On the Anniversary of the August Uprising in 2011

On the Anniversary of the August Uprising in 2011

by Michael Pröbsting, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 7.8.2012


Exactly one year ago, the ruling class in Britain was shattered by a mass uprising of the poor, the migrants and the youth. Because of this anniversary we republish the articles we wrote at this time.

* The August Uprising in Britain – A Report of the RKOB delegation on its visit in London in August 2011

* The strategic task: From the uprising to the revolution! These are not “riots” – this is an uprising of the poor in the cities of Britain!

* What would a revolutionary organisation have done? August uprising of the poor, the nationally and racially oppressed in Britain

* Britain: “The left” and the August Uprising 2011



This August Uprising – as we in the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) call it – was a historic event. It marked the entering of the class struggle by the lower strata of the working class and the nationally and racially oppressed.

Despite all its limitations and weaknesses it was definitely one of the most important class struggles in Britain since the miner strike 1984/85. According to Scotland Yard more than 30.000 working class youth, black and migrants on the streets fought against the police and expressed their anger. It forced the Tory/Liberal-Democrat government to mobilize 16.000 police men and women on the street to put down the uprising and even to consider the use of the army against its own population.

We wrote last year: “This uprising was a sign of the things to come. A correct assessment of this event, drawing the right conclusion and employing the necessary revolutionary tactics are of decisive importance because in the coming years we will see a number of similar spontaneous uprisings of the lower or middle strata of the proletariat. And we will see such events not only in Britain again but also in a number of other imperialist countries.

Because of this we studied and analyzed the August Uprising closely. We published a number of articles and sent a delegation to London. We elaborated the revolutionary tactics in such a situation as good as possible for an organization without a presence on the ground. We also had to acknowledge the pathetic or even openly treacherous position which most of the centrist left took faced with this spontaneous outburst of class hatred. It was certainly a good test to see how revolutionary – or better un-revolutionary – most of the self-proclaimed “revolutionary left” are. We noted last year that this failure is not an accident but rather the inevitable result of the capitulation of centrism to the reformist bureaucracy and labor aristocracy. They are unwilling or incapable to understand the central role of the lower strata of the working class – which include in particular migrants and nationally and racially oppressed. These layers are of decisive importance for the class struggle and in particular for the revolutionizing of the workers movement which is dominated by the labor bureaucracy and aristocracy with all their hatred and ignorance for the militant class struggle.

The most important lesson is the burning necessity to build a new revolutionary Workers International with nationally rooted combat parties. Such parties must be based on the working class and in particular the lower and middle strata and not its well-paid and bribed aristocracy. Only such parties can give a lead in spontaneous Uprisings like the one in August 2011 in Britain.

However such an International – which in our opinion will be the Fifth International based on a revolutionary programme – will not emerge by itself. It needs the conscious and organized efforts of consistent revolutionary communists. Their task is to elaborate the programmatic foundations for such an International and test them as much as possible in the practice of the international class struggle. They must fight against all forms of petty-bourgeois influence inside the workers movement – be it in its reformist, centrist or populist version. They need the closest possible international unity because only as a united collective based on democratic centralism they can intervene effectively in the international class struggle.

In short, what is necessary now is the international unity of all consistent revolutionary communists. This is what the RCIT is fighting for. We appeal to all revolutionaries around the world to join us in this effort to fight jointly for a new revolutionary Workers International!



About RCIT Britain

What the RCIT stands for Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT)is a revolutionary combat organisation fighting for the liberation of the working class and all oppressed. It has national sections in a number of countries. The working class is composed of all those (and their families) who are forced to sell their labor power as wage earners to the capitalists. The RCIT stands on the theory and practice of the revolutionary workers’ movement associated with the names of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky. Capitalism endangers our lives and the future of humanity. Unemployment, war, environmental disasters, hunger, and exploitation are all part of everyday life under capitalism as are the imperialistic oppression of nations, the national oppression of migrants, and the oppression of women, young people, and homosexuals. Therefore, we want to eliminate capitalism. The liberation of the working class and all oppressed is possible only in a classless society without exploitation and oppression. Such a society can only be established internationally. Therefore, the RCIT is fighting for a socialist revolution at home and around the world. This revolution must be carried out and lead by the working class, for only this class has the collective power to bring down the ruling class and build a socialist society. The revolution cannot proceed peacefully because a ruling class never has nor ever will voluntarily surrender its power. By necessity, therefore, the road to liberation includes armed rebellion and civil war against the capitalists. The RCIT is fighting for the establishment of workers’ and peasants’ republics, where the oppressed organize themselves in councils democratically elected in rank-and-file meetings in factories, neighbourhoods, and schools. These councils, in turn, elect and control the government and all other statue authorities, and always retain the right to recall them. Authentic socialism and communism have nothing to do with the so-called “socialism” that ruled in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and which continues to do so in China and Cuba, for example. In these countries, the proletariat was and is dominated and oppressed by a privileged party bureaucracy. Under capitalism, the RCIT supports all efforts to improve the living conditions of the workers and oppressed, while simultaneously striving to overthrow this system based on economic exploitation of the masses. Towards these ends, we work from within the trade unions where we advocate class struggle, socialism, and workers’ democracy. But trade unions and social democracy are controlled by a bureaucracy perniciously connected with the state and capital via status, high-paying jobs, and other privileges. Thus, the trade union bureaucracy is far from the interests and living conditions of its members, based as it is on the top, privileged layers of the working class – a labor aristocracy which has no real interest in replacing capitalism. Therefore, the true struggle for the liberation of the working class, the toppling of capitalism and the establishment of socialism, must be based on the broad mass of the proletariat rather than their “representative” from the upper trade union strata. We also fight for the expropriation of the big land owners as well as for the nationalisation of the land and its distribution to the poor and landless peasants. Towards this goal we struggle for the independent organisation of the rural workers. We support national liberation movements against oppression. We also support the anti-imperialist struggles of oppressed peoples against the great powers. Within these movements we advocate a revolutionary leadership as an alternative to nationalist or reformist forces. While the RCIT strives for unity of action with other organizations, we are acutely aware that the policies of social democrats and pseudo-revolutionary groups are dangerous, and ultimately represent an obstacle to the emancipation of the working class, peasants, and the otherwise oppressed. In wars between imperialist states we take a revolutionary defeatist position: we do not support either side, but rather advocate the transformation of the war into a civil war against the ruling class in each of the warring states. In wars between imperialist powers (or their stooges) and a semi-colonial countries we stand for the defeat of the former and the victory of the oppressed countries. As communists, we maintain that the struggle against national oppression and all types of social oppression (women, youth, sexual minorities etc.) must be lead by the working class, because only the latter is capable of fomenting a revolutionarily change in society . Therefore, we consistently support working class-based revolutionary movements of the socially oppressed, while opposing the leadership of petty-bourgeois forces (feminism, nationalism, Islamism, etc.), who ultimately dance to the tune of the capitalists, and strive to replace them with revolutionary communist leadership. Only with a revolutionary party fighting as its leadership can the working class be victorious in its struggle for liberation. The establishment of such a party and the execution of a successful revolution, as it was demonstrated by the Bolsheviks in Russia under Lenin and Trotsky remain the models for revolutionary parties and revolutions in the 21st century. For new, revolutionary workers' parties in all countries! For a 5th Workers International to be founded on a revolutionary program! Join the RCIT! No future without socialism! No socialism without revolution! No revolution without a revolutionary party!
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