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Monday, June 18, 2018

India- Modi Regime Can’t Secure its Future by Imprisoning Civil Rights Activists

India is called "the world's largest democracy," by leaders of the US and other phoney democracies in Europe and elsewhere. But most phoney democracies at least try to pretend they respect such things as "freedom of the press" and human rights. But in India the fascist leaning government of Narendra Modi and his nationalistic and fairly right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are beginning to ignore human rights altogether. India is threatened with both a Maoist insurgency that is mostly based on poor tribal people and it is coming under fire from human rights activists, including news editors.
Modi is by far a brutal suppressor of human rights. He is getting less and less tolerant of those who verbally challenge his regime. He has also tried, as have other Indian leaders, to suppress the Maoist insurgency. Democracy for industrialized nations, as the US, just means elections and some lip service to human rights. It does not have much to do with people deciding how they want to live their lives. Capitalist democracy is always about wealthy people using elections as a way to enforce their business interest. Most of the common working people are only bystanders who vote and then wait for the system to decide how they will live over the next few years. This is why Maoist in such countries develop support from the people. And when such support grows wide enough, "the white-gloves come off" and such nations "show their true colors."  We all need to support those who have dared to criticize the Modi Regime.-សតិវអតុ

The following article goes into detail and the fascist nature of the Modi regime, from People's Review:

The Operation Green Hunt reached the urban landscape long ago, and in tandem with the brutal war waged against the poor tribal people of the mineral-rich zones of India, the oppressive state machinery has launched a concerted attack on those voices that echo support for the cause of the marginalised and oppressed people, who are subject to the grotesque sadist state’s pleasure-seeking exercise every day and night. At the early morning of 6 June 2018, when the Maharashtra Police arrested Advocate Surendra Gadling, General Secretary of Indian Association of People’s Lawyers and the lawyer of arrested Prof Dr GN Saibaba, Prof Shoma Sen, Head of Department of English, Nagpur University, Sudhir Dhawale, the editor of Vidrohi from Mumbai, Rona Wilson, the Public Relations Secretary Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners and Mahesh Raut, an anti-displacement activist from Bharat Jan Andolan and a former Fellow at Prime Minister’s Rural Development (PMRD) for Gadchiroli District, it became clear that a terrified Indian state under the utmost unapologetic Hindutva fascist regime of Narendra Modi is leaving no stones unturned to achieve its target of neutralising and annihilating people’s democratic resistance against its policies that are targeted against the tribals, the Dalits and the Muslims, lest these forces dig a grave for the fascist mobocracy that rules India.

What made the Maharashtra Police to arrest these activists from Delhi and Maharashtra? The police of the BJP-ruled state are driven by a vengeance against the left-democratic forces who are speaking up against state terror in Gadchiroli, the caste oppression laden on the Dalits of the state by the upper-caste feudal landlords and rich farmers and the corporate houses that are trying to annex land of the farmers and the marginal communities to build up huge real estate projects. The activists were arrested this time because the police have accused them of playing a crucial role in the outbreak of violent clashes between the Dalit activists and upper-caste Hindutva thugs in Bhima Koregaon this January. One Dalit was killed in the violence, which resulted in a state-wide anti-BJP and anti-Hindutva agitation of the Dalit community. The RSS strongmen, who were accused by the Dalits of inciting violence and leading the murderous Brahmanical thugs, remain scot-free till date, while those activists who have steadfastly fought against feudal, casteist and corporate attacks on the poor, are now thrown behind the bars as the police want them to confess that they are “Maoist” conspirers.

The corporate-controlled Indian mainstream media is milling the same press release of the police as gospel truth by projecting the arrested men and woman as “urban Maoists” who are spreading violence. The Maoists happen to lead one of the longest-running armed struggles against the Indian state machinery with an aim to overthrow it and to establish a people’s democratic state of the poor and marginalised people in its place. Thousands of communist rebels, known as the Naxalites or Maoists, have died in India fighting against an oppressive state machine. The continuous oppression laden on the poor and the marginalised by the Indian state and its bankrupt character has inspired thousands of young men and women to join the militant movement since last five decades. The Indian state, irrespective of which of the coalition that serves the ruling classes is in power, labels the activists who question its ways as Maoist and then jails them. Similarly, the Indian state jails Muslims by framing terrorist charges against them, as the Islamic terrorism is a fancy tale that the international monopoly and finance capital has invented to divert the people’s attention from real burning issues. Though the courts will let genociders like Maya Kodnani, Amit Shah and other Hindutva terror mongers free, the Muslims, tribals and Dalits languish in jails for a longer time and they don’t get bail soon. It’s only after decades behind the bar, that these people are released after the police-planted stories are quashed in courts; however, not after such stories do well in the press and penetrate deep inside the mind of the average Indian middle-class and upper-middle class to help them form an Islamophobic opinion.

