THE news that the coalition government is preparing to deploy ground-to-air missiles at next year’s London Olympic games has been greeted with amused bafflement in the bourgeois media.
The claim that these missiles are there to deter would-be terrorists from crashing planes into the Olympic stadium is not to be taken seriously; any plane breaching the no-fly zone surrounding the London stadium would be intercepted well beforehand by military aircraft.
The announcement made by the new Tory defence minister Philip Hammond in the House of Commons on Monday is, however, no laughing matter.
This revelation that for the first time these missiles are to be deployed for use in Britain has come simultaneously with the announcement that the number of ‘security guards’ that will police the Olympic venues has been increased from 10,000 to 20,000.
Of these the vast majority will be provided by the international private security firm G4S.
This company provides private security guards used by the Zionist military in occupied Palestine, it has lately been reported as touting for work in the lucrative market of Libya providing ‘security’ for the oil companies riding in on the back of the imperialist war.
But clearly G4S is not considered to be up to the job.
These private security firms and the police, who would normally oversee events like the Olympics, are to be augmented by 3,000 soldiers with another 2,000 in reserve to be called upon if necessary.
In addition, it now transpires that 1,000 American agents, 500 of whom will be from the FBI, will also be drafted in to provide ‘security’.
Doubtless all these police, army and US secret servicemen will be armed to the teeth.
On top of this the head of MI5 has weighed in with the promise of up to 300 spies released from their normal duties to go ‘on the front line’ for the games.
London will increasingly be seen not as the venue for an international sporting event designed to promote harmony and peace between nations, but a locked-down city patrolled by armed troops, spies and US spooks alongside private security firms accountable to no-one.
There is a precedent for this type of mass mobilisation of armed troops on the streets, supposedly to ward off a ‘terrorist threat’.
In 1974, at the height of a national strike by miners which eventually brought down the Tory government of Edward Heath, troops and tanks surrounded Heathrow airport with a ring of steel.
At the time, the air was thick with talk of military coups amongst the officer class, notably from counter-insurgency experts like Brigadier Frank Kitson, and national newspaper owners along with leading industrialists and financiers.
In the event capitalism was able to rely on the treachery of the Labour Party and trade union leaders to keep the working class in check.
This is not the case today as capitalism faces complete meltdown and the necessity to drive the working class back to conditions that haven’t existed since the 19th century.
The scale of the cuts required if capitalism is to stand any chance of surviving cannot be imposed through peaceful means but only through the state and its bodies of armed men achieving a dictatorship over the working class.
This is the reason behind the unprecedented military preparations being made by the state under the guise of protecting the Olympics.
This threat must be answered by the mobilisation of the entire working class movement in a general strike that will paralyse the capitalist state, bring down this hated coalition government and go forward to a workers government.