Thursday, August 27, 2020

The new Cold War

By Rob Gowland

Or perhaps the heading should more correctly be “The Renewed Cold War”, for the original Cold War against the USSR never really ended. How could it? After all, it was simply a manifestation of the class war between capital and labour, between bosses and workers. And that won’t end until we have Socialism and do away with exploiting classes once and for all.
    The Soviet Union, a workers’ state, embodied all that the boss class loathed, so big business everywhere rejoiced when gullible Gorby succeeded in his plan to become General Secretary of the CPSU and then to show the Soviet people that capitalism and Socialism were essentially the same (he didn’t believe what the Communists said about capitalism and anyway capitalist politicians everywhere loudly proclaimed that they were in favour of peace, so that was surely true, for they wouldn’t lie, right?).
    Gorbachov abolished the Soviet Union and to his evident surprise he was subsequently spurned by Russians of all political persuasions. The Cold War was temporarily suspended, or more accurately diverted, to be focused on those former parts of the USSR that refused to accept the overthrow of Socialism. Such as Moldova and Belarus.
    Despite winning the civil war that the capitalist West inflicted on Moldova, the Communists there were only allowed 10 years in which to keep the country out of the clutches of NATO before it was subjected to one of a series of very well prepared ‘colour revolutions’ that swept the region.
    These combined some genuine grievances with racist populism and the usual airy-fairy glib demands of the typical capitalist ‘pro-democracy’ campaign. The campaigners were often imported from as far afield as Israel and Chechnya, anywhere where anti-Russian sentiment could be stirred up. As soon as the Communists were forced out of office, Moldova became staunchly embedded within NATO, as always intended.
    Imperialism’s intelligence agencies have become highly adept at managing these “popular counter-revolutions”, backed up by a constant barrage of propaganda to the effect that bourgeois democracy is the only form of democracy: any other sort is false or fake, “like they had in the Socialist countries”.
    Today, another ‘colour revolution’ is being attempted in Belarus, a former part of the USSR that opted to retain the Soviet system. For this act of defiance, it was hit with hyper-inflation, but has managed to maintain its economic independence and its Soviet-style social system in the face of capitalist hostility. The Communist Party of Belarus actively supports President Lukashenko. We should all join the campaign around the slogan “Hands off Belarus”.
    Make no mistake, the present ‘pro-democracy’ campaign against Belarus, like the similar campaign in Hong Kong, has nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with clawing back territory, markets and resources for capitalism.
    The pundits of capitalism are well aware that today their favoured exploitative system is very much on the back foot. The economic and industrial superiority they used to enjoy has evaporated. That they enjoyed it was thanks in large part to not being invaded in the Second World War plus the huge profits to be made catering to capitalism’s unending stream of ‘small wars’. Instead, to their dismay, their former superiority has passed to the mixed economy of China.
    Any hopes that imperialists (and certain Trotskyists) held that China was “going down the capitalist road” were dealt a severe blow at the recent Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) where Xi Jinping reminded delegates that “what we are building is Socialism with Chinese characteristics, not some other ism”.
    Whilst some European imperialists are eager to grab whatever share they can of China’s economic and financial good fortune, US imperialism is deeply divided. The ruling elite, behind President Trump – a billionaire property developer – apparently believe that they can solve their problems with China and its ally Russia by resorting to the same bully boy tactics they use against small and powerless countries.
    Neither People's China nor Russia, however, is small or powerless. US war-hawks such as Mike Pompeo must have nightmares full of Chinese warships and Russian ultra-sonic missiles, amidst the very real prospect of Chinese companies taking over all America’s traditional markets.
    Trump is essentially a fascist, and as we know ‘fascism means war’. His main capitalist rivals, those backing the Democrats, are in many ways almost as reactionary but they believe bourgeois democracy provides a less troublesome climate for capitalist exploitation than fascism.
    The Trump administration, however, is in the driving seat at present and is pushing hard to initiate a trade war against both China and Russia, but especially China, being the main economic threat. As part of this campaign, it has also initiated a propaganda blitz, to convince people in Western countries that China is their enemy.
    Western governments are busy discovering Chinese plots to interfere in their internal affairs or simply to spy on them. To convince people that this is truly terrifying, Britain’s Tory government has actually set back the country’s development of a fifth-generation mobile phone network, in order to exclude Chinese tech giant Huawei from participating in its roll out!
    Capitalist pundits credit the problems caused by the Cold War with bringing about the overthrow of Socialism in the USSR. That is far too simplistic for what was in fact a complex amalgam of ideological, economic and subjective factors. Yet they clearly hope that by reverting to the worst tactics of the Cold War against the USSR, they will prevent the combined resources of China and Russia from burying them.
    With the massive ‘Belt and Road’ initiative well under way, and the focus of world trade inevitably shifting to the East, the ‘American century’ has already become a hollow mockery. This stepped up Cold War will not save it.

