Oakland: Tempers Flare Over Cancellation of Palestinian Youth Art Exhibit

by Noelle de la Paz , ColorLines.com

Friday, September 30 2011

Residents in Oakland staged a protest recently to oppose the decision of officials at the Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA) to cancel a scheduled exhibit of Palestinian children’s artwork. For some local residents, the cancellation is a seemingly petty effort to stifle self expression and political dissent led by small children.

Nearly one hundred Bay Area residents held a demonstration last Friday to speak out against what they called the censorship of the children’s artwork. The protest was co-sponsored by over twenty organizations, including the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC). A spirited crowd of local youth and exhibit organizers gathered outside in front of the museum with live music by the Brass Liberation Orchestra, then made their way down the street to an alternate venue secured just the day before. Continue reading

Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike


Sep 28, 2011

RAMALLAH: The Palestinian Minister of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Issa Qaraqi’ on Tuesday said that Palestinian and Arab prisoners have gone on a hunger strike to protest the Israeli Prison Service’s (IPS) measures against them and their families.

Qaraqi’ said in a statement that the prisoners currently held in 23 prisons and detention camps in Israel and in the West Bank “returned their breakfast meals to protest deliberate violation of their basic rights by the IPS.” He added that the strike began after their representatives’ meeting with Israeli Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch in the Nafha (Rimon) prison to discuss the violation failed. Continue reading

California Prisoners hunger strike for human rights brings vicious threats and suppression

Round 2, Day 4: Hunger Strike Expands & Exposes ‘Perfect Storm’ in CA

As released yesterday, Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity has confirmed that at least 6,000 California prisoners in jails, General Population, Administrative Segregation (Ad-Seg/ASU) and Security Housing Units (SHUs) are hunger striking for the human rights of California’s SHU-status prisoners. We have confirmed prisoners are striking at Pelican Bay, Calipatria, CCI Tehachapi, Centinela, Corcoran, Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, and West Valley Detention Center.

The California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) has not released the total number of prisons, or which prisons prisoners are striking at. The CDCR withheld accurate numbers for several days after the first round of the strike in July until we pressured reporters to investigate and force the CDCR to release information. We know the CDCR is not releasing accurate numbers, and that many more prisoners are participating and supporting the strike in various ways. Continue reading

4,000 Prisoners On Hunger Strike In California

by Judy M.

Prison officials in California confirmed on Thursday, September 29, that more than 4,000 inmates have been on a hunger strike since Monday.

It’s the second time this year that inmates have refused food to protest a prison system’s use of Security Housing Units — known as “the SHU” — to control prison gangs.

They were also protesting inhumane prison policies, including a policy that allowed nearly half of Pelican Bay’s 1,111 prisoners to be held in solitary confinement for more than ten years. According to the California Department of Corrections, 78 prisoners have been held in solitary confinement for more than 20 years. Continue reading

When India deported US journalist, attention turns to the information being blocked

The dead begin to speak up in India

A Kashmiri farmer walks past unmarked graves in Bimyar, west of Srinagar, in 2009. Photograph: Mukhtar Khan/AP

Kashmir is one of two war zones in India from which no news must come. But those in unmarked graves will not be silenced 

    by Arundhati Roy, guardian.co.uk

    Thursday 29 September 2011

At about 3am, on 23 September, within hours of his arrival at the Delhi airport, the US radio-journalist David Barsamian was deported. This dangerous man, who produces independent, free-to-air programmes for public radio, has been visiting India for 40 years, doing such dangerous things as learning Urdu and playing the sitar.

Barsamian has published book-length interviews with public intellectuals such as Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Ejaz Ahmed and Tariq Ali (he even makes an appearance as a young, bell-bottom-wearing interviewer in Peter Wintonick’s documentary film on Chomsky and Edward Herman’s book Manufacturing Consent). Continue reading

Reports surfacing that ICE is going ahead with deportation

[While the DREAM ACT for immigration reform was still a mjor headline story, the Obama administration promised its activists that they were suspending deportations of them.  Now, those promises are like they never were made.  Read this story about one of the DREAM activists. — Frontlines ed.]

by ElDreamerDaniel » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:57 am

http://wfc2.wiredforchange.com/o/8496/p … n_KEY=8164More and more reports are surfacing across the country that ICE agents are not practicing what John Morton, director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, promised would happen — that ICE agents would exercise prosecutorial discretion when handling the deportation cases of people deemed non-security threats.

