Japan and the anti-whaling struggle
The decision of the International Court of Justice to stop Japan’s whaling in Antarctic waters is a victory for all those who have campaigned against this slaughter.
Their ongoing, committed and sustained struggle shows that persistence is an important part of many campaigns. I have expressed my differences with the anti-whalers in the past. Most of what I wrote back then was absolute rubbish. (Some might say nothing has changed.)
The isolated nature of the protests – limited to a few brave souls in the middle of the ocean – makes it dififcult for people onshore to mobilise in defence of whales in any meaningful way.
Second, relying on the ICJ is the usual approach of thsoe who have illusions in the rule of law. It seems it has worked in this case when the poltical nature of legal interpretation has resulted in a victory. It will not always be the case.
Today let’s celebrate the hard work of those who have won this victory against the slaughter of whales. The task for them will be to make sure the legal win is translated into a win for the whales on the ground, or rather in the water.
The task for the left will be to patiently explain that saving whales is one small part of saving the planet and that only a democratic working class revolution can do that. It is a big task. The activism of those campaigning against whaling, and the massive but passsive support they had, are a start. We must highlight and help others understand all the links between various ugly examples to understand the real enemy of humanity and the planet – capitalism.
From whaling to warming to war the message is the same. Capitalism has to go.
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