For the rest click here.

 Civil Rights Activists Arrested by the Pune Police on Fabricated Charges

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Italy's new fascist government opens fire on immigrants

From A World to Win News Service:
The new Italian government's opening salvo was to order that the country's ports be closed to an NGO ship carrying 629 people rescued from the Mediterranean, about 100 of them children. This demonstrated just what the slogan "Italians first" really means.

This is the first, but most certainly not the last, result of the parliamentary elections last March and the following three months of negotiations. What many people thought (or hoped) could never happen finally did happen: the Five Star Movement, a young, self-styled “forward-looking” party that calls for the replacement of all political parties by "direct democracy" joined with the old-line neo-fascist thugs of the League on a joint programme and formed a coalition government. What makes this alliance shameful is not that Five Star, largely based in poorer southern Italy, has partnered with what was formerly named the Northern League, a party founded on the idea that the country's southerners are less than Italian. It's that both forces have united on the potentially genocidal stand that certain non-Italians are less than human.

The coalition's first attempt to form a government failed when, in an unheard-of move, the country's normally figurehead president, not chosen by direct vote, vetoed a cabinet that included an anti-European Union figure in a key ministry. The second attempt succeeded when both parties reiterated their commitment to Italy's membership in the EU and the euro currency zone. League head Matteo Salvini and Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio became vice ministers under a supposedly neutral prime minister. But although Five Star came in far ahead of the League in the elections, the League and its policies have come to the fore.

Salvini was made Interior Minister, in charge of state repression, and has been by far the government's loudest voice. In his ferociously anti-immigrant inaugural speeches he expanded the target to include Roma ("Gypsies") and the practice of Islam. The new Family Minister, a Catholic fundamentalist, declared her die-hard opposition to divorce and abortion, and made her immediate goal the end of same-sex marriage. This is necessary, she said, to prevent the "erasure" of "our people". The fact that this would appal Five Star's more secular supporters didn't seem to matter. Five Star's Di Maio got to be Minister of Labour and Economic Development. The League agreed to put off its proposed "flat" tax meant to favour its more well-off social base, while Five Star did the same with its signature policies, a guaranteed income for all Italian citizens and early retirement, measures said to ease the pain of unemployment. The two forces ended up uniting around one priority: to remove, as soon as possible, half a million people – virtually everyone remaining in Italy who crossed the Mediterranean in recent years.

The result was a government programme and cabinet that powerful ruling class forces behind the scenes and Italy's traditional parties could and did accept. So did many such forces abroad, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), whose main concern during the negotiations was the threat to the stability of the vampire international finance system. This threat was happily avoided when the two former fringe parties backed off earlier pronouncements about balanced budgets and the euro.

But the threat to Europe's stability has not been averted. While the same class forces as ever are mainly in charge, the new Italian government does represent a dramatic change. In Italy, as in country after country around Europe, the collapse of confidence in the widely hated "system" parties, the "centre-right" and "centre-left" that alternated in government since World War 2, has been appropriated by a "populism" where the "will of the people" – or at least carefully selected expressions of the most backward and reactionary sentiments among sections of the people – is being used to justify attacks on established democratic rights. This is accompanied by blatant national chauvinism untinged by "humanist" pretensions, and by stepped-up, undisguised racist violence and misogyny.

