Philippines: NPA Raids Army Base, Seizes 11 High-Powered Rifles

philippinerevolution.net

NPA raids 28th IB-patrol base, confiscates 11 high-powered rifles

Simon Santiago

Regional Political Department, Merardo Arce Command, NPA-Southern Mindanao

A composite team of the New People’s Army’s 3rd Pulang Bagani Company and Front 18 Operations Command in Southern Mindanao raided the 28th Infantry Battalion-AFP patrol base Monday, May 24 at 12 noon in Sitio Chapter, Brgy. Maputi in Banaybanay, Davao Oriental. Three were instantly killed and four were wounded on the enemy side, while two surrendered and were freed by the Red fighters.

The NPA seized 11 high-powered rifles: two minimi sub-machine guns, two M203 grenade launcher, three M14 rifles, three Garand rifles and one M16 rifle. One comrade was martyred in this operation.

Indian Rights Groups Protest Government Intimidation of Opponents of Operation Green Hunt

The recent alert regarding use of Section 39 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), issued by the gov­ernment in so-called “public interest”, has brought into the open what had so far been implicit in its anti-Maoist policy. The purpose of the circular is to intimidate voices of protests and dissent over govern­ment policies, particularly with regard to Operation Green Hunt. The statement criminalises dissent and makes a mockery of the spirit of critical inquiry, which is at the foundation of a strong democracy. As members of civil rights groups, we consider the statement as an attack on civil society and reminiscent of the Emergency era.

The content of the circular shows a complete disregard of the concerns ex­pressed by the Supreme Court when it rebuked the Chhattisgarh government for labelling human rights activists and legitimate activities as “sympathetic” to “Naxals”, or the more recent concerns ex­pressed by the chief justice over the gov­ernment’s war against its own people. It is not surprising that the government has also chosen to ignore the “sympathetic” and undoubtedly saner voices in its own ranks, which have a different perspective on addressing the problem.

We condemn the government’s threat to use extraordinary draconian laws such as UAPA to constrain freedom of expres­sion and free and informed debate on issues that are of crucial importance for the country. We further condemn the government for targeting political and civil rights groups who are carrying out their democratic responsibility of ensuring equal protection of the Constitution to all sections of society.

Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR, Punjab)

Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC, Andhra Pradesh)

Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR, West Bengal)

Bandi Mukti Committee (West Bengal) Continue reading

Monsanto’s Poison Pills for Haiti

Monsanto, Haiti’s “New Earthquake”

by Ronnie Cummins,Founder and Director, Organic Consumers Association

“A new earthquake” is what Haitian peasant farmer leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) called the news that Monsanto will be dumping 60,000 seed sacks (475 tons) of hybrid corn seeds and vegetable seeds on Haiti, seeds doused with highly toxic fungicides such as thiram, known to be extremely dangerous to farm workers. Hybrid seeds, like GMO seeds (in contrast to Creole heirloom or organic seeds) require lots of water, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides. In addition, if a small farmer tries to save hybrid seeds after harvest, hybrid seeds usually do not “breed true” or grow very well in the second season, forcing the now-indentured peasant to buy seeds from Monsanto or one of the other hybrid/GMO seed monopolies in perpetuity. Monsanto wanted initially to dump GMO seeds on Haiti, but even the corrupt Haitian government knew that this would spark a rebellion, so Monsanto cleverly decided to dump hybrid seeds instead. The Haitian small farmers organization has committed to burning Monsanto’s seeds, and has called for a march to protest the corporation’s presence in Haiti on June 4, for World Environment Day. Continue reading

Mordechai Vanunu, Whistle Blower on Israel’s Nuclear Weapons Program, Jailed Again

Israel's nuclear weapons facility at Dimona

By Eileen Fleming

23 May, 2010, Countercurrents.org

Beginning in 1986, Mordechai Vanunu’s life was sacrificed on the altar of TRUTH largely because THE MEDIA failed at its commission to go, seek and report THE TRUTH, no matter how inconvenient, ugly or brutal.

“Vanunu told the world that Israel had developed between one hundred and two hundred atomic bombs [in 1986!] and had gone on to develop neutron bombs and thermonuclear weapons. Enough to destroy the entire Middle East and nobody has done anything about it since.”-Peter Hounam, 2003 for the BBC.

