Address at the unveiling of the
International Brigades Commemoration Committee
Memorial Sculpture, Belfast - 8th Nov. 2008
We are here in Belfast at a most significant moment to honour the memory of those who fought fascism and militarism beside the Spanish people.
Despite the allied victory in 1945, Spain was abandoned to a fascist dictatorship for a further 30 years by the western democracies. This was no accident, no oversight by our governments.
It reflected exactly the policies and the interests of the classes which had earlier organised the arms blockade which brought about the defeat of the Spanish Republic.
Their post war policies showed they cared little about democracy in Europe. While they expanded their economic empires under the shelter of the NATO cold war alliance.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, these right wing forces have increased in violence and their policies have lost all pretence of defending democracy. Today NATO forces fight in Afghanistan, and US and British forces occupy Iraq.
Their multi-nationals use the World Trade Organisation and the European Union to force countries to open up for economic exploitation.
Now we are suddenly faced by capitalismís worst crisis caused by tier speculation and borrowing but the ruling that when banks made millions of profits, governments were told not to interfere. But now they have bankrupted themselves, we find there is no end to the publicís money which is given to bail them out.
Billions which were never there for education, for health or for the Third World, have thrown into the ocean of debts. And more will follow unless we all, both my generation and those of all of you, act together.
Banking is too important to be left to private enterprise and the money which our governments are giving the banks is taken away from our public funds.
The last time this happened in the 1930s we ended up at war because we left it all to the Ruling Classes. This time we have to unite, and act to protect ourselves. The rich must pay for their own mistakes, and we must make our governments use our money for our own needs and that of the poor everywhere.
La Lucha Continua.
8th November 2008