This "populism" with its "my people first" can only mean "my country first" – bringing together the ruling exploiters and the exploited and oppressed alike. The "people" are no longer defined as all inhabitants of a territory, the hallmark of modern nation states that emerged in revolutions against feudalism, but according to a mystical vision of "a people" united by their "blood" (excluding even immigrants' children). This was exemplified in Nazi ideology as "true Germans" versus "non-Germans" such as Jews, Roma, gender non-conforming people, the disabled and so on, all to be exterminated. Now once again we see politics based on appeals to the resentments of a mythically defined "volk" (the Nazi's favourite word, not for people in general but a particular ethnicity, to be "defended" in opposition to everyone else), who have supposedly been denied their "rightful" place at the top of the global imperialist food chain. Of course today's leading example is the white supremacist slogan and programme "Make America Great Again". Not every populist movement has gone all the way down that road, but that's where that road leads.

The Five Star Movement has added its own defining idea to this mix: to move politics from the streets to the Internet, distilling the will of the people through frequent Web-based referendums.. The underlying claim is that what is just and right is what's expressed by the majority of people at any given place or time. The bankruptcy of this philosophy was revealed in the way Five Stars settled the debate around immigration in its own ranks on the eve of forming the new coalition government. About 94 percent of the people who chose to vote on its Web site (it has no formal members) expressed the opinion that society, the media and even the Movement's own authorities had taught them. In this way they gave their blessings to fascist homicidal maniacs about to go on a rampage.

The American fascist ideologist Steve Bannon, recently interviewed in his new stomping ground in Rome by CNN, said that Italy's new government demonstrates the possibility and necessity for alliances between Trump-like forces and part of what he called the "left" in many countries. Speaking of the U.S., he called for a union between "Trumpists" and some supporters of the "populist" presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on the basis of what he called "economic nationalism", a term used to describe aspects of the Five Star Movement in Italy. It could also apply to similar nationalist "leftist" and "socialist" forces in other countries, like the movement led by Jean-Luc Melenchon in France and even Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party in the UK.

What comes first, "my people", "my country" – or the interests of the world's people, of humanity? What none of Italy’s major parties, fascist or mainstream, is willing to acknowledge is the truth behind what has been driving millions of migrants out of their own homes in the first place: that the desperate conditions in their homelands is bound up with the generations-old division between the oppressor countries in the West and the oppressed countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Or as one slogan popular in pro-refugee protests puts it, “They’re over here because we’re over there”.

What's happening in Italy shows the truth and power of this dividing line and the necessity to wage political and ideological struggle with people's backwardness on this question, while vigorously and urgently stepping up opposition to the fascist movements and regimes and their conscious or unwilling collaborators. 

Image result for ​fascism
Pix from Fascism and the Occult.

Monday, June 11, 2018


By Harsh Thakor

A most commendable meeting took place of AFDR in Ludhiana comprising around 150 persons. Speakers touched upon the massacre in Gadricholi, the attack in Tuticon and the arrests of 6 democrats.

.Gautam Navlkakha highlighted how fascist the judicial system was becoming and traced that the root of consolidation of fascsim lay in the judiciary itself. He explained why the state stooped down to such level of fascist assaults on the people and summarized the historical grounding of it.Professor Jagmohan Singh spoke about the nature of state corporate capitalism and how only by treading the path of Shaheed Bhgat Singh copuld the Indian masses emancipate itself from it's clutches.He summarized the significance of Bhagat Singh's teachings in light of the fascsim pervading in India today. A.K. Maleri spoke briefly as well as Daljeet Singh of Democratic Lawyers Association.

Meeting was of great qualitative value even if numbers were small.Like a breeding ground for many roses to bloom to extinguish the weeds. Gave vibration sof the days of the 1970's and 80's when the civil liberties movement was at it's helm. The ressurection of AFDR today has great significance considering that hindutva fascsim is reaching it;s ultimate crescendo. Atendanace was reduced as the AFDR had it;s internal meeting s at state level.

Earlier on 4th June a rally and convention was held in Bathinda comprising around 100 people shimmering similar overtones. Significantly it comprised section sof the landed and landless dalit peasant community and a few industrial workers. The rally lit the town with the flame of resistance to extinguish fascism. The participants included mass revolutionary peasant leaders and some women comrades.

