India: “Now, Maoists writing kids’ textbooks”

[The Gondi dialect was long kept in unwritten form by the British colonial empire and this continued to be the practice of the “post-independence” Indian state.  Maoists took up the challenge, and produced a written Gondi language and a literacy program along with it.  Now the state repressive forces are, they say, SHOCKED to discover children’s books in Gondi.  See, below, an earlier news report on Maoist educational programs. — Frontlines ed.]

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Ejaz Kaiser, Hindustan Times
Raipur, October 22, 2012

Chhattisgarh police found something out of the ordinary during a recent raid at a Maoist camp in Abujhmad forest: Primary-level textbooks for children. Police fear the books — which cover subjects ranging from social studies to mathematics — are being used by Naxals to teach Maoist propaganda to children in the area.

“We only had sketchy inputs about Naxals teaching their doctrines. This is the first time primary-level books have been recovered in Bastar zone”, Narayanpur superintendent of police Mayank Shrivastava said.

The books, mostly in Gondi dialect, are published by the education wing of the Dandakaranya committee of CPI (Maoist), and narrate the ‘struggle’ of the rebels.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print/948296.aspx 

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My Book Is Red

The word is Revolution. Maoists give a leg up to tribal languages.

Debarshi Dasgupta, Outlook India Magazine | May 17, 2010 Continue reading

Greece: Classes clash in conflicting views of mining project–environment vs jobs

[News reports on the protest of a gold mining project are remarkably sparse on information.  Who, exactly, are the “leftist protesters”?  Who are the pro-mine miners?  And what capitalists are pressing for this project to be done?  So many questions, such terrible journalism.  —  Frontlines ed.]

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Hundreds of protesters have battled riot police for hours over plans for a gold mine in northern Greece’s Halkidiki peninsula

Protesters, police clash in Greece over gold mine; 4 injured, 21 detained

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 21, 2012

THESSALONIKI, Greece — Hundreds of protesters have battled riot police for hours over plans for a gold mine in northern Greece’s Halkidiki peninsula.

Police say one policeman and three protesters were hurt, while 21 protesters have been detained. The protesters have now withdrawn.

This is not the first clash over the gold mine, which has pitted inhabitants of the area against one another.

Owners of tourist lodging, abetted by leftist activists, are fiercely opposed because of environmental reasons, while prospective miners claim the project will create thousands of jobs at an economically difficult time. Supporters of the project staged a counterdemonstration Sunday with banners calling for “no to violence, yes to jobs.”

A multimillion-dollar gold mining project in a nearby area was cancelled a decade ago after similar protests.

Kenya: In response to the culture of male violence, a village of women

A Women-Only Village Fenced Off From Kenya's Culture Of Male Violence

A Women-Only Village Fenced Off From Kenya’s Culture Of Male Violence

By Simone Kosog, SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG/Worldcrunch

UMOJA – In a wooden hut in Archer’s Post, a small settlement in Kenya, three men of the Samburu tribe are drinking tea. The eldest is wrapped in a red-and-white checked cloth; the other two wear shirts and jeans. Nothing much going on, so they are happy to talk.

Question: Why should only men have rights? “Because it’s our tradition. Women are like children; they need to be trained. When they’re untrained, you have to beat them to discipline them.”

There are women who rule entire countries. Are they also children? “These women all have husbands who tell them what to do.” What if a woman beats a man? “Then you have to kill her. If I don’t have my stick, I’ll use my knife.“

Less than two kilometers from here is Umoja, a village of only women. If you want an idea of what it cost the women to build their own separate world, and why they are so happy with the hard lives they live there, you only have to sit down and listen to the kinds of things Wilson, Barasi and Douglas, in the year 2012, say as they drink tea at Archer’s Post. Continue reading

Xenophoia Alert: “Anti-immigrant ‘Golden Dawn’ rises in Greece”

The rise of Greece’s Golden Dawn: Ultranationalist party raises fears as it builds a network of public aid reserved only for Greek citizens and is accused of violence against immigrants.

[Xenophobia is a most basic weapon against the working class when the capitalist and imperialist attacks are waged with great and desperate aggression.  The challenge to confront these malevolent movements, to expose their puppetmasters, and to defeat their attacks is a major challenge for the revolutionary proletariat, in Greece and everywhere. — Frontlines ed.]

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By Anthony Faiola, Washington Post,  October 20, 2012

ATHENS — At first glance, the shop on a nondescript street in this chaotic capital looks standard-issue military. Fatigues. Camouflage. Hunting gear. Deeper inside, the political message emerges. Black T-shirts emblazoned with modified swastikas — the symbol of the far-right Golden Dawn party — are on sale. A proudly displayed sticker carries a favorite party slogan: “Get the Stench out of Greece.”