On April 30, 2007, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, convicted Vanunu on 14 [out of 21] counts of violating a court order prohibiting him from speaking to foreign journalists in 2004. Vanunu was also convicted for traveling the four miles from Jerusalem to Bethlehem when he hoped to attend Christmas Eve mass at the Church of the Nativity, his first Christmas after being released from 18 years in jail [most of it in solitary] on April 21, 2004.

On July 2, 2007, Israel sentenced Vanunu to six more months in jail for speaking to foreign media in 2004. On September 23, 2008, the Jerusalem District Court reduced Mordechai Vanunu’s six-month jail sentence for speaking with foreign media in 2004, to three months, “In light of (Vanunu’s) ailing health and the absence of claims that his actions put the country’s security in jeopardy.”

Vanunu is scheduled to return to jail on May 23, 2010, because the Israeli Supreme Court refused his offer to do community service in occupied east Jerusalem, as they do not view that side of town to be a part of their community. Continue reading

Philippines: CPP Statement on the Elections

“More and more, it becomes clear to the people that they do not enjoy real democracy under the ruling political system, and that the reactionary elections are only there to make them believe that democracy exists.”

“For the people to enjoy real democracy, they must make revolution to overthrow the oppressive puppet state of the reactionary ruling classes. They must replace it with one that is built directly from their strength, especially from the mass of the workers and peasants, on the basis of their national and democratic aspirations.”–CPP

A reprise of the recently concluded reactionary elections

by the Communist Party of the Philippines

May 22, 2010

The recently concluded reactionary elections, seemingly “modernized” with automation, was as rotten to the core as ever. The return to power of the Aquino-Cojuangco clan and its Kamag-anak Inc., through apparent president-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III; the repositioning of the Marcoses–Imelda, Ferdinand Jr. and Imee; the continuing domination of Congress by the Arroyos, now with Gloria Arroyo herself elected congressman; and many more of the like all point to the indictment of the recent reactionary elections as nothing but a big sham foisted by the reactionary ruling classes upon the masses.

Such rottenness reeks down the line with the perpetuation or return to power of big warlord-political dynasties such as the Dys of Isabela, the Singsons of Ilocos Sur, the Ortegas of La Union, the Pinedas of Pampanga, the Jalosjoses of Zamboanga, the Garcias of Cebu, the Dimaporos of Lanao and so on with the usual “guns, goons and gold,” and now electronic cheating.

Despite allout efforts to keep them from winning, a few progressives are expected to gain seats in Congress as representatives of grassroots party-list organizations. Within parliament, they can espouse the patriotic, democratic and other basic interests of the people and help advance the struggles of the people in coordination with the democratic mass movement. They will, however, always be outvoted by the overwhelming majority composed of representatives of imperialist, comprador and feudal interests, especially when it comes to fundamental issues concerning national sovereignty, land reform, national industrialization and the welfare of the toiling masses. Continue reading

US to Continue Occupation / Military Base in Okinawa

New York Times
May 23, 2010
Okinawa Protest

Protesters on Okinawa held banners that said “Anger” after the announcement that the airbase would remain on the island.

TOKYO — Reneging on a prominent campaign promise, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama told outraged residents of Okinawa on Sunday that an American air base would be moved only to the north side of the island rather than off the island.

The announcement, a victory for the Obama administration and a humiliating setback for Mr. Hatoyama, confirmed what the Japanese media had been reporting for weeks: that he would accept Washington’s demands to honor a 2006 agreement to move the United States Marine Air Station Futenma to the island’s less populated north.

Irate crowds greeted his arrival on Okinawa on Sunday with bright yellow signs that said “Anger,” and showered him with jeering cries of “Go home!” And in Tokyo, opposition leaders and even members of his own governing coalition assailed him for having turned the relocation into a huge political issue, only to go back to the original agreement.

