The call from Sälen

Peace on Earth – Peace with the Earth

The Covid-19 pandemic has given us a hint of what happens to society when a global crisis strikes the world. An economic crisis is developing; In the United States, unemployment has reached higher numbers than in the 1930s. IN Sweden’s GDP fell by 8 percent during the second quarter of 2020, and is expected to shrink by 2.8 – 4.0 percent for the full year.

But Sweden is facing threats that are much more serious. The military rearmament of the Arctic which is driven, among other things, by the search for oil and minerals, places Sweden at the center of tensions in the world. Sweden’s security is threatened by expanded military cooperation with NATO, such as using Swedish territory for large-scale military exercises and the building of capacity for space wars using satellites (and military equipment) in orbit around the earth.

Extensive activities are underway to break Sweden’s traditional peace policy, which is characterized of freedom from alliances during peace and neutrality during a war – a policy that saved the Swedish people all those horrors which the First and Second World Wars entailed.

War against nature

The whole earth is in a kind of war against nature that no living creature can escape. Nuclear arms are present in such quantity that they can obliterate all higher lives. Nuclear armaments have gained new momentum and current agreements on armaments restrictions have been terminated – first unilaterally by the United States and then also by Russia. Sadly, Sweden’s deeply popular line of peace is under attack. The Swedish government has allowed itself to be influenced by one of the nuclear powers – the United States – not to sign UN Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This despite the fact that Sweden was a driving force for this Convention, and voted for it at the UN in 2017.

Sweden contributes to the negative development through extensive exports of munitions to warring countries in violation of applicable laws. The war in Yemen that is carries off unimaginable quantities of human lives is a clear example of this. The military activity contributes greatly to the destruction of environment and climate. Only US military operations have a major negative environmental and climate impact than about fifty countries, and the total military impact in the world is of course significantly larger.

Incredible strain

In addition to the risk of nuclear war, climate change is the most widespread threat and is completely intertwined with the other threats to the future existence of humanity and nature. The almost total destruction of our forests, where the basis for life in the form of biodiversity lies, the impoverishment and poisoning of our agricultural lands and not least the internal colonization with increasing inequality between city and countryside has taken us beyond the limits of what the ecosystem can withstand. This development also increases the risk of pandemics, such as the Covid-19 pandemic. No one doubts anymore that this will bring tremendous strain on our societies in the future.

Central to all crises in recent centuries has been the pursuit of cheap energy and minerals, mainly in form of oil. It is the oil that enables the extreme overconsumption we live with in the rich part of the world, comprising about 12 – 15 percent of humanity. It is mainly the consumption of oil and coal that cotribute to greenhouse gas emissions. It is also oil that makes wars possible – which is the world’s largest military authority, the Pentagon, confirmed in a report.

Sweden an environmental culprit

The free play of forces that lead us in the direction of these threats is due to a great deficit of glbal democracy Sweden is a country that has previously distinguished itself as equal, democratic and peace-loving. We have also lived in the view that we are good at protecting the environment and welfare. The fact is that class differences are now increasing fastest here. Even though income inequality in Sweden still is relatively low, Sweden is now in global 3rd place in the Gini index of the most unequal countries in the world regarding the distribution of society’s riches. All this as a result of the neoliberal politics. Sweden is one of the worst environmental criminals if you take into account the environmental impact our consumption creates in Asia, where the goods are often manufactured.

Military rearmament is gradually increasing. Sweden is heading in the wrong direction and international policies appears to be both unenterprising and paralyzed. The Paris Agreement, which was concluded to stop the negative climate change, is not implemented by some countries and in others it goes too slowly. The same applies to other agreements, such as the previously concluded Kyoto Protocol.

Care for the earth tenderly

The thin membrane around the earth called the biosphere must be cared for with tenderness. Today it is consumed and destroyed at a rapid pace despite the fact that man himself is a part of it. The topsoil is being abused with large emissions of greenhouse gases as a result. Agriculture must be made fossil-free quickly and food must be produced in systems that contribute to increasing biodiversity and to increased carbon storage – that is, that carbon dioxide is returned to the plants.

We want to see a program for a fair transition to a resource-conserving society. A change from a society that steals future living space and destroys finite resources to a society that reuses resources over and over again and supports the life-giving ecosystems. One adjustment that counteracts the growing contradiction between center and periphery both within the country as a whole and within metropolitan areas, as well as the growing contradiction between those who have and those who have not. Such a change must also mean that Sweden also works for peace through relaxation and disarmament, and that trade and financial systems enable all countries to supply their own people with food and develop their own industry.

The new million program

We support a new million program (refers to a Swedish building program 1965-75) where a new village system is built on sustainable principles, where folk high schools are given funds to train new farmers and breeders. We hope people who want to contribute to this development are also moving to the countryside. To stimulate activities in accordance with these sustainable principles, an annual basic deduction of SEK 100,000 must be granted. Such peace-work with the top-soil creates sustainable local communities that can flourish in peacetime and stand strong in bad times. Concrete peace-work according to these principles is already underway. A diversity of local food producers are the future, not industrially produced food. The question is not whether we should carry out a restructuring of our production of necessities of life, but when it will happen.

City and countryside – hand in hand

The transformation of the countryside must be met by a corresponding change of the city. A new urban life must be built on sustainable principles in balance with the surrounding countryside and nature. Such a balance between city and country that focuses on a fair social construction creates more robust communities that cope better with crises. Peace is also about strengthening local communities in cities and sparsely populated areas with a functioning infrastructure in the form of services, schools, roads, hospitals and knowledge production at all levels.

Widespread self-education can play a central role in the transformation of Swedish society in the one described the direction. We need to strengthen civil preparedness rather than military. That means a strongly increased degree of self-sufficiency concernig our food supply, but also medical preparedness and readiness to deal with climate change. The countryside plays a key role in this.

Create hope

We welcome the call from the International Peace Bureau, which is the world’s oldest international peace organization, that broad cooperation should take place with joint actions in April 2021 for universal disarmament for peace, environment and welfare.