'Black Ribbon Day': more lies from the bourgeois camp!

By Nikos Mottas

The European Union  once again resorts to hideous anti-communism on the occasion of the so-called ‘European Day of Remembrance for victims of Stalinism and Nazism’ (known as ‘Black Ribbon Day’), which is observed annually on 23rd August.
    In a joint statement, the vice-president of the EU Commission Vera Jourova and the EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders reproduce the same old anti-communist slanders about the 1939 Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Without any respect for history, the EU officials repeat the blatant lie about the supposed “alliance between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany”.
    In their statement, Jourova and Reynders shamelessly write that the Molotov–Ribbentrop non-aggression Pact “plunged Europe into darkness” and “led to the violation of the fundamental rights of millions of Europeans and it claimed the lives of millions more”.
    Once again the EU proves that anti-communism is a core part of its official ideology. The above statement by EU officials distorts history in order to vilify the Soviet Union and communism.
    Vera Jourova and Didier Reynders hide the fact that the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact followed the 1938 Munich Agreement between Nazi Germany, Italy, Britain and France. The apologists of imperialism try to downgrade the significance of the 1938 Munich Agreement; however, it had a tremendous impact as an act of appeasement towards the Nazis. Following the agreement, Nazi Germany annexed Czechoslovakia and intensified their expansionist aggression towards Eastern Europe.
    The EU deliberately hides the fact that long before the 1939 Molotov–Ribbentrop non-aggression Pact, the Soviet Union tried many times to reach a defensive deal with Britain and France. Even a few months before the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, on 23rd July 1939, the Soviets proposed the formation of a defence plan to Britain and France in case of a German attack; they refused, as long as the British had been secretly negotiating in London a non-aggression pact with Hitler’s representatives.
    What the EU and its bourgeois governments and parties are trying to do is to sow the seeds of anti-communism in the younger generations. That is why they blatantly distort history by shamelessly equating Communism with Nazism.
    The EU establishes “memorial days against totalitarianism” in order to hide that the only existing totalitarianism is the one of capitalist barbarity. Behind the rhetoric about “democracy” and “human rights”, the EU hides its participation in imperialist crimes, wars and interventions.
    But what kind of ‘democracy’ exists in Poland or the Baltic States where the communist parties face persecution, where communist symbols are banned, where the communists are being imprisoned?
    What ‘human rights’ does the EU defend when it participates in imperialist wars against the people of other countries (such as Yugoslavia, Libya, Iraq and Syria), or when it promotes and sponsors openly fascist coups such as the one in Ukraine?
    The people of Europe must draw conclusions. The EU’s anti-communism goes hand-in-hand with the intensification of the attack against workers’ rights; it is connected to the strengthening of repression mechanisms in every member-state.
    Let the EU imperialists and their stooges – conservative, social democratic or liberals alike – be aware: Anti-communism shall not pass!

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Hands off Belarus!

