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The Militant, 31 January 1949

Dutch Trotskyists Back Indonesian Freedom Struggle

From The Militant, Vol. 13 No. 5, 31 January 1949, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


The Indonesian people have found militant support for. their struggle for independence right inside the Netherlands. The Dutch Trotskyists, organized in the Revolutionary Communist Party, Netherlands section of the Fourth International, are calling on the Dutch working class to fight for the withdrawal of all troops and the immediate freedom of Indonesia. Since the loading of the first troop ship, they have insistently called on labor to organize a boycott to help the Indonesians.

When the attack on the Indonesian Republic began on Dec. 19, the Trotskyist newspaper, De Tribune, at once issued a manifesto bitterly opposing the war of the Dutch imperialist government. In a blazing headline across the front page, De Tribune declared: Solidarity with Indonesia!!

The manifesto condemns the Dutch capitalist class as being “interested only in the subjugation of Indonesia as a colony.” It points out how cold-bloodedly the government prepared the war, freezing wages to get more money for armaments and imposing a “civil state of siege” in preparation for possible resistance to the wage freeze and the colonial war.

The Common Enemy

De Tribune hails the Indonesian people who “are struggling for their freedom. They have ho desire to experience anew the ‘blessings’ of Dutch rule, which after 300 years domination has brought nothing but illiteracy, starvation wages of a few cents a day and concentration camps. The right is on the side of the Indonesian fighters. Their enemy is our enemy: the Netherlands bourgeoisie!”

In contrast to this model revolutionary socialist stand of the Dutch Trotskyists, the Social Democratic leaders of the Dutch Workers Party – co-thinkers of the Norman Thomas Socialist Party – stand at the head of the government which pulled the Pearl Harbor sneak attack on the Indonesian Republic.

The Dutch Stalinists share the guilt of the Social Democrats for the assault on the Indonesian Republic. They supported the Lingadjatti and Renville agreements which helped pave the way for the blitzkrieg war. The Stalinists are now beating their breasts in public over their “very serious errors” whereby “the Indonesian revolution was brought in great danger.”

At the same time the Stalinists are redoubling their attacks on the Trotskyists, who have consistently fought for the slogan, “Free Indonesia from Holland Now!” Despite their “self-criticism,” the Stalinists still refuse to take up this traditional slogan of the revolutionary socialist movement.

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Last updated on 5 March 2024