Fundamental societal changes must be implemented. We must assemble as people and start the processes as citizens. Now some initial political steps must be taken that can create hope and commitment. Examples of such are:

Sweden must:

  • tear up the host country agreement with NATO.
  • sign and ratify the UN Convention against Nuclear Weapons.
  • stop the military’s environmental crimes and turn the commenced military rearmament into disarmament.
  • lead to a sharp reduction in Swedish arms exports in accordance with current regulatory systems, without derogations being able to nullify existing restrictions. In the long run, all arms exports will prohibited,
  • tax large companies for fair conversion.
  • reduce the use of fossil energy faster than according to the Paris Agreement.
  • use solar power more, save energy and ensure equal access for all this.
  • give nature legally binding rights.

Peace on Earth – Peace with the Earth!

The call from Sälen was adopted during the conference Folk och Fred (People and Peace) in Sälen on 11 January 2021.

40 thesis concerning the suspension of Corbyn

Corbyn has been allowed to become member of the party again but have been refused to come back as part of the Labour group in parliament by the party leader Keith Starmer. The criticism below is as urgent as ever while more and more people are attacked, now even for criticizing how Corbyn is treated after allowed to be member of the party again.

By Tord Björk

  1. The suspension of Jeremy Corbyn from the Labour party in the UK for telling the truth about media biased writing about antisemitism in the party is a threat to the international struggle against racism, for the climate, peace and solidarity. The UK plays a central role in global political affairs. This not only as a state but also due to the central role English language plays in international culture and making of public opinion as well as the role of London in the global financial industry.
  2. The suspension of Corbyn is devastating because it is an act of silencing the truth. Corbyn supports the recommendations made by a commission set up to investigate cases of racism. The commission studied how complaints about antisemitism in the Labour party was addressed. There is no controversy in substance concerning following up on these recommendations. What Corbyn says is that studies made in 2019 shows that complaints had been made about incidents concerning much far less of the Labour party members than what is believed by the public. The media politicized these instances making the population of Britain to believe falsely that complaints had been made concerning every third member of the Labour party which is a hundredfold more than actually is the case. Corbyn is suspended by the present Labour party leader for telling this truth. That is a futile attempt to adapt to the false claims by the media instead of standing up for the party and the truth.
  3. Labour under Corbyn brought hope to the possibilities of saving the climate, stopping Western endless wars and creating a better relationship between the West and the rest of the world. The British people voted democratically against Labour in their full right for reasons said to have to do with other issues, mainly Brexit. The hope Labour represented internationally for people all over the world caring about the environment, peace, social justice and stopping racism is in need of being put on the agenda again.
  4. This is a question for everyone seeing the need to challenge those in central positions in global politics. We have to place the issue of suspension of Corbyn into the issue of the survival of mankind in a time of social and ecological crisis including militarization of conflicts between and within countries with the risk of ending in a nuclear war. Those constantly attacking Corbyn in British media and by other means strongly not only influence British politics but also world politics. Thus there is a need for an internationalistic answer to the attack against Corbyn.
  5. We have primarily to address the situation as actors that are able to learn from experience and not see ourselves as victims. Those addressing the suspension of Corbyn as a matter of tactics within the Labour party or as an issue of the need for the left to defend itself have to be told frankly that the matter is far more severe and broad. Those defending antiracism, peace, climate and solidarity in Britain have been unable to confront the attack from the vested interest in media, state and business institutions. Only by standing up against the lies made by those in power in these institutions it is possible for the rest of the world to make visible the negative role they play in global politics. Corbyn did what was necessary for an international wake up call against the threat from these institutions. Parochialism making the issue into an internal British affair is not acceptable.
  6. The British state is sometimes acting with the help of secret agents or the help of funding NGOs to secretly or openly interfere in other countries democratic life. With the help of methods such as having sexual relationships under false pretensions and other morally disgusting and antidemocratic provocative methods British agents have infiltrated the antiracist, environmental, climate and other movements internationally causing severe damage in the trust among people and to public life. The British state also funds NGOs as Integrity Initiative led by former military intelligence agents that have set up secret networks in other countries to attack the peace movement under the pretext of acting against Russian disinformation. The reaction to this British interference in other countries has mainly been to criticize how the Integrity Initiative was used against Corbyn and the Labour party. This has left aside the solidarity with the international peace movement and the need to stop the British state secret interference in other countries democratic life. This self-centered attitude is not acceptable anymore. The suspension of Corbyn is clearly linked to the role played by both British mass media and state apparatus with its closely related NGOs not only in the UK but also internationally.
  7. The situation calls for an investigation into how the British state plays a role in forming public opinion through secret manipulation via academies, media and intelligence as well as closely related NGOs and business interests. It is a well known fact that the UK was central in developing modern methods to manipulate public opinion as well as having state institutions secretly attacking movements and even their own democratically elected Labour governments. During WWI the British state hired an academician with international credentials to write a false report about German atrocities committed by soldiers in Belgium including chopping off the hands of babies. These accusations under false academic flag were then illustrated with the help of the best artists of the time for war propaganda. The British set an example that later inspired other countries using the same type of grossly exaggerated false claims about the enemy. In the 1920s the secret service produced a false document to imply that the Labour party was colluding with the communists in the Soviet union contributing to the fall of the government. In the 1970s members of the secret service were ”spreading damaging, malicious stories” about some members of the Labour government. In a report from Centre for Crime and Justice Studies by Connor Woodman on Counter-subversion, deep dissent and the logic of political policing the growing interpenetration and interaction between the secret state, multinationals and pro-business propaganda organisations is high-lighted. The report also shows that such cooperation has a long history. Already in the 1920 secret agents, right wing forces, parts of the press and private organizations acted jointly in the interest of corporate power.
  8. Campaigns today against independent movements in opposition to vested interests has become obscure and hard to deal with. In earlier days campaigns against larger movements were often organized at the domestic and international level by organizations such as the Secret service in the UK and CIA or FBI in the US and KGB in the USSR. In the 1980s such campaigns were beginning to be outsourced to NGOs. At the core of this reorganizing of attempts at monitoring and managing popular dissent lies a separation of politics and economics and social and political rights. Such a fragmenting framework makes room for protesters within a neoliberal system for pressure groups and advocacy while marginalizing protests against the system as a whole. This seemingly gives a voice to many while maintaining the present racist world order and privileges for a few.
