National Sections of the L5I:

Victory to the Libyan Revolution!

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The rebellion against Gadaffi's dictatorship deserves unconditional support and that is not altered by the UN decision, writes Peter Main

Those who oppose powerful states have the right to get hold of arms wherever they can and to take advantage of any weaknesses in their oppressors' situation. That remains true even where the weaknesses are the result of imperialist action. If, under cover of the no-fly zone, Libyan insurgents and revolutionaries can retake positions, undermine the morale or the loyalty of Gadaffi's troops and even advance on the capital, Tripoli, that is a step forward for the Libyan revolution and should be welcomed.

At the same time we must oppose the US, British and French attack. The imperialist attack allows Gadaffi to pose at home as defender of the nation. It gives him a popular cause where before he had none. Now he can try to rally part of the people and deploy them against the revolution.

The imperialists are obviously looking for potential allies within the opposition to Gadaffi with whom they can do a deal to guarantee their own interests. Such a deal might even include elements from Gadaffi's current administration. The exact composition of the National Transition Council in Benghazi is not clear but it is likely to contain figures prepared to make such a deal and to establish a new regime no better than Gadaffi's.

However, recognising the danger is not the same as concluding that it is inevitable. In the here and now, the key task for revolutionaries in Libya is to strengthen the role and capacity of the working class and the urban poor in the struggle against Gadaffi. They need to build their own organisations, trade unions, working class women's groups, neighbourhood committees and their own militia.

These are needed now in Benghazi against Gadaffi - they may be needed tomorrow against the compromisers, even the imperialists themselves. First things first. Today, the population is mobilised against Gadaffi but led by unaccountable, self-appointed leaders, workers should demand that these people subordinate themselves to popular control; open their meetings, report their decisions, veto them if they do not advance the cause!

Just like Gadaffi, just like the imperialists, the workers of Libya need international allies. They should turn first to their neighbours, the workers of Egypt and Tunisia and the rest of the Arab world. A reversal in Libya would be a threat to the further progress of revolutions throughout the region. Equally, support from the workers of the region for the Libyan revolution could turn the tide not only against Gadaffi but also the plans of the imperialists

The speed of developments in Libya underlines the need for the working class to develop its own political organisation and leadership, a revolutionary party committed not only to overthrowing Gadaffi by working class mobilisations and organisations but putting power into the hands of those organisations. Only that strategy, the strategy of permanent revolution, can internationalise the revolution and defend it against counter-revolution and imperialists.