Nepal: Revolutionary Doubletalk from Prachanda

[In this interview, UCPNM Chairman Prachanda speaks of establishing a new democratic federal republic of the people and of a possible insurrection.  He also states that “the movement for civilian supremacy, national independence, peace, constitution and national government [a coalition government with the bourgeois-feudal Nepali Congress and UML parties led by the UCPNM] will continue until it achieves complete success.”

The latter formulation is taken almost word for word from the February 4 statement of the UCPNM Central Committee. Thus, Prachanda is talking out of both sides of his mouth. Also bear in mind that he is speaking to an international audience in this interview, which may account for its left verbiage.-ed]

This interview was published in the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)’s international journal, Maoist Information Bulletin (Vol. 04, No. 13).

Prachanda: It is quite clear that the current transitional political situation is very sensitive and delicate.

The ongoing peace process and the process of drafting a new constitution are in a critical situation. The domestic and foreign reactionary and regressive elements are continuously conspiring against the aspiration of the people’s peace and constitution.

But we think that politically conscious Nepalese people will be able to overcome all the challenges created by the reactionaries and ultimately people will be victorious. Continue reading

Egypt: Striking Workers Confront Government

Michael Slackman, The New York Times
CAIRO — Day after day, hundreds of workers from all over Egypt have staged demonstrations and sit-ins outside Parliament, turning sidewalks in the heart of the capital into makeshift camps and confounding government efforts to bring an end to the protests.

Nearly every day since February, protesters have chanted demands outside Parliament during daylight and laid out bedrolls along the pavement at night. The government and its allies have been unable to silence the workers, who are angry about a range of issues, including low salaries.

Using an emergency law that allows arrest without charge and restricts the ability to organize, the Egyptian government and the ruling National Democratic Party have for decades blocked development of an effective opposition while monopolizing the levers of power. The open question — one that analysts say the government fears — is whether the workers will connect their economic woes with virtual one-party rule and organize into a political force.

This week, with blankets stacked neatly behind them, at least four different groups were banging pots, pans and empty bottles and chanting slogans. There were factory workers, government workers, employees of a telephone company and handicapped men and women. The group of handicapped people said they had been there for 47 days, demanding jobs and housing. Continue reading

18 U.S. Veterans Commit Suicide Every Day

Army Times

Troubling new data show there are an average of 950 suicide attempts each month by veterans who are receiving some type of treatment from the Veterans Affairs Department. Seven percent of the attempts are successful, and 11 percent of those who don’t succeed on the first attempt try again within nine months.

The numbers, which come at a time when VA is strengthening its suicide prevention programs, show about 18 veteran suicides a day, about five by veterans who are receiving VA care.

Access to care appears to be a key factor, officials said, noting that once a veteran is inside the VA care program, screening programs are in place to identify those with problems, and special efforts are made to track those considered at high risk, such as monitoring whether they are keeping appointments. Continue reading

Schumer’s Anti-Immigrant Bill is No Substitute for Arizona Police State Law

Statement of Unity on May 1st April 27, 2010

Immigrant Communities in Action, New York City

“A Call to Immigrant Organizations & Workers Centers: Arizona’s Law Should NOT Be a Call for Schumer’s Comprehensive Immigration Reform Blueprint”

“We believe our blueprint is even stronger than the Arizona senators’ proposal in stopping the flow of illegal immigrants because our plan both increases border security and prevents employers from hiring illegal immigrants”

- Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/93077-schumer-slams-mccains-immigration-plan

Last week as Arizona became the focal point of the immigrant rights struggle, Senator Schumer clearly articulated the heart of his “blueprint” for Comprehensive Immigration Reform- more of the very same dangerous, anti-immigrant, criminalization passed as SB1070 in Arizona.

