Statement on the London terrorist attacks

The following is a reconstruction of remarks made by Barbara Dorn as the preface to an International Bolshevik Tendency ‘fringe’ meeting about the Respect coalition held on 9 July at the Socialist Workers Party’s annual ‘Marxism’ event in London. Comrade Dorn spoke two days after Islamist extremists carried out a horrific terrorist attack on the city’s transport system. Like earlier terror attacks on civilians in Madrid, Bali and New York City this was an indefensible criminal act from the standpoint of the international workers’ movement. The fact that imperialist occupation, sanctions and ‘shock and awe’ bombs have killed vastly greater numbers of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan in no way justifies such an atrocity.

‘Yesterday I sat down to finalise my notes for this talk. I was going to start with a comment about how happy the SWP looked at Marxism because of the Respect general election results. But Marxism has been disrupted, as we all have, by the events of Thursday morning, some occurring very close indeed to where we are sitting. So I’m going to start by talking about that.

‘We expected this. It was an attack on the ordinary civilians of London. We all ride the tube, travel through Liverpool Street, Kings Cross, Edgware Road, on the No. 30 bus – and we knew this was going to happen. It happened, mainly but not entirely, because of the British troops in Iraq, the invasion of Iraq by America and Britain. And Tony Blair, when he sent the troops in, knew he was putting these civilian lives at risk.

‘So, this was an action doubtless carried out by people who oppose the war. And we too are against the war. But that’s where the similarity ends. We condemn this murder of civilians on their way to work. These attacks will make it easier for the British state to intimidate and deport immigrants, make it easier for them to bring in repressive legislation such as ID cards. I will be talking later about why the war must be opposed on a class basis. We aim to defeat imperialist aggression by mobilising the working class in the imperialist nations against their own rulers. We do not oppose the war by endorsing the criminal actions of those who bomb ordinary people on a crowded bus as substitutes for the rulers protected by high fences at Gleneagles.’

Posted: 18 July 2005