  9. Antiracism becomes, in this system, institutionalized as a moral issue to be addressed by educational means changing individual behaviour and membership control to keep the party or organization ”clean”, a task without end for those telling who is a racist and who is not. Political change to minimise racism in society and the world by changing the causes becomes irrelevant or can even be labeled as a form of racism and denial of the false general rule that Left and dictatorships are genocidal and racist while Centre-right Western European states are democratic and antiracist.
  10. Political parties have failed to address this separation of moral and political antiracism. The decisive moment in Europe was when Joshka Fischer, then the German foreign minister, at the annual general assembly of the Greens in Germany 1999 was able to turn one of the strongest pacifist parties in European into a supporter of breaking apart the strong popular resistance to oppose German participation in wars, the first ever since WWII. To impose his will on the party he said he shared the wide sentiments against using military means in the population and the party but there was something worse, which was a new Auschwitz. This use of claimed human right violations legitimized wars in Europe and elsewhere by Western states against UN rules and with violations of human rights as a consequence. The model to legitimize such wars has been institutionalized in a well funded NGO system that addresses human rights issues in a biased way, using double standards while avoiding to address the present racist world order. Wars and a selective use of human rights benefitting corporate Western interests by military, economic and political means goes without systematic opposition. Many times, Left and Green parliamentary parties have been the strongest supporters of these wars to maintain Western world dominance in the name of avoiding atrocities – resulting in far worse atrocities than existed before.
  11. Popular movements have to find common ground to avoid being used against each other as political parties of all colors and the NGO system have failed us. Now is the time to stand up jointly against racism of all sorts in daily life and the way the world order is organized. The climate movement has to address the way wars for oil and other natural resources possible due to the racist world order is at the root of climate change. The peace movement has to see that it has common interest with the environmental movement in opposing the attack on Corbyn for telling the truth about the British press biased in this case in the interest of a corporate world view on forms of racism to oppose. Anti racism has to be put back in place as genuinely indivisible including both daily life moral issues and state racism directed against people with another ethnic background than the majority of the population and support of a racist world order by military, financial or other means.
  12. WWII is essential for the understanding of racism and in general about politics today. The present rewriting of history by relativization of the Holocaust is a major threat against the struggle to oppose antisemitism today. In the era of WWII the Holocaust is unique. Terror and mass starvation took place in colonial countries under Western control and in the Soviet Union. The far right ideology claiming that what took place was a double genocide committed by Germany against Jews and the Soviet Union against populations in countries it occupied is a rewriting of history. This obfuscation of the holocaust is used to maintain prejudices against Jews by claiming that Jewish partisans took part in a genocide while Nazi collaborators are turned into national heroes in the struggle against the Soviet Union.
  13. Many central and Eastern European countries as well as the EU and pro-business organizations support this rewriting of history, claiming that both Nazi Germany and the Soviet union were genocidal. This obfuscation of what happened has become the new denial of the Holocaust according to Dovid Katz, the Jiddisch scholar and editor of defendinghistory.com. It has been central in one of the ways antisemitism has been allowed to grow again and even made it possible for Nazism in some countries to be seen as a legitimate way to combat Jewish communism. At the same time as Nazi symbols are declared to be ancient domestic symbols not to be opposed the same way as communist symbols. Saying that the violent Nazi C14 organization is Neonazi has by court decision been declared as slander and forbidden in Ukraine.
  14. Earlier history called for a historic unity against antisemitism and fascist aggression both in Asia and Europe as the cause of WWII. The rewriting of history, claiming that the interwar period and WWII was a struggle between democracy and two genocidal totalitarian regimes, is ripping the historic unity against antisemitism apart. What we have left is a Europe with a view on a world war that doesn’t understand it as part of global history. The role played by Europe’s long time oppression of countries in the South is erased out of the picture. This role has continued after WWII in colonial or neocolonial forms. EU is getting closer to Japan and the US in an atmosphere of a new cold war both against Russia and China. But while Germany acknowledged the atrocities it committed during WWII Japan never did. The Japanese attack on China in the 1930s fighting both nationalist and communist forces and massacring civilians cannot be framed the way EU frames WWII in Europe. WWII in Asia was a conflict with communists and nationalist on the good side and today’s ally Japan as a fascist aggressor.An alliance concerning the view on WWII with this denialist country is not helpful in the interest of opposing racism emanating from the era of fascist aggression nor that of today’s world. Countries in Europe need instead to relate to the rest of the world in a mutually beneficial manner.
  15. The effort by president Trump and the EU to rewrite history books to make them more supportive of the role of their own countries must be opposed as damaging for both the West and the whole world. Opposition against the present world order dominated by the West imposed on populations everywhere is seen as unpatriotic by this recent move by Trump and similar attempts by the EU. The EU parliament goes as far as saying that the Russian response to the way the EU rewrites history is an act of information war ”waged against democratic Europe that aims to divide Europe”. What started as a rewriting of history in the interest of the EU to whitewash the role of Western European colonial democracies in the interwar period is turned upside down. All the blame for collusion with Germany is placed on Soviet Union and by proxy on Russia, a Soviet Union claimed by the EU to have the goal to dominate the world in contrast to the Western colonial countries. Instead of the EU attacking Russia it is claimed that Russia started an information war against the EU. What the EU does is presented as only counteracting against what is actually a self imposed problem started by the EU itself. Meanwhile it is not only the historic unity against antisemitism that is lost when Poland instrumentalized the Auschwitz commemorations for political reasons to exclude the country representing those that liberated the concentration camp. Lost is also the EU interest in a fair world built on reconciliation and ending denial of the crimes made by the EU member states in the rest of the world since the Opium war in the 19th century until today’s neocolonial unequal relationships and Western wars in regions of importance for the supply of fossil fuels. The common interest of both Trump and the EU to whitewash the role of their own countries is part of an effort to start a New Cold War both against domestic and external enemies presented in a distorted way which is the last thing the world needs.
  16. The rewriting of history is based on a separation of Nazi ideology into two parts. This anti-Jewish-bolshevist world view was both ideologically and in practice indivisible. The separation becomes the starting point for misusing remembrance of Nazism as a way to whitewash the ideology that underpins the EU. Nazi Germany was for reasons of preserving the German race opposing equally the Soviet state and Jews. Soviet Union was a danger to the organic common interest of many people as it was acknowledging class differences in society. The Jews were seen as a threat against the same organic unity of the German or any people that have built nation states as the Jews were unable to build their own nation states and thus were parasites undermining national unity. The splitting of Nazi ideology into two separate parts makes it possible to instrumentalize the struggle both against Nazism and antiracism using Nazism as the worst example of racism. By this separation of the Nazi anti-jewish-communist ideology it is used to demonize communism ending in in equalizing Russia with Nazism. This becomes central in an information war that develops in four steps.
