Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April, 2012

When did community self-sufficiency suddenly become “racist”?

For the second time in less than a month, D.C. Council member Marion Barry is having to fend off criticism that he unfairly singled out an ethnic group as he attempted to explain how to get more African Americans trained and employed in the District.

At a hearing Monday on the University of the District of Columbia’s budget, he spoke about the need to train more African Americans to become nurses. In a video of his remarks aired by WTTG-TV, Barry noted a growing number of nurses are “immigrants” from the Philippines.

“[I]f you go to the hospital now, you’ll find a number of immigrants who are nurses, particularly from the Philippines,” said Barry (D-Ward 8). “And no offense, but let’s grow our own teachers, let’s grow our own nurses, and so that we don’t have to go scrounging in our community clinics and other kinds of places, having to hire people from somewhere else.”

The National Federation of Filipino American Associations called Barry’s remarks “racist” and “bigoted.”

Source

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

 

Spread the word.

Read Full Post »

C9M: Committee of May 9

 

by 3eme Voie Normandy

(any translation errors solely the  fault of the Green Star)

May 7, 1994, during a demonstration against U.S. imperialism organized by the GUD and JNR, one of our comrades died.  Sebastian Deyzieu was 22 years old. Pursued by the boss’s mercenary police , he fell from the fifth floor of a building. Since then we honor his memory each year (the first Committee dated May 9, so the title remains).

When we  embraced our way, we  all were told to  expect to eventually die for our ideas. This is the rule, the destiny, the  contract of the militant. But this rule does not diminish the loss of a comrade, a young man who stood for what is right without fear.  For Sebastian was  not scum,  not a beater of old women, or worse like the numbers of “troubled youth” who we see  crying  to  the media. He was not a junkie or a parasitic bourgeoisie, as are most of the  so called “anti-fascists” who try to sully his memory each year as we gather to honor him.

Of course, for us  to have to celebrate every death, every comrade killed in action, the list would be  far too long. This is why the symbol of all our fallen is  Sebastian. He was young and had a full life before him. But the police system, the bosses attack dog, does  not take precautions when it comes to suppressing nationalists. He was stalked and murdered by the impostors who stole the republic. The republic, meant to serve the people,  transformed  into an instrument of repression.

Lest we forget. Our ideal is one of  honor, heritage, respect for our comrades and our flag. Sebastian indeed died defending a flag, our flag, a flag that the Police do not be deserve to even look upon.

Over the years C9M as a event has become more unified, encompassing more than 1000 national revolutionary activists, despite police harassment and the “antifa” protests, those ridiculous guard dogs of globalization.

So, like every year, many come, and  share this moment of brotherhood. The death of one of us should not discourage us, but strengthen our solidarity, our determination, our consciousness.  We are right, and we are free.

To the memory of Sebastian!

Against globalism

Against imperialism

For the People

For the Nation

See you Sunday, May 13, 2012, Place de la Madeleine at 9:00.

The street belongs to the person who stands his ground!

 

A Note From New Resistance: 

We  send our best wishes, spirit of solidarity and comradeship to our brothers of 3eme Voie and  C9M.  In 2013 we aim to fulfill our vision of  having delegates travel to Europe to stand alongside you in person –  this year our cadres and supporters will  honor Sebastien   here in America on this important day.  Our hearts  are with you! 

 

Freedom!  Justice!  Revolution!

 

 

Read Full Post »

by Israa Al-Fass

This report and testimony from early March points to the presence of foreign forces on Syrian soil, operating within the ranks of “opposition” forces.

 

“The crisis is at its end” is no longer a relieving statement made by some political analysts, as the crisis is really close to its end. Baba Amro is now under the control of the Syrian army… and so are the armed groups of which a big number escaped to the Lebanese borders dubbing their retreat “tactical”.

Around 700 Arab and Western gunmen surrendered in Baba Amro, well-informed sources told Al-Manar website, adding that “huge and critical surprises will be uncovered in the coming few days… such as the kinds of arms seized, as well as the military tactics the armed groups followed, and the sides that supervised the operations.”

The sources further assured to the news website that the security operation in Homs will be over in a maximum of five to eight days.

Weapons from Israel used for First Time in Baba Amro

For his part, Syrian expert in strategic affairs Salim Harba pointed out that Baba Amro neighborhood and the areas surrounding it were emptied from the armed groups’ organizational as well as command structures with minimum army and civilian casualties, as the area was mainly concentrated by gunmen.

