On the Anniversary of the August Uprising in 2011
by Michael Pröbsting, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 7.8.2012
Exactly one year ago, the ruling class in Britain was shattered by a mass uprising of the poor, the migrants and the youth. Because of this anniversary we republish the articles we wrote at this time.
* The August Uprising in Britain - A Report of the RKOB delegation on its visit in London in August 2011
* The strategic task: From the uprising to the revolution! These are not "riots" – this is an uprising of the poor in the cities of Britain!
* What would a revolutionary organisation have done? August uprising of the poor, the nationally and racially oppressed in Britain
* Britain: "The left" and the August Uprising 2011
This August Uprising – as we in the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) call it – was a historic event. It marked the entering of the class struggle by the lower strata of the working class and the nationally and racially oppressed.
Despite all its limitations and weaknesses it was definitely one of the most important class struggles in Britain since the miner strike 1984/85. According to Scotland Yard more than 30.000 working class youth, black and migrants on the streets fought against the police and expressed their anger. It forced the Tory/Liberal-Democrat government to mobilize 16.000 police men and women on the street to put down the uprising and even to consider the use of the army against its own population.
We wrote last year: “This uprising was a sign of the things to come. A correct assessment of this event, drawing the right conclusion and employing the necessary revolutionary tactics are of decisive importance because in the coming years we will see a number of similar spontaneous uprisings of the lower or middle strata of the proletariat. And we will see such events not only in Britain again but also in a number of other imperialist countries.”
Because of this we studied and analyzed the August Uprising closely. We published a number of articles and sent a delegation to London. We elaborated the revolutionary tactics in such a situation as good as possible for an organization without a presence on the ground. We also had to acknowledge the pathetic or even openly treacherous position which most of the centrist left took faced with this spontaneous outburst of class hatred. It was certainly a good test to see how revolutionary – or better un-revolutionary – most of the self-proclaimed “revolutionary left” are. We noted last year that this failure is not an accident but rather the inevitable result of the capitulation of centrism to the reformist bureaucracy and labor aristocracy. They are unwilling or incapable to understand the central role of the lower strata of the working class – which include in particular migrants and nationally and racially oppressed. These layers are of decisive importance for the class struggle and in particular for the revolutionizing of the workers movement which is dominated by the labor bureaucracy and aristocracy with all their hatred and ignorance for the militant class struggle.
The most important lesson is the burning necessity to build a new revolutionary Workers International with nationally rooted combat parties. Such parties must be based on the working class and in particular the lower and middle strata and not its well-paid and bribed aristocracy. Only such parties can give a lead in spontaneous Uprisings like the one in August 2011 in Britain.
However such an International – which in our opinion will be the Fifth International based on a revolutionary programme – will not emerge by itself. It needs the conscious and organized efforts of consistent revolutionary communists. Their task is to elaborate the programmatic foundations for such an International and test them as much as possible in the practice of the international class struggle. They must fight against all forms of petty-bourgeois influence inside the workers movement – be it in its reformist, centrist or populist version. They need the closest possible international unity because only as a united collective based on democratic centralism they can intervene effectively in the international class struggle.
In short, what is necessary now is the international unity of all consistent revolutionary communists. This is what the RCIT is fighting for. We appeal to all revolutionaries around the world to join us in this effort to fight jointly for a new revolutionary Workers International!