The opposite has been happening which is gradually disillusioning the Latino community in how sincere the Obama administration was in not deporting DREAM Act students or treating non-threatening undocumented people as terroristic criminals.

One such DREAMer decided to share his story:

Matias Ramos was born in Buenos Aires Argentina in 1986. Him and his family came to the United States in 1999. Matias graduated from UCLA in 2008 with a degree in Political Science with minors in Latin American Studies and Spanish. Continue reading

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Cuffed, Pepper-Sprayed

Published on Sunday, September 25, 2011 by the New York Daily News
by Matt Deluca and Christina Boyle

Women screamed in pain after police rounded them up and sprayed them with pepper spray. (Photo/Jefferson Siegel)

Scores of protesters were arrested in Manhattan Saturday as a march against social inequality turned violent.

Hundreds of people carrying banners and chanting “shame, shame” walked between Zuccotti Park, near Wall St., and Union Square calling for changes to a financial system they say unjustly benefits the rich and harms the poor.

At least 80 people were carted away in police vehicles and up to five were hit with pepper spray near 12th St. and Fifth Ave., where tensions became especially high, police and organizers said.

The National Lawyer’s Guild, which is providing legal assistance to the protesters, put the number of arrests at 100.

Witnesses said they saw three stunned women collapse on the ground screaming after they were sprayed in the face.

A video posted on YouTube and NYDailyNews.com shows uniformed officers had corralled the women using orange nets when two supervisors made a beeline for the women, and at least one suddenly sprayed the women before turning and quickly walking away. Continue reading

Land grab protest in S. China simmers for 4th day

Villagers from Wukan collect signatures in support for a protest in Lufeng, a city of 1.7 million, in the southern Chinese Guangdong province September 23, 2011

Sat, Sep 24 2011

By James Pomfret

LUFENG, China (Reuters) – Hundreds of farmers from two villages in southern China’s economic powerhouse Guangdong province persisted with a fourth straight day of protests on Saturday against brazen land grabs in the latest unrest to roil the region.

Lufeng, a city of 1.7 million, saw violent clashes with authorities earlier in the week, when villagers in the suburb of Wukan ransacked a government office and police station after riot police chased and beat up protesters.

No violence was reported in Saturday’s protests, with security forces noticeably absent.

“We don’t have weapons and armour, nor can we match them for strength, but we have the numbers to protect our village and the lives in it,” said Lin Zuliang, a farmer representative from Wukan who addressed a cheering crowd via loud speaker. Continue reading

Hardliner Nepalese Maoist leader threatens people’s revolution

[This news report from the bourgeois Indian newspaper Indian Express, while describing Nepali leaders in typical anti-communist language (“hardliner” and “strongman”), nonetheless reveals new details on the struggle within the Maoist party as it is being taken further down the parliamentary road.  Key among these details is the breaking point between the Maoist revolutionaries and the former-Maoist constitutionalists over the 4-point agreement to balance the final inclusion (in the Nepal Army) of 7,000 PLA troops with the simultaneous inclusion of 10,000+ pro-Indian Madhesi troops.  Also note: the spelling of Vaidya here is to the same person referred to as Baidya or Kiran elsewhere. — Frontlines ed.]

Sep 24 2011,Kathmandu–Serious differences have cropped up in Nepal’s ruling Maoists with a senior leader Mohan Vaidya giving an ultimatum to part ways with strongman Prachanda and threatening to return to the jungle to start another “people’s revolution.”

The differences in the party have surfaced over the issue of Maoist tieing with Madhesi parties to prop up the new coalition government in the country.

Prachanda had sought clarification from Vaidya yesterday after the latter organised a separate gathering of his followers in the capital on Wednesday.

Vaidya is learnt to have told Prachanda that they were not holding separate meeting, but organising interactive training programme for the party cadres.

During his meeting with Prachanda, Vaidya had warned saying “our ultimate destination is peoples revolution and if the establishment does not agree with the idea, we are ready to go for that alone,” the ‘Annapurna Post’ reported, quoting senior Maoist leader close to Prachanda, Posta Bahadur Bogati. Continue reading

India: Among the warriors of Operation Green Hunt: low morale and growing revolt

Living in a place ‘unfit for humans’, a battalion revolts

Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay , IndianExpress

Sun Sep 25 2011
Shilda, Jhargram
The kitchen at the IRB 1 camp in Shilda, Jhargram. 62 IRB men have been living here for more than a year.

