Aug 26, 2012 by TheRealNews
Yael Berda’s new book The Bureaucracy of Occupation sheds light on
Israel’s more invisible control over the Palestinians. For more http://www.therealnews.com
[“There’s no voice greater than the voice of the intifada” (Image courtesy of the artist)]
Graffiti has been a tool of the Palestinian liberation struggle for decades; during the first intifada in the late 1980s and early ’90s, Palestinians painted graffiti on all the walls as a means of protesting the occupation. Graffiti artists were met with brutal suppression if caught.
Young Palestinians are carrying on the legacy of art as a form of resistance today. On 12 January, an unknown group penetrated the heavily-fortified heart of West Jerusalem overnight and painted graffiti bearing political messages on walls, doors, construction sites and other surfaces. Most of the paintings pictured a woman’s face masked with a kuffiyeh, the traditional Palestinian checkered scarf. Below some of the images was the word “revolt” in Arabic.
The group hit the walls of Jerusalem again five days later, and issued an anonymous statement vowing to carry on their action to send messages to the Israeli and Palestinian communities.
And in June, the Jerusalem activists took a daring step by painting graffiti on the doors and walls of governmental buildings as well as the doorways of Israeli houses in Jerusalem and Palestinian houses occupied since the ethnic cleansing of 1948. They sent the same messages calling upon Palestinians in general, and Palestinian women in particular, to revolt. They also painted “Remember Gaza” across the wall of one of the buildings in big letters.
A member of the group, a confident young Palestinian feminist activist who operates under the pseudonym “Laila,” spoke to The Electronic Intifada on condition of anonymity. Laila has been active in street art in Palestine before the creation of the anonymous Jerusalem group, focusing on painting both the walls of West and East Jerusalem.
“Some of the street art I have done was in what has now become West Jerusalem in Jewish-dominated areas,” said Laila. “Some other stuff I have done is in East Jerusalem where messages have been more about feminist messages to [Palestinian] women, mostly to wake up and not be drowned out by the patriarchal nature of our society.” (more…)
Ram Kishen, 52, half-blind and half- starved, holds in his gnarled hands the reason for his hunger: a tattered card entitling him to subsidized rations that now serves as a symbol of India’s biggest food heist.
Kishen has had nothing from the village shop for 15 months. Yet 20 minutes’ drive from Satnapur, past bone-dry fields and tiny hamlets where children with distended bellies play, a government storage facility five football fields long bulges with wheat and rice. By law, those 57,000 tons of food are meant for Kishen and the 105 other households in Satnapur with ration books. They’re meant for some of the 350 million families living below India’s poverty line of 50 cents a day.
Instead, as much as $14.5 billion in food was looted by corrupt politicians and their criminal syndicates over the past decade in Kishen’s home state of Uttar Pradesh alone, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The theft blunted the country’s only weapon against widespread starvation — a five-decade-old public distribution system that has failed to deliver record harvests to the plates of India’s hungriest.
“This is the most mean-spirited, ruthlessly executed corruption because it hits the poorest and most vulnerable in society,” said Naresh Saxena, who, as a commissioner to the nation’s Supreme Court, monitors hunger-based programs across the country. “What I find even more shocking is the lack of willingness in trying to stop it.” (more…)
Filed under: Economy-India, Imperialism, India, plunder, Women-India, Working Class | Tagged: corruption, food, india, political system, politics of hunger, politics of starvation, starvation | 2 Comments »
Lawyers say 270 workers will not get fair trial over strike massacre and demand their release
State prosecutors have charged 270 strikers arrested at Marikana platinum mine with the murder of 34 colleagues. The arrests went ahead despite confirmation that the victims were shot dead by police, in the latest setback to prospects of peace in the South African mining industry.
The strike at Marikana that called for 3,000 rock drillers to have their monthly pay increased to 12,500 rand (£940) has led to a total of 44 deaths, including those of two policemen and two security guards. In shocking scenes on 16 August, police opened fire on a group of miners, killing 34 and injuring 78.
