Sindicato de Estudiantes
February 13, 2003: Students' day of struggle and demonstrations
AN APPEAL BY THE SPANISH STUDENTS UNION TO STUDENT ORGANISATIONS ALL OVER THE WORLD TO MOBILISE AGAINST IMPERIALIST WAR ON IRAQ
1.- Faced with the imminent war which US imperialism is preparing against Iraq, the Spanish Students' Union, as part of the international week of action against the war, has called for a Students' Day of Struggle on Thursday, February 13, which will consist of a national students' strike and demonstrations in all cities in Spain.
2.- In the name of "freedom" and "democracy", once again, the imperialist powers are preparing a massacre against innocent people. This time it is the turn of the Iraqi people. The excuse: Saddam Hussein's regime has weapons of mass destruction and therefore the security of the US and of the rest of the world is under threat. It is shocking that these allegations are made by the strongest military power on Earth which accounts for 37% of the world's arms expenditure and 40% of the world's arms production.
3.- We are faced with a new imperialist war, a classical war of plunder for the control of new markets and raw materials, in this case oil. The Persian Gulf region has 65% of the world's oil reserves, and in the first decade of the 21st century it is estimated that the region will supply more than half of the world's oil consumption, of which the US accounts for 70%. Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world, after Saudi Arabia. The US and international ruling class are worried about the current economic recession and against this background the control of the world's oil resources becomes something crucial. This is the real reason for American interest in the region. Their real aim is to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein and to establish a puppet government which would allow them to control Iraqi oil without problems.
Furthermore, US imperialism with the characteristic arrogance of all oppressors, wants to show all peoples of the world that if anyone dares challenge its power it will face war and destruction.
4.- The Students' Union opposes this imperialist war, whether it is launched by the US alone or whether it is supported by the United Nations. The UN is in the hands of imperialism and has allowed and justified the bombing of the people of Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and the bombing of Iraq in 1991 - which caused more than 200,000 casualties - and is also maintaining the criminal embargo against Iraq which has already caused more than one million innocent victims, particularly among children. The same UN are either deaf or turn a blind eye to violations of its own resolutions on the part of the State of Israel (the strongest military power in the region, armed and finances by the US) and to the policy of state terrorism practised by Ariel Sharon who has organised the massacre of the Palestinian people, a policy of genocide.
5.- Of course, the regime of Saddam Hussein is a dictatorship (we should remember that Saddam was supported, armed to the teeth and financed by the US in the 1980s during the war with Iran which resulted in one million deaths). The Iraqi dictatorship oppresses millions of Iraqi working people and should be opposed by workers and youth around the world. However, we are not indifferent to the questions of who overthrows Saddam, with what interests or what kind of regime will replace him. In fact the plans of the US are quite clear: military occupation of Iraq for at least a year and a half. That is to say to replace Saddam with a protectorate under the military, economic and political control of the US. American imperialism only wishes to replace one dictatorship which it does not control by another reactionary regime which will be loyal to the diktats of the White House.
6.- The oppressed masses of the Arab world (or in any other part of the planet) cannot trust American bombs, or UN bombs to solve their problems. The only way forward for the Iraqi people is an organised and conscious struggle to put an end to imperialist oppression, an end to the dictatorship they are suffering under and an end to the economic system which sustains both: i.e. capitalism. In order to free themselves from any puppet and reactionary regime imposed by the US and from the oppression of Saddam Hussein, the workers and youth of Iraq, the peasants and the oppressed must take the road of the struggle for the socialist transformation of society. They must build a new government of the workers and of the oppressed, through which the economic resources and wealth created by working people would be placed in the hands of the people and would be used to satisfy the needs of the many and not increase the profits of the powerful and the oil multinationals. Only in this way would it also be also to overcome the conflicts between the different national and religious minorities which make up Iraq.
7.- Opposition to this war on the part of the youth and the labour movement is increasing all over the world. On January 18 and 19, 500,000 people demonstrated in the US against imperialist war, while sizeable demonstrations were also taking place in other countries. The opinion polls reflect the constant increase of opposition to this war, which only benefits the strategic and economic interests of imperialism and which will be paid, as always, by workers and youth around the world, and above all by the oppressed masses of Iraq. The only way to stop the imperialist massacre is to organise an international mass movement of working people and youth. Trade unions and left parties must oppose this war and organise the labour movement, through anti-war committees in factories, workplaces, schools and universities, neighbourhoods, towns and cities, which should be co-ordinated through a plan of action which should include the calling of a 24 hour general strike against the war.
8.- The Spanish Students' Union has launched a campaign to organise such a movement among the youth in Spain, participating in all mobilisations which are being called internationally and calling mobilisations in Spain, setting up committees against the war in schools and universities to explain these ideas, organise leafleting, meetings, debates and protest actions. Also the Spanish Students' Union is calling on February 13, a Day of Students' Action and demonstrations. WE MAKE AN APPEAL TO ALL STUDENT AND YOUTH ORGANISATIONS AROUND THE WORLD TO ALSO CALL ON THAT DAY STUDENT STRIKES, DEMONSTRATIONS AND PROTEST ACTIONS AGAINST THE IMPERIALIST WAR ON IRAQ. The unified struggle of the student youth on February 13, will be a decisive step to encourage a mass movement against imperialist war which will be able to force US imperialism to retreat and also create serious difficulties for the European governments in their plans for getting involved in this new aggression against an innocent people.