  17. In the first step the conflation of communism and Jews takes place. The Nazi propaganda presented as the common enemy, the Jewish-bolshevik red soldier with a communist symbol inside the six pointed star of David on his hat. To destroy Jewish-bolshevism, a plan to mass murder 30 million Soviet citizens was implemented. 27 millions were successfully murdered according to the plan. The intention was to establish an oppressive society with Germans as the privileged class ruling over a population were for ever the idea of building a classless society should be destroyed. What the Nazis called Colonial Bolshevism should also be destroyed as it was a threat against Europeans and their rightful access to natural resources all over the world. The plan also included extermination of all Jews which was also brought to extreme consequences murdering 6 million Jews and would not have stopped at that if not Nazis Germany had been defeated by the allies with the red soldier carrying the heaviest burden.
  18. In the second large step the House of European History established by EU in Brussels in 2017 at the cost of 50 million euro takes the communist symbol out of its Nazi Jewish-bolshevist context and place it besides the swastika. Stalinism and Nazism are presented as both genocidal ideologies and regimes with the purpose of gaining global dominance. The actual world dominance at the time as well as before and after in the hands of Western countries and their corporations are erased out of the picture.
  19. In the third step taken earlier – but not in such a large scale – EU supports the Prague declaration that conflates communism and Nazism and promotes a double genocide theory as the way to frame WWII era history. The EU support for this declaration is institutionalized through the Platform of European Memory and Conscience 2011 as a tool to rewrite school books and produce other forms of material. Only other ideological regimes than those ruling liberal and conservative colonial and neocolonial countries now members are mentioned as responsible for genocides and will to dominate the world. This double standard is motivated by the need of ”building European resilience to modern external threats” according to the EU parliament.
  20. In the fourth step the rewriting of history goes full circle and shows that the aim is to use this new version of WWII and the interwar period as a tool in an information war instigated by the EU against Russia. The EU and Russia are now exchanging mutual accusations concerning WWII in an information war started by the EU a decade ago. The EU parliament claims that the current Russian leadership distorts historical facts and whitewash crimes committed by the Soviet Union, accusations that could as well be put against the EU. Meanwhile the way EU rewrites history in a way that relativizes the Holocaust and with that weakens the common struggle against antisemitism.
  21. That many single issue movements and political parties and intellectuals from the whole spectrum of ideological viewpoints have endorsed this separation of Nazi ideology and practice into two parts makes it no less dangerous and at the root of the present situation. All Labour, Liberal, Conservative and Green British members of the European parliament voted for the resolution that support the double genocide theory and thus the obfuscation of the Holocaust that can be seen as the new form of Holocaust denial.
  22. Instead of progressive movements and parties accepting this double genocide theory and separating racism in daily life and state racism it is necessary to place the responsibility for racism were it belongs. Endlessly defending ourselves of not being antiracist enough according to changing criteria and double standards is a dead end street. It is now necessary for every popular movement to live as we teach and at the same time address the societal causes of racism. We have to become trustworthy, live up to our own words as well as do what we can to act against state racism and any double standards in addressing racist issues while taking steps to dismantle the racist world order.
  23. The colluding of different forces built on coinciding temporary interests has merged into a powerful combination in the suspension of Corbyn, and yet it is weak. The Gordian knot composed by these different forces may seem impossible to penetrate. And yet there are a lot of inconsistencies inside the knot that makes it possible to implode.
  24. To make the criticism against Corbyn and others in progressive movements to live up to their own standards is a necessary first defensive move. The criticism of the commission had a main argument that the procedures in Labour should be not interfered with by the leadership, The first thing the new party leadership does is to break that rule and suspend Corbyn immediately for telling the truth. What Corbyn said was misrepresented by mainstream media as criticism against the commission when it was a criticism against the exaggeration of the problem in mass media. Moralistic arguments demanding immediate action from the leadership in specific cases have been prominent during the whole campaign in this issue. The main recommendation the commission made was that the opposite was what was needed and had not been in place, that sufficient resources and training was given to the separate body in charge reacting to complaints without interference. Now the new leadership did interfere immediately taking the focus away from the recommendations made. At the same time the critics of Labour used the occasion saying that the party under the former leadership had utterly failed because it interfered in the independent complaints process as if Corbyn had mainly tried to slow down the process. Actually he had tried to speed up the exclusion of the most high level politician which the media especially complained about.
  25. But due process arguments is not enough to win a political struggle nor is the trust in juridical forms of struggle. The trial against Julian Assange as well as the composition of the US Supreme court after Trump have made appointments shows that this can have serious shortcomings to say the least. The commission that studied Labour is very slow in reacting to complaints about islamophobia within the Tory party. This puts on the table the question if racism is being dealt with equally in all parties.
  26. The critics of the Labour party will shift arguments from moralistic to consequential and due process and back again or use contradictory arguments at the same time to win not only the battle but also the war, Their goal is in many cases far more than damaging the Labour party. It is to silence and make passive the social base for political change including opposition to state racism and support of a racist world order both in the UK and other countries.
  27. Thus far more has to be done than mere tactical damage management. The threat against the social base goes far beyond attacking the Labour party. It is an attack against any expression by people that oppose the present development model and world order, expressions we often call popular movements mobilizing concerns on platforms beyond a left wing agenda for peace, the environment and welfare.
  28. Business interests are among the main drivers of tightening the Gordian knot composed of so many diverging interests in the attack on Corbyn. Business organizations uses the occassion in general to attack Labour as well as accusing the workers movements for being antisemitic and racist, including also those part of the workers movements that were the first to be terrorized and put in camps by Stalin. Business organizations and representatives are well represented in the intertwined networks of people and institutions inside the knot. They promote the idea that the only result of the peasant and workers revolutions a hundred years ago was the creation of genocidal states. This is a conflict with European democracies that promotes freedom and has become rich thanks to free markets and entrepreneurial skills.