Lawyers acting for the detained men yesterday appeared for a third day at Ga-Rankuwa magistrate’s court to argue for them to be released on bail, after it emerged that state prosecutor Nigel Carpenter had increased the charges against the men from attempted murder and public violence to murder. Meanwhile, government mediators yesterday met representatives from the mine owner, Lonmin, and four trade unions in an attempt to sign a peace accord as a precursor to wage talks. The Marikana mine was at a standstill with only 7.7 per cent of employees reporting for work – the lowest figure since the strike began on 10 August. (more…)
The massacre of the Marikana/Lonmin workers has inserted itself within South Africa’s national consciousness, not so much through the analysis, commentary and reporting in its wake. Instead, it has been the power of the visual images of police armed with awesome fire power gunning down these workers, together with images of bodies lying defeated and lifeless, that has aroused a national outcry and wave of condemnation. These images have also engendered international protest actions outside South African embassies. In themselves these images communicate a politics about ‘official state power’. It is bereft of moral concern, de-humanised, brutal and at odds with international human rights standards; in these ways it is no different from apartheid era state sponsored violence and technologies of oppressive rule. Moreover, the images of police officers walking through the Marikana/Lonmin killing field, with a sense of professional accomplishment in its aftermath, starkly portrays a scary reality: the triumph of South Africa’s state in its brutal conquest of its enemies, its citizens.
Filed under: Africa, ANC government, South Africa, Urban poor struggles, Workers struggles | Tagged: Abahlali base Mjondolo, African National Congress, ANC, anc government, apartheid south africa, class divisions, class struggle, post apartheid, Shack Dwellers movement, South Africa, unemployed peoples movement | Leave a Comment »
[On 14th of April 2012, the "Jan Myrdal great award, the Lenin award" was presented in a theatre in Varberg, Sweden. Individuals from different countries and from different parts of of Sweden came for the celebration. Many of participants stayed at Hotell Gästis in central Varberg, where Indiensolidaritet interviewed the secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front of India, G.N.Saibaba.]
Indiensolidaritet, Sweden, August 28, 2012
Interview with G.N.Saibaba in Varberg Sweden, 14-15th April 2012
Indiensolidaritet: Can you say something about the political work you do in India?
From the year 2009 onwards Operation Green Hunt began, the Indian state’s genocidal war on the poorest of the poor in India. All of us in our organization RDF work with other parties, groups, democratic organisations and individuals to raise our voice collectively and unitedly against the present military onslaught on the people and the extermination campaign against the people of India. We see this massive military operation as a continuation and the latest addition in the war waged by India’s ruling classes against the people of the subcontinent for last many decades be it in Kashmir, North East, Punjab, and now in central and eastern India. So we are at one level involved in the basic struggles of the people and at another we are working along with a large network of political forces and carrying out a countrywide campaign against Indian state’s anti-people policies, particularly Operation Green Hunt.
Indiensolidaritet: The way we see it, there are two lines regarding solidarity work in Europe. One line is trying to unite people on an anti-imperialist and anti-feudal basis and another one focuses more on Maoism. What do you think about this?
Saibaba: Yes, there is this perception and understanding of how to develop the solidarity movement for the peoples‚ struggles and the particularly the military attack on the people that is going on in India. So what I can see is that there are large sections who think that the large sections of the people of India and the larger confrontation is more important to focus on, to tell the world outside India. There is another section of organizations which hold that the present campaign by the Indian state is targeting the revolutionaries in India and therefore the revolutionaries should be supported directly. What is important today is that the people of India, the poorest of the poor 80 percent of the country who live an extremely perilous existence, are looking forward to a basic change in their lives. The poorest section of humanity in the world therefore is waging a defiant struggle in India under the leadership of the revolutionary Maoists who are from among their own. So if you take the larger picture of what is happening in India, you can see that this is a great resistance against the loot of the land and minerals by the corporate sector. Monopoly capital in its desperation to dominate the world’s resources would like to overcome its crisis by exploiting the cheap raw materials in India and other oppressed countries. It’s an attempt by the imperialists, by monopoly capital on the world scale, to transport their burden of the economic crisis upon the shoulders of the poorest of the poor in India.
