Grenfell Was Murder!
Statement by British Internationalists in the YPG
Note from Kom News: British fighters in the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria have released a video statement [since removed] on the Grenfell Tower fire which authorities say killed 58 people as flames engulfed the building. Locals, however, claim the death toll is much higher.
The terrorism of fascists and Islamists can never stand up to the simple neglect of capitalism.
In Britain today Islamist terrorists strike at random, driving cars through crowds, and fascists respond in kind. Fascists murder a member of parliament, an Islamist blows himself up in a crowded concert hall, but nothing they can do can match even a fraction of the murder and destruction meted out by capitalism for no reason greater than profit.
Hundreds burn to death in a tower block, and why? Perhaps a faulty low quality refrigerator started a fire, that then spread because of a lack of sprinklers, which then caught flammable ‘cladding’ on the outside of the building. But why was there a faulty refrigerator, why were there no sprinklers, why was there flammable cladding on the outside of the building?
There is a simple reason. Because the people in that building were poor, because many of them were non-white, because some were refugees. Why was there a faulty refrigerator in the flat? If it was bought by the renter then it was because they were poor and could not afford better. If it was issued by the council then it was because the people living there were poor and they thought they could get away with it. They probably still will. The same thing with the sprinklers, but we can truly see the nature of the system that holds us in its grasp in the ‘cladding.’
The ‘cladding’ was installed onto the exterior of the building not for any practical purpose but in order to improve it’s external beauty. This measure was not, of course, made for the residents, but for the surrounding buildings which housed the super rich; Grenfell was a poor place in a rich area. The building contractor had the option to install fire-proof or non-fire-proof cladding; the fire-proof cladding would have cost an additional ₤5,000. I don’t have to tell you which one they picked. Even in capitalism a life is normally worth more than ₤50.
But it was not even that they were killed because contractors cut corners, but that they were killed by something completely unnecessary. No one in the tower gained any practical benefit from the installation of the cladding! Contractors cut corners in work that could have simply not happened! I also don’t have to tell you that the renovation work that involved the installation of the cladding cost much more than what it would have taken to install sprinklers!
These killings far exceed the number of deaths that have occurred in the recent spate of terror, and with this we make no mention of the thousands that died within weeks of being declared ‘fit to work’ by the British state, or the 300 who starved to death in 2015. Murder, murder, murder. And how capitalism does it! Not malicious, not filled with hate like terrorists are, just simply unthinkingly, blindly, killing out of a sheer apathy for human life. For capitalism, that which does not exist on the balance sheet, simply does not exist.
Here in Syria we in the YPG will destroy ISIS in its current form, but this will not be the end of terror in Europe. For a problem cannot be destroyed without the destruction of its material and ideological base, and more than ISIS, the Taliban or whatever other radical offshoots, Islamist terror has always derived this base predominately from Western-aligned Wahhabist states such as Saudi Arabia.
On the other side, just as there is a mutual reinforcing relationship between Islamist and fascist terror, there is also one between the ideology and actions of Saudi and the West. The Saudi support for terror provides the ideological basis for Western imperialism abroad and the ever increasing security state at home (most clearly illustrated by Saudi involvement in the 9/11 attacks and the ‘war on terror’ that followed). And of course this imperialism and increase in surveillance and general police intervention into Muslim communities furthers the radicalization that Saudi desires. And it goes without mentioning that this radicalization would not find a fertile base if it were not for the poverty and disconnection caused by capitalism. Contented people do not blow themselves up.
My point here is that the kings of this murder and wild blind death will never be these fringe elements, but will always be the establishment. We will defeat ISIS here in Syria, but without a change to this system of imperialist capitalism in its Western base areas and its Islamist allies like Turkey and Saudi, another ISIS will come about in a few years. The bombs will never stop dropping and the cycle of vengeance and blood for blood in tit-for-tat terrorist attacks will go on and on.
On this basis, I encourage all comrades to recognize Grenfell for what it is: the most horrifying recent expression in the UK of the banal murder of the capitalist system for which the only solution is a socialist, ecological, feminist, secular society like the one that we are fighting for here in Rojava.
Grenfell was murder!
Death to capitalism and the world it creates!
For a new socialist dawn!
—British Internationalists in the YPG