Convention organized by AFDR, Punjab demands the release of five activists implicated in false cases by Maharashtra police.
“Our country is passing through a very critical situation where the law and judicial system too are prostrating before the alliance of corporate and ruling clique and the ruling saffron brigade has been putting no stone unturned to languish the democratic dissent in jails in the name of internal security and criminal conspiracy.” These were the views expressed by Gautam Navlakha of PUDR Delhi and prof. Jagmohan Singh, nephew of Shahid Bhagat Singh while addressing the event organized by Association for Democratic Rights, Punjab recently at Punjabi Bhawan Ludhiana. It was organized to oppose the extra-judicial killings of Maoists and adivasis in fake encounters in Garchiroly, Maharashtra and massacre of peaceful protesters at Tuticorin by Tamil Nadu police. Apart from democratic rights activists, a large number of progressive and democratic activists, trade unionists and leader of students and youth organsations participated in the convention and expressed solidarity with the resistance struggles going on against this repressive regime across the country.
The main speakers compared the police firing at Tuticorin with Jallianwala Bagh massacre under British rule. They alleged that the security forces are using UBGL and Mortars against the Adivasis which are used on the borders to inflict maximum loss on the enemy. In fact, this is a brutal fascist war being waged by the Indian state against its own people. The so-called development projects are being forced upon the people through brutal state machinary.  And “Operation SAMDHAN” is a more repressive version of Operation Green Hunt initiated by UPA government. They said that the forests are life-line of tribal people that’s why they are resistance tooth and nail against their displacement and land grab. The ruling elite has no respect for PESA and other acts enacted for the protection of tribal people and forest life. The armed forces of the state are wokring as the mercenary gangs of corporate capitalists and serving for them shamelessly.
Commenting on the arrests of Sudhir Dhawle, Advocate Surendra Gadling, Prof. Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson and Mahesh Raut under the UAPA they stated that this is only a ploy by the BJP to save the saffron culprits Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote responsible for Bhima-Koregaon violence unleashed against Dalits and divert the attention of the masses from the failures of extreme Right rule and their politics of hate mongering. The sole purpose is to create a false political narrative, favorable to the current saffron regime. They expressed serious concern that there is every possibility before general election due in 2019 that some more ‘stories’ like this so-called conspiracy to kill Mr. Modi will be plotted by saffron brigade like Germany under Hitler. They hailed the resistance by Dalits, Muslims, Adivasis and another downtrodden people who are braving these attacks. Many resolutions were passed demanding immediate and unconditional release of Sudhir Dhawle and other activists, higher level judicial enquiry of the fake encounters going on in Maoist affected areas, withdraw special armed forces from the tribal areas, punish the police and administrative officials responsible for the killing of protesters at Tutucorin and permanently shut down the Sterlite plant at Tuticorin.
Dated 11 June 2018.

Image may contain: 5 people, people sitting and people standing 

Friday, June 08, 2018

A Salute to the Historic Conference on Democratic rights in India

By Harsh Thakor

Monday, June 04, 2018

Historic rally condemning fascist massacre

By Harsh Thakor
Hail historic rally condemning fascist massacre on adivasis in gadricholi staged at Shaheed Nachatar Singh hall in Moga today by 4 revolutionary groups. It shimmered the light of liberation to extinguish the tyranny of fascism. Around 500 people attended and an impactful demonstration was held at its conclusion.Darshan Khatkar of Cpi Ml new democracy narrated how the movement was heading towards the correct path in areas today like Gadricholi. Swaranjeet of inquilabi lok Morcha defended and praised the Maoists stating that they had developed genuine bastions of people's power as an alternative to the tyranny of the ruling classes He gave examples of the alternative forms of people's powers built by the Maoists. Sukwinder Kaur of lok sangram manch or revolutionary democratic front explained how the commandos were used to attack Adivasis in all areas and not only Maoists. She gave examples of how even rationing was stopped in Jharkhand hand.Kanwaljeet khanna of inquilabi Kendra referred to the massacre in Tuticon and on attacks on the working class by corporates. N.K Jeet of AFDR spoke about how all norms of civil liberties were violated in gadricholi in a cold blooded massacre.Jagsir Namol of Naujwan Bharat Sabah explained the guidelines of building a genuine revolutionary youth movement to defeat fascism.An event of great qualitative significance which lit. a spark that could turn into a prairie fire.Unity of 4. Trends amongst communist revolutionary forces is of great significance.