By “stench,” the Golden Dawn — which won its first-ever seats in the Greek Parliament this spring and whose popularity has soared ever since — means immigrants, broadly defined as anyone not of Greek ancestry. In the country at the epicenter of Europe’s debt crisis, and where poverty and unemployment are spiking, the surplus shop doubles as one of the party’s dozens of new “help bureaus.” Hundreds of calls a day come in from desperate families seeking food, clothing and jobs, all of which the Golden Dawn is endeavoring to provide, with one major caveat: for Greeks only.

To fulfill its promise of a Greece for Greeks alone, the party appears willing to go to great lengths. Its supporters — in some instances with the alleged cooperation of police — stand accused of unleashing a rash of violence since the party rose to national office, including the stabbings and beatings of immigrants, ransacking an immigrant community center, smashing market stalls and breaking the windows of immigrant-owned shops. Continue reading

Turkey: Silent Treatment of Hunger Strike met with Anger by Kurds

by Ruwayda Mustafah Rabar, Global Voices Online

On 21 October 2012

Hundreds of Kurdish political prisoners in Turkey have entered an indefinite hunger strike [1]. The non-violent protest has gone unnoticed by international media agencies and human rights organisations. One activist, who has been vocal about this protest, says the hunger strike demands the following:

@hevallo: [2] Releasing Kurdish leader of Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK) rebels to negotiate a peace settlement

@hevallo [3]: Freedom to use Kurdish language in public sphere

@hevallo: [4] Political settlement for the Kurdish question in Turkey

Today marks the 40th day of their hunger strike, and since their start there has been very little information about the prisoners on hunger strike, and their demands in media outlets. Al Jazeera’s The Stream [5] has showed some interest to highlight the hunger strike, while other media agencies that respond to social networking demands have remained silent. Continue reading

Report on the Extrajudicial Killing of 120 Black People

An interview with Kali Akuno (Malcolm X Grassroots Movement) on the new report on

the growing extra-judicial killing of black people — every 36 hours —  throughout the US in 2012

Oct 15, 2012 by

Kali Akuno: The staggering number of black people killed by police is increasing

The campaign to boycott apartheid’s sports teams — then (South African) and now (Israeli)

Israel Dropped the Ball on Human Rights, but We Won’t!

by Anna Baltzer, National Organizer, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

October 18th, 2012

Israel Dropped the Ball on Human RightsLast week, more than 100 organizations worldwide — including dozens of US Campaign coalition members — signed onto a letter of support for the first Israeli sports team boycott campaign in the United States, organized by member group Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign (MN BBC). The Israeli basketball team Maccabi-Haifa has been in the United States playing U.S. teams including the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“Stop Playin’ with Apartheid”

When the Timberwolves refused to cancel their game with the Maccabi, almost two dozen activists protested inside the stadium calling on the team to “Stop Playing with Apartheid!” The protestors were ejected from the game for “disruptive and inappropriate messages” (meanwhile, counter-protestors waving Israeli flags were allowed to stay). According to a press release on the MN BBC website, a legal observer and civil rights attorney was assaulted and temporarily arrested by local security and police.

A boycott of Apartheid South Africa’s sports teams proved to be a particularly effective tool in the struggle to end oppression there. At the time, South African teams that had not taken a public stance against apartheid would not be invited by any self-respecting tournament or venue. It should be no different with Apartheid Israel today.

In the same way that South African teams were, almost all Israeli sports teams are cynically used as ambassadors of an apartheid state. Additionally, Maccabi is sponsored by Ya’akov Shahar, chairman of Mayer’s Cars and Trucks Ltd., the official importer to Israel of Volvo. Both companies are heavily involved in the Israeli occupation, as documented by Who Profits?, an Israeli research project. Israeli sports teams like Maccabi are also notorious for racism and racial discrimination against Palestinians.

As the activists in Minnesota stated: “Love Basketball; Hate Apartheid.”

The Palestinian call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) first made its way into U.S. basketball discourse when the US Campaign learned that legendary player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar canceled participation in an Israeli film festival following Israel’s killing of twelve unarmed Palestinian refugees attempting to exercise their internationally-recognized right of return.

It’s time to slam dunk Israeli Apartheid!

