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Boris Johnson suspends parliament.

One million in 24 hours sign against Johnson’s parliament suspension!
Defend democracy; no parliament shut down!
Only mass mobilisations, strikes, and occupations can stop Johnson!

Martin Ralph – ISL England

The new British Prime Minister, in order to push through a Brexit by the 31 October (which is the EU deadline for the UK to decide to leave or remain) suspended parliament for five weeks from mid-September. To suspend parliament for that length of time is extremely unusual. But after three years of paralysis, the powerful section of British capitalism determined to leave the EU is pushing the ‘leave’ button – Boris Johnson.

There is a great alarm in many manufacturing and other sections of big capital supported by The Economist, Financial Times and the Confederation of British Industry – spokespeople for capital that want to remain in the EU.

Johnson’s action stretches the bounds of bourgeois parliamentary democracy but does not crush them, suspending parliament is within the powerful remit of a British Prime Minister. But Jeremy Corbyn does not want to admit a simple fact: this is parliamentary democracy. That is why they are all calling it a coup. However, if it is why do they think only demonstrations will stop a coup of British capitalism?

The suspension has taken place in order to approve a hard Brexit if the EU does not back down from insisting on the possibility of a hard border inside Ireland based on the British imposed border of its colony in northern Ireland.

What a lesson the suspension is for all British workers and fighters! It shows to everyone what parliamentary democracy really means. The majority of people in the calls of opposition and demonstrations across the country are showing they are against the suspension, previously parliament had voted against a hard Brexit. However, Johnson’s tactic “is legal, but it stretches the conventions of Britain’s constitution to their limits”. Economist, 29 August.

If the opposition parties do not organise rising mass class action on the streets to stop this attack on parliamentary democracy they are demonstrating what kind of opposition they are. They should be calling for demonstrations led by the working class, civil disobedience, and strikes. That means organising occupations of streets, bridges, and parliament.  So far what they have done does not go far enough by a long way.

One Labour MP, Lloyd Russell-Mole, has said, “a general strike looks more and more like the only way to stop” Johnson. Daily Mirror, 29 August. “That must become a mass movement with mass civil disobedience in every village, town, and city.” We agree.

Momentum have called for people to block roads and bridges, but many MPs including Labour angrily oppose this call. Corbyn calls demonstrations to strengthen their hand in parliament and call for a government of ‘national unity’ ignoring the differences over austerity, anti-union laws, and immigration. Such a government is in the interests of capital, it will be a complete failure in defending the working class.

Workers must be in the front line against Johnson, we say: Only with mass civil disobedience and unions calling mass strike action and a general strike will the Johnson government be defeated.

Meanwhile, Johnson imposes his policies: “stop and search” (that will be used against Black people and youth), trying to remove all schools from local authority control, expanding the creation of free schools, imminent council austerity cuts (also being imposed by Labour led councils). Johnson’s hard Brexit would rip up workers’ rights, further worsen the climatic crisis, and deregulate what safeguards remain to protect workers lives while giving more tax breaks to the rich.

The few days of parliament in September and October will be used not only to drive through Brexit but also even more attacks on workers’ rights.

What the ISL thinks

Johnson will only listen to mass action.

We call on the unions, the youth, the oppressed and all political tendencies against Johnson. But we do not support remaining in the EU, nor are we for Johnson’s Brexit. We are for workers deepening the struggle against Johnson by fighting against the EU and Johnson.

We do not think what has happened is a coup. It is a parliamentary manoeuvre allowed by bourgeois democratic rules. We are not for the democracy of the rich that allows capitalists to impose their decisions in this way.

We demand parliament is immediately assembled, while the working class must fight for its independence, for direct and mass democracy. We defend parliament against Johnson because the working class has to fight parliament with its methods, not with Corbyn’s.

Democracy does not rule inside parliament but how much worse is it to allow the anti-trade unions laws, imposed by parliament on workers, so that they do not have the right to discuss freely and then decide at the same time what action, including strike action, that they may want to use.

Parliament must resume immediately!
Mass mobilisations, strikes, and occupations to stop Johnson!
For a working-class and socialist way to leave the EU!