA, the universities occupied, the student sit-in and the Tet offensive. CAROL BRICKLEY examines four books on the 1968 upheaval. TREVOR RAYNE analyses the Vietnamese struggle which forged ahead against the mightiest imperialist power.


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Hands off Russia - The Russian Revolution and The British Labour Movement

russian revolution
Red Guards defending the Smolny during the Revolution

In 2017 we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and the beginning of the most important struggle for socialism, peace and progress in history. Throughout the year, FRFI has carried articles analysing the lessons of the Bolshevik Revolution. In FRFI 260 we concluded a series of articles on the history of the Russian Revolution by looking at the momentous events of October. Below, we republish a further article, first published in FRFI 73 in December 1987, which looks at the response of the British labour movement to the revolution – the solidarity and militant organisation of the revolutionary left, and the opportunism, hostility and betrayal by the leaders of the Labour Party and trade union movement.

The full series of articles, as well as others looking at revolutionary Russia, can be found on our website at:

Hands off Russia - The Russian Revolution and The British Labour Movement

In March 1917 a British Labour delegation was allowed to travel to Russia in an effort to shore up the determination of the Provisional government to stay in the war.

One of the Labour delegation was Will Thorne, formerly militant Gas Workers leader taught to read and write by Eleanor Marx, proudly wearing an expensive fur coat given to him for the journey by Attorney-General FE Smith who was leading court actions against left-wing militants at the time. As The Socialist (newspaper of the Socialist Labour Party) commented Thorne and FE Smith had more than a fur coat in common. The February Revolution was hailed both by the leadership of the British labour movement and the Coalition government. The Parliamentary motion to send a telegram of greetings was moved by Bonar Law, Conservative Leader of the House. The massive Leeds Convention, 3 June 1917, revealed the enthusiasm of the labour leaders and the left.


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Communism and national liberation: The legacy of the Comintern

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 95 June/July 1990

The relationship between communism and the struggle for national liberation is a crucial question for the revolutionary movement. Robert Clough's article assesses the debate on this question in the Comintern. This is a discussion article and does not necessarily reflect the views of FRFI.

Communists today recognise that the leadership of the struggle for socialism has passed to the oppressed nations of the world. Since the end of the last war, revolutionary regimes have been established in Yugoslavia, Albania, China, Vietnam, Cuba, Nicaragua, Grenada, Mozambique and Angola, however temporarily, and whatever the problems that those countries face today. There has been no consistent revolutionary challenge within any of the imperialist nations during that time, however. Readers of FRFI will need no detailed analysis as to why no revolutionary movement has emerged in the oppressor nations: the wealth of such states, derived parasitically at the expense of the mass of the oppressed, has been partly diverted to bribe a substantial layer of the working class into accepting and supporting the maintenance of capitalism. ROBERT CLOUGH argues that what is worth studying is how the communist movement came to understand that this would be the case, and to look at the debates in which the new conditions were grasped at a theoretical level.


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