For an indefinite general strike and armed insurrection to bring down the dictatorship! For a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly!
Statement by the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 1 March 2021, www.thecommunists.net
1. Sunday, 28 February, marks the bloodiest day yet sine the popular masses began their protests against the military coup. With hundreds of thousands demonstrating, police fired live ammunition into crowds in Yangon, Dawei, Mandalay, Myeik, Bago and Pokokku. According to a U.N. human rights official at least 18 people were killed and 30 were wounded. The independent media company Democratic Voice of Burma reported that there had been 19 confirmed deaths in nine cities, with another 10 deaths unconfirmed. About 1,000 people are believed to have been detained on that day alone.
2. Soon after the coup d'état on 1 February, the workers, students and poor peasants started to organize mass protests nearly every day. They oppose the putsch and demand that the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi be restored to power. They also call for the release of the former Prime Minister and all others who have been arrested by army which is called Tatmadaw.
3. While the military reacted relatively restrained to the protest in the first days, yesterday’s bloody crackdown could signal a dramatic shift towards a “final solution”, i.e. that the army command is determined to brutally annihilate all forms of popular resistance on the streets. In other words, Myanmar could head towards a scenario like Syria in spring 2011 when the Assad dictatorship tried to drown the popular protests in blood. Another example is Egypt where the military first toppled the elected government of Morsi on 3 July 2013 and, a few weeks later (on 14 August), carried out one of the worst massacres in modern history, killing about 2,600 demonstrators on a single day!
4. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) states its full and unconditional solidarity with the protests of the popular masses in Myanmar. We support the demands for the release of all those arrested by the military. We say: The military dictatorship must be overthrown by a popular uprising by the armed workers and poor! For this, it is crucial to build action committees in the workplaces, neighborhoods, schools and universities which could organize armed militias in order to defend the people against the state repression. Such popular mass organs would form a strong fundament for launching an indefinite general strike culminating in an armed insurrection. The appearance of organized activists with helmets and shields at the frontline of the demonstrations is an encouraging sign! Likewise, activists should develop agitation among the soldiers in order to split the army. This is not an unrealistic task as the organized refusal of whole units to follow the orders of the generals shows.
5. In our opinion, the objective of the struggle should not be the return of the Suu Kyi government – a pro-imperialist bourgeois government which for years closely collaborated with army command and which fully supported the bloody massacres against the Rohingya Muslims a few years ago. The goal of the armed insurrection should be rather the convocation of a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly elected and controlled by the armed masses!
6. The RCIT warns against bourgeois manipulators from the imperialist West who call for “peaceful demonstrations”. Look at Belarus: for half a year, the masses limited themselves to peaceful demonstrations as they were urged to do so by pro-EU politicians. As a result, they lost their struggle and the Lukashenko regime succeeded in putting down the protests (at least for now).
7. Likewise, we warn against any illusions in the UN or Western imperialist powers. They do not care at all about democracy. Just look to the West’s closest allies in the Middle East – like the autocratic dictatorships in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates or the Zionist state of Israel which builds its existence on the expulsion and ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people! The U.S. and the EU have imposed symbolic sanctions against a few generals only because the army command is close to China – the most important imperialist rival of the West. In contrast, the detained Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi has been rather closer to the U.S. and the EU.
8. An important reason for Beijing’s support for the Tatmadaw is Myanmar’s role in its famous Belt & Road Initiative (China’s version of the U.S. Marshall Plan after World War II). The planned China-Myanmar Economic Corridor is a huge infrastructure project (with over $21 billion dollars in approved Chinese foreign direct investment as of March 2020) which would allow Beijing direct connection to the Indian Ocean, bypassing the Malacca Strait. Like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, this project would advance China’s access to the world market (including the crucial oil and gas imports) and substantially improve its geopolitical position in the region.
9. Beijing’s decisive support for the putschists in Myanmar demonstrates once more the thoroughly reactionary nature of the Chinese regime. As it is well known, the military carried out – with the support of then-Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi – horrific atrocities against the Rohingya Muslims minority in 2016-17, which forced over a million people to flee to other countries. This has not stopped Beijing praising the military. Only a few weeks before the coup, China’s Foreign Ministry stated after an official meeting with Myanmar’s General Min Aung Hlaing: “China appreciates that the Myanmar military takes national revitalization as its mission.” Beijing’s support for such genocidal generals as well as its own shameful record in barbarically suppressing Uyghur Muslims in Xinyang and the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong demonstrate beyond doubt the anti-popular character of the Stalinist-capitalist dictatorship.
10. The RCIT states that the principles of defending democracy against capitalist dictatorships, of defending the interests of the workers and oppressed against the capitalist ruling class are indivisible as they are relevant for all parts of the world! Hence, socialists oppose all Great Powers in East and West as they also oppose all reactionary dictatorships – irrespective if they are close to one or the other imperialist camp! Hence, socialists must decisively fight against the reactionary myth that China (or Russia) would represent a kind of “progressive“ or “anti-imperialist” power! Forces which spread such ideas – numerous social-democrats, Stalinists, Bolivarians and Trotsko-Revisionists – only aid one imperialist camp against the other. Authentic socialists must defend an internationalist, revolutionary working-class position and combat the influence of such social-imperialist (“socialist” in words but pro-imperialist in deeds) forces within the workers and popular movements.
11. The RCIT calls workers and popular mass organizations in all parts of the world to show their support for the fighting masses in Myanmar. The young activists in Thailand, who are protesting their own putschist regime since months, are an encouraging example for such international solidarity. They have spontaneously expressed on the streets their solidarity with the brothers and sisters in Myanmar as well as in Hong Kong (the so-called “Milk Tea Alliance”)! At the same time, socialists must oppose calls for sanctions by Western imperialist powers. No alliance with the big bandits against the small bandits! Most importantly, activists should unite in a revolutionary party – nationally and internationally – based on a program of struggle. Join the RCIT!
International Bureau of the RCIT
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We draw reader’s attention to the following documents of the RCIT:
Myanmar: Down with the reactionary Military Coup! Prepare for a General Strike! No political support for Aung San Suu Kyi! No to imperialist sanctions! 4 February 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/myanmar-down-with-the-reactionary-military-coup/
Myanmar: Solidarity with the Uprising of the Rohingya Muslims! No to the Regime's Buddhist Chauvinism! For the Rohingya's Right of National Self-Determination! 27.08.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/solidarity-with-rohingya-muslims/
Almedina Gunić: Stop the Ethnic Cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims! Recalling the war in Bosnia and the genocide in Srebrenica, we need to stop the ongoing war against our Rohingya brothers and sisters, 15.09.2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/ethnic-cleansing-of-rohingya/