Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Materials on the 20th August 1978 Demonstration on the Occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Invasion of Czechoslovakia


Issued: Various dates.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Sam Richards and Paul Saba
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1. Press release 1

August 20th DEMONSTRATION AGAINST SOVIET AGGRESSION

c/o New Era Books
203 Seven Sisters Road
London N.4. 01-272 5894
August 7th 1978

It was announced today by two Marxist-Leninist organisations, the Revolutionary Communist League of Britain and the Communist Workers’ Movement, that there will be a demonstration on August 20th to protest against the Soviet expansionist threat on the tenth anniversary of Soviet aggression against Czechoslovakia. This demonstration will be held under the auspices of the Committee for European Resistance Against Superpower Domination.

The announcement pointed out that the occupation of Czechoslovakia fully exposes the imperialist nature of the present-day Soviet state. Over the past decade examples of Soviet aggression have multiplied and today, behind the smokescreen of ’detente’, a serious threat faces Western Europe. Working people and all people opposed to superpower aggression should prepare to resist this expansionist threat.

The demonstrators will assemble at Speakers’ Corner at 2.00 pm. and march to the north entrance of Kensington Palace Gardens. A letter of protest against the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia will be delivered to the Soviet Embassy. A letter pledging solidarity with the Czechoslovakian people in their struggle for national independence will be delivered to the embassy of Czechoslovakia.

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2. Invitation Letter

1968-1978 USSR GET OUT OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA!

10th Anniversary of the Invasion of Czechoslovakia by Soviet Social-Imperialism on 21st August 1968
Demonstrate 2pm Sunday 2Oth August
Speakers Corner, Hyde Park, to Soviet Embassy.

Dear Comrades,

It was on the 2lst August 1968 that the Soviet Union first blatantly revealed itself as not just a revisionist country but a new imperialist power, in words but imperialist in deeds. In the following 10 years of cut throat struggle with US imperialism for world hegemony, the Soviet Union has further exposed itself as the more dangerous of the two super-powers and the most dangerous source of war. In recent years the scramble for hegemony by Soviet Social imperialism in Africa and Asia has been particularly frenzied and is being bitterly paid for with the blood of many third world people. But in the middle and long term the strategic focus of the super power struggle for hegemony is Europe.

Meanwhile in Czechoslovakia and in all the oppressed countries of Eastern Europe as well as in the social fascist Soviet Union itself, resistance to Soviet Social-imperialism has continued in countless small but significant ways. In. Western Europe Marxist-Leninist Parties and organizations have used the anniversary of August 2lst to focus the struggle of the people of their different countries against the Soviet threat and carry the movement forward under working class leadership. Last year for the first time a demonstration was held on this anniversary in Britain, organized by the Revolutionary Communist League of Britain. It is a sign of the growing movement against the two superpowers and in particular the USSR; as the more dangerous, that, this year the demonstration will be, jointly organized by the Communist Workers Movement and the Revolutionary Communist League of Britain. This is also a sign of the growing unity trend in the Marxist-Leninist movement for building the revolutionary Communist Party of the working class.

It is especially important that all genuine Marxist-Leninists and progressive people unite on the demonstration this year to make a good militant contribution in Britain to the demonstrations that will be held all over Western Europe to protest on the 10th anniversary of the Soviet invasion.

As a basic condition of the demonstration each organization invited must oppose Soviet Social-imperialism, although each is free to follow its own analysis of the correct line and to adopt its own slogans. For your reference the general line that both the CWM and the RCL hold for the demonstration is as follows:

We oppose Soviet aggression and appeasement of Soviet social-imperialism. We fight for working class leadership of the struggle for independence against superpower domination as a component part of the struggle for socialist revolution. Only preparations for people’s war, not bourgeois defences, can guarantee independence. We fight for the unity of the peoples of Europe against the soviet threat and superpower domination.

All organizations invited are asked to be responsible for their own placards, stewards and banners. There will be an opportunity for a speech of up to 5 minutes before the march starts.

The CWM and RCL are not setting up an ad hoc committee for this demonstration because we want to avoid the danger of falling into federalism and we want to keep the arrangements simple. However we are convening a meeting on Monday 14th August at New Era Books at 7.30 pm to discuss arrangements for the demonstration and we invite you to send either 1 or 2 representatives to this meeting if you wish to attend. Let us know as soon as possible if you have decided to send a contingent and if you wish to send a representative to the August 14th meeting.

Please also write if you want more information, or have any comments or criticisms to make.

Correspondence should be addressed to:
R.C.L.
c/o 203 Seven Sisters Road Rd.
London N.4

We urge you to take part militantly in the demonstration on Sunday August 20th and mobilise all your members and contacts. This tenth anniversary of the invasion of Czechoslovakia will be an important occasion for giving a militant working-class lead in the struggle against the threat from Soviet Social-imperialism throughout Europe!

With Communist greetings
For the CWM and the RCL
15.7.78

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3. Unpublished Letter

The Birmingham Communist Association expressed its tactical disagreement with the proposed demonstration in an unpublished Letter dated July 10 1978, to the organisers, the CWM and RCLB,

A demonstration at this time is a left opportunistic tactic, in that it ignores the level of understanding of Soviet social Imperialism by the working class.

There is a pressing need for educational work amongst the working class on this topic, and we feel that such work must be carried out before the mounting of a national demonstration...Failure to do this expose the weakness of our movement and discredit the ideas which we are trying to promote.

* * *

4. Press Release 2

A demonstration was held this afternoon (Sunday) to protest against the Soviet military occupation of Czechoslovakia which took place ten years ago tomorrow (Mon).

The demonstration was promoted by two Marxist-Leninist organisations, the Communist Workers’ Movement and the Revolutionary Communist League of Britain, and was held under the auspices of the Committee for European Resistance Against Superpower Domination.

Speeches were made before the march started. A spokesman for the RCLB stated that the Soviet Union is practising out-and-out gunboat diplomacy and superpower politics. The blood of the people of many countries, including those of Africa and Asia, is already on its hands. Its wild manoeuvres will lead to its exposure, and resistance is already mounting. It is a good thing that people of different classes are expressing opposition to Soviet policies, but only peopleís war can reliably frustrate its aggressive scheme. We must prepare for this, mentally and eventually also organisationally.

A CWM spokesman stated that the events of 1968 demonstrated to everyone with eyes to see and ears to hear that the Soviet Union no longer had anything in common with socialism and communism. We as communists must struggle against Soviet Social Imperialist aggression – if we didnít do this we wouldnít have the right to call ourselves anti-imperialists!

The demonstration, which numbered 150, marched in a disciplined and militant way to the Soviet Embassy and made an extremely vigorous protest. Slogans were shouted calling on the people of Britain to rely on their own strength to kick out the superpowers and defeat Soviet aggression.

A letter was delivered to the Soviet embassy denouncing the Soviet social-imperialist ruling class for its desperate schemes for world domination, for its crimes against the peoples of Czechoslovakia and Eastern Europe, for its social-fascist tyranny against the Soviet working class and the Soviet peoples, for the subversion and aggression it has unleashed against the peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America, and the aggression it is planning against the peoples of Western Europe, and above all for the world war it is threatening to unleash on the peoples of the whole world in its scramble for world domination against the other superpower. The letter warned the social imperialists (social in words and imperialists in deed) that their aggression would give rise to resistance.

A letter was also delivered to the Czechoslovakian Embassy expressing solidarity with the peoples of Czechoslovakia in their struggle for national independence against Soviet aggression and occupation. The letter expressed confidence in the fact that final victory would belong to the peoples of Czechoslovakia pointing out that a small country can defeat one and the weak can defeat the strong.