Anti-imperialist forces around the world were shocked within the last hour when the news broke that two of the Middle East and the world’s most significant fighters against US imperialism, Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, were killed in a joint strike by the US Air Force and their Zionist lackeys. These two martys dedicated and ultimately sacrificed their lives for a Middle East and a world that is independent and free of imperialist domination.
Workers at Lyttelton Port and their union, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) are continuing to take a stand against the import of “blood phosphate” from Western Sahara sold by the colonial occupier government.
Western Sahara, the last formal colony in Africa, has been occupied by Moroccan forces ever since Spanish colonisation ended in 1975. The ongoing national-liberation movement led by the Polisario Front has led to the establishment of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, which is now fighting colonial forces for full national liberation.
A ship chartered by Ravensdown, the Federal Crimson, is currently unloading the last of 51 tonnes of phosphate at Port Chalmers, after earlier docking in Napier and Lyttleton.
After initial opposition from port management, the RMTU has boarded the ship and lodged formal protest with its captain at each docking.
Wayne Butson, General Secretary of the RMTU, said in a media release that “our fellow unionists in Australia, the Maritime Union of Australia, have used this method to register protests against Blood Phosphate imports, to us it seems a relatively mild and pragmatic way to exercise a fundamental democratic right “
“We have been advised that the cargo of the Federal Crimson may in fact be illegal and that under international law port workers have the right to refuse to berth or work ships carrying such cargo” continued Butson.
The workers’ movement has been fairly unanimous in support of the Sahrawi national-liberation struggle. Last month, the Council of Trade Unions passed a resolution condemning the Moroccan colonisation of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and the import of “blood phosphate” into New Zealand. Also last month, the New Communist Party met with the Polisario Front delegation at the Anti-Imperialist Meeting of Solidarity in Havana and pledged to deepen our practical ties and internationalist solidarity.
During a visit to New Zealand, the regional representative of Polisario told Radio New Zealand that since the occupation of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic has been condemned by international law and the United Nations, New Zealand should ban imports of “blood phosphate”.
The Rail and Maritime Transport Union have pledged further industrial action against this practical support for colonialism.
Latin America has always been a continent of struggle against imperialism and its domination by foreign powers. Heroes like the Taino chief Hautey, executed by Spanish colonists, are still held up as aspirations for Latin American internationalists and anti-imperialist fighters. So too are later figures such as Simón Bolívar, Benito Juárez and José de San Martín, who liberated the countries of Latin America from colonialism and first introduced the idea of the Patria Grande or the Great Homeland, a collective anti-imperialist spirit and identity spanning all of Latin America.
The 20th Century brought a new generation of anti-imperialist fighters to the continent: Sandino in Nicaragua, Farabundo Martí in El Salvador, Luis Emilio Recabarren in Chile, and of course, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in Cuba. Inspired by the success of the Great October Socialist Revolution and the new Soviet Union, for the first time ideas of socialism and Marxism-Leninism entered the fight of Latin America.
The following speech was delivered in Sydney, Australia on 26 October 2019 at the celebrations of the 99th year of the Communist Party of Australia by Deputy Secretary of the Central Committee, New Communist Party of Aotearoa, J Morgan.
The Deputy Secretary of the Central Committee of the New Communist Party of Aotearoa leaves early tomorrow morning on the first overseas visit of the New Communist Party of Aotearoa to attend meetings of friendly causes in Australia and Cuba.