Manchester Solidarity Federation rejects both the ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ options presented in the EU referendum and are especially appalled by the overt racism and xenophobia that accompanied the campaign to leave the EU. This was a referendum brought about by the Tories simply to appease their racist right wing and prevent defections to UKIP prior to last year’s general election.
The vote to leave the EU was, at least partly, based on the growing resentment of immigrants and refugees, who are being blamed for the failings of capitalism. Whole immigrant communities have been consistently targeted over the years by the fascist right and the nationalist tabloid press, being blamed for everything that’s wrong with this country. We are already witnessing the results of this poisonous rhetoric as racist attacks against immigrants and British-born non-white people have accelerated across the country since the referendum.
We reject the claims that the vote to leave the EU will improve our lives, as the brutal attacks on the working class over the last forty years have been a direct consequence of the crisis ridden nature of capitalism. The vote to leave changes nothing. The crisis within capitalism will continue along with the austerity that makes ordinary people, instead of the rich, pay the price for capitalism’s failings.
But rejecting the vote to leave does not mean that we favour rejoining the EU at a future date or that we endorse any of the ‘remain’ campaign’s ideals. The idea that being in the EU somehow protected us from the worst aspects of UK capitalism is simply ridiculous. Over the last forty years we have faced brutal capitalist attacks that have decimated whole areas of the country, have destroyed communities and have widened the gap between the rich and the poor, and this all took place while we were still a member of the EU.
Not only does the EU not guarantee us a better future but on the contrary, it has proven time and again to be the driving force towards a more austere and unjust society. We’ve all witnessed how Fortress Europe has led thousands of refugees to their deaths, many of them children, and we’ve come to realise what the European dream of a working class looks like as its treatment of the Greek people testifies. The EU is a brutal capitalist institution, run in the interest of the elites, and we would never fight to preserve it in any shape or form. As an anarchosyndicalist organisation, we aim to destroy capitalism and all its institutions, and that includes the EU.
As a revolutionary union, we firmly believe that the answers to the increasing problems we face in our daily lives do not lie with putting our trust in politicians, whether they are based in Europe or in Britain. Politicians’ only real interest is in their own kind and in the capitalist system whose interests they represent.
Nor do we buy into the false hopes that the so called ‘progressive’ leftist politicians are trying to sell in the midst of the referendum’s aftermath. We’ve been around long enough to know that no matter what politicians claim to represent, they cannot escape the system that feeds them, and sooner or later, the working class will end up at the receiving end of even more austerity, job losses, privatisations and wage cuts.
Manchester Solidarity Federation believes that any improvements to our lives can only come about when we organise ourselves and fight back in our communities. And that is what we will continue to do as an organisation, aiming to bring people together in the struggle against the bosses and capitalism.