From WEEKLY MDS No.902, September 9, 2005 issue logo

Struggle together with Movement for Democratic Socialism / For Solidarity with Iraq Freedom Congress and Non-Defended Localities Movement

At a turning point in history

The Movement for Democratic Socialism (MDS) held its 6th General Assembly on August 27 and 28 in Kyoto. It fell in a year marking the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II and also at a time when the general election was looming following the blocking of the passage of postal privatization bills in the Diet. The Assembly depicted the current political situation in Japan as a significant turning point.

The 21st century, carrying our wish for "society free from war," raised the curtain with the September 11th terrorist attacks and the war waged by global capitalism. In the face of anti-war voices from people around the world, US President George W. Bush went ahead and waged a war of aggression in Iraq followed by an occupation that continues to this day. Prime Minister KOIZUMI Junichiro is participating in the occupation by dispatching troops to Iraq, single-mindedly paving the way for his country to become a nation that wages war, and creating the most critical situation in post-war political scenes in Japan by releasing draft revisions of the Constitution of Japan after achieving the enactment of national emergency laws.

However, now we see the winds changing direction again. Before the end of the first year of his second term, Bush has lost a major portion of his support base that once exceeded 50%. The largest US labor federation, the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations), adopted a resolution by an overwhelming majority that openly denounces war waged by a US administration for the first time in its 50-year history. Meanwhile, Koizumi failed to secure the passing of the postal privatization bills in the last Diet session, marking a deadlock of Government privatization policies that have been pursued for the twenty years since the submission of the recommendations of the Supervisory Committee for Japan National Railways Reconstruction. Here we are seeing increasingly tense confrontations that are shaking the most belligerent elements of global capitalism in various countries around the world.

People's struggle turning to the offensive

At its 5th General Assembly last year, the MDS called for nationwide development of movements on two fronts: the activation of solidarity with the Iraqi Civil Resistance, and the Non-Defended Localities movement. The 6th Assembly again emphasized these as its core challenges. The contemporary significance of these challenges has grown by leaps and bounds.

During the six months since the founding of the IFC (Iraq Freedom Congress) with the Iraqi Civil Resistance playing the key role, our struggle to activate solidarity with the IFC has rapidly developed into a united movement across Iraq, Europe, the US and Asia. While in Iraq, the vista is yet obscure for the process of ratification of the "constitution" and putting it to a national referendum, global anti-war movements are waging joint international actions on September 24 beyond the actions taken last year. The MDS Assembly also laid out a plan to hold an international conference for solidarity with the IFC in Tokyo in January 2006, which will provide a perspective for anti-occupation movements around the world.

On the other front, the Non-Defended Localities movement has undergone remarkable development beyond a level that anybody could ever have imagined a year ago. At that time, a direct petition campaign promoting Non-Defended Locality ordinance was only seen in the city of Osaka. Now we see a chain reaction of citizens participating in this movement from Hokkaido to Okinawa and many localities in between. The spread of the movement is proof of the overwhelming support among residents across the country for the style of struggle sharply confronting the war-nation policies, which embodies the spirit of the Constitution of Japan. Now is the time to actually achieve a Non-Defended Locality ordinance at all costs and to present it as a real-life working example.

Force every unit in the occupation forces, including Japan's Self-Defense Forces (SDF) troops from Iraq through solidarity with the IFC. Dismantle armed forces in local communities through Non-Defended Localities ordinances. These struggles will enable local communities to constrict all elements leading to war, the greatest means of global capitalist domination.

Toward the overthrow of the Koizumi cabinet

Starting with the general election, the situation this fall will have a critical impact that may become a crossroads in postwar history. Following the loss of support for Prime Minister Tony Blair during the UK general election, we must condemn Koizumi's "reform" policies, a candid representation of the intention of global capitalism. This fall is the time to enhance our solidarity with the IFC and to realize nationwide development of the struggle to end the occupation of Iraq, and the Non-Defended Localities movement. Gather the power of these struggles to topple the Koizumi cabinet. (August 28)

Copyright Weekly MDS