Across the nation, the last month has turned into of the most historic moments for the immigrant rights movement in the U.S.   As the worst anti-immigrant law was signed in Arizona, millions across the country are gearing up to pour out into the streets again on May 1st for real immigration reform. Continue reading

Philippines: NDF Exposes US-Arroyo Regime’s Plans to Stay in Power

Be prepared for looming political crisis and pave the way for strategic stalemate in the people’s war in five years

Fr. Santiago “Sanny” Salas, Spokesperson, NDF-Eastern Visayas

April 24, 2010

We celebrate today the 37th founding anniversary of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, a significant occasion for the revolutionary forces, the people, and their allies. The alliance of revolutionary organizations was formed immediately after the imposition of martial law to unite with other forces in fighting the Marcos fascist dictatorship and in striving for a society enjoying national sovereignty, genuine democracy, social justice, progress, and peace. Today, the reactionary ruling system once again faces political turmoil as the incumbent Arroyo regime plans to steal or derail the coming election on May 10 to remain in power.

While the reactionary ranks are in grave disarray, the revolutionary movement and the people must hold the political initiative and further advance the revolution. We are guided by the goal of achieving the strategic stalemate in the people’s war in the next five years.

It is highly possible that the Arroyo regime will sabotage the planned poll automation, which is in fact expected to have a failure rate of up to 30 percent as admitted by the Commission on Elections itself. Despite assurances for an alternative manual counting of ballots, the top positions of the presidency, vice-presidency and the senate may not be settled at all by the June 30 proclamation deadline.

This can be then taken advantage of by Gloria Arroyo who will insist on extending her rule as a “transition president”. Aside from that, Arroyo is also preparing to win a seat in the new Congress, become Speaker, and push for charter change and install herself as prime minister to remain in power. Continue reading

Take Back the Land Movement Calls for May Month of Action to House People All Over the U.S.

This article is excerpted from a 12 page brochure produced by the Land and Housing Action Group of the US Human Rights Network, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

The following report on ABC World News describes the reversal of an eviction in Miami, Florida by the Take Back the Land Movement. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skZgEEY1UWE&feature=player_embedded#!

The Housing Crisis

On the heels of a multi-billion dollar public bailout of the financial sector, major banks and financial institutions are enjoying near record profits, with executives taking home multi-million dollar bonuses.

At the same time, those very same banks continue to foreclose on and evict tens of thousands of families from their homes, families without access to federal bailouts and taxpayer subsidized bonuses. Families and, indeed, entire communities, are devastated by the deepening economic crisis and the impact of that crisis on housing security. Low income communities of color, particularly women in those communities, are disproportionately impacted. The financial industry, and the government which supports that industry, will not solve this crisis.

May 2010 Month of Action

To address the land and housing crisis, as well as the enormous transfer of wealth from the public to private financial institutions through the government bailout, the Take Back the Land Movement is calling for a May 2010 national month of action.

The objectives of the month of action are to:

• house people;

• stop evictions; and

• build momentum for the long term struggle to elevate housing to the level of a human right. Continue reading

People’s Democracy vs. Parliamentary Democracy in India

Mass meeting in Dandakaranya forest region

 

A Look into the Work of the People’s Governments in Dandakaranya Special Zone

Raago, in People’s March, September 2007

Parliamentary democracy in India is much hailed. India is said to be the biggest democracy in the world. This democracy is known to be ‘ for the people, by the people and of the people’. The past more than half a century proved this democracy to be sham.  People of India and all over the world are vexed with the ineffectiveness and misappropriation of the ‘democratic institutions’ like the court, police, jail and the administrative machinery. Essential services like water and electricity are a point of agitation in many parts of the country almost every day.

And it is inaccessible to the adivasi population who constitute one important section of the population of the country. The presence of the parliamentary democratic institutions and minimum medical services are not seen in most of the adivasi areas of the country. It is true that the people in these areas were at a loss, away from the ‘modern’ world.

But for the past few years, things took a different turn in some parts of the adivasi areas. While the North Eastern states and some other areas are fighting for the liberation of their nationalities from the domination of the Indian state, the adivasis of the central part of the country and a few other eastern states sought a different alternative. They started forming a people’s government of their own.

‘People’s democracy’ found birth in the most ‘backward’, ‘uncivilized’ areas of the country. It continued to develop in divergent ways and levels. The achievements of this people’s democracy prove that this is a real kind of democracy, a democracy of the people, by the people and for the people in its actual sense. The main principles of this democracy are collective functioning and democratic centralism, the Maoist principles. Continue reading