Speaking to Al-Manar website, Harba said that “the captured gunmen held Arab nationalities, including Gulf, Iraqi, and Lebanese… among them were also Qatari intelligence agents and non-Arab fighters from Afghanistan, Turkey, and some European countries like France.

“The Syrian army also uncovered tunnels and equipments there,” he added, pointing out that “advanced Israeli, European, and American arms that have not yet been tested in the countries of manufacture, in addition to Israeli grenades, night binoculars, and communication systems were confiscated by the security forces.”

Harba went on saying that “communication stations where established on the Lebanese borders to oversee the military operations in Baba Amro, and to ensure contact between field commanders and a coordination office led by members of information in the Qatari capital Doha.”

He clarified that “the escape of British journalists from Homs through the Lebanese-Syrian borders was the result of this coordination.”

In parallel, the Syrian strategic expert revealed that “the communication stations were being operated by Lebanese figures; some of them were members of the Future parliamentary bloc,” and considered that “these figures worked on transforming Wadi Khaled region into a strategic depth for Baba Amro.”

Mossad, Blackwater Directed from Qatar Operations in Homs

Additionally, Salim Harba revealed to Al-Manar website that “a coordination office was established in Qatar under American-Gulf sponsorship. The office includes American, French, and Gulf –specifically from Qatar and Saudi Arabia- intelligence agents, as well as CIA, Mossad, and Blackwater agents and members of the Syrian Transitional Council.”

“Qatar has also made deals with Israeli and American companies to arm the armed groups, and Gulf countries have been financing the agreements,” he added.

The Syrian expert pointed out that “the significance of the security operation in Homs is due to the high expectations that regional and international sides had from the armed gangs in Baba Amro … they wanted Homs to be turned into a new Benghazi.”

Indicating that the operation was implemented with high professionalism and accuracy, Harba reassured that documents will be exposed at the right time.

“The authority will not reveal everything it has now… the Syrian security forces have documents and confessions that could harm everyone who conspired against Syria, and could make a security and political change, not just on the internal Syrian level, but also on the regional level,” he assured.

In the same context, Harba considered that all the conferences and meetings by what he referred to as the “enemies of Syria” were aimed at paving the way for an American initiative under a “humanitarian” title.

He concluded: “At the end, the US will submit to the Russian initiative after it realized that confrontations will only result in its defeat, and that the Syrian regime is still strong enough to deal with any conspiracy.”

source.

Read Full Post »

Shrieks of protest from the Spanish government, Repsol, EU leaders, Latin American Presidents and others have been unleashed

Argentina’s Peronist President, Cristina Fernández Kirchner, announcement that 51% of YPF shares would be taken by the state has been greeted with mass support in Argentina and seen as a blow struck against the Repsol multi-national.

Spain’s minister of Industry, José Manuel Soria denounced it as an act of “hostility towards Spain that will have consequences”. Rajoy thundered it is an “arbitrary and hostile act” which breaks the “climate of friendship” between the two countries. The British Financial Times echoed such sentiments. Its editorial, headlined “A shabby act of economic piracy” threatened that Argentina should possibly be “suspended from the G20” and warning Kirchner, “She should not be allowed to forget that actions have consequences” (FT 18/4/12).

The vicious neo-liberal President of Chile, Pinera, and Calderon of Mexico have also joined in the chorus of criticism of Kirchner’s action against an imperialist company. Even Evo Morales the Bolivian President, in a somewhat cowardly reaction, argued it was a bilateral question between two states and that his government enjoyed good relations with Repsol. His own government suffered similar attacks from Brazil when it took similar measures against Petrobras, the Brazilian multi-national.

The nationalization of YPF shares is an extremely significant development which has important consequences beyond Argentina. This is what lies behind the outpouring of venom against Kirchner’s state intervention. The ruling class internationally fear that it could set a precedent for other governments to follow during the worsening world economic crisis. “The siren call of populism seduces yet again…” was the headline in Moisés Naim’s article in the Financial Times 19 April 2012. These developments in Argentina are an anticipation of what may develop in other countries as the world economic capitalist crisis intensifies. It that respect they signify a new era.

While there was sharp hostility and opposition to similar steps taken by Hugo Chávez in Venezuela in the past, when his government also took action against Total, BP and Chevron, it did not reach the same pitch internationally as the reaction to Kirchner’s recent intervention.

The international situation is now far more critical for world capitalism than when Chávez intervened against these companies. The prospect of other governments being compelled to intervene and go even further in nationalizing sections of the economy, either as result of pressure from the mass of the population, or to try and defend their own interests now terrifies the ruling class.

more.