THE GREEDY EYES of Anglo-American and Franco-German imperialism are now focused on Belarus. They’re dying to get their hands on the former Soviet republic to use its land as another NATO front against the Russian Federation and to strip it bare of its natural resources. Their willing tools call themselves as “freedom fighters” and “democrats”, whilst others pose as “socialists” and “revolutionaries” for the “human rights” gang and the phony Trots inside and outside the Labour Party.
     In reality they despise the working people of Belarus, who still enjoy many of the benefits won in the old days through Soviet power. Their bogus “National Strike Committee”, which is calling for a general strike to bring down the Lukashenko government, doesn’t have any industrial workers on its board and it only calls for strikes in the state-owned enterprises. They picket major plants with supporters drawn from their petty-bourgeois ranks. They try, but so far have failed, to win workers over with their usual lies of the “paradise” that supposedly exists over the border in the European Union. Needless to say, they never call for industrial action against private or foreign-owned enterprises.
     The Belarusian communists and their supporters have been holding mass rallies of their own in support of the Lukashenko government. At the same time, they are backing rank-and-file People’s Committees who are calling on workers to strike for higher pay in the private and foreign-owned enterprises and demand their nationalisation.
     The opposition wants to cosy up to the EU and US-led imperialism, cut the health service, privatise the very large public sector and end the alliance with Russia. We saw what happened when this agenda was implemented in Ukraine after the legitimate government was overthrown by fascist gangs in 2014. Belarusian communists are determined to ensure that it doesn’t happen again in their own country. We have a duty to counter the lies of the bourgeois media and those of their stooges within the labour movement who pose as socialists. All over the world communists are rallying to defend Belarusian independence. We must join them now! 

 Twist and Shout

BORIS JOHNSON did another U-turn last weekend, reversing his government’s defence of the ludicrous mathematical formula – the Ofqual algorithm – to assess A-level grades in the absence of exams due to closure of schools during the coronavirus lock-down. Last week the Tories defended the exam regulator’s “robust” algorithm that disproportionately affected those in more deprived state schools and slashed the grades of hundreds of thousands of students in England.
     Teaching unions protested. Students took to the streets in noisy protests. Labour leader Keir Starmer denounced the Government’s “unprecedented and chaotic” handling of the situation, while the regional governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland refused to implement the changes. Johnson can live with that. What did bother him was the anger of thousands of Tory parents angered at the way that their children’s university application had been jeopardised by the jobsworths at the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual), who may originally have thought that their scheme would only penalise working-class students. No-one can blame Johnson for changing his mind.     The Prime Minister’s decision to allow teachers’ assessments to be used instead of the downgraded results shows that the Prime Minister does heed protests – not least when they come from his own Tory heartlands. While Boris clearly has no firm opinion on any major matters of state, he could save himself a lot of grief if he stopped listening to the likes of Dominic Cummings and carried out proper consultations with the professional bodies, administrators, and teaching and student unions in the arena of education.

The seedy side of Georgian London

by Ben Soton

 Harlots}(2017–2019). Creators: Moira Buffini and Alison Newman. Stars: Lesley Manville, Kate Fleetwood, Holli Dempsey. BBC2, from Wednesday 5th August at 9pm, starting with a uble-bill. Series one and two will air back-to-back.

It is a common misconception that the past was more puritanical than the present. It may have been the case in the Victorian era and obviously the short-lived Puritan-led English Republic of the 17th Century but not Georgian London which is the setting of the BBC drama Harlots. This was Whig England. The Whigs, the principal supporters of the 1688 ‘Glorious Revolution’ were largely aristocratic land magnates, who had made their wealth from financial investments in land, tobacco, sugar and of course the slave trade. They opposed the excesses of absolute monarchy, which they saw as a hindrance on trade. They were in many ways the ‘extreme centre’ of their day.
    The theme of the drama is the sex industry. There is an ongoing discussion about the nature of prostitution and its role within capitalism. Some argue that it is no different than any other form of wage labour. However, when we sell our labour power, whether working as delivery drivers, nurses, construction workers or even entertainment correspondents we are selling something external to ourselves. This is not the same as selling your body.
    Harlots shows the multiple sides to prostitution in the Georgian era and is best be described as anti-prostitution and pro-prostitute. At one extreme Charlotte Wells, played by Jessica Brown-Finlay is the mistress of a wealthy aristocrat and Member of Parliament Sir George Howard. She gets him to pay off her gambling depts and buy her jewellery. At the other extreme Mary Cooper is found in the gutter dying of syphilis whilst the drama shows various degrees between the two extremes.
    Much of the plot centres around the rivalry between two rival Madams. Lydia Quigley, played by Lesley Manville plays an established Madam and is able to attract many of the Whig elite. Whilst Margaret Wells (Charlotte Wells’ mother), played by Samantha Morton is coming up in the world. Quigley makes every attempt to thwart her rise by trying to get Wells’ brothel closed down and even hiring a religious zealot to campaign against her; hypocrisy is not a new phenomenon. Wells is no saint either as she sells her younger daughter’s virginity to obtain the lease on a new property in Greek Street. This raises the question of who are we to judge? In eighteenth century London there were few other means of survival for these women.
    Full of sex scenes Harlots shows the sleazy and decadent side of Georgian London. It has the makings of a successful costume drama with an element of intrigue and a touch of tragedy. The characters come to life with strong acting. In a non-judgmental way, it gives us a limited insight into the period just prior to the Industrial Revolution.

