The AWL also joined the chorus of those condemning the uprising:
“No one with any sense will endorse, still less glorify or romanticise, the four-day outbreak of street violence, random destruction and pitiful looting that swept over Britain last week.” (30)
Representative for a whole strand in the left they blame the uprising for dividing the working class and community. Rather the opposite is the case: Actions like the uprisings of the poorer strata of the working class can be very useful and inspiring for the rest of our class. They show readiness in taking militant forms of action. They show fearlessness in class struggle, which is rooted in poverty and daily oppression that can’t be shaken off. And they show how urgent the building of the revolutionary party is which organizes these fearless militants, and which leads the struggle to success.
So instead of the putting the responsibility for all failures and weaknesses to whom they belong - to the left-wing bureaucrats in the labour and student movement with whom the AWL leaders are regularly collaborating and who failed to build a indefinite general strike movement against the government, and who failed to integrate the poorer strata of the working class into the struggle - the AWL put the blame for the divide on the youth who are fighting!
“They will be further alienated from the young people in Lewisham, Peckham, Nottingham. The rioting will alienate the organised labour movement, even those large sections of it which will instinctively sympathise with the plight of the people in the riot hit areas. These outbreaks in areas with large black population, and involving young black eopple, cannot fail to stimulate and strengthen racism. They will help those such as the EDL in fomenting a ‘them and us’ view of British society. The fact that Asian and Muslim shops have been burned out and looted and that many of the rioters were white will not lessen or off-set that.” (31)
What a shameful blaming of the fighters against the police albeit not surprisingly coming from an organisation which has political positions like supporting Zionism and defending the existence of the racist Apartheid state Israel!
As a side note one cannot fail to mention that all these right-wing centrist organisations with their open condemnation of the so called riots were more backward and right wing than the openly reformist Labour Representation Committee (LRC) chaired by the left-wing Labour MP John McDonnell! In its statement – distributed as a leaflet in London – the LRC at least did not openly condemn the uprising. (32)
Finally we want to draw our reader’s attention to the fact that these very same organisations – like the Stalinists, SP/CWI, SA/IMT etc. – supported the chauvinist strike in the campaign “British Jobs for British Workers” in 2009. (33) At that time British workers at the Lindsey Oil Refinery wanted to stop the hiring of migrant workers – a social-chauvinist campaign which Marxist revolutionaries correctly condemned sharply.
This correlation is of course no accident. It shows the close connection between the left-reformist and centrist social-imperialists, labour-aristocratic prejudices and the open condemnation of the class struggle of the lower strata of the proletariat including the black and migrant communities.
(30) Sean Matgamna: The riots: stand up to this class-hate blitz on the poor! 14 August, 2011, http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2011/08/14/after-riots-stand-class-hate-blitz-poor
(31) Workers Liberty: Blame the establishment for the riots! (Leaflet), it is identical with the same-titled article by Sean Matgamna, 9 August, 2011, http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2011/08/09/blame-establishment-riots#comment-29116
(32) Labour Representation Committee: Statement on events in Tottenham and their context, 8th August 2011, http://l-r-c.org.uk/press/statement-on-events-in-tottenham-and-their-context/
(33) For our position on these reactionary strikes we refer to the resolution of the statement of the at that time still revolutionary organisation Workers Power: No to the nationalist strikes, 1st February 2009, http://www.workerspower.com/index.php?id=47,1821,0,0,1,0 and an article which the author of these lines wrote in German: Einleitung der Liga der Sozialistischen Revolution zur Stellungnahme Britannien: Nein zu den nationalistischen Streiks!, 5.2.2009, http://arbeiterinnenstandpunkt.net/phpwcms/index.php?id=25,579,0,0,1,0