The kitchen at the IRB 1 camp in Shilda, Jhargram. 62 IRB men have been living here for more than a year.

It was one hunger strike that registered barely a blip. But then the 58 jawans, four assistant sub-inspectors and three cooks of the India Reserve Battalion (IRB) 1 are used to being overlooked. It’s been eight straight years now that the men of West Bengal Police’s armed force have served in Maoist-hit areas. For the past year, this has been in a bareknuckle, half-fallen structure, infested with rats, that goes for a camp here, in one of Bengal’s hottest Naxal zones. For drinking water, they have an uncovered well in the compound; for toilet, the open space around the same.

A CRPF unit asked to stay at the camp had refused, saying “Yahaan pe koi insaan nahin rah sakta hai (No human being can live here).”

It was in the hope of a change in their living conditions that the men revolted. On September 20, when ordered to raid an unknown Maoist hideout, 13 jawans at the camp demanded replenishments for their contingent. The Inspector-in-Charge of Binpur Police Station refused and marked all the 58 jawans at the camp “absent”, threatening further departmental action. Continue reading


[The following is a serious tracing of developments in the struggle between revolutionary and revisionist lines among Nepali Maoists, concentrated in the UCPN(M), over the last few years.  In recent weeks and months events have clarified repeatedly the nature of this struggle, and have raised the internationalist responsibilities of revolutionaries worldwide to inform the people’s struggles about the meaning of these differences, and to give all possible assistance to the revolutionaries in Nepal in their time of decisive battle.  It is a good development.

But many international forces have been silent or ambivalent or agnostic on the terms of this struggle, since the PW was ended in 2006.  Some have, earlier, even championed the revisionists as “creative thinkers” and have actually suppressed those who fought for the revolutionary line “prematurely”–and some of these are now singing another tune in support of the revolutionary challenges, but avoiding any summation of their earlier concilation with revisionism.  In contrast is the polemic issued several years ago by the Communist Party of India (Maoist), which led the the most informed critique of the post-people’s war Nepali “Maoist” road.  See  “Open Letter to Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) from the Communist Party of India (Maoist)”, at http://www.bannedthought.net/India/CPI-Maoist-Docs/index.htm. This is the revised and finalized version of this important 24-page document, dated July 20, 2009. — Frontlines ed.]

from Le Drapeau Rouge:

The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has waged a people’s war for ten years, from 1996 to 2006, extending the area of the Party’s influence to 80% of the country.

In 2006, following an alliance with the seven oppositional parties, the Party became legal, stopped armed struggle, agreed to the confining of weapons in containers under UN control. The Party won general election with 40% vote. Prachanda became Prime Minister, at the head of a government including members of the bourgeois parties, even the feudal, pro-imperialist parties and the revisionist parties (the UML) too, it was a government of national union.

Under such conditions, it was almost impossible to establish a real democracy for the people, and implement any land reform. In spite of all, the Party kept and perhaps is still keeping an important possibility of significant mobilization.

A new Constitution was to be installed, but from one retreat to another of the parties allied to the PCN(M), which had since become Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), the Constitution has not yet been enacted. Prachanda, stalled in a deadlock, had to resign when the President of the Republic maintained general Katawal at the head of the armed forces. Some members of the Party are still members of Parliament.

Within the Party, the thesis is put forward that Revolution in Nepal includes several phases : people’s war, parliamentary struggle, stopping of the people’s war, preparation of the masses for insurgency.

There is a difference that appeared in practise. What the Party presented as a tactic in order to prepare conditions for insurgency had turned into a strategy for the introduction of a New Democracy within the conditions of the 21st century in conformity with the “Prachanda path”; and all this was presented as something which could be generalized to all countries in the world and advised to all parties, though there was absolutely no proof of the validity of such thesis, just well otherwise.

From one retreat to another, various tendencies and directions emerged in the UCPN(M). One line favours the establishment of a Republic of Parliamentary Democracy of the bourgeois type. Another (centrist), promotes a strategy of mobilizing masses in coordination with the struggle in Parliament and through heading the State apparatus. It seems to us that this line went bankrupt. Another line states that they want to advance the revolution by giving priority to the mobilization of the masses and transforming the Party from within. This seems extremely difficult at present.