Removing the people from their homes and hearths has become pertinent for the corporations backed by the government to capture the valuable mineral resources which are estimated to a value of several trillions of dollars. So the resistance movement is built up by the indigenous people, the poorest of the poor, the millions and millions of the wretched of the earth. To crush this movement and to silence all the people the Indian government has sent more than 250,000 armed personnel to these regions backed by its air force and navy. You therefore can see the importance of the struggle. Of course the revolutionary forces are involved. They work in these areas and organise the people, but the question is much larger. It is an anti-imperialist struggle of the people, led by the revolutionary Maoists. This is a larger question because this resistance exists not only in the central and eastern parts of India where the Maoist movement has a strong presence, but extends to every part of India even where the Maoists are absent. (more…)
Filed under: Government Repression, Imperialism, India | Tagged: adivasis, extermination campaign, gn saibaba, india, Jan Myrdal, maoism, mass democratic organizations, massive military operation, Operation Green Hunt, Revolutionary Democratic Front, revolutionary movement | 1 Comment »
[Rachel Corrie in an interview with Saudi Arabian television on 14 March 2003, two days before she was killed. Photograph: Lorenzo Scaraggi/Getty Images]
Judge finds no fault in military investigation that cleared defence force of responsibility for protester being killed by bulldozer
Harriet Sherwood in Haifa
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 28 August 2012
The death of the pro-Palestinian activist Rachel Corrie was not caused by the negligence of the Israeli state or army, a judge has ruled, dismissing a civil lawsuit brought by the family.
Corrie’s death was an accident for which the state of Israel was not responsible, said the judge at Haifa district court.
There had been no fault in the internal Israeli military investigation clearing the driver of the bulldozer that crushed Corrie to death in March 2003 of any blame. The judge said the driver had not seen the young American activist.
Corrie could have saved herself by moving out of the zone of danger as any reasonable person would have done, said Judge Oded Gershon. He ruled that no compensation would be paid and the family would not have to pay costs of the case.
After the ruling was read out by the judge, the family’s lawyer, Hussein Abu Hussein, said: “We knew from the beginning that we had an uphill battle to get truthful answers and justice. But we are concerned that this verdict denies the strong evidence and contradicts the principles of international law.” (more…)
Part 1 of this interview:
Part 2 of this interview:
DemocracyNow.org, August 23, 2012
Explosive new allegations have emerged that the man who gave the Black Panther Party some of its first firearms and weapons training was an undercover FBI informant in California. Richard Aoki, who died in 2009, was an early member of the Panthers and the only Asian American to have a formal position in the group. The claim that Aoki informed on his colleagues is based on statements made by a former bureau agent and an FBI report obtained by investigative journalist Seth Rosenfeld, author of the new book, “Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals and Reagan’s Rise to Power.” But Aoki’s friends and colleagues, as well as scholars, have challenged the book’s findings. We speak to Rosenfeld, an award-winning journalist and author of the article, “Man who armed Black Panthers was FBI informant, records show,” published by the Center for Investigative Reporting; and to Diane Fujino, Aoki’s biographer and a professor and chair of the Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Filed under: Abusive Police, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, COINTELPRO, FBI, Government Repression, History of anti-imperialist/revolutionary movements, infiltration, Media, Racism, U.S. | Tagged: alleged FBI informant, burden of proof, Democracy Now, Diana Fujino, Richard Aoki, Seth Rosenfeld, snitch jacket | Leave a Comment »
Delhi Metro Kamgar Union:
“Efforts to buy industrial peace by covering up the real reasons for the incident
at the Maruti Suzuki will only lead to a greater unrest”
New Delhi, August 21. Various mass organisations, unions and social activists staged a protest demonstration at Jantar Mantar today against the arbitrary expulsion of hundreds of workers Maruti Suzuki by the management and the continued persecution of the workers. The protestors also submitted a memorandum to the union labour minister to revoke the suspension of the workers.
It is to be noted that tha Manesar plant of Maruti Suzuki has opened today itself after a month long lockout. However the management has announced the expulsion of the 500 permanent workers. Also the future of more than 1500 contract workers remains uncertain. The company has threatend to terminate more workers in future.
Despite heavy rainfall since morning, large number of workers and activists coming from Delhi, Ghaziabad, Noida and Gurgaon took part in the demonstration.
While strongly condemning the dictatorial decision of the Maruti Suzuki management, the speakers said that the anti-labour attitude of Haryana government and the Central government stands exposed through their support to this act of pushing the hundreds of workers and their families on the street.