While defending his decision on strategic grounds, Mr. Hatoyama conceded that it was “heartbreaking,” and offered the islanders his “heartfelt apology for causing much confusion.” Continue reading

It Ain’t Just Arizona: Obama the Deporter

This article was posted on http://www.kasamaproject.org

by Mike Ely

Arizona has become a lightening rod of anger — from those who hate the persecution of immigrants. That is a good thing — an exciting and much needed jolt!  But we all need to ask whether there should also not be much more attention on those actively doing the deporting: I.e. the Obama Administration.

We should ask ourselves if there isn’t some conscious and calculated misdirection  involved in the Democratic establishment  denouncing specifically a very mean-spirited Arizona law (passed by Republicans), while their team (which after all has power!) has escalated the deportations nationally.

Let’s be clear on a key point:

The White House accuses the Arizona law of unjustly profiling Latinos who are legal — whilethey themselves escalate the deportation of those who are illegal.  Is that a stand we want to take? No.

We want to stand up precisely for the rights of the undocumented — to demand their legalization. To demand an end to their persecution.To welcome their bold participation in this society. To demand  their right to speak and live — and yes have political power. To expose the injustice of combining  capitalist exploitation in the fields and sweatshops with street persecution by police and ICE agents. Continue reading

West Bengal: Paramilitary Troops Assault Journalists

Central Reserve Police Force, the world's largest paramilitary force

Press Trust of India

Kolkata, May 20 : The West Bengal government today said it has received a preliminary report on the alleged assault by CRPF personnel of journalists at the landmine blast site at Ramgarh in which five CRPF personnel were killed.

“A preliminary report was submitted, but I have not gone through it and cannot say what happened,” Chief Secretary Ardhendu Sen told reporters when asked about the incident.

The Press Club Kolkata condemned the assault on the journalists that allegedly took place yesterday.  “Journalists should be allowed to to do their professional duties,” the Press Club said in a statement.

One of the journalists who was allegedly assaulted said, the Jhargram area police refused to register an FIR in the incident and made a general diary entry.  Another scribe claimed he had to be hospitalised because of injuries received in the assault.

Orissa: 17 Adivasis Tortured in Anti-Maoist Operations

The Hindu

Koraput/Khammam:  Seventeen Adivasi villagers of Samna in Orissa’s Narayanpatna block claim that they were brutally assaulted in custody last week, an allegation the police have denied.

According to the villagers, they were picked up on May 9, as part of a joint operation conducted by the Orissa and Andhra Pradesh police along the inter-State border, airlifted to a police station in Andhra Pradesh and held in custody for three days before being released on May 14.

“Uniformed policemen surrounded our village on Sunday morning [May 9], when we were leaving for the market,” said Nachika Jaddo, one of those who were picked up. “Seventeen men, including two dokras [old men] were rounded up, beaten up and then dragged to a spot 2 km away.”

The villagers were then bundled into a waiting helicopter, blindfolded and flown to the Salur police station in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh. Continue reading

Iranian Kurdistan: General Strike Protests Executions of 5 Political Prisoners

17 May 2010. A World to Win News Service.

The people have still not been able to come to terms with the extreme brutality of the Iranian regime that executed five political prisoners, four of them Kurds, at Evin prison in Tehran in the early hours of 9 May. They were Farzad Kamangar, Shirin Alam-Houly, Ali Heidarian, Farhad Vakili and Mehdi Eslamia.

Kurdish people in Iran and people in the country as a whole have continued to express their anger against a regime that viciously and deliberately is killing the best and most conscious of the country’s sons and daughters to prolong its shameless and backward rule.

The most significant of protests in the last few days was the successful 13 May general strike in Kurdistan in response to a call from all the Kurdish political organisations and with the support of revolutionary political parties and organisations all over the country.

Starting in the morning of that day, reports, photos and videos posted on the Web s indicated that the Kurdish people were determined to respond to the regime’s brutal act. The Kurdish Web site Rouzh-halat reported that in Kamyaran, where the most prominent of the executed prisoners, Farzad Kamangar, was born, lived and worked, the whole city was shut down except for governmental offices attended by the Herasat (representatives of the security forces in the universities and workplaces) and of course the security forces. There were reports that the security forces were patrolling the city, but nevertheless people were able to gather in front of Farzad’s home several times that day. Continue reading

The Gulf Oil Spill…And a System not Fit to be the Planet’s Caretakers

[Revolution editors’ note: The following article draws on a May 4 talk given by Raymond Lotta on the Gulf of Mexico environmental disaster, at Revolution Books in New York City; audio of the talk is available for download at revolutionbooksnyc.org.]