In the spirit of maintaining the unity of the Party, rightwing, centrist and revolutionary positions co-exist. In order to preserve unity at all costs and go on with the line which has led to the present situation of deadlock and current paralysis, and in order to regain the leadership of government as Prime Minister, the Central Committee met and suggested to choose as a candidate for Prime Minister a representative of the bourgeois type of democracy.

The obvious problem arising is that the appointment of a Prime Minister issued from the UCPN (Maoist) will be accompanied by the dissolution of the PLA, the surrender of weapons and the integration of part of it into the National Army headed by a high commander from the old Royal Army. In other words, this means the complete liquidationof the PLA and its complete disarming.

Under these conditions, there are two possibilities.

1. Complete surrender, total renunciation to the prospect of insurgency. It has been five years that the Party has been engaged in these transactions, with no significant progress to solve the issue of “power”. What do the masses think about all this? They are either in expectation for the better, or disappointed for the worse.

2. The resumption of the revolutionary fight, which involves mobilizing the masses. “One divides into two” and not “two combine into one”. One has to choose. The rightist line must be denounced to the masse; the only way is to return to the masses because the masses make history and at the same time suffer when their leaders take false, flickering or liquidationist, revisionist positions.

The best support that should make Maoists in the world is to firmly support the second option, to tell things clearly to our comrades who want to lead the revolution to success and assert our positions. The issue that will prevail and be achieved in Nepal is important for the communist movement as a whole and not only for the Nepalese communists. To criticize the false positions, the inadequate tactics adopted, to denounce the liquidators and revisionists etc. is the best support that we can bring to the relatively correct positions and to the comrades who want to continue the struggle for revolution in Nepal. There are Maoists in Nepal who are fighting for revolution and we must support them against the liquidators !

Notes and precisions :

The above text was written a few days before the election of Bhattarai as Prime Minister. The situation has been made clearer since then, and the liquidators have unveiled their real class nature. If Bhattarai has been able to become Prime Minister, it is due to an agreement between Bhattarai and Prachanda on the one hand and, on the other, the Madhesis parties. It is well known that that the Madhesis parties are the representatives of the Indian interests in Nepal. But what is most disturbing are the contents of the above agreement. One point mentioned is the establishment of an “inclusive democratic republic”. It is just the opposite of the Party line of a” Federal People’s Republic”. The agreement also includes the establishment of a separated unit inside the Nepalese Army for 10 000 Madhesis at the very moment when the PLA is being disarmed and when the plans for its integration under command of the Nepalese Army. Furthermore, little time before the liquidation of the PLA through its disarmament, the government headed by Bhattarai ordered the districts governments to hand over all the lands seized by the Maoists during the People’s War. What will the masse be able to keep?

But the liquidators must face opposition and Hari Gyawali, a maoist leader in the Kochila district stated:” We have obtained lands in exchange of our blood. We cannot give this land back as long as the agrarian revolution is not implemented.” “The government will have to face confrontation if it uses coercive means.” “The squatters, the Kamaiyas (former serfs) and the martyrs’ families are using these lands. We shall not give them back as long as a revolutionary agrarian reform is not implemented.” Furthermore, the left wing of the Party is organizing its own training meetings throughout the country. The situation might turn to open confrontation. In any case, the Central Committee is due to meet on September 30th. In the meantime, let us carefully examine a situation which might evolve rapidly.

Le Drapeau Rouge,

Organe du Parti Communiste maoïste de France


Attica’s 40th Anniversary: Still on the Wrong Road

[An important survey and review of the US’ mass incarceration program from the time of the Attica Rebellion, 40 years ago, to the present. — Frontlines ed.]
Saturday 24 September 2011
by: Michael E. Deutsch, Truthout

September 9 marks 40 years since the uprising at Attica State Prison, in upstate New York, and the deadly and sadistic retaking of the prison – and mass torture of hundreds of prisoners all the rest of the day and night and beyond – by state police and prison guards on the morning of September 13. When the shooting stopped and the gas lifted, 29 unarmed prisoners and ten hostages were dead, slaughtered by the assault force.