  29. The military industrial complex and secret services is another busy actor inside the knot trying to tighten the control of society. Openly and secretly attacking Corbyn in the interest of a foreign policy that gives free room for selling new wars with lies and replacing the UN and its charter with an alliance with rich countries antagonistic to anyone presented as a threat to their access to natural resources or willing to stand up for its own interests.
  30. Centre right parties as the Tories have as they should, especially in a two party system, have been doing what they are supposed to do. They used the issue for attacking the Labour party. Some conservative British politicians have opposed the House of European History and the way the EU tends to present nationalism as a problem. But in general the four steps in separating antiracism from anticommunism, then present Stalinism and Nazism as equally genocidal and finally saying communism and today’s Russia is the same as a Nazism fits the present centre right agenda well.
  31. Social democrats used to have another agenda talking about political reforms and not separating this from the moral issue. Statistics showing that Labour voters before Corbyn had the second least proportion of antisemites of any party in the country and during Corbyn the lowest shows the success of such a policy. But more and more social democrats give up on this unifying idea of politics. Appeasement and trade as a tool for bridging gaps and promoting peace between countries also with different political systems was the strength of social democratic foreign policy. This has been replaced by actively participating in war crimes at times by the majority of Labour and the subsequent need to defend earlier war mongering against the consistently peace and antiracist position held by Corbyn.
  32. What is of special international importance, and not only of British, is the role played by the media as the Guardian. This paper is the only centre-left daily of importance in Britain and could then be expected to play at least a neutral role in this controversy. On the contrary it has been one of the main contributors to the attack on Corbyn publishing a disproportionate number of the more than 5000 articles in the British national press about the trumped up accusations against Labour under Corbyn being severely antisemitic. As the Guardian plays the same role in the attacks against Julian Assange after having made use of his exposure of Western war crimes puts the central role the Guardian have in the global climate and other progressive movements in question. Who will be the next that the Guardian betrays together with the rest of the mainstream press?
  33. The attack on Corbyn has effects on movements in all of the world in many ways. Climate, peace, anti state racism and other movements will have far less to say in British politics for a number of years. This was the result already from the way the Labour party was inconsistent in its position on the Brexit vote which made it lose the election. The suspension of Corbyn evaporated any hope for building a strong Labour party again any time soon capable of winning against the Tories by mobilizing a broad social base. The hope represented by Labour to like-minded in many parts of the world has been crushed.
  34. The severity of the social and ecological crisis and the threat from militarization of conflicts and armament taking resources away from peace, welfare and climate transition does not disappear in the UK or elsewhere. When the party option for the time being has limited possibilities to go forward which is the case not only in Britain but also other countries all the more it becomes necessary to find other ways to organize opposition to the present ecocidal racist world order.
  35. The only way to successfully do that is to strike a blow against the Gordian knot at the core of its strength which is to label any progressive movement antisemites linked to genocidal left wing ideologies and legacy. Or at a more abstract level separate the individual moral from changing material conditions, in other words separating politics from economics and furthermore separating politics into single issue policies, what has become known as silos. Movements have to find a way to see their common interests in opposing the forces tightening the Gordian knot and start untying it instead of being constantly on the defensive.
  36. Nobody can do this alone. The strategy of the Left saying that they are not antisemites and that the attack is against them, pro-Palestinian movements stating opposing Zionism is not anti semitism and the peace movements saying they support Corbyn is to retreat and not going forward.
  37. What is needed is to criticize the relativization of the Holocaust which is now made into a main stream ideology with the help of EU and the New cold war being waged against Russia and China. By equalising communism and Nazism business interests, Western states hope to silence domestic movements and regain strength in competition with China and Russia. The fascist aggression appeased by Western states in both Asia and Europe leading to WWII should be forgotten.
  38. Only by stating clearly that in the era of WWII the Holocaust was unique we can regain political terrain. Other terror and mass starvation in the Soviet Union or the colonies governed by Western democracies in the same period are to be denounced without double standards but do not have the same character with the intent to murder every member of a people. Before and after the WWII era, genocides has taken place but in the politically defining era for the present world order before and during the Second World War, this was not the case. The way many have addressed this issue is to claim that the there has been also other atrocities and genocides committed by Western capitalist countries than the Holocaust that also should be taken into account. This have made it easy for the forces claiming only Nazism and Communist regimes have committed these kind of extreme crimes to say, that this is to relativize the Holocaust. By showing the uniqueness of the extermination of the Jews by the Germans in WWII we can strengthen the struggle against antisemitism and any other racism while at the same time expose the hypocrisy of those that blame others for relativizing the Holocaust which they themselves are doing.
  39. At the same time the separation of the moral and the political has to be firmly brought together again and placed where it belongs, in the common need of saving mankind in the only possible way, to preserve our planet with all its living beings so coming generations can live a fruitful life. This caring relationship between the moral and political can only be done in relationship with material conditions in rural and urban communities linked together via democratic movements all over the planet. It has to be placed in being a human in our full capacity as producers, consumers and creators of culture together with others. By simultaneously trying to live as we teach and trying to change society we need to transcend the private and the public by other means than the market or the state which is at the core of building popular movements and commons. Redistribution of wealth or demanding adherence to a specific ideology may not solve the crack in political and private life which the separation of the moral from the political have caused. The belief in state centric policymaking or the market when there is no such thing as society has no solution to his problem. Only in community based rural and urban commons of very different sorts that also can produce some of what we need can the moral and political realm foster fruitful relationships if links are made around the planet including to relate to different political parties and economic and cultural forces. The misuse of the separation of the moral and political for hypocritical purposes has no future if mankind should be able to survive
  40. Precisely this need to strengthen the expression of what local social bases need in a way that contributes to the survival of mankind is what is under attack when Corbyn is suspended. Labour under Corbyn with its mass participation of new members represents a will to unite all important struggles for social justice, antiracism, environment and peace. Those that consistently have been attacking this renewal of Labour with all the means available to those trying to capture us inside a Gordian knot represent the opposite. Only by simultaneously exposing the way those in power tries to separate us and find ways to combine our struggles can we move forward. We need to challenge all their attempts at character assassinations and depriving us from access to freely communicate and organize. We need to call for all movements to demand an end to the racist world order, peace, welfare and saving our planet.

