We believe that all people are created equal – yet around the world today our brothers and sisters are in chains. Our souls cry out in anger and pain when we see slave markets reborn in Libya in the 21st century.
How has humanity arrived at this shameful and humiliating place?
We believe that the colour of a person’s skin should have no more significance than the colour of their eyes. Yet the country we are born in, the economic position of our parents and the colour of our skin – events of accident, of chance – profoundly affect the life chances and life expectancy of all human beings on our planet today.
How can this be? And how can we bring reality into accord with our cherished principles and beliefs?
While demanding the abolition of this disgusting rebirth of chattel slavery, we are keenly aware that the majority of humanity’s population today are degraded and enslaved not in this direct manner, but by their wage-slavery, by impoverishment and immiseration at the hands of capitalism, which is greedy for maximum profit regardless of the human and environmental cost.
Libya today and yesterday
So why has chattel slavery re-emerged in Libya?
One does not need a long memory to recall that in 2011, Nato waged a war of regime change, using a new model, which it has since exported to wreak havoc in Syria.
Today’s Libyan ‘Government of National Accord’ is the poisoned fruit of that genocidal Nato campaign. This rag-tag coalition of islamist puppets spends its time squabbling over the spoils of Libya’s faltering economy, spilling into frequent armed conflict, while the country they have betrayed lies about them in ruins.
The GNA is an imposed comprador government not representative of, nor responsible to, the Libyan people.
As such, Nato bears direct responsibility for the composition and actions of its junior partner, including its ongoing campaigns of murder and rape in Libya to impose a backward social code, its terrorist outrages committed in Libya and elsewhere (such as the Manchester bombing in May 2017), its involvement in trafficking displaced migrants who are drowned in their thousands trying to cross the Mediterranean to escape poverty in sub-Saharan Africa – and, as an off-shoot of this, actual slave trading.
Nato and the islamists; an unholy alliance
Nato’s new method, trialled in Libya, consisted of assembling a proxy army of islamic jihadi rats (including a few Libyan traitors, but principally composed of Islamic State (IS) and Al-Qaeda mercenaries, whitewashed with the name ‘National Transitional Council’) on the ground, supported by a ‘no-fly zone’ imposed by the USA, Britain, France and Italy, who assembled their fascistic might in the form of overwhelming naval and air power, to rain cruise missiles, death and destruction on the legitimate armies, administration, civilian infrastructure and population of the independent, sovereign and progressive Libyan nation.
Without Nato arms, logistical support and air power, there is no way these gangs of feudal mercenaries – now engaged in slave trading – could ever have toppled the progressive, secular and popular government led by Muammar Gaddafi. During the 2011 war, literally millions of Libyan citizens demonstrated to show their support for their government, cheering on Gaddafi, who defied the aerial bombardment to salute the crowds from the back of a jeep.
Imperialism seeks domination, not democracy
The USA’s first ‘African’-American president, Barack Obama, oversaw the Libyan coup, providing a sober and credible figurehead for what was in fact a barbarous, anti-democratic, colonial war waged against a small, peaceful and prosperous north-African country.
Moreover, it was a war waged on behalf of huge American and European financial interests, motivated not by the wellbeing of the people, as they so hypocritically claimed, but solely by money, and driven on by the pressures of the capitalist financial crisis, which entered an acute phase with the banking collapse of 2008.
Libya has huge oil reserves and, on the basis of its previous export of oil, it had significant financial reserves amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars, which were seized by international capitalists in the US and Europe as part of their financial war. Some of this has since been released to their new islamist puppets, who use it as directed. The plunder of Libyan oil and gold, and ending Libya’s backing for African independence, were Nato’s true goals.
None of these realities, well known to us at the time, were reflected in the national media. Their coverage (including from our beloved ‘impartial and objective’ BBC) that accompanied Nato’s Libyan genocide was a one-sided campaign of warmongering lies that would have made Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, blush.
Having kickstarted the murderous proxy rampage, Nato employed its well-worn tactic of claiming that a civil war was going on, to ‘justify’ the deployment of Nato forces to ‘protect the Libyan people’ against their own government!
Then US secretary of state Hillary Clinton cackled with glee when her rats overran Sirte, lynched black Africans (the predominantly black-skinned Libyan occupants of the eastern town of Tawergha were early victims) and finally murdered and mutilated the president himself, screeching triumphantly to her cronies: “We came, we saw, he died!”
While the Nato bombardment and slaughter continued, the imperial propaganda machine went into overdrive, and no-one could avoid the big lies from Obama, Clinton and Cameron – or the smaller ones coming from opposition leaders like British Labour party leader ‘red’ Ed Miliband.
Working-class resistance neutralised
Imperialism takes great pains to demobilise the working class when it is fighting its unholy and unjust wars.
A noteworthy example was made by Britain’s misnamed ‘Stop the War’ coalition in 2011. John Rees of Counterfire jumped on the imperial bandwagon to praise the ‘workers councils’ of the jihadi slavedrivers, claiming that there was a popular revolution going on in Libya, and using his sectarian drivel to pour abuse on the anti-imperialist Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi.
Stop the War, which loves to claim credit for organising the 2-million-strong march against the Iraq war in 2003, went so far as to organise a march in support of the war on Libya, protesting outside the Gaddafi government’s Libyan embassy in London, together with members of the IS in Britain.
1. An end to slavery in Libya.
2. Equal rights for all citizens of our world, regardless of race, nationality or skin colour.
3. An end to Nato and British government support for Libya’s slavetrading ‘Government of National Accord’ and other proxies.
4. An end to Nato and British government wars and interference in the affairs of independent nations. Their genocide is not committed in our name.
5. An end to the system of exploitation that leaves five billionaires as wealthy as half the population of our planet (3.5 billion human beings). This poverty leaves our fellow workers at the mercy of every exploiter and charlatan, and leads to their mass migration in search of escape from the prisons of poverty and war.
6. An end to the victimisation of economic migrants, and equal rights and humane treatment for migrants who land on our shores.
7. In accordance with the UN charter, we support the right of self-determination for all nations on earth. We note that far from upholding this right, the UN is increasingly being used by the US and Nato as a cover for colonial wars to destabilise and overthrow independent nations.
8. We refuse all propaganda that in any way dehumanises or degrades the value of life of our fellow workers from the exploited nations. We note with disgust that, even as Tory PM David Cameron was destroying Libya as a haven of stability and prosperity in Africa, he was decrying those fleeing the regime of terror he had installed as “a swarm of migrants”.
African lives matter!