Saturday, May 23, 2009

2009 Joint International Anti-War Statement:To the Working People of the World

2009 Joint International Anti-War Statement

To the Working People of the World

Worldwide big economic crisis has begun, and capitalism is on the verge of catastrophe. Protectionism is gaining power rapidly, and the US and Japanese governments are setting the stage for an escalation of war and privatization and also for increasing union busting and repression against the working class. The Korean Government is intensifying suppression and destroying unity of KCTU, the forefront fighters of working class.

In Japan, the government has disregarded Constitution Article 9 and sent military forces to Somalia and is also making major military escalation against North Korea. The Japanese military budget is being expanded at the same time that major cuts are being made in healthcare and pension benefits for tens of millions of workers and retired workers. The militaristic threats and chauvinism against the people of North Korea and the hysteria created by the Japanese media and government officials is directly aimed not only against the North Korean people but the people in Japan who oppose war.

This rise of militarism is also directly related to the need to attack through privatization of millions of jobs. The nationalist Aso Cabinet plans to introduce the Wider Area Local State System (doshu-sei). The immediate aim of this union busting plans once to fire 3.6 million public workers by their termination and then re-employment of 2.6 million of them as contracted out private employees in education, non-clerical jobs and temporary part time jobs. Another 1 million will be subjected to selective hiring under militarist conditions and total obedience to the state.

The effort to fire teachers opposed to militarization of the schools also continues obstinately, coercing the worship of national flag and anthem, Hinomaru and Kimigayo, which have been the symbols of Japanese imperialism. And the government is expanding the Narita airport as a military base against the interests of the workers and people of Japan, and pushing ahead in the destruction of farmland and communities of the Sanrizuka-Shibayama United Opposition League against the Airport Construction, a fort of anti-war and anti-state power struggle. Furthermore, WTO and FTA, imperialist instruments of economic invasion and domination, have been ruining agriculture deadly.

In Korea, the Lee Myung-bak administration was terribly shaken by the candlelight demonstration of a million working people last June against the import of US beef. Perceiving this as a serious threat to the ruling class, it has turned to an all-out retaliation against the central forces that organized the demonstration. Repression is raging upon the broadcasting stations that mentioned the danger of BSE beef and supported the protest actions of people. The management of the broadcasting stations is facing administrative intervention and labor unions are under attack. A nationwide academic ability test was utilized to bring division among student leaders and teachers who opposed to this were met with disciplinary measures, or discharged. The labor union of truck drivers and construction machine workers is under the threat of disbanding for its powerful strike that stopped transportation during the candle demonstration. Lee Myung-bak, ex-chairman of Hyundai Construction, is violently pushing ahead with a large-scale redeveloping plan to confront a great economic crisis and dared to kill 5 of the inhabitants who fiercely refused to leave their land for planned gentrification.

The Lee Myung-bak administration, on the other hand, is strengthening its hard-line stance against North Korea. US-South Korean joint military operation was carried out from March 9 to 20 to prepare for a preemptive strike on North Korea. It is a part of the OPLAN 5027 that aims at Korean reunification by the armed forces through destroying the North Korean military and overthrowing the North Korean regime. KCTU and peace-movements organized protest demonstration against it with a demand, “Stop US-South Korean joint military operation to invite war”, fighting back the repression of the US forces staying in Korea.

To address these developments, a general strike and an all-out rising-up of people for June are going to be organized by KCTU.

In the US the government continues to implement an anti-labor transportation workers identification card TWIC. The military have allowed the employers to pick and choose who will be brought into the marine terminals if they do not have the TWIC card. Hundreds of longshore workers have been prevented from working and the power of the union hiring hall established by a general strike in 1934 has now been weakened since workers who have industry identification cards are not being allowed on the docks unless they have a TWIC card. This card allows for an intrusive spying and tracking of longshore and other transportation workers.
At the same time the government is expanding the war in Afghanistan with 20,000 more troops. The government has also requested another $85 billion for war spending. This expansion of the war in Afghanistan and occupation of Iraq, the robot war with drone planes that drop bombs in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan from thousands of feet above the ground are further war crimes against the people of the middle east.

The Obama administration’s so called “nuclear arms reduction” speech has the aim of “maintaining a secure and effective (nuclear) arsenal”. It is, in its essence, a nuclear war strategy, updating the nuclear arsenal and strengthening the nuclear monopoly. This policy of Obama administration is worked out against the background of launching nuclear power plants construction.

The maintenance of the US empire is not only a threat for the people of the world but a threat against the working people in the US where millions have lost their jobs, homes and healthcare.

We stand together internationally, overcome a divide and rule policy by the issue of nuke and call for united solidarity and action against these capitalist attacks on the workers and farmers in each of our respective countries, to stop aggressive wars and their expansion and for defense of working people around the world.

Only united world wide action against war, privatization and union busting by the global working class has the power to stop this militarization and growing attacks on the working class.

June, 2009

Sanrizuka-Shibayama United Opposition League against the Airport Construction

National Railway Motive Power Union of Chiba

Korean Confederation of Trade Union Seoul Regional Council

International Longshore & Warehouse Union Local 34

Transport Workers Solidarity Committee

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