Tord Björk

Some links:

Novara media – David Graeber: A celebration of his life, At 1:32:27 Corbyn about this Anarchist and his he contributed to a new relationship between the movements and the party

The books exposing the fake character of the attack against Labour under Corbyn: Antisemitism in the Labour party (can be downloaded for free).
https://www.versobooks.com/books/3215-antisemitism-and-the-labour-party

How Labour Became “Antisemitic”, AN INTERVIEW WITH GREG PHILO
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/10/labour-party-antisemitism-claims-jeremy-corbyn

The article refers to the book Bad News for Labour:

The Labour Antisemitism Report Has Always Been a Politically Motivated Travesty, Daniel Finn
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2020/10/labour-antisemitism-report-ehrc-corbyn-commission

The Fallout From Jeremy Corbyn’s Suspension | Novara Media

Spycops in context: a brief history of political policing in Britain and A brief history of political policing, Connor Woodman
https://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/publications/spycops-in-context

The purpose of the Integrity Initiative and what it does – We are all in an ongoing war according to Chris Donnelly, founder and director of The Institute for Statecraft and former NATO advisor
https://activistsforpeace.wordpress.com/2018/12/

Undermining Democracy, Not Defending It: The ‘Integrity Initiative’ is Everything That’s Wrong With British Foreign Policy, Aaron Bastani

Dovid Katz: The “Double Genocide” Theory, The New and Official form of Holocaust denial:
https://jewishcurrents.org/the-double-genocide-theory

Dovid Katz and his collaborators website:
https://defendinghistory.com

Holocaust and the rewriting of history:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpnTQMBD6Fo

Tord Björk, rewriting of history in Brussels:
https://www.algemeiner.com/2020/11/23/rewriting-of-history-in-brussels-at-a-strange-new-museum-house-of-european-history/

Tord Björk: Liberal rewriting of history, m,ore detailed version of the article in Algemeiner:
https://activistsforpeace.wordpress.com/2020/10/20/liberal-rewriting-of-history

European Parliament resolution: Importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe

“Letter in support of critical social sciences in France” opposing governmental Islamophobia
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSflP9uybkW7eaK8Kl2CNpq-YYT40ojW-IroF5cnHmAcW57DfA/viewform

The Weaponisation of Labour Antisemitism | David Graeber

International action calendar 2021

From the ongoing Indian farmer protests.

The dates are a mixture of days initiated by popular moveemnts and official UN dates when movements also often taken action. You can find more information about official UN dates in the link below. This list is done with the help of both global and European Sources. The first version was made to contribute to European/Prague Spring 2020 meeting online 5 – 6 December. Help is needed to fill in more actions days of continental or world wide importance including which coalition is supporting the initiative. Some of the dates below will have very many particpants, other may be proposals. The purpose of putting the list together is to help planning for those interested in organizing international acion days and campaigns./ Tord Björk Friends of the Earth Sweden, International Council WSF member for Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. You can send suggestions to this list including link to more information about the dates to: tord.bjork@gmail.com

2021

4 January – The Assange verdict is supposed to be handed down this day in 2021, protests (IPA)

22 January – Celebration when the UN nuclear ban treaty will become law (peace movement)

23- 31 January – global decentralized WSF – Anti Davos

25 January – International Day of action on Yemen (peace movement)

25 January – Commemorating 10 year anniversary Tahrir square during Arab Spring, WSF action day, Helsinki

27 January – International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

20 February – World Day of Social Justice

8 March – International Women´s Day (WEF, EF)

21 March – International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

30 March – International Domestic Workers Day (WEF)

17 April – International peasant struggle day (VC and others)

22 April – 9 May – International Action weeks: Disarm! for ecosocial transformation (E/P S)

22 April – International Mother Earth Day (environmental movement)

26 April – International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day (anti-nuclear movement)

End of April- beginning of May – Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) including International Anti- Military Base Protest Day

1 May – Worker’s Day (EF, WEF)

2 May – Odessa solidarity 7th anniversary of the attack on the trade union house in Odessa killing 42 people (E/P S)

8 – 9 May – Victory day against fascism in Europe (peace movement, EF)

24 May – International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament (WEF)

5 June – World Environment Day (environmental movement, EF)

20 June – World Refugee Day (WEF)

6 August – Hiroshima Day (peace movement)

9 August – International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

21 September – International Day of Peace (peace movement)

23 September – International Day against Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking (WEF)

28 September – International Safe Abortion Day (WEF)

2 October – International Day of Non-Violence, Gandhi’s birth Day (peace movement)

15 October – International Day of Rural Women (WEF)

16 October – UN food day (Food sovereignty movement)

10 November – Proposal for a European Strike for Equal Pay Day in the EU – November 10 is the day when women symbolically stop getting paid compared to their male counterparts for the same job. (WEF)

25 November – International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (WEF, IPA)

29 November – International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (IPA)

For more international UN days:
https://www.un.org/en/sections/observances/international-days

Acronyms
EF European Forum of Green, Progressive and Left Forces – https://europeanforum.eu
E/PS European/Prague Spring – https://www.attac.hu/2020/12/statement-from-european-prague-spring-december-5-6-mobilizing-meeting-for-world-social-forum-2021
IPA International People’s Assembly – https://antiimperialistweek.org
VC Via Campesina – https://viacampesina.org
WEF Women of the European Forum – https://europeanforum.eu/2020/11/23/women-assembly-manifesto
WEF World Economic Forum, the organizer of the Davos meeting – https://www.weforum.org/
WSF World SocialForum – https://wsf2021.net