Over a hundred more prisoners were shot, some maimed for life and many others seriously injured. In addition, almost the entire 1,200-plus prisoners who occupied D yard and had hoped that their demands for humane treatment would be addressed by the authorities, were systematically stripped and beaten, made to run gauntlets of club swinging police as they were herded back into cells, while dozens of supposed leaders and other special targets were taken aside for more personal vengeance. The United States Court of Appeals, hardly a pro-prisoner or even liberal institution, called the rehousing of the prisoners, “an orgy of brutality.”

Attica and its aftermath exposed the powder kegs ready to explode inside the US prisons and the urgent need to change the reigning penology and administrative practices throughout the federal, state and local prison systems. Attica uncovered the hidden reality that the prisons and jails were increasingly the socioeconomic destination for the poor and wildly disproportionate numbers of black people, as well as political militants. The Attica prisoners’ demand for human rights also revealed that both men and women were treated like modern-day slaves in prison, denied minimal humane treatment, decent medical care and fundamental constitutional rights.

It is true there was much liberal sentiment expressed for prisoners in the wake of the rebellion and massacre and a small flurry of activity in support of prison reform, involving recognition that prisoners had some rights, and the need for rehabilitation programs to prepare them for release. There was even some concern raised about the racist underpinnings of law enforcement and the entire criminal justice system. These efforts at reform, however, in comparison to policies already in motion to make the prisons chiefly into warehouses for the unemployed and internment camps for militants, were minimal and soon largely abandoned. Continue reading

Modern-day Maoists worry Chinese authorities

[the following is from an article which appeared in the French press (see the entire article at http://observers.france24.com/content/20110923-china-modern-day-maoists-worry-authorities-commemoration-unrest-taiyuan)%5D


A group of Maoists commemorating the 35th anniversary of Mao Zedong’s death in the northern Chinese city of Taiyuan was violently broken up by police. Chinese authorities have no patience for these Mao-lovers, who seem to have forgotten the former communist leader’s authoritarian streak and retained only the idyllic vision of a fairer society. One Chinese Maoist gives us his account.The unrest occurred on September 9, when several dozen Maoists gathered in Taiyuan, chanted revolutionary slogans and delivered inflammatory speeches based on Mao’s Little Red Book. At the end of the demonstration, police tried to arrest the leader of the movement. Other protesters rallied to protect him, shouting “Long live Chairman Mao!” Nine people were arrested, but the organiser managed to escape. Most participants were active members of the website “Utopia”, the biggest leftist forum on the Chinese Web.

For this new generation of Maoists, the Chinese Communist Party has betrayed their leader’s roots by succumbing to capitalism and world trade. As a result foreign companies have been allowed to run amok in China, exploiting the country’s low-paid workers and wreaking havoc on the environment. In today’s China, where disparities between groups are rapidly growing, Maoists are attracting an ever-growing following among the poor and working classes, which have been hard hit by unemployment and inflation. Their growing popularity, however, has also drawn the wrath of local authorities……………………………

“A small group of people controls the country and exploits the rest of the population”Hua Quiao was born in 1972 and lives in Shanghai. He’s a Maoist photographer and activist, and blogs for the website Utopia. Although members of Utopia usually avoid speaking to the foreign press, he agreed to speak to us through an interpreter.

“I’m a Maoist, and I feel both leftist and socially conservative. Utopia, the website I write for, owns a bookstore in Beijing. That’s sort of our headquarters. But our ideology is very controversial in modern-day China, and it’s often simpler and safer for us to communicate online. Continue reading

‘Troubling’ frequency of Oakland cops pulling guns……..on African-Americans

Phillip Matier,Andrew Ross, Chronicle Columnist

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oakland police are often too quick to draw their guns, especially when confronting African American suspects, according to a report by a federal court monitor.

As part of the fallout from the “Riders” scandal, the monitor looked at a random sampling of police reports from the first three months of this year and found 80 incidents in which officers drew their weapons, two of which resulted in fatal shootings.

Although the analysis found that officers had acted appropriately in a majority of the cases, court monitor Robert Warshaw and his team said they were “troubled by the high number of instances” – 28 percent – in which police didn’t have to draw their guns.

“Officers frequently presumed – often, with no basis – that whomever they were contacting was armed,” their report said. Continue reading