The speakers mentioned that the incident of July 18 at Maruti Suzuki Manesar was not a planned act of violence but an explosion of workers’ anger against the company’s policies which had accumulated over a period of time. But the company has waged a campaign to brand the workers as a “murderous mob” and “criminals” and by puttting all the legal conventions on the back burner the police is on look out for the workers merely on the F.I.R. of one side. Nobody bothered to understand what caused the workers, who were increasing the company’s profit through their hard labour, to take the violent course. (more…)
[The following article, from the website of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, is about a time when popular entertainers often contributed to political movements and to the defense of targets of government repression, because of the strength and influence of the movements. The case described, of Aretha Franklin coming forward to bail Angela Davis out of jail, largely out of solidarity and in opposition to injustice, is posted here as a good example of the times, in which support was given to such revolutionaries as George Jackson as well as to such members of the revisionist CPUSA as Angela Davis. -- Frontlines ed.]
by Kamau Franklin, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
A 1970′s news article on Aretha Franklin’s heroic gesture to pay bail for then recently arrested Angela Davis has been circulating on face-book (link is at end of article). Aretha offered to pay bail stemming from the capture of Angela Davis in New York after a massive FBI woman hunt in 1970. Ms. Davis was charged with murder, kidnapping and conspiracy for allegedly supplying weapons for an attempted courtroom escape led by Jonathan Jackson to free his brother and revolutionary leader George Jackson. Angela Davis already well known for her battles with then California Governor Ronald Reagan over her right to teach in California Universities after being identified as a communist sealed her image as a revolutionary icon in the Black movement. The article has caught the attention of many because of Aretha’s striking and unapologetic stance in offering bail towards Mr. Davis release. Aretha Franklin states
“My Daddy (Detroit’s Rev. C.L. Franklin) says I don’t know what I ‘m doing. Well I respect him of course but I’m going to stick by my beliefs. Angela Davis must go free. Black people will be free. I’ve been locked up (for disturbing the peace in Detroit) and I know you got to disturb the peace when you can’t get no peace. Jail is hell to be in. I’m going to see her free if there is any justice in our courts, not because I believe in Communism, but because she is a Black woman and she wants freedom for black people. I have the money; I got it from black people – they’ve made me financially able to have it – and I want to use it in ways that will help our people”
For context Aretha is speaking during a time in the early 1970′s when the dominant ideological current in the Black community had shifted from civil rights to Black Power. With all the inconsistencies related to the Black Power slogan it is clear that a critical mass of Black people during that time internalized it as statement of Black pride, activism within the community, standing up and forcefully challenging white supremacy over black lives and the contemplation of different forms of struggle and ideological beliefs within while attempting unity to the public. Broad concepts because it lacked the crystallization of an actual program to gain “freedom” but nonetheless during that time the idea of “Black Power” set the tone for community actions and collective responsibility.
Aretha of 1970 states she has “disturbed the peace and has been arrested”. She is hinting to a political arrest not one for drugs, shoplifting or for domestic violence, but for advocating for her people. Aretha Franklin was as big as it gets in terms of mainstream artist during that time in the Black community. She was not touting her donations to charity but her personal involvement and desire to be a part of the movement to free black people and in particular her solidarity with another Black woman.
What makes these statements even more note worthy is that Aretha was more a product of the times than a devout revolutionary artist. She was moved to her position by what was happening around her. Just as today’s pop figures/ artist are also not devout revolutionaries and are moved these days by anything but a movement. As time evolves you can see how in just one generation a figure like Muhammad Ali takes a stance against US military adventurism that costs him millions in personal wealth and prestige from the dominant power players to his daughter Laila’s promotion of US military adventurism in an upcoming television series that will probably earn her great sums. Times and context will mostly dictate this outcome and activist types should not waste much time in a critique of the vast majority of popular artist for not being “political” but instead movement people should be critiqued for hoping that popular figures/artist in today’s context will themselves be committed to community action. (more…)
Filed under: U.S. | Tagged: Angela Davis, aretha franklin, bail, beyonce, california universities, culture as a weapon, governor ronald reagan, jonathan jackson, Kamau Franklin, malcolm X grassroots movement, the movement | 1 Comment »