Action proposals and backgrounds

Global Pact of Solidarity for the Rights of Migrant and Refugee Peoples, petition
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf9DLtsHAZWZq6EQVI4ngBSSIy9–4phiR82CUSUZluCzMBAA/viewform

World Says No to War on Yemen, International Day of action:
https://www.stopwar.org.uk/article/call-to-protest-world-says-no-to-war-on-yemen-25-jan-2021

Ecosocial transformation through universal disarmament, end of April
http://www.ipb.org/uncategorized/build-back-better-again-for-peace

Nuke Free Europe petition
https://www.nukefreeeurope.eu

Mock COP 26 youth climate initiative
https://www.mockcop.org

Stop repression, Odessa solidarity May 2
https://solidaritywithodessa.wordpress.com

Holocaust and the rewriting of History, Prague Spring 2 webinar related to Auschwitz liberation January 27:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpnTQMBD6Fo&t=26s

European Forum
https://europeanforum.eu/online-2020/programme-2020
https://europeanforum.eu/2020/11/26/final-declaration-2020

European/Prague Spring
https://www.facebook.com/events/700058380890318

Altersummit
http://www.altersummit.eu

International People’s Assembly
https://antiimperialistweek.org,
https://twitter.com/antiimperial_20

World Social Forum 2021 January 23 – 31
https://wsf2021.net

Daily life and the suspension of Corbyn

By Tord Björk

From the EU sponsored museum

The attacks against Jeremy Corbyn is not only attacks against his politics. It is part of an attack against peace, environmental, social rights and anti-racist movements and their attempts to come to terms with the state apparatus and its close links to business interests.


In the long waves of popular struggle for peace on and with earth the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn from the Labour party is telling us something. It comes in a time when all over the world we are asking ourselves how we can get a better, less stressed daily life at the same time as acting against the threats to the survival of mankind and biological diversity. To be able to do that we must find a way to a fruitful relationship, instead of a gap between our local experiences where we live and formal economics and politics.

Labour under Corbyn was able to bridge that gap and opened up for a fruitful dialogue with independent movements and people’s daily life experiences. A strong democratic momentum emerged raising the party membership threefold. Movements for climate, antiracism, peace, social justice, and several other issues found a voice inside the formal political system willing to listen to their message. Corbyn was suspended for telling the truth that the attacks against Labour for being antisemitic were exaggerated. The suspension is an attempt to dismantle the democratic progress that has een made. The role the UK and Anglo-American influence have in the world makes it necessary with an internationalistic support of this democratization and answer on the attack against it, which is also an attack against us.

The forces against this democratic progress are strong but will not succeed. The revitalization of linking daily life experience with politics is of too large importance both domestically and internationally. It is a decisive step forward in a country that was at the forefront of establishing racist imperialism globally, which continued today under the aegis of the finance industry in London.

Most reactions against the suspension of Corbyn lack the understanding of the historic opportunity to mobilize broad international support for this democratic progress. Instead, the reactions limit themselves to the playing field set up by the opponents to Corbyn. It is a defensive reaction saying we are not racist, being critical towards Israeli policies is not the same as being an antisemite. We who work for peace, as Corbyn consistently did, must defend ourselves against the military industrial complex. This is an attack against the UK left and we have to defend ourselves against the right.

A response kept within moral, single issue, ideological and national frameworks does not address the severity of the situation. What is under attack is of historical and international importance for the relationship between movements based in daily life and the parliamentarian realm. Movements that are political actors also rooted in the moral realm. A broad range of independent movements including those that are not carried forward by a left wing ideology. Acknowledging this dimension of a mutual general relationship beyond policymaking between movements and formal politics is the key to understanding why Corbyn is so feverousily attacked.

It is an attack organized by several forces joined by coinciding interests with seemingly unquestionable authority. It is not only those opposing the democratization within the parliamentary parties including some Labour MPs. It is also the overwhelmingly dominant part of mass media that selectively chooses what kind of racism to look for. This national press printed more than 5000 biased articles accusing Labour under Corbyn for antisemitism. There is also a long tradition of using secret and open collaboration between secret services, NGOs, business interest, part of mass media, and politicians to attack the kind of democratization, anti racist, peace, and social justice which Corbyn represents.

The biased attack against Corbyn has been systematic from many forces as part of a long UK history of misuse of propaganda against peace movements and Labour. Modern war propaganda was invented by the British Foreign Office during WWI. With the help of an internationally recognized academician a report was published with false accusations against German soldiers claimed to have chopped off the hands of babies in Belgium. During the 1920s and 1970s secret service agents in collaboration with business and likeminded forces conspired against the Labour government and was able to bring it down at their first attempt in 1924.

The British state is sometimes acting with the help of secret agents or the help of funding NGOs to secretly or openly interfere in other countries democratic life as well. With the help of methods such as having sexual relationships under false pretensions and other morally disgusting and antidemocratic provocative methods, British agents have infiltrated the antiracist, environmental, climate and other movements internationally. This has caused severe damage in the trust among people and to public life. The British state also funds NGOs like Integrity Initiative led by former military intelligence agents that have set up secret networks in other countries to attack the peace movement under the pretext of acting against Russian disinformation. The reaction to this British interference in other countries has mainly been to criticize how the Integrity Initiative was used against Corbyn and the Labour party. Instead, we need is to see that we have to jointly act against this British state funded attacks against peace, environmental, and antiracist movement and their relations with political parties.

We cannot any longer be silent about the forces that have united themselves against Corbyn and who also attacks many movements internationally. Instead we need to dismantle the legitimacy of the joint antidemocratic forces and their coinciding interests. This makes it necessary to systematically expose how the suspension of Corbyn and the collusion between the forces against him also operates internationally. It is done in similar ways and have malign effects on open democratic culture. Instead of being on the defensive we need to move the issues over to the side where they belong.

It is not we who continuously organize against racism that are racists, it is those that separates the moral issue from state racism. It is not us working for peace opposing all forms of militarism that increase our vulnerability. It is those that raise the vulnerability of all countries by promoting external and domestic enemy images.

