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The News Line: News 1917 Centenary!
DAVE WILTSHIRE opens the 1917 Russian revolution rally with Palestinian ambassador MANUEL HASSASSIAN on his left
OVER 300 workers and youth attended Sunday afternoon’s WRP-YS celebration of the Centenary of the 1917 Russian revolution.

Opening the rally the Secretary of the All Trade Unions Alliance Dave Wiltshire declared: ‘On October 25th (November 7 in the new calendar) Vladimir Lenin leader of the Bolshevik Party announced to a shocked world that the Bolsheviks had seized power in Russia and announced preparations for a Soviet government.

‘The following day the Military Revolutionary Committees of the Petrograd Soviets led by Leon Trotsky arrested the remaining members of the Provisional Government and issued a statement that the Provisional Government of the bourgeoisie had been overthrown and that state power had now passed into the hands of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers and Soldiers Deputies.

‘The statement went on to proclaim the immediate offer of a democratic peace, an end to the carnage of the first imperialist world war, the abolition of the landlord ownership of land along with workers control of industry. The landlord and the bosses were expropriated and a Soviet government created.

‘On that day almost exactly 100 years ago, the first successful socialist revolution proclaimed itself – a huge step forward for not just the Russian proletariat but for the working class and oppressed masses of the world. It was the greatest event in history and it changed the world forever giving massive impetus to the struggles for national liberation throughout the world and creating the conditions for the overthrow of capitalism in China in 1949.’

Wiltshire continued to insist: ‘It was a revolution that has reverberated around the world ever since that day and never more so than today because in 2017 we celebrate not just as the 100th anniversary of the first successful proletarian revolution but as the year in which we stand on the eve of the completion of the world socialist revolution.

‘This is the issue that confronts the working class internationally as world capitalism is gripped by a historic crisis from which there can be no escape for the bourgeoisie except through an all-out class war at home and wars to re-conquer the world for imperialism.’ He added: ‘All the financial weapons in the arsenal of the bourgeoisie have been exhausted since the world crisis erupted onto the surface in 2007/8 with the banking collapse…

‘The cost of bailing out of the banking system has been dumped on the backs of workers through the most savage austerity cuts to wages, jobs and all the welfare gains made in the past. This in turn has produced a transformation in the working class. It has had a revolutionising effect on workers across Europe, America and particularly in Britain, the oldest most decayed capitalist country on the world.

‘Now the only option for capitalism is to have it out with the working class while the working class have no option but to fight back, a struggle that poses immediately the issue of the struggle for power as it did in Russia in 1917.’

Dealing with the current crisis-ridden Tory government, Wiltshire asked: ‘The question on many people’s lips is how have the Tories managed to cling on for so long? The simple answer is the complete refusal of the leadership of both the Labour Party and TUC to bring it down.’

He remarked: ‘It is not without interest to note that in the final days of the old Tsarist court it had degenerated to such an extent that it became virtually unreal – mired in all manner of corruption and scandal, dominated by the mad monk Rasputin. It had descended into sheer mysticism before it collapsed – Rasputin would have felt entirely at home in the Palace of Westminster today.’

He concluded: ‘The issue of the overthrow of this bankrupt capitalist system through the victory of the socialist revolution on the immediate agenda. In this struggle the role of the revolutionary party is decisive as was demonstrated conclusively in Russia in 1917.’

Jonty Leff the deputy editor of the News Line insisted in his speech that: ‘The Russian revolution was always seen by its leaders, Lenin and Trotsky as the first big victory in the world revolution.
‘The best way to celebrate the Russian revolution is to complete it. This means building revolutionary parties in countries across the globe, driving forward the struggle for world socialist revolution.’

He added: ‘Before the Russian revolution there was such a massive gap between the extreme wealth of the Tsar and his family and the devastating poverty of the masses of Russian workers and peasants that the situation erupted, the Tsar and his family were overthrown and the working class took the power.

‘The same is true today here in the UK, the situation has reached boiling point… Grenfell Tower was the snapping point. The situation snapped after the Grenfell Tower disaster. So many men, women and children burned to death. It was at that moment that the entire country realised that this government do not care about working class families.’

He continued: ‘They are trying to drive working class families out, drive them out of London – demolish council estates, build private flats. They don’t want working class families in London, they want London for the rich!’ He continued: ‘This year we also mark 100 years of the Balfour Declaration where the British ruling class handed Palestine over to the Zionists.

‘It was the same year as the Russian revolution – 1917 – when the UK foreign secretary of the time, Arthur Balfour made his infamous declaration in which he proposed that the historic lands of Palestine are handed to the Zionists.’ He urged: ‘The best way to undo the crime committed by the Balfour Declaration is to bring down the common enemy of the Palestinian people and the working class in this country – that is the Tory government and the UK ruling class.’

Leff ridiculed the ‘Pause for Peace’ of the trade union leaders: ‘How can there be peace between a private company that has just smashed up the conditions of the workforce. This is the outlook of a bankrupt union leadership that is refusing to fight.’

He predicted: ‘The working class will organise a general strike across the UK and it will bring the country to a standstill and bring down this hated Tory government. The working class must take the power, like it did in Russia, but it needs a revolutionary party to lead it. Bringing down capitalism in the UK and establishing socialism is a next step in the world socialist revolution!’

Palestinian Ambassador Manuel Hassassian told the rally: ‘It is a hundred years since the Russian revolution. The Russian revolution never went away because it was based on justice, and based on freedom. We Palestinians are engaged in a revolution that will mean freedom and independence. It is our inalienable right to an independent state. This year is also 100 years since the Balfour Declaration.

‘It took away the rights of the Palestinian people. How dare Balfour do something like that. This is a reflection of colonial Britain. They created the conditions for Zionists to settle in our land. Today 12 million Palestinians are living in exile as a result of the Zionist entity – this entity created by 100 words from Balfour.’

He added: ‘My government in Ramallah and myself have faced the British government at all levels calling on them not to celebrate the Balfour Declaration. But they said it was part of “our history, and we are proud of our history”.’


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