Read Full Post »

How a protest movement without a programme can confront a capitalist system that defies reform

by Slavoj Žižek

What to do in the aftermath of the Occupy Wall Street movement, when the protests that started far away – in the Middle East, Greece, Spain, UK – reached the centre, and are now reinforced and rolling out all around the world?

In a San Francisco echo of the OWS movement on 16 October 2011, a guy addressed the crowd with an invitation to participate in it as if it were a happening in the hippy style of the 1960s:

“They are asking us what is our program. We have no program. We are here to have a good time.”

Such statements display one of the great dangers the protesters are facing: the danger that they will fall in love with themselves, with the nice time they are having in the “occupied” places. Carnivals come cheap – the true test of their worth is what remains the day after, how our normal daily life will be changed. The protesters should fall in love with hard and patient work – they are the beginning, not the end. Their basic message is: the taboo is broken, we do not live in the best possible world; we are allowed, obliged even, to think about alternatives.

In a kind of Hegelian triad, the western left has come full circle: after abandoning the so-called “class struggle essentialism” for the plurality of anti-racist, feminist etc struggles, “capitalism” is now clearly re-emerging as the name of the problem.

The first two things one should prohibit are therefore the critique of corruption and the critique of financial capitalism. First, let us not blame people and their attitudes: the problem is not corruption or greed, the problem is the system that pushes you to be corrupt. The solution is neither Main Street nor Wall Street, but to change the system where Main Street cannot function without Wall Street. Public figures from the pope downward bombard us with injunctions to fight the culture of excessive greed and consummation – this disgusting spectacle of cheap moralization is an ideological operation, if there ever was one: the compulsion (to expand) inscribed into the system itself is translated into personal sin, into a private psychological propensity, or, as one of the theologians close to the pope put it:

“The present crisis is not crisis of capitalism but the crisis of morality.”

Let us recall the famous joke from Ernst Lubitch’s Ninotchka: the hero visits a cafeteria and orders coffee without cream; the waiter replies:

“Sorry, but we have run out of cream, we only have milk. Can I bring you coffee without milk?”

Was not a similar trick at work in the dissolution of the eastern european Communist regimes in 1990? The people who protested wanted freedom and democracy without corruption and exploitation, and what they got was freedom and democracy without solidarity and justice. Likewise, the Catholic theologian close to pope is carefully emphasizing that the protesters should target moral injustice, greed, consumerism etc, without capitalism. The self-propelling circulation of Capital remains more than ever the ultimate Real of our lives, a beast that by definition cannot be controlled.

One should avoid the temptation of the narcissism of the lost cause, of admiring the sublime beauty of uprisings doomed to fail. What new positive order should replace the old one the day after, when the sublime enthusiasm of the uprising is over? It is at this crucial point that we encounter the fatal weakness of the protests: they express an authentic rage which is not able to transform itself into a minimal positive program of socio-political change. They express a spirit of revolt without revolution.

Reacting to the Paris protests of 1968, Lacan said:

“What you aspire to as revolutionaries is a new master. You will get one.”

It seems that Lacan’s remark found its target (not only) in the indignados of Spain. Insofar as their protest remains at the level of a hysterical provocation of the master, without a positive program for the new order to replace the old one, it effectively functions as a call for a new master, albeit disavowed.

We got the first glimpse of this new master in Greece and Italy, and Spain will probably follow. As if ironically answering the lack of expert programs of the protesters, the trend is now to replace politicians in the government with a “neutral” government of depoliticized technocrats (mostly bankers, as in Greece and Italy). Colorful “politicians” are out, grey experts are in. This trend is clearly moving towards a permanent emergency state and the suspension of political democracy.

So we should see in this development also a challenge: it is not enough to reject the depoliticized expert rule as the most ruthless form of ideology; one should also begin to think seriously about what to propose instead of the predominant economic organization, to imagine and experiment with alternate forms of organization, to search for the germs of the New. Communism is not just or predominantly the carnival of the mass protest when the system is brought to a halt; Communism is also, above all, a new form of organization, discipline, hard work.

