de position -
Western Sahara: Massacre at the Gdaim Isikpor camp
The murdering soldiers are Moroccan but it is U.S. and European imperialism that directs them!
Class struggle in support of Sahrawi self-determination and against our own bourgeoisie!
On Monday, November 8, Moroccan troops entered the camp Gdaim Isikpor to destroy it and to kill many of the inhabitants; they left dozens dead, hundreds raped wounded and missing only to finish off by immolating the camp - the vicious legacy of the brutality of the Moroccan army.
In recent weeks the residents crowded into this camp located near El Aaiun (the capital of the territory), carried out a series of protests against the conditions of life suffered by the Sahrawi masses due to the oppression imposed by Morocco and other countries in the region as well as those imperialist countries that have interests in the area.
Western Sahara is a territory of 300,000 square kilometers with a population which is around 400,000 inhabitants (one of the lowest population densities in the world) of which Moroccan settlers represent about 88%; 200,000 Sahrawi refugees also live in Tindouf camp in neighbouring Algeria. Its importance stems from the phosphate mined in the vicinity of El Aaiun since the 40's of the 20th century, but the area has also been important as a gateway to the south of the continent for more than a century. France (principal "protector" of Morocco along with the United States), Spain and Algeria are competing for the area to use it as a bridgehead from which to expand their influence in the region.
In 1975, Spain, fully in the midst of internal transition and not wanting to revisit the situation of a Portugal embroiled by the war in Angola, yielded to pressure from Morocco, strongly supported by the United States, which threatened to trigger a war: it withdrew from the territory, left to Morocco and Mauritania.
During the twentieth century, as phosphate mining grew and desert territory was occupied by European powers, the nomadic population (Arab and Berber) has been concentrated in large refugee camps, above all in the last 30 years. Deprived of their traditional livelihoods the Sahrawi masses are subjected to the appalling living conditions reserved by imperialism for those populations who often cannot even be used as labor power, when the stakes are more strategic in nature than economic. Proof of this terrible existence: the separating wall that the Moroccan government has built to restrict population movements in the desert and that separates the productive areas from those that have only a strategic value.
Resistance to imperialist occupation began in 1973 with the creation of the Polisario Front as an organization of armed struggle against the Spanish and then the Moroccan army; despite harsh repression (imprisonment, torture and even summary executions of their leaders), the struggle continued into the 90's under the form of guerrilla warfare. Algeria's support for the insurgents in order to counteract the influence of Morocco and Mauritania in the region marked a struggle that fed on the desperate conditions of the Sahrawi masses and proletarians, pushing them to join the ranks of those fighting for independence and against the terrorist repression exerted indiscriminately by the Moroccan kingdom.
After decades of struggle, the Polisario Front finally laid down their weapons, trusting on the assistance that the Western powers and the UN could provide it with for a referendum on self-determination. The Baker plan, continually postponed, has been the foundation of the democratic farce with which nationalism, always bourgeois and always ready for any political compromise with whichever imperialism headed the list at the moment, wanted to submit the proletariat and the proletarianized masses to resignation and submissiveness for the terrible prospects for existence that Capital has reserved for them.
The situation of the people of Western Sahara is particularly difficult: to the usual conditions of exploitation imposed by capitalism, aggravated, as in the rest of Africa , by hunger, thirst, epidemics, death, lack of jobs ... , they also suffer the situation of colonial domination imposed by Morocco. This colonial rule is not in an illusory "loss of identity" as a people as nationalists claim, but a series of very tangible, concrete and material measures that exacerbate the situation of the masses: military control of the population, crowding in the camps, daily repression...
The right of Sahrawi self-determination cannot be obtained from any supposedly neutral organization like the UN which is actually a den of thieves where imperialist butchers discuss how to divide the spoils of the Western Sahara: the UN has recognized this right to self-determination, but the constituent countries prevent this right from being effectively exercised. Once again on November 16, France, a member of the Security Council, prevented even a timid fact-finding UN mission from being sent there.
Neither can this right be achieved by continuing negotiations between the supposed Sahrawi representatives and Moroccan authorities (one must ask where was the Polisario Front whose armed struggle would have been useful when Moroccan troops massacred the population protesting to demand improvement of their living conditions). What the massacres and riots in El Aaiun demonstrate, is that for the proletarianized Sahrawi masses, the only solution is an open struggle against the double oppression, national and economic, which they suffer under.
80 years of permanent counter-revolution have today almost erased the memory of the historical lessons of the proletarian revolutions. The proletarian class has lost track of one of the great lessons of the revolutionary period opened in 1917: the Baku Theses of 1920 in which the Third International defines the nature of revolutionary struggle in the countries oppressed by imperialism and the tasks of proletarians of the imperialist countrries: unconditional recognition of the self-determination of oppressed nations, material support to national-revolutionary struggles, unity of the proletariat of the dominant country with the proletariat of the country dominated, with the awareness that the main enemy is its own bourgeoisie which seeks the support of the proletariat in the fight against insurgent nations. The Moroccan proletariat, crushed by its bourgeois and chained to the chariot of nationalism must break the sacrosanct national unity and solidarize with their Sahrawi class brothers and sisters.
The Stalinist counter-revolution replaced class solidarity against national oppression by lachrymose bourgeois charity toward the unfortunate. Contemporary humanitarian protestations pretend that the solution to the suffering of the Sahrawi population should be democratically mediated by the imperialist states involved, by confidence in the bourgeois state. But only the intransigent class struggle recognizing the identity of interests between the proletarians of Europe and their African brothers will do away with the terrible situation in which they find themselves - harassed by hunger, repressed by the Moroccan army and deceived by all opportunists.
• No to national oppression of the Sahrawi proletariat and population!
• Real right of self-determination for the Sahrawi population!
• Immediate release of all Sahrawis imprisoned in Moroccan jails! Immediate withdrawal of occupation troops!
• For the struggle of the Moroccan proletariat alongside the Sahrawi proletarians, to rupture the union sacrée between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat!
• For the solidarity of the proletarian class of the imperialist countries, and particularly the European proletariat with the masses of Western Sahara, for the struggle against their own imperialism!
• The enemy of the proletariat and the disinherited masses, oppressed and expelled, is always their bourgeoisie which uses their fighting spirit and their spirit of sacrifice to share out the benefits of their exploitation with other bourgeoisies!
• For proletarian class struggle across all borders!
International Communist Party
November, 20th 2010
Back to Statements
Back to Archives