For more information on this and related campaigns, see:  http://endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=3293

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For background on the international boycott of South African apartheid’s sports, see this video documentary clip, and the articles which follow: Continue reading

How the Marikana Movement Stunned Neoliberal South Africa

The day after the Marikana massacre, wives and mothers of the victims gathered in rage

[By all accounts and assessments, the Marikana mine massacre has marked a major turning point in the ANC-led “post-apartheid” South Africa.  But what sort of turn is being made?  A radical commentator and analyst, Patrick Bond, delves into this in some depth, and comments:  “this is potentially the breakthrough event that independent progressives have sought, so as to unveil the intrinsic anti-social tendencies associated with the ANC-Alliance’s elite transition from revolutionaries to willing partners of some of the world’s most wicked corporations……..What is definitive, though, is the waning of any remaining illusions that the forces of ‘liberation’ led by the ANC will take South Africa to genuine freedom and a new society.”  The following article, though long, is well worth exploring. — Frontlines ed.]

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by PATRICK BOND, in Counterpunch

How long can the amazing upsurge of class struggle in South Africa go on? Living here 22 years, I’ve never witnessed such a period of vibrant, explosive, but uncoordinated worker militancy. The latest news from the labour front is that 12 000 workers were fired on October 12 by Angloplats for a wildcat strike (it is likely most will be rehired in coming days if an above-inflation wage settlement is reached), and thousands of others are threatened by the mining houses. Jacob Zuma’s government is panicking about lost elite legitimacy, calling on October 17 for a pay freeze for top private sector, parastatal and state management to make a token gesture at addressing unemployment.

As the African National Congress (ANC), Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) and SA Communist Party (SACP) continuously fail to put a lid on the boiling labour pot, no one can offer sure predictions. To try, nevertheless, to assess the durability of this surge of working class revulsion, now two months after the August 16 Marikana Massacre of 34 wildcat-striking platinum mineworkers (plus 78 wounded), requires sifting through the various ideological biases that have surfaced in the commentariat, as well as first considering precedents. How much can the balance of forces be shifted if the ruling elite overplay their hand – and what organizational forms are needed to prevent divide-and-conquer of the forces gathering from below?

Metaphors for Marikana from the bad old days

We must be wary of drawing a comparison to the South African state’s last mineworker massacre, in 1922 when Johannesburg’s white goldminers rebelled against the increasing use of competing black labour (to the sound of the Communist Party of South Africa’s notorious slogan, ‘Workers of the World Unite for a White South Africa!’). They were resoundingly defeated and then coopted, a fate that Marikana workers and 100 000 others who went wildcat in recent weeks have so far avoided. Those workers are now moving by the tens of thousands from Cosatu affiliates to upstart – albeit economistic, wages-oriented and openly apolitical – unions like the Association of Mining and Construction Union (AMCU), predictably labeled by tired ANC Alliance hacks as the new ‘counter-revolutionaries’.

The aftermaths of more recent political massacres may have more to teach us. After March 21, 1960 at Sharpeville, where 69 were shot dead for burning the apartheid regime’s racist passbooks an hour’s drive south of Johannesburg, there was an immediate downswing in mass-resistance politics, followed by a hapless turn to armed struggle and the shift of resources and personnel to ineffectual exile-based liberation movements. It was not until 1973 that mass-based organizing resumed, starting in the Durban dockyards with resurgent trade unionism.

The next big apartheid massacre was in June 1976 when in Soweto as many as 1000 school children were murdered by the police and army for resisting the teaching of Afrikaans and taking to the streets. In the 1980s and early 1990s, there were periodic massacres by men who apparently fused ethnic interests of migrant workers (mainly from KwaZulu) to the Inkatha Freedom Party and the regime’s ‘Third Force’ provocateurs. But that era’s most comparable event to Marikana was the Bisho Massacre in which 28 were shot dead by a Bantustan army at the conclusion of a march in the Eastern Cape’s Ciskei homeland.

In 1960, the effect of the killings was first desperation and then more than a decade of quiescence. In 1976, the Soweto uprising put South Africa on the world solidarity map and along with liberation movement victories in Mozambique, Angola and then Zimbabwe, kickstarted other communities, workers, women and youth into the action-packed 1980s. In 1992, the revulsion from what happened at Bisho followed by Chris Hani’s assassination in April 1993 were the catalysts to finally set the April 1994 date for the first one-person one-vote election. Is there a historical analogy to pursue

In other words, if today’s struggle is against what might be termed class apartheid, then is the disparate resistance signified by Marikana similar to the early 1960s and hence will there be much more repression before a coherent opposition emerges? Or will the contagion of protest from this and thousands of other micro-protests across the country start to coagulate, as in the 1976-94 period, into a network similar to the United Democratic Front (implying an inevitable split in the ANC-Cosatu-SACP Alliance, led by genuine communists and progressive post-nationalist workers), and then the formation of Worker’s Party to challenge ANC electoral dominance?