Photo from Narain Dutt.

Image may contain: 4 people, people standing and crowd

Friday, June 01, 2018

Karl Marx still fascinates both philosophers and revolutionaries after 200 years

By សតិវអតុ
It is the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx, the engineer of communism, along with co-writer, Friedrich Engels. Max and Engels forged a theory that is both a blueprint for socialist and communist revolution, and an accurate method of analyzing human history. I have found lots of magazine and blog articles on the left providing good coverage of this occasion.

From John Bellamy Foster, in Monthly Review: 

"Two hundred years after Karl Marx’s birth, the influence of his critique of capital is now as great as ever, in the context of what has been called the “Marx revival.” For those who believed that Marxism had simply died out with the fall of the Berlin Wall, a casualty of what Francis Fukuyama pronounced “the end of history,” this is no doubt a startling development.
In 1942, during what he dubbed the “Marxian revival” of his own day, the great conservative economist Joseph Schumpeter wrote that
Most of the creations of the intellect or fancy pass away for good after a time that varies between an after-dinner hour and a generation. Some, however, do not. They suffer eclipses but they come back again, and they come back not as unrecognizable elements of a cultural inheritance, but in their individual garb and with their personal scars which people may see and touch. These we may well call the great ones—it is no disadvantage of this definition that it links greatness to vitality. Taken in this sense, this is undoubtedly the word to apply to the message of Marx.

I will argue that the “greatness” and “vitality” of Marxian social science that Schumpeter notes derives primarily from its inner logic as a form of open-ended scientific inquiry. Against attempts in the dominant ideology to characterize Marx as a rigid, dogmatic, deterministic, and closed thinker, it is precisely the open-endedness of his “ruthless criticism of all that exists”—an open-endedness inherently denied to liberal theory itself—that accounts for historical materialism’s staying power. This openness can be seen in the Marxism’s ability constantly to reinvent itself by expanding its empirical as well as theoretical content, so as to embrace ever larger aspects of historical reality in an increasingly interconnected world."

We also have a good article in Red de Blogs Comunistas (RBC), a blogging group I belong to:

200 years of the father of communism, Karl Marx

"Gray is the theory, friend, but green and leafy is the tree of life ." It is a phrase of Goethe that Karl Marx used to quote and that expresses well the method of thought that characterizes him, based, mainly, on the practical analysis of reality, with the essential objective of transforming it.

Marx, which marks 200 years of his birth, opened the way, laying the foundations of  the theoretical building that, later, the practice of class struggle and against all exploitation would develop in the inevitable path of humanity towards Socialism:

" The history of all the societies that have existed to this day " - says Marx in the Communist Manifesto (except the history of the primitive community regime, adds Engels later) - "... is the history of class struggles "

Marx taught the proletarians, and even the bourgeois themselves, that the transformation of capitalist society into a socialist society is inevitable: "The socialization of work, which is progressing faster and faster in thousands of ways, and which during the half century since the death of Marx is manifested in a very palpable way in the increase of the great production, of the cartels, the unions and the capitalist trusts, and in the gigantic growth of the volume and power of financial capital, is the most important material basis of the inevitable advent of socialism. The intellectual and moral engine of this transformation, its physical agent, is the proletariat, educated by capitalism itself. Its struggle against the bourgeoisie, which manifests itself in the most diverse forms, and increasingly rich in content, inevitably becomes a political struggle for the conquest of its own political power (the "dictatorship of the proletariat")", as Lenin explains in his article about the father, together with his comrade Engels, about communism."

And any time a person on the left has an important commemorative date, the right-wing, or US mainstream has to print the kind of garbage we got from James Bovard, of USA Today:

