Year 2000 No. 43, March 8, 2000

International Women’s Day:

Women Are Decisive in Charting the Line of March to the New Society

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International Women’s Day:
Women Are Decisive in Charting the Line of March to the New Society

US Navy Begins its Shelling of Cape Wrath

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International Women’s Day:

Women Are Decisive in Charting the Line of March to the New Society

On this day of International Women’s Day, WDIE hails the struggle of women everywhere against discrimination, to affirm themselves, and especially for their complete emancipation. It is characteristic of this period that whether women are in the forefront of the struggles that are being fought throughout society, in Britain and internationally, will determine their success of their outcome. At the same time, the struggle of women for their emancipation is bound up inseparably with the struggle for the emancipation of the working class and the whole of humanity. The struggles of women on all fronts gain a profound significance when this context of the struggles is recognised and is consciously adopted.

The struggles that women have fought throughout the 20th century have put the issue of the rights of women firmly on the agenda. No one, no political institution, no collective of society, is unaware of these rights. Women everywhere are affirming that their rights be recognised according to their objective condition, their defining features as women, as well as that the rights of all, of women and men, are recognised as human rights, without discrimination on any basis.

In this connection, the greatest struggle that women have now embarked on is the struggle to open up the path to the progress of society, to smash all that is blocking the path to progress and is taking society back to a medievalist philosophy that all should fend for themselves, that society is not responsible for the well-being of all. This is because the transformation of society to one in which the concrete conditions exist for the recognition of these rights is the urgent need, the inescapable next stage of the struggle. In other words, arrangements must be brought about in society where women can affirm their rights in practice and that their claims are recognised. That women are standing at the forefront of finding solutions to the problems of society is the most positive development and one of the greatest victories of the struggles that women have waged.

The old arrangements in society are ensuring that not only do the struggles of the women have to be intensified but that the struggle for the new society is one which will be most decisive. Conversely, the participation of women at the forefront of this struggle is one which will be decisive in carrying forward the line of march to the new society.

International Women’s Day is a most important occasion not only for women but for the working class and for humanity as a whole. It also serves as a reminder that it is very much on the agenda that women’s rights must be recognised through constitutional guarantees in all countries. That women are coming forward to place themselves in the front ranks of the line of march to a society where the rights of all are guaranteed is the surest indication that the situation where the objective claims of women on society are denied and their second-class status is not addressed will be ended in the not too distant future.

WDIE takes this opportunity to hail the work of women in defence of their rights and for the emancipation of the working class and of the entire humanity, and to wish women success in the final victory of their struggles. We are certain that the day is not far off when women will celebrate their final emancipation and that of all humanity.

Hail March 8 – International Women’s Day!
For a Society in Which Women Win their Emancipation in the 21st Century!
For the Emancipation of Women – For the Emancipation of the Working Class!

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US Navy Begins its Shelling of Cape Wrath

According to news reports, ships from the USS Dwight D Eisenhower Battle Group started their shelling of Cape Wrath, at the North West tip of Scotland, at 3.00 pm on March 4. The exercise is due to go on for three days. Two cruisers and one guided missile destroyer are taking part in the operation. This is a violation of the sovereignty of Scotland and an indictment of the Westminster government in its disregard of the rights of the Scottish people to determine their own affairs, as well as exposing its shameless inhumanity.

The Ministry of Defence has designated Cape Wrath as a bombing area, and has said that allowing the US navy to use these facilities is part of routine co-operation between NATO member states. The US navy has been utilising the small populated Puerto Rican island of Vieques as an arms dump and as an exercise ground for shelling, which has included the use of depleted uranium. The use of Vieques for final stage training was, according to the US military, what made it possible for the marines to be effective during the Gulf war, as well as the bombing of Kosova. There has been an determined and protracted struggle by the Puerto Rican people, supported by well-wishers throughout the world, to oust the US navy from Vieques, a struggle which has forced President Clinton to compromise, but a struggle which is still carrying on and being stepped up. Activists have set up camps of resistance at the Vieques bombing ranges and are determined that the occupation of Vieques by the US should be totally ended.

Now, according to the reports, the US navy has joined forces with the British government to pursue its bombing exercises in Scotland. The testing of depleted uranium shells already takes place by Westminster’s Defence Evaluation and Research Agency at Dundrennan on the Solway Firth. The MoD have confirmed that more than 6,000 depleted uranium shells have been tested at this range in the last 15 years. These shells have been linked to Gulf war syndrome and are listed by the UN as weapons of mass destruction. Depleted uranium has already been linked to a leukaemia cluster around the MoD range at Dundrennan, and local communities show the highest rate of childhood leukaemia in Britain.

Puerto Rican activists have sent messages of solidarity to those who are taking action to oppose the bombing at Cape Wrath. They have expressed support for the struggle in defence of Scottish rights to live in peace and in defence of the patrimony of the Scottish people.

A press conference has been called on Friday, March 10, in Edinburgh on the role of the military in Scotland, under the heading, "Depleted Uranium, Depleted Democracy".

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