Brixton: Raiding the Mao Zedong Memorial Centre (March, 1978)

The Labour Government of 1974-1979 was led first by Harold Wilson (1974-1976) and then by James Callaghan (1976-1979). In other words, the British Queen Elizabeth II swore in two Prime Ministers during one Administration. The Labour Party, remaining true to its bourgeois roots, refused to cater to the needs of Britain’s working-class as represented by the (then powerful) Trade Unions. The Labour Party has always kept one-eye upon the bourgeoisie, and the other-eye on the Labour Unions. However, in reality the Labour Party pursued thoroughly bourgeois policies of supposedly ‘assisting’ the needy within society, policies which have been correctly described as nothing more than an exercise in the application (and maintenance) of ‘social fascism’. This system of Benefits and Social Services is designed to ‘oppress’ the very people it claims to be helping, to the extent that those in need are ‘punished’ (further) by the State for daring ‘to be in need’.  This stems from the Church originally being in-charge of assisting the poor within each Parish, where a poor man or woman was subjected to the indignity of having to kneel on the floor and literally ‘beg’ a panel of self-righteous priests (and local dignitaries) for enough money to buy food, pay rent or secure clothing, etc. The ‘unlucky’ ones were ‘kidnapped’ and sent into the dreaded ‘Work House’, where families were separated and condemned to slave-labour, where many women and children were subjected to sexual abuse, torture and even murder!  

The Welfare State developed in 1948 by the incumbent Labour Party and was premised upon the successful Socialist model as developed in the USSR, but as this was initiated within a capitalist, liberal democratic system, where the bourgeoisie still retained control of the means of production, and given that a left-wing Labour Party could not sustain a long run of electoral victories, this Welfare was attacked as soon as Winston Churchill was returned to power in 1951. Since that time, the various Labour, Tories and Liberal-LibDems Administrations have continuously initiated ‘cuts’ with regard to the functioning of the British Welfare State – to the point today, where the Welfare State is nothing but a shell of its former self and has been abolished in all but name. Due to the capitalist interference in the Welfare System, the manner in which it functioned was corrupted by the Tory attitude that ‘resents’ working-class people receiving any State help when in distress, despite previously paying for this cover through collective taxation. One leader on the Maoist-left – Aravindan Balakrishnan – routinely explained all this and much more, through the Communist Collective, the Workers’ Institute and the Mao Zedong Memorial Centre.  

Aravindan Balakrishnan is an expert in the understanding, explanation and application of the ideology of Marxist-Leninism and Maoism (i.e. ‘Mao Zedong Thought’). Although currently 80 years old and residing at Her Majesty’s Pleasure (as a political prisoner in the UK), his influence (and strength of character) still attract support from the most progressive people in the UK and the world. Such is his strength of character, his political insight has attracted the attention of the British State and attracted the expected (subsequent) political persecution and suppression. An eye-witness to the vicious police-raid carried-out on the Mao Zedong Memorial Centre in Brixton states: 

‘When two-hundred police were sent to shut down the Mao Zedong Memorial Centre (in Brixton) in March, 1978 – it developed into a terrifying dawn raid – with police brandishing batons and riot shields, as well as police dogs barking as they hauled out and arrested all the members of the Communist Collective – INCLUDING a severely disabled woman – on trumped up charges of drug taking. There was NO media coverage whatsoever about this appalling abuse of power until a kangaroo trial 6 months later in the Inner London Crown Court near the Elephant and Castle. At that time six women comrades were released. In the words of the Judge, so as: 

“not to make them martyrs in Brixton”! 

Fortunately, now because of social media (including smart phones) we are now seeing these outrages happening in plain sight, just as we are now witnessing the murders (by racist and fascist police) of innocent black and brown people which would otherwise have been covered up.’ 

This ‘raid’ occurred under James Callaghan as Labour Prime Minister, and when the Trade Unions were arguably at their strongest. Why was there a complete ‘silence’ from the political left about this outrage? Where was the ‘Solidarity’ and the ‘Internationalism’? Furthermore, where was the petty-bourgeois moral outrage? First and foremost, the manner in which this ‘raid’ was carried-out was obviously ‘racist’ in intent and origination. The police had asked the Labour Government to be exempted from the strictures of the Race Relations Act (1965), on the grounds that non-White people do not know how to ‘behave properly’, and do not adhere to White standards of morality. Indeed, it was James Callaghan who ‘exempted’ the police from the Race Relations Act when he was Home Secretary in 1968! James Callaghan was Prime Minister in 1978 when Aravindan Balakrishnan and the other comrades were attacked, with some being imprisoned before being released without charge! These attacks upon Marxist-Leninism and Maoism must be made clear to the new generations of leftists as they access Communist material on the net. Furthermore, the current misfortune suffered by Aravindan Balakrishnan should be shown for what it is – which is Tory and LibDems corruption!  

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