Marx Oration – Highgate Cemetery, London – 20.03.16
2016 marks the 60th anniversary of the raising of the Marx Monument which was placed upon the grave of Karl Marx in 1956. The monument was paid for by funds donated by workers from many different countries. The monument was designed and created by sculptor Lawrence Bradshow. Around one hundred people gathered at the graveside to hear this year’s Oration delivered by Brian Campfield – President of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. Brian Campfield talked about how the bourgeoisie has imposed austerity upon the ordinary peoples of Ireland (North and South) and across Europe and beyond, whilst the rich are given tax-cuts and new legislation clears the way for corporations to behave as they like at the expense of workers’ rights. Furthermore, through such agreements as the Canadian-European Trade Agreement and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, local democracy is further corroded as workers continue to lose their rights. The European Union is a vehicle of capitalist interest and nothing more. The EU strives diligently to put an end to all Socialism in Europe, and convert every Welfare State into a free market economic zone similar to that of the USA. Brian Campfield stated that Socialism cannot and will not come through an EU Directive. The EU is simply a new form of European Empire that must be confronted, turned back and dismantled for the sake of true democracy and Socialist development. One hundred years ago in Eire (1916), the hero Irish James Connolly led his army of the people against the forces of the British Empire and its oppressive and exploitative presence in a land where it did not belong. Brian Campfield called for a new movement of grass roots resistance to the EU and the forces of unbridled capitalism. Following this oration, flowers were laid at the base of the Marx Monument by representatives of various Communist Parties from around the world (such as Greece and Iraq), and by Ambassadors from Communist and Socialist countries such as Cuba and Venezuela. Wreaths were also laid by the Communist Party of Britain and the New Communist Party.