A massive oil spill is taking place in the Gulf of Mexico—a devastating disaster that threatens to become an unparalleled environmental catastrophe.

The April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform, operated by British Petroleum (BP), killed 11 workers and unleashed an underwater volcano of gushing oil from one mile below the water’s surface. Estimates are that 210,000 gallons of oil are spewing out every day; the area covered by the spill stretches 240 miles east to west and 100 miles north to south. And the spill continues to spread.

The spill endangers fragile salt marshlands, fresh-water ponds, creeks, lakes, and other wetlands around the Gulf region, which contains up to 40% of total U.S. wetlands. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries estimates at least 400 species—from shrimp to pelicans to river otters and many others—could be impacted by the oil, including a dozen considered endangered.

Oil has already hit offshore islands. But the danger is not only to ecosystems on shore. Oil spills can be devastating to species living in the sea, and there are interactions between marine and shore life in the life cycles of many species. Around this time of the year, the eggs and larvae of dozens of species of fish and shellfish spend their earliest days floating on the water surface, where the oil from the spill sits. The oil is also lethal to adult turtles, dolphins, and fish. Already, more than 30 loggerhead sea turtles have washed onto beaches, their flesh oozing blood. A biologist told the New York Times, “The iconic images of oiled seabirds are just the tip of the iceberg, because oil spills affect life up and down the food chain.” Continue reading

Deconstructing the Myth: AFRICOM’s “Humanitarian Projects”

Huffington Post

Sri Lanka: 170,000 Tamil Refugees Need Housing

A year after the end of the 30 year war, an estimated 73 thousand families are still living in refugee camps, with no future prospects. Everyone should be given everyone a home to help them resume a normal life. A former rebel leader, now a member of the government, speaks.

By Asia News

Colombo – 170 thousand homes are still needed for refugees of the bloody civil war in Sri Lanka, which lasted more than 30 years. Exactly one year after its end, 19 May 2009, the situation of thousands of people who lost homes and jobs, remains grave.  According to the Red Cross at least 260 thousand homes were damaged in the war.

Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, Deputy Minister for Rehabilitation and a former top-level leader of the defeated Tamil Tigers, last week said that “about 17 thousand homes are required in the east, the rest are needed in the North”.  170 thousand are needed to house all of the remaining refugees.

According to the deputy minister in the Wanni area alone there were 280 thousand refugees. The government has often replied that the program of resettlement of refugees had to wait for mine clearance in many areas of the north. But he says that 80% of the north has now been cleared of landmines.

73 thousand refugees still live in internally displaced persons camps in the north, often with minimal services and with little or no job opportunities, scraping by on what little is guaranteed by state and charitable groups, but without being able to plan any future. Continue reading

India: Financial Times (UK) Counting Heads of Maoist Supporters

Maoist rebels find support among India’s elite

By Amy Kazmin in Hyderabad

Nearly 200 activists, intellectuals and professionals met recently on a hot night in Hyderabad to celebrate a new translation of the prison writings of Varavara Rao, an unabashed ideologue for the Maoist rebels threatening the security of swaths of the interior.

The Maoists in the country’s impoverished tribal belt have stepped up their campaign, generating outrage in the political establishment.

Varavara Rao, Revolutionary Poet

Yet the Hyderabad audience was enthralled as Mr Rao, a retired college lecturer, spoke of his eight years in prison and read passages from his book. The fêting of a man cited by Maoist leaders as an inspiration for their struggle highlights the sympathy the insurgency enjoys among urban intellectuals and students.

For them the rebels articulate legitimate grievances of India’s most marginalised citizens even if they don’t support their violent tactics.

As P. Chidambaram, India’s interior minister, steps up his offensive against the guerrillas, he is waging an intensifying battle against the rebels’ urban support base.

New Delhi warned this month that intellectuals and academics disseminating “Maoist propaganda” could face up to 10 years imprisonment, a threat denounced by human rights groups as stifling debate. Continue reading