"Saturday marks 200 years since the birth of Karl Marx, and tributes are arising out around the globe. In a New York Times tribute headlined, “Happy Birthday, Karl Marx. You Were Right!” philosophy professor Jason Barker declared that “educated liberal opinion is today more or less unanimous in its agreement (with) Marx’s basic thesis” on the flaws of capitalism. But this is true only if “educated liberal opinion” simply does not care about tyranny.
But Marxism in practice didn’t work out so well. Communist regimes produced the greatest ideological carnage in human history, killing more than a hundred million people in the last century. While some apologists claim it is unfair to Marx to blame him, the seeds of tyranny were there from the start."
We on the left have learned to expect this kind of cold war hype that looks only at some unproven statistics to try and discredit Marx and his accomplishments. Marx can't be held responsible for what happens after he died. And the US revolution killed just as many people as any communist state has. Such claims are not only ridiculous but they are also simplistic. They over look the analysis Marx did, his theories of value, of dialectics, his theories of history, all of which had a lot less to do with the running's of modern states such as the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Marx goes way beyond a simple structure. And that structure is all the cold warriors care to look at. They also like to pain him as a tyrant.
This is a good time to look at the important past philosophers and revolutionaries who have influenced Marx and his ideas. He wrote his first published piece on the difference between Democritus and Epicurus, called The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature:

"As such an example I select the relationship between the Epicurean and the Democritean philosophy of nature. I do not believe that it is the most convenient point of contact. Indeed, on the one hand it is an old and entrenched prejudice to identify Democritean and Epicurean physics, so that Epicurus' modifications are seen as only arbitrary vagaries."


"Philosophy, as long as a drop of blood shall pulse in its world-subduing and absolutely free heart, will never grow tired of answering its adversaries with the cry of Epicurus: Not the man who denies the gods worshipped by the multitude, but he who affirms of the gods what the multitude believes about them, is truly impious. Philosophy makes no secret of it."

He liked Prometheus because of his lack of faith in religion:

"The confession of Prometheus: In simple words, I hate the pack of gods [Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound] is its own confession, its own aphorism against all heavenly and earthly gods who do not acknowledge human self-consciousness as the highest divinity. It will have none other beside. But to those poor March hares who rejoice over the apparently worsened civil position of philosophy, it responds again, as Prometheus replied to the servant of the gods, Hermes: Be sure of this, I would not change my state Of evil fortune for your servitude. Better to be the servant of this rock Than to be faithful boy to Father Zeus."

One of Marx's main influence was G.W.F. Hegel, an advocate of a “rational liberal state. Although he was not a leftist, his methods of logic were what Marx liked.
He also appreciated Giordano Bruno, Dominican friar, philosopher and cosmological theorist. He is known for his cosmological theories, which conceptually extended the then- Copernican model. He proposed that the stars were just distant suns surrounded by their own exoplanets and raised the possibility that these planets could even foster life of their own. He was burned at the stake for supporting Copernicus, in 1600.

“It appears that in Giordano Bruno, for example, there are many examples of such a new conception; Marx and Engels knew about Bruno. They knew about him and there remain traces of Bruno’s works in their notes. Conversely, Bruno was not without influence on classical German philosophy, etc.”[1]

His co-writer Engels wrote about Thomas Müntzer. He was a German preacher and radical theologian who helped lead the peasants during Germany's peasant uprisings of 1525. Engels was impressed by Müntzer's radical ideas for that time period.[2]
Marx was influenced by a lot of radical people who were ahead of their times. Likewise, Marx has influenced many future writers and leaders, Mao Zedong, VI Lenin and Antonio Gramsci just to name a few.
So it is a fine thing that Marx is being honored by so many for the groundbreaking work that he did.

[1] Antonio Gramsci, The Modern Prince & other writings, (International Publishers) 2000, pp. 109-110.
[2] Frederick Engels, The Peasant War in Germany, (International Publishers, New York), 2000, pp 9,10.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Nicaragua,Venezuela: One Country's Enemy, One Country's Fight For Democracy