Friday, August 21, 2020



The Communist Parties and Workers signed by this declaration, we demand from the Government of the United States of America the immediate repatriation and release of political prisoner Ricardo Palmera Pineda, better known as Simon Trinidad in his militancy in the insurgent organization FARC-EP.

Simón Trinidad was captured in January 2004 in Quito, Ecuador, while advancing contacts for future peace talks. It was immediately handed over to the Colombian government who sent him to the US government as a war trophy of "Plan Colombia".

Simon Trinidad, sentenced to 60 years in prison on the false and manipulated charge of "terrorist conspiracy," remains held in USP's federal high-security prison Florence ADMAX, better known as Supermax, in strict solitary confinement.

The Communist and Workers' Parties and revolutionary organizations declare that:

  1. Simon Trinidad is a political and war prisoner. After the signing of the Havana Peace Agreement, between the Colombian Government and the FARC-EP insurgency, he should have been released and repatriated.
  2. Due to its interference and intervention in Colombia's internal affairs and its military and intelligence activity in Colombian territory, which uses it as an aircraft carrier in the region, the US Government is the main part of Colombia's social, political and armed conflict.
  3. Simon Trinidad, who has just turned 70 years old and more than 15 years imprisoned in solitary confinement, must be released immediately, for his firm commitment to peace.
  4. We are committed to supporting, participating and promoting solidary actions with Simon Trinidad until we achieve the just goal of his release from the prison that keeps him truly abducted.

We recognize in Simon Trinidad an entire communist, who despite the harsh conditions to which the American imperialists subject him, stands firm in his convictions. Simon Trinidad is one of thousands of communists and revolutionaries imprisoned around the world, so our commitment and revolutionary ethics is for their liberation.

Freedom for Simon Trinidad!

August 9, 2020



Solidnet Parties signing the joint statement

  1. Communist Party of Albania
  2. Communist Party of Australia
  3. Communist Party of Belgium
  4. Brazilian Communist Party
  5. New Communist Party of Britain
  6. Socialist Worker's Party of Croatia
  7. Communist Party In Denmark
  8. German Communist Party
  9. Communist Party of Greece
  10. Palestinian People's Party
  11. Paraguayan Communist Party
  12. Philippine Communist Party (PKP-1930)
  13. Communists of Serbia
  14. New Communist Party of Yugoslavia
  15. Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain
  16. Communist Party of Turkey
  17. Communist Party of Venezuela


Other Parties signing the joint statement

  1. Partido de la Liberación (Caba)  (Argentina)
  2. Partido Comunista de Gran Bretaña (Marxista-Leninista)
  3. Partido Comunista de Chile (Acción Proletaria)
  4. Communist Party of the Donetsk People's Republic
  5. Iniciativa Comunista (España)
  6. Unión Proletaria (España)
  7. Partido Comunista Obrero Español
  8. Pôle de Renaissance Communiste en France
  9. Agora Galiza - Up
  10. Freedom Road Socialist Organization (USA)

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Marxism and morality

by Ray Jones
Marx and Engels

 One common attack on Marxism is that it is amoral, that Marxists don’t really have any morals at all. It’s said that they believe that ‘the end justifies the means’ in all circumstances and are quite happy to indulge in the eating of babies if they think it serves their devious purposes.

Marxists take morality very seriously but approach it a scientific way – not from a list of ‘eternal’ does and don’ts handed down from a god or gods.

In a sense no-one can escape morality. Humans could not exist if they did not co-operate to produce their food and shelter, and in so doing, basic codes of conduct are produced, a ‘social consciousness’ is formed. The simpler the society the simpler these rules of behaviour towards each other generally are – and no society has yet been found without them.

