‘Treason’ law threat is to the whole working class


SCOTLAND YARD and the Crown Prosecution Service are meeting to discuss bringing charges against three men under the Treason Act, for which the death penalty was only abolished in 1998. The three men were named by the capitalist press yesterday as ‘Islamic radicals’ Omar Bakri Mohammed, Abu Izzadeen and Abu Uzair.

But this is just the thin end of the wedge. Behind the scenes, reactionaries are rubbing their hands at the prospect of charging a large number of British people such as George Galloway and even Mayor of London Ken Livingstone or anyone else who speaks up in support of the Iraqi and Palestinian causes.

On Saturday this was spelt in plain terms by Prime Minister Blair, following discussions with his namesake, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Ian Blair. He said that in September parliament would be reconvened to rush through legislation to ban ‘condoning or glorifying terrorism anywhere’.

Mayor Livingstone said on Saturday that if these measures had been introduced 20 years ago, they would have meant outlawing support for Nelson Mandela and the ANC struggle against South African Apartheid.

In the course of announcing the powers, Prime Minister Blair said: ‘The sort of remarks made in recent days should be covered by such laws.’ The prime minister was taken up by a journalist who asked: ‘George Galloway launched an extremely personal attack on you this morning, suggesting that you had more blood on your hands than the London bombers and comparing you to a terrorist. What would you say to him and people, from whatever communities they come from, who feel like him?’

The journalist wanted to know: ‘Would some of the comments he’s made, particularly referring to suicide bombers as martyrs, in theory be covered under your plans?’

Blair did not answer the question directly. He said people like Galloway could not be deported. But the journalist interjected: ‘You can put them in prison.’

State officials will now be looking at broadcast and published comments as well as speeches and sermons made by the three men named in the capitalist press. But the capitalist state will not stop at investigating and prosecuting Muslim ‘radicals’.

The capitalist state in Britain is moving to make it ‘extremist’ and ‘treason’ to oppose any imperialist war and to support the legitimate right of any nation under occupation to fight to liberate itself.

All websites, newspapers and people who voice support for national liberation struggles will be targeted in the future. The capitalist state will not stop until it has the whole of society in chains.

As Prime Minister Blair spelt out, all bombings, whether they are carried out on the London underground or in Iraq and Palestine are the same as far as he is concerned.

But as far as the question of suicide bombings is concerned, the Japanese had divisions of suicide bombers in the Second World War. And throughout recent history, many soldiers from many countries have been sent on missions from which it was known they would not come back because of the nature of the target and the difficulties of the situation.

It is not just Muslim ‘extremists’ and ‘radicals’, but millions of workers and youth of all colours and races who believe that it is Prime Minister Blair who should be prosecuted for inciting and glorifying terrorism.

That is why millions demonstrated against the Iraq war in the first place.

Blair has no regrets about his decision to throw his support behind US President George W Bush and send British troops to Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, US and British forces acting on Bush and Blair’s orders have inflicted real terror on the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, unleashing an array of modern weapons of mass destruction on both countries as well as rounding up thousands of local inhabitants and sending them to torture prisons like Abu Ghraib. This war against the Iraqi and Afghan peoples is ongoing, while Blair also condones Israeli terror on a daily basis against defenceless Palestinian men, women and children as ‘legitimate’ action against ‘terrorists’.

The way forward is to end imperialist state terrorism of the oppressed nations, and to recognise the right of these nations to self-determination, without any interference.

This will speedily end all attacks on the British people.

The way to do this is for the trade unions to bring down the Blair government and withdraw all British troops from Iraq, as well as going forward to a workers’ government in Britain.

This will create the conditions for both establishing fraternal relations with the Afghan and Iraqi people and going forward to Socialism.

If anybody is to face trial for treason it must be Blair for his betrayal of the working class.