Socialist Worker

LETTERS—More strikes in Myanmar can beat back the military

Issue No. 2747

Student protest in Myanmar calls for Aung San Suu Kyi to be released

Student protest in Myanmar calls for Aung San Suu Kyi to be released (Pic: Htin Linn Aye/Creative Commons)


An article in the bosses’ Financial Times newspaper last week was headlined, “Protesters playing a dangerous game with the Myanmar economy, warn businesses”.

It showed that strikes and protests are worrying the bosses.

That’s something to be celebrated, especially when the death toll of protesters, gunned down by the Burmese military, has risen to over 200.

Strikes which cripple the economy are vital to overthrowing the military dictatorship and are potentially less dangerous than confronting the military on the streets.

Unsurprisingly, bosses claim that these strikes and the many demonstrations that are occurring are a “dangerous game,” which could reverse decades of economic gain. This is because they are worried about their profits.

In the past, these bosses were happy to go along with the military controlled sham democracy before the coup. They’ve turned a blind eye to human rights abuses.

Western governments have also been talking about “progress towards democracy” under the military constitution. This allowed the military to hold real power, even before the coup.

Strikes confront military attacks across Myanmar
Strikes confront military attacks across Myanmar
  Read More

The concerns for the wellbeing of ordinary people, expressed by bosses and the United Nations are merely crocodile tears.Bosses and the so-called “international community” cannot be relied upon to liberate the people of Myanmar.

Railway workers, hospital workers, civil servants, garment workers and bank workers have all joined the general strike, paralysing significant parts of the economy.

This action should be spread further.

Now is not the time to pause the strikes. In stepping up the action, workers’ councils need to be formed, as they were in the general strike of 1988.

These workers’ councils could then start to organise the distribution of food and services, creating the beginnings of a functioning parallel government controlled by workers.

Trade unionists in other countries should also make solidarity donations to help the workers of Myanmar.

Giles Ji Ungpakorn

Thai exile living in Aberdeen


Spy cops don’t make us any safer

In response to the brutal murder of Sarah Everard, Labour’s Keir Starmer said that more police on our streets would make society safer for women.

Now we find out that the cops won’t just be on the streets, but now in nightclubs and bars.

Termed Project Vigilant, it is probably more accurate to call it Project Voyeur.

It’s an absurd kneejerk reaction to the kidnapping and murder of Everard, allegedly by one of their own officers.

Spy cops inquiry gives glimpse of scale of state infiltration
Spy cops inquiry gives glimpse of scale of state infiltration
  Read More

To make matters worse, the police officers will be plain-clothed and undercover.

This gives certain police officers a perfect opportunity to abuse their cover to deceive women into inappropriate sexual encounters.

This would not be a first, it’s happened before and been reported time and time again.

This is not to mention the effect this programme would have on black and Asian men.

They are already at far more risk of criminalisation or significant harm in encounters with police officers.

Black people are nine times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people.

To make society safer for women, we don’t need more cops or surveillance.

We need to end the system that creates oppression and replace it with a world run by the masses.

Hope Ryan

Birmingham


Are we all millionaires?

The basis of the article, There’s no crisis for the rich (Socialist Worker, 3 March) was a report from Knight Frank which claimed that London now has nearly 875,000 dollar millionaires. But this is very misleading.

Knight Frank are “property consultants” and they include the roofs over our heads as “assets” in their calculations.

On that basis, the owners of many ex‑council homes which happen to fall in prestigious postcodes will be categorised as millionaires.

It is absolutely true that the rotten ruling class have exploited the pandemic to enrich themselves further.

But we should be careful to avoid such flawed notions of wealth—not least because they conceal the real basis of social class.

Ben Windsor

South London


Industrial revolution was built on blood

Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, was one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution.

The money used to start that revolution came from the slave trade—it was blood money.

In his book Aspects Of British Black History, Peter Fryer explained where the money for the initial investment in the Merthyr iron industry came from.

It was slavery—“The coal and iron industries of South Wales depended directly on the triangular trade for their initial funding”.

In 1765 Anthony Bacon MP obtained a contract from the British government to supply slaves to the islands of the Caribbean. Bacon was paid £67,000.

The money went straight into industrial development around Merthyr Tydfil, then a mere hamlet.

The workers in the Merthyr iron and coal industry laboured and lived in awful conditions. In 1831 the workers would rise up and they would briefly hold the town under the Red Flag.

This was the first time the red flag had been raised in a purely working class revolt. That is why we still call working class rebels, Reds.

Phil Knight

Neath, South Wales


Now take to the streets

There are so many issues we must protest about—racism, sexism, the climate crisis, the way migrants and refugees are treated and more! I could go on and on. #ReclaimTheseStreets

Michelle

on Twitter


Defend right to protest

If we don’t have the right to protest, we don’t have anything.

All our freedoms have been won by protesting and strikes. We must resist home secretary Priti Patel and the authoritarian bill.

Joseph

on Twitter


Vigil smashed by Met police

Police arrests follow anti-racist protests in Cardiff
Police arrests follow anti-racist protests in Cardiff
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Thousands protested in Clapham Common despite being told they couldn’t by the state.

The rotten Met police smashed up the demo and arrested women leading it.

Down with the police now and forever. I’m sure that if it were Britain First, the EDL or some other fascist outfit the policing would have been less violent.

Gerry

on Twitter


Where is the opposition?

With enemies like Labour leader Keir Starmer, the Tories don’t need friends.

They don’t face any real opposition in parliament. The few good voices in Labour are let down by their own party.

We need a grassroots movement to get justice for the over 125,000 Covid-19 deaths. One solution—revolution!

Heather Booker

on Facebook


Our democracy is at stake

I don’t think people realise how much of their democracy is being abused. The Tories are absolutely ruthless.

There must be a radical fightback against the Police Bill. I for one will fight and join with other socialists and workers to protest.

Lambski Garbett

on Facebook


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