As societies change their means of producing the needs and desires of life and become more complex, they develop more complex cultures. Social consciousness takes various forms – eg art, morality, religion, legal – but they remain fundamentally linked to, and the product of, the means and relations of production.

With the development of the means of production comes class societies, where different groups have different relationships to how the necessities of life are produced, who owns them and who controls them. Because of the different relationships, different points of view and behaviour arise, and cultures, to an extent, diverge. Even within the major classes, attitudes can differ and clashes occur, but whilst the means of production remain relatively stable the morality of the society will be under the sway of the dominant class.

In feudal days in Western Europe the Catholic church played the major role in morality, backed by the military system of ownership and governance. But the two did not always see eye to eye, in fact there was more-or-less constant conflict between the theologically influenced ideas of the church and the military priorities of the kings and knights.

For example, the church disapproved of crossbows as weapons that were too nasty and efficient to use against other Christians, and of tournaments because they caused too many unnecessary deaths. On the other hand, knights valued the former because it was an efficient killing machine, and the latter as a training method and a way to increase their incomes. More fundamentally, Pope and kings clashed over which had the ultimate say in this material world.

Eventually one could say that the kings won and the secular forces came out on top, but this was bound up with the rise of capitalism, which was bad news for the kings, and it was far from the end of the love/hate relationship between church and state.

Although morality has been linked to religion for much of history, with the rise of capitalism attempts were again made to separate the two. Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) described the idea that morality came from divine law as “non-sense on stilts” and he and JS Mill, his student, are usually credited with the invention of classical Utilitarianism. Mill said that “...actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness”. Happiness being pleasure and the reverse pain.

This theory can be applied to how people {should} and {do} behave and has given rise to many interpretations – some of which remain amongst philosophers and the general public today, despite the many problems it raises.

Under 19th century capitalism there were attempts to put it into social practice. With the introduction of Workhouses under the new Poor Law, conditions inside them were deliberately made so dreadful that only those about to starve would choose to go there. People would choose the greater ‘pleasure’ of living on the verge of starvation outside them – and so save the local rate payers (the well-off) a few shillings.

There were of course massive protests and riots, and the conditions were gradually improved. But the Workhouses remained for many years – and the fear and hatred of them amongst the working class longer still.

In our own times, remnants of feudal/aristocratic culture and morality remain entrenched in parts of society: conspicuous consumption, patronising noblesse oblige, the belief in a classical education (for themselves – obviously) and undemocratic views. These interact and conflict with the dominant capitalist ideas of constant reinvestment and increase of profit, charity for the ‘worthy’ poor, education to produce suitable workers and bosses for industry, and limited bourgeois democracy. And with working class beliefs, which is the job of Marxists to support, in fairness, community and an education to ‘get on’, to improve their lives.

But when a means of production breaks down, when the ruling class cannot go on in the old way and the oppressed class will not continue in the old way, a revolutionary leap occurs. Power shifts to a new class and a different dominant culture emerges, which has developed in the bowels of the old.

No culture vanishes overnight but the balance of forces changes decisively. Under socialism, working class feelings for collectiveness and fairness are given greater freedom and old prejudices, which were encouraged by capitalism, reduced. A new and better society can be built.

Second time round

  by Ben Soton

 The Second Sleep by Robert Harris, Penguin Books (2019).

Hardback. Imprint: Hutchinson. 336pp, RRP £20. Audio download. Length: 566 mins RRP £13.
Kindle Edition 330pp, RRP £8.99, on sale for £3.99.

 Robert Harris is one of this country’s most successful fiction writers. His politics are very much that of the ‘extreme-centre’, a fusion of neo-liberalism with condescending political correctness; the result of which is an almost uncritical support for the status quo against any form of populism. 

Harris resigned from the Labour Party in opposition to the left-wing columnist Seamus Milne’s appointment as Jeremy Corbyn’s Director of Communications.  His politics are reflected in the Cicero trilogy (Imperium, Lustrum and Dictator), where Harris idolises the conservative Roman lawyer and politician who supported the assassination of Julius Caesar but was ultimately defeated by the Populists and executed on the orders of Mark Anthony.

