The following statement was issued March 16 by the Communist League in New Zealand.
The Communist League condemns, in the strongest way, the rightist shooting massacre at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch that has left 50 dead and 50 injured. The shooting took place as hundreds of worshipers had gathered to pray. We call on workers, farmers and all defenders of democratic rights to condemn this brutal assault.
This and other attacks on Muslims and mosques are a working-class issue. We must act on the principle of the workers’ movement that “an injury to one is an injury to all.” The defence of those who are scapegoated and victimised — be they Muslims, Jews, immigrants or others — is essential to building political unity of the working class and acting on the basis of solidarity with all who are exploited and oppressed.
Such attacks are an outgrowth of the political policies and actions of the capitalist rulers and their government. Anti-Muslim prejudice is used to justify their involvement in wars and spying by their police agencies, not only on mosques and Muslims, but on many others.
For more than 25 years the New Zealand government has been a partner in the endless imperialist wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. As the worldwide capitalist economic crisis continues with no end in sight, there will be more attacks on democratic and political rights and on workers and our unions at home, and trade wars and shooting wars abroad.
The call by Labour and National party leaders for national unity in the wake of the massacre is the opposite of working-class solidarity. They seek to draw us behind the rulers’ course at home and abroad. Already the government has signaled that it will respond to the massacre by beefing up the powers of its spies, immigration cops and other repressive instruments of state power. Such steps target working people and our rights.
There is no broad expansion of rightist or fascist currents in Australia, New Zealand, the United States or any other country today. The owners of industry and finance don’t feel the need to turn to fascist gangs to preserve their class rule. There is less racism, less anti-immigrant sentiment among working people today, as immediately shown by the expressions of solidarity by working people throughout the country.
The Communist League pledges not only to protest this brutal assault, but to take this issue to workers of all backgrounds.
We demand: No to attacks on Muslims and mosques. Oppose attacks on democratic and political rights! Withdraw all New Zealand armed forces from the Middle East and elsewhere overseas!