Popular movements in opposition to the present racist world order are in need of addressing the unequal international relation between the North Atlantic countries and the rest of the world. The idea that European values or US exceptionalism are unique and calls for a right to act globally in their own interest must be opposed. This together with the revisionist idea that threat in the world comes only from totalitarian extremist ideologies as nazism, communism and islamism. To this end EU has started a museum and writes parliamentary resolutions erasing the rest of the world outside Europe from WWII history, blaming communism to be as genocidal as nazism. We have to put global history at the centre of WWII showing that the world war both in Asia and Europe was the result of fascist aggression during the 1930s started by Japan against China with mass terror against civilians in 1937 opposed by the nationalist and communist armies. Later in 1939 it started in Europe ending after six years on this continent before it ended with the Japanese capitulation in 1945.

EU relativizes the Holocaust and supports a far right ideology by claiming that both Soviet Union and Germany committed equally immoral genocides. Soviet Union as well as Western powers like the UK used large terror and mass starvation to impose their forced modernization in its own country or overseas, but this is not comparable with the German extinction of the Jews which was unique during the WWII era. The relativization of the Holocaust promoted by the EU, business interests and centre-left parties helps growing antisemitism in many places. Local Jew survivors in Central and Eastern Europe are still blamed for being Communists and thus as Jewish partisans or in the Soviet army guilty og genocide against people in Lithuania, Hungary and other similar countries.

Popular movements opposing the present world order need to criticize this double genocide theory. The way EU and those attacking Corbyn are taking antisemtism out of its political context and relativizing the Holocaust must be held responsible for helping antisemitism to grow.*

It is necessary to confront the racism inherent in the separation of the moral and the political side of racism. This in an unbiased way both in the case of antisemitism, islamophobia or any kind of racism. 

The attack against Corbyn goes beyond the issue of racism. All movements that question short term profit at the expense of environmental destruction or building a society free of oppression are under attack. The independent movements in Britain had found a fruitful relationship with a party willing to listen to them without co-opting the movements. Both participators in this relationship set an example for the rest of the world. 

The way vested interests secretly and openly oppose this relationship to enable more free room for militaristic and finance interests to rule the world needs to be studied and acted upon, especially the international dimension that has been addressed to little. The secret forces attacking Corbyn have also been paid by the British state to do the same thing in other countries. We cannot any longer let a combination of diverse forces attack us one by one. It is time to fight back by simultaneously continuing constructing alternatives, resisting wars and ways to make every social relationship and nature into a commodity. We can defeat divide and rule tactics by those in power by seeing ourselves as historical subjects with a common need of supporting each other rather than objects of oppression. When we see ourselves as people giving hope to our communities and the world in a mutual relationship with those members of political parties that oppose the present world order can we defend ourselves better when necessary, without losing our course. We can change our societies and make the world a better place to live in.

Tord Björk


* The webinar Holocaust and the rewriting of History addressed new forms of relativizing the Holocaust in the interest of business and continuation of European access to natural resources.This  with the help of military means if necessary all over the world. The webinar was organized by Activists for Peace together with Prague Spring 2 network against right wing extremism and populism on 27th of October 2020.

Webinar on the Holocaust and rewriting of history with Dovid Katz and Tord Björk October 27 2020
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpnTQMBD6Fo&feature=emb_logo

Tord Björk
coordinator of the EU committee in Friends of the Earth Sweden 
Co-founder of the Prague Spring 2 network against right wing extremism and populism
Co-founder of Activists for Peace
Member of the International Council of the World Social Forum for the Gandhian Network Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam

Some links:

Novara media – David Graeber: A celebration of his life, At 1:32:27 Corbyn about this Anarchist and his he contributed to a new relationship between the movements and the party
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZlXJ3YqkMA

The books exposing the fake character of the attack against Labour under Corbyn:

Antisemitism in the Labour party (can be downloaded for free).
https://www.versobooks.com/books/3215-antisemitism-and-the-labour-party

How Labour Became “Antisemitic”, AN INTERVIEW WITH GREG PHILO
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/10/labour-party-antisemitism-claims-jeremy-corbyn

The article refers to the book Bad News for Labour:
https://www.plutobooks.com/9781786805720/bad-news-for-labour/

The Labour Antisemitism Report Has Always Been a Politically Motivated Travesty, Daniel Finn
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2020/10/labour-antisemitism-report-ehrc-corbyn-commission

The Fallout From Jeremy Corbyn’s Suspension | Novara Media
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3dZsXKcQ4Y

Spycops in context: a brief history of political policing in Britain
and A brief history of political policing, Connor Woodman
https://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/publications/spycops-in-context

The purpose of the Integrity Initiative and what it does – We are all in an ongoing war according to Chris Donnelly, founder and director of The Institute for Statecraft and former NATO advisor
https://activistsforpeace.wordpress.com/2018/12/

Undermining Democracy, Not Defending It: The ‘Integrity Initiative’ is Everything That’s Wrong With British Foreign Policy, Aaron Bastani
https://novaramedia.com/2018/12/10/undermining-democracy-not-defending-it-the-integrity-initiative-is-everything-thats-wrong-with-british-foreign-policy

Dovid Katz: The “Double Genocide” Theory, The New and Official form of Holocaust denial:
https://jewishcurrents.org/the-double-genocide-theory
Dovid Katz and his collaborators website:
https://defendinghistory.com

Holocaust and the rewriting of history: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpnTQMBD6Fo

Tord Björk, rewriting of history in Brussels: https://www.algemeiner.com/2020/11/23/rewriting-of-history-in-brussels-at-a-strange-new-museum-house-of-european-history/

Tord Björk: Liberal rewriting of history, more detailed version of the article in Algemeiner:
https://activistsforpeace.wordpress.com/2020/10/20/liberal-rewriting-of-history

European Parliament resolution: Importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe 

“Letter in support of critical social sciences in France” opposing governmental Islamophobia
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSflP9uybkW7eaK8Kl2CNpq-YYT40ojW-IroF5cnHmAcW57DfA/viewform

The Weaponisation of Labour Antisemitism | David Graeber
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-oOg2J0aYc