In the coming weeks, as part of Black History Month, the Marxist Student Federation (MSF) will be publishing a series of articles and videos on the origins of slavery; the roots of racism; the black power struggle; from Windrush to the refugee crisis; and how we must fight against capitalism, racism, and all forms of oppression.
In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, the US has been set ablaze, with police precincts being burnt down in de facto acts of insurrection. The long and sordid history of repression and brutality has been brought into the limelight.
And Malcolm X’s famous saying - "you cannot have capitalism without racism" - has been emblazoned on placards at protests all over the world.
In order to gain real material change for the BAME community, we must first understand where this oppression and exploitation comes from, and how it must be overcome.
Enough of tokenistic gestures and empty promises. It is clear that the struggle for black liberation is a struggle for a socialist future.
The MSF's Black History Month series is already well underway, with republished material on the history of slavery and the beginnings of the black struggle; how capitalism grew rich through slavery; and this amazing talk on Marxism and black liberation by Fiona Lali, which was given online last night to a mass meeting organised by the Marxist Student Federation.
Over 200 people joined this meeting over Zoom. Radical students from across Britain - and internationally (Sweden, China, and India, to name a few) - attended in order to talk about a topic that has been forced into public consciousness in recent months.
The struggle against racism and for liberation is something Marxists and socialists have always fought for, and the MSF is carrying on that tradition.
Fiona Lali introduced the meeting, speaking about the origins of black oppression, the economic roots of racism, and how to fight back. She discussed the incredible role of civil right leaders, who fought tirelessly. And dhe spoke of the way the bourgeoisie attempt to remove anything radical or world-changing that these people fought for; to water down their ideas and struggle to something that doesn’t threaten capitalism - and therefore racism - in any real way.
After Fiona's talk, the meeting split into breakout rooms and discussed important questions: from the history of apartheid, to the current Black Lives Matter movement - and where to go next to push the fight forward.
Marxist students discussed the need for a unified fight, in line with Marx’s statement that: “Labour in the white skin can never free itself as long as labour in the black skin is branded.”
The meeting ended with an enthusiastic sum up from Fiona, with all the many new faces implored to get involved with the Marxist Student Federation and the fight for socialism.
As Fred Hampton famously said: “We don’t fight racism with racism - we fight racism with solidarity."
See below for further material and infographics that have already been published as part of the MSF series; and for a glimpse of what will be covered in the weeks ahead.
12-18 October: Lessons of the Black Power movement
26-31 October: How to fight racism