The protesters should beware not only of enemies, but also of false friends who pretend to support them, but are already working hard to dilute the protest. In the same way we get coffee without caffeine, beer without alcohol, ice-cream without fat, they will try to make the protests into a harmless moralistic gesture. In boxing, to “clinch” means to hold the opponent’s body with one or both arms in order to prevent or hinder punches. Bill Clinton‘s reaction to the Wall Street protests is a perfect case of political clinching; Clinton thinks that the protests are “on balance … a positive thing”, but he is worried about the nebulousness of the cause. Clinton suggested the protesters get behind President Obama’s jobs plan, which he claimed would create “a couple million jobs in the next year and a half”. What one should resist at this stage is precisely such a quick translation of the energy of the protest into a set of “concrete” pragmatic demands. Yes, the protests did create a vacuum – a vacuum in the field of hegemonic ideology, and time is needed to fill this vacuum in in a proper way, since it is a pregnant vacuum, an opening for the truly New. The reason protesters went out is that they had enough of the world where to recycle your Coke cans, to give a couple of dollars for charity, or to buy Starbucks cappuccino where 1% goes for the third world troubles is enough to make them feel good.

Economic globalization is gradually but inexorably undermining the legitimacy of western democracies. Due to their international character, large economic processes cannot be controlled by democratic mechanisms which are, by definition, limited to nation states. In this way, people more and more experience institutional democratic forms as unable to capture their vital interests.

It is here that Marx’s key insight remains valid, today perhaps more than ever: for Marx, the question of freedom should not be located primarily into the political sphere proper. The key to actual freedom rather resides in the “apolitical” network of social relations, from the market to the family, where the change needed if we want an actual improvement is not a political reform, but a change in the “apolitical” social relations of production. We do not vote about who owns what, about relations in a factory, etc – all this is left to processes outside the sphere of the political. It is illusory to expect that one can effectively change things by “extending” democracy into this sphere, say, by organizing “democratic” banks under people’s control. In such “democratic” procedures (which, of course, can have a positive role to play), no matter how radical our anti-capitalism is, the solution is sought in applying the democratic mechanisms – which, one should never forget, are part of the state apparatuses of the “bourgeois” state that guarantees undisturbed functioning of the capitalist reproduction.

The emergence of an international protest movement without a coherent program is therefore not an accident: it reflects a deeper crisis, one without an obvious solution. The situation is like that of psychoanalysis, where the patient knows the answer (his symptoms are such answers) but doesn’t know to what they are answers, and the analyst has to formulate a question. Only through such a patient work a program will emerge.

In an old joke from the defunct German Democratic Republic, a German worker gets a job in Siberia. Aaware of how all mail will be read by censors, he tells his friends:

“Let’s establish a code: if a letter you will get from me is written in ordinary blue ink, it is true; if it is written in red ink, it is false.”

After a month, his friends get the first letter written in blue ink:

“Everything is wonderful here: stores are full, food is abundant, apartments are large and properly heated, movie theatres show films from the west, there are many beautiful girls ready for an affair – the only thing unavailable is red ink.”

And is this not our situation till now? We have all the freedoms one wants – the only thing missing is the “red ink”: we feel free because we lack the very language to articulate our unfreedom. What this lack of red ink means is that, today, all the main terms we use to designate the present conflict – “war on terror”, “democracy and freedom”, “human rights”, etc – are false terms, mystifying our perception of the situation instead of allowing us to think it.

The task today is to give the protesters red ink.

Read Full Post »

This year the National Day of Mourning on April 28th marks the 20th anniversary of the Nova Scotia Westray mine disaster, where an underground methane explosion took the lives of 26 workers. Since then, the labour movement pressured Parliament to pass legislation, the so-called Westray bill, which amended the Criminal Code of Canada to hold employers, who failed to take steps to protect the lives of their employees, criminally liable. The Westray bill provided a new regime outlining the framework of corporate liability in Canada.

In the nine years since the Westray bill amendments and corporate manslaughter law came into effect, only two provinces have laid charges under the criminal code. If the provinces and territories were using the Westray legislation as intended, we could make significant inroads to protect workers health and safety and save lives.

Tragically, thousands of workers, every year, have their lives changed because of a major injury while hundreds more lose their lives because of their work. No job is worth dying for, yet 1,014 people lost their lives in 2010, the most recent year for which we have statistics. These are not accidents, they can be prevented. It’s important to remember that Canada still has one of the highest rates of workplace deaths in the industrialized world and even one death is still one too many.

Nothing can bring back those who have died but a message has to be sent that cutting corners on health and safety and employees being killed is not acceptable. If and when an employer willfully neglects health and safety, knowing that someone can be injured or killed, they should be held criminally responsible. Corporations and their representatives need to be held accountable. As workers, we need to pressure our governments to use the Westray legislation as intended.

Today should not be the day another worker dies at work.

Source

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »