Monday, November 30, 2009

9 Theses: The Right to Rebellion - Statement by Rebellion-Denmark

Editor's Note: The following is a statement of Rebellion-Denmark that demonstrates how the right of all people's to struggle against illegitimate government and foreign occupation, even up to the point of armed struggle, is a right enshrined into international law and is an essential component for the maintenance of any democratic system. But the so-called "democratic" countries of the world would like to deny this essential right to the people's they oppress around the world.

This week, their spokesperson, Patrick Mac Manus, is being taken to trial on terrorist charges because of Rebellion's support to liberation movements in Palestine and Colombia. Radio Basics interviewed Mac Manus on November 29, 2009.

Patrick Mac Manus

Rebellion (Denmark)

1. City courts, district courts or the Supreme Court cannot decide the right to rebellion.

This is also a principle viewpoint in the trial against Rebellion (Denmark) on December 3 and 7, January 8 and 15, 2010 in Copenhagen. Judgement will fall on February 8. Rebellion (Denmark) is accused of the transferral of financial support to Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

2. History has been driven by peoples’ resistance and change throughout the centuries on all our continents. All change has been created through conflict, from the times of slavery to our own days.

3. The American Declaration of Independence was written by insurgents against British colonial power in 1776, a declaration of “unalienable rights”—among these the rights “to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. And the right to resistance against every regime that violates these rights: “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…”

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted after World War 11, accentuates: ”Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.”

These are declarations created through a hard-won history, which Rebellion (Denmark) determinedly will defend.

4. This is a history that continues. The anti-colonialism armed struggles of the 1960s and 70s created the desire to recognise liberation movements’ rights to fight for independence.

The supplemental protocol of the Geneva Convention, in 1977, legalizes “armed conflicts” when people are “fighting against colonial domination and alien occupation and against racist regimes in the exercise of their right of self-determination”.

5. The Geneva Convention’s humanitarian International Law regulates conduct when armed struggle occurs — not ‘terrorist legislation’.

In Palestine, resistance against Israeli occupation is conditioned by the 1977 Geneva Convention supplement. Organized resistance groups, such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), can lawfully conduct armed struggle against an occupying force.

In Colombia, an internal armed conflict continues between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government. This is also subject to the Geneva Convention, especially due to FARC’s maintenance of significant geographical control in Colombia.

International Law also contains a prohibition against terrorism but defines this more narrowly than ‘terrorist legislation’. The humanitarian International Law considers not each and every civilian death a terrorist action. Civilian losses are considered as an often unavoidable result in connection with attacks upon legal military objectives.

6. This reality is disputed by ‘terrorist legislation’, a law passed by the Danish parliament in June 2002 amidst the “panic” arising from the attack upon New York’s twin towers.

Democratic rights are increasingly viewed as hindrances to combat ‘terrorism’. Legitimate resistance forms are stamped as terrorist. In the name of the “global war against terror”, oppressive states seek to attire themselves with new international legitimacy. In many countries, state terrorism is the most pressing and fatal threat against the population’s life and welfare.

’Terrorist legislation’ makes it punishable to support domestic or foreign organisations, either materially or by other means, if they are stamped as “terrorist”. Classification of organisations as ‘terrorist’ is characterised by arbitrariness, especially through the secret and uncritical cooperation between intelligence and counter-intelligence services.

Rebellion (Denmark) challenges the political paradigm, upon which the so-called ‘global war against terror’ is founded. It ostracises social and political movements from international political dialogue, a dialogue that is a premise for a political solution to those conflicts, which movements are a part of.

7. A repeal of terror legislation will result in returning to history’s reality. Peoples’ rebellion is an historic fact and in certain circumstances a necessity, a necessity that occurs when all other action forms are suppressed and inaccessible. Public support to such movements is denied in current legislation perspective and affected by prosecution.

8. The essentiality of resistance is not limited to the “distant world”. It applies to Europe, to the European Union. Climate change is increasingly decisive to history and conflict. The wave of refugees and forced immigration is rising day by day.

The creation of a “European fortress” rises as a reaction against change. A neo-fascistic dimension marches forth in many countries. In fascism’s time reaction was too divided and too late.

9. Civil disobedience is an increasing necessity. Through it the world will also create new attempts to define human life and its future, including ‘nature’s rights’: an acknowledgement of humans’ necessary dependence and responsibility here on earth.

Translated from the Danish by Ron Ridenour.
Publisher: Antifacistisk Forum - Kulturpolitisk Tidsskrift. Oktober Kvartal 2009, nr. 5.

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