Syria was a major topic, along with the situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), with speakers including CPGB-ML chairman Comrade Harpal Brar, DPRK ambassador Comrade Hyon Hak Bong (who was present along with embassy minister Thae Yongho) and comrades from the Indian Workers’ Association (IWA-GB).
The IWA comrades called for a fight-back against recent racist actions by the government. These include the notorious ‘Go home’ vans and a string of immigration crackdowns, clearly focused overwhelmingly on the black and Asian communities. Comrades were urged to sign a petition against home secretary Theresa May’s proposed immigration bond legislation, which would compel visitors from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Ghana to pay a £3,000 bond to visit the UK.
The IWA also expressed its support for Syria in its life-and-death struggle against western imperialists and their local stooges.
Comrade Harpal Brar also addressed the recent events in Syria, with a rousing speech highlighting the hypocrisies of western imperialism, both in Syria and around the world. He remarked on the West’s long history of imperialism, and how it was manufacturing baseless charges against the government of Syria (as with every country that stands against its hegemony, exploitation and aggression), such as the supposed use of chemical weapons, in order to try and find a pretext for war.
Following Comrade Harpal’s speech, the DPRK’s ambassador, Comrade Hyon Hak Bong, spoke about the anti-imperialist struggle of the Korean people, explaining that the DPRK insists on being self-reliant in building the country for the benefit of its own people.
The ambassador also addressed the question of relations with south Korea and spoke very highly of the successful steps that had been taken previously in peaceful negotiations between the two parts of his divided nation, explaining that the deterioration in north-south relations had occurred owing to the reversion to hostile and confrontational policies by the current south Korean president and her immediate predecessor, who had overturned the more independent and enlightened policies of their two predecessors.
Comrade Hyon also spoke of the recent nuclear test carried out by the DPRK, explaining that the country’s nuclear weapons programme existed solely to deter attacks from the imperialists and to provide security to the Korean people. The DPRK could not unilaterally disarm whilst it still faced a nuclear threat from imperialism.
Among the topics touched on during the discussion were the need to give full support to all those struggling against imperialism in the world today, and the pro-imperialist nature of today’s ‘anti-war’ movement in Britain, whose leaders are too often to be found supporting the aggressors and denounces the victims of imperialist war!