Or, might something happen quite suddenly to rearrange power relations, as in 1992, and as we saw in Egypt in the wake of independent labour organizing against state-corporate-trade union arrangements in the years prior to the massive Tahrir Square mobilizations in early 2011? ‘Tunisia Day’ for South Africa could come in 2020, according to high-profile commentator Moeletsi Mbeki (younger brother of the former president). But if the strike wave continues to build and if capital insists the state put its foot down on the workers, aided by sweetheart unions, as the Cosatu-affiliated National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is now known, things may come to a head sooner. On October 17, Zuma’s remarks about the need to ‘get back to work’ had an ominous sound, and the next day the Marikana workers went on another wildcat strike because the police moved in to the platinum mine once again, arresting a few central leaders. Continue reading

Clashes break out at anti-austerity demonstration during Greek general strike

[As Angela Merkel of Germany says the troika (the group of 3 imperial usurers) should give Greece “another chance” to surrender to the social starvation and onerous debt repayment terms demanded by the imperialist system, the people gave this response in the streets of Athens and Thessaloniki. — Frontlines ed.]

DEREK GATOPOULOS Associated Press October 18, 2012

A pedestrian passes closed shops in Ermou street, Athens’ main shopping district as shopkeepers shut down for the 24-hour nationwide general strike on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Labor unions in recession-hobbled Greece are holding another general strike against a new harsh austerity program, as European leaders beset by a deep debt crisis and economic stagnation gather for a summit meeting in Brussels. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS, Greece — Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence, less than a month after more intense clashes broke out during a similar protest.

Authorities said around 70,000 protesters took to the street in two separate demonstrations in Athens during the country’s second general strike in a month as workers across the country walked off the job to protest new austerity measures the government is negotiating with Greece’s international creditors.

A 65-year-old protester suffered a fatal heart attack during the demonstration but efforts to revive him failed. The organizers of the protest march he participated in said the man had fallen ill before any rioting had broken out.

The measures for 2013-14, worth €13.5 billion ($17.7 billion), aim to prevent the country from going bankrupt and potentially having to leave the 17-nation eurozone.

Riot police responded with volleys of tear gas and stun grenades in the capital’s Syntagma Square outside Parliament as protesters scattered during the clashes, which continued on and off for about an hour. Another general strike in late September had also seen limited, but much more intense, clashes between protesters and police.

Four demonstrators were injured after being hit by police, volunteer paramedics said. The Health Ministry said two of the protesters were treated in hospital and that their injuries were not serious.

Hundreds of police had been deployed in the Greek capital ahead of the demonstration, as such protests often turn violent. Police said about 50 people were detained Thursday.

A similar demonstration by about 17,000 people in the northern city of Thessaloniki ended peacefully.

Thursday’s strike was timed to coincide with a European Union summit in Brussels laer in the day, at which Greece’s economic fate will likely feature large. Continue reading

Chinese residents take to streets after police beat truck driver to death

 

Reuters, Beijing, Wednesday,  October 17, 2012

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in the city of Luzhou in southwestern China on Wednesday, after reports a truck driver was beaten to death by policemen, residents said.

Pictures and video on China’s popular microblogging site Sina Weibo showed an apparently dead man sprawled out on the ground next to a truck as police held back onlookers.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the photos and calls seeking comment from the Luzhou government in Sichuan province went unanswered.

China’s Communist Party has been trying to keep a lid on protests ahead of a meeting in Beijing next month which will usher in a new generation of leaders.

Residents contacted by telephone said they had heard reports that traffic policemen had beaten a truck driver to death after an unspecified dispute.

Protesters burned police car in Luzhou

“People are very angry about this and are out on the streets to show their anger,” said one resident of the Hongxingcun neighborhood where the unrest was focused. He did not witness the incident and declined to give his name.

A manager at a local restaurant who gave her family name as Wang added that several thousand people had taken to the streets.

Images posted later in the evening showed overturned police cars, some of which had been set alight.

Some Weibo posts said the police had used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.

“The protests are still going on,” a third resident, who gave his family name as Li, said by telephone.

China’s ruling Communist Party worries that the tens of thousands of sporadic protests over land grabs, corruption, abuse of power and economic grievances that break out every year could coalesce into a national movement and threaten its control.

China saw almost 90,000 such “mass incidents” of riots, protests, mass petitions and other acts of unrest in 2009, according to a 2011 study by two scholars from Nankai University in north China. Some estimates go even higher.

That is an increase from 2007, when China had over 80,000 mass incidents, according to an earlier report from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Most protests are either dispersed by security forces, or by officials promising demonstrators their demands will be heeded. None have so far even come close to becoming national movements which could challenge the central government