This article proves that the US can't tolerate any country that does not follow the US "free-trade" policies of economics. It is simple economics and yet the US almost goes to war over it. And the US can't tolerate any country that respects its poor population. - សតិវអតុ
From Telesur:
By Tortilla Con Sal 
Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela are all targets of the U.S. government because they challenge control of Latin America and the Caribbean by Western corporate elites and their local allies. By means of soft coups these interests have – at least for now – taken power in Brazil and Argentina, hijacked the government in Ecuador and derailed the peace process in Colombia. Currently, U.S. efforts at regime change focus most urgently on Venezuela and Nicaragua, while reverting to the failed policy of punitive sanctions against Cuba and biding their time for the moment in Bolivia.
Despite the relentless psychological warfare campaign to discredit them, the governments of Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela defend their peoples' fundamental democratic rights to peaceful economic development focused on human needs rather than corporate profit. This is especially important to understand in the case of Nicaragua. There, the government has democratized the economy to the point where the cooperative, associative and family-based small- and micro-business sectors generate 70 percent of employment, contributing over 50 percent of GDP. 
In their different ways, these four countries – all members of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA) – have developed viable economic models directly opposed to Western corporate monopoly finance capitalism. They all face illegal actions by the U.S. government and its allies aimed at destabilizing – and, if possible, overthrowing – their legitimate governments. They all promote diverse models of genuine political and economic democracy for their peoples. Theirs is a common struggle against the U.S. and European imperial elites, whose governments are desperate to brake their own accelerating decline relative to China, Russia and other majority world countries.

For the rest click here.
All the signs are that – just as in Venezuela – people at the grassroots level in Nicaragua won

Monday, May 28, 2018

US- Another look at Memorial Day- "Whom Will We Honor Memorial Day?"

From Zin Education Project:
By Howard Zinn
Published on June 2, 1976 in the Boston Globe and republished in The Zinn Reader with the brief introduction below.
Memorial Day will be celebrated … by the usual betrayal of the dead, by the hypocritical patriotism of the politicians and contractors preparing for more wars, more graves to receive more flowers on future Memorial Days. The memory of the dead deserves a different dedication. To peace, to defiance of governments.
In 1974, I was invited by Tom Winship, the editor of the Boston Globe, who had been bold enough in 1971 to print part of the top secret Pentagon Papers on the history of the Vietnam War, to write a bi-weekly column for the op-ed page of the newspaper. I did that for about a year and a half. The column below appeared June 2, 1976, in connection with that year’s Memorial Day. After it appeared, my column was cancelled.
* * * * *
Memorial Day will be celebrated as usual, by high-speed collisions of automobiles and bodies strewn on highways and the sound of ambulance sirens throughout the land.
It will also be celebrated by the display of flags, the sound of bugles and drums, by parades and speeches and unthinking applause.
It will be celebrated by giant corporations, which make guns, bombs, fighter planes, aircraft carriers and an endless assortment of military junk and which await the $100 billion in contracts to be approved soon by Congress and the President.
There was a young woman in New Hampshire who refused to allow her husband, killed in Vietnam, to be given a military burial. She rejected the hollow ceremony ordered by those who sent him and 50,000 others to their deaths. Her courage should be cherished on Memorial Day. There were the B52 pilots who refused to fly those last vicious raids of Nixon’s and Kissinger’s war. Have any of the great universities, so quick to give honorary degrees to God-knows-whom, thought to honor those men at this Commencement time, on this Memorial Day?
No politician who voted funds for war, no business contractor for the military, no general who ordered young men into battle, no FBI man who spied on anti-war activities, should be invited to public ceremonies on this sacred day. Let the dead of past wars be honored. Let those who live pledge themselves never to embark on mass slaughter again.
“The shell had his number on it. The blood ran into the ground…Where his chest ought to have been they pinned the Congressional Medal, the DSC, the Medaille Militaire, the Belgian Croix de Guerre, the Italian gold medal, The Vitutea Militara sent by Queen Marie of Rumania. All the Washingtonians brought flowers .. Woodrow Wilson brought a bouquet of poppies.”
For the rest click here.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Memorial Day 2018 —honoring those who fought for US imperialism

By សតិវអតុ
It's this time every year that I post something about Memorial Day. And every year I hear on the TV that we should celebrate the lives given for our freedom. But the idea that people are giving their lives for freedom is the biggest lie this country ever produced. We have not had our freedom defended for many years. Most wars allow our empire to control smaller countries, so we can get the best of their resources, including oil.
We have colonized two countries, Iraq and Afghanistan. We have created in them puppet US style democracies. And bourgeois democracies are the phoniest of them all. This country can't take care of its own citizens and yet claims to be able to "help out" our brothers in other countries. If this country really cared about democracy we would have pulled support for Saudi Arabia years ago.

That there are those of us who believe this country does not fight for democracy and freedom is the BIGGEST secret in the country today!

The Dead Kennedys - Rambozo the Clown