International solidarity is a beautiful thing. Just the most beautiful thing. In the history of the struggles of the oppressed against their oppressors, solidarity extended and expressed across the boundaries of the nation state has been one of the most vital tools that people have been able to wield. Where the elites that rule us and the systems that bind us would have neoliberal atomisation and cultish individualism be the order of the day, solidarity acts as a glorious repudiation. Solidarity is the most powerful tool we have against the ruling classes. And international solidarity? It just doesn’t get any better than that, does it? To say ‘To hell with artificial barriers, an injury to one is an injury to all!’ Plug that sh*t straight into my veins. Twitter user Kai Heron had this on his mind the other day when he asked what examples of international solidarity people found most inspiring.
What examples of international solidarity do you find most inspiring?— Kai Heron (@KaiHeron) September 21, 2021
Three from me.
1) Choctaw sending aid to Ireland during the potato famine, 1847.
2) Lancashire mill workers refusing to work cotton picked by slaves, 1862.
3) Cuba's medical internationalism, ongoing.
A few years back I wrote about Nae Pasaran, the documentary made about the Scottish workers of East Kilbride who refused to service the engines that would be used as weapons of Pinochet’s repressive coup. That’s an example that certainly belongs on the list. Twitter users shared some other touching moments:
International brigades fighting fascism in Spain 🥲— Kate (@KateSB) September 22, 2021
The Bolivian Labour Central was give £1m in the early 80s by the British Miners Union in the early 80s but donated it all to the British miners strike fund before they built anything in 84/85. V little is written about this but we’ll known in oral union history in Bolivia— Angus McNelly (@AngusMcnelly) September 21, 2021
The mass protests across the black diaspora against Italys invasion of Ethiopia and the small but credible number that signed up to fight in the spanish civil war to “get back at the fascists”— Read Marxism and Decolonization (@decolonialcommi) September 21, 2021
The international campaign for Sacco and Vanzetti is pretty cool— orepresentabel (@HerrMask) September 21, 2021
I'd forgotten this. It's truly beautiful. Every so often, when I need a boost, I read the transcript of his appearance before the House of Un-American Activities. I'm sure you've read it but if anyone following hasn't, it's here:https://t.co/K3l1X1JSCs— Kai Heron (@KaiHeron) September 21, 2021
Swedish labor unions sending lanterns to aid the Sandinista literacy campaign— l’absente de tous bouquets (@aucuncontour) September 21, 2021
11 Dunne’s Stores workers in Dublin refusing to handle Outspan fruit in opposition to Apartheid, making Ireland the first to boycott SA and helped end the racist regime.— Thomas Geoghegan (@thomasgeoghegan) September 21, 2021
Very strong tie! For example, an Indian immigrant to the US who I studied published nationalist propaganda on the press of an Irish nationalist immigrant! And Indian use of the boycott in the early 20th cent originated in Ireland IIRC.— Uncle Fester🌹 (@heyitssaurav) September 21, 2021
Haile Selassie directing Ethiopian food aid to the UK during the post-war rationing period was pretty magnificent in its generosity and thoughtfulness. Always felt he deserves a minor but official UK memorial for that act.— @kingstongarrick (@kingstongarrick) September 21, 2021
South African & Italian dockers refusing to off-load Israeli cargo ships during air strikes on the Gaza Strip is most recent example I can think of. https://t.co/6xrIlaEnY4— Rhiannon Lockley #JoinAUnion (@illdoitanyway) September 21, 2021
Lidice shall live (@LidiceShallLive ) workers in Stoke pledging in 1942 to rebuild a village in Czech rep that was destroyed by the Nazis. Really interesting legacy of solidarity— Tom Houseman (@drtomh) September 22, 2021
Very little has been published about it, but Liverpool's solidarity with El Salvador and Nicaragua throughout the last quarter of the 20th century is really inspiring - building brigades, music/political festivals to fundraise, protests/boycotts, volunteer health workers etc.— cally (@Cal_Goodall) September 21, 2021
During the Haitian revolution a group of 200-300 Polish conscripts rebelled against the French and fought with the native people.— Nerdy People Play D&D (@NerdyPeopleDnD) September 22, 2021
For me it has got to be the ongoing example - Cuba's medical cooperation - the focus of my research and this article I wrote and had published today https://t.co/954jXF9UdJ— Dr. Sharon McLennan (@sj_mclennan) September 22, 2021
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