Afghanistan

Mobilise for Afghan refugees 20 October!

On 20 October there will be a demonstration for refugee rights in Parliament Square. The organisers, Solidarity with Refugees and Women for Refugee Women, say: “The government has committed to take 20,000 Afghan refugees over the next five years. But that isn’t enough, and lacks the necessary urgency. While we are hearing accounts of mothers throwing their babies over razor wire in desperation in the face of the horrors facing them under the Taliban, the UK government plans to make people wait years for resettlement, and to imprison any who manage to flee to the UK by other means… We can and...

Russia and Afghanistan: rewriting history

The Russian invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was as brutal as the USA’s, in fact more so, involving indiscriminate bombing, the napalming of villages and the deliberate destruction of crops. It cost an estimated million lives. It was more a war of colonial occupation than the USA’s, in that the Russian government wanted to permanently conquer Afghanistan, whereas the USA’s plan was to punish the Taliban for 9/11, clear out al-Qaeda, install a stable government it could do business with, and then get out. (It didn’t work out like that, of course). In one respect, however the Russian...

Letters: XR and the police; Vibes won't save us; The bureaucrats had choices; Other Afghanistan films

XR, the police and working-class politics The climate demonstrations organised by Extinction Rebellion and participated in by Workers Liberty saw multiple instances of authoritarian and violent policing not previously witnessed at mainstream environmental protests. The opening days of the two week long protest introduced the police’s van-mounted loud hailer belting out “Section 14” dispersal orders in central London, and by the Tuesday of the second week videos were circulating of police officers mounting an open-top-bus and swinging batons at protesters inside. This, in the context of the...

Beyond refugees: the left and Afghanistan

Calls on Britain and other wealthy countries to take in Afghan refugees are absolutely correct. And those refugees should not be limited to people who worked alongside British soldiers and diplomats. Anyone at risk from the Taliban regime should be allowed to come live in our countries. But is that the only thing that socialists can say? I think we need to be a bit more ambitious. Here are some ideas: First of all, socialists have a role to play in the public debate. While mainstream politicians led by Biden and Johnson have demanded of the Taliban only that they deny bases to terrorist...

Kino Eye: Return to Afghanistan

Directed by the Iranian Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Kandahar (2001) is partly based on the real life story of Nabfer Pazira, who appears in the film as the main character, Nafas. As a child Nafas escapes Afghanistan, eventually settling in Canada where she becomes a journalist. Her sister remained in Afghanistan, in Kandahar, and has lost both limbs after stepping on a landmine. Nafas leaves Canada and travels to the Afghan border after receiving a letter from her sister, who is suicidal. Clad in a burqa Nafas crosses the border into Afghanistan along with a group of former refugees who are trying to...

25 September call for Afghanistan

RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, is calling on supporters of women’s rights in Afghanistan to join action on the streets on 25 September. They say: “Women of the world and our allies stand with the women - and all vulnerable groups - of Afghanistan against imperialism, militarism, fundamentalism and fascism. None of us are free until the women of Afghanistan are free”. They call on governments to: • Refuse to recognize a Taliban government, which has no legitimacy beyond the brutal force it commands and which terrorises the people of Afghanistan, girls and women...

Open door for Afghan refugees!

More on Afghan refugees here. The Taliban’s seizure of power in Afghanistan threatens the rights and lives of millions. The most immediate duty for the left and the workers’ movement in Britain is to fight to force open the borders for every refugee who wants to come here. By the time we go to press, the US, UK and allies will have pulled out of Kabul airport. Their shoddy operation has left behind even many of the Afghans they had promised to help, after their work with Western militaries or embassies put them at risk. Not only those workers, but millions more will face violence and curtailed...

All over the place on Afghanistan

The Morning Star (unlike some other left wing publications) did not hail the fall of Kabul and the Taliban takeover as any kind of “triumph” or “victory” for “anti-imperialism”. In fact the Morning Star of 16 August described the situation as a “disaster unfolding” and quoted a member of the Afghan diaspora now living in Norway saying: “Dark times are ahead as women and ethnic groups like the Hazara will face the same fate as they did in the 1990s”. But it has been completely incoherent on the underlying politics. The Morning Star claimed (editorial 17 August) that any suggestion that the Stop...

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