{The Second Sleep} is set in a post-apocalyptic future many years after our civilisation’s collapse. Society has returned to a quasi-medieval state where religion holds sway over science, but within this dystopian world there are attempts to rediscover the lost technology of the past. This movement centres around banned antiquarian literature and artefacts.

In the novel, the search for enlightenment is carried out by a mill-owner, a gentlewoman, a priest and a travelling eccentric. The dynamics between these characters give the story extra excitement. The particular choice of characters may be a sign of Harris’ class perspective, one which views the gentry as enlightened and the masses as ignorant and superstitious.  Although there may be some truth in this, the main characters make little attempt to win ordinary folk to their cause.

Harris’ success lies in his ability to show how everyday modern objects such as smart phones would look to someone in the past, or in this case the future. We are initially told that the novel is set in 1468. This may be deliberate because this was roughly the start of the Renaissance; a period of culture when people started to take an interest in ideas from Classical Rome and Greece. As the novel progresses the reader starts to notice anachronisms; people are drinking tea, didn’t that come much later? Someone is playing a violin, were they around then?

This is another 1468. Civilisation came to an end in the early 21st Century, after a period of anarchy order was restored – but at a price. Technological progress and the ended calendar re-started.

The Second Sleep is a warning of the fragility of our society with its dependence on web-based technology. We are told in the novel that “The Ancients” did not use coin but instead money would float around in the air in messages sent by small boxes. Have you ever become annoyed when you can’t get a WIFI signal?

It could also be seen as testament to the human spirit; namely that we will always strive for a better, more improved world. As in the case of earlier reformations however, this requires sacrifice and struggle against entrenched power. 

Stand by Belarus

The imperialists and their media gurus are now bleating about Belarus in the wake of the presidential election that gave Alexander Lukashenko a thumping majority in the poll last weekend. The people of Belarus have chosen their president fair and square, no matter what the reactionary opposition leader and her supporters say.

They may have imagined that plunging the country into ‘Maidan’ style chaos was the first step towards regime change, but they didn’t bargain for the massive support given to Lukashenko at the ballot box or the robust response of the police and security forces in sweeping the mob off the streets.

Lukashenko is the former collective farm manager turned politician who rose from the ranks of the old Belarus communist movement as an outspoken opponent of graft and corruption to win the presidential elections against all odds in 1994, to lead his country along the path of non-alignment and social progress.

Western diplomatic and economic isolation has backfired and attempts to unseat him by bourgeois and phoney ‘communist’ parties funded by imperialism have all failed. This is because Lukashenko enjoys immense popularity amongst the Belarusians who have been spared the mass unemployment, privatisation and collapse of education and the health service that was the fate of the rest of the former Soviet Union when it took the capitalist road. This is why the Communist Party of Belarus supports his efforts to preserve the country’s Soviet heritage and social structure.

Belarus is a “state of the people” that operates a mixed economy, which they call “market socialism” or “social orientation”. Although the public sector, in one form or another, still dominates the economy, there are joint ventures with western companies and those of the Third World.

The High Technology Park, the Chinese Great Stone industrial park and the other free economic zones offer tax benefits and further privileges to foreign investors, whilst the local self-employed and expanding private sector caters for some of the needs of the consumer industry.

But this is not enough for Anglo-American and Franco-German imperialism. Though Lukashenko perhaps unwisely welcomed the American foreign minister to Minsk in February following a row with the Kremlin over Russian oil supplies, his government has consistently rejected calls from Washington and the European Union to dump the Russians and throw in his lot with the Western alliance.

Now the imperialists show their true face in calling the elections in Belarus “unfair” and “not independent”, giving full support to their pawn Svetlana Tikhanovskaya who is calling for Lukashenko’s overthrow from her new base in Natoland Lithuania.

The bourgeois lie-machine, along with the ‘human rights’ gang and the phony Trots inside and outside the Labour Party, have launched yet another of their bogus ‘solidarity’ campaigns to drum up support for imperialist sanctions and possible imperialist intervention against the Belarusian government.

We’ve seen what regime change means in the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and Ukraine. We’ve seen what the imperialists and their lackeys have done in their attempt to overthrow the popular front government in Syria.

Communists, therefore, have a crucial role in helping to build genuine solidarity with the Belarusian